Electrical test and measurement equipment reviews.

  Digital Multimeter, Clamp on meter, Oscilloscope, Electronic component testing tools, all measuring equipment for demanding applications of our times:  Switching or Uninterruptible power supply, PV Inverters, VFD motor controllers, industrial electronics repair & HVAC.

Written by Kiriakos A. Triantafillou, Industrial maintenance electrician, Hellas.

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Intro

After making your choice about becoming an electrician, next step is you to become familiar of lots of theoretical knowledge, electrical parameters with weird names they become part of your world.
Energy calculations and descriptions with words as for example Watt, KVAR, VA, Kilo Ampere, all makes sense only after you do understand their meaning.
  
All electricians since school time we do become familiar about resistors, and we do learn to do mostly sizing calculations by the use of Law of Ohm.

For us to obtain true understanding of what its resistor can do it is required far more understanding about resistor specifications’.

In our decade manufacturing process of a single resistor this is now scientific work, use of Nickel chromium alloys among with advanced engineering both are now in use for the production of precision resistors them having also new advanced set of characteristics.
The word precision always was synonymous to the word complexity.

Vishay Foil Resistance brand this managed to use best combination of materials among with engineering so to deal with biggest problem of resistors and this is resistance stability due temperature range, and what is truly impressive this is the range, this is not limited at few tenths of Celsius but from - 55 °C to + 125 °C .  
Such breakthrough also translates that electronics now can operate at extreme conditions with out failing apart, and also translates that resistors them operating at friendlier for humans temperature environment, them will maintain an supreme stability over time.

Gentlemen by reading these lines, you become a witness of newest technological breakthrough from world of resistors industry and me (Kiriakos Triantafillou from Greece) I am proudly welcome you at ITTSB Blog.

What is up to you so to discover next, this is complete datasheet of products which I accepted as samples and I did use in my project, among with Ultra-High Precision HIOKI RM3542A (7 digits display resolution) resistance meter.       

VHP100 product description: Ultra-High Precision Hermetically Sealed Bulk Metal Foil Resistor with Zero TCR, no Humidity Effect and 0.005 % Tolerance within a
Unique Construction, Minimizing the Effects of Stress Factors

VHP200 product description: New Generation of Secondary Standards Hermetically Sealed Construction Ultra High Precision Z-Foil Technology Resistors with TCR of ± 0.2 ppm/°C, Tolerance of ± 0.001 % and Load Life Stability of ± 0.002 % (Metrology, Laboratory, Instrumentation, Industrial)

HIOKI RM3542A: HIOKI DC resistance meters measure a broad range of resistance values at a high level of precision.
The RM3542A delivers high-speed and high-stable measurements and improved productivity by minimizing variations and reducing contact errors. In addition, the low-impact measurement technology lets you measure resistance for miniature 00804-size electronic parts.

Key Features
• Applied voltage limit function lets you switch the detection voltage to 5 V or less • Contact improvement function suppresses rush current to aid in probing of super-small components
• Extensive selection of measurement ranges ensures the right detection voltage and delivers stable measurement
• Scaling function corrects for mounting state and test stage differences.
Project details

My project of seven dials decade resistance box, this become a big school for me at 2010, now at 2017 this is now upgraded by the use of Precision Hermetically Sealed Bulk Metal Foil Resistor.
By me working at that project I run in to a new problem, this is contact resistance of dials and bridges.
HIOKI RM3542A (7 digits display resolution) this is newest Resistance Meter for precision work, this become my vehicle so me to proceed at the next step, this is the discovery of all issues which I had with contact resistance and bridges resistance.

By me working methodically, I did succeed to increase level of correctness at my project by using larger diameter of copper bridges and by dismantling all seven dials so them to be thoroughly cleaned and lubricated.
All my work this it did rewarded me in the end, contact resistance this is much less, and repeatability of measurement this become rock solid even in the eyes of HIOKI RM3542A (7 digits display resolution).
Now I am also having my very own printed report (of several pages) and performance of all seven dials this is documented.

