Author Topic: NEW $50 multimeter shootout - 15 DMMs compared - Aug 2, 2015  (Read 46558 times)

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Offline retiredcaps

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NEW $50 multimeter shootout - 15 DMMs compared - Aug 2, 2015
« on: August 03, 2015, 06:31:37 am »
Saw this new (Aug 2, 2015) set of videos and am downloading now to watch.  9 parts, nearly 1GB of bandwidth at 360p, $767USD spent, 215 minutes worth of DMM testing.  :-+

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYVMnw_W7-Rq-yJk80vprug/videos

This person, eevblog member, 5ky, also has done some other DMM reviews in the past.

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/profile/?u=110170
« Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 07:09:51 am by retiredcaps »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: NEW $50 multimeter shootout - 15 DMMs compared - Aug 2, 2015
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2015, 08:22:17 am »
6 part video series!  :o
Comparing that many meters is not easy though, hats off  :-+
 

Offline 5ky

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Re: NEW $50 multimeter shootout - 15 DMMs compared - Aug 2, 2015
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2015, 08:41:57 am »
Thanks!  It'll be more like 8 or 9 parts--I'm still cutting and uploading, but hats off to you for all of your prior videos like this.  It's a LOT more work that I had realized.  I assumed I would whip them out of their packaging and knock it out in a day.  Boy was I wrong.

I hope to have them all up by tomorrow afternoon (central time, US)

Cheers!
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: NEW $50 multimeter shootout - 15 DMMs compared - Aug 2, 2015
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2015, 09:42:09 am »
It's a LOT more work that I had realized.  I assumed I would whip them out of their packaging and knock it out in a day.  Boy was I wrong.

Sorry, but I can't help but wipe the grin off my face  ;D
 

Offline nowlan

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Re: NEW $50 multimeter shootout - 15 DMMs compared - Aug 2, 2015
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2015, 01:57:30 pm »
Which one does auto-ranging or continuity?
 

Offline 5ky

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Re: NEW $50 multimeter shootout - 15 DMMs compared - Aug 2, 2015
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2015, 02:05:13 pm »
Which one does auto-ranging or continuity?

I test auto-ranging and continuity in part 8 which is still uploading right now.  Should be done in an hour or two.  My 5 megabit upload limit is making this take forever :(
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: NEW $50 multimeter shootout - 15 DMMs compared - Aug 2, 2015
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2015, 02:43:46 pm »
I test auto-ranging and continuity in part 8 which is still uploading right now.  Should be done in an hour or two.  My 5 megabit upload limit is making this take forever :(

You youngsters and your super fast 5Mbps connections!
When I was a young video blogger...
 

Offline 3roomlab

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Re: NEW $50 multimeter shootout - 15 DMMs compared - Aug 2, 2015
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2015, 03:32:12 pm »
just a quick glimpse and i can see 1 very obvious tell tale signs screaming OEM-ed from UNI-T ... those springy split banana sockets ! ... :D

will there be a 1kV basic DCV/ACV input test to see its basic survivability? (not to blow it up no no)
« Last Edit: August 03, 2015, 03:38:11 pm by 3roomlab »
overclocked CPU and GPU are a waste of energy and time, it is highly energy + calculation inefficient vs watts. there is an entire influencer industry milking users off it, they call it "premium" but lifespans are short, oxymoronic crap , more like single use.
 

Offline rickv14623

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Re: NEW $50 multimeter shootout - 15 DMMs compared - Aug 2, 2015
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2015, 06:06:44 pm »
Wow, that is quite the impressive set of videos. Good job!
 

Offline 5ky

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Re: NEW $50 multimeter shootout - 15 DMMs compared - Aug 2, 2015
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2015, 06:12:26 pm »
just a quick glimpse and i can see 1 very obvious tell tale signs screaming OEM-ed from UNI-T ... those springy split banana sockets ! ... :D

will there be a 1kV basic DCV/ACV input test to see its basic survivability? (not to blow it up no no)

Yup--but that will be in a couple week.  I want to do a full detailed review of each meter before I do things that could potentially kill the meter. (drop test, mains on ohms, 1000v, etc)

Definitely LOTS of meters with striking similarities in kickstands and battery doors.  I definitely would not be surprised if Uni-T oem'd half of those meters to be honest.

