Written by Kiriakos A. Triantafillou, Industrial maintenance electrician, Hellas.
HIOKI / DT4282 review – By the eye of the Industrial electrician.
By Kiriakos Triantafillou ©2013 November 26 2013
In January 2013 the first rumors started to circulate on the Internet that HIOKI is close to present one new series of handheld multimeter.
Few months later I did have the opportunity for a direct communication with Michelle Uchiyama Business Development Manager of HIOKI, and at this point I did my suggestion for a product review of one of them.
In a later time the DT4282 shown also in HIOKI page on Facebook, one conversation regarding the meter features with one engineer of HIOKI looked to have a positive impact about getting one sample for my review, the conversation looked almost as challenge of my own skills level, but I am glad that I did pass those quick exams.
HIOKI send their DT4282 multimeter and also their Data logging PC KIT, and handled shipping and custom clearance, and I am truly thankful because the importation of such items it had become tough to deal with.
After opening the box, I did discover among the products some useful gifts with the HIOKI logo.
I like to thanks the company and their marketing department for their great cooperation.
By their decision they did succeed the first DT4282 in Europe to land in Greece.
HIOKI brand is active since 1935 therefore is a company with experience and long tradition.
This review is about the DT4282 which considered as Top model of HIOKI latest products release.
Usually what is questionable in the Japanese products is the philosophy behind their functionality which some times it is quit different of what we are used to expect.
In simple English: The different mindset could be mostly the problem than the build quality of the product.
Introduction of the DT4282
First of all I like to offer my apologies for the delay of posting this review sooner.
But I was had a good reason, I wanted to actually use this meter for a significant number of real applications first, so to gain enough experiences by using it, so this review to offer even more valuable comments to my readers.
By getting the DT4282 out of the carton box my first impression was that this meter is a beauty regarding external design.
The well designed LCD display and digits size, and even details like the power-up options been written over the stand (tilt bail), are points which they do measure up, and they did gain my appreciation too.
The meter feels heavy, the soft buttons on the face plate looks stiff enough even in a room temp of 31C, the range switch looks good and the input terminals makes funny noises when the range switch mover toward to the current ranges.
Exceptional test leads with branded Japanese cables makes the first positive impression ever larger.
Even so DT4282 does not have any IP rating regarding waterproofing, therefore it can be used only indoor and not in humid or dusty environments.
In my past I have see older HIOKI multimeter build like a tank and this one is not one of them.
The DT4282 instructions manual is 114 pages long and I have to admit that HIOKI did an exceptional work regarding noting down any specifications related to accuracy and performance of the meter.
Those HIOKI engineers measured up even the precise time needed by the meter about measuring V – A – Ohm etc.. And the additional time needed until the meter to settle down and offer it maximum accuracy up to the last count.
The instructions manual is so complete which after reading it I did feel that my review is impossible to present all this depth of information in it with out becoming a true lengthy read too.
After some serious thought I decided to focus mostly on the details which I consider as important or caused to me in some degree the feeling of discomfort or uneasiness.
DT4282 specifications given by HIOKI
60,000 count, 5-digit display, high-resolution measurements
±0.025% DC V basic accuracy, 20 Hz to 100 kHz AC V frequency characteristics
Low-pass filter cuts high harmonics (when measuring inverter fundamental waveforms)
Includes multiple measurement functions such as DC+ACV, temperature, capacitance, and frequency
Includes terminal shutter mechanism for accident prevention (prevents erroneous test lead insertion)
USB communications function supports PC measurements (optional)
Broad -15 (5°F) to 55°C (131°F) operating temperature range
My first thoughts are that this meter has one very general orientation as product solution.
The 60,000 counts are an extremely welcomed feature which indicates that this product can serve in both worlds of electrical & electronics.
High DC accuracy and high bandwidth gives to it even more positive points, and also the Low Pass filter add to it further value when it comes to variable speed drives.
HIOKI marketing team uses also those features as strong marketing points:
a) Display stability / Slow filter.
b) Display hold & auto hold.
c) Min/Max measurements.
d) Peak V-A (which is a mode that HIOKI suggests to be used in ripple measurements).
