Electrical test and measurement equipment reviews.

  Digital Multimeter, Clamp on meter, Oscilloscope, Electronic component testing tools, all measuring equipment for demanding applications of our times:  Switching or Uninterruptible power supply, PV Inverters, VFD motor controllers, industrial electronics repair & HVAC.

Written by Kiriakos A. Triantafillou, Industrial maintenance electrician, Hellas.

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Agilent U1272A review – By the eye of the Industrial electrician.

By Kiriakos Triantafillou – Greece   July 18, 2011


Revised June 6, 2012 (additional info added)  


Intro

Agilent U1272A review.

Part – 2  Evaluating the additional features

Part – 3  Exploring the basic features

Part – 4  Combining the power of basic & advanced features

Part – 5  Just another one multimeter with Industrial profile?

Part – 6  What about accuracy?  How it feels on common tasks?,  Easy to use?

Part – 7  Robustness Test - Back-light durability – battery consumption

Part – 8  LCD display – Multiple functions

Part – 9 Front and back panel (body)

Part – 10 Testing under extreme temperatures

Part – 11 Build to last

Conclusion

Public Note: This review has been revised



Agilent U1272A review – By the eye of the Industrial electrician.  


Intro:


It was an unexpected surprise the email that I received from the Agilent HH marketing organization at April 27 2011, it was an invitation about to use - test and evaluate an Agilent HH DMM.


I am a Greek industrial electrician, forty-three years old up to date and I do both electrical and electronic projects, and currently I own one wide range of tools, capable for a wide range of measurements.


How Agilent found me?


I was sharing my experiences about multimeter's and measurements with some friends in one Australian forum related to electronics engineering.

My personal need was to re-educate my self by gaining a more in depth understanding of electronics and technical terminology.


Up to a point I was feeling very lucky, because in this community I did found some interesting people, who were enjoying too conversations related to subjects about test & measurements.   


Due the fact that in 2010 I did spent a significant amount of money so to upgrade my personal tools, I thought as good idea to demonstrate my tools by writing mini reviews (simple presentations’) about them.


My shopping list was have 3 X old FLUKE bench type multimeter which I had restored, also one FLUKE 28II as modern True RMS, one Hall Effect AC/DC clamp probe from France, also one modern voltage tester with phase rotation, plus one industrial grade (old) Goerz-Metrawatt analogue multimeter, one HV 40KV probe, and lots of test leads and small accessories.   


The main idea or concept of my, was to present pictures of measurements by the use of professional tools, mostly to the young ones, just as one piece of information.  


All this activity caused a major buzz around my name, and it was justified up to a point, I did have something new and interesting to share almost daily.



At this point I will share the background of the story of how I got those orange t-shirts.

My sample for review was on hold for two months, because Agilent was improving secretly the firmware (May 2011).  

I came really close to abandon the all idea and I did notify Agilent about it.  

Two weeks later, Agilent HH it did came back with the improved firmware V 2.0, and my sample eventually arrived with it.

Even so I did asked one T-shirt as “reconciliation gift idea”, and they did send two.      



Agilent U1272A review.

By getting the demonstration unit, the first impression was positive.

The U1272A are a full size multimeter, feels good in your hand, large LCD display easily viewable from a distance.

No problems by viewing it on bright daylight or in low light conditions.

The back-light is very effective, and transforms the multimeter in to an object of desire.  (I love that Orange tint)


Some older in age electricians they will found the secondary display line as hard to see, but with the back-light on, the contrast gets higher and even those smaller digits becomes visible.


The range switch is smooth enough, but I did find a small annoyance on it.

The internal perimeter of the knob it is curved in a way that my large fingers they have to grab it and hold it exactly from the center of it.

I would prefer to was not curved = more space for the fingers.  


The battery compartment contains four AAA batteries, and the battery cover has on it some tiny cross type screws.

The small screw heads can cause some annoyance, if you do not carry with you such small screwdrivers.

I would prefer non cross type screws in there, or even better, screws with large plastic heads, which you can turn them with just your bare fingers.


