Author Topic: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review  (Read 29023 times)

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Offline CUDA

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MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« on: September 10, 2012, 01:20:22 pm »
MASTECH MS8218 (160 EUR 0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review

This is my first post here, so hi to all and thanks for a great forum. Im not electronics engineer, just hobbyist but wanted a good DMM(Dont we all !) and as the Agilent U1272A is 400 eur, sought for something cheaper but still accurate. I have had the MASTECH MS8217 (50eur 0.5% DMM) for years and really happy with it, so another Mastech, why not ?



50.000 counts

DCV   50mV / 500mV / 5V / 50V / 500V / 1000V +/- 0,03 %

ACV   50mV / 500mV / 5V / 50V / 500V / 1000V +/- 0,5 % (True RMS)

OHM   500Ohm / 5KOhm / 50KO / 500KOhm / 5MOhm / 50MOhm +/- 0,1 %

CAP    50nF / 500nF / 5uF / 500uF / 5000uF +/- 1%


More extensive data at http://www.multimeterwarehouse.com/MS8218TSpec.htm OR http://gsmserver.com/shop/equipment/measuring_equipment/multimeter_mastech/digital_multimeter_mastech_ms8218.php

Accuracy:

Didnt actually believe that 0.03 % when i ordered so as soon as i got the meter ran to the R&D lab at work.Tested against Tektronix DMM4040 (0.0035% Reading + 0.0005% Range) with voltages from 1 to 30 VDC. The MS8218 was showing only 1 digit diffrence to the Tek(ie 5.0002 V to 5.0001xx V) WOW! Didnt even care about the % anymore, this is accurate enough for me !

Oh and sorry, no pictures as i was in R&D lab..






Look and feel:

The kickstand is a flimsy piece of sh#t! It has already bent just by standing up. It recoils if buttons are pressed. FAIL.





Gets worse, when standing up the part that touches desk is round, ROUND !! Even the old Mastech has nice dent or smooth part that makes it steady. FAIL



Use:

A "Hard" powerbutton, nice. Why are not all DMMs done like this? No more turning selector half a circle for 1 measurement "CLACK-CLACK-CLACK" and back  "CLACK-CLACK-CLACK". Just push on (The selector probably is already on the right setting) and measure. Easy.EPIC WIN. And the selector is really good, firm with good "dents"."CLACK-CLACK-CLACK !!!"



Display is a bit dark without light but big and easy to read. The analog bar display works well, is fast and works even when the display shows something else like max value.
Backlight only stays on for 5 sec after pressing LIGHT. Then you must press again, and again, and again ... No permanent mode. FAIL (If i want to kill my battery's using backlight 24/7, who are you to judge!)

Draws 6mA on DCV and 26mA when backlight is on ,proving my point about the backlight. 1000mAh / 26mA = 38h of continous backlight use. 166.66666h for those that worship the darkness...





Diode: Test voltage is 3.3V barely lights white led.

Ohm: 0.01ohm resolution on low range, upto 50Mohm. Continuity beeper has no latch and no delay.

Capacitance: This is interesting, no leads shows 00.00 nF. Just leads show 00.02 nF and if i coil testleads together goes upto 00.05 nF. Measuring bigger caps takes a while with friendly "Please wait ..." on screen.

Current: 0.01uA to 10A

Has "sensing" ports so if you forget leads to mA or A port and change to voltage measuring display blanks and speaker whines.


Conclusion:

A nice "cheap" multimeter with good price to accuracy/resolution and a few annoyances.


Teardown? No scratcing the precious conformal coatings just yet, keep pantyhoes on.


-CUDA


 

Offline retiredcaps

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Offline retiredcaps

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Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2012, 04:50:46 pm »
@CUDA, how about a teardown of the MASTECH MS8217?  I would ilke too see the insides of one.
 

Oracle

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Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2012, 05:23:03 pm »
for 160 euros is really a good meter...  It seems robust, isn't?
 

Offline CUDA

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Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2012, 04:22:49 pm »
for 160 euros is really a good meter...  It seems robust, isn't?