When Vishay Foil Resistor brand asked me of what quantity of samples I am going to need, I did the smart thought to order one more from all values.
When samples arrived, I did measure all packs of ten resistors, and best one of its value this kept so to become part of this new project with code name: Ultra-High Precision resistor box!!
Ultra-High Precision resistor box

Here is an interesting story of how this Ultra-High Precision resistor box was made.
Last Christmas I did visited central post office so to get a parcel and after getting it, I did notice that at blue special Recycle Bin (outside of the building) it was two plastic boxes with interesting shape.
I did take them and I was holding them for a very special project.

When my seven dials decade resistance box project this were complete, I was end up having ten special resistors and at the same time I did not had a clear plan of how to use them, so them to be housed in a box and be connect in a way so this to qualify to be named as Ultra-High Precision resistor box.

Speaking of metallic connections points for its resistor in this project, I did not have enough cash flow so to order from USA some sort of exotic binding post banana, and my alternative this was me to research best alternative parts that I could order from eBay.
I did discover one type of speaker’s terminal this is 100% cooper and of large diameter, this has spring loaded top cover, and side hole this supposed to have diameter of 4mm as entry point for banana plug.
I did wait for 40 days (shipping time from China), and I got instead smaller in dimension terminals of identical type but them be 2mm at side holes.
For one week I was feeling desperate, and then I thought to use them in reverse way than of what I had originally thought.
Cooper axle this is made of real cooper and contacts resistance this is at 0.52 milliohm from side hole up to measuring point which Kelvin clips will be placed.
Now its resistor lead this is placed in to the side hole and spring loaded top cover this holds the resistor in place with sufficient mechanical force.
Axle length from side hole up to measuring point this is just one centimeter long.
Axle diameter at the point which holds resistor lead this is 7mm and narrow screw end this is 4mm.
In conclusion my new workaround and idea, in worst scenario it would add 1 milliohm of resistance in the measurement it self.

Next decision which I was had to make this is of how I am going to use the fancy plastic box so this to serve multiple goals.
1) Visibility of this finest Ultra-High Precision Hermetically Sealed Bulk Metal Foil Resistors.
2) Placement of its resistor in a way that factory product labels will be next to its resistor, so all information’s including production line information’s to be clearly visible.
3) Measuring points to be clear of abstracts’ and possibility of Kelvin clips harness this to cause mechanical damage to another measuring point this to be impossible.
4) Its resistor this to include guard shield connection with binding post.
5) Entire resistors box this to gain one storage solution this able to deliver significant protection when this valuable box this is not in use.

In conclusion after me solving all above puzzles I did move forwards to final assembly.
What I am now presenting with my pictures this is a true prototype, this worth named as Ultra-High precision resistors box this be 100% of Made in Greece Engineering.
Second personal breakthrough this is that all measuring values (calibration report), this is now pictured (photographed) instead be printed numbers.

Today with a big smile in my face I can say that these are my own parts of millions (resistance) in a box and I can touch them, see them and measure them.
HIOKI RM3542A product review:  


Intro
I am 47 years old freelancer and my job this is mostly troubleshooting, over the years I have use several test and measurement equipments in my diagnosis.
Generally speaking entire measuring process correctness’ this is responsibility of the user.
All written Users Guide or Product manual relative to multimeter operation they do clearly inform that THE USER this is responsible to inspect test leads physical condition.
Damaged test leads at the tips or at their cables they can destroy quality of measurement, especially at resistance measurements’.
Use of Kelvin clips (four wire measurement) this become necessity at measurements’ of 2 Ohm and below, mostly because they greatly assist at precision measurements’.
By the numbers if previously you were had to worry about health condition of two wires, with a Kelvin harness on your hand now you should be worry of health condition of all four wires.
    
By assuming that our test leads perfection this is unquestionable, next think that we need to discover by our resistance measurement this is precise resistor value, next and last step this is inspection by comparison if resistor value this is within tolerance limits.
Therefore we are obligated to use our school math’s among with a digital calculator so we to perform this calculation.
If our expectation this us to do a few measurements’ then this approach it is usable, but for large scale resistance measurements’ we need something else.

An third challenge for people taking seriously resistance measurements’ this is the applied current by the measuring equipment it self.
At miniature type resistors due their smaller wattage, use of constant current this causes negative influence which this can increase measuring error.
This is news even for me, that in our days they are available measuring equipment them using current pulses instead, and current pulses these are applied for a specific timing.

