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 633364 times)

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Online joeqsmith

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I made a viewing window using 1/2" Lexan.   Also shown is a new connector I made that ties the two generators to the meter.   I can use the standard banana cable shown, or I can also plug the meters test leads into this as well without using the test lead to banana adapters.       
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Online joeqsmith

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Looks like  I can get it through Amazon.   They also offer the 17B with a few more features.

http://www.amazon.com/SSEYL-Fluke-Digital-Multimeter-F15B/dp/B00SEZU4KO/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1447992356&sr=8-4&keywords=fluke+15b%2B
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Online tautech

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Finally got around to looking at this link showing the 15B+.   That's a step up over the 101 and 107.    I wonder if it is as robust. Any idea what it would take to get it sent to the US?

http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Fluke-15B-F15B-Digital-Multimeter-Auto-Manual-Range-AC-DC-1000V-10A-40M-ohm-Capacitance-100uF/917544_1187715988.html
Just money Joe.
As I've said I'll put up USD50.

Looks like  I can get it through Amazon.   They also offer the 17B with a few more features.

http://www.amazon.com/SSEYL-Fluke-Digital-Multimeter-F15B/dp/B00SEZU4KO/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1447992356&sr=8-4&keywords=fluke+15b%2B

The only difference betwen the 15 and 17 is the front case and keypad membrane with the extra buttons.
AFAIK they have the same PCB.

Note, the newer + versions have a backilght now.
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Online tautech

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Would it be better to run the 115 or the 15B+?    It seems like the 115 would be more common but the 15B+ may be a newer design.
I'm not aware if the 15B is available directly from Fluke internationally. AFAIK the 15B is a China market unit only, those that I have got have no warranty outside China.
Despite this I've found them a quite good DMM for basic bench work and I have some confidence in their safety ratings as the Chinese also have 230VAC mains like here in NZ.

The 115 on the other hand is an international product, probably more widely used  :-// but it's hard to beat the 15B or the never plus model for price.

As we know any unit that you get and expose to your lady devil  >:D wil not be much good for further use so I'll put up USD50 if somebody adds the extra USD25 to get a 15B for you to test in the name of science.  ;)

Tell us what you'd like Joe.
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Offline Fungus

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Finally got around to looking at this link showing the 15B+.   That's a step up over the 101 and 107.    I wonder if it is as robust.  Any idea what it would take to get it sent to the US?
It's an Asian model, so... you have to buy on eBay/aliexpress/whatever.

On the plus side: That means shipping is included!
 

Online joeqsmith

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It looks like I can get the 15B+ through Amazon but if people would rather see the 115 or 117 ran, I have no problem getting one of them.    I haven't looked into Paypal yet.  So don't worry about it.   

As we know any unit that you get and expose to your lady devil  >:D wil not be much good for further use so I'll put up USD50 if somebody adds the extra USD25 to get a 15B for you to test in the name of science.  ;)

Tell us what you'd like Joe.

 :-DD   Not all of them die.    The 101 is still in great condition as far as I know.  I have never had it apart.   Even 5KY's 107, AM530 and my AM510 are all in good working condition.   The UT90 still works after damaging the traces twice (may need to do something about this).   Then there is the BM869s which is really proving to be a good little meter.   


After putting together the spreadsheet and reviewing the videos, one thing that is interesting is that both the Fluke 87V and the UNI-T 139C had the most thumbs down.   I assume both are popular meters is partly why.   Also that I did not increment the energy to see at what level these failed at compared with the other meters.   Hard to say. 

I had reran an 87V to find where it actually fails as a few people had asked about it.   No one has ever asked about the 139C but   now that I have a way to repeat the tests it may be interesting to see where it falls in.   

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

Online joeqsmith

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It's a little late to roast them for Thanksgiving but the the 17B+ is on it's way along with a few other meters.  I like the features the 17 has and the cost was a wash.

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

Offline vinicius.jlantunes

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It's a little late to roast them for Thanksgiving but the the 17B+ is on it's way along with a few other meters.  I like the features the 17 has and the cost was a wash.

 :-+
I own a 17B+ and am curious to see how it goes.

Online joeqsmith

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It's a little late to roast them for Thanksgiving but the the 17B+ is on it's way along with a few other meters.  I like the features the 17 has and the cost was a wash.

 :-+
I own a 17B+ and am curious to see how it goes.

Do you like it?   Looks like a nice little meter. 
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline vinicius.jlantunes

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It's a little late to roast them for Thanksgiving but the the 17B+ is on it's way along with a few other meters.  I like the features the 17 has and the cost was a wash.

 :-+
I own a 17B+ and am curious to see how it goes.

Do you like it?   Looks like a nice little meter.

Yeap! Pretty solid, The only thing I think could be better is the continuity test. But still a very good meter.

