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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DER EE/ DE-208A multimeter Review – By the eye of the Industrial electrician.


 By Kiriakos Triantafillou ©2012   June 20 2012  

Intro

Part – 1  Few words about DER EE

Part – 2 Introduction with the DE-208A

Part – 3  PC connectivity KIT – Optional


Part – 4  Exploring the basic features

Part – 5 Exploring the advanced features

Part – 6  Build to last

Conclusion

DER EE/ DE-208A – By the eye of the Industrial electrician



Intro:
The acceptance of my invitation from DER EE in Taiwan, it made me to realise that what I do, it is interesting for the T&M industry and at the same time worthwhile.


My product selection from DER EE  were their very latest DE-208A multimeter of 6,700 counts which looked to be a professional offering for demanding users, who does not necessarily work in industrial environments.

I like to thanks Ms Wendy Tsao/ DER EE Electrical Instruments co. ltd /Sales dept., because of her insight and good will, today I am able to present this product review.  

My first review of the Agilent U1272A back to 18 July 2011, it was a major experience for me,  as I have the chance to discover a truly modern and features rich industrial multimeter.

My second review about the BRYMEN BM869 back to 15 December 2011, it helped me to discover another modern industrial multimeter, that have shown unexpected performance  in the tests about VFD (Low Pass Filter), and also shown great performance as frequency counter too.


Today under the spotlight is the DE-208A.

Let’s see of how it performs, and also how close it comes to the basic criteria of my reviews, which always are:

Innovative design, fast sampling, Industrial features, affordable price range.



Part – 1  Few words about DER EE


DER EE - Electrical Instrument co. ltd, Zhonghe Dist, New Taipei City


DER EE was founded in July 1981 and started their business with analogue panel meter and VU meter.

In time they expanded their product range by making power indication instruments, DC current shunt, DC ammeter current shunt, Hall Effect current sensor.

And now days, their product range includes handheld clamp meters (and wireless ones), True RMS multimeter's, insulation tester, thermometer, light meter, LCR meter.


DER EE owns the manufacturers Certificate no. TW99/00199

Of the ISO 9001:2000 certification.


What also worth to be mentioned is the fact that DER EE has their own R&D team.

Today they have five production lines (assembly) plus:

Workers at site: 70 persons

Technicians: 6 persons

R & D: 11 persons

Q.C : 6 persons

Office staff: 14 persons 


I have discovered the company at the web pages of TAITRONICS show 2011.

The DER-208A it attracted me mostly due the good specifications and my next step was to contact DER EE about asking one for review.



Part – 2 Introduction with the DE-208A  


The DE-208A among the other offerings from DER EE about multimeter's is the leading model.


The first impressions are very positive, what we have here is one all-around multimeter, with advanced specifications which will attract mostly the professional electrician.

Even me, I got instantly attracted by this mixed personality of the DE-208A by factors like:

High accuracy & safety specifications /  Peak hold / Robust rubberised case / Full size multimeter / Clear large display .


The special feature on this model, is the cooperation with an AC/DC current clamp probe.

The Sensor mode does the automatic conversion from mV (probe output) in to Ampere (LCD readout).

This addition helps allot about simplifying the measurement, and also is a great assist for foolproof results, even if this setup (multimeter + clamp probe) it is operated by a trainee electrician.


Up to date only the DE-208A and the Agilent U1272A carry this innovation, Agilent describes it as Scale function, DER EE describes it as Sensor function.


The DE-208A can do a fixed conversion of 10mV/1A, the mV range extends up to 670mV, and so it can display up to 66A max (67=OL).


The U1272A can do even more conventions, and offer a wider compatibility, about using it with third party AC/DC current clamp probes, capable of 200 or 600A or even more, by the use of the 1mV/A conversion.


From the other hand DER EE currently are planning the production of the DE-711 Clamp sensor AC/DC 66A Max (10mV/1A), which will be the suggested probe for the DE-208A.