I'm waiting for the flame war for my overall praise of the Uni-T's.  I qualify everything and stand by my choices though.  :-)

Once I find the free time, perhaps next week, I'll throw results of the data into a spreadsheet.  I bought a domain name too and have a database started--just need to whip up some front end.  I have an idea for a web app that asks you "0-Don't Care" through "10-Must Have" of features and capabilities of multimeters, it uses those as weights, and then orders the multimeters in order by the end-user's weighting choices.  Could be useful.  Could be useless.  I might do it either way just for a fun project.  Haven't done a web app in a while.  But the spreadsheet I'll definitely finish putting data into so that we can get an objective look at which meters of this bunch are better than others.

 

Offline pascal_sweden

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Re: NEW $50 multimeter shootout - 15 DMMs compared - Aug 2, 2015
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2015, 06:28:06 pm »
You missed the Vichy VC-97 multimeter .. or is it too cheap to participate in the multimeter shoot out :)

Wonder if the R&D department at Vichy is working on some big secret project ... Bluetooth ... Data logging ... 6 1/2 digits =)
 

Offline 5ky

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Re: NEW $50 multimeter shootout - 15 DMMs compared - Aug 2, 2015
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2015, 06:29:55 pm »
You missed the Vichy VC-97 multimeter .. or is it too cheap to participate in the multimeter shoot out :)

Wonder if the R&D department at Vichy is working on some big secret project ... Bluetooth ... Data logging ... 6 1/2 digits =)

I considered picking one up but already had 15 multimeters to test and Dave had already covered that one :-)
 

Offline rickv14623

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Re: NEW $50 multimeter shootout - 15 DMMs compared - Aug 2, 2015
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2015, 06:49:28 pm »
You missed the Vichy VC-97 multimeter .. or is it too cheap to participate in the multimeter shoot out :)

Wonder if the R&D department at Vichy is working on some big secret project ... Bluetooth ... Data logging ... 6 1/2 digits =)

I have seen those features on a new one from Owon http://www.saelig.com/MFR00062/b35t.htm. Right in this price range too.
 

Offline retiredcaps

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Re: NEW $50 multimeter shootout - 15 DMMs compared - Aug 2, 2015
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2015, 04:51:39 am »
Okay, I managed to watch most of the 215 minutes.  :popcorn:

Some observations and comments.

A lot of the meters in your shootout are rebranded meters.

CircuitMate DMR6550 - rebranded CEM DT-932N (China)

http://www.cem-instruments.com/en/pro/pro-483.html

Klein MM2000 - rebranded Fine 700 Instruments (Korea)

http://www.finest.co.kr/html/pro_02.html

Southwire 12070T - rebranded CEM DT9962T (China)

http://www.cem-instruments.com/en/pro/pro-481.html

http://simvolt.ua/images/detailed/1/9962t_1.jpg

BK Precision 2705B - rebranded Chung Instruments

Likely a variation of the CIE-162

http://www.loelectronics.com/en/product/DIGITAL-MULTIMETER/639

UEI UTLDM2 - rebranded Mastech (China)

Likely a variation of the Mastech MS8237B.

http://www.p-mastech.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=208&category_id=3&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=29&vmcchk=1&Itemid=29

Extech 430 - likely a CEM rebrand due to tall exaggerated LCD digits, but I cannot find equivalent on CEM's website.

Tekpower TP40 - rebranded Velleman VA40 (China)

http://mastech.com.cn/html/en/products-va40.htm

Notes:

1) The MOVs in most, but not all, of your multimeters are blue colored which you are mis-identifying as PTCs.  For example, here is a picture of the Fluke 107 from

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/review-first-impression-of-the-fluke-107-multimeter/

The two blue components circled in blue are MOVs.  The green component circled in green is a PTC.  The yellow circled component is a 1k ohm fusible resistor.

MOVs may also be silk screened on the pcb as MOV, SG (spark gap).  On the Fluke 107, the MOVs are silkscreened RV1 and RV2.

In the Tekpower, the mustard yellow components are the MOVs (3) and the green components are the PTCs (2). I will leave it to you to identify the MOVs when you do the individual meter reviews.

If you are unsure, you can always measure the PTC and MOVs in circuit.  A PTC should be around 1k ohm.  A MOV will show 0L (out of range/overload) ohm.

Like everything else, there are different varieties of PTCs and MOVs in terms of quality, tolerance, voltage, etc ratings.

