Author Topic: What are - for you - the 3 biggest disadvantages of your benchtop DMM(s)?  (Read 5066 times)

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Offline TheUnnamedNewbie

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Re: What are - for you - the 3 biggest disadvantages of your benchtop DMM(s)?
« Reply #75 on: September 16, 2020, 01:28:31 pm »
I realize that this question is probably asked from a 'disadvantages compared to other bench/handheld DMMs' and my answers don't reflect that, but for me one of the big disadvantages are:

1) Display is attached to the meter, and sometimes I want to be able to look at the meter value and the probes at the same time (though I solved this with a SCPI script on my laptop)
2) To my knowledge, pretty much every bench DMM is HIGH-Z (usually >1 GOhm) input impedance only on the 10V range and below. If you want high impedances at higher voltages you need either electrometers, or SMUs.
3) While bench DMMs can often measure quite small voltages, measuring small currents is hard. A TIA-based front-end such as some electrometers or pico/femto-amp meters would be awesome (and is still one of my projects but haven't finished it yet)
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Offline bingo600

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Re: What are - for you - the 3 biggest disadvantages of your benchtop DMM(s)?
« Reply #76 on: September 17, 2020, 07:35:54 pm »
1: A bit pricey
2: Have to replace Ram's every 10 years
3: Calibrating is $$$

Model # ends w. 58A

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Offline HighVoltage

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Re: What are - for you - the 3 biggest disadvantages of your benchtop DMM(s)?
« Reply #77 on: September 17, 2020, 08:14:48 pm »
Biggest disadvantage ... you like them so much, you have to get more, many more

This was 4 years ago ...
Some more have been added to the benches since then.
So, don't start with a benchtop DMM, they multiply.


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Offline Keysight DanielBogdanoff

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Re: What are - for you - the 3 biggest disadvantages of your benchtop DMM(s)?
« Reply #78 on: September 17, 2020, 08:44:28 pm »
Biggest disadvantage ... you like them so much, you have to get more, many more

This was 4 years ago ...
Some more have been added to the benches since then.
So, don't start with a benchtop DMM, they multiply.

Dang that's a lot of DMMs...
 

Offline Joel_l

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Re: What are - for you - the 3 biggest disadvantages of your benchtop DMM(s)?
« Reply #79 on: September 17, 2020, 11:46:09 pm »
DMM6500

1 - A little slow too start up, don't know how it compares to others
2 - Can't do higher current measurements from front jacks, have to use rear which is not convenient.
3 - No continuity beep
 

Online rvalente

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Re: What are - for you - the 3 biggest disadvantages of your benchtop DMM(s)?
« Reply #80 on: September 18, 2020, 12:25:52 am »
Biggest disadvantage ... you like them so much, you have to get more, many more

This was 4 years ago ...
Some more have been added to the benches since then.
So, don't start with a benchtop DMM, they multiply.




Thats when the need has been superseded and becomes a collection
 

Offline maginnovision

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Re: What are - for you - the 3 biggest disadvantages of your benchtop DMM(s)?
« Reply #81 on: September 18, 2020, 12:30:03 am »
It happens.
 
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Online Ground_Loop

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Re: What are - for you - the 3 biggest disadvantages of your benchtop DMM(s)?
« Reply #82 on: September 18, 2020, 02:12:58 am »
I have a stack of HP meters 3455, 3456, and 3457. The first two don't have current measurement. But they do have math functions and I have a bench mounted current shunt. The 57 has that awful LCD display, but at least has fresh lab cal. The 55 has a fan. None have diode drop measurement. And worst of all they never all read exactly the same. Kind of like having more than one watch: you never really know what time it is. My handhelds are Fluke 289 and 787. Neither sees much bench use.
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Offline JimKnopf

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Re: What are - for you - the 3 biggest disadvantages of your benchtop DMM(s)?
« Reply #83 on: September 18, 2020, 03:50:44 am »
DMM6500

1 - A little slow too start up, don't know how it compares to others
2 - Can't do higher current measurements from front jacks, have to use rear which is not convenient.
3 - No continuity beep

You don't have "Cont" in the bottom middle of the menu? It beeps.
 

