RoadTest the Keysight U1282A Digital Multimeter - Review

Table of contents

RoadTest: RoadTest the Keysight U1282A Digital Multimeter

Author: Anonymous-237891

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?:

What were the biggest problems encountered?:

Detailed Review:

Well, I really need to get started on writing the review... I have the exams coming, a BLDC motor that doesn't want to spin, many homework to do... The community deserves a decent review, this is the start.

 

The multimeter

The multimeter feels great, just heavy enough to feel the quality, but light enough to dare take it with you on the field.

The only multimeter I own beside this one, is an Amprobe AM-540, compared to the Keysight it is a tiny toy, the weight, the build quality, everything feels better on the Keysight, just as a comparison:

To get the batteries in, I had to get the multimeter out of its rubber sleeve, and it kinda lost its beauty. The batteries went in nicely in a nice, rubberized, and hopefully sealed compartment. Everything screws down into nice brass inserts embedded in the plastic molding, everything that you expect at this price point.

 

 

The unboxing

Here come the disappointment, everything was teared apart in the box, mine was surely a reconditioned unit, I was a bit frustrated... BUT I am so glad and thanksfull to get to review such a nice piece of kit, it doesn't really matter.

Maybe for someone which really spend this kind of money into a multimeter it does.

 

The leads

Those leads, let me tell you, feels fantastic, the rubber is silky smooth and really bendable also the extremity does come of and let you reach in deep holes and other weird situations. I already used this feature to measure the voltage of a battery which was equipped with anti-spark xt90 connectors.

 

This remote switch probe, if I understood correctly enables the user to save a measurement while holding the probe. This seems fantastic, I don't have used this feature yet, but I will definitely try it and post my findings here on the review post.

 

My experience so far...

 

I study at EPFL and I am in the hydrocontest team in which, with a friend of mine, am responsible of the electronic, soldering and cable management on the deck of the boat.

By the way, it is a flying bi-foiler, it is pretty amazing !! Check the facebook page out !!!

 

In this environment the IP 67 rating of the multimeter was a game changer, because there is no-worries about dropping it in the water for a short time / or on the floor (Dave from EEVBlog made the ultimate test for us).

So it has been for me very useful, to check continuity, cable wire resistive impedance and also of course to monitor the battery voltage.

The accuracy of the measurements can be trust worthy, so much so that I won't even bother trying to test it. Because I don't have the capability, to make such verification nor the time, patience, skills... you get the point.

 

One thing that I didn't like at all is an annoying flickering on the screen when reading the measurements in a direct sunlight environment. Which I did for a full afternoon, to begin with, I thought I broke it, but shading the screen with my hand fixed the issue, but still for a IP67 equipment that is meant to be used outside, I was a bit frustrated. Also holding it under a bright desktop light reproduces the issue, maybe it can be fixed with a firmware revision (how can such a test not be performed in the development process of a multimeter ?)... for me it is not a big deal, but it could have potentially lead me to choose another multimeter. (If I had the budget for such piece of equipment).

 

The functionalities (that I am going to use)

 

The datalogging capabilities of this multimeter looks absolutely incredible, expect an article soon on the charge/discharge of lipo batteries.

The magic pass through this contraption, wich is a contact free communication between a usb port and the multimeter, as I said I have something planned to test this out !!

 

 

The LPF (low-pass filter) embed in the alternating voltage range is great. I won't use it much, but I know what it can be useful for (we had an electromechanical lab were the noise from the inductive loads appeared on the main voltage, this is great to be sure that high frequency noise won't disturb your measurements)

 

 

The square wave generator, this is crazy !! It can generate what ever square wave you might dream off (almost). Making a servo-motor spin is a piece of cake, or simulating an RC receiver output... It is not as user friendly as a lab signal generator, but it gets the work done, and it is a really nice feature to have around when needed.

 

Also, I want to point out a difference in the autoranging abilities of the Keysight compared to my Amprobe, the uA and mA range are on the same selector position on the Keysight whereas on the Ampbrobe you need to switch between them.

Why is it better on the Keysight ? For me it is important, because in the projects where I need to measure current it is often related to power management issues, and especially sleeping modes, standby currents, waking up currents, GPS current consumption between wake-up, GPS fix/lost, tracking etc... And in this kind of configuration the current of a little 3.7V LiPo can go from the low uA range to the high mA range, having it autoranging for you is a really nice bonus.

It also enables a logging of the value between the two ranges (the Amprobe does not log, so it is not so much of an issue for that particular aspect)

 

Conclusion

I love this multimeter, it is by far the nicest piece of equipment I own, and it might be the best multimeter I have ever used (beside maybe a benchtop Fluke that we have at school).

Also the IP67 rating makes it even more valuable to me !! I can take it on the lake with me, make measurements with the multimeter on the boat's wet hull without even worrying about it. Not being afraid of it falling on the ground/in the water.

To conclude, I want to thank again Element14, this is really awesome to receive such nice piece of kit to review !!

 

My review is not finished... It is just because of time that I don't have lately, I cannot do it all in one shot... Details on the data-logging and more thoughts,feelings and practical use experiences will be shared in separate posts (In July probably)

 

Until then !! Bye, thanks a whole bunch for reading through (sorry about the English mistakes, I know there are many, but I don't know where they are )

Anonymous