Exploration of the basic features
Note: The meter was reviewed in August which is the hottest month of the Greek summer and the average in-door temperature is at 31C which is far higher that what is recommended for accuracy tests.
By testing the DT4282 basic range of functions I did not notice any issue regarding the calibration of the meter.
The comparison was made by using mainly the latest Agilent and BRYMEN meters which are capable for 30,000 counts and 50,000 counts.
In order to explore how fast the DT4282 really is I made this first comparison:
a) Auto-range speed single measurement. (DC , Ohm)
b) Auto-range speed dual measurements. (AC & Frequency)
c) Measurement refresh rate in dual measurements (AC & Frequency)
a) Auto range speed in single measurement.
First = DT4282
Second = BM869
Third = U1273A
b) Auto range speed in dual measurements (AC & Frequency).
First = DT4282 & U1273A
Second = BM869
b) Measurement refresh rate in dual measurements (AC & Frequency).
In this test DT4282 blown all the competition away, both ACV and frequency counts they did updating amazingly fast, as close example it can compared to an INTEL dual core CPU which handles the load by sharing it with out slowing down.
BM869 got the second position but is far behind from DT4282, the display update were slower even by using 5,000 counts instead of 50,000 in the frequency counter.
U1273A got the last position in this test, while the meter offered in full resolution both measured values the update speed were very low, this is not something new to me, by reviewing those Agilent meters their lack of CPU power for dual measurements’ it did previously noted in the modes of AC & Frequency and Duty cycle measurements’.
Now that I have discovered the strongest point of this meter lets have a look in the rest details.
1) Ohms range / continuity
In Ohms mode the meter is fast and accurate but there are some details which caused to me a significant level of stress because they look to me as serious annoyances.
a) By turning the range switch to Ohms range the meter LCD screen reads 600.0 Mohm (over-range) and the digits starts flashing on and off until the test leads to actually get connected somewhere so to perform a measurement and get a stable reading, basically I felt very bad about that because it damages my concentration when I am performing a repair on the bench. It is very hard to keep your eyes away from it or better said to ignore it.
b) The functionality of the REL button it is shared with Man/Mix mode, the duration of pressing the button determines which function will activated, and the relative function is set to long duration which is a wrong implementation in my eyes. This timing about holding the button for 2 seconds it distracts you even more, because if you do not pay attention in this key pressing you will activate the Min/Max accidentally and the all story works against your productivity.
In manual Ohms range (for example in 60 Ohms range) the Over range indication 60,000 Ohms start flashing in anything above 59,950 which is good enough.
The meter offer it highest display resolution up to 6 Mohm and above that it drops 2 digits.
1,1 Mohm test & display resolution
DT4282 = 1,1400
BM869 = 1,1396
U1273A = 1,1387
(6000 counts meters)
DE-208A = 1,139
Fluke 28 II = 1,1397 (20,000 counts mode)
5,4 Mohm test & display resolution
DT4282 = 5,4702
BM869 = 05,469
U1273A = 5,479
(6000 counts meters)
DE-208A = 5,461
Fluke 28 II = 5,471 (unable for 20,000 counts mode)
28,7 Mohm test & display resolution
DT4282 = 28,80
BM869 = 28,810
U1273A = 28,893
(6000 counts meters)
DE-208A = 28,72
Fluke 28 II = 28,79
The meter comes with the fastest continuity response that someone would expect, and it response time it is 100% comparable with the top of the range Fluke industrial meters.
DT4282 offer the dual functionality which Agilent introduced first regarding the activation of buzzer & backlight in the continuity mode on their U1272A, which is tremendously useful as visual notification in a noisy environment.
You may find pairs of cables or test a stop switch from a distance, just by looking the LCD of the meter.
The HIOKI meter is again faster in response compared to Agilent and additionally the backlight is constantly active instead of flashing like the Agilent meter does.
The HIOKI meter does not offer reverse triggering mode in continuity that is backlight and buzzer alarm active in open contacts, but even so it does offer a change to threshold triggering dependant to the input resistor.
