Review of Agilent U1272A HH DMM and U1177A Bluetooth Adapter

Table of contents

RoadTest: Agilent U1272A HH DMM and U1177A Bluetooth Adapter

Author: sqkybeaver

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Independent Products

Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True

What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: Fluke 87V was used for comparison

What were the biggest problems encountered?: There was a small problem connecting with windows logging software through Bluetooth.

Detailed Review:

Please keep in mind this review is not finished


Firts impressions

  • The U1272 is a well built meter, in my hands and tool bag I feel very comfortable not treating it with the standard care most of my equipment receives, its rubberized case is a clean design and covers all but the front and battery cover. it has some bounce to it when you drop it. the probes that it came with are the updated cat IV with only the very tips exposed. the modular cables were quite a surprise I was expecting a single piece probes.
  • The U1177A fits in the palm of your hand, making it a reasonably sized addition to a tool bag. the colour is the usual Agilent orange but differs slightly from the meter.
  • Both the U1272A and U1177A use AAA batteries making carrying extra batteries safer than the standard 9V cells.


U1177A first use and thoughts

     The U1177A bluetooth adaptor appear to be a well built, and fits well into the data port on the back of the meter, only sticking out about 25mm. initiating a bluetooth connection was straight forward and fairly painless. while connecting to the windows data logger software for the first time there appeared to be a bug in the software that caused it to stop responding. After a chat with an Agilent tech i was made aware of a problem with the meter it self. apparently there are reflections between the bluetooth adaptor and meter that can cause problems with windows software. this does not make much sense that this does not happen with the android app. Agilents official response was to take a sharpie and carefully darken the area around the holes inside the data port on the meter it self. why have i not heard of this happening with the IR-USB cables is beyond my comprehension. one thing to note is the window on the data port are recessed and could attract dirt and potentially block enough to prevent communications.

     Opening up the bluetooth adaptor it uses what looks to be a standard bluetooth pcb module with a few passives and a regulator. confirming that the $30 USD price tag is not a marketing mistake, or a sigh of cheap Chinese manufacturing.


U1272A quick review

     The Agilent U1272A has been reviewed before and there fore I feel it is unnecessary to do a full review. however I will point out some of the features that make this a capable and dependable meter for any technician, mechanic, or engineer.

  1. The low Z(about 1500 Ohm)  voltage setting allows better low voltage measurements.
  2. The auto diode allows you to test diodes and transistors without worrying about the polarity of the test leads.
  3. AAA batteries, enough said.
  4. Automatic/manual logging


Other Thoughts

     The meter did come with excellent probes and cables rated for 15A catIV, however it would have been nice to also have been shipped with alligator clips and a hanging strap or belt clip. since the cables are modular and the new style probes won't work with the standard slip over probe clips. these are not expensive items, but they improve the overall use especially in industrial and field applications.


If you have an android tablet or your workstation is too far from your pc there is no reason not to get the bluetooth adaptor with such a reasonable price.



After using this meter for several months, i have not run into any problems. and really like using this meter with the windows logging app. here are a few points i have come up with since the initial review.

I have been able to get distances of better than 20 feet with the bluetooth adaptor.

The U1272a rivals most bench meters i have used, in both accuracy and usability.

Battery life is exceptional, i am still using the included batteries.

this meter is very capable in the automotive industry as well, there have been times where i need to view sensor output while driving in order to diagnose performance issues, the bluetooth adaptor is well suited to this.


update 10/1/2012


This weekend I have had an opportunity to test the U1177A bluetooth adaptor in a very noisy(WiFi, Zigbee, Bluetooth, cellular) and it has been able maintain connection with the mobil meter app on a phone. up to about 50 feet you can start to expect dropped signal and a line of sight I was able to get about 100 yards outdoors(relatively low noise floor) This has preformed beyond my expectation.

  • I have since been able to run the bluetooth adaptor for about 48 hours continuously, and the meter for about 2-3 weeks continuously on a fresh set of batteries.


    The PC logging app is unable to log temperature in farenhight.

  • DAB,

    There is more to come to this review, I am working a review of the windows software.


    I am still using the supplied batteries, I have turned of the auto power off feature and already have several full days use and many more at about an hour at a time.


    if you would like I can cover a specific function or use case, just let me know.

  • What is the max distance for the bluetooth?


    Also, how long can you use the device on a set of batteries?


    Does the bluetooth use more current than not using it in day to day use?


    Have you tested the data logging feature?  Can you set it up to pass measurements over the blue tooth?  How long would it run before the batteries die?


    I would like to see if this device would fit my measurement needs, so if you could spend a little time checking into these issues I would appreciate it.




  • Concise review

    Another benifit I like about the Agilent meters is they come with Calibration Certificates with printed values rather than the standard certificate of Comnformance