Re: How good are high-end Extech DMMs?

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Igor The Terrible

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Jul 1, 2006, 3:46:41 AM7/1/06
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itsme.u...@gmail.com wrote:
> X-No-Archive: Yes
>
> I'm interested in some of their top end DMMs as they have features that
> you simply can't get with any of the Fluke models.
>
> The models I'm interested in are:
>
> Data logging DMM:
> http://www.extech.com/instrument/products/alpha/ML720Data.html
> This one offers 43,000 data points with ten available intervals between
> 50mS to 480s.
> I looked into the Fluke 189, but it does not have a data logging
> feature anything like this Extech.
>
> Dual channel logging DMM
> http://www.extech.com/instrument/products/310_399/datasheets/380900.pdf
> Offers two simultaneous measurements of current and voltage, and have
> 10,000 or so data points for each channel. I think this is truly a one
> of the kind.
>
> I don't plan on using the Extech on a circuit with fault current
> exceeding that of a typical 120V outlet, so CAT IV rating isn't of
> importance to me. When I need accuracy, I will use a Fluke 87 V, but
> I'm primarily interested in these Extechs to capture the signals on a
> graph.
>
> Their selection in DMMs is a lot wider than Fluke. The lowest range
> being what looks like a standard issue electronics class meter
> http://www.extech.com/instrument/products/alpha/MN25.html
>
> Any comments on high end Extechs?


Nothing wrong with Extech products. They have been around for a while
so that should tell you something. I've never owned one personally,
however, most people I know who use them seem to like them. I use my
Fluke 189 for data logging and so far I'm pretty happy with it.

redbelly

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Jul 1, 2006, 8:30:41 AM7/1/06
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itsme.u...@gmail.com wrote:
> X-No-Archive: Yes
>
> I'm interested in some of their top end DMMs as they have features that
> you simply can't get with any of the Fluke models.
.
.
.

> Any comments on high end Extechs?

I've been happy with mine (model 380282), have owned it for 3-4 years
now. It's a discontinued model, but has data logging via serial port,
and has been my main meter for home projects.

Mark

Roy L. Fuchs

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Jul 1, 2006, 3:45:07 PM7/1/06
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On 1 Jul 2006 00:46:41 -0700, "Igor The Terrible"
<igor_the...@mad.scientist.com> Gave us:


For the money, this is the best meter one can find today:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Hewlett-Packard-HP-Agilent-3478A-Digital-Multimeter_W0QQitemZ230002315676QQihZ013QQcategoryZ58287QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Even used, they blow any handheld out of the water expect for MAYBE
the newer high end Flukes and Agilents, etc.

David L. Jones

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Jul 2, 2006, 4:17:58 AM7/2/06
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Sure, but you can't hold it in your hand, so that sucks for most
general apps.

BTW, I've used one, and yes they are good :-D

Dave :)

David L. Jones

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Jul 2, 2006, 4:23:29 AM7/2/06
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Unfortunately the 189 has terrible battery life, and I won't even
mention the "user interface". One of Flukes rare "designed by
committee" meters :-(

Dave :)

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Igor The Terrible

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Jul 2, 2006, 7:28:31 AM7/2/06
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>
> Unfortunately the 189 has terrible battery life, and I won't even
> mention the "user interface". One of Flukes rare "designed by
> committee" meters :-(
>
> Dave :)

Yeah...but you can get a battery pack which uses 4 C cells that will
give you up to 450 hrs of continuous logging (depending on your
interval settings). Battery consumption is the price you pay
resolution plus all the features it offers.

The user interface isn't all that bad although there is room for
improvement. But that applies to nearly everything. Remember early
UNIX applications? Hell, the OS itself!! It's truly amazing what X
did for it. I guess it really is a matter of what you are used to
working with.

Roy L. Fuchs

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Jul 2, 2006, 2:13:27 PM7/2/06
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On 2 Jul 2006 02:44:13 -0700, itsme.u...@gmail.com Gave us:

>Explain what you mean "they blow any handheld out of the water"

Show me ANY 6.5 digit handheld.

Hmmmmm... cat got your tongue?

Then there is the accuracy differential between the two.

Roy L. Fuchs

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Jul 2, 2006, 3:05:31 PM7/2/06
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On 2 Jul 2006 02:44:13 -0700, itsme.u...@gmail.com Gave us:

>When you buy a new handheld, it is factory calibrated. When you buy
>that one used and to ensure it blows handheld out of water in accuracy,
>you'll have to pay to get it calibrated.
>
Sorry bub, but they don't go out of calibration. When we had ours
"calibrated" each year, the calibration tech told us that it is a mere
verification, and that they NEVER shift.

The only exception would be one that was abused by a user.

>What would it cost for the purchase + calibration ?

$150 for the unit, and $60 to calibrate it... on a bad day.

It's accuracy without the calibration is 99.999% likely to be better
than your 3.5 digit crap with a fresh calibration over and above the
production line calibration.

I can get a little shirt pocket meter from Rat Shack that is as good
as that level of accuracy.

It's about BASIC accuracy. The basic accuracy of this meter is a
couple orders of magnitude better than the basic accuracy of your 3.5
digit item... from any maker.

David L. Jones

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Jul 2, 2006, 8:59:41 PM7/2/06
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Igor The Terrible wrote:
> >
> > Unfortunately the 189 has terrible battery life, and I won't even
> > mention the "user interface". One of Flukes rare "designed by
> > committee" meters :-(
> >
> > Dave :)
>
> Yeah...but you can get a battery pack which uses 4 C cells that will
> give you up to 450 hrs of continuous logging (depending on your
> interval settings). Battery consumption is the price you pay
> resolution plus all the features it offers.

