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 650433 times)

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Online Fungus

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Sorry but I disagree with you; It VERY MUCH is a big deal. It isn't about the current range being the weakest, that is never mentioned or discussed. It is about the BOM and space savings. The large HRC/HBC fuses are some of the most expensive things on the board and they are some of the biggest things on the board with the fattest traces. The money saved on dropping fuses from the BOM can be used for better higher quality component selection (while keeping the same profit margin) and the savings in space can be used to better route other traces, add cut-outs etc.
The next model in the range is the Fluke 106. It has current measurement and it costs about 50% more. The physical size is very similar (12mm longer, 5mm wider).

Fluke don't describe it as "extremely rugged" like they do 101.  :-DMM


 

Online Fungus

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I think this was a conscious decision by Fluke because they knew they couldn't make a safe meter,
I don't know if the Fluke 101 is a safe meter or not.
It does have a standardized safety-level rating stamped on it. Fluke have shown themselves to be honest and conservative with their ratings.

 

Offline joeqsmith

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I think this was a conscious decision by Fluke because they knew they couldn't make a safe meter,
I don't know if the Fluke 101 is a safe meter or not.
It does have a standardized safety-level rating stamped on it. Fluke have shown themselves to be honest and conservative with their ratings.

Talking about safety is like debating the IEC standards. 
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline PedroDaGr8

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I think this was a conscious decision by Fluke because they knew they couldn't make a safe meter,
I don't know if the Fluke 101 is a safe meter or not.   I thought I had made it clear, but again, safety was never a criteria.  I was only looking for the most robust meter out of the group.

This isn't an evaluation of your tests defining safety; I am saying THEIR thought process. While not intricately linked, robustness and safety do share some commonalities. Many good design practices to ensure a safe meter will also ensure a robust meter. This is to say that while the two do not have to be linked they can be. Additionally, knowing what we know about fluke, they take user safety very seriously, to the point that a meter that is robust is likely safe as well. But it is only likely, not proven.
The very existence of flamethrowers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, "You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done." -George Carlin
 

Offline joeqsmith

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I think this was a conscious decision by Fluke because they knew they couldn't make a safe meter,
I don't know if the Fluke 101 is a safe meter or not.   I thought I had made it clear, but again, safety was never a criteria.  I was only looking for the most robust meter out of the group.

This isn't an evaluation of your tests defining safety; I am saying THEIR thought process. While not intricately linked, robustness and safety do share some commonalities. Many good design practices to ensure a safe meter will also ensure a robust meter. This is to say that while the two do not have to be linked they can be. Additionally, knowing what we know about fluke, they take user safety very seriously, to the point that a meter that is robust is likely safe as well. But it is only likely, not proven.

Could be.  I don't care one way or the other.
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Well the moment a few of you have been waiting for is near.   I said from the beginning that I would put the winner of the $50 shootout against an expensive meter.  I've had the 87V for a few days now and it's certainly not a great meter.  Not a lot of features.  But it does cost a fair amount of money and is pretty common.   

Again, I have no plans to test beyond what I have done with the Fluke 101.  I would expect the 87V to handle all of those tests and far beyond.  I base that on the Fluke video I had linked to earlier where they were testing at 17KV.   In other words, I plan to call it a draw after I am finished with these tests, unless something happens and the sky falls or the sun goes out.   Don't worry, I won't be dropping it off a bridge to see if the LCD will crack.   If it fails it will be from an electrical event. 
 
So expect another boring video like the last few.    One thing I plan to do is also test the leads supplied with the 101.   Maybe that will add some excitement.    :popcorn:
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline Muxr

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I've had the 87V for a few days now and it's certainly not a great meter.  Not a lot of features.
You seem disappointed? Not sure which features you were expecting. It's a standard multipurpose industrial DMM with all the essentials. That's the point of it. That's why it's easy to use, boots fast, and that's why it has a long battery life and longevity.

Every feature it has is implemented well. Bar graph is fast, continuity latch is fast, and the UI is easy and quick exactly because it doesn't have a lot of features. 289 has a lot of features, but at the cost of a lot of compromises in day to day usability.

I'd probably look at Agilent meters if you're looking for featureful DMMs, because they pack tons of features in their meters of the same category.

Personally I think you're being harsh on it. I think it's the best all around no frills meter Fluke ever made.
 