The selection of the AAA batteries, for such an instrument with Data logging capability, in the beginning it made me to think, that this unit was made for people who will occasionally use this function.

Later on I did discover that even with the use of rechargeable batteries, the U1272A it has a very acceptable autonomy.


The supplied test leads are well made.

The cables haves this new modular design that you can hook on them test probes of any diameter, or large Alligator Clips, or even cable extensions.


On the 2 mm Test probes you can add one range of smaller accessories for example Alligator Clips / SMT Grabbers / fine tips, they are Anti-slip with nice finger guards, in the bag there is two sets of probes, fully isolated for electrical work and standard 2 mm for automotive – electronics etc.   

Among the standard accessories there is also and one K type thermocouple.  


Extra accessories: (That it I would recommend to get.)

The soft carrying case part code U1174A.

Fine Tip Test Probes part code U1164A.  (Automotive work or electronics)

And the IR-USB cable for PC connectivity, part code U1173A.  



Part – 2  Evaluating the additional features


By reading the 161 pages of the User’s Guide,

I did realized that this unit it’s not just a shiny DMM for generic use.

The U1272A was designed so to serve in a wide range of measurements.

But in this review I will focus on the ones who work best for electricians.  

At the page 83 (User’s Guide) they are the additional features.


Making Relative Measurements (Null)  

Making Scale Transfers (Scale)

Capturing Maximum and Minimum Values (MaxMin)

Capturing Peak Values (Peak)

Freezing the Display (Trig Hold and Auto Hold)

Recording Measurement Data (Data Logging)

Performing manual logs (HAnd)

Performing interval logs (AUto)

Performing event logs (triG)  

Reviewing Previously Recorded Data (View)


I did explore them all, and I found the one that I do favour the most, and this is the Scale Transfers (Scale).

It does a Scale conversion of the output in mV of one Hall type (AC/DC) clamp probe, in to Amperes.


I own one such (AC/DC) probe, with dual ranges for 40A or 400A.

0.4 – 400A = 1mV/A

0.1 – 40A = 10mV/A


The 10mV/A output it is very confusing to watch and converting it by naked eye … you are always close to mistakably evaluate the reading.

The U1272A converts the scale by it self, and in the screen I get an easy to read scale of amperes, in the rich 30.000 counts resolution.


I like to publicly thank the designer’s team of the HH department at Agilent technologies, their simple in concept idea it does help about accelerating measurement tasks.

With the U1272A I can remain focused on my work, no more confusing digits on the display of my DMM, and this translates to more speed and effectiveness.

    

The next interesting feature is the Data logging (Auto) it was a missing feature from my current set of tools.

As soon I learned how it works (with a small learning curve) I feel much better now, with it I can expand the methods that I was using so far about troubleshooting, finally I am able to monitor anything with out the need to be physically present.  


With the (Auto) Data logging, the stored entries could be from 1 to 10.000, and so definably you will need one computer as aid about reviewing it.  


If you do data logging with the DMM connected on the computer, the Agilent software (Data logger GUI) offers time and date stamps, and your life gets allot easier with it.  


If you do data logging (Auto) with just the DMM, by keeping few notes in a paper like the starting time, you can detect the time that its event had occur, by few simple calculations with the help of a pocket calculator.


The manual logging (Hand) it is very easy to do and review the stored logs.

100 entries (Hand log) sound more than enough.


Any of the additional features, it is an extra tool for the right task.

Personally, I found most of those features as useful, probably because I do both electrical and electronics maintains and troubleshooting.  



Part – 3  Exploring the basic features


Z-Low: low impedance modes to eliminate stray voltages.


By reading the Agilent Data sheet about this feature, commonly known as detect ghost voltages.

My mind traveled back to the elder experienced electrician’s who was teaching us small useful secrets of how to detect ghost voltages and many more tricks, with the use of simple practical methods.

The Z-Low on the U1272A it is a much modernized approach and it is combined with voltage measurement, I like it.



Smart Ohm:  It is smart, I can verify it too.

Smart Ω (offset compensation) function to measure resistors affected by dc offset or leakage current.