This is very useful detecting healthy pairs of cables in telephony wiring's, when the healthy pairs (low resistance) will trigger the meter buzzer & backlight, in an opposite condition the meter will not respond and this will indicate faulty wires.
The threshold triggering it can be set to 20 Ohm (default) or 50 or 100 or 500 Ohm.
Unfortunately and in continuity mode the LCD display digits are flashing with the 600 Ohm over-range message when the meter stays idle.
Honestly it would be much better if the digits were constantly active and I do hope to see soon a firmware upgrade which will disable this behaviour.
The information offered by HIOKI for capacitance range VS reference oscillation frequency at appendix 3, it did confused me especially the given numbers as max.
Either way I did manage to verify by my new GDS-2102A Oscilloscope that the test signal is a triangle wave and I tested some capacitors so to record the oscillation frequency.
1uF = 120Hz
3,3uF = 40Hz
100uF = 2Hz
470uF = 1.5Hz
2,43 mF = 2Hz
Capacitors measurements and comparison, in this testing I did repeat its measurement three times so to test the meter regarding repeatability, and also to test the DT4282 general performance by using several different capacitors.
Test No1: 6,8nF 2000V
This small capacitor it was detected by all five multimeter's in a fraction of the second, therefore there is no need to record any results.
Test No2: 100uF 160V
DT4282 = 93,7 uF / 5 seconds
DE-208A = 92,7 uF / 4 seconds
BM869 = 93,2 uF / 9 seconds
Fluke 28II = 92,9 uF / 2 seconds
U1273A = 91,4 uF / 14 seconds total settle time.
Test No3: 2200uF 63V
DT4282 = 2,20 MF / 5 seconds
DE-208A = 2,23MF / 13 seconds
BM869 = 2218 uF / 28 seconds total settle time
Fluke 28II = 2226 uF / 5 seconds
U1273A = 2195 uF / 5 seconds total settle time.
Test No4: Elco 22,000uF 25V
BM869 23.58MF, reading shown on display in 6 seconds and needed another 10 seconds as settle time so to accurately display the maximum capacity.
DT4282 23.9MF, reading show on display in 19 seconds & stable.
My thoughts after these tests are that DT4282 stands very well among the latest competition caused by all those fresh multimeter.
Nor slow or the fastest but in all tests it offered a reading of a true stable measurement, and especially at 100MF range it did a good job too.
Not many meters support this useful even today high range for electrolytic capacitors, most meters stop at 20MF.
DT4282 comes with a new feature which looks very handy if you work often with diodes and LED.
You may set threshold alarm for a specific forward voltage of a diode, the presets are 0,15V 0,5V 1,5V 2,0V 2,5V 3,0V.
Now imagine that you have a significant amount of LED with different specifications mixed together by an accident.
By setting the threshold level at a low forward voltage you may spot easily all the low powered ones just by the audible response of the meter.
DT4282 does not come with a thermocouple as standard accessory, even so by crossing the test leads it does measure temperature by the inner sensor that most meters have inside.
By connecting an external K-type thermocouple the meter it does measure temperature but the update rate is a bit slow, my estimation is one time per second.
Fluke 28II and BM869 have the same update rate with DT4282, U1273A is a bit better with four times per second, and a just bit behind the DER EE DE-208A with three times per second.
Room temperature measured at 26,7 Celsius +/- 0,5C By all meters.
AC & DC dual display mode.
In this test I did use my function generator by setting a shine wave at 60Hz and then I activated the DC offset control so have both AC & DC mixed.
The result is this dual mode is not as impressive regarding the update rate as it shown in AC volts & Hz mode.
Even so the HIOKI meter were the faster in this test by an update rate close to 2,5 times per second, at same time the U1273A were close to 1,5 times per second and the BM869 at about 1 time per second.
Exploration of advanced features
Hold & Auto-hold
The most favourite additional feature in a multimeter is the Auto-hold function and the DT4282 comes with it too.
By pressing the Hold button for about two seconds the meter gets in the Auto-hold mode and is ready for action.