2) Extech EX430 - piece of solder inside the multimeter.  Many Extech multimeters have soldering problems.  I'm not 100% sure who makes the EX430 for them, but my own experience with a EX430 is documented here

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/extech-ex430-multimeter-teardown-photos/

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/extech-ex330-quality-issue/

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/teardown-extech-ex570-my-first-but-also-last-extech/

http://mrmodemhead.com/blog/gallery/craftsman-82003/

3) It looks like Bussmann's new color scheme for their fuses is finally making it into all new multimeters made in 2015.

http://www.cooperindustries.com/content/public/en/bussmann/electrical/resources/product_information/fuses-made-simple-control-circuits.html

4) Note many tool manufacturers like Klein, Southwire, Craftsman, Snap-On, Mastercraft, Greenlee, Ideal etc do NOT make test equipment.  Instead, they rebrand and resell multimeters typically made by others internally unmodified.  Even "big name" test and equipment companies like BK Precision, Amprobe and Extech do NOT make their own equipment and simply rebrand and resell like the tool manufacturers.

5) The "baby Fluke" you refer to in your videos is the Fluke 101.

6) Most lower end Extech multimeters are rebranded CEM Instruments meters (same with Southwire).  The tall exaggerated slanted LCD digits is a typical sign of the CEM.

http://www.cem-instruments.com/en/pro/sort7-1.html

7) Can you provide clear focused high resolution pictures of each multimeter (both sides of the pcb)?

8] With the insulated bodge wire on the V/ohm jack in the Southwire, it looks to be tucked underneath the 10A current shunt.  If the meter is measuring 10A current for a prolonged period of time, how will that insulated bodge wire behave?

« Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 07:25:36 am by retiredcaps »
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: NEW $50 multimeter shootout - 15 DMMs compared - Aug 2, 2015
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2015, 05:01:21 am »
Nice work 5KY. It had good pacing and worth the watch. You gave a pretty good overview of the quality and features.
 

Offline 5ky

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Re: NEW $50 multimeter shootout - 15 DMMs compared - Aug 2, 2015
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2015, 05:15:57 am »
Okay, I managed to watch most of the 215 minutes.  :popcorn:

Wow, you really know your multimeters!  I wish I would've known--I would've picked your brains before buying them all.  Could have helped me choose a better set of multimeters to buy.  Next time!  (perhaps I'll do a $100 shootout in the future if I ever find the time)

I should've paid more attention to the silkscreens for part identification.  My bad!  It's hard to read the silkscreen with a camera and tripod sitting between me and the multimeter.  I think I need to revisit the teardowns.  When I get around to that, I'll be sure to break out the DSLR and light tent to get some nice shots of the PCBs for you.  Thanks for all the info.  You're like a walking multimeter bible!
 

Offline 5ky

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Re: NEW $50 multimeter shootout - 15 DMMs compared - Aug 2, 2015
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2015, 05:18:11 am »
Oh, before I forget!  I already uploaded the video, but if you haven't seen it, I hooked up a set of gold plated probemaster probes to the Uni-T UT61E and it ended up having a BLAZING fast continuity tester.  The crappy stock probes were making it seem like it had a sub-par continuity tester but it was actually the probes holding the meter back.  I was really surprised.  It makes me wonder how many multimeters out there appear to have bad continuity testers but really have great ones that are being held back by crappy probes.
 

Offline retiredcaps

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Re: NEW $50 multimeter shootout - 15 DMMs compared - Aug 2, 2015
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2015, 05:25:00 am »
The crappy stock probes were making it seem like it had a sub-par continuity tester but it was actually the probes holding the meter back
Known problem with the probes that come with the UT61E.  I think it is discussed in the big mega UT61E thread, but since I don't have one, I don't have it bookmarked.  I believe cleaning the probes with IPA might help.  You should try it and make another video!  ;)

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/just-got-my-new-uni-t-ut61e-and-i-think-it-has-a-problem/

BTW, Dave did a review of the Probe Master probes in eevblog 606 at 23:25.  They look really sharp.  One set of my really sharp Pomona probes drew blood.  Ever since then, I put the plastic guards on the tips and put them away.

http://www.eevblog.com/2014/04/22/eevblog-606-mailbag/
« Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 05:54:15 am by retiredcaps »
 

Offline retiredcaps

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Re: NEW $50 multimeter shootout - 15 DMMs compared - Aug 2, 2015
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2015, 05:35:45 am »
Could have helped me choose a better set of multimeters to buy.  Next time!  (perhaps I'll do a $100 shootout in the future if I ever find the time)
In the $100 category, you have a number of choices for a good variety.  If you are going to do one, PM me and I can make a suggested list.