Continuity test mode:

The U1272A comes with a laud beeper, and activates the illumination of the back-light display simultaneously.


In the advanced menu settings, you can adjust the beeper frequency under your personal taste, plus you can disable the back light activation (A-bLit) menu option.   



Continuity test mode Part 2:  

Did you ever have to verify the condition of one limit switch?

Those little limit switch they can be wired to trigger the control circuitry with open or close contacts, with the U1272A there is no worries, by pressing the Dual/Exit button, the multimeter adjusts it self according to your needs.

And so you get both warnings for open or close contacts.



Part – 4  Combining the power of basic & advanced features


By combining The Ohm mode  + Auto Hold + Trigger log

You can transform the U1272A in to a counter which can measure how many times one limit switch got activated. (Open or close contacts)


The U1272A stores the logs with an accenting order, and what I managed to do was to trigger with the Ohm mode the trigger log.

By this trick I managed to succeed one combination of triggering and instant logging.


Every new logged entry gets the next available number in an accenting order, by inspecting the last recorded one we know the sum of the events.  

Example E00106 = 106 times got triggered.


The Triggering interval time it can no be less than one second per event, but there is no limit about larger intervals.


Who would ever expect that the U1272A it can act as one industrial counter?   

That’s amazing.


Naturally the created log contains and the measured resistance values in those trigger events, and it can be used also as comparison method about checking for example the tolerance factor of one large amount of surface mount unused resistors.  Or even record the behavior of one classic decade resistors box, so to detect the stability of the inline resistors over time, or over different room temperatures.



Part – 5  Just another one multimeter with Industrial profile?


About single phase and three phase motors troubleshooting, the U1272A simply performs perfectly as expected.


The bright LCD back-light offers a significant assistance in the dark engine rooms, and the adjustable laud beeper is another strong point, which was missing from any DMM up to date.


Tasks like: Shortcut detection, measurement of coils - voltage – current – temperature - capacitor testing, everything is possible with the U1272A.


And it can measure even very small ceramic capacitors, if it happens to own a pair of short cables (10cm with crocodile clips), the supplied test leads are good for anything else, but for small ceramic capacitors they just do not help any.  


Another new and interesting function is “high voltage Alert”, by setting up the trigger voltage limit, you can be alerted about over voltage or spikes.


I personally believe that the U1272A it would be more complete if it had also one Phase Rotation Indicator, I am speculating here that it is possible as after thought, by using the display symbols about positive and negative slope.

 


Low Pass Filter (LPF): In the December 2011 I managed to get in my hands one PHILIPS PM 5134 function generator, and with it I did manage to simulate the conditions which the Low pass filter shows it value.  


Actually I did a direct comparison between the U1272A and the FLUKE 28II and the BRYMEN BM869.

The specific U1272A (manufactured at the beginning of 2010) it did not shown remarkable performance in my test, and I did notify Agilent about it, the company was aware about that, and they was had improve the design all ready.

As proof they did send me their identical U1273A OLED for review, which haves identical LPF performance with the FLUKE 28II.

   

Originally I was expecting one improved U1272A as replacement, and I gave my word to return back the first sample, but instead I got the U1273A.



Please take a look of the BRYMEN BM869 review, for details about my testing method and my primary results back at 2011.

The upcoming review of the U1273A will be shortly available, with the updated test results (2012).


LPF & AC current: The U1272A haves as default the LPF disabled for AC current measurements.

And the user must activate it manually, from the menu if he needs it.


I did faced one situation which I needed to measure the total AC current of three small switching power supplies 120-240V/ 12V 1A, that was powering my three NiMH battery chargers that use pulses as charging method.


Those chargers at their start up, they run diagnostics on the batteries for about two minutes, and they use short fast pulses all the time.

The operation of those chargers caused a high amount of noise or better said pollution at my 220V Mains frequency.

The noise level got that high that the U1272A was unable to display the Mains frequency of 50Hz (it was jumping around from 20-40Hz).


The FLUKE 28II was capable to measure current and frequency and this event, made me to contact Agilent and report my findings.