By pressing ones the Hold button the meter clears the last measurement and gets ready about measuring and holding on screen the next.
I have no complains from DT4282 regarding Hold & Auto-hold, both work perfectly as expected.
Adjustable Sampling Settings / Slow Button
This feature become known to me in the past two years, Fluke implement that on their high-end meters 87V & 28II and Agilent implement it on their U1270A series.
The all idea is about slowing down the meter so to get a stable reading which is usually useful in the range of mV & mA ranges.
In the mV range you are gaining a stable reading when you use one AC/DC or just AC current clamp probe.
The problem with most current clamp probes is that their output includes a bit of noise from the clamp circuitry and if you’re measuring one unstable power source the fast sampling of the meter makes those on screen digits to jump around for good.
Fluke describe this function as Smoothing feature (Smooth) and it works well.
Agilent describe this as Smooth mode, and offers selectable levels of smoothing, but in praxis it never worked right, too complicate to use and the meter does not slowdown as expected.
HIOKI comes now with their solution which by my opinion is even better implemented than the Fluke one which needs power-up activation.
HIOKI did it right here, by simply pressing a front panel button the meter drop the sampling from normal 5 times/S to 1 time/S and by that you do have the expected result.
Low-pass filter cuts harmonic waveform components
Because of the different implementation which HIOKI followed in this filter I spent over a week studying in depth information’s about variable frequency controllers and motors specifications.
After collecting all those information I have to redo all my comparison measurements from the beginning which added some extra delay on finishing these tests.
The long story in short is that the commercially available VFD controllers they operating in different fundamental frequency.
And so we have VFD controllers working with reference oscillation of 60Hz or 120Hz or 200Hz or 300Hz or 400Hz.
By having this range of five VFD controllers that is five different fundamental frequencies’ what we should expect by a multimeter is to offer a voltage measurement comparable with any other multimeter which has active low-pass filter.
While HIOKI describes their filter as 630Hz active filter the problem is that this filter it not that High-Pass as I would expect to be.
In my tests with 120V AC (produced by my function generator plus one step-up transformer) by testing all the range of VFD fundamental frequencies’ the results is that DT4282 can offer comparable measurements’ with other multimeter up to max 120Hz in which even there it does have an small inaccuracy which is 2 Volts less at 120V input.
By multiplying that by three times that is 360V the DT4282 will measure 6 volts less than any other multimeter.
At 200Hz the error becomes higher, and is 5V at 120V, three times the voltage up and we are getting 15 volts less.
By the same method we have:
At 300Hz / 120,58-115,10= 5,48V X 3 = 16,44V less
At 400Hz / 120,37-101,33= 19,04V x 3 = 57,12V less
While HIOKI mentioning this limitation of the meter at 400Hz in the instruction manual by offering a warning that the meter at this fundamental frequency is possible to display 25% less than the true voltage, it does makes you wonder how sincere is the presentation of those specifications.
Especially when the HIOKI DT4282 specifications’ document presents the filter button labelled as 630Hz filter, which leads you to think that is 100% capable for voltage measurements at 400Hz VFD controllers.
Therefore the DT4282 it is recommended only for using it at 60Hz and 120Hz VFD controllers.
And HIOKI needs to correct their specification documents or to correct the electronic design of the meter.
V-A Peak Button
In this function the meter is capable for voltage peak to peak measurements.
The meter is very fast and in order to gain maximum speed it does that by dropping the display resolution to four digits regarding volt measurements.
What I consider as fantastic feature to this meter is that both negative and positive peaks are visible in a dual display mode and updating simultaneously.
I have not seen that in any other multimeter up to date.
As test source for volt measurements I did use again my analog function generator plus step-up transformer and the DT4282 made easy for me to see that the default offset of my function generator is a bit off and need a small correction.
Regarding accuracy on Voltage peak to peak measurements the meter performed bountifully, and when compared to my other meters it was again the fastest than all.
Ampere Peak - Current test
a) DCA test.
