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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After the test of three software packages, now I am aware about what to expect.

Small secrets about data logging.    

01 June  2012

It is very hard to convince, one elder and experienced  electrician about the benefits which the new tools have to offer.

Especially all those modern multimeter with the data logging capabilities.

I am one of them, and I am aware of facts and misconceptions that puzzles mostly the elder electricians.  Let me explain the word “elder” first, so to avoid any misunderstandings.

By my view the profile of the elder experienced is someone near in his fourth decade of age, the first signs of short sight it does puzzle his eyes.  But even so he does have under control every common problem in his workplace. Possibly a factory with old machinery that needs scheduled maintenance mostly.

Usually when major troubles arises the responsibility falls on the head of the electrician engineer. But is it really belong to him?

Some people say … Yes it is (due their level of education), but hey, the raised question is: How static is your own education ?

My own choice on the subject, is to stay as much as possible informed about fresh methods and tools which help about predictive maintenance.  This choice is a personal motive and unrelated with common justifications like : Why to do it by my choice? I do not even get paid that good !

In our times the role of the industrial electrician it has move in to another level, and actually in one more demanding one. In the modern factories you will find complex electronics and fully automated production lines.  The modern industrial electrician haves only one choice, and this is to become the best friend of the local electronics engineer. This relation will have a future only if you are willing to advance a bit, data logging is one step to the right direction.

The tools that we need so to perform data logging are the capable multimeter, the software that comes with it, the USB communication cable, and one laptop with a 15” minimum screen size.  

The data logging software it will do the most of the work by itself, but the tricky part is how to get those fancy graphs and view them or share them with others.  The major problem is that the most of those data logging suites they do not export their files directly in to the commonly used .xls format (spreadsheet editors).

Currently from all the Data logging suites that I have use, only the one from DER EE, offers the ability to export directly in to .xls file (spreadsheet compatible file), and this is truly a time saver and a life saver.  Only the useful data stays in the exported file, and the graph is automatically generated, thanks to the software developer who uses macros (commands) at the exported .xls file.

Even me , I get upset when I have to manually import CSV files in to the spreadsheet, it is not that easy to do, and it works as negative factor, when we need high productivity and a “easy to use software”.

Up to date, DER EE haves the most complete and easy to use data logging suite. It does not have the eye candy look as graphical interface, but who cares ?   

My impressions.

Made in Taiwan in 2012. One thumb up.

02 June  2012

High quality products and great communication skills, are my first positive impressions or findings about the two modern Taiwanese industries, that I came in contact with. The corporate camps of DER EE and BRYMEN they did welcomed my invitations with out second thoughts.

Honestly, I was prepared for a cold bath as an answer, usually just the wrong timing about doing things it does works against you.

The idea of the “creative thinker” who use’s the Internet as bridge so to share information's, and talk about the things of his interest as Blogger or Reviewer, it is relatively new.  Thankfully the social media works as school for all of us, and very fast we get awareness about the new ways which  the information gets shared.

Last day I was had a major shopping therapy !

New Sanyo Eneloop 1500 Recharge cycles. Thank you Sanyo.

03 June   2012

Most of my sets of AA 1.2V NiMH died suddenly in just 26 months of light use, only the Sanyo Eneloop are staying robust and healthy.


At about March 2010 I had bought sixteen NiMH AA cells.

Eight Sanyo 2700mA, four Sanyo Eneloop 2000mA, four Ansmann 2850mA digital.


The most of them were found to be poor performers after the first 18 months, and the Sanyo 2700mA and the Ansmann 2850 digital, all of them expensive cells.


Up to date   I lost seven of the eight Sanyo 2700mA, and three Ansmann digital.

New 9V NiMH from Tenergy, Centura = Low Self Discharge.

03 June   2012

If this is just a dream, wake me up !  

I was looking for 9V NiMH with similar to Eneloop characteristics.

