Author Topic: How much are older DMMs worth ?  (Read 1906 times)

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Offline MathWizard

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How much are older DMMs worth ?
« on: July 11, 2020, 11:49:55 am »
If I was to get a older 1980-1990s bench DMM like 34401A , or Keithley2000, or something under $700-800, what should I not pay for 1 ? Chances are I'd be looking at ebay, and like today, the prices can vary a few hundred dollars. Is it common for them to be $400-500 ?
 

Offline coromonadalix

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Re: How much are older DMMs worth ?
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2020, 12:30:35 pm »
You can see on ebay  the average value .... and sometimes the prices are higher because of the Ebay fees and Paypal fee .. and sometimes the shipping fees are absurd.


For an Example:
I will have a 34401a for sell in not too long , no fresh calibration, had all the capacitors changed in it ... 

I would expect maybe 400$ cad for it ?? once the combined fees removed ??
Or a direct sale outside Ebay.


Some used models are selling way too high, some of them have unobtanium parts ... dim VFD's     etc .... you have to know what you're buying ....
And i've seen a tendency like " the more you talk of it / them on a forum the higher the price goes  loll "

The famous Fluke 189  is selling at  minimum / around 200$ usd and goes high / up  as 300$ usd ????


Paid a fortune for Gossen Metrawatt meters, way too high,  but they almost can't be found on North America continent.


The only thing i may add : do a search for services manuals / parts availability  ....   here on EEvblog  some of them are very popular, but the parts ...

Popular models ...
Hp 3468
Hp 3478
Hp 34401a
Keithley  2000 series, some 195 196 models too
Solartron
Datron
Hp 8xxx  series
Phillips / Fluke meter

and the list goes on and on

You have some great repo's / web sites  for finding users and services manuals

Edit

AND Finally :
Check for the calibration prices of the meter you want,  you may get a surprise,  here in Canada / Quebec city a 34401a  will cost 150$ cad to be calibrated and certified ..  a Fluke 189 is 75$ cad ... they go by the meter  display counts  loll
« Last Edit: July 11, 2020, 12:46:09 pm by coromonadalix »
 
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Offline BILLPOD

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Re: How much are older DMMs worth ?
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2020, 12:38:08 pm »
Good Morning MathWizard,
     I purchased an 'older' Keithley 2000 about a year ago off Ebay.  I consider myself fortunate, as it works very well.  It was manufactured around 1996, I found out later, but it does have a 2018 calibration.  The seller knew nothing about it, other than it turned on.  I took a gamble and threw out a max bid of $300, fully expecting to be outbid.  Lo and behold, about a day later I discovered I won the bid at $295 +$35 shipping.  I was a bit surprised, as most on the bay were going for much more than that.  The seller packaged it very well and it arrived quickly, and with no shipping damaged.  When I got it, I downloaded all the manuals and put the unit through all of it's extensive self-tests and it passed with flying colors.   I am happy with it, as it is my only bench meter, but there are times when I sorta want one of the new models out there that have so many more bells and whistles.  I know I would have those wishes no matter what I got; it's a 'grass is greener' sort of thing...I guess.   
      Good luck in your search, and let us know what you finally get.   It's the finally 'pulling the trigger' thing that is tough. :-/O
 
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Offline TurboTom

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Re: How much are older DMMs worth ?
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2020, 01:23:46 pm »
Last year I got lucky on a still somewhat older (late 1980s) Keithley 196 "brownie" 6.5 digit bench DMM. Paid 175 Euros shipped. Except for the usual problems (brass threaded inserts in plastic moldings got lose), the instrument works like new with even the calibration still in spec (as far as I could verify it).

You should always keep in mind that you're somewhat gambling when getting such old equipment. You also won't get the "bells and whistles" that come with a more recent model, often only basic ranges (no capacitance, diode test, continuity, sensor interface, math and the like). But usually -- if the instruments are still intact -- what they can measure, they do well. At least that's my experience. And you've got to be patient if you want to get them at a good price, at least in Europe.

Over the time, I somewhat became a sucker for the Keithley "Brownies". Over the years, I collected two 195A (one without the AC / current option), 196, 220, 230 and 617. Bad case of TEA I guess...
 