For this test I did use my Kenwood professional DC power supply to limit the current output from 10A to 3A, and by having all three multimeter's in series, all of them recorded the same Peak value in Amperes by shorting the PSU output cables.
This test was about to measure the highest Peak DC value at the specific current limiter setting.
All three meters recorded the same Peak DC value at the significant digits and DT4282 passed this test successfully.
b) ACA test
This last test is about AC current & inrush current, the test bed is one very small motor that is part of one portable washing machine which I rescued it from been recycled, and now is the official ITTSB AC motor test-bed (Safe for testing multimeter's, with out blown their expensive fuses).
The normal consumption of this motor is 1.58A at 220V (close to 350W).
DT4282 = 1,5871 A
BM869 = 1,5857 A
U1273A = 1,5860 A
No complains here, DT4282 even by having active the frequency counter in this mode, it did shown faster than U1273A which works in single mode in this specific range by default.
The BRYMEN meter was following in this challenge with dignity by been always third.
The inrush current test is always one far interesting indication regarding performance, due the fact that every meter it gets in to the fastest possible sample rate.
DT4282 it did succeed to measure correctly and to offer comparable results by the other two multimeter.
What is worth noted is that both HIOKI and Agilent meters retain their full counts resolution in this mode compared to BRYMEN.
Inrush AC current
DT4282 = +5,091
BM869 = +05,24
U1273A = +5,053
What caused some confusion to me is the Peak negative current curve,
Possibly this happened due a temporarily issue regarding power quality in the local Mains grid.
And I am saying this because I would expect more symmetrical readings.
Inrush AC current (negative slop)
DT4282 = -8,581
BM869 = -08,61
U1273A = -9,883
In summary all meters shown great strength and speed, with DT4282 to lead the pack and the U1273A very close behind.
The BM869 looks to have a small issue with a Ghost reading of 00,68A by activating the peak mode on it.
Even so it does perform the actual measurement correctly and therefore this detail it is not considered as significant but it is there.
Just another one multimeter with Industrial profile?
By my book the evaluation of the Industrial profile of a multimeter is a not as complex as to be a mathematical exercise.
Every ultra rugged meter with good specifications and rich features, it can be called easily as ideal.
Regarding the DT4282 meter, HIOKI did not invest much of thought in the ruggedness section, and this is not a secret.
By design it can handle a drop to concrete at the height of 1 meter.
The multimeter does not have much of protection against impact at the top and bottom side of it case.
It is not considered as waterproof or dust proof, the case looks and is plastic with a Minimal wall thickness which makes clear to every one that this meter is not ready for harsh environments or careless handling.
The ideal environment for this meter is in-door with dry and clean air.
It is far from my understanding why HIOKI advertise this meter for high stability in low temperatures when the meter externally is not rated to handle such humid environmental conditions.
In simple English: if this meter is not capable to play Snowball Warfare with me, why I should care of how stable it is at -15 Celsius?
Another point that I feel that it deserve a bit of commenting is the design of the holster (case) which have flat sides, which is a bad omen if your hands are covered with dirt or lubricants, holding the meter stably it can become a challenge.
Therefore the industrial profile of this meter it is not superior or special compared to most multimeter's in this price range.
Top rated exceptions are still the Fluke 28II, far behind the Agilent U1270A series, close to this Agilent series is the DER EE model DE-208A, and all the other meters always by my personal estimation are very close to the basic ruggedness of the DT4282.
LCD display – Range switch
Only good words I have to say about this large and clear LCD display.
I like to congratulate the engineers behind this design.
This comes with clear digits and backlight with perfectly balanced brightness.
The white backlight is 100% uniform and the digits gets one dark blue tint because of it.
There is no problem at all with the viewing angle, and the backlight works in favor of the viewing angle so to become even wider.
The size of the digits for the primary parameter (volts) is identical to U1272A and also the digits for the secondary parameter (frequency) are 40% larger than the U1272A.
Therefore the DT4282 LCD design it did touch the perfection according to my personal likes.
The CPU power behind this amazing LCD display it is capable to push this 60,000 counts fast enough in single & dual mode operation, therefore the DT4282 it does win hand down the U1272A, and this saying of my is not about giving away trophy’s.
