Author Topic: Modern version of Vichy VC8145  (Read 4339 times)

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Offline ziplock9000

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Modern version of Vichy VC8145
« on: December 22, 2016, 06:14:51 am »
I was just ready to purchase this in the UK as it offers a decent accuracy/price range for a slightly above beginner bench DMM when I noticed the logging/control software was Windows 2000/XP only and only via RS232.

Are there any other comparable bench DMM's that work on Windows 10/8/7 in the UK?I'm assuming an RS232 to USB converter would work.

Thanks.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2016, 01:05:12 pm by ziplock9000 »
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Modern version of Vichy VC8145
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2016, 11:23:09 am »
Just try the software on a newer Windows version. The chance is 99.999% that is works because Windows is supposed to be backwards compatible.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline ziplock9000

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Re: Modern version of Vichy VC8145
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2016, 12:39:23 am »
Just try the software on a newer Windows version. The chance is 99.999% that is works because Windows is supposed to be backwards compatible.
Windows is very often not backwards compatible, especially when drivers are involved (which I doubt in this case). I want to know this for sure before purchase.
 

Offline Macbeth

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Re: Modern version of Vichy VC8145
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2016, 01:34:31 am »
The drivers would be totally down to your RS232-USB adapter or motherboard RS232 port and not the DMM itself. There should be no reason the proprietary Windows software won't work on 7/8/10 if it has access to a COM port. Worst case is to right click the .exe and set compatibility mode for Windows XP.

However, proprietary software is shit as generally you can't use it with your other instruments easily like you would with proper bench meters using VISA or such.

I'm pretty sure the VC8145 protocol has been reverse engineered already? I found this link but it doesn't work right now. I'm a little surprised it's not on sigrok already either?

IIRC there is no useful SCPI command/response to the protocol it is purely a passive one way broadcast over serial, much like other handheld multimeters with a PC interface.

If I had one I would reverse the protocol for fun but the price tag is way too much when you can get a real bench meter (used) like a 6.5 digit Keithley 2000/2015 or HP/Agilent 34401A for a $100 more. Don't forget the VC8145 will be pretty much worthless on the second hand market, so perhaps a $150-$200 loss, while the proper 6.5 digit bench meter will retain its value and indeed could be sold at a small profit!  ;)

(I would go for the Keithley as it works with RS232 - the 34401A needs a pricey GPIB adaptor)
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Modern version of Vichy VC8145
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2016, 08:20:19 am »
but the price tag is way too much when you can get a real bench meter (used) like a 6.5 digit Keithley 2000/2015 or HP/Agilent 34401A for a $100 more. Don't forget the VC8145 will be pretty much worthless on the second hand market, so perhaps a $150-$200 loss, while the proper 6.5 digit bench meter will retain its value and indeed could be sold at a small profit!  ;)
Perhaps but the VC8145 has several features (capacitance, instant continuity beeper, big backlit display, dual measurement, 20A current range for example) which the old DMMs don't have. Before buying the VC8145 I looked into old DMMs as well.

OTOH I agree the software isn't much. As usual it is to show that the communication is working.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2016, 08:41:37 am by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline ziplock9000

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Re: Modern version of Vichy VC8145
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2016, 12:52:43 pm »
The drivers would be totally down to your RS232-USB adapter or motherboard RS232 port and not the DMM itself. There should be no reason the proprietary Windows software won't work on 7/8/10 if it has access to a COM port. Worst case is to right click the .exe and set compatibility mode for Windows XP.

However, proprietary software is shit as generally you can't use it with your other instruments easily like you would with proper bench meters using VISA or such.

I'm pretty sure the VC8145 protocol has been reverse engineered already? I found this link but it doesn't work right now. I'm a little surprised it's not on sigrok already either?

IIRC there is no useful SCPI command/response to the protocol it is purely a passive one way broadcast over serial, much like other handheld multimeters with a PC interface.

If I had one I would reverse the protocol for fun but the price tag is way too much when you can get a real bench meter (used) like a 6.5 digit Keithley 2000/2015 or HP/Agilent 34401A for a $100 more. Don't forget the VC8145 will be pretty much worthless on the second hand market, so perhaps a $150-$200 loss, while the proper 6.5 digit bench meter will retain its value and indeed could be sold at a small profit!  ;)

(I would go for the Keithley as it works with RS232 - the 34401A needs a pricey GPIB adaptor)
Thanks for the info. Unfortunately those meters you mention are considerably more expensive, even more so when you consider the import costs to the UK  (£700 or £415 v £118) Unless you have a good source?
« Last Edit: December 23, 2016, 01:07:01 pm by ziplock9000 »
 

Offline ziplock9000

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Re: Modern version of Vichy VC8145
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2016, 02:07:58 pm »
Well I went for the Vichy. I ordered one from eBay for £118. It has excellent functionality and quite good count/accuracy for the price. I dont need a 6 1/2 meter.......yet  ;)

Some kind bloke has even written some software that works with it.

http://www.26th.net/public/projects/vc8145/

Does anyone has any other links to software tools that can compliment this meter? Thanks.
 
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Offline Macbeth

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Re: Modern version of Vichy VC8145
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2016, 08:20:15 pm »
Unfortunately the link to the protocol decode doesn't work, but all the source code is available and so anyone who knows a little bit of C and, say, Python could re-reverse engineer it.

Then you could use your meter with the EEVBlog Voltnuts logging platform with a Raspberry Pi

Enjoy your meter anyway!  :-+ I recall there are some mods to make it better (things like display backlight timeout and stuff which seem absurd for a bench meter)
 

Offline ziplock9000

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Re: Modern version of Vichy VC8145
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2016, 08:00:57 am »
Unfortunately the link to the protocol decode doesn't work, but all the source code is available and so anyone who knows a little bit of C and, say, Python could re-reverse engineer it.

Then you could use your meter with the EEVBlog Voltnuts logging platform with a Raspberry Pi

Enjoy your meter anyway!  :-+ I recall there are some mods to make it better (things like display backlight timeout and stuff which seem absurd for a bench meter)
Thanks mate. Although the Vichy is not high end meter, It's still a step up from my Fluke 37. All I need to do now is upgrade my analog scope to a Rigol DS1054Z.. "upgrade" is possibly the wrong word.. "compliment" is maybe better.
 

Offline Macbeth

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Re: Modern version of Vichy VC8145
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2016, 09:21:38 pm »
Thanks mate. Although the Vichy is not high end meter, It's still a step up from my Fluke 37. All I need to do now is upgrade my analog scope to a Rigol DS1054Z.. "upgrade" is possibly the wrong word.. "compliment" is maybe better.
I agree. Despite all the hate for vector CRO scopes there is something magical about them. Indeed I have a penchant for old vector based cathode ray stuff like the Atari arcade games, Asteroids, Tempest, Battlezone, etc. Having a Z input on your scope and switching it into X/Y mode is something no modern LCD/TFT scope can provide.

Of course the fact that my old boat anchor needs a forklift to drag it around vs the plastic handle on my Hantek MSO5102D that could be placed in my girlfriend's handbag, and why it's in the spare room and covered in dust and cobwebs... I know one day I will use all of it's 20MHz - but I just want to fix its trigger problem for now. I've tracked down the service manuals and all... It's just on the backburner...

PS. Go for a DS1054Z vs my Hantek trash. That way you don't have to justify the double upgrade IYSWM  :-DD :-DD
 


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