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Offline AVGresponding

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Re: How much are older DMMs worth ?
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2020, 01:55:28 pm »
Lucky bugger... I'm still trying for a nice brown box from Keithley.

It depends on luck and region too to some extent. No Keithley's here yet, but a great value Fluke 8840A with AC09 option for £90, TTi 1906 for £60, Solartron 7150 for £60, Solartron 7065 for £50, Solartron 7075 for £100, and Fluke 8300A (no options except mV sadly) for £40.

The 8840A I had calibrated (probably unnecessarily), and despite its age, the nixie display 8300A agrees to the LSD with it.

Just goes to show, quality will shine through.
nuqDaq yuch Dapol?
Addiction count: AVO-BlackStar-Brymen-Fluke-Hameg-HP-Keithley-IsoTech-Mastech-Megger-Micronta-Solartron-Tektronix-Thurlby-Time Electronics-TTi-UniT
 

Offline Bosozoku

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Re: How much are older DMMs worth ?
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2020, 02:26:46 pm »
I think that a new keithley dmm 6500 can be had for a little over 1kilodollar.
Given that, it seems hard to justify 0.8k$ for a used unit. A lot more features, warranty, service, etc.
There is a big difference in the 0.4k$ region though.
I bought a fluke 8842 for $120 delivered and have been very happy with it and am currently looking for a keithely "brownie" 6.5 digit in the sub $200 region. I think that's as much I can justify to myself for that sort of unit. But I am a bit of a cheapy.
 

Offline voltsandjolts

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Re: How much are older DMMs worth ?
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2020, 03:12:37 pm »
Just make sure you don't pay any more than what's it's worth.
That way, if you don't like it or want to upgrade just sell it and get your money back.
Depreciation on old test gear is very low really.
Look at eBay prices of previously sold equipment.
 

Offline MathWizard

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Re: How much are older DMMs worth ?
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2020, 03:50:18 pm »
Well I'm getting a 6.5d bench dmm in the next few months, and if I wait till winter, I'm very seriously considering a 34465A, for the sake of the 1pA resolution. And having that means I won't need/want something like a $300-500(or more) Keithley480, picoammeter.

The prices on Fluke 8845 are like the same as a Siglent 3065X would cost me, and that's almost 2x what the cheapest 34401A might cost.

I'd love a 34401A for $400-500CAD/285-355USD, but how long til I'd want a modern 1, which I'd use all the time.

Once I get my Keithley197 working again, I'll should calm down a bit. But I should have waited and gotten a 34401A for 2x the price
« Last Edit: July 11, 2020, 03:54:23 pm by MathWizard »
 

Offline coromonadalix

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Re: How much are older DMMs worth ?
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2020, 04:57:34 pm »
loll  it will depend if youll be satisfied with whatever the model / brand you'll choose  or you'll need a therapy  loll
 

Offline retrolefty

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Re: How much are older DMMs worth ?
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2020, 05:36:00 pm »
Quote
AND Finally :
Check for the calibration prices of the meter you want,  you may get a surprise,  here in Canada / Quebec city a 34401a  will cost 150$ cad to be calibrated and certified ..  a Fluke 189 is 75$ cad ... they go by the meter  display counts  loll

 Well I know this is picking at old scabs but just what do you think such a 'calibration' gets you for your used meter?

They will not perform any 'adjustments or corrections' for that price, just report it should read XX, yours reads XX+/- counts. As such a added  cost is a substantial percentage of the acquired used price I would think one could at least 'validate' it's accuracy for themselves without that added costs? The meter repair business has a very self serving definition of what a calibration service includes, not withstanding what a hobbyist might assume.  I therefore question this advice unless the acquired price plus the cost of this 'calibration' service keeps the total price still within fair market value for the meter.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2020, 05:38:15 pm by retrolefty »
 

Offline coromonadalix

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Re: How much are older DMMs worth ?
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2020, 06:50:53 pm »
Well    They have "calibrated" my other two 34401a before and given me the certs sheets with the "before and after values",  all my company stuffs goes to them (scopes, current loads, meters, hi pot tests and other things),  never had any problems with them ?.