Offline Lightages

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I've had the 87V for a few days now and it's certainly not a great meter.  Not a lot of features.
You seem disappointed? Not sure which features you were expecting. It's a standard multipurpose industrial DMM with all the essentials. That's the point of it. That's why it's easy to use, boots fast, and that's why it has a long battery life and longevity.

Every feature it has is implemented well. Bar graph is fast, continuity latch is fast, and the UI is easy and quick exactly because it doesn't have a lot of features. 289 has a lot of features, but at the cost of a lot of compromises in day to day usability.

I'd probably look at Agilent meters if you're looking for featureful DMMs, because they pack tons of features in their meters of the same category.

Personally I think you're being harsh on it. I think it's the best all around no frills meter Fluke ever made.

Well that is the point of having different choices. He isn't that impressed and it is his money. There are other options and that is good.
 

Offline Muxr

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I've had the 87V for a few days now and it's certainly not a great meter.  Not a lot of features.
You seem disappointed? Not sure which features you were expecting. It's a standard multipurpose industrial DMM with all the essentials. That's the point of it. That's why it's easy to use, boots fast, and that's why it has a long battery life and longevity.

Every feature it has is implemented well. Bar graph is fast, continuity latch is fast, and the UI is easy and quick exactly because it doesn't have a lot of features. 289 has a lot of features, but at the cost of a lot of compromises in day to day usability.

I'd probably look at Agilent meters if you're looking for featureful DMMs, because they pack tons of features in their meters of the same category.

Personally I think you're being harsh on it. I think it's the best all around no frills meter Fluke ever made.

Well that is the point of having different choices. He isn't that impressed and it is his money. There are other options and that is good.
I understand, hence the reason I suggested Agilent.
 

Online Fungus

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So expect another boring video like the last few.    One thing I plan to do is also test the leads supplied with the 101.   Maybe that will add some excitement.    :popcorn:
Could it be done with the back off to see if there's any sparks?
 

Online Fungus

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I've had the 87V for a few days now and it's certainly not a great meter.  Not a lot of features.  But it does cost a fair amount of money and is pretty common.   
'Boring' is sort of the point with that meter.

(...along with other words like 'dependable' and 'trustworthy').

 

Offline saturation

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Nice.  I look forward to your videos!  Thanks again, for doing these tests.  The 87V is a defacto standard in that class DMM, so these tests will attract attention from a lot of professionals, particularly if it fails  :o

One thing I've puzzled about is test leads, PVC or silicone have dielectric breakdowns in > 60kV/mm range, but that is for newly manufactured leads, varies by manufacturer, and non-sustained duration: corona resistance is not a specification for test leads.

http://www.shinetsusilicone-global.com/catalog/pdf/rubber_e.pdf

For old leads subject to wear and tear, its a different story, thus its always a good idea to get new leads periodically if you deal with kV, or test it to failure as we hope to see :popcorn:


Well the moment a few of you have been waiting for is near.   I said from the beginning that I would put the winner of the $50 shootout against an expensive meter.  I've had the 87V for a few days now and it's certainly not a great meter.  Not a lot of features.  But it does cost a fair amount of money and is pretty common.   

Again, I have no plans to test beyond what I have done with the Fluke 101.  I would expect the 87V to handle all of those tests and far beyond.  I base that on the Fluke video I had linked to earlier where they were testing at 17KV.   In other words, I plan to call it a draw after I am finished with these tests, unless something happens and the sky falls or the sun goes out.   Don't worry, I won't be dropping it off a bridge to see if the LCD will crack.   If it fails it will be from an electrical event. 
 
So expect another boring video like the last few.    One thing I plan to do is also test the leads supplied with the 101.   Maybe that will add some excitement.    :popcorn:

Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Online Fungus

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The 87V is a defacto standard in that class DMM, so these tests will attract attention from a lot of professionals, particularly if it fails  :o
What are the chances of failure?  :-//
« Last Edit: July 09, 2015, 12:57:23 pm by Fungus »
 

Offline saturation

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I expect low.  But we can't know for sure unless we try a surge test and demonstrate it, then its not just an educated guess.  Many things can change over time and cause problems in new DMMs versus prior runs of the same model.  A test of just one meter can be criticized, but its better than nothing.