Online Fungus

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Re: What are - for you - the 3 biggest disadvantages of your benchtop DMM(s)?
« Reply #84 on: September 18, 2020, 07:17:29 am »

So, don't start with a benchtop DMM, they multiply.

You're saying that handheld meters don't??
 

Offline HighVoltage

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Re: What are - for you - the 3 biggest disadvantages of your benchtop DMM(s)?
« Reply #85 on: September 18, 2020, 08:35:21 am »

So, don't start with a benchtop DMM, they multiply.

You're saying that handheld meters don't??

Oh, they do too!
But they are easier to hide in a drawer under the bench.

A representative of Keysight Germany visited my lab last year and he was slightly exited to see so many of their DMMs in action.

 
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Offline blueskull

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Re: What are - for you - the 3 biggest disadvantages of your benchtop DMM(s)?
« Reply #86 on: September 18, 2020, 08:50:24 am »
I'm happy with only one 34461A and one PXIe-4081 on my bench.

Now to the questions: they don't like high surge transients that are perfectly absorbed by a proper CAT IV handheld DMM. Also they tend to boot slower. Yes, I have OCD and I can't withstand keeping my gears powered on for entire days. That's why I didn't bother with 8.5 digits -- they need to warm up for longer than my OCD can tolerate.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2020, 08:52:19 am by blueskull »
 

Online rvalente

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Re: What are - for you - the 3 biggest disadvantages of your benchtop DMM(s)?
« Reply #87 on: September 18, 2020, 11:05:00 am »
I've a 8010 in my bench, but always use the 87V. I believe I have not yet been infected with the bench multimeter plague.
 

Online Kleinstein

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Re: What are - for you - the 3 biggest disadvantages of your benchtop DMM(s)?
« Reply #88 on: September 18, 2020, 11:16:29 am »
The boot time is not so much an issue for precision meters - they need some 20-100 minutes to warm up for a precision reading anyway. Some of the boot time could also be some extra self tests - battery powered meters tend to spend less time on these. I don't think boot time makes a lot of difference between 5 digits and 8 digits, its usually the graphics they may need a little more boot time. It may take longer warm up to get 8 digit stability of cause, but 5 digit precision should be reached fast.

A CAT IV protection is in conflict with very low leakage and very low noise (where series resistance becomes an issue). Also the bench is usually CAT 2 or less. The screw terminals to directly connect bare wires are also conflicting with higher CAT ratings.

Still better protection (less chance to damaging) is always welcome if it does not conflict with the main task.
 

Online rvalente

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Re: What are - for you - the 3 biggest disadvantages of your benchtop DMM(s)?
« Reply #89 on: September 18, 2020, 12:20:01 pm »
It is just me or you also find the VFD displays sexier than this TFT thing?
 
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Online SilverSolder

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Re: What are - for you - the 3 biggest disadvantages of your benchtop DMM(s)?
« Reply #90 on: September 18, 2020, 12:36:59 pm »
I'm happy with only one 34461A and one PXIe-4081 on my bench.

Now to the questions: they don't like high surge transients that are perfectly absorbed by a proper CAT IV handheld DMM. Also they tend to boot slower. Yes, I have OCD and I can't withstand keeping my gears powered on for entire days. That's why I didn't bother with 8.5 digits -- they need to warm up for longer than my OCD can tolerate.

Just put them on a timer, so they start up 3h before you arrive!  :D
 

Offline AVGresponding

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Re: What are - for you - the 3 biggest disadvantages of your benchtop DMM(s)?
« Reply #91 on: September 18, 2020, 01:50:12 pm »
It is just me or you also find the VFD displays sexier than this TFT thing?

Nope, it's not just you!
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Offline blueskull

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Re: What are - for you - the 3 biggest disadvantages of your benchtop DMM(s)?
« Reply #92 on: September 18, 2020, 02:33:21 pm »
It is just me or you also find the VFD displays sexier than this TFT thing?

Until you put a near field probe close by. The main reason I persuaded my boss to buy my first E36313A to replace the Keithley is for exactly that -- its VFD spits out too much EMI that some of my sensitive circuit will not function properly nearby.
 

