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DMM for life? - Page 2

post #16 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigcat39
... But they are MUCH more delicate....Bill
What exactly is MUCH more delicate about my Waveteks?
post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigcat39
If you can afford it, a Fluke 189 is nearly a lifetime investment.... like my HP calculator.
ROFL... HP ???

My HP 39G+ calculator died inexplicably a month or two out of warranty. Serious firmware issues... it would turn on but I'd get a computer style "blue screen of death" amongst other issues.

I wasn't the only one either. Many people back in high school had issues with it.

A little OT but yeah... that was hardly a lifetime investment. More like a short term loss.
post #18 of 35
Quote:
Ah, no. This is the best DMM Fluke makes. It'll run you about $9,500.
So 189 is best Fluke hand-held DMM
post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by splaz
My HP 39G+ calculator died inexplicably a month or two out of warranty.
I'm certain that our resident metrologist was talking about pre-Carly HP. I have both an HP 48GX and a 49G+, and the "old" 48 is far and away a better built unit. I'm also a fan of the 20S as a programmer's calculator, which totally dominates its modern replacement, the 30S, from a durability standpoint.

EDIT: They shoulda given the calculator division to Agilent when they split that off. Agilent kept the HP ethic alive.

So using that to segue this thread back on topic... bigcat39, what do you think of Agilent's lower end DMMs? From my investigations of the entry level 4-wire DMMs, it looks like the 34410A is the best thing going right now. The Keithley Model 2000 is the only other unit that caught my attention, and it doesn't seem to be a big enough step up from a Fluke 189. Keithley's line seems to get too steep going up from there -- their higher-end models seem more oriented toward ATE applications. And Fluke doesn't even offer a reasonably priced 4-wire DMM.

Are there other options you'd consider in the 34410A's range?
post #20 of 35
True. I had heard good things about the old models and nobody I knew had trouble with them. Just pointing out that some of the new HP calculators have quality issues.
post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by tangent
I'm certain that our resident metrologist was talking about pre-Carly HP. I have both an HP 48GX and a 49G+, and the "old" 48 is far and away a better built unit. I'm also a fan of the 20S as a programmer's calculator, which totally dominates its modern replacement, the 30S, from a durability standpoint.
I know the calculator conversation is getting more and more offtopic, but I just had to agree with you. It was a sad day when I lost my 48GX on an airplane. I got a 49G to replace it, but the build quality and button feel on the 49 series just makes me sad.
post #22 of 35
Thread Starter 
Trying to set a limit to spend on a Fluke now. How's $170 for a 187 and $200 for a 189, both on ebay?

Thanks,
Peter
post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by tangent
Are there other options you'd consider in the 34410A's range?
If you want to go a little more budget and 2nd hand, there is the HP3456A which is older and fewer features, compared to the 34410A. You could pick one up over ebay for around $200USD
Just they are a killer when it comes to bench space, being more at home in a full size rack, but I’ve been using one for about 9 months now and I wouldn’t go back to a hand held meter for bench work after using this

Though the 34410A sure looks tempting for an upgrade (but out of reach for a poor student like me)
post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by peterpan188
Measurements should including mV, mA, ohmic values in single digit...
I'll guess you have to check the specifications a but further. NO DMM has such properties!

My recommendation is that you first examine your real needs today. How accurate must the DMM be? 1%, 0.1%, better? Check how much money you can put on this.

If it's just for hobby, buy something cheap now when you are a poor student. Buy something better when you have a REAl need for it.

I use Fluke and APPA at work but as for hobby Fluke is a bit overkill.
post #25 of 35
For you fellow Fluke geeks, look here:

http://shop.csepromo.com/Fluke/

Fluke has great deals on their swag. I got a nice hat for $3.25 and a t-shirt for $5.00. And yes, I do wear them in public. Though they really add that something "extra" with a hot soldering iron in your hand.

More substantially, I'd recommend the 187 over the 189. Unless you really plan to use the logging feature (the only difference) the 187 is the same thing at a lower price. And again, check out the 12. It has all the features you said you wanted. It's a good little meter.