I try to keep track of where the multimeters are made with respect to country.  Since they are made in different countries, they will likely to be completely different and not simple rebrands.

The companies that actually make multimeters (off the top of my head) are Fluke, Agilent, Yokogawa, Hioki, Mastech, Uni-Trend, Brymen, CEM Instruments, Fine Instruments, Colluck, Appa Technology, Der EE, Sanwa, Gossen, Vichy.

Quote
I should've paid more attention to the silkscreens for part identification.  My bad!  It's hard to read the silkscreen with a camera and tripod sitting between me and the multimeter.
No problem.  I have never done a video, but I know enough from Dave and Martin's multimeter videos, it is hard to talk, think, focus, shoot, test, etc in one take.  Mistakes, oversights, etc are bound to happen.
 

Offline nowlan

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Re: NEW $50 multimeter shootout - 15 DMMs compared - Aug 2, 2015
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2015, 03:23:59 pm »
I was curious about the Hioki DT4211, which appears to be  a rebadged DEREE DE-243 according to this thread. Around $83us on ebay.
 

Offline retrolefty

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Re: NEW $50 multimeter shootout - 15 DMMs compared - Aug 2, 2015
« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2015, 06:05:20 pm »
 I guess a good lesson learned here is that when performing 'shoot-outs' between DMMs you testing the complete 'system' (meter + leads) not that would help a newcomer to make his choice. I would guess that the meter leads supplied would need it's own shoot-out to allow a buyer to make that a top/high priority to his/her buy/not buy decision.

 I know I'm thinking of picking up a set of those master probe leads, got a watch on ebay for a set. Best tip I got from watching the whole 9 videos.  :clap:

 

Offline saturation

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Re: NEW $50 multimeter shootout - 15 DMMs compared - Aug 2, 2015
« Reply #21 on: August 04, 2015, 10:43:26 pm »
Good job  :clap:, at the very least we get HD resolution teardowns of many DMMs in great quality all side by side.  :-+
Video 7 is the best, all teardowns side by side. 

Technical commentary has a lot of debatable points,  but aside, the clarity of your videos and that you manipulate them in so many ways makes up for it as viewers can see issues for themselves.   Some of those DMMs are very poorly designed for mains use.

Not in your 'shoot out' but worth a look on your channel is the Amprobe PM51A and the Voltcraft VC890.

A fantastic end would be to impulse some of them as Joe Q Smith did and see how they fair.

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/hear-kitty-kitty-kitty-nope-not-that-kind-of-cat/360/
« Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 10:45:22 pm by saturation »
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline retiredcaps

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Re: NEW $50 multimeter shootout - 15 DMMs compared - Aug 2, 2015
« Reply #22 on: August 04, 2015, 10:54:14 pm »
Not in your 'shoot out' but worth a look on your channel is the Amprobe PM51A and the Voltcraft VC890.
The Amprobe PM51A is a rebadged Brymen BM22.

http://www.brymen.com/product-html/cata20/Bm20L2.htm
 

Offline saturation

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Re: NEW $50 multimeter shootout - 15 DMMs compared - Aug 2, 2015
« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2015, 03:20:56 pm »
Thanks retiredcaps.  I think it safe to say most HHDMMs brands are OEM of others, and only top brands design and build DMM for themselves, or most likely contract ODM for all or parts of it.

Even Fluke is not immune.

https://www.stratos.com/project/fluke


The Voltcraft VC890, as 5ky mentions, is a Uni-T, it appears as a modified 171C.



https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/uni-t-ut171a-pictures-and-first-impressions/15/
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Online joeqsmith

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Re: NEW $50 multimeter shootout - 15 DMMs compared - Aug 2, 2015
« Reply #24 on: August 06, 2015, 01:40:11 am »
A fantastic end would be to impulse some of them as Joe Q Smith did and see how they fair.

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/hear-kitty-kitty-kitty-nope-not-that-kind-of-cat/360/

If you want to run any of them across the jig, just let me know.   Keep in mind that the only meter that I have seen survive at the last setting is the Fluke 101.   
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 


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