A fourth and large challenge for every operator of precision measurements’ meter this is display resolution of the meter it self.
When we need to measure detail down to parts per million, 6 ½ digits resolution or 7 ½ digits resolution this is a necessity.
All lottery winners whom become a millionaire now they do own an electronic calculator this able calculate millions.     
In the world of resistors evaluation of TCR measurement and resistance value change over time both are expressed in ppm (Parts per Million).
Resistance meter loaded with Automation

The expression (saying): I will do it with my way..  this is invalid when your goal this is you becoming a friend of HIOKI RM3542A.
Basically HIOKI RM3542A this is unable to develop friendships, this is actually a machine this designed for fast accurate measurements’ when resistors are actually in production stage.
No one has humour when production errors occur, over all quality of production and this parameter alone it can close down a business because brand reputation will accepts severe damage when produced products are not delivered at requested specifications’.
Practically in the world of precision electronics manufacturing, major feeling in the atmosphere this is stress, elimination of anything that can go wrong this is first in line as principal (strategy).

HIOKI brand this is a manufacturer of test and measurement equipments that develop products for customers whom also manufacture precision electronics.
Therefore because HIOKI engineers them receiving feedback directly from the field (source) they were helped to focus at developing new product features them working as shield against factors that could go wrong.
1) Human error (measuring range or other selectable setting)
2) Test leads contact error
3) Test leads failure
4) Machine error (shelf check).
5) Machine error ( shelf calibration)


Primary Instruction for every NEW operator of HIOKI RM3542A this is that he must become first familiar with all automation that this is present and works as co-pilot this helping back the operator so he eliminates measuring errors.    

HIOKI RM3542A this has different pack of features when this is used as standalone device than when this equipment become part of a bigger picture, for example at automated production line more than two meters they could compare their measurements’, and also measurements’ they can be constantly logged due a master control (PC) system.
RM3542A this is designed also for remote control due communication port. Slightest inconsistency of measured values this is a good reason for master alert.
Therefore and primarily HIOKI RM3542A this is designed to be best friend of other machines.


HIOKI EE corporation it did invest allot of thought so HIOKI RM3542A this to be also Human-User-Friendly equipment.
Actual feeling generated after using it this is admiration.
LCD display has a very acceptable size, comparator function this seems as gold addition because all information you need this is delivered to you right away.

Process of a single resistor measurement this is constantly monitored by the meter and included automation this is there to alert the user with specific messages when this is required.   

In my case I gained my pack of experiences after of triple checking of 64 high precision resistors with it.
I did inspect all resistors at their arrival, then I did measure them again after them be soldered, and for a third time when my seven dials resistance decade box this was 100% finished project.
Total number of measurements’ which I did by using RM3542A this is now about 400.
Total of Measurements’ at precision resistors this 300 times, and I also explored milliohm measurements’ by inspecting quality of test leads and especially of binding post banana plugs and sockets, my forum this is full of presentations of such applications.
Major offering of RM3542A this is the feeling of total confidence, and repeatability this is exceptional.

RM3542A were tested (stressed) so this to verify resistance even at tolerance of 0.0025 %
LCD display at comparator function this can accepts (display) numeric input of four digits value as tolerance (Example: 0.002%).
RM3542A meter specification this is precision of 0.002 %.
The outcome of such ultra precision measurement this was spot on!
In summary RM3542A this was tested against a pile of high precision resistors and it did demonstrated rock solid performance and me I can hardly find the proper words so to describe my enthusiasm about it.   

I am now convinced too that HIOKI RM3542A this is not a regular resistance meter (milliohm meter).
This is an impressive example of measuring equipment this serving as we speak in the production of electronics that we will use later on.
HIOKI RM3542A this is by far a more advanced measuring system, and there is a huge distance from it and of high quality bench top multimeter.
HIOKI RM3542A final thoughts and conclusion  

Complete analysis of RM3542A features this can be found by simply reading it User Manual (PDF), this presentation was indented to be a celebration in favor of Vishay Foil Resistor brand and of HIOKI E.E. Corporation.
Incoming product samples of resistors these are of highest quality and RM3542A meter this is an ambassador of newest measuring technology (and currently in use by the industry).