Yep, other than the kickstand its solid.

Re-badging, saw them first on Dealextreme


The box it came in did not have any brand on it, but when i looked closely the screenshot printed on the box has MASTECH on it . The YEHAI comes in the same box ! You can see the MASTECH LOGO->http://chinayehai.en.alibaba.com/product/444892134-210526664/Good_Quality_Competitive_Price_Innovative_Digital_Multimeter_YH113.html


Few things im going to mod: Laching or always on backlight, sand the bottom for stability, decrease the volume of beeper. If nobody has posted teardown by then, i will upload the photos.

-CUDA
 

Offline PedroDaGr8

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Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2012, 05:07:02 pm »
for 160 euros is really a good meter...  It seems robust, isn't?

Yep, other than the kickstand its solid.

Re-badging, saw them first on Dealextreme


The box it came in did not have any brand on it, but when i looked closely the screenshot printed on the box has MASTECH on it . The YEHAI comes in the same box ! You can see the MASTECH LOGO->http://chinayehai.en.alibaba.com/product/444892134-210526664/Good_Quality_Competitive_Price_Innovative_Digital_Multimeter_YH113.html


Few things im going to mod: Laching or always on backlight, sand the bottom for stability, decrease the volume of beeper. If nobody has posted teardown by then, i will upload the photos.

-CUDA

This meter seems pretty nice, it seems like this is what the UT71E SHOULD have been. It's a step up from the UT61E but not by a huge amount. Though its at the level where small differences mean much larger $$. I think the UT61E is still the best bang for the buck at ~$50 but this one is still a great deal for those that need the tighter precision and the other features.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2012, 05:11:39 pm by PedroDaGr8 »
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Offline iloveelectronics

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Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2012, 06:23:09 am »
Re-badging, saw them first on Dealextreme

But i've found it for 150USD on aliexpress and 150SGD on taobao ( of course, no shipping included. but shipping's with an agent locally pretty cheap 7$ only using EMS compared to 21bucks for shipping on aliexpress)

Please do post a review if/when you get one of these! I live in Hong Kong so I have access to these sorts of stuff at pretty much the rock bottom prices, which sometimes can become a bad thing as I tend to buy things I don't really need! But hey if it's good stuff I don't mind getting one :)
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Offline PA4TIM

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Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2012, 07:23:00 am »
Compliments, you tested the most important thing of a multimeter, if it is as accurate as they say. That is in my opinion one of the most important things and one thing llmost every teardown lacks. This week on a Dutch forum again a "problem" that turned out to be the multimeter. 270V mains AC instead of 230. I asked about the battery, he replaced it and mains was 230V again. I think this sort of "problem " we at least once a month at the forum.

The capaitance thing is normal, why are you supprised ? The wires have capacitance and he measures that.. Open banana terminals that exit the cabinet at the standard width are around 4 pF. If they are not outside the cabinet but inside and there is plastic between them capacitance will be higher. Depends on the dielectric of the used plastic how much higher. Same goes for the testleads. Silicon ones will differ from PE or PVC ones.

One thing I would love to see in tests is replacing the battery by a bench psu and look what measurement result does if you turn down the voltage of the psu. ( why ? See above) Does it stays correct until the battery warning comes in, does it increase at that point, does it increase at every step the psu decreases right from start, or is it brickwall behauviour, correct to a certain point and then then goes wrong, or, like my Agilent, it stay correct until it switches itself off.

If i had cheap meters I could test it. I have over 30 meters but most of them are mains powered or analog, the only digital handheld DMMs are two Flukes, one Agilent, one Exxtech and a Philips. And with allready over 30 meters I have no drive to go buy cheap ones, just to test them (however I would love to do a test, I have all the facilities to do this, Like AC and DC calibrators, CLR standards, 7,5 digit meters to compare  ect. But the people I know with cheap multimeter were afraid to let me test theirs  ;) was not important, it was good enough for them....)

