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 633339 times)

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Offline joeqsmith

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Retro Porn. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yIKw0YGpHk


Maybe teak walnut or a nice cherry....   
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline 5ky

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Man you're putting some work into this thing and it shows!  :-+
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Thank you sir.      I made the mounts and plastic spacers for the HV section today and wired it in to try it.  First hit, the CPU reset.  :palm:   A few changes to the grounding seems to have taken care of that.   Captured several transients with the DSO and its very repeatable.    Another week and it should be ready for a trial run.
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline Lightages

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Impressive work.  :-+
 

Offline joeqsmith

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

Offline joeqsmith

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More retro porn...

« Last Edit: September 23, 2015, 04:01:08 am by joeqsmith »
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline fpliuzzi

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Wow... you've created a real stunner there - literally and figuratively. Looking forward to seeing this beauty in action.
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Wow... you've created a real stunner there - literally and figuratively. Looking forward to seeing this beauty in action.

 :-DD

Thanks.  It's a pretty big step up from the first generators.   

I plan to make one last video showing it in operation before I start running 5ky's meters.   
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline PedroDaGr8

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what is the case? Not the wood part but the body. It looks REALLY nice.

Edit: The WHOLE thing looks really nice, I can't wait to see it destroy some meters.
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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what is the case? Not the wood part but the body. It looks REALLY nice.

Edit: The WHOLE thing looks really nice, I can't wait to see it destroy some meters.

Thanks.  If you look back a page or so, you will see some pictures as I was making the case.  It is 1/4" thick plate aluminum.  After I had machined the face plate, I buffed it.   

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

Offline joeqsmith

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

Offline joeqsmith

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Making that last video I discovered a small design flaw in my code.   If you put out say a 5KV pulse, then aborted the run, then set the generator to say 1KV, the capacitors may have been charged anywhere from 0 to 5KV.   I had assumed that once the trigger threshold was met,  send out a pulse.    I had also wanted to add another feature anyway so the generator came back apart.     Now it checks to make sure the bank has discharged below the trigger before turning on the high voltage.   

While the cover was off, I gave it a light sanding with some 600, then another coat of clear.   


I have now been in contact with 5ky about his meters from the shootout he did.   Sounds like they will arrive next week.   We all owe him a big thanks for buying these meters out of pocket, taking the time to do the reviews, then be willing to have them destroyed!   :-+  :-+   His channel is here:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYVMnw_W7-Rq-yJk80vprug/videos

Will it come down to the AMPROBE 530 and the Fluke 107???     And how does my new Brymen BM869s fit in there?   Stay tuned...... :popcorn:
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline PedroDaGr8

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what is the case? Not the wood part but the body. It looks REALLY nice.

Edit: The WHOLE thing looks really nice, I can't wait to see it destroy some meters.

Thanks.  If you look back a page or so, you will see some pictures as I was making the case.  It is 1/4" thick plate aluminum.  After I had machined the face plate, I buffed it.

Nice work, would make a really nice design for a SFF PC case. Ever since my old CoolerMaster ATCS case that I had, I have loved thick aluminum front panels. I was hoping that it was some commercially available case. Oh well, at some point maybe I will make my own.
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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Thanks.   I looked at buying a case but they were so expensive if you wanted anything a little fancy. 

Last night, while testing the generator, I was able to damage one of the FETs.   I added some additional protection for these parts, added some copper foil for a better ground plane on the wire-wrap board and added another Ferrite bead.    Tried several more times to get the unit to fail or see if I could find any more software bugs.  It's looking very solid.   

I picked up a Cen-Tech 90899 7 function meter from Harbor Freight and was planning to use it for a baseline.   When I ran the last meter like this, it died on the first hit and I wanted to make sure I could dial things down far enough were it would survive.     I took it apart and the PCB layout has changed.   They have a small fuse for the low current settings.   The mA is shared with the volt ohm input so I removed the fuse and did a quick functional test on it.   I then connected the thing  to the generator, turned on the AC to the meter, no problems.   Then I turned the knob from AC 750 with the power on and bang....   Of course, I continued to rotate the knob with more bangs and pops.  The generator detected the over current and turned off.   The control IC appears to still function somewhat.   There are a few resistors that failed.       

This is the first meter I have ever seen fail this test.   So it looks like the 500mA step-up transformer will do nicely.   
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Looked like P2 and 5R4 were also damaged.  Did a quick swap but appears the IC was damaged too.   

