Author Topic: Search: Bench DMM with small depth  (Read 1423 times)

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Offline ra-ma

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Search: Bench DMM with small depth
« on: December 07, 2021, 07:38:22 am »
Hi all!

I do currently have the HP34401A as bench DMM which is a great tool. Unfortunately I can't place it well on my bench as I don't have sufficient bench/rack depth. That means it's never in front of me but rather very far left/right occupying space on the bench and looking to it at a very angle and not good to reach. Therefore I'm not using it as often as I'd like and rather use a handheld DMM which I can place in front of me.

What I'm missing by that handheld is a nice big display like the Keysight 34461A or a Siglent SDM3055 have. As my eyes aren't getting better and functions like histograms would come in handy I'm looking for something with an LCD.

In regards to bench/rack depth I can place easily a Rigol DS1054Z which is 12cm deep. A few more cm wouldn't be an issue but most DMMs are some 28 cm deep.

What I found already are:

Keysight EDU34450A: Form factor would fit nicely. Huge display. Unfortunately some functions like histogram not available which 34461A or SDM3055 do have. Not sure what firmware updates will bring. The reviews I've seen so far are not completely positive.
OWON XDM1041: Other end of the price scale. Form factor would fit but from an overall quality/function point of view it's not what I'm looking for.

Any hints or ideas?
 

Offline coppercone2

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Re: Search: Bench DMM with small depth
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2021, 08:35:44 am »
once you use a 34401A alot the other meters are annoying. Seriously handheld dmm?

i recommend you try your luck at some kind of carpentry magic. Half the time even if I have a portable application I want to bring a extension cord and a 34401A instead of a handheld. I should make it battery powered
 
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Offline tautech

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Re: Search: Bench DMM with small depth
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2021, 09:06:53 am »
In regards to bench/rack depth I can place easily a Rigol DS1054Z which is 12cm deep. A few more cm wouldn't be an issue but most DMMs are some 28 cm deep.
Sounds like your shelf is 200mm max where if you can move it away from the wall some an instrument can still sit on it even if its feet are hanging over the front and rear of the shelf.
When things are this tight 90o IEC leads are a must however the is another simple solution which only involves screwing a piece of plywood onto the shelf just large enough to accommodate the footprint of the larger instrument.
In some cases if the larger instrument has a rearward weight bias screwing down the plywood is barely even necessary.
For a SDM3055 on 240mm shelves I did exactly this ^^^ with less than 50mm front plywood overhang.
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Can help with advice on Siglent equipment as time permits.
 
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Online Fungus

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Re: Search: Bench DMM with small depth
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2021, 09:21:21 am »
OWON XDM1041: Other end of the price scale. Form factor would fit but from an overall quality/function point of view it's not what I'm looking for.

What functions do you need that are missing.

Seriously handheld dmm?

Hioki DT4282 is supposedly like a bench DMM in a small box.  :)

The big disadvantage of handhelds is of course that they need batteries and can't simply be left on all day. Is this a factor?
 
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Offline ra-ma

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Re: Search: Bench DMM with small depth
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2021, 09:24:10 am »
...should have posted a picture at the beginning for such a topic.  :D

My "lab" is actually in the basement. And I'm happy to have some space. Making the shelf deeper wouldn't actually be a problem - but the table below is only 60cm deep. Means if the shelf is 30cm deep it's almost in my face.  :) I thought about making the table deeper but then I start blocking the walkthrough...

With the thumb on my folding rule I'm indicating here 30cm, the depth of the 34401A.

What you see is that there's a possibility to put it to the top shelf somehow using the window but if you measure on the table and you have to look that much upwards every time...

Open for ideas!
 

Offline jc101

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Re: Search: Bench DMM with small depth
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2021, 09:43:44 am »
I know the feeling, my office / lab is space contained and it is a pain trying to find equipment that will fit. 

Luckily my bench is a little deeper than yours, but often things I'd like are just too deep to leave any working area on the bench.
 
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Offline voltsandjolts

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Re: Search: Bench DMM with small depth
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2021, 10:15:10 am »
One option could be to fit deeper shelves to suit the test equipment requirements, then fit a deeper bench.
I guess the problem is you don't have permanent space for a deeper bench but do you have temporary space?
I mean, could the bench be temporarily extended, while working there, using telescopic rails or other method of bench extension.
 
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Online Fungus

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Re: Search: Bench DMM with small depth
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2021, 10:45:57 am »
What you see is that there's a possibility to put it to the top shelf somehow using the window but if you measure on the table and you have to look that much upwards every time...

Open for ideas!

Maybe get an OWON XDM1041 in addition to the HP. The Owon can be at eye level for general use and the HP can do the complicated stuff from the top shelf.
 
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Offline ra-ma

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Re: Search: Bench DMM with small depth
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2021, 11:51:39 am »
Yes, thanks. This combination is actually a good idea as for most cases I don't need high accuracy but if so, I'd still have it. Are there any known/good alternatives to the XDM1041 I should consider?

Maybe get an OWON XDM1041 in addition to the HP. The Owon can be at eye level for general use and the HP can do the complicated stuff from the top shelf.
 

Online Fungus

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Re: Search: Bench DMM with small depth
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2021, 12:28:27 pm »
Yes, thanks. This combination is actually a good idea as for most cases I don't need high accuracy but if so, I'd still have it. Are there any known/good alternatives to the XDM1041 I should consider?