The lessons of my small adventure are:

1) The 28II haves always enabled the LPF for AC current measurements.

2) The U1272A needs the user’s interaction about enabling the LPF for AC current measurements, and then it does the job.

3) If you own a dirt cheap multimeter with out LPF, do not blame your bad luck, if you are working with switching power supplies 120-240V, and your measurements does not make sense.



Frequency / Duty cycle / ms


About Frequency and Duty cycle, everything works as expected, even so the testing with my analogue function generator, shown that the U1272A haves a tiny delay about displaying rapid changes of the Duty cycle.


Generally when the U1272A works in the dual display mode, it is gets a bit slower in comparison with the single display modes.


Practically my finding about the tiny delay, it could be considered as non important one, the modern Duty cycle controllers they have keypads, and not a simple potentiometer like my function generator haves.


ms = measuring pulse width.

It measures the active cycle of a wave form in microseconds.

By measuring 220V mains, I found the pulse width to be 9.50mS at 50Hz.


Pulses are mostly children’s of electronics, and eventually this function is not that important for a maintenance electrician.


In theory by having as known the frequency + voltage + pulse width, I am thinking that I am could draw the wave form in a paper, and possibly will look identical with the screen of one oscilloscope.   



AC/DC Mixed mode:

Yes impressive, the least that I can say about it.

I would think that this is useful more for electronic engineers, and complex designs.

If I detect mixed DC in one AC mains socket, the first that I would think would be that I am hunted by evil spirits, or that a troublesome DC/AC inverter is very near to me.

AC/DC Mixed mode + AC/DC True RMS = I like it !


From the other hand, if what you do involves troubleshooting on DC circuits, this mode it would possibly assist you, so to detect ripple noise.   


AC voltages or signals which are transferred by a single cable that caries also DC, it is something new even to me.


  

mV DC  mode:

My favorite one!


By connecting my (Hall Effect) AC/DC clamp probe (PAC 12 Chauvin Arnoux) on the U1272A, the multimeter becomes a true Swiss army knife.


The fast measuring rate and those 30.000 counts of resolution, expands the total resolution of my clamp probe in to a further level, the added gain helps the most when measuring low current, and especially at 3A or below the 300mA.


Those AC/DC (Hall Effect) current probes they are pricey gadgets , but you can measure even the charging current of batteries, and it is more than handy to be able to measure AC/DC amperes, especially in our days which in the name of Green-Energy, the Inverters and the batteries had become such close friends.    



Part – 6  What about accuracy?  How it feels on common tasks?,  Easy to use?

(AC/DC volts and current, Resistance / Capacitance.)   


Agilent is a very respectable brand name worldwide and their industrial handheld multimeter's, are their relatively new area of interest.


From my experiences by monitoring their moves for over a year up to date, I can tell that what they do, involves extreme passion for perfect ness.

Their target is to deliver true working solutions, and not just a new range of products.


Agilent owns today the R&D of the old American HP instruments’ division.

Also in June 10 2008, they acquired the Taiwan-based Escort Instruments Corp that was and a subsidiary of Unitech Printed Circuit Board Corp.

They have the resources to deliver, of what ever they can think of.


What about accuracy?

 

The specific expression of “accuracy test”, usually causes emotional chills in all the chain that is related with the test & measurement business (manufacturers, marketing teams, and calibration laboratories).  


I am aware of the dedicated calibration laboratories with verification equipment that cost thousands of dollars, plus specialized people who have devoted their life’s to them.


Personally I do feel too small about challenging a company when the subject comes down to the ultimate accuracy.


The direct comparison of two or more instruments, are the widely suggested method by all the manufacturers, so the end user to be able to tell if there is a problem or not.

And actually, I am following this specific philosophy as testing method.

  

Naturally I did invest hard earned cash on basic Precision Reference sources, and even got one research-level function generator, because my wish is to offer one more complete picture to my readers, instead of basic level comparisons.



My testing shown no problems, and that I have lost my chance to find something wrong on the U1272A, and I ended up with a large smile on my face.


The U1272A and the FLUKE 28II and my testing gear, looks as one properly tuned orchestra.