The performance in speed which the DT4282 comes with, it is actually a requirement that most professional electricians needing or expecting to get.
The DT4282 comes with a nice range switch.
The knob is nicely designed regarding size and clearance for the fingers, but when you actually touching it, the surface have a glossy finish which is unwanted over a range switch.
The range switch mechanism is perfect and it can be directly compared to Fluke 28II and DER EE DE-208A.
In the range of uA or mA or Ampere the range switch activates the terminal shutters, and it does some funny clicking noises.
This is the first meter in ITTSB which comes with terminal shutters and it is a new experience even for me.
By working with this meter in several applications I made the discovery that everything on it that caused to me some sort of annoyance, it is documented in the instruction manual.
For example when the meter gets in the sleep mode it does not wake up by pressing a face plate button.
You need to rotate the range switch to OFF position and power up the meter again.
And if you are measuring current and the meter gets in to sleep mode you have to remove even the test leads because they are blocking the terminal shutters.
Honestly I did lost my smile for good after discovering this detail.
One push button function so to wake up the meter is not that hard to have, especially when the meter comes with terminal shutters.
That’s a totally impractical design and this is the most civil expression that I will pick as comment.
HIOKI describes this power saving mode (Sleep mode) as APS and there is a power-on option which disables it by pressing the Hold (front panel) button prior turning the meter on.
What HIOKI did right is that all the power-on options are printed underneath of the tilt bail (stand), and this is a very wise choice.
Even if you use this meter infrequently you will not need the instruction manual so to refresh your memory about the power-on options.
Case / holster / tilt bail – Safety /Fuses
I did mentioned and above that DT4282 does not aim any prize regarding ruggedness.
Even so the exterior design of it is very stylish, the meter is extremely beautiful.
The selection of the colors regarding the case and even the font’s size around the range switch are wisely chosen ideas.
Anything blue in this case it is actually molded elastic surface which surrounds the plastic case by forming protective bumpers for the display or protective pads underneath, so the plastic case to not touch directly on hard surfaces.
The test lead holders at the back are formed by the same elastic material, and the insertion of the test leads in place it is possible by a gently push of a single finger, and they do stay securely attached, their removal needs some more force than insert them in place.
What possibly the HIOKI engineers’ forgot or never thought about the test leads is that most electricians like to roll over the test leads cables around the body of the meter and to secure the tests leads over the cables, if the length of those cables were 5 centimeter longer this would be possible and I would congratulate them once more.
With the test leads positioned in those holders the meter gets additional protection as they become another safety net which absorbs soft bumps when the meter is not in use (stored).
When the meter stands-up by the use of the tilt bail, you do gain the feeling of total stability, by rotating the range switch or by using the face plate buttons the meter stays unmovable.
The tilt bail is made by a very thin plastic, it thickness it did puzzle my thoughts regarding If this item is prone to damage?
My previously experiences as consumer by made in Japan parts, is that the lightweight and thick shape it does not always translate as prone to damage, in most cases there is unseen quality in the material or of how the material have been processed in the manufacturing stage.
The meter comes with CAT III 1000V and there is not much to say here.
All current inputs are fused with the latest HRC fuses of 630mA and 11A.
The fuses and batteries compartment is easily accessible with just two screws at the top of the back cover, these screws are not fully removable and so there is no chance loosing them.
What looks very interesting in my eyes is the fact that those HRC fuses are made in China by one manufacturer which he is determined to break the monopoly of the Americans & Germans regarding this specific type of fuses.
The meter arrived with four AA 1,5V (made in Japan) Toshiba alkaline batteries with expiration date 11-2017, in conclusion the meter comes with high quality batteries and very fresh.
My first impression by looking the retail price of the DT4900 data logging kit was negative.
My first thought was that HIOKI made the mistake to overestimate the actual pricing of it as product.
By using the software I did notice all the little details which in the end matters the most, and now I have a much more positive picture about it.
The DT4900 Kit
The kit comes with the IR module, USB cable, CD software & Printed instructions manual.