And I found this fresh shown product with the specification: Advanced Low Self Discharge NiMH technology.


I do wish or hope, those new Tenergy Centura 9V NiMH cells, to really fulfil my expectations. (I did order them from USA / not widely available)

It is a fresh product with untested performance.


Luckily we do have a reviewer onboard, and so in time I will share my findings with the ITTSB readers.


My order are about four of those cells, my plan is to use them in multimeter and other 9V powered measuring gadgets (RPM measuring tools, hypersonic distance measuring tool) etc.          


Sanyo does not include any 9V NiMH Eneloop in their product line, and up to date I do wonder about the why?

Also, two of the four AAA Ansmann 1100mA, had shown symptoms of sudden loss of their charge level in the first four months, and I did receive replacement cells, as they do have two years warranty.    


I can not blame the charger for the life cycle of those cells.

I have three Ansmann chargers, two with adjustable charging modes (Hi/Low), and one medium sized Ansmann battery station, and also the large Ansmann digital battery tester.


Ansmann Energy 4 speed (Adjustable 2100mA/ 850mA) 30EUR

Ansmann DIGISPEED4   1750mA NiMH / 700mA NiCd

Ansmann Energy 8 (battery station fixed 700mA NiMH) 80EUR

Ansmann Energy Check LCD 40EUR

   

My new on-line order haves eight AA + eight AAA Eneloop (latest generation) = 1500 charging cycles. (I did order the from Germany = fresh stock).

Sanyo those days it is just painting the white AA Eneloop, and they use Facebook to share the news.

To me, the 9V Eneloop would be the real news.  Or else the Tenergy Centura will monopolize the market at 2012.

About my case, It was obvious that my sincere passion about the true discovery of their latest instruments, was all that I was searching for.

Some people are not aware that the Test & Measurement industry it is actually one less “commercially aggressive” business than others. The reason is simple, they serve the education and the commercial needs. And they keep a balance between those two worlds. The relatively slow rhythm of new coming products, haves mostly to do with the fact that everything requires lots of thinking and planing and testing, and all those tasks requires time, and lots of human effort.      

I did found DER EE and BRYMEN as well prepared so to coexist with what called as public media, but I think that my fat face and the bag of my personal past experiences, was my true passport so to become accepted.

The positive comments that I had collect from the presidents of those companies about my work, and the positive general climate of good communication, it leads me to stay focused over Taiwan and to discover even more about it.

I can not hide the fact that I am all ready invited to Taiwan, and I wish or hope too, to be able to make this travel. Other than having beers with interesting people in the country, the exploration of the next TAITRONICS show, it had become my next personal challenge.

The opportunity to have a taste of the Taiwanese hospitality, it does sound exiting too. There is nothing better in this life from sharing good food with new friends who have interesting stories to share.   

Not many new products for 2013, but I did made the list

Taitronics & China fair 2012, what's New for 2013 ?

19 October   2012

I did search all the web sites of the Taiwanese exhibitors and I did not find any changes in their product line since last year.


China electronics fair 2012 is as expected a larger exhibition, 160,000 visitors are expected every year.

In this one there was participating and some Japanese brands too.


KAISE from Japan introduced their fresh SK-6597/6598 Digital Probe Tester.


PROTEK introduced one truly fresh 5000 counts TRMS multimeter, the Protek D705/D705T, the exterior design looks high quality and follows the latest fashion of molded rubber (I did send one email to them but no response up to date).


Uni Trend did not introduce fresh multimeter's this year.

They are focusing their R&D at the development of new oscilloscopes.

 

SANWA was there too, but again with nothing new in their hands.


What looked as interesting in the 2012 if the fact that most Chinese manufacturers of the low cost T&M instruments, they are starting to offer less clones of Mastech or UNI-T.

I am suspecting that the demand is not that great those days, so to justify multiple production lines.


At the spot light of both exhibitions was the products related to smart phones, lots of new accessories and new ideas.