If they can not calibrate it due to some problems, they will still charge me ( but not the full amount, since they they need to put need to be calibrated stuff in a controlled temp room at least 1 day before doing anything on them ...

In Canada Montreal city,  there are other cal shops, and they will charge more for the same procedures ?

Had to sent them my Gossen  since no others where permitted to do the job,  it costed me 180$  cad for each meter ?? and one of them for the 3vdc range is at the upper limit.

 
Many peoples still buy stuff in a non calibrated state, they hope it will work to some extent,  as i did myself.


If you add the calibration price over the selling price, it will repulse some buyers  loll 

And  you know the market has inflated prices

an HP 3478  could in the past be bought for a very cheap price, as low as 75$ usd  before

Will you buy this one : https://www.ebay.com/itm/Agilent-HP-3478A-5-Digit-Multimeter-with-HPIB-port-GUARANTEED-CALIBRATED/383069992096?
at a 34401A  uncalibrated price ?

an GW Instek GDM-8251A could be bouht for a mere 120$ usd before ... and the calibration key is a mere short between some pins  loll


It will depend of the OP   what futur use(s) he has in mind,   hobbyist or serious / precision work ??
 

Offline TurboTom

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Re: How much are older DMMs worth ?
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2020, 06:54:43 pm »
I just would like to mention an important issue with "mature" DMMs, especially if you're buying abroad:

Please check the manual if the instrument adapts its integration period to the mains frequency automatically! When I got my Keithley 196 (even though I bought it from a seller located within my country), I was surprised of the fluctuations of the measurements that periodically occured. Until I found out cross-reading the manual, that the mains frequency has to be entered manually (it was configured for 60Hz)! Changed that and all the fluctuations are gone. Now the sucker is rock-solid after a decent warm-up period. Which tells me that the previous owner probably observed the same "problem" and let go of the instrument, believing it's either defective or that the stability of instruments of that vintage isn't any better.
 
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Offline MathWizard

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Re: How much are older DMMs worth ?
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2020, 07:58:26 pm »
Here we go again

Just looking at the 34465A vs Fluke8845A/6A spec's, and the price difference. I need a better datasheet for the 8845A

But then I notice the 7.5d Keithley 2010 can be had used for around the price of a new 34465A, but it's low current res. is "only" 10nA, vs 100pA on the 34461A and 1pA on the 34465A

I guess it's good to know a used 7.5d DMM is affordable for me, but that only makes the choices harder.

cheap 34401A >$450
calibrated Fluke8845A /34410A/etc ~$800-1000
34461A/34465A ~$1150/1300 w/o tax/sh ( I don't want a touch screenDMM6500, I think that would get too dirty)
7.5d Keithley2010  +$1600

IDK, I'd hate to be buying a house, now that could be a hard choice, and what if u don't like your neighbors, uugghh, LOL
« Last Edit: July 11, 2020, 08:00:51 pm by MathWizard »
 

Offline bdunham7

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Re: How much are older DMMs worth ?
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2020, 08:33:42 pm »
Just looking at the 34465A vs Fluke8845A/6A spec's, and the price difference. I need a better datasheet for the 8845A

You should be able to get the 8845A in near-perfect condition for $500 if you are patient.  The 8846A models seem to go for a fortune unless they are badly beat up.

Download the users manual if you want correct specifications.

https://us.flukecal.com/products/data-acquisition-and-test-equipment/bench-multimeters/8845a8846a-65-digit-precision-multime?quicktabs_product_details=4



A 3.5 digit 4.5 digit 5 digit 5.5 digit 6.5 digit DMM is good enough for most people.
 

Offline SMB784

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Re: How much are older DMMs worth ?
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2020, 08:42:44 pm »
Honestly the HP 3457A is really hard to beat as a benchtop multimeter.  It's nominally a 6.5 digit multimeter, but with statistics that is extended to 7.5 digits.  It's also usually really, really cheap (almost always less than $200 on ebay), uses very little power, and is easily controllable via GPIB.

Also, there are numerous mods that can be done to improve accuracy, reduce drift, etc (those can be found here).

I highly recommend it, especially for a beginner.

