Author Topic: Brymen BM-257 pictures and mini review  (Read 33214 times)

iloveelectronics

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Brymen BM-257 pictures and mini review
« on: December 04, 2012, 10:44:45 AM »
I ordered this meter directly through Brymen's agent in Taiwan, and a friend helped me bring it back to Hong Kong. Having owned its big brother, the BM-867, for a while I had high expectations of this little 6000-count meter. I'm happy to report that it has lived up to my expectations :)

Disclaimer: I will be offering a few of these for sale soon so this review may be biased.

Again, I'm no expect in these things so here I'm just trying to give a few basic observations. I've also attached a few pictures at the end of the post. Unfortunately I couldn't take it further apart without desoldering a few joints, which I was reluctant to do.

Pros:
1. Very compact. There's an attached picture below that shows how small it is compared to the 867.
2. Nice display with big and clear digits, with a nice orange backlight.
3. Excellent build quality, inside and out. Feels solid like a brick in the hand. Very tidy inside. There are a few jumper wires but I'm not too bothered. Besides, those are silicone insulated wire (i.e. high heat resistance) too!
4. Very accurate, based on my DMMcheck Plus and PentaRef anyway. The worst reading is only 0.065% out (spec'ed at 0.2%+3d tolerance). It reads 6.004V (right on the max of its 6000 count range) on my 6.0001V DC reference. All other DC voltages are either spot on or 1-2 digits out at the most. Resistance and current measurements are pretty much all spot on or 1 digit out, for its resolution. AC voltage is about 0.5% out, still well within its claimed 1%+5d tolerance.
5. Fast screen update rate at 5 times/sec on V and A ranges. Bar graph 40 times/sec max (according to manual).
6. "InErr" displayed with beeps when leads plugged into the current jacks with wrong range switch selection.
7. A or mA selected automatically based on which jack you put the plug in.
8. Fast continuity tester.
9. It remembers your last selection on multi-purpose ranges such as ohms/continuity/capacitance/diode, so the next time you turn the range switch there you are automatically back to your last measurement mode.
10. Offers a low input impedance voltage measurement mode.
11. Comes with a pair of very high quality silicone leads, with gold plated tips!

Cons:
1. Slow screen update rate on the ohms range, only about 2 times/sec.
2. Autoranging is also on the slow side with resistance measurement.
3. Doesn't measure temperature without the temp probes.
4. Only measures temperature down to one degree resolution, no decimal places.
5. A bit pricey for a 6000 count meter (more on this below).
6. Enabling the PC data logging isn't the most intuitive, I had to read the manual to find out. The "HOLD" button needs to be pressed while the meter is being switched on.

I have bought the optional USB interface kit too but didn't really spent much time playing with it yet so I can't make too many comments about it. All I can say is that it's rather straight forward to install and it works. One VERY nice thing I see on the software CD though, is that it actually carries all drivers and software for all the Brymen meters capable of data logging! Not only that, the coolest thing is that it also has PDF's of the communication protocols of all these meters, which means you can write your own software to talk to them if you need/want to!

Overall I think there's a lot to like and not much to dislike about this meter. In terms of price, you can find this meter rebadged as the Greenlee DM-510A in the U.S., for about $135 from Amazon. In Europe tme.eu is selling them for 85 Euros (before VAT and shipping).


My eBay store: http://www.99centHobbies.com
Email: franky @ 99centHobbies . com

Kiriakos GR

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Re: Brymen BM-257 pictures and mini review
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2012, 05:13:38 PM »
Do not use the Min/Max it will jump up to about 7-9  updates per second.
I am aware of the FOB price of it, it is inexpensive for a professional type of meter.

multiJ

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Re: Brymen BM-257 pictures and mini review
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2012, 05:19:02 PM »
Thank you for your review, very interesting :)

retiredcaps

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Re: Brymen BM-257 pictures and mini review
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2012, 05:44:50 PM »
Hi Franky,

Great little mini review again.  I'm curious why Brymen chose 8A instead of the normal 10A?