Maybe get an OWON XDM1041 in addition to the HP. The Owon can be at eye level for general use and the HP can do the complicated stuff from the top shelf.

In that format? Only the Aneng 888, which seems silly but everybody swears it's quite a good meter.  ;)

(nb. Quite good for the money...)

« Last Edit: December 07, 2021, 12:30:45 pm by Fungus »
 
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Online rsjsouza

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Re: Search: Bench DMM with small depth
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2021, 12:48:46 pm »
A regular here (nctnico) swears by the VC8145, which seems to have a reasonable display and is quite small in comparison to bench units. Perhaps give it a try?
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Online Fungus

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Re: Search: Bench DMM with small depth
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2021, 12:55:21 pm »
A regular here (nctnico) swears by the VC8145, which seems to have a reasonable display and is quite small in comparison to bench units. Perhaps give it a try?

But it's as big as the HP34401A (25cm plus mains cable at the back):



« Last Edit: December 07, 2021, 12:58:18 pm by Fungus »
 
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Online rsjsouza

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Re: Search: Bench DMM with small depth
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2021, 01:02:25 pm »
Oops... Sorry. I really thought it was smaller. Although, given the huge amount of empty space inside, one could easily chop it off... :-DD
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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...
 

Online Fungus

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Re: Search: Bench DMM with small depth
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2021, 01:08:54 pm »
Oops... Sorry. I really thought it was smaller. Although, given the huge amount of empty space inside, one could easily chop it off... :-DD

It's certainly not optimized....



( Image courtesy of EEVBLOG member: https://lygte-info.dk/review/DMMVici%20VC8145%20UK.html )
« Last Edit: December 07, 2021, 05:38:57 pm by Fungus »
 

Offline jc101

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Re: Search: Bench DMM with small depth
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2021, 01:09:47 pm »
I use right-angle plugs on a lot of kit, which helps reduce the depth.

Some I've had with kit and others I just make up as needed.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2021, 01:13:11 pm by jc101 »
 
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Online rsjsouza

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Re: Search: Bench DMM with small depth
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2021, 03:01:18 pm »
Indeed. Right angle plugs help immensely with the depth.

There was talk about cutting a VC8145 in half, but you could also make the case to put a battery inside of it and use it in a more portable fashion, thus not requiring the plug at all times. But the depth still poses a constraint to the OP's case.
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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...
 

Online Fungus

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Re: Search: Bench DMM with small depth
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2021, 05:04:41 pm »
There was talk about cutting a VC8145 in half

Artists impression:  :)



All you need is a saw and lots of hot-glue.  :-+

You could even convert the power supply section into a separate box.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2021, 05:42:40 pm by Fungus »
 

Online 25 CPS

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Re: Search: Bench DMM with small depth
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2021, 06:39:17 pm »
You’ve got a nice lab set up there!  Mine’s in the basement too.

Have you considered an HP 3457A if you can find one locally in good shape at a reasonable price?

I just did a couple quick and admittedly sloppy measurement of my bench DMMs and the 3457A is the shallowest at about 27 cm.



The 34401A is an approximate tie with 3478A at about 35-36 cm.





The 3457A shaves around 8-9 cm off the depth of the instrument; is that enough to make it fit?
« Last Edit: December 07, 2021, 06:42:11 pm by 25 CPS »
 
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Offline flolic

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Re: Search: Bench DMM with small depth
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2021, 07:01:24 pm »
Owon XDM1041?
 

Offline David Hess

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Re: Search: Bench DMM with small depth
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2021, 07:21:15 pm »
I recommend you try your luck at some kind of carpentry magic.

That is my common solution.  I build little wooden stands, sort of like an old time printer stand, to hold the instrument above my workbench surface restoring that area for use.  You can do a lot with a chop saw, orbital sander, furring boards, hand drill, and some paint or varnish.
 

Offline Kleinstein

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Re: Search: Bench DMM with small depth
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2021, 09:28:35 pm »
The 3457 is a nice meter in some aspects (though not so great in other aspects). As a full width meter it still takes up quite some space. The display is also rather hard to read.
Anyway in Europ this meter is not that common.  In Germany one may more run into an Prema 5000 with a similar depth and with some luck also a scanner.
 

Online 25 CPS

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Re: Search: Bench DMM with small depth
« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2021, 10:17:53 pm »
The 3457 is a nice meter in some aspects (though not so great in other aspects). As a full width meter it still takes up quite some space. The display is also rather hard to read.
Anyway in Europ this meter is not that common.  In Germany one may more run into an Prema 5000 with a similar depth and with some luck also a scanner.

I have mixed feelings about the 3457A as well.  I enjoy it and the pair of 3478A underneath it but they do have their limitations, which is why I have the two 34401A on the bench as well.  For me, the big problem is voltage range.  The 3457A and two 3478A can't handle the typical vacuum tube B+ voltage found in most power amplifier circuits and I have to use the 34401A meters or handhelds in that equipment.

Everything else that fits within the voltage range of those goes on the other three meters to try to keep wear off the vacuum fluorescent displays in the 34401As.  I agree about the LCD displays being tough to read.  That, and limited voltage range, are the two biggest annoyances I personally run into on them.  If the 3457A is still too large and it's hard to find where you are, it's probably not worth considering searching for one.
 


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