Offline bc888

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Re: How much are older DMMs worth ?
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2020, 12:11:39 pm »
There was an excellent chart with a long list of used DMM's I had seen earlier on Eevblog comparing the specs, age and pricing of various vintage units. It was excellent and would be helpful even if the pricing might be different. It seems anytime Dave Jones talks something up on the blog the price shoots up and everyone here wants the same thing suddenly:-) 

I performed a search but did not find the post. Anyone else?
« Last Edit: July 17, 2020, 12:56:54 pm by bc888 »
 


Offline Per Hansson

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Re: How much are older DMMs worth ?
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2020, 03:21:48 pm »
There was an excellent chart with a long list of used DMM's I had seen earlier on Eevblog comparing the specs, age and pricing of various vintage units. It was excellent and would be helpful even if the pricing might be different. It seems anytime Dave Jones talks something up on the blog the price shoots up and everyone here wants the same thing suddenly:-) 

I performed a search but did not find the post. Anyone else?
Here you go, but don't tell anyone else or the prices might go up again :P

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/used-multimeter-buyer_s-guide/msg1143203/#msg1143203
« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 03:07:09 pm by Per Hansson »
 

Offline mawyatt

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Re: How much are older DMMs worth ?
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2020, 05:11:56 pm »
Here we go again

Just looking at the 34465A vs Fluke8845A/6A spec's, and the price difference. I need a better datasheet for the 8845A

But then I notice the 7.5d Keithley 2010 can be had used for around the price of a new 34465A, but it's low current res. is "only" 10nA, vs 100pA on the 34461A and 1pA on the 34465A

I guess it's good to know a used 7.5d DMM is affordable for me, but that only makes the choices harder.

cheap 34401A >$450
calibrated Fluke8845A /34410A/etc ~$800-1000
34461A/34465A ~$1150/1300 w/o tax/sh ( I don't want a touch screenDMM6500, I think that would get too dirty)
7.5d Keithley2010  +$1600

IDK, I'd hate to be buying a house, now that could be a hard choice, and what if u don't like your neighbors, uugghh, LOL

Have an old HP34401A and newer Agilent 34401A, both acquired from eBay and repaired. While playing around with a precision voltage divider based upon a CMOS FF, began to wonder which DVM was correct as they differ by a modest amount in readings. The Agilent has the later cal date (2005) so suspected it was better. After looking into what calibration would cost including shipping both ways, on the spur I just purchased the Keysight 34465A figuring to cal both the HP and Agilent myself.

The Agilent agrees better with the Keysight 34465A as expected, actually quite close! A tribute to the HP & Agilent 34401As which had maintained good cal results for over 25 & 15 years respectively!!

The Keysight 34465A is a brilliant instrument, the extra "features" are very useful. No need to dive into the instruction manual, everything is intuitive. The various displays are great, really like watching the trending charts, and histograms, very useful. The instrument goes beyond 6/1/2 digits when displaying charts and statistics, so maybe a 6 1/2++ DVM :)

Now I've designed a few circuits & PCBs for voltage and resistance references in prep for the calibration of the pair or 34401A. Have a LTZ1000 & LM399 with various other voltage references (AD, LT, TI) for long term study, a DVM Calibrator that is LM399 based (and other references), a directly "plug in" DVM Calibrator that plugs into the 4 socket banana jacks (no cables) that has Precision AC capability, and a 4-wire direct "plug in" for various precision resistors. All have various thermistors to monitor temperature. None of these are intended for NIST type calibration and work, but more for good performance at a reasonable cost basis, that support many different component options without PCB rework. Waiting on PCBs and parts to arrive next week to get going :)

Anyway, the Keysight 34465A is a pleasure to use, feature full, easy to use, and with the purchase a "free" Keysight DVM is included as a bonus. The only drawback I've discovered is the available software, think it called BenchView, is not supported on the Mac, only PC.

Best,
Research is like a treasure hunt, you don't know where to look or what you'll find!
~Mike
 
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Offline MathWizard

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Re: How much are older DMMs worth ?
« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2020, 03:49:07 am »
So far the impression I get on is 344xx series is great. It seems the new 344xx series are quiet, and should just work. Where-as the DMM6500 is louder, and they don't do enough software debugging, on the more extensive features......