SeanB

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Re: Brymen BM-257 pictures and mini review
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2012, 11:36:59 PM »
Probably they had heating issues changing the current reading above that point, and an 8A fuse possibly was cheaper in bulk than the normal 11A HRC ones.

retiredcaps

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Re: Brymen BM-257 pictures and mini review
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2012, 12:47:23 AM »
Hi Franky,

I'm curious if you know of any Asian forums that talks about multimeters and does reviews like the one you just posted.  I can't read Mandarin, but I can use Google Translate.

iloveelectronics

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Re: Brymen BM-257 pictures and mini review
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2012, 02:33:55 AM »
Hi Franky,

I'm curious if you know of any Asian forums that talks about multimeters and does reviews like the one you just posted.  I can't read Mandarin, but I can use Google Translate.

To be honest I have never looked. I did come across a couple of Chinese discussion threads on one particular high end Chinese made multimeter some time ago but I didn't really look beyond those threads. I will try to look again and see if I can find anything.
My eBay store: http://www.99centHobbies.com
Email: franky @ 99centHobbies . com

Kiriakos GR

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Re: Brymen BM-257 pictures and mini review
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2012, 02:15:58 PM »
Some light about the Fuse,  the meter has inside an KTK-10 Buss Fuse which is 10A 600V.

If some one wish a spare follow the link. http://gr.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Cooper-Bussmann/KTK-10/?qs=sGAEpiMZZMuMS2dUaCDnDCCoMHsg04Sv
About the face plate printing, probably is a mistake, but not a serious one, even so a good reason for some gossip.  :)



retiredcaps

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Re: Brymen BM-257 pictures and mini review
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2012, 05:25:39 PM »
Hi Franky,

For your future reviews and possibly for the Brymen BM-257, can you test to see if the multimeter overshoots?

It doesn't have to be an elaborate test, but maybe hookup the BM-257 to the 12V DC rail of a powered off ATX power supply.  Then power the ATX on and see if the BM-257 displays 12V or overshoots.

For example, I had an Extech and while measuring a simple 9V battery, it would initially display about 18V DC, then 9.04V.

While you are doing this test, switch the BM-257 to AC V and see if it settles down close to 0V AC or readings oscillate.

Thank you for your continued search for affordable equipment.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2012, 05:32:36 PM by retiredcaps »

iloveelectronics

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Re: Brymen BM-257 pictures and mini review
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2012, 09:04:14 PM »
I just did a quick test. I just used a 9V battey and my el cheapo power supply and the BM-257 doesn't overshoot. It jumps straight to the correct reading very quickly. And if I switch it to AC V it settles to very close to 0V eventually, no oscillation.


Hi Franky,

For your future reviews and possibly for the Brymen BM-257, can you test to see if the multimeter overshoots?

It doesn't have to be an elaborate test, but maybe hookup the BM-257 to the 12V DC rail of a powered off ATX power supply.  Then power the ATX on and see if the BM-257 displays 12V or overshoots.

For example, I had an Extech and while measuring a simple 9V battery, it would initially display about 18V DC, then 9.04V.

While you are doing this test, switch the BM-257 to AC V and see if it settles down close to 0V AC or readings oscillate.

Thank you for your continued search for affordable equipment.
My eBay store: http://www.99centHobbies.com
Email: franky @ 99centHobbies . com

retiredcaps

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Re: Brymen BM-257 pictures and mini review
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2012, 12:37:43 AM »
9. It remembers your last selection on multi-purpose ranges such as ohms/continuity/capacitance/diode, so the next time you turn the range switch there you are automatically back to your last measurement mode.

I wonder how it remembers?  What happens if you remove the batteries and leave them out for a couple of minutes?

iloveelectronics

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Re: Brymen BM-257 pictures and mini review
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2012, 04:57:49 AM »
I wonder how it remembers?  What happens if you remove the batteries and leave them out for a couple of minutes?

I removed the batteries, put it back 10 minutes later, it still remembers!
My eBay store: http://www.99centHobbies.com
Email: franky @ 99centHobbies . com