The U1272A is a bit faster, and in the ohms range it is a pleasure to watch it.

The extra speed has also and one small downside, when you measure mV and the source is not that stable, the digits on the LCD will update in a high rate, which makes it a bit troublesome to watch the readings.


Thankfully Agilent added to it one function called as (Smooth), it can be automatically or manually activated, and adjusted by the user.

By adjusting the samples to about thirty, I did solve the problem in the specific measurement that I had a problem with.

There is many ways to deal with rabidly changing voltages, (Max/Min) it can assist too.



The FLUKE 28II haves the same function in a fixed factory preset.

The (Smooth) mode on the U1272A it is totally customizable.  


Basically this is the key point of the U1272A, everything is totally customizable.

With a minimum of effort, you can adjust it so to fit in your specific need.



Easy to use?


In the beginning when I got the unit, and I realized that I had to get in those menus and sub menus, and I started to dislike it.


I am 42 years old, and I do need good quality and easy to use tools.

I do not have any more so many free brain cells, as I was had when I was twenty years old, so to memorize all those extras, that Agilent loaded on the U1272A.

And even my vision, had just start to play games on me, first signs of short sight (hard to read tiny letters in close range).


I changed my mind about it, as soon I discovered how useful the U1272A can become with all the extra tweaking.

By thinking the digital menu, as to was another one round range switch,

I found my balance, and now I can get in the menu and adjust anything in seconds.



AC/DC volts and current: No problem


Resistance: No problem


Capacitance: I had compare four different multimeter's against the same 1000mF capacitor, all four was close to its other but not even one was had an identical reading with another multimeter.

 

The lesson from this story would be, get a dedicated LCR meter if your needs about accuracy are above the usual ones.



Part – 7  Robustness Test - Back-light durability – battery consumption


Robustness Test:

I never had an Agilent DMM or another Agilent product in my life, and some how I needed to find out how robust the U1272A truly are.


The good part of participating in such testing events is that you have the manufacturer on your side, and it is like having an endless warranty plan.

Your hands are free about stressing it, with no second thoughts.

 

On my tests I have use my fresh rechargeable Ansmann 1100mAh batteries (930mAh nominal), the most powerful NiMH AAA up to date.


And I did set it to run for hours on (Auto) data logging, with small intervals like 1–5 seconds, so to be always busy.

I did repeat those stress tests lots of times, in some of them it was running continuously for 30 hours.

In total it did about 14 days of data logging.



Back-light Durability:


The plan was to find out:

1) If the back-light circuitry are durable enough?

2) If those LED’s are durable enough?

3) How the DMM behaves with extremely discharged batteries?


My NiMH was at 50% of charge at the beginning of this test, confirmed with the Ansmann energy check LCD (Professional battery tester).  


Everything was ok at the first 12 hours, and I let it run for even more.

At about 14 hours in total, the batteries had lost all their charge and the back-light was still on, but the LCD digits were fading to the point that you could not see them any more.

I turned off the unit, loaded fresh charged batteries, and it booted up ready again for even more action.


Results:

LCD Back-light circuitry = Immortal   

LED durability = Excellent

Extremely discharged batteries = No problem


Battery consumption

By my measurements:

9-10 mA: at every AC mode = Active RMS converter.

3-5 mA: other modes.

+1 mA: Active data logging.

0.03 mA: sleep mode (Not uA so to keep it simple)

56 mA: AC Mode + Back-light High   


45mA: the back light alone (There is four active LED in it).



I could not resist testing the FLUKE 28II against the U1272A.


Originally at 2010 I had got one FLUKE 87V, I was happy with it for about six months, even so I did get the FLUKE 28II in the end because of the IP67, and that is more suited for what I do.

The 28II haves a lesser back-light brightness compared to 87V, it haves only two LED to serve the display, but it does have back-light under the key pad.  


28II :

2.0 mA: at every AC mode

1.8 - 5 mA: other modes.

0.07 mA: sleep mode  

13.6 mA: AC Mode + Back-light low

33.5 mA: AC Mode + Back-light High   


31.5 mA: the back light alone (There is two active LED in it)


Well if I remove the back-light consumption from the equation, the FLUKE looks to handle better the battery consumption.