As for how repairable a 6.5d DMM is, what ones have the the easiest to find/replace chips ? So lot's of discrete op-amps, logic, etc? I suppose I'll want a new modern 1, and an older, more repairable type.




Something like a 34401A really could be great, especially if calibrated, for basic use. I just saw some real cheap too, maybe too cheap to be trusted.


"here in Canada / Quebec city a 34401a  will cost 150$"
Wow see everyone's trying to make a buck, and thats about 1/4 of the total price I'd probably pay for 1 on ebay. And if I had to ship it somewhere and back,  to get it, add another $50CAD/35USD easy.

There's hardly ever anything for sale where I live, but I should call around, maybe some company has a room full of old meters.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2020, 03:57:15 am by MathWizard »
 

Online james_s

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Re: How much are older DMMs worth ?
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2020, 05:02:09 am »
Whenever I want to know how much a mass produced item is worth I look at sold items on ebay to see what others have sold for, that at least gives me a starting point.
 
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Offline JxR

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Re: How much are older DMMs worth ?
« Reply #21 on: July 18, 2020, 05:49:13 am »
So far the impression I get on is 344xx series is great. It seems the new 344xx series are quiet, and should just work. Where-as the DMM6500 is louder, and they don't do enough software debugging, on the more extensive features......

Funny, I used to have an HP 34401A DMM.  It has such a loud ear piercing buzzer (that couldn't be disable in settings on my unit), that it would wake my wife up at night and I would get yelled at.  The DMM6500 on the other hand is one of the quietest instruments on my bench.  That damn buzzer (which I honestly should have just de-soldered) was a deciding factor in me trading up, which the sale of the 34401A helped pay for.

That said, if you can find a good 34401A at a fair price, it is a great meter.  I had mine for a few years and it was my first benchtop DMM.  When compared to the DMM6500, the 34401A wins out on price and 'repairability'. It doesn't win in any other areas as far as I'm concerned.

Note: I also sold my 34401A for the same amount I purchased it for 3 years later.  I certainly don't regret the 3 years of use I got out of it.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2020, 05:55:00 am by JxR »
 
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Offline JxR

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Re: How much are older DMMs worth ?
« Reply #22 on: July 18, 2020, 06:07:28 am »
Whenever I want to know how much a mass produced item is worth I look at sold items on ebay to see what others have sold for, that at least gives me a starting point.

This is great advice for buying or selling.  I've never had to relist an item on eBay since I always price at what people seem willing to pay.
 

Offline coromonadalix

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Re: How much are older DMMs worth ?
« Reply #23 on: July 18, 2020, 01:02:37 pm »
So far the impression I get on is 344xx series is great. It seems the new 344xx series are quiet, and should just work. Where-as the DMM6500 is louder, and they don't do enough software debugging, on the more extensive features......


As for how repairable a 6.5d DMM is, what ones have the the easiest to find/replace chips ? So lot's of discrete op-amps, logic, etc? I suppose I'll want a new modern 1, and an older, more repairable type.

Something like a 34401A really could be great, especially if calibrated, for basic use. I just saw some real cheap too, maybe too cheap to be trusted.


"here in Canada / Quebec city a 34401a  will cost 150$  for a calibration"
Wow see everyone's trying to make a buck, and thats about 1/4 of the total price I'd probably pay for 1 on ebay. And if I had to ship it somewhere and back,  to get it, add another $50CAD/35USD easy.

There's hardly ever anything for sale where I live, but I should call around, maybe some company has a room full of old meters.


There is one in Montreal who has tons of stuff, i've almost blown my eyes seeing all of it,  up to a few 3458 in very good condition(s), but their selling prices are high
« Last Edit: July 18, 2020, 01:04:18 pm by coromonadalix »
 

Offline MathWizard

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Re: How much are older DMMs worth ?
« Reply #24 on: August 28, 2020, 10:01:26 pm »
Right so the 34401A goes all the way back to the 1980's but where made for year's and by Agilent too. Hmm the put's a whole new spin on their ebay prices. I better ask for a date code on it.

I could get 1 of the cheaper 1's today, I better start watching for any low hanging fruit on ebay.
 


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