I have a Fluke 77 -III , no complains about the tilt stand, used it over 15 years like that ( until I got the Agilent) and it never failed ( and it is extreme batteryfriendly, used 3 batterys in all those years)
« Last Edit: September 16, 2012, 07:31:13 am by PA4TIM »
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Offline IanB

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Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2012, 02:51:01 pm »
That looks identical to my Protek 6500. One particular question: what does the meter read on DC V if you short the probes together? Does it read exactly zero, or is there a small offset?
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Offline pickle9000

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Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2012, 03:33:28 pm »
What's the reaction time like on the continuity check?

How's the display update?
 

Offline T4P

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Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2012, 04:30:40 pm »
What's the reaction time like on the continuity check?

How's the display update?

Quote
Continuity beeper has no latch and no delay
 

Offline CUDA

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Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2012, 08:06:20 pm »
That looks identical to my Protek 6500. One particular question: what does the meter read on DC V if you short the probes together? Does it read exactly zero, or is there a small offset?

-0.0000 V on DCV
0.025 mV on DCmV

What's the reaction time like on the continuity check?

How's the display update?


Instant, better than many "latching" Flukes. I hate the delay on Flukes.

Display update approx. 2 times a second.


The capaitance thing is normal, why are you supprised ?


Never seen such sensitivity on DMM. I usually dont use capacity measurement at work, but i will check if my work Flukes do the same.

-CUDA
 

Offline nukie

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Re: Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2012, 09:55:10 pm »
When you are free, do the test against the Tek dmm again, this time do the full range. Please report the results when finished.

DCV   50mV / 500mV / 5V / 50V
 

Offline CUDA

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Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2012, 01:34:15 pm »
When you are free, do the test against the Tek dmm again, this time do the full range. Please report the results when finished.

DCV   50mV / 500mV / 5V / 50V

I did a "full range", "full range" of the powersupply at hand(1-30VDC). You are just gonna have to buy 1 yourself! ;D

-CUDA
 

Offline Amarbir[Lynx-India]

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Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2012, 03:11:07 pm »
Well,
 Another Nice Multimeter To Sell in India Along With UT61E .Thanks For everyone who posted its seems a nice one
Regards

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Offline jarvis

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Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2012, 07:25:44 am »
What's the chip solution inside ?
 

Offline retiredcaps

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Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2012, 06:50:32 pm »
For those who want to see a review or teardown, go vote for it on Martin's site as per his T4D #24 video

 

Offline Salas

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Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2012, 02:36:12 am »
Having one for 5yrs now, it has seen normal use, it did not fail yet. No shrouded probe tips back then. Not fast, not rugged at all, bulky, but high accuracy spec in a manageable price bracket. The capacitance range ain't inspiring in response or accuracy, continuity is just a wee bit scratchy but responsive on a proper loudness buzzer. It will do its very seldom hick ups like going blank or sticking and it will be a bit hungry on its 6 AAAs. Fuses at the battery bay though. Bad variety self tappers if you wanna dig inside. Mine has a wire botch too, but this is an old fella, maybe revisions are many. Not to spoil it too much before a real review, just a pick inside. See its bench occupancy next to a UT-61E in the pics and note that the mA fuse is not the original.
 

Offline retiredcaps

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Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2012, 10:59:08 pm »
Part 1 is up.

 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2012, 07:36:13 am »
Having one for 5yrs now, it has seen normal use, it did not fail yet.

Did you have a chance to check how well its accuracy did stand the test of time? Did you do the recommend yearly calibration, and how much was it of?
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Offline Salas

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Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #20 on: October 01, 2012, 01:08:27 am »
No I never bothered. My UNI-T 61E which is 3 months fresh was basically agreeing with it still if its some indication. I have seen "Software calibrates automatically'' in its marketing literature though, don't know if that statement holds any water. The reviewer can investigate maybe. It was 200 Euro back then, finding it for $152 today is a steal for having some decent accuracy on a hobbyist's bench.
My older leads go in all the way, not like those with excessive sleeves in the video. A thing with those oldies (not mentioned in the video don't know with the newer ones) is that their side entry type length hits the bench at the cables curve when the DMM is standing up. That is if you don't rotate them sideways a bit. OTOH they help stability a little by creating a short of an off center third leg, especially when turning the switch to the right. Maybe that is why they make them protruding now. To clear the bench. Fail, they should have been revised to in line entry.
I would recommend a test for its capacitance range too before the review concludes, I find it below par its other ranges there. Especially with nF caps. Also its back light is about 5sec only and you can't choose to hold it on perpetually or extend it in secs.

