Poll

Are you interested in seeing more handheld meters tested?

This testing is pointless! Please STOP damaging these meters!
3 (6.4%)
 Yes, I would like to more meters tested.
44 (93.6%)

Total Members Voted: 47

Author Topic: Handheld meter robustness testing  (Read 648777 times)

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Offline bitseeker

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #1250 on: May 04, 2017, 06:39:20 pm »
So I will give you that putting on of these counterfeits in say the UT61E's 500mA it would further improve the burden and I believe the diodes would handle the added current in that one case.  However they are not using 4000 series diodes and I have those large TVSs in there now.   I wouldn't attempt it on any meter I cared about without looking at the circuit to make sure it could handle it. 

Agreed!
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Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #1251 on: May 05, 2017, 10:53:16 pm »
So I will give you that putting on of these counterfeits in say the UT61E's 500mA it would further improve the burden and I believe the diodes would handle the added current in that one case.  However they are not using 4000 series diodes and I have those large TVSs in there now.   I wouldn't attempt it on any meter I cared about without looking at the circuit to make sure it could handle it. 

Agreed!

The data I took at 504mA, the SIBA dropped 705mV and the UXCELL, 367mV.   So, 1.399 ohms for the SIBA and 0.728 ohms on the UXCELL.  At 220mA (upper end of 61E) the drop would be 308mV for the SIBA and 146mV for the UXCELL assuming it was linear.  If it were linear, that's a gain of 162mV.  It seems like a lot and indeed may be worth it but... again it's not linear.    So just for you let's look at the real world with another UXCELL fuse.


UT181A is in series with the UT61E and the BM869s is looking at the voltage across the 61E.  SIBA_drop showing 836.8mV of burden at 220.7mA.  Pretty much what I showed in the last video for the 61E.  Now look at the UXCELL_drop at the same current.  764.9mV of drop.   So in the real world, we gained 72mV is all.   Not much when you figure we are still over a half volt drop anyway.   
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 
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Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #1252 on: May 06, 2017, 02:00:09 am »
Call me Brandy Loyale, but I just ticked on " I think the Fluke 87V is really a good meter and want to see if a third one would be better"

TBH I don't think a 3rd or 30th would make a lot of difference, but would like to ask if Mr. Smith can recommend some simple improvements to the 87V so it can survive more of his advanced Lab testing   >:D 

and still work after a shuffling casual walk on carpet touch n zap test   :horse:

An external protection box would be nice, so as not mess with the meter's insides and void warranties   :-+

No problem.  Many people are brand loyal. 

I have been researching Gossen a fair amount the last few months.  They used to offer a product that would increase the robustness of their meters.  I have been unable to find any further information about it and when I asked Gossen, they stated it was discontinued.   It would have been interesting to know more about it. 

You are correct that I never tested the 87V with my little grill starter or run the basic AC line test on it.  Now days, the ESD would be much closer to the standard as that little piezo was a pretty do nothing test.  It sure took out a lot of UNI-Ts though.   :-DD    If I ever do get another 87V, it won't get any special treatment next time.     

In all these cases, I am afraid there would be little I could recommend someone do to their meter.  For ESD, it's easy enough to control it in the home lab.  In the case of the 87V, I understand the one I looked last was one revision older than the current one being sold.  It is possible they made improvements to harden it.     

I keep holding out for Dave's new meter.  I am expecting that thing to be rock solid.   If it holds up as well as his rebranded 235, maybe we can do a run off between the Fluke 101, 115, the BM235 and the 121GW.   
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 
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Offline P90

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #1253 on: May 06, 2017, 02:41:24 am »
isn't that 121GW a rebranded Finest Instruments meter? if so, I wouldn't hold my breath...
 

Offline P90

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #1254 on: May 06, 2017, 03:35:37 am »
interesting... it looks like a finest aka klein...
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #1255 on: May 06, 2017, 03:37:59 am »
The 121GW is a Finest built meter, designed and constructed in cooperation with Dave Jones. It is also going to be fully certified to IEC CAT rating standards as far as Dave has said.
 

Offline P90

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #1256 on: May 06, 2017, 03:45:32 am »
thanks
hopefully it won't be as slow in autoranging  and capacitor measurement as the 397, which is a painfully slow meter...
 

