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Venom
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@ teacher It’s good to know how accurate the Innova is and how its been holding up all these years. Its seems like a reliable DMM.

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Venom wrote:
Pete7874 wrote:
Wow, that’s impressive.

I have an Etekcity/Uni-T one, and it reads a little low, but nothing major.

Was it the Uni-t ut61e?


No. I wish it was UT61E, because that one is pretty easy to calibrate.

What I have is Etekcity MSR-U1000 which is a rebranded Uni-T UT61A. This one has multiple potentiometers that could potentially be used for calibration, but so far I have not been able to figure out which one does what and how they interact together, and because the error is pretty small, I decided not to mess with it. Plus, I’m not 100% sure that my voltage reference boards are dead-on accurate either.

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FYI, according to my KKMOON rig (based on AD584LH board), the above Etekcity DMM reads low by about 0.22% give or take, so again, not a big deal for me.

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Venom wrote:
@ teacher It’s good to know how accurate the Innova is and how its been holding up all these years. Its seems like a reliable DMM.
Yeah it is Venom, to be honest I was quite pleasantly surprised. Shocked

This one has not been babied at all, I’ve used it on cars, boats, lawn mowers, you name it… plus it has been dropped and mishandled numerous times thru the years. Facepalm

So yes…. I was pleasantly surprised. Wink

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Pete7874 wrote:

What I have is Etekcity MSR-U1000 which is a rebranded Uni-T UT61A. This one has multiple potentiometers that could potentially be used for calibration, but so far I have not been able to figure out which one does what and how they interact together, and because the error is pretty small, I decided not to mess with it.


Wow, if I am counting correctly I see five (5) potentiometers. ShockedFacepalm
You would have to be an electrical engineer to figure that out…… Big Smile

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teacher wrote:
Wow, if I am counting correctly I see five (5) potentiometers. ShockedFacepalm
You would have to be an electrical engineer to figure that out…… Big Smile

Yup. Someone gave me a link to a technical doc on this DMM, but it was way over my head, so I decided that if it ain’t broke (too badly), don’t fix it. Smile
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Pete7874 wrote:
FYI, according to my KKMOON rig (based on AD584LH board), the above Etekcity DMM reads low by about 0.22% give or take, so again, not a big deal for me.


Yeah that is pretty small Pete, 6/1000th’s. Close enough for ‘gooberment work’……. Wink
I like that “case” your VRM is in too…….. Thumbs Up
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now, if you don’t mind; I have a question for you about you picture below…….

Below the Voltage readout & below where it says “Autorange” there is a group of short vertical lines numbered 0 to 40. It appears as a “horizontal graph” (for lack of a better description) that is reading “38”.

What does that represent or tell you/us????

The VC99 is the first DMM I have ever owned that had those.
I have no earthly idea what they represent & if it tells in the “manual”… I can’t find it.
.

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gauss163
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teacher wrote:
[…] Below the Voltage readout & below where it says “Autorange” there is a group of short vertical lines numbered 0 to 40. It appears as a “horizontal graph” (for lack of a better description) that is reading “38”. What does that represent or tell you/us????

That’s a bar-graph representation of the reading. Typically it updates much faster than the digital display, e.g. 30/s vs. 3/s, so it is more helpful for visualizing fast-changing numbers. Usually better quality meters have quicker update speed (this is one of many parameters used to evaluate DMM quality, e.g. see reviews on eevblog.com).

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teacher wrote:
Yeah that is pretty small Pete, 6/1000th’s. Close enough for ‘gooberment work’……. Wink

Yes, it is certainly within the accuracy range quoted by the manufacturer (+/- 0.5%).

Quote:
Now, if you don’t mind; I have a question for you about you picture below…….

Below the Voltage readout & below where it says “Autorange” there is a group of short vertical lines numbered 0 to 40. It appears as a “horizontal graph” (for lack of a better description) that is reading “38”.

What does that represent or tell you/us????


Good question. The owner’s manual does not go into detail about this bar graph. I think it is meant to graphically represent where within the currently chosen measuring range your reading falls. So for example, in that photo, the DMM is in the 4V range, and since the reading is 3.832V, the bar graph illustrates that you are near the upper limit of this range. If your reading was to go above 4V, say 4.1V, the DMM would shift to the next available range (up to 40V), and the bar graph would then illustrate that you are at the lower end of that range.

But those 0, 10, 20, 30, 40 numbers on the bar graph scale are static, regardless of which range you are in, so that is kind of confusing.

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gauss163 wrote:
That’s a bar-graph representation of the reading. Typically it updates much faster than the digital display, e.g. 30/s vs. 3/s, so it is more helpful for visualizing fast-changing numbers. Usually better quality meters have quicker updates.