Also, I came pretty close to picking up the HP 3456A... they're really nice, but I could find the room for one. I will get one once I have a place to put a proper bench.

As for HP calculators, the old ones are superb. Except Carly saw fit to gut that department, too. Just awful. Good thing the old ones hold up. For almost 10 years, I've been attached to a 1986 12C. Picked it up used for $2 in a junk store and it got me through beancounter school. I have a few others, but the 12C is my favorite. Except the new ones, which aren't RPN only and have that platinum look. Sacrilege. Pure sacrilege. Don't get me started.
post #26 of 35
I worked at this for weeks after seeing the last thread about buying Flukes on ebay. The 180 series was just too expensive for me. I wanted a 175, 177, or 179. In the first week or two, I saw a couple of 175's and 177's go for around $100 new, in-the-box. That got me excited. Try as might, though - I lost every bid for one in the last 30 seconds (that's no exagerration!) by as much as $50.

I also kept an eye on the Fluke 73-III's -especially since reading that Tangent had used a 73 for years. By the way - Tangent's articles on DIY toolkits are priceless. He has three sets of prospective tool selections - Beginner, Journeyman, and Expert ... or something like that, and his meter suggestions are a great starting point.

Anyway, for a long while, I saw that the 73's were going for almost $150 new, and $75-$100 used! One finally came up that ended on a weird time - about 10 AM on a weekday morning - and I won the bid at $51 for a new, in-the-box Fluke 73-III!

So what did I learn?
* Flukes are high demand items, bidding wars are common and frequent!
* Don't get married to a single model,
* Stay disciplined - don't get caught up in a bidding war for a used meter - there are always NEW ones if you remain patient, and
* Finally, because of their high demand, look for Fluke listings that end at some other time than prime time.

Oh - that last one may not hold, either - multiple listings on a Sunday night will divide the available bidders, so that you may still get a good price. That's what happened on that first night I started looking when the new 175's and 177's went for around $100. Prime time during the week is probably the worst deal.
post #27 of 35
Yes, I am most certainly speaking of the older, unCarlyized 48 series. I have a 49G+, and it is miserable. Anyways.....
The Agilent 34410 is the best bargain in benchtop meters in the world. I own 14 34401A, they are so stable I use one as a check standard for my 5720 calibration standard. STAY AWAY FROM KEITHLEY @ ALL COSTS. I have my 2002's on a 3 month cal cycle, and they still go out of spec.
I also own an accurized 3458A, AND an 8508. The killer thing about the 8508 is the ratioing ability between the front and rear inputs. Hows about 4 ppm TOTAL uncertainty in resistance measurements???
I say waveteks (actually Meterman now, Fluke bought all the good parts of Wavetek) are delicate because of their physical delicacy. Drop one 10 ft. to concrete and it's done. I'm pretty sure you could run over a 189 and it would just laugh. I've never seen one break.... and I have a couple of hundred.
My personal at home meter is a 179. If I need resistor matching, I take 'em to work. I have an automated bridge.....
There are great bargains on Ebay for benchtop meters, if you want 4 wire. PM me b4 you buy.
post #28 of 35
Tomb,

You were lucky, and very persistent. It is the nature of auctions that there are always "dealers" of some sort or another that put nets under offerings. As you found out, just because you see something sell for $100 does not mean you could have bought it for $100. You never know the winning bidder's max bid.

There are "Sniping Services" geared to ebay, where you place bids with a 3rd party via internet software and specify the number of seconds (yes, seconds) prior to close that you want your bid fired off. You can also create Snipping Groups, where you can place bids on multiple similar offerings, and your snipe service stops your bids when you win a lot. That means that serious ebay bidders do not get hung up when multiple items close in a short period of time and they do not have to sit around waiting for the lots to close to place a last minute bid. I do all my ebay bidding with a sniping service. Some consider that "bad sportsmanship", but the fact is that there are so many snipers now that I have to snipe to compete, at least in other sectors of Ebay where I play. I also see a lot of sniping in the test equipment categories.

