Author Topic: PM18A Peak Meter Auto Ranging 6000 Count  (Read 2367 times)

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Offline sleemanj

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PM18A Peak Meter Auto Ranging 6000 Count
« on: August 15, 2017, 05:57:41 am »
I mentioned this apparently new meter from Peak Meter in a couple of threads, finally got around to buying one ( from Aliexpress )



I won't comment on accuracy, I don't have appropriate references or equipment to check it, but I think by now we can assume that multimeters are generally accurate within their specs, it's more or less a solved problem, ignoring isolated calibration failures.

The meter at first glance appears to be an autoranging version of the PM18/18C, I don't own that one, but just going by the pictures of the PM18, and that it clearly came in an PM18 manual ranging box with an 18A sticker on it.  Although actually looking at PeakMeter's website I can't see the exact model depicted on the box, so who knows.

It comes with a short Users Manual, which at first glance isn't actually bad, no really terrible chinglish jumps out at me but of course the grammar is a bit lacking as is common.



4 AA batteries, this is a pretty hefty beast, compares the the VC99 it's about the same width/height, but thicker, and heavier, so yeah, this is not a pocket meter for sure, 429 grams with batteries without leads, compared to say the 8002/RM102 which is 139 grams similarly equipped, and the VC99 which is 350 grams and ADM02 209 grams.








The construction is stiff, compared to say the VC99 which flexes like a ballerina if you twist it, the PM18A feels like a brick.

The tilting bail, as we know a sort point amongst meter users, is actually pretty good, it holds the meter at a decent angle (unlike the VC99, which is once again like a ballerina doing the splits), and the range selector can be turned one-handed, mostly, even on my hard-surface desk. 

The rubber holster (which is a slightly darker orange than the VC99's more yellow appearance) is fairly flexible around the sides, but like the ADM02 (Mastech MS8233E) it is a tough bugger to actually get off, it's actually not bad to put back on though.  In another thread somebody mentioned that PeakMeter and Mastech are related, and I can definitely see design commonality between these meters, not just in the holster - that's not a bad thing since the ADM02 is fairly decent.

The supplied leads are just typical chinese leads, not terrible, not silicone, pretty flexible, untested as to current (but did to temperature, they don't stand 200'C)




On opening the meter, with 4 self tapped screws (the battery panel has a thread insert) the biggest surprise is the fuses, these are not 5x20, they measure 6.5x31mm, the holders have some extra length so I expect up to 33mm should be ok.  The pcb is marked as for 1000v fuses, but the ones in it are stamped with 250v



I am not observant enough to comment on clearances etc so I will let pictures talk on that.  but it looks a clean spacious layout.

The chipset is, wait for it... the DTM0660L, quelle surprise, this chipset really is becoming the darling of chinese meters.

Not COB in the one I have (but I imagine as production continues it might become one), so all the pins can be accessed if you are into the hackery type stuff which is nice.

The other side of the pcb has nothing of interest except that they have silkscreened markings round the range selector showing the positions, just an odd little detail I don't remember seeing before.

( The full size images are available at imgur here... http://imgur.com/gallery/CgQxi )







Functionality wise, I won't comment on it's accuracy as said previously, but here's the specs written in the manual...













« Last Edit: August 15, 2017, 06:09:32 am by sleemanj »
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Offline sleemanj

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Re: PM18A Peak Meter Auto Ranging 6000 Count
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2017, 09:18:55 am »
Small update.  I've been using this meter for a while.

The LED on the back is silly and useless, even if it would be useful it's not bright enough to be of much help, worse than a candle.  The NCV is also kinda pointless really I think (for electronics work, for an electricians meter it might be good, but an electrician doesn't need a 6000 count meter with uA ranges... do they?)

The probes are pretty tight and a bit annoying to pull out of the sockets and change between A/mA/V ranges, some probes with larger sized plug bodies would make all the difference (of course I have probes with larger sized plugs I can use, but just saying, the ones supplied are a little fiddly).

Apart from that I like the size and gravitas of it, it's very chunky solid feel, and of course it's features are more than adequate for rank amateur like me.

The only thing that really really annoys me though, is those fuses (and I haven't blown one, but I will, it's a given), great, they are the longer style of fuse, and the PCB is marked up specifying the fuses to be 1000v, but the fuses in it are marked 250v, ok I can overlook that, but if you actually want to find actual 1000V 10A (or less so, 600mA) fuses of that same dimension... good luck with that.  The only one I found was on a taobao store, probably a fake SIBA, and they still want $5 NZD for it.   

As best I can figure the size of fuse is probably supposed to be 6.3x32mm that seems the most common fuse size around the dimensions i measured of the ones in it.

Of course, you can get 250v rated ones (naturally since that's what are in it!), but that's not the point, they went to the trouble to think about what fuses to put in it, to decide that "let's not use those tiny ones", and yet they specify a rating which seems to be near unobtanium, to the extent they obviously can't even source it when they assemble the meters!

Anyway, nice meter, let down by a couple of small but important details.  Story of China.



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Offline rafik23

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Re: PM18A Peak Meter Auto Ranging 6000 Count
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2019, 01:12:06 pm »
hi
do you have a eeprom dump ? if affirmative share it plz
 

Online rsjsouza

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Re: PM18A Peak Meter Auto Ranging 6000 Count
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2020, 02:43:43 pm »
@sleemanj, sorry for resurrecting this old thread - I just saw it.
Did you find a source for the fuses? At least for the mA/μA both Siba 7017240 and Littlefuse 3AB 508 seem suitable candidates.
For the 10A input, I could only find 600V candidates from both Siba and Littlefuse.
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Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 

Offline sleemanj

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Re: PM18A Peak Meter Auto Ranging 6000 Count
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2020, 09:58:35 pm »
No, I hacked in a 5x20mm fuse holder for the low range fuse if I recall correctly, of course only 250v but that is fine for me and I tend to blow low range fuses with some regularity ;-) 
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