Offline ferdieCX

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Re: What are - for you - the 3 biggest disadvantages of your benchtop DMM(s)?
« Reply #93 on: September 18, 2020, 06:04:54 pm »
It is just me or you also find the VFD displays sexier than this TFT thing?
They age and are unobtanium. I prefer plain 7 segment LED displays
 
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Online HKJ

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Re: What are - for you - the 3 biggest disadvantages of your benchtop DMM(s)?
« Reply #94 on: September 18, 2020, 06:33:24 pm »
VFD may look nice, but their lifespan is fairly short (I have two 8846A that is less than 10 years old, but the VFD are rather aged).
I hope that graphic color LCD will last much longer, I have a lot of meters with them.
LED are very reliable and easy to replace if the die, but they are fairly limited. Generally I like them, but a DMM can do a lot more with a graphic color LCD (See new Keithley or Keysight).
« Last Edit: September 19, 2020, 04:59:30 am by HKJ »
 

Offline Shock

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Re: What are - for you - the 3 biggest disadvantages of your benchtop DMM(s)?
« Reply #95 on: September 18, 2020, 07:22:45 pm »


Are those diy GW Instek kelvin clips with the screws on them or a different clip with fixed cables? Am curious if the connections to the clips are low emf, serviceable and what cabling/shielding was used.
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Online SilverSolder

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Re: What are - for you - the 3 biggest disadvantages of your benchtop DMM(s)?
« Reply #96 on: September 18, 2020, 07:34:18 pm »
VFD may look nice, but their lifespan is fairly short (I have two 8846A that is less than 10 years old, but the VFD are rather aged).
I hope that graphic color LCD will last much longer, I have a lot of meters with them.
LCD are very reliable and easy to replace if the die, but they are fairly limited. Generally I like them, but a DMM can do a lot more with a graphic color LCD (See new Keithley or Keysight).

I like connecting the DMM (or any other instrument) to a PC, with a gigantic monitor, if I need anything more than basic information.  So I've never cared that much about graphic displays (except on oscilloscopes obviously! Even there, piping the output to a gigantic monitor suitably suspended over the bench is better).
 

Online tautech

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Re: What are - for you - the 3 biggest disadvantages of your benchtop DMM(s)?
« Reply #97 on: September 18, 2020, 07:35:53 pm »
Are those diy GW Instek kelvin clips with the screws on them or a different clip with fixed cables? Am curious if the connections to the clips are low emf, serviceable and what cabling/shielding was used.
Shock, these are Pintek 4 wire leads that we got a couple of years back. The leads ends to the Kelvin clips were disappointingly stiff and they promised later manufacture units would be improved however we've not got more since then to know for sure they have. Nice leads in every other way although not cheap.  :(
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Offline AVGresponding

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Re: What are - for you - the 3 biggest disadvantages of your benchtop DMM(s)?
« Reply #98 on: September 18, 2020, 10:02:43 pm »
VFD may look nice, but their lifespan is fairly short (I have two 8846A that is less than 10 years old, but the VFD are rather aged).
I hope that graphic color LCD will last much longer, I have a lot of meters with them.
LCD are very reliable and easy to replace if the die, but they are fairly limited. Generally I like them, but a DMM can do a lot more with a graphic color LCD (See new Keithley or Keysight).

Some last better than others I guess. My 8840A is still nice and bright, and it and a recently acquired Keithley 2000 are my go-to bench meters.
I love the look of the panaplex on my 7075, and the nixies in my 8300A, but in all honesty I don't use them much (though they work perfectly) and as often as not it'll be a handheld I reach for, just for convenience.
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Offline Shock

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Re: What are - for you - the 3 biggest disadvantages of your benchtop DMM(s)?
« Reply #99 on: September 19, 2020, 12:24:11 am »
Shock, these are Pintek 4 wire leads that we got a couple of years back. The leads ends to the Kelvin clips were disappointingly stiff and they promised later manufacture units would be improved however we've not got more since then to know for sure they have. Nice leads in every other way although not cheap.

I don't mind if the cables are not so flexible as long as there is a good reason for it. If it lacks strain relief, has molded over clip connections and rotating lantern style banana plugs it's probably signaling a waste of money.

Hopefully they haven't made a connection where the cable splits in two, that would be unforgivable. They have another set of kelvin leads with BNC connectors, seems neither them (unfortunately for me) use shielding.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2020, 12:47:41 am by Shock »
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