You just spent a month trying to ebay a 3200 count meter for less than $100. With that meter, you can match resistors to 0.1% only if the first digit of the value is less than 3. By my way of thinking, that is the only reason we need a high precision (really high resolution) meter. Do we really care, for example, if our power supplies are outputting 24.995V or 25.005V? Or if our 1K resistor is really 990R or 1010R ? Only if we are matching to 0.1%, and only in a relative sense.

That is why I ebayed a couple of Wavetek 10,000 count meters for $15-$50. It was so much easier - no competition - zero - and I can match almost any resistor to 0.1% or better. (The consistency of the readings is very good on my meters, regardless of the absolute accuracy).

Regards,
Neil


Quote:
Originally Posted by tomb
I worked at this for weeks after seeing the last thread about buying Flukes on ebay. The 180 series was just too expensive for me. I wanted a 175, 177, or 179. In the first week or two, I saw a couple of 175's and 177's go for around $100 new, in-the-box. That got me excited. Try as might, though - I lost every bid for one in the last 30 seconds (that's no exagerration!) by as much as $50.

I also kept an eye on the Fluke 73-III's -especially since reading that Tangent had used a 73 for years. By the way - Tangent's articles on DIY toolkits are priceless. He has three sets of prospective tool selections - Beginner, Journeyman, and Expert ... or something like that, and his meter suggestions are a great starting point.

Anyway, for a long while, I saw that the 73's were going for almost $150 new, and $75-$100 used! One finally came up that ended on a weird time - about 10 AM on a weekday morning - and I won the bid at $51 for a new, in-the-box Fluke 73-III!

So what did I learn?
* Flukes are high demand items, bidding wars are common and frequent!
* Don't get married to a single model,
* Stay disciplined - don't get caught up in a bidding war for a used meter - there are always NEW ones if you remain patient, and
* Finally, because of their high demand, look for Fluke listings that end at some other time than prime time.

Oh - that last one may not hold, either - multiple listings on a Sunday night will divide the available bidders, so that you may still get a good price. That's what happened on that first night I started looking when the new 175's and 177's went for around $100. Prime time during the week is probably the worst deal.
post #29 of 35
Neil,

Nothing personal here, but "lucky" is often someone else's description of work and persistence. You said "persistent" and that is really the key. I thought to pass on some advice from the hard work. Done successfully, ebay is hard work, nothing more complicated than that. I literally spent days posting some of the things that I sell. My attitude is that once sold, I will regret forever that it didn't sell for a higher price if I didn't put in enough effort up front. Buying is the same thing, especially for a high-demand, reasonably expensive item.

Personally, I hated Flukes until I got into this - too expensive, way over-priced, and a lot of marketing just on the name FLUKE. I tend not to buy things like that in every case. Paradoxically though, now that I've been selling a lot of things on ebay, my purchases have become geared to that psychology as well, i.e., "Will this sell back on ebay once I'm done with it?" With Fluke, there is no question.

I tried to investigate the cheaper Wavetek route, but quite frankly, you may have been the "lucky" one - their ebay listings are slim and rare compared to Fluke.

There's nothing wrong with "Sniping" services - it still takes a buyer's interest in the item, and a willingness to pull the trigger.
post #30 of 35
Tomb,

I included persistent because you deserved it! I included lucky because there are so many snipers that time of day doesn't make that much of a difference anymore. It does, however, remove a large pool of potential less sophisticated bidders with day jobs.

No question, my Wavetek meters are not very saleable, but I figure the 10A large fuses in them are worth as much as the meters themselves cost me. I bought spare fuses that came with a free meter

And they are hard to come by. Which is why I am surprised that they do not sell well when they come up. My hat is off to Fluke's marketing. I bought two within one week. Actually the 2nd one was by accident because I forgot to set up a snipe group. But for 15 bucks I won't complain. It is very handy having multiple meters monitoring different things when an amp gets brought up the first time.

I only posted what I did because I think there are a lot of starving students here that are lead to believe that only a Fluke is good enough to get their Cmoy up and running, and that simply is not the case. I myself would like to own a Fluke, but the only ones that make sense for me (given my existing meters) would be the 187/189 series and I just haven't had the need to justify all the bidding it will take to bring one in at a decent price. I would like to find out what all the mystique is about. I have used them on occasion but never owned one.
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