My two projects relative to precision resistors this was the reason for ITTSB Blog so this to organize this celebration.
Originally I was the one whom I had to become a believer that every one else did a good job and they did.

When I send my proposal to Michelle Uchiyama - Product Marketing - HIOKI E.E. CORPORATION,  she did inform me that I am requesting one equipment this be totally different from what I have touch so far.
I am not a person afraid new challenges and I did insist about me receiving RM3542A.
After me using RM3542A for eleven months I did learn allot about the world of resistors.
To learn of how to use the equipment this is not rocket science, but some things you can learn them only due practice.
Right now I am able to perform high precision measurements and by simply examining stability of last digits of my meter to be able to understand if there is issues them causing instability at my measurement.  

RM3542A this is designed to use Kelvin Clips, and Kelvin wire harness which I received this is of good quality but I had issues with cable length between two clips (they are sort).
Additionally those (HIOKI) Kelvin clips they are insulated at top end, and I could not perform test leads zero-out inspection.
By making my own Kelvin Clips harness this aiming wider range of applications, this having softer cables and length cut to my requirements, now I am extremely happy with RM3542A.

Regarding RM3542A plastic case, and specifically front plastic feet design I would prefer this to be more robust and both plastic feet to be able to stay locked in place by side locking mechanism.
As is, if you pull the instrument over the bench there is a chance in which plastic feet to unlock and entire equipment to have a miniature of crash landing.  
Personally I am very careful when using any of my equipment, but this detail it did made me to be more cautious when I am using RM3542A.
Naturally when RM3542A this stays flat on the workbench, it does not go anywhere.

  
I did mention above that both presentations of my projects they are actually a celebration in favor of high precision technology, but the entire plan it would not be possible to be executed if three forces of my own universe was not standing to support this planning by their actions.
We all worked together as team so the message this to be transferred thru ITTSB Blog in the form of content (text and pictures) and people from all sectors as: Education – Industry – Aerospace - Metrology – Field technicians’, to receive it and evaluate it, according to their own level of understanding.

According my own new level of understanding, that is more practical than theoretical or better somewhere in middle, by having in our times such high precision tools at our disposal, our new limit as society regarding further development of electronics applications, this is simply our imagination.


Special thanks to HIOKI EE Corporation and to Michelle Uchiyama Marketing Manager, for all battles that she gave so my proposal for RM3542A Resistance Meter this to gain approval.

Special thanks to M.J  PRINIOTAKIS S.A.I.C in Greece, Test and measurement division and HIOKI authorized reseller.  Katerina Priniotaki - Managing Director, she helped by importing RM3542A at no cost for ITTSB Blog.

Special thanks to Mr. David Gazit, Marketing | Vishay Foil Resistors | VPG, for all the help and trust and patience that he demonstrated to me in person, and naturally for this significant amount of finest Ultra-High Precision Hermetically Sealed Bulk Metal Foil Resistors.


Note from the author: Nowadays ITTSB blog this is hosting three projects relative to VPG products, first this is related to High Voltage POWERTRON resistors , second this is seven dials decade resistance box and third this is ultra-precision resistor box.

Preparations needed for all three projects these lasted for several months, and this was an huge workload for me which I was unable to predict up front.
Either way today I do feel very proud of my self and of my business associates and friends.
We all took risks and we together succeed at bringing few steps closer this world of high precision electronics in the eyes of people whom are unaware of it existence.          
   Ultra-High Precision resistors Box with Hermetically Sealed
       Bulk Metal - Vishay Foil Resistors  & HIOKI RM3542A product review
                                                            (Ultra-High Precision resistance meter - Made in Japan )

Written by Kiriakos Triantafillou  -  October  2017 ©
Pictures gallery
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Written by Kiriakos Triantafillou -  October 2017 ©

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The content of this web site is copyright protected. You may download, display, print and reproduce this material in unaltered form only (retaining this notice) for your personal, non-commercial use or use within your organization. Apart from any use as permitted under Hellenic Copyright law, all other rights are reserved. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to: Kiriakos Triantafillou, 55 Gatsou, TK38333, Volos, Greece, E-mail: info@ittsb(dot)eu

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