From the other hand, the specific FLUKE has only two LED on the display = 50% brightness in comparison with the four LED on the U1272A = a very bright display.


Personally I will give my vote to the bright display and I will move on.

One battery set of four alkaline in a year time, it is not a big deal.

And there is no need to say, that if you get rechargeable batteries, you will be able to do endless (Auto) Data logging with out thinking about batteries.



About running the DMM with NiMH, and according to my rough calculation, if my AAA NiMH can truly deliver nominal 930mAh I would had 93 hours of continues operation ( Auto data logging)+ (AC mode = 10mA) = 4 Days.  


On any other mode with an average consumption 2-4 mA, on another rough calculation it will probably run with NiMH for about 310 hours (13 days).


With high quality alkaline instead, the duration in hours will probably increase.


Today in 2012 the Sanyo Eneloop AAA had become my favorite choice, due their “low self discharge” characteristics.



Part – 8  LCD display – Multiple functions


The dual display serves best AC + DC measurements and the Data logging.


The main display has nice shaped digits, they are large enough, and you will not have any trouble even by watching them under angle.


I hate the LCD displays with the fat bold digits, the U1272A has elegant fonts and symbols, but I need to nag a bit for the symbols around the range switch I would prefer them to were a bit larger.


About the secondary display line (with the smaller digits), I like to watch the thermometer in the top right of the display.

I would probably expand the functionality of it by using my own ingenuity, as personal reminder about getting a hot or cold coffee, according to the weather or season.



Part – 9 Front and back panel (body)


I would not change anything on it, or almost.

  

The DMM it’s not bulky or over-weight, the rubberize body of it, it does protect it against impacts, it is anti slip, and the oval shape gives the feeling of comfort when you are holding it.



The probe holders at the back works nice, the probes get in the holder with a gentle move, and they stay securely in place.

The addition of the hang hole it does help allot too.


Easy fuse and battery access no complains there, but those tiny screws heads on the battery cover !!  (I will not stop nagging about that)


About the IR-USB slot on the DMM I would prefer to have a rubber cover, so to be protected against dirt.

And if this rubber cover was connected with a rubber ring, I could possibly pass it thru from the IR-USB cable (when the slot are in use), and it could stay there secured on the cable, until to finish the job.


The body of the DMM it is very well balanced, by having in mind how stably it stays with the tilt stand open.


I do not know how I will feel if I see any damage on the rubber body of this multimeter, caused by a small accident like a burn or damage from a sharp object.


My suggestion to Agilent would be to make easily available all the external replacement parts of the U1272A, in a friendly pricing, so to stop thinking about it.

About the key pad, I am a bit sceptical or I worry too much about those symbols on it, and the possibility to fade in long term. (I love to press those buttons!!)  

 

(This review was revised 11 months later, and I can confirm that the casing and keypad are in perfect condition up to date 2012)  


The bottom end that comes in contact with the bench, it gets a bit black from the dirt.

The tilt stand works bountifully, like the first day of operation.



Part – 10 Testing under extreme temperatures  


I love my tools and I do baby sit them allot, and so I am always careful with them about to not exposing them to extreme temperatures with out a good reason.


But because of this review, I took advantage of the hottest summer days in the hart of July in Greece, so to perform the Extreme temperature test.


The plan was to find out what happens with temperatures above the 40C.


And because I love comparisons, I set the U1272A and the FLUKE 28II under the direct sunlight for 45 minutes.

As soon the internal K probe of the Agilent stabilized in the temperature of 45.5C,

I took both units instantly back in my work shop, and I tested their accuracy at 10V DC, and the Ohms range.

Both units were spot on.   


Other observations from the extreme heat test:  

No problem with the LCD at such high temperatures, like fading digits, or no digits at all.

The orange is a bit darker color than the yellow FLUKE holster, and so the U1272A it did run a bit hotter internally by +3C.  


