Author Topic: Hails to all \m/ ^_^ \m/  (Read 3086 times)

kodai

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Hails to all \m/ ^_^ \m/
« on: March 31, 2012, 01:20:46 PM »
Been a fan of your youtube vid's for quite some time now and I'm glad that you now have a forum.  I'm getting back into electronics after about a 10 year break from the hobby.  While I like the EEVblog forum, and vid's, it seems more geared towards those with an already well established background in electronics.  I'm hoping to find a place that is little more usable for the novice and intermediate levels of electronics.  As I'm building my lab up (I threw out most of my old gear, years ago), I find myself watching lots of test equipment reviews.  I'm also hoping take advantage of your HAM sections as I'm going for my technician class in the next month or two (when time permits me to schedule a test). 

Cant wait to see the forums grow from here.

MJLorton

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Re: Hails to all \m/ ^_^ \m/
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2012, 04:24:35 AM »
Been a fan of your youtube vid's for quite some time now and I'm glad that you now have a forum.  I'm getting back into electronics after about a 10 year break from the hobby.  While I like the EEVblog forum, and vid's, it seems more geared towards those with an already well established background in electronics.  I'm hoping to find a place that is little more usable for the novice and intermediate levels of electronics.  As I'm building my lab up (I threw out most of my old gear, years ago), I find myself watching lots of test equipment reviews.  I'm also hoping take advantage of your HAM sections as I'm going for my technician class in the next month or two (when time permits me to schedule a test). 

Cant wait to see the forums grow from here.

Well...thanks very much for that feedback.
I certainly want my channel and forum to be a place that is comfortable for the novice and  hobbyist...in many areas that's exactly what I am!
Thanks for your support and I wish you well with the technician license...also, keep us posted on the progress of your lab and any equipment you are really pleased about.

Cheers, Martin.
Play, discover, learn and enjoy! (and don't be scared to make mistakes along the way!)   
Play, discover, learn and enjoy! (and don't be scared to make mistakes along the way!)

kodai

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Re: Hails to all \m/ ^_^ \m/
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2012, 12:09:18 AM »
Well, I can truly say that the past few months that I've been building up my lab I've found one companies product line to offer great value for the dollar.  When I started on my recent multimeter binge, I started looking up lots of product reviews.  Of course I saw Dave's $50 and 100 shootout vids.  Other than that, there simply weren't to many good video reviews.  Thats how I found yours and got hooked on your projects as well.  Great job by the way.

Now I didn't agree with Dave on the winner of the $100 shootout.  I thought the UEI should have won, as I own two UEI DM393's, so I was being a little biased.  But, I decided to look into BK Precision.  I'd always seen their scopes and power supplies, but never thought of them as a multimeter powerhouse.  So I went down to my local Grainger and had a looksee.  I looked at the 2709c that Dave thought was so great.  And it is.  The floor guy let me open one up to get a feel for it.  I really liked the one smooth turning, one hand switch.  But I'm not a fan of the tall digits, and the rather delicate feel of the meter.  I tend to be a bit clumsy and have dropped or pulled many a meter off a bench or place I'm repairing something.  So I decided that it really wasn't a line of meters for me.  Then he showed me the 391A from the "Test Bench" line.  I had seen them on BK's site when I was looking up stats for the "Tool Kit" line of the 2700 series.  Its a very different line.  While the case material is the same, they are far better designed.  I wasn't over fond of the dial, but it was sufficient.  I've used FAR worse before.  Other than that, I really liked the way it looked and felt.  I thanked him and said that I had only read up on the other line of meters and wanted to do a little research on this other line.  So I bought a couple of new probe sets and other bits and went home.  I started looking up the other line and couldnt really find any reviews other than a single Amazon review of the 390A. 

I decided that until there was a good history on it, I would wait to buy.  But it kept gnawing at me for a couple of weeks.  I really liked how it felt in the hand, the clarity and contrast of the display, and I liked the company since I've used their power supplies in the past.  So I decided to see if I could find a used one on ebay to test the waters so to speak.  Low and behold I came across somebody selling a slew of 390A's picked up from an auction of a now out of business tool shop.  They were all new and unopened and for only $60.00.  Worth a try I thought.

I found it to be worth every penny and well worth the retail price of $180.00 when compared to other higher end meters.  Its almost the exact same size in height, width, and thickness as my Fluke 87v with its holster on.  Its a tad lighter, but not by much.  This goes for the whole Test Bench line by the way.  The line has a great tilting bale that holds the meter nice and steady when upright.  The bale snaps into place on open and closing and it has a rubber grip on the bottom of the bale to grip the surface of the place it sits on.  It also has big rubber feet on each corner so it lays flat and doesn't slide everywhere.  The only real issue with the series is the beep.  The 390 and 389 models do that "beep" on every setting, and it sounds exactly like that sickly chirp from the Amprobe 34xr (my 38xr sounds nice and healthy) in Daves $100 vid.  The 388b doesn't been on range settings, but its continuity beep is clear sounding.

So to finish this little praise of the BK Test Bench line, I'd like to say I was hooked.  I've since bought the 389a and 388b.  All I need now is the 391a to finish my BK collection.  The best of the four meters as far as features is the 390a.  But the other meters are not slouches and should not be overlooked.  While the three year warranty is rather small in my opinion (should be five years), I know that BK is a no fuss support company.  So any problems that my crop up should be worked out with minimal cost and effort.  Plus the offer an exchange program for warranty issues that are not covered or out of date. 

Let me know if there is any specific info you want on any of the meters.  My 389 is out on loan for a few months with my cousin but the 390a is its hardware similar counter part.  I'd never loan that one out.  Its one of my favorite meters.  ^_^ 


EDIT

Oh, here is a helpful piece of advice for anybody buying the Amprobe 38xr and looking for the optical cable.  Amprobe only sells the cable in D-sub RS232c.  Their sofware hasnt been updated in about six years either.  The BK Precision 390a's USB cable is the exact same interface and will work without problems.  Funny thing is the free software on BK's site (which is only a half year old), has a drop down option for the 38xr.  Its also a cheaper and more readily available kit compared to the Amprobe offering.  Just a heads up.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2012, 10:32:28 PM by kodai »

MJLorton

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Re: Hails to all \m/ ^_^ \m/
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2012, 03:25:52 AM »
Koai,

A very interesting read! I had not looked that closely at PK Precision before but I have now. In fact I have added some of their products to my Amazon Store. The one which caught my eye is the Mini AC/DC Clamp Meter which can measure down to 1mA! I'm very keen to get it into my hands to see how well it works. I also have it on my Store now but it has the brand name of "GTC CM100 1 mA to 100 Amps AC/DC Low Current Clamp Meter". It has a 5 star rating which is why it caught my eye. (http://astore.amazon.com/m0711-20/detail/B001TCWL1E)

Thanks for all the information...very handy.

Cheers,
Martin.
Play, discover, learn and enjoy! (and don't be scared to make mistakes along the way!)