Offline bitseeker

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #1257 on: May 06, 2017, 04:18:26 am »
SIBA_drop showing 836.8mV of burden at 220.7mA.  Pretty much what I showed in the last video for the 61E.  Now look at the UXCELL_drop at the same current.  764.9mV of drop.   So in the real world, we gained 72mV is all.   Not much when you figure we are still over a half volt drop anyway.

As with many things, real-world and/or typical usage may not be as significant as theoretical calculations. In this case, saving 10% likely wouldn't matter for most circumstances. The risk of poor protection, inconsistent production quality and performance, etc. would be significantly more compelling reasons not to use them.

Good stuff, Joe. Thanks for the additional test cases.
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Online IanB

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #1258 on: May 08, 2017, 04:50:10 am »
Joe:

Have you considered any of the Chauvin Arnoux/Metrix products for examination? For example the MTX 3293 is interestingly different from many meters. It's in a similar price range to the high end Gossens, but since Gossen are not doing so well in their customer support it might be time to abandon that idea and look elsewhere?
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Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #1259 on: May 09, 2017, 02:35:12 am »
With Dave always talking about how great the Gossen is, it reminded me of another highly regarded meter that I tested that did not fair so well. 

A few friends of mine had watched Dave's video as well and asked me about running one.  When one of my friends sent me a Gossen ad last Winter (I'll hunt around for it) and the wording made it sound like it was indestructible, it just seemed fair to give them an opportunity to prove they are every bit as good as some of the other meters I have looked at.   

A quick search on their site and I found the link below along with some other info.

https://www.gossenmetrawatt.com/english/seiten/cautiondangerousmultimeters.htm

How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Online IanB

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #1260 on: May 09, 2017, 04:29:44 am »
What happens if you like a meter so much that you don't want to destroy it?  ;D

For example, the MTX 3293 has built-in data recording and graphing. along with IR and Bluetooth comms. Maybe Metrix are more forthcoming with their protocol information than Gossen?

I have no use for that meter, so for me it would only be a toy. But you have to admit it breaks the mold of standard meter designs...
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Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #1261 on: May 09, 2017, 11:43:05 am »
Most line powered bench meters are not designed to be used with high energy circuits like the handhelds.  Imagine the poor electrician taking their 3458 to the job site?    :-DD   Handhelds are sometimes designed to be very robust and safe.  Personally, for my electronics hobby, I would have little use for a handheld meter.  The Brymen 869s has been an exception.

Normally I have no need for graphing or data logging.  That's what the PC and LabVIEW are for (which Metrix supports). I like the wireless RF link on the CEM meters.  It's been handy.   

Someone else had asked about running the Metrix brand in a YT comment.  Maybe it was you.  I looked around for pictures showing the internals.  There was not a lot of info.  Dave's channel is large enough, maybe one day they will send him one to do a quick show and tell.   If I get one, it will see the same basic tests that all the handhelds I get go through so they would have to be pretty sure of their product to ever send me one.   
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #1262 on: May 13, 2017, 12:32:42 am »
I have posted Part 1 of my review of the Gossen Metrawatt.  If you're looking for me to drool over it and put it on a pedestal to worship, don't watch. 


« Last Edit: May 13, 2017, 01:23:17 am by joeqsmith »
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 
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Offline bitseeker

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #1263 on: May 13, 2017, 01:21:46 am »
On the contrary. Sounds like I must watch it to see what happened. :-/O
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Offline kcbrown

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #1264 on: May 13, 2017, 01:33:28 am »
On the contrary. Sounds like I must watch it to see what happened. :-/O

But it's only Part 1, which means he didn't destroy it yet.   



Er, well, either that or he DID destroy it and part 2 is about the resurrection effort.   :-DD



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Offline MacMeter

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #1265 on: May 13, 2017, 01:43:02 am »
Sure looks pretty, swear I didn't DROOL!
Left us with CLIFFHANGER though, like a network series TV show.
I'm staying "tuned", to find out if the butler bugged the new meter!
Nice work Joe.
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #1266 on: May 13, 2017, 01:51:44 am »
Someone on this site recently posted about knuckle draggers who blow stuff up on Youtube.

If only PhotonicInduction lived in Australia, then you two could take the piss out of some crap.