This is one reason in the past, say in the US military, samples of a procurement were tested per batch by independent military labs to insure they live up to their specification, but I don't know if they still do this.



The 87V is a defacto standard in that class DMM, so these tests will attract attention from a lot of professionals, particularly if it fails  :o
What are the chances of failure?  :-//

« Last Edit: July 09, 2015, 02:37:28 pm by saturation »
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline joeqsmith

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You seem disappointed? Not sure which features you were expecting. It's a standard multipurpose industrial DMM with all the essentials. That's the point of it. That's why it's easy to use, boots fast, and that's why it has a long battery life and longevity.

Every feature it has is implemented well. Bar graph is fast, continuity latch is fast, and the UI is easy and quick exactly because it doesn't have a lot of features. 289 has a lot of features, but at the cost of a lot of compromises in day to day usability.

I'd probably look at Agilent meters if you're looking for featureful DMMs, because they pack tons of features in their meters of the same category.

Personally I think you're being harsh on it. I think it's the best all around no frills meter Fluke ever made.

The 87V is just over $400 now on Amazon.  For that price, I am disappointed in what the meter can and can't do.   Really what it comes down to is if the 87V is at least as robust as the 101.   That was my end goal for this experiment and I will see it through. 

Keysight never returned my attempts to contact them.   Watching Dave's reviews on the one with those buried fuses, it's as bad as the 87V.   It has the features I want but I have concerns on just how robust it would be.    To be honest, at this stage they would have to provide me with a meter to test knowing it could be damaged before I would consider it.   

I expect low.  But we can't know for sure unless we try a surge test and demonstrate it, then its not just an educated guess.  Many things can change over time and cause problems in new DMMs versus prior runs of the same model.  A test of just one meter can be criticized, but its better than nothing.

This is one reason in the past, say in the US military, samples of a procurement were tested per batch by independent military labs to insure they live up to their specification, but I don't know if they still do this.

The 87V is a defacto standard in that class DMM, so these tests will attract attention from a lot of professionals, particularly if it fails  :o
What are the chances of failure?  :-//


This is an excellent point.   I was very happy when another member took it upon themselves to run similar tests on the 101 (Well, that is until I stepped things for that last round  :-DD).  I would like to see a second 87V tested as well just so we have two data points.     Even then, that's too small of a sample size.     I'm sure Fluke already has the answer as that video made it sound like they test every design to failure. 

From what I understand from all of the posts I have read about the amount of money Fluke has invested in making their designs robust, and the 87V being a very popular meter and how long they have had to improve their designs, and again we are talking about it just doing as well as the lowest cost meter Fluke offers.  It doesn't even have to exceed it!   I assume the chances of a failure are very low.   

So expect another boring video like the last few.    One thing I plan to do is also test the leads supplied with the 101.   Maybe that will add some excitement.    :popcorn:
Could it be done with the back off to see if there's any sparks?

It would be better to leave the meter sealed to avoid adding any variables to the test.   

It's been a very long 5 weeks.  Thanks for being patient and supportive.
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline Lightages

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The 87V is just over $400 now on Amazon.  For that price, I am disappointed in what the meter can and can't do.

That is why I suggested a Brymen BM829 (Greenlee DM830) or a BM869 (Greenlee DM860). For the price, their functionality is hard to beat. The Keysights are good too of course.
 

Offline Wytnucls

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One year warranty only, no AutoHold feature, no latched continuity, short battery life, Peak hold 800mS minimum transient only, no Null in central position on the bargraph, double the burden voltage on mA, lower diode test voltage, tiny selector switch. There is a lot not to like on the Brymen meter, compared to the Fluke 87V.

In my view, the lifetime warranty alone is worth the price difference.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2015, 04:31:58 am by Wytnucls »
 

Offline joeqsmith

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The 87V is just over $400 now on Amazon.  For that price, I am disappointed in what the meter can and can't do.

That is why I suggested a Brymen BM829 (Greenlee DM830) or a BM869 (Greenlee DM860). For the price, their functionality is hard to beat. The Keysights are good too of course.

It is my understanding that the meter must cost a lot for it to be any good and that it must be a name brand.  If I tested a meter that was less than $300, there are some (including myself) that would feel we did not met the higher cost target.    For the brand, Fluke seems to be very popular.   So we push ahead with the popular/robust 87V.   