By getting in my hand the IR module the first thing that attracted my view were the Made in Japan print on it and also the design in the sides of it which were much different from what I have see so far from other vendors.
By getting the DT4282 in my hand I just realized what the plan was.
The IR module slides in the special position at the back of the meter and this module have a locking point externally which the battery cover actually stays over it (on top of it) by acting as permanent hook.
About installing it you need to take off the battery cover, slide the module in, and push back the battery cover and tighten the screws on it.
This is a brilliant design because by this way it is impossible to lose the module by accident, but the removal requires again taking off the battery cover.
In the negative side of things is that the top mini-USB port is not protected by a rubber cover and this could be an issue is a dusty environment, and the second smaller annoyance is the length of the offered cable that is too sort ( 90cm).
In such cables the lengthy ones at about 140 – 160cm are more preferable.
In the positive side of things, the USB port with the cable attached it does not cause any issues in the stability of the meter when is set on the tilt bail or when is flat down.
DT4200s is actually the name of the data logging suite of HIOKI.
A bit of caution needed to install first the USB driver for the IR module and that’s it.
The graphical user interface of the DT4200s is very simple and at the same time very easy to use.
In the picture gallery at the bottom of my review I have add plenty of screen shots so to get an idea of how it looks like.
What amazed me mostly is that the software have built-in one software engine which aloud it to cooperate directly with Microsoft Excel and has the option to record the log directly in one open spreadsheet instead.
This is truly great because in Excel you are not limited by the fixed size of the DT4200s GUI (graphical user interface) and also you’re working directly with an .XLS file format that is easy to make graphs with it or to save your log and even email it to some one who needs to review it too.
The DT4200s internal logging engine is not bad either, you may log and save your log in a special HIOKI file format ( example: mylog_1.hdmm ) or even export your log as .CSV , the software is also capable to operate as viewer of previously saved .hdmm files, and this makes it a complete standalone tool.
In the negative side of things could be the way that the software handles those manually saved measurements in the multimeter memory.
Those measurements they can only transferred and saved in a .CSV file that the software it self is not capable to display as viewer, therefore just to see this data you need an special spreadsheet software as viewer/ editor.
HIOKI it should predict those data to be loaded on their software first, so the user to be able to see them and even selects the way about saving them as .CSV or .hdmm or erase them from the multimeter memory due their software.
In this regard Agilent did a better job with their software for the U1270 series, but made many mistakes in other aspects of it.
One smaller annoyance is the way that the DT4200s handling the graphs which creates, the copy-graph function is useful to copy the image and transfer it in to a MS Word document, but the data in this graph is so compressed that only the actual numerical log is capable to offer full details.
Another annoyance that I discovered is that when the IR communication is enabled on the meter the backlight button gets disabled, and if you need it you can not activate it, if HIOKI had an option the backlight to be activated by their PC software this would be an alternative welcomed solution.
Generally speaking The DT4200s it is one of the most easy to use software, in the total easy to use experience it helps that the multimeter it self have always enabled the IR module communication by default.
The USB driver is automatically configured regarding serial port settings and the user does not need either to make any communication port settings, therefore this data logging kit is a true plug and play setup.
In summary regarding the DT4900 data logging Kit, one longer cable and few additional tweaks by the HIOKI software engineers, plus a retail pricing close to 60 EUR it is all that is needed so this package to become over all perfect and further attractive.
ITTSB comments over the design & Conclusion
I did made one list with all the spotted annoyances which this meter comes with.
By my point of view those information’s is what the HIOKI engineer’s needs to improve, and from the other hand what the potential buyer should be aware of.
Not all people value things equally and therefore some people could be much more forgiving than me regarding things that they can tolerate or ignore, but this review have my name on and this is my own opinion.
1) Flashing or flickering digits as over-range indication in Ohms & Diode range, when the meter is just powered on.
2) Power saving mode which it is not reset able by push buttons, complete power-off it is required = unnecessary wear of the range switch.
3) LPF filter unable to offer comparable measurements with other multimeter above the 120Hz for VFD drives.