PhotonInduction is lame, any moron can break stuff, it's the lowest form of matter. The thing I like about Dave's videos is that for the most part they're informative and productive. There are already too many videos of knuckle draggers just breaking and blowing stuff up on youtube.

You are right, I stress them to the point of being damaged, attempt to repair them to better understand why they failed and on a few RARE occasions, have attempted to go Steve Austin on them making them stronger than they were before.  Then I repeat the cycle and attempt to stress them to the point of failure all over again.   And while I am waiting for the iron to heat up, I am watching PhotonicInduction!   :-DD   
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Online xrunner

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #1267 on: May 13, 2017, 01:52:39 am »
If you're looking for me to drool over it and put it on a pedestal to worship, don't watch. 

But I like watching people drool over DMMs while putting them on pedestals to worship!  :-DD

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Offline mzacharias

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #1268 on: May 13, 2017, 03:45:39 am »
I would like to know how often in the real world a surge or some other anomaly comes along and puts a technician at risk while in the process of troubleshooting a fault in a piece of (let's just say consumer) equipment.

My guess - not very damned often. Techs love the Fluke 87 and it's variants for a good reason. It's reliable and consistent, and safe. Period.

It is not necessary that it survive a gazillion volts at 1/2 height or whatever. In the EXTREMELY UNLIKELY event that it's ratings are exceeded in a given situation, the Fluke will "fail safe" and further - Fluke will fix it for FREE.

Meanwhile - you can rely on it's readings, accurate to a level exceeding spec by an order of magnitude even if the meter is over thirty years old.

What more can you ask from a multimeter for it's intended function?

I'm a Fluke fan-boy?

You bet - and for good reason.
 

Offline TheAmmoniacal

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #1269 on: May 13, 2017, 04:30:05 am »
I would like to know how often in the real world a surge or some other anomaly comes along and puts a technician at risk while in the process of troubleshooting a fault in a piece of (let's just say consumer) equipment.

My guess - not very damned often. Techs love the Fluke 87 and it's variants for a good reason. It's reliable and consistent, and safe. Period.

It is not necessary that it survive a gazillion volts at 1/2 height or whatever. In the EXTREMELY UNLIKELY event that it's ratings are exceeded in a given situation, the Fluke will "fail safe" and further - Fluke will fix it for FREE.

Meanwhile - you can rely on it's readings, accurate to a level exceeding spec by an order of magnitude even if the meter is over thirty years old.

What more can you ask from a multimeter for it's intended function?

I'm a Fluke fan-boy?

You bet - and for good reason.

That might have been true in the past, but the market has evolved a lot since then. The competition are just as safe and accurate, while being cheaper and richer in functionality. The only thing Fluke seems to offer these days is the brand itself.
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Offline P90

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #1270 on: May 13, 2017, 06:29:47 am »
...
« Last Edit: May 13, 2017, 06:41:33 am by P90 »
 

Offline jordanp123

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #1271 on: May 13, 2017, 01:54:47 pm »
While I'm not sure about the frequency of the surges, without a doubt they do happen. A local employer, a mining operation, had a electrician injured when he was measuring receptacle voltage (995V Phase to Phase), apparently the PT's onboard the equipment were acting up and they were unsure as to why. When the electrician measured phase to phase the meter had an internal arc and pulled a arc on the terminals of the receptacle when he attempted to pull away. The meter was a Southwire meter, they eventually had to pull it due to a failed IP67 rating, you could try googling MSHA (Mine Safety and Health Administration and Southwire) and you might find something I'm not sure. I believe the IP67 failure was not a factor in the accident but it came up during the investigation.

Edit: Found it https://arlweb.msha.gov/Alerts/Equipment/2014-11-21-southwire%20alert.pdf
« Last Edit: May 13, 2017, 01:59:07 pm by jordanp123 »
 

Offline mzacharias

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #1272 on: May 13, 2017, 02:06:27 pm »
While I'm not sure about the frequency of the surges, without a doubt they do happen. A local employer, a mining operation, had a electrician injured when he was measuring receptacle voltage (995V Phase to Phase), apparently the PT's onboard the equipment were acting up and they were unsure as to why. When the electrician measured phase to ground (~575V), the meter had an internal arc and pulled a arc on the terminals of the receptacle when he attempted to pull away. The meter was a Southwire meter, they eventually had to pull it due to a failed IP67 rating, you could try googling MSHA (Mine Safety and Health Administration and Southwire) and you might find something I'm not sure. I believe the IP67 failure was not a factor in the accident but it came up during the investigation.