DE-208A and the key points by the manufacturer (Printed on the carton box):


High Accuracy (Best 0.09%)

Peak, Max/Min/Avg measurement

Response to AC bandwidth – max 10 kHz

Optional clamp sensor: DC/AC 67A

Blue back light

True RMS


DE-208A in detail:

uA, mA, A, AC/DC + Hz (Note: single functions not dual display mode.)

mV, V AC/DC + Hz (Note: single functions not dual display mode.)

Ohms

Relative mode

Continuity mode

Diode mode

Capacitance (dual display mode = measured value plus range)

Temperature (dual display mode = External thermocouple plus inner sensor)

Peak hold and Hold function

Peak mode 1ms

Max/Min/Avg (dual display mode = measured value plus active timer)

Data logging (not stand alone data logger)

CAT III 1000V / CAT-IV 600

1000V HRC Fuses.  


Theoretically with the above specifications and the rubberise case, it looks to stand somewhere between the Agilent U1230 and the U1270 series, but DER EE did not certify it as IP 54 (Dust and water resistant casing).



Test leads

By getting the test leads in my hands, I was had a major surprise, the probes was marked with CAT IV 1000 15A. (Yes IV 1000) and also haves the DER EE logo on them.


High quality rubberised probes, well made finger guards, plus silicone cables, definably this set is above the average quality, of what usually comes as standard with a new multimeter.


Usability:

The test leads follow the latest directive about safety, and they come with small exposed tip, they would perform best in measurements on electrical panels, and their latest design will protect you against accidental short circuits.


One general complain that I have with all those fresh probes that follow the latest directive, are that they have become impractical about using them on the European mains wall plugs, it has become even harder to keep those probes in place even with both of your hands, the contact area had become very small, and these raise the hit and miss percentage about having stable contact points for your measurement.


In case that you work also with electronics, you will have to get one extra set of test leads with 2mm fully exposed tips.


DER EE offer alternative test lead sets with no covered tips and even with

Alligator clips, but they also designed with emphasis to electrical measurements.


About the specific test leads set, that came with the DE-208A, my only comment would be that the shrouded banana extends too much from the cable end, and gives the impression that there is lack of visual harmony.

On the other hand, if you turn both shrouded bananas by pointing at the left side, the cables can roll over and around the multimeter body three times, and with the test leads attached on the holster, the multimeter gains a clean look.

Thermocouple

It is called as optional, and so you do not get one.

The basic version is the -50C up to 250C and looks to need also a K-Type adapter with dual banana, which does not look to came as standard either.


Even so DER EE offer professional thermocouple probes with operating range from minus 50 up to 500 Celsius, and their more advanced ones they can go up to 1100 Celsius.    


Carton box – packaging

A truly well designed box, nice print work, made by hard carton and it is designed to hold in place the multimeter plus the Infrared module, from the data logging kit.

At the bottom are the tests leads and the USB cable that connects the infrared module with the USB port of your computer.


Battery 9V
Another surprise here, it came with a sealed Duracell made in USA, with expiration date Mar 2014.

The only multimeter that it ever came to me in Greece, with Made in USA batteries was the Fluke 28II.

And so my surprise it is justified.  



Soft buttons and range switch

The soft buttons panel are truly beautiful and the buttons have the proper spacing which makes almost impossible to press accidentally the wrong button.

Its button haves it’s on printed description and they have clear fonts, all those details they do give many positive points on the DER-208A.


What it could seen as annoyance is something that I would describe it as chemistry problem, the material of those buttons are very soft and gives the impression that they almost sunk in the face plate.

This is not necessarily negative but when using gloves on your hands, the feeling about pressing a button it is not there.


 

Range switch  

The range switch it has a great feeling which reminded me range switch of the Fluke 28II.

In the beginning I thought that it was my imagination, and so I got also the Fluke 28II at hand, and yes it does come very close.

 

With the specific range switch design there is no chance the range switch to stop between two ranges and also it locks in every range with a magnificent precision and power.  


Yes I will nag again about the diameter of the range switch and also about this triangle in it, which takes away usable space for the fingers.

 

Product designers please!!  STOP using the range switch as part of a modernised look.

My suggestion to DER EE will be to abandon the idea of this inner triangle, and to follow one more ergonomic design with more natural grip (Middle section).