Plugged it back in and removed the IC's encapsulation with one hit. 
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline PedroDaGr8

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I'm liking the damage I see. Lets hope for more kaboom

Sent from my LG-ls990 using Tapatalk

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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5ky's meters are on there way and should arrive this week. 

I'm liking the damage I see. Lets hope for more kaboom

My wife saw it run for the first time tonight on that cheap Harbor Freight meter.   Gave it a 5 nice 700V hits.   It's very quite except for the beep at the end of the test.  She was not impressed but thought the case looked nice.   Then I turned it up to kill all meters mode........... CRACK!!!!  She jumped. I jumped.   I think we have the kaboom thing down.  :-DD

After killing the HF meter (which was not my intent)  I removed the protection I had added to the UNI-T UT90.   This meter made it into the final 4 before the first failure with it.   It's basically stock now except my wire trace repair may hold up a little longer.   Because the waveform is different with the new generator, this should give us some idea how the new meters compare with the old.   

Rather than using the clamp to hold the meters, I bent up a holder which is then grounded to the generator.   I did this to see if any of the cases would arc through.   Doubtful.

My plan is to do a quick functional check of the meters and replace any of the blown fuses.   
Static test them all with the grill starter
Run them at their rated DC input voltage. 
Run them off the rectified AC signal (that killed the HF meter) in all of the modes.
The Brymen BM869s will be put through these same tests along with them.   The UNI-T UT90 and Fluke 101 already have survived these tests and will not be retested.   

The meters that make it through this basic testing with no damage (other than blown fuses) will get ran with the new generator.   The Fluke 101, UNI-T and the Brymen will be tested with them as well.     

When I tested the first meters, I used a source of 50, 14 a 2 ohms.  This time, I plan to keep the source at 2 ohms throughout the entire test. 
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Just a quick update.   5ky's meters arrived today in good shape.    Thanks again for sending these.   I think we will learn a lot from them. 

Of the 18 meters I started with, 4 are all ready damaged and of those, one will no longer power up.    :palm:     It's good to weed out those meters that are on par with Harbor Freight's free meters.   

My bet is the Fluke 107, AMPROBE AM530 are going to be there to the end, along with my Brymen BM869s.   

Stay tuned for the first of many videos.......
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline 5ky

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I didn't bother packing them very well, but I figured they each survived three drops from 1 meter, so light padding would probably suffice.  The ones with the three input jacks instead of three are all of the ones with blown mA range fuses.

Let the games begin!  :popcorn:
 

Offline joeqsmith

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No problems at all with shipping. 

I have the first video edited and will post it in the next day after I review it. 

The second round did not go as planned at all.   I started out using the UT90A thinking if that passed surely all of the other meters would pass and we could go on from there.   What happened was five more meters were damaged.   Meters I thought would have had no trouble died.  Meters I thought for sure would fail earlier lived.    :palm:

The generator is working out very well.   The testing is going much faster. 
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Round 1 results showing all of the meters getting the grill starter treatment, then subjected to a KV of DC in the DC range.  Then selecting all of the modes with rectified 220VAC applied.    Sorry for you people who want to see some sparks.   I'll see if I can do something about that in the next video.... 

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

Offline 5ky

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Awesome!  Not super surprised the uni-t's met their fate.  It also goes to show how crap those EX series Extechs are.  If I buy another, it'll be the E series (the rebranded Brymens).   :popcorn:
 

Offline 5ky

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Also, I'm really surprised that Fluke 107 is a different size from the 101.  I figured they'd reuse the same chassis to save costs, but I guess not!  That's fluke for ya: they don't cut costs to please their accountants.
 

Offline Fungus

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Whoah! Great magic trick at 0:52!

Can you do it backwards - turn Uni-Ts into flukes?
 

Offline joeqsmith

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After that 87V was damaged during my initial testing,  I would like to make a video of nothing but Fluke meters to see how much their protection varies.   For now, I think just seeing how 5ky's 107 holds up compared with the 101 will be interesting.   I am just expecting the 107 will survive everything the 101 does, but I thought that about the 87V too, but now know better.   

Awesome!  Not super surprised the uni-t's met their fate.  It also goes to show how crap those EX series Extechs are.  If I buy another, it'll be the E series (the rebranded Brymens).   :popcorn:

You have too many meters as it is!!   :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD  I am trying my best to thin your heard! >:D

Hope you enjoy it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YG6FjEkyXs

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


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