4) The sides of the meter are very flat, dirty hands by grease or lubricants can cause a significant inconvenience to you.
5) The ranges switch knob haves glossy surface, softly contaminated fingers by any lubricant will lead in to trouble. In this regard only BRYMEN on their BM869 have thought to add artificial porous on the range switch knob as improvement in favor of a perfect grip.
6) Top and bottom case sides fully exposed in case of an impact, few stripes of the molded elastic on these areas it would raise my confidence regarding the feeling that the meter it is better protected against accidental bumps or from be scratched.
In the positive side of things the DT4282 it is the fastest multimeter of 2013 in most ranges of it range switch.
My own tests is just another confirmation that HIOKI really succeeded to offer one meter that it can measure two parameters at the same time, and also the display update to be exactly as fast as the most demanding users expect to be or will ever need.
As an example of what HIOKI did here could be that HIOKI managed to make a fighting air-plane which finally reached the maximum speed which the pilot and the human body can tolerate.
This is a remarkable achievement no matter from which point of view you are seeing it.
The multimeter externally is extremely well designed, personally I always had feelings of respect and admiration regarding the made in Japan products.
The Japanese industry in the past it was always a big school of how one idea it can reach the highest grade of perfection in areas of materials quality, aesthetics, easy to use, and extended product life cycle.
The DT4282 is another one product which it is obvious that it comes from a respectable school but it is clearly visible that the company it did try to cut corners so to keep the pricing down.
The product pictures bellow are the best proofs that I can offer instead of words, so to present by this review to you as best evidences that what we have here over all, it is a well made meter.
Sadly the DT4282 does not have Duty cycle measurement and is not either capable as autonomous data logger, therefore is not a direct competitor of the Agilent U1270 series, theoretically looks mostly as one Fluke 87V but with much more counts plus dual parameters display and USB connectivity.
The over all build quality and performance of this meter it did jumped up my curiosity to inspect the PCB of it.
While it is widely known that all those meters are made in our days by a fully automated process which eliminates human error, there are few parameters which one visual inspection it can identify.
The specific PCB looks like another gold plated artwork, and I got amazed by the soldering quality and the quality of the parts in it.
The PCB looked 100% clean of any sort of residue, and is a complete solution with on-board continuity buzzer, therefore there no wires over it, other than gold plated pads which the rear cover with the battery holder comes in contact with them.
Regarding Fuses Creepage and Clearance, the PCB does not have shafts of removed PCB around the fuses like others vendors do.
Naturally and with out doubt my comment does not imply a negative thought.
We should never forget that this meter comes with three worldwide recognized certifications of Japan, Europe, and U.S.A.
My journey in the internals of the DT4282 is was a very pleasant one, mostly because it acted as personal confirmation that the Japanese school even in the recent years it does not fool around when it comes to manufacturing quality.
At this point I think that I have covered all ready most aspects of this product.
HIOKI made here some choices regarding features performance and build quality, the idea behind the DT4282 is a high quality but also affordable meter.
I am monitoring the marker of multimeter for several years and the full featured made in Japan meters are hovering in the price range of 700 to 900 Euros.
These facts made them look as unwanted choices for the most international markets.
Therefore I am extremely happy that HIOKI gets back in the game with their new series of multimeter's.
And I bet that as soon their marketing department read this review they will build one multimeter exactly as I wanted it to be, and they will send it over. (Smile)
Naturally I will welcome the possibility of a firmware updated which will stop those digits from blinking, and possibly few other improvements.
The DT4282 is over all excellent and honest for most tasks in field work, what it can only affect your decision is how well it fits in your own personal needs and in your working environment.
I like to thanks HIOKI and their marketing headquarters’ for offering the meter and for the extreme patience and trust that they shown to me.
I did gained many fresh experiences by this multimeter and I hope HIOKI to find my comments as useful too.
This exchange of experiences between the ITTSB and the manufacturers is something new, and I like to believe that is mutually useful.
By Kiriakos Triantafillou
Industrial electrician – Greece
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Name space registered to EURid May 8, 2012