Every properly designed range switch it should be designed by having in mind the operation with gloves.




LCD Display


With 6,700 counts LCD, and a true update time of three times per second, plus those clear and large in dimension fonts, the DE-208A comes well prepared for professional use.

The specifications that I received from DER EE about LCD refresh are 3/sec, and I will agree with them by adding the word “nominal 3/Sec”.

From the multimeter's that I own the one who comes close for a direct comparison is the Fluke 28II that is 6,000 counts (updates 4/sec).

My testing shown, that both meters were ramping up and down with the same snappy rhythm in AC and DC volts.

In my side by side comparison I was unable to spot the difference of the 4/Sec updates of the 28II VS the 3/Sec of the DE-208A.



The viewable angle of the LCD display haves some limits (Top bottom) which I do not consider as annoying, but even so what you are expecting to see in professional multimeter's are rich horizontal and vertical viewable angles.  


The clear plastic (face plate) looked extremely soft in the center of it, the thickness of it looks rather less than what I would expect to find, by pressing it down the inner LCD display was staying unaffected.

For normal use the clear plastic it is more than acceptable, I would prefer one more solid clear plastic which would be capable to receive a higher level of misuse.


Manufacturer note:

Do not expose the meter to direct sunlight, extreme temperatures, or moisture.


Kiriakos note:

1) Get a soft case too, if your plan is about out-door use.

2) By adding one common screen protector on it you will feel much better.  (in June 2012 I found even Anti-glare ones and I did a massive order)




Bar-graph
One of the most well made that I have seen so far, very detailed lines, easy to read, and even haves indication about the working range, which I personally like so much as feature.  


The bar graph on the DE-208A gained one additional positive point due the fact that it does not overshoot, interesting enough all my multimeter's up to date they do overshoot in the bar graph.

About speed the specification are 100ms that is 10 times per second, interesting enough it was looking even faster than that in my tests.



Back-light
The DE-208A haves one successfully implemented back light, among the positive points is the evenly distributed light and the high contrast of the inner digits, up to date it can only come close with the also successful Agilent U1272A.


The back light LED’s are blue, not that bright as in the original demonstration pictures found on websites, but it is good enough.


By performing one simple test so to verify how visible the measurement could be in a dark room and by standing as far as possible away from the multimeter, I found that three meters away, was the most usable distance.


When I did the same comparison by having and the U1272A next to DE-208A (which haves smaller digits by 30%)  the results were very interesting indeed,  both multimeter's was readable from a distance of three meters, but the orange tint on the U1272A it was made such a difference, that you could move even one or two meters further away.    


Back light Timer.

The back light timer is set from the factory to two minutes, which is a truly sufficient period of time for the most measurements.

There is no special power up mode about disabling the timer.  



Auto-Power-OFF (APO)

The factory preset is set to 20 minutes, and the meter beeps six times at the last seconds before it gets in the sleep mode.



Disabling Auto-Power-off
The power saving mode It can be easily disabled by pressing the back-light button for few seconds, the APO symbol is also printed next to the back-light button, this is a truly smart idea, mostly because it is easy to remember of what to do, so to disable it.


Holster and tilt bail

Well the DE-208A actually does not have a holster instead it uses the new molded rubber technology that Agilent uses too in the Orange HH series.

By examining more closely the design of the DE-208A my findings it did confuse me up to a point, mostly due the fact that it comes with excellent quality but with out any IP rating, let’s see in detail my findings.


1) It haves this molded rubber body that Agilent was capable to get for it an IP54 (splash proof & dust proof).  By examining the inner parts like rubber push buttons & range switch they are designed to assist about the water proofing concept.


2) Rubberised exterior: But not the same soft material found at the Agilent orange series. The DE-208A haves a molded rubber which looks less flexible and the flexibility degrade even more in temperatures below the 14 Celsius. The operating specifications are 0~50 Celsius.  


3) The bottom base haves a bit of oval shape instead of a flattened one which would offer a better stability when the multimeter seats on the bench with the tilt bail open.  The picture gets totally different when the multimeter is set flat down and the rubberised body acts as one true anchor. Personally I believe that the DE-208A is top choice for staying in an aluminium tool case, and this is my actual plan for it.  