If any of the other brands are any good for what I need,  consider that pretty much every handheld I damaged during these tests was better than every other handheld I have owned, the bar is set low.   :-DD
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline Muxr

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The 87V is just over $400 now on Amazon.  For that price, I am disappointed in what the meter can and can't do.   Really what it comes down to is if the 87V is at least as robust as the 101.
The price seems to have spiked recently for some reason.

I can see that being an issue. I've scored mine on Ebay for much less, so I may have a different perspective.
 

Offline Muxr

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The 87V is just over $400 now on Amazon.  For that price, I am disappointed in what the meter can and can't do.

That is why I suggested a Brymen BM829 (Greenlee DM830) or a BM869 (Greenlee DM860). For the price, their functionality is hard to beat. The Keysights are good too of course.
BM829 doesn't have a latched continuity test nor does it have auto hold, which in my view are essential features for a DMM. So I fail to see how their functionality is hard to beat, when pretty basic and commonly used features are missing.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2015, 06:00:33 am by Muxr »
 

Offline Lightages

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One year warranty only,
Greenlee is lifetime, as has been said many times

no AutoHold feature, no latched continuity, short battery life, Peak hold 800mS minimum transient only, no Null in central position on the bargraph, double the burden voltage on mA, lower diode test voltage, tiny selector switch. There is a lot not to like on the Brymen meter, compared to the Fluke 87V.
Yes, everyone has their preferences. There are many benefits to the Brymens (Greenlee) that the 87V does not have. I do not want to have to list them again for the nth time, but I guess I need to.

The BM869s has 50000/500000 counts, better DC and AC volts accuracy, better DC and AC current accuracy, AC+DC TRMS selectable on volts and amps, dual display, PC connection option, dual temperature, CATIV/1000V, dBm, 100kHz ACV bandwidth, 1Mhz frequency counter, the 87V does 250uS for repetitive peak detect but 1mS for one shot and BM869s does 0.8mS, 41 segment bar graph at 60 updates per second, 5 updates per second on the display . All of this for a lower price.
BM869s with one year warranty: $310 or less shipped worldwide
Greenlee DM860a with lifetime warranty: $360 shipped in the US

Fluke 87V: $400 shipped in the US

In my view, the lifetime warranty alone is worth the price difference.
And again if that is the main worth, the Greenlee rebadges have lifetime warranty too.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2015, 06:09:38 am by Lightages »
 

Offline Lightages

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BM829 doesn't have a latched continuity test nor does it have auto hold, which in my view are essential features for a DMM. So I fail to see how their functionality is hard to beat, when pretty basic and commonly used features are missing.

What you are doing is saying that these two functions are important to you and therefore all other benefits do not count. But that is to you, not everyone. Everyone has different wants or needs. If you want a Fluke for your reasons then I am happy that you have a Fluke. If you want something else, then I am just stating what is offered in another brand so it can be considered.
 

Offline Muxr

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better DC and AC volts accuracy, better DC and AC current accuracy, AC+DC TRMS selectable on volts and amps, dual display,
Better spec sheet accuracy which doesn't mean much. We all know Fluke, Keithley, Keysight add a lot of margin in their accuracy figures. Brymen certainly hasn't been around long enough to earn that reputation.

50K+ resolution on a DMM is overrated. Brymen BM869s is missing essential features that are actually important on a DMM. 87V doesn't just have a better battery life it has at least 4 times better battery life.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2015, 06:14:47 am by Muxr »
 

Offline Lightages

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better DC and AC volts accuracy, better DC and AC current accuracy, AC+DC TRMS selectable on volts and amps, dual display,
Better spec sheet accuracy which doesn't mean much. We all know Fluke, Keithley, Keysight add a lot of margin in their accuracy figures. Brymen certainly hasn't been around long enough to earn that reputation.

50K+ resolution on a DMM is overrated. Brymen BM869s is missing essential features that are actually important on a DMM. 87V doesn't just have a better battery life it has at least 4 times better battery life.

Brymen has been making Amprobe, Extech and other brands for many years. How long is not long enough?

You are demonstrating your preferences, and that is fine. You are also making assertions without facts based on your preferences. OK, whatever.
 

Offline Lightages

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Back on topic:

joeqsmith:

I am sure that the 87V will pass the tests and you will learn to like it. It is a great multimeter with many good characteristics. It has a following for a reason.
 


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