From the manufacturers with international presentation, Agilent recently introduced their New U1273AX multimeter, which is another addition in the U1270 Series.

This one can perform measurements with stability even at minus 40 Celsius.


FLUKE is about to release some fresh products too, which will have the latest wireless technology.

I am suspecting that they will have Bluetooth 4.0, which translates to multiple connections with smart phones and tablets.

I have indications that they are going to introduce one new multimeter and three clamp meters in the next months.

Taitronics 2012 in Taiwan and the China electronics fair in Hong Kong are two exhibitions which the last one starts after the end of the first.

And so many Taiwanese manufacturers they participate in both.


The latest Taitronics 2012 looks to have come close to 50,000 visitors, and this fact made really happy the organizers.


About the basic instruments which are my main interest, a fresh product series came from BRYMEN, a new AC/DC clamp meter series with very fast sampling of 5/times per second, plus dual display and a large pack of features specialized for the latest generation of electrical motors.

Naturally I did ask for one sample, and I did receive their positive answer.


DER EE presented the updated version of the DE-208A multimeter which has significant improvements in their sampling speed and expanded capacitors range up to 25,000 uF.

Introduction to the Basics of Digital Multimeter Calibration

My first web seminar by FLUKE ..

23 October   2012

Everything started by a simple message that I got from Twitter and Fluke Calibration team, which I follow too.

The message was about a Fluke Calibration Seminar which would be active in about 12 hours later on, and actually at 6:00 PM local time (Greece).


Topic: Introduction to the Basics of Digital Multimeter Calibration

The presentation was made by Mr. Jack Somppi, Fluke Product manager,

Electrical calibration Instruments


And we were 17 people from the entire planet in this web seminar.


For me, even the web engine or platform about those web style seminars was totally unknown, from the registration part up to actually using this WEB interface includes several steps from side of the user.


What is worth to be noted is that you are forced to use the Microsoft IE browser, simply because Firefox is unable to load the interface and crashes when you are trying to actually attend in those seminars.

I thought that I was ready to watch it and those crashes caused to me some stress, as I have to change browser and log-in in the specified web page by using the Microsoft IE browser.    


As good pupil I was logged in 25 minutes before it starts, and I was have the time to configure my browser and sound system so to be ready for it.

And I did even set my HD camera next to my monitor and recorded the all session as souvenir.

Due the fact that this material is copyrighted I am unable to present any pictures of it.

There is actually a way to have a copy of this session so to watch it in a later time, but it needs to come in contact with Fluke so to get it.


The specific web seminar was really useful to me, and up to a point it was in a simple language about the technical terms, but it was actually for the person who has cross all ready the bridge about getting more familiar with metrology.

 

I did made two interesting questions to Fluke.


The first haves to do, of why the modern multimeter's using components’ with lesser electrical stability from what it was used as example in the 8012A old bench top series.  

(As good pupil I have read the decontamination practices that Fluke suggests, and I am aware of how robust those old DMM are).


The answer is that the modern components’ offer more mechanical robustness in the scenario of dropping down you meter.

The high quality full size components are a proven winner about their electrical stability (stability over lots of years), but they have poor mechanical robustness.

And so there is a compromise in favor of the mechanical robustness.


My second question was more specific, and I asked for a prediction of how stable our modern multimeter's are in time.  

I was actually expecting one number in years, so to find out if there is any statistics, about the life expectancy of our modern meters.


The answer that I got was not the expected one.

Instead I got the known suggestion of Fluke about the calibration interval, which is specified to one year for their handheld meters.

No one can offer any warranty about accuracy over the period of one year.

The modern bench top meters haves even a sorter calibration interval.

And those were their last words over this subject.



This WEB Seminar was actually expected to last for 60 minutes, and actually lasted 90 minutes.


I like to thank Fluke and Mr. Jack Somppi, this seminar it did help me about the further understanding of the basics about DMM calibration.


2012

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