4) One true innovative idea, is the way that the infrared module for the data logging, attaches on the body of the DE-208A, the IR module gets almost entirely in the back of the multimeter, it protrudes just a bit and even haves in the back of it, small rubber pads for extra protection against impact.

It is crystal clear that DER EE it did gave the proper attention so the DE-208A to be able to operate flat down even when it works as data logger.

I really like this design and surely it gets in the sum of the positive points that the DE-208A comes with.

                    

  

User’s Manual
The printed copy that came with the multimeter looks good about dimensions and the size of the fonts.

It is informative for the functionality of the multimeter.

But it needs further improvements.

a) There is no dedicated section about How to set the multimeter for data logging.

b) The translation in English is a bit rough in some parts even for me that English is not my primary language, and so it does need few improvements’ so to become widely appreciated.   



Part – 3  PC connectivity KIT – Optional

My quick impression are: Simple to use plus friendly software, I love it.

The Infrared module hides and another positive point other than it shape, and this is the removable cable.

It is a common type of mini USB to normal USB plug, and a commonly available item, if you ever need a replacement or spare.


The infrared module uses a chip made by FTDI that is an active company about driver updates.  

To actually attach the module on the multimeter it is a very easy to do task, and it locks easily in place. It is not advisable to have the module attached when it is not needed, the lock mechanism of the module, looks incapable to handle any misuse.  



The software

Usually I do not write much about the software that comes with a new multimeter, due the fact that in time the programmers improve little bugs or even extend the functionality by making it even better.

But in this case I have stayed speechless, when I discovered how truly wise this software was made.


Dear programmer you worth my congratulations, please next time add your name in the “about tab” of this software, I would love to congratulate you and mention your name.


Even if the GUI is not that impressive (Graphics User Interface), the software is second to none, in comparison with what I have see up to date.


In the beginning I did some small in duration data logging sessions, and then I did the 40 minutes one, with sampling at every second. (2042 logged entries)  


Other than it keeps track of the latest Min and Max values with a time stamp on the main GUI in separate windows (which helps to spot issues with out having to read the entire log),  it saves the data logging session directly in to a Microsoft Excel file.


The file contains data plus additional excel macros (software commands) which force the Excel to create automatically the graph at the opening of the file.


Additionally the software “Digital multimeter Ver. 1.0.19” acts as viewer too.

You can view the saved sessions in a later time, and by loading the file back to it, now you are able to read the logged data and the graph data, as it was before saving the file.


When using the data logging software it is easy to scroll the logged data by the use of the scroll bar (GUI top right).

About viewing the graph that is divided in separated pages, all that you have to do is to click one of the bottom scroll buttons “arrow” (GUI), and then by hitting the space bar of your keyboard you can rapidly navigate among the graph pages.


Truly amazing concept,

Truly easy to use,

Truly complete,

The auto scale in the graph presentations works well too.


My suggestions about further improvements would be:  The GUI could become a bit more modernized and with better fonts, and the file naming it should be able to be adjusted by the user, for example the file has the form 111227_012028.xls  that is Year Month Day + time .xls, I would prefer to be Day Month Year,  instead.



Part – 4  Exploring the basic features

Continuity mode
Neither fast nor slow as some cheap multimeter's are,  the response looks to be somewhere in between.

It makes clear beep sounds with no scratching, but the sound level is not as powerful I would expect.

Yes those industrial electricians always dream a 100W PA as beeper for their multimeter, and so it is hard to please them.   


The continuity threshold is up to 30 Ohms above that the beeper stops and the range extends to 669 Ohm before it displays OL (over limit).

Diode mode

Capable of about 2V output at max, able to power on and measure a common 5mm LED (low power one).



Ohms range
The Agilent U1272A is the fastest in the ohms range in my current collection, the DE-208A is close enough and just a bit behind of the FLUKE 28II and even a bit faster than the BM869.

The DE-208A it is a fast multimeter, no complains there.


The lowest Ohms range does not have that rich resolution like some multimeter's specialised for electronics have, for example the display it will read 1.0 Ohm and 0.5 Ohm for half Ohm.