I was actually referring to consumer level equipment repair. The mere thought of high energy stuff scares the crap out of me.

My training pretty much ends where the plug goes into the wall.
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #1273 on: May 13, 2017, 02:08:54 pm »
I would like to know how often in the real world a surge or some other anomaly comes along and puts a technician at risk while in the process of troubleshooting a fault in a piece of (let's just say consumer) equipment.

My guess - not very damned often. Techs love the Fluke 87 and it's variants for a good reason. It's reliable and consistent, and safe. Period.

It is not necessary that it survive a gazillion volts at 1/2 height or whatever. In the EXTREMELY UNLIKELY event that it's ratings are exceeded in a given situation, the Fluke will "fail safe" and further - Fluke will fix it for FREE.

Meanwhile - you can rely on it's readings, accurate to a level exceeding spec by an order of magnitude even if the meter is over thirty years old.

What more can you ask from a multimeter for it's intended function?

I'm a Fluke fan-boy?

You bet - and for good reason.

If I repaired consumer products or just considered how often my own AC line powered equipment has been damaged in my house over my lifetime, would I somehow feel it relates to what can happen through out the world under all conditions?   Would I ever suggest that any of the testing I show has anything to do with how safe a meter would be if exposed to a real surge condition?  Of course not.   

I would imagine there are people who believe jumping a fuse with wire is an acceptable practice for all environments. It may very well be a person could be fine in their little bubble.     

My interest has always been in low energy robustness.  That's why I make a bigger deal about the EMC than the safety standards.  It's not that I don't care about safety as much as it is rare I am at risk in the home hobby lab.

I can understand owning an expensive meter like the 87V, having total confidence in it and then with all your love for the meter, someone comes along and shows that it can be damaged at levels that many low cost meters also fail at.  Rather then simply acknowledge it, you choose to defend it and claim the tests have nothing to do with what you do in real life.  That's all fine.  I see the same response from many of the meters I run.  I would expect that if I ran Dave's 121GW and it failed the puny grill starter test, Dave would defend that the test was pointless and not how it is conducted in the real world. 

But again, that's not why I run the tests.  I have no love for any meter. I would toss the Brymen aside if I found something I liked better.  I run them against a standard to see how electrically robust they are with one another.  I can't help it if you feel Fluke got a bad shake in the testing. I run the test and present the findings. If you have no interest in watching the videos and feel there is nothing you can learn from them, to be honest I don't understand why you are wasting your time with them.
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #1274 on: May 13, 2017, 02:24:43 pm »
While I'm not sure about the frequency of the surges, without a doubt they do happen. A local employer, a mining operation, had a electrician injured when he was measuring receptacle voltage (995V Phase to Phase), apparently the PT's onboard the equipment were acting up and they were unsure as to why. When the electrician measured phase to ground (~575V), the meter had an internal arc and pulled a arc on the terminals of the receptacle when he attempted to pull away. The meter was a Southwire meter, they eventually had to pull it due to a failed IP67 rating, you could try googling MSHA (Mine Safety and Health Administration and Southwire) and you might find something I'm not sure. I believe the IP67 failure was not a factor in the accident but it came up during the investigation.

I was actually referring to consumer level equipment repair. The mere thought of high energy stuff scares the crap out of me.

My training pretty much ends where the plug goes into the wall.

Oops, I may have misread your post all together!   If so sorry about that.

I think it would be difficult to say.  I had a radio given to me that had been connected to a tower outside of the home.  Lightning hit the tower and the radio died.  Insurance covered it.  When I removed the cover, there was a fairly large hole in the metal chassis.  It was impressive to see. 

I have had friends tell me other stories over the years of their own experience with lightning hits in their homes. Funniest one was a toaster that caught fire.  Lucky they were home at the time.  Worst was a neighbors house that caught fire.  We have a tree that was hit and it took out about an inch of bark down the length of the tree. 

They do sell the crap out of line cord surge protectors for a reason. 
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 


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