Nice calm reviewer is Mr. Lorton and has nice Capestorm apparel.8) Thumbs up for the video pt.1
« Last Edit: November 22, 2012, 03:05:02 am by Salas »
 

Offline retiredcaps

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Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2012, 04:42:57 am »
Part 2

 

Offline retiredcaps

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Offline Bored@Work

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Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2012, 08:39:15 am »
The input section is once again a weak point. Insufficient mechanical construction, insufficient build quality. Weak protection (two PTCs, two spark gaps with wrong footprint, some resistors, underspeced fuses and a screw almost under the fuses to "aid" any arcing). The "paint" on the current shunt looks more like burned isolation to me.
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Offline 0xdeadbeef

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Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2012, 05:01:10 pm »
Isn't this quite old already and was replaced by the VA38 some time ago?
Trying is the first step towards failure - Homer J. Simpson
 

Offline Salas

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Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #25 on: October 04, 2012, 06:30:35 pm »
Should be the same thing repackaged?
 

Offline Salas

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Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #26 on: October 04, 2012, 09:10:31 pm »
Did not find a proper one for the mA range when it popped, I 'll have to get one noted down for next ordering of parts. I never use it to check tube amps bias in mA, I use the Fluke but anyway. Do you know of a spot on logically priced Vref chip to check its DC accuracy since its 5 yrs old?
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #27 on: October 05, 2012, 04:51:01 am »
Ad581?
 

Offline Salas

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Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #28 on: October 05, 2012, 06:43:45 am »
Nice proposition. I ordered AD581LH +/-0.05% tolerance, +/-0.0225% deviation from 25C, 5ppm best grade. Thanks.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2012, 06:59:40 am by Salas »
 

Offline Salas

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Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #29 on: October 05, 2012, 11:49:51 am »
For the time being I got a pair of 0.1% 47K 0.2ppm Z Foil resistors to check. 5yrs old Mastech shows 46.995K delta zeroed. My TH2821 LCR cycles 46.99K and 47.00K can't decide, lacks more digits. (Open & shorted calibration procedure done before measuring at 1kHz range 2, has Kelvin leads). My UT-61E gives 46.93K. No display indecision, repeatedly. My tweaked Fluke 17B 46.9K no display indecision, repeatedly. But no fourth digit to utilize at that range.
 

Offline 0xdeadbeef

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Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #30 on: October 06, 2012, 11:24:21 am »
The two mastech's ARE NOT THE SAME.
Don't mistake it.
This mastech is a proper company, unlike the other one the Yihua V&A, a shameless copycat.
Sure it's a copycat and not a spin-off of some kind? If it's really a copycat, it one of the most shameless on this planet for sure ;)

The VA38 is twice the price of the MS8218
At least not here. The MS8218 costs ~150€ around here and the the VA38 sells for ~130€. There's even one shop selling it for 115€.
Not that I would buy one, but it would be interesting to look inside this VA38 to see if it's a rip-off, a rebrand or whatever.
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Offline Wytnucls

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Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #31 on: October 07, 2012, 07:09:05 am »
I wouldn't use any meter on anything above 250 volts. I would leave that to the professionals. ;)
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #32 on: October 07, 2012, 10:59:05 am »
Would not use it in the rough, i have meters designed for that. It will look good in a more friendly environment though.
 

Offline Salas

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Re: MASTECH MS8218 (0.03% Multimeter) Quick Review
« Reply #33 on: November 07, 2012, 06:58:02 pm »
Ad581?

They sent me an LH0071 in the end. That is a 10.24V 0.02% binary apps Vref.  Anyway, 10.239V on the 5yrs old MS8218. I guess it holds nicely still.
 


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