The paradox was that at 45.5C = 113.93F the FLUKE holster started feel as very sticky in my palm, I got motivated to check and the U1272A, and I found that the rubber body of it was very hot as expected but no sticky.



Part – 11 Build to last  


Even 30 years back the DMM industry was capable to create well made DMM (digital multi meters), and some of them are still  in use.


I got my first semi professional DMM before 22 years with my first toolbox and it was made in Taiwan (Pros’-Kit with Mastech PCB), still have it, and the accuracy is still good enough.


Some others were made 25 years back or more, and I got them at 2010 as second hand cheap and still accurate for simple tasks, like those old FLUKE bench top  8010A 8012A 8050A.


I am also happy even about finding this old analog BBC Metrawatt MA4S (Industrial version of 1987), silver plated PCB / easy to read / 25A range,

I needed one true needle to be on my work bench for special purposes.


Nice made tools, some of those were made with excellent craftsmanship, but they do not belong in the category of the main tools by having in mind the modern needs of 2011-2012.  


Modern CAT directives, New safety rules, Inverters, square waves, variable speed motors, Pulse With Motors, Duty cycle, and many more demanding measurements, leads  the modern technician to upgrade his tools, so to be able to follow the train of progress.


My latest upgrades were the FLUKE 28II as True RMS, and the UNI-T UT15C volt-tester with phase rotation test.


Excellent tools made by respectable brands, respectable for different reasons, but still respectable at list by me.



Conclusion:


The U1272A is an excellent modern multimeter, my answer to the Agilent HH marketing organization would be that yes, the U1272A it did managed to empresses me, and so I am suggesting the U1272A for advanced troubleshooting on the field and bench work, it is a features rich DMM at 30.000 counts.


The teardown video of the U1272A, presented by Dave L. Jones electronics engineer, and owner of the EEV Blog. (Episode #171)

Revealed high quality in manufacturing and high quality parts from respected parts makers like the DALE resistors, and expensive IC’s.


The latest firmware 2.0 improved the software of this mini computer by allot.

Not to say that the easy firmware update method with the use of the IR-USB cable, raises the expectations about adding on the U1272A even more options in the secondary functions.


My personal wish list would be:

1) Low voltage warning (I need that, I really do)

2) Temperature:  High/Low warning    


I would predict that soon enough the U1272A it will get one large market segment, every modern professional appreciates and builds confidence, by having next to him one company who responds back and solves any issues in just few weeks.


Those new DMM uses lots of software in them, they are complex to build, and we are aware of it, we are professional’s technicians too.

This is why the active link between us and the manufacturer, it is so important to us.


The U1272A it is a modern tool for experienced technicians and the experienced technicians are few and picky.

We feel good about our investment in tools, when there is proper availability of spare parts, at reasonable prices, and with world wide coverage.


Agilent needs only to improve the spare parts sales on their website.

With one well organized E-shop, I would have fewer second thoughts about to become an Agilent customer too.  


I like to thanks the Agilent HH marketing organization, for the opportunity that they offered to me, about reviewing the U1272A.

It was a major technical & educational experience for me.

And I feel wiser all ready.   


KIRIAKOS TRIANTAFILLOU

GREECE


Public Note: This review has been revised at 2012-06-06 (11 months later).


Additional information was added, due the fact that I have this multimeter in real use for eleven months, and additional tests have been made to it.

Today that I am revising this review, I am twice as happy, due the fact that my primary evaluation and comments are so sincere, that I do not have to change even a line of text about this multimeter.     



I like to thanks Agilent Technologies HH and especially Mr. Ravi Ravindaran /Market Development Manager in USA & Mr. Jason Saw /Business Development Manager in Europe.  

For been that direct and helpful, every time that I was in need for their advice, or help over technical subjects.


And I will gladly return the favor, if they select Greece as their next destination of their vacation plans. The spirit of the Greek philoxenia is still alive, despite the crisis of the international banking system.      


Kiriakos Triantafillou © 2012

Special written approval has been given to Agilent Technologies marketing organization, so to use freely this review at their will.

The permission includes public distribution or translations in to other languages.        

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2011 Arrival.

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2012

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