Online tautech

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It's a little late to roast them for Thanksgiving but the the 17B+ is on it's way along with a few other meters.  I like the features the 17 has and the cost was a wash.

 :-+
I own a 17B+ and am curious to see how it goes.

Do you like it?   Looks like a nice little meter.

Yeap! Pretty solid, The only thing I think could be better is the continuity test. But still a very good meter.
That's a broad statement, don't you just mean it could be faster?

In this thread the 15/17B stack up pretty well against others in terms of voltage and current specs for continuity test:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/multimeter-with-low-continuity-test-voltage/
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Online joeqsmith

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There's fast, then there is Van Halen Eruption fast!  :-DD     

I did play with the continuity test on the 17B+ and it is a bit on the slow side.   I'll get some real numbers off it.   I plan to update the spreadsheet as I go now and may add the continuity testing I have done as well.   

Quote
"Pretty solid"
  :-DD  This thing feels very solid compared with most of the meters I have looked at.    It's not at all what I was expecting.   

Side tracked a bit today trying to catch on things.   Took about an hour to take my Laptop apart, fix a connector and put it back together.   My old HP6285A died about a month ago.  This is the third time I have been into it.   This time was a real bugger.   These have a dual SCR pre-regulator.  This section was not working.  I thought I may have damaged something in the over voltage fault circuit but everything checked out.   After about an hour, finally found that the trigger transformer had a bad solder joint on the primary side.  I am watching it bake for a while before calling it quits for the day.

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

Offline vinicius.jlantunes

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That's a broad statement, don't you just mean it could be faster?

Yes that's what I mean, that it could be a bit faster. The rest is fine indeed. But it's nitpicking really, I think it's a great meter, I'm even thinking about getting one more for the lab!

Online joeqsmith

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After letting the meter sit at room temp after shipping (winter is setting in), I checked it for calibration.   For the most part, seems alright but the DC voltage is out more than I would have expected.   

At 10V 17B+ reads 9.95, or -50mV error
At 1V, 17B+ reads 0.994, or -6mV error

The specs state +/-0.5% of reading + 3 counts. On the 40V scale, the res is 10mV.   So if I am reading it right, a 10V signal could be off by +80/-20mV.     On the 4V scale, it's 1mV res, or +8/-2mV.   

Maybe I am not reading the spec right, or my math is wrong.  Seems like this meter is out on DC volts.  The rest of it looks good.  Maybe one of their DC calibration standards is off where the meters are being aligned.  :-//

My reference was last checked for cal last summer.   

Someone had posted that the 17B and 17B+ were the same board.  This is not the case at all.   The 17B+ is aligned digitally, not with pots. 

I would expect most of the higher end meters are aligned this way today.   I wonder with these meters, does Fluke make the tools available to align them?

At a glance, the layout looks alright.  All the basic parts in place you would expect.   They used a lot of grease on this one.  It was coming out of the vias and the center shaft of the rotary switch has so much it covers the back case half.   

Here are a few pictures of the 17B+ PCB and what I am calling excessive grease, along with a picture of my Fluke reference standard and HP34401 (both in cal)...
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline Lightages

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When it specified +3 counts, it is a bit confusing. It really means ±3 counts. Why they don't say it that way I don't know. So it really is ±80mv allowable error on the 40V scale when reading the 10V source.(edited for clarity)
« Last Edit: November 29, 2015, 04:02:52 pm by Lightages »
 

Offline Wytnucls

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Fluke 17B+ manual:

Accuracy Specifications
Accuracy is specified for 1 year after calibration, at operating temperatures of 18 °C to 28 °C, relative humidity at 0 % to
75 %. Accuracy specifications take the form of: ±([% of Reading] + [Number of Least Significant Digits]).
 

Offline DG5SAY

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Hi,
I have a 15B+ also with too much error.

At 10VDC, my 15B+ reads 9.87, or -130mV error
At 40VDC, my 15B+ reads 39.52, or -480mV error, thats nearly a half a Volt!! :--

The specs state for the 15B+ is also +/-0.5% of reading + 3 counts, like the 17B+.   

And yes, the 15B+ is also aligned digitally, not with pots, the older 15B has a pot to align.

Has anyone a tool to make a digital alignment?

 

Online tautech

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Someone had posted that the 17B and 17B+ were the same board.  This is not the case at all.   The 17B+ is aligned digitally, not with pots. 
Not I, but I did state the 15B and 17B have the same board, maybe you got you wires crossed Joe.  :-DD

This has been mentioned in threads in the past, the only differences being a different front panel and 2 additional buttons on the rubber membrane for the extra functins of the 17B.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if the 15 and 17 B plus models shared the same PCB too.
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Online joeqsmith

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Someone had posted that the 17B and 17B+ were the same board.  This is not the case at all.   The 17B+ is aligned digitally, not with pots. 
Not I, but I did state the 15B and 17B have the same board, maybe you got you wires crossed Joe.  :-DD

This has been mentioned in threads in the past, the only differences being a different front panel and 2 additional buttons on the rubber membrane for the extra functins of the 17B.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if the 15 and 17 B plus models shared the same PCB too.