The point is that it shouldn't have to be a trade off. Fluke went from
a 9V battery in most other models to 4 x AA's in the 189. That's a huge
increase in battery capacity, yet they managed to get far less battery
life in the process. That's just plain poor design.

Dave :)

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redbelly

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Jul 3, 2006, 7:59:30 PM7/3/06
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Roy L. Fuchs wrote:
> On 2 Jul 2006 02:44:13 -0700, itsme.u...@gmail.com Gave us:
>
> >Explain what you mean "they blow any handheld out of the water"
>
> Show me ANY 6.5 digit handheld.

How often do most people need 6.5 digits???

Mark

Roy L. Fuchs

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Jul 4, 2006, 1:00:39 AM7/4/06
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On 3 Jul 2006 16:59:30 -0700, "redbelly" <redbe...@yahoo.com> Gave
us:


Again, it is about basic accuracy. That meter does not have to be
used on those ranges, however the calibration of the meter, even in
the weaker (handheld like) ranges will be far more accurate than any
handheld.

So one could rest assured that the reading one got was correct.

Here's a good data loggin' handheld cheapy that works fairly well...

http://www.protektest.com/ProdInfo.asp?prodId=6800

Not bad for a would be Fluke competitor.

OMG!

http://www.protektest.com/ProdInfo.asp?prodId=S2405

David L. Jones

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Jul 4, 2006, 1:28:31 AM7/4/06
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Roy L. Fuchs wrote:
> On 3 Jul 2006 16:59:30 -0700, "redbelly" <redbe...@yahoo.com> Gave
> us:
>
> >
> >Roy L. Fuchs wrote:
> >> On 2 Jul 2006 02:44:13 -0700, itsme.u...@gmail.com Gave us:
> >>
> >> >Explain what you mean "they blow any handheld out of the water"
> >>
> >> Show me ANY 6.5 digit handheld.
> >
> >How often do most people need 6.5 digits???
> >
> >Mark
>
>
> Again, it is about basic accuracy. That meter does not have to be
> used on those ranges, however the calibration of the meter, even in
> the weaker (handheld like) ranges will be far more accurate than any
> handheld.
>
> So one could rest assured that the reading one got was correct.

For most work you simply don't need that sort of accuracy.
0.5% is fine for basic work, and 0.05% in a more expensive 4.5 digit
handheld meter is plenty for almost everything else.
The biggest problem with a big 6.5digit bench meter is that, well, it's
damn bench meter!
Takes up bench space, and it takes up yet another power point.
About as useful as tits on a bull for most work! :->

Dave :)

Roy L. Fuchs

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Jul 4, 2006, 3:34:40 AM7/4/06
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On 3 Jul 2006 22:28:31 -0700, "David L. Jones" <alt...@gmail.com>
Gave us:

You must not know how to array test gear very well. There was a time
when this meter WAS the meter to have in the field as well. I can set
up a test hanging from a rock. (with my DC to AC converter and battery
belt). :-]

David L. Jones

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Jul 4, 2006, 3:49:01 AM7/4/06
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Hmm, the Fluke 70 series has been around since the early 80's, I don't
know why on earth you'd ever want to lug around a mains powered bench
meter! The further you go out in the field the less accuracy you
typically need :-/
Guess you can never be too well prepared hey? :->

> I can set
> up a test hanging from a rock. (with my DC to AC converter and battery
> belt). :-]

I'll have to try that next time I'm out Canyoning, my Fluke 87 has a
nice big hole in the tilt stand just begging for a carabiner to hang
off my harness! Probes could get tangled with my prussik loops though,
that would suck...

Actually, the most useful meter I own is a Wavetek pocket meter:
http://www.warrenelectronics.com/dm78.htm
Fits in your pocket (with the probes), and does most basic work. Great
for going up in the roof and other hard to reach places.
Incidently, I've found that a standard Fluke DMM carry pouch makes an
excellent self contained tool kit with this meter and a whole bunch of
hand tools.

Dave :)

Roy L. Fuchs

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Jul 4, 2006, 4:27:11 AM7/4/06
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On 4 Jul 2006 00:49:01 -0700, "David L. Jones" <alt...@gmail.com>
Gave us:

>Hmm, the Fluke 70 series has been around since the early 80's, I don't


>know why on earth you'd ever want to lug around a mains powered bench
>meter! The further you go out in the field the less accuracy you
>typically need :-/


Maybe that is the difference between power distribution, and other
systems which may or may not have lower voltage transducer signals
being passed, or 2.5GHz and 5 GHz transmission gear like at cell nodes
or cable satellite gear.

And we won't even mention military contracts. Where do you think
most of that gear sold on e-bay comes from? How many bases shutting
down?

There are plenty of places today where the field technician wants to
be able to read more than the typical handheld reads, and do so
accurately.

Roy L. Fuchs

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Jul 4, 2006, 4:30:58 AM7/4/06
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On 4 Jul 2006 00:49:01 -0700, "David L. Jones" <alt...@gmail.com>
Gave us:

> Probes could get tangled with my prussik loops though,
>that would suck...

You're a trip. I was talking about free climbing. ;-]

"I am not left handed..." --Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride

No, really... they aren't a bother. I also like the little shirt
pocket deal that the Rat Shack sells too... Touchy, feely plastic and
all... (velvety).

redbelly

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Jul 4, 2006, 9:18:47 AM7/4/06
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Roy L. Fuchs wrote:

> Here's a good data loggin' handheld cheapy that works fairly well...
>
> http://www.protektest.com/ProdInfo.asp?prodId=6800
>
> Not bad for a would be Fluke competitor.

Nice.

Mark

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