Thanks for explaining this. I haven’t really paid attention to how quickly the bar graph updates. I typically check battery voltages with it, where there isn’t much if any rapid fluctuation.
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gauss163 wrote:
teacher wrote:
[…] Below the Voltage readout & below where it says “Autorange” there is a group of short vertical lines numbered 0 to 40. It appears as a “horizontal graph” (for lack of a better description) that is reading “38”. What does that represent or tell you/us????
That’s a bar-graph representation of the reading. Typically it updates much faster than the digital display, e.g. 30/s vs. 3/s, so it is more helpful for visualizing fast-changing numbers. Usually better quality meters have quicker update speed (this is one of many parameters used to evaluate DMM quality, e.g. see reviews on eevblog.com).
OK, thank you gauss! I appreciate the info and link. Smile

Here are clickable links to the site gauss referred to. It looks like a ton of good info is there. Smile

eevblog
Calibration & Standards

Pete7874 wrote:

Good question. The owner’s manual does not go into detail about this bar graph. I think it is meant to graphically represent where within the currently chosen measuring range your reading falls. So for example, in that photo, the DMM is in the 4V range, and since the reading is 3.832V, the bar graph illustrates that you are near the upper limit of this range. If your reading was to go above 4V, say 4.1V, the DMM would shift to the next available range (up to 40V), and the bar graph would then illustrate that you are at the lower end of that range.

But those 0, 10, 20, 30, 40 numbers on the bar graph scale are static, regardless of which range you are in, so that is kind of confusing.


Good effort Pete!!! Big Smile Thank you. Thumbs Up

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Pete7874 wrote:
If your reading was to go above 4V, say 4.1V, the DMM would shift to the next available range (up to 40V), and the bar graph would then illustrate that you are at the lower end of that range.

FYI, this is what it looks like…

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Your pictures are much better than mine Pete!! Thumbs Up But hopefully it can be seen. On my VC99 the numbers go from 0 to 60.

I am gonna do more reading on the eevblog site gauss linked to and get this figured out in my little ole’ mind. Smile
……I hope. Wink

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teacher wrote:
On my VC99 the numbers go from 0 to 60.

That’s because your DMM is 6,000 count, I presume, which means you get 3 decimal points resolution all the way up to 6V.

In comparison, mine is only 4,000 count. So I only get 3 decimal points resolution up to 4V. Once the measured value is above 4V, mine drops to 2 decimal points, as you can see in the last photo I posted.

BTW, your photos are perfectly fine. Smile

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Pete7874 wrote:
teacher wrote:
On my VC99 the numbers go from 0 to 60.

That’s because your DMM is 6,000 count, I presume, which means you get 3 decimal points resolution all the way up to 6V.

In comparison, mine is only 4,000 count. So I only get 3 decimal points resolution up to 4V. Once the measured value is above 4V, mine drops to 2 decimal points, as you can see in the last photo I posted.

OH…. OK….. I understand that. Thumbs Up
That is why mine drops to two decimal places on the 7.50 Volt reading. I had been wondering about that.
Thanks for explaining that Pete. Smile


Pete7874 wrote:

BTW, your photos are perfectly fine. Smile
Very gracious of you Pete…….. Wink ..,. Thank you. Smile

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Venom
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@ Pete7874 The picture of the meter in post 153. Are the glass tube looking fuse the same one that are used in automotive, if not are they hard to come by?

Venom
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@ teacher Is there any way to test these voltage boards? For the battery operated voltage boards, when the battery voltage drops will affect the voltage board accuracy?

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Venom wrote:
@ Pete7874 The picture of the meter in post 153. Are the glass tube looking fuse the same one that are used in automotive, if not are they hard to come by?

I don’t believe they are the same as automotive ones. They can be found on ebay and many online electronics stores.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ceramic-Domestic-Fuse-Bussmann-6×25mm-BS1362-3A...

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Venom wrote:
@ teacher Is there any way to test these voltage boards? For the battery operated voltage boards, when the battery voltage drops will affect the voltage board accuracy?

I know this was for teacher, but I’ll chime in with what I know.

You basically take a measurement with a known calibrated highly accurate DMM, and write down the result. That is the actual voltage being put out, and you can then see how your own DMM compares. That is why the one I posted above has that little sticker with actual measured values from an Agilent DMM written down. Granted, you put your trust in that someone actually did these measurements on your board and not just copied the same sticker and plastered it on hundreds of these boards without actually measuring. These things are cheap, so you never know, unless you have another perfectly calibrated DMM sitting around to verify. That is why I wrote earlier that I don’t trust it 100%, but all my other cheap/free DMMs seem to indicate it’s correct.

As for the battery, most of these voltage boards have some kind of voltage regulation circuitry to keep output voltage the same, just as long as the battery voltage is above a certain level.

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Venom wrote:
@ teacher Is there any way to test these voltage boards? For the battery operated voltage boards, when the battery voltage drops will affect the voltage board accuracy?
  • I’m sure there is a way to test them, but honestly; that is getting above my “pay grade”. Big Smile .. (In more simple words… beats me how though. Big Smile . )
  • I think as long as the battery voltage is above the voltage you are referencing allis well. The one I have is designed for input voltage of 5 – 30V DC. So I just plugged in a 12V power supply I had and powered it that way. Mine takes a 5.5 × 2.5mm barrel plug.

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Venom wrote:
@ teacher Is there any way to test these voltage boards? For the battery operated voltage boards, when the battery voltage drops will affect the voltage board accuracy?