 :-DD So, I hunt down what  I had searched for and behold, it was your post  :-DD

Taken from the following:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/fluke-17b-%28plus%29/

Thank you all for the replies so far. Does anyone know if the continuity test on the new 17B+ latches on good or is still scractchy like what Dave tested on the review of the old 17B??
AFAIK the internals are the same as a 15B and the continuity test is excellent for a cheap DMM

The way I read this, your claim is the 17B+ has the same internals as the 15B.    No problem if I misunderstood.  Just wanted to make it clear that it is a new design.

When it specified +3 counts, it is a bit confusing. It really means ±3 counts. Why they don't say it that way I don't know. So it really is ±80mv allowable error on the 40V scale.

I guess the ink for the  "/-" added too much cost to the manual.  I saw it was +3 counts on their website as well.  So, let's then assume this meter is within their spec.   Still surprised it is off by this much.   I was thinking it would be right down the center.    Fairly deadly on all other modes.   

Hi,

Has anyone a tool to make a digital alignment?

I thought about getting the 15B+ to test.   It was a little less expensive.    If the boards really are the same, I would assume the 15B+ will fail around the same level as the 17B+.   

Seems like Fluke would make this tool available to the cal houses.   I was going to look into if Brymen offers the tools as well.   
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline retiredcaps

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At 10VDC, my 15B+ reads 9.87, or -130mV error
At 40VDC, my 15B+ reads 39.52, or -480mV error, thats nearly a half a Volt!! :--
1) What are the specifications for your 10V and 40V reference? 
2) Are you using a variable power supply set at 10V and 40V for comparison to the Fluke?
3) If you hook another meter to the same 10V and 40V reference source, what readings do you get?
 

Online joeqsmith

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If lightages is correct and the spec is wrong (which makes more sense), at 40 volts you could have as much as +/- 230mV. 

Using my bench meter as a reference, I set the supply to 40 volts and measure it with the 17B+ and got 39.83 or about 170mV of error not including the HP's contribution.   It seems alright but still surprised it is this far out.   Sorry about the dog hair.....
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline DG5SAY

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At 10VDC, my 15B+ reads 9.87, or -130mV error
At 40VDC, my 15B+ reads 39.52, or -480mV error, thats nearly a half a Volt!! :--
1) What are the specifications for your 10V and 40V reference? 
2) Are you using a variable power supply set at 10V and 40V for comparison to the Fluke?
3) If you hook another meter to the same 10V and 40V reference source, what readings do you get?

1): 0.005% at VDC, good enough for a 15B+
2): no, the voltage is comming direct out of a Fluke 5100A
3): see pictures
 

Offline Fungus

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And yes, the 15B+ is also aligned digitally, not with pots, the older 15B has a pot to align.

Has anyone a tool to make a digital alignment?

It wouldn't surprise me if Fluke deliberately doesn't calibrate them perfectly. It would really eat into 87V sales if they did.  :popcorn:

PS: I was just searching the web and can't find anybody reverse engineering the calibration.

« Last Edit: November 30, 2015, 09:29:38 am by Fungus »
 

Online joeqsmith

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1): 0.005% at VDC, good enough for a 15B+
2): no, the voltage is comming direct out of a Fluke 5100A
3): see pictures

Wow!   I am curious how tight it is in the other modes.   By far, the DC volts was off the furthest with the 17B+ I have. 

And yes, the 15B+ is also aligned digitally, not with pots, the older 15B has a pot to align.

Has anyone a tool to make a digital alignment?

It wouldn't surprise me if Fluke deliberately doesn't calibrate them perfectly. It would really eat into 87V sales if they did.  :popcorn:

PS: I was just searching the web and can't find anybody reverse engineering the calibration.

I doubt it would hurt the sales of the 87V too much.   The 87V has a bar graph and RMS which the 17B+ does not.   Even so, people are going to buy what they want.  The 87V is popular.  You want to be part of the crowd don't you?   

Testing for the 17B+ has started.   Because I have only the one meter to test, I hope to do a better job with the video.  Taking a little more time with it and making it more of a review.     
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline retiredcaps

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3): see pictures
Wow, the 15B+ is way out of spec (0.5% + 3 digits) at 9.84 and 39.40.  Definitely  :--

4) Was the 15B+ out of spec since day 1, brand new, or has this meter drifted over time?

off topic: I like the bigger digits compared to the 87V.

PS. I had to ask regarding your references because I had no idea what you had.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2015, 10:56:03 pm by retiredcaps »
 


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