To test them you’d need a calibrated device 10x more precise, which is more than 100x more expensive. So it is not generally feasible for a hobbyist.

Note also that the reference voltages recorded on the device are often years old so they may no longer be very accurate due to long-term drift (but this will not matter much for calibrating low-precision meters such as above). However, the AD584 chips on these devices are used-pulls, so they will likely have many power-on hours, thus lower drift than new ones (the long-term drift decays the longer it is powered on).

The output voltage Vout has a small dependence on the input voltage Vin. Namely, according to the AD584 datasheet its line regulation is 0.002%/V (20ppm) for Vin between 15V and 30V, and 0.005%/V (50ppm) for Vin between Vout+2.5V and 15V. Some users have done tests that confirm this, e.g. see this eevblog thread. Search on “AD584” on eevblog for much further technical info on AD584-based voltage references (among others).

teacher wrote:
I think as long as the battery voltage is above the voltage you are referencing allis well. The one I have is designed for input voltage of 5 – 30V DC. So I just plugged in a 12V power supply I had and powered it that way. Mine takes a 5.5 × 2.5mm barrel plug.

The datasheet specs are given only for Vin at least 2.5V greater than Vout, and the regulation is more accurate for Vin > 15V, so you should keep than in mind. But again such minor variations will matter little for the low precision DMMs discussed above.

Worth emphasis: budget DMMs with higher precision (e.g. UNI-T UT61E) will often have large temperature and long-term drift (e.g. there are many complaints about such for the UT61E on eevblog). Likely the same will be true for your VC99.

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gauss163 wrote:
Worth emphasis: budget DMMs with higher precision (e.g. UNI-T UT61E) will often have large temperature and long-term drift (e.g. there are many complaints about such for the UT61E on eevblog). Likely the same will be true for your VC99.

What would be your personal recommendation for a budget DMM?
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Pete7874 wrote:
What would be your personal recommendation for a budget DMM?

There are many threads on that topic on eevblog.com. When you peruse them you will see the answer depends on your needs, budget, etc. There you will find opinions from a very wide-range of users, from bugdet-minded hobbyists to high-end voltage nuts. Beware that the voltage nut disease is highly contagious.

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gauss163 wrote:
Pete7874 wrote:
What would be your personal recommendation for a budget DMM?

There are many threads on that topic on eevblog.com. When you peruse them you will see the answer depends on your needs, budget, etc.


I did that some time ago, and it seems that UT61E is often being recommended. But since you pointed out some flaws with it, I was just wondering if there was something better in that price range.
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While I was at Home depot I was looking at DMM. Has anyone heard of Klein Tools DMM and if you did are they any good?

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Venom wrote:
While I was at Home depot I was looking at DMM. Has anyone heard of Klein Tools DMM and if you did are they any good?
Not sure which model you looked at Venom, but as a general rule Klein makes quality items… tools & otherwise.
Some seem kinda pricey, but most all are quality.
Smile

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Venom
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@ teacher The model number is MM 600 and the MM 700.

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Venom wrote:
@ teacher The model number is MM 600 and the MM 700.
I am sure they are good meters Venom. But hopefully someone who really knows about meters will have some advice on them.

The ones I have are just mainly used by me in this hobby, ocassional mechanic work, & things like that. Mostly pretty low voltage & current DC. They all seem to work fine for my limited needs.

I have some I would feel comfortable checking AC things around the house ocassionally…… but I would never go above household current or voltage with any I own.

In other words….. I ain’t much help to you on this one besides the ones I have that serve “my uses” just fine. Smile

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@Venom …… When I wrote post number #179 above last night I was on my phone trying to look at this stuff. I am on my computer now and am able to find & see pictures much better. Wink

The MM600 seems to be $66.97 at Home Depot
The MM700 seems to be $99.57 at Home Depot

AGAIN…. hopefully some who really knows about DMM’s will chime in here. But here are my “semi-uneducated” observations. Better make that “mostly-uneducated” observations. Big Smile

  • They are both Auto Ranging… that is good
  • They both appear to be well made
  • They both appear to have ceramic fuses… not glass. Very good
  • Both are rated….. Safety rating is CAT IV 600-Volt, CAT III 1000-Volt, class 2, double insulation
  • MM700 is True RMS
    …….. I don’t even pretend to understand this, it’s significance, or how important it is in a meter…. Facepalm

Heck, I’ll just stop there. I pretty much think these are both good meters.
If you are just going to occasionally check battery voltages and do some tail cap readings they are probably both overkill.

But on the other hand if you want a good all around meter that you could use with confidence and not worry about getting fried if you decided to use it for AC electrical measurements around the house or higher DC voltages…..probably a good way to go.

But, don’t take this for the gospel. These are simply my observations. Smile

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Speed4goal
Offline
Last seen: 20 hours 10 min ago
Joined: 06/11/2016 - 13:03
Posts: 843
Location: Bay, St. Louis Mississippi

Ya its over kill for checking batteries and amp readings. For that the free ones from harbor freight are perfect and more then accurate for. And they have that little screw inside if needed. I have a $5 one shipped from gearbest. I wouldn’t go do commercial work with it. But perfect for checking charging voltages and laptop pulls and such

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