Examples about over range tolerance:

In the manual range of 670 Ohm, the display will go up to 699 Ohm before it displays OL.

With the auto-range active as soon it gets at 601 Ohm it does range up, the same behaviour happens also at 61K Ohm.
The lowest range is the 670 Ohm and the highest the 67M Ohm.  


Relative mode
One of the most useful features in every multimeter and the DE-208A haves it too, With active auto-range by activating the relative mode the auto range gets locked at the lowest range of 670 Ohm.


Up to date only the BM869 does not lock the auto-range in relative mode, and this behaviour it is appreciated, at least by me.



Capacitance meter & Test

The DE-208A in this mode other than the main display activates and the dual display (sub-display) as range indicator.  This is a smart idea especially when in this mode the bar graph it is not active.


With the auto-range ON the capacitor gets tested in every range (lowest to highest), and this happens again and again until the multimeter to ramp up at the correct range.

This causes a small delay for its one attempt, which is expected in most multimeter's.

Examples: Auto-range VS Manual range.

15,000uF….33 seconds……..24 seconds

10,000uF…27 seconds………16 seconds
1,000uF…. 8 seconds...........3 seconds
220uF……..6 seconds...........2 seconds
47uF……….4 seconds...........2 seconds
22uF……….3 seconds..........1 seconds
1uF…………2 seconds..........1 seconds


Notes:
The test was made with capacitors that were all ready discharged.
Test leads: crocodiles & shrouded bananas with 17 cm total length (10 cm cable length) by UNI-T.

The 20,000uF is specified as top range.
There is no discharge indication even if it works, and the function engages automatically.


I have test the discharge function by charging one 1000uF capacitor with 30V the DE208A needed about 31 seconds to discharge it, plus another 8 seconds so to measure it.


When the discharge function is active the display stays inactive by displaying the last indication which was the multimeter with just the test leads in place.  

About the Capacitance meter function I like to add few thoughts, my 10,000uF capacitor haves as specifications:

85C max

63V max

+/- 10% tolerance

Due the tolerance the final value could be between 11,000uF & 9,000uF.


Well the 28II failed to measure the capacitor because the 10,000uF range was not including such tolerance, and the next question would be: Why?  

 

Why one professional tool to not be able to handle at the top range even 15% of tolerance?  

The U1272A successfully measured the capacitor, even with 10,000uF top range and shown 10,980uF capacity.


The BM869 with top range at 25,000uF successfully measured another capacitor at the named value of 22,000uF ( +30% or -10%) tolerance, that actually found to be 22,850uF.


Well if the DE-208A could had 25MF range instead of 20MF it would be able to test even the 22MF capacitors that is a wide spread part too.

It is clear that the DE-208A has a personality as 60% electrical work and 40% electronics, but even so, those large electrolytic capacitors it is part of interest for both skills.

 



DC / AC volts
The DE-208A came at my hands well calibrated at both DC and AC volts.

I did my comparison by comparing it with all my other truly fresh multimeter's at DC volts.

With my function generator I was able to produce 7V AC 50Hz and to compare even the accuracy of it by having a stable AC volt output.

About measuring AC the DE-208A it is truly fast, no complains here.


The next test was to verify how TRUE RMS is it?  

The DE-208A and the FLUKE 28II were set side by side, and by my function generator I was feeding them with sine / triangle / square waves at one wide range of frequency’s, no complains here too.   


In the small print about the AC specifications in the 1000V range I did find something interesting, the DE-208A haves one high voltage alarm feature, at any voltage above the 1050V the LCD starts flashing by displaying OL, and the beeper gets active as audible alarm.


At this point I have to congratulate DER EE about adding one such smart function on the DE-208A every such addition that helps about increasing the safety factor it does get appreciated especially by the electricians.

  



DC/ uA, mA, Ampere range

By finding on the DE-208A three separate range-switch positions about measuring current, my first impression was that the reason behind it was related with the burden voltage of the uA range, but the User’s manual does not say anything about it.


In my attempt to measure the shunt resistor of those three ranges, I got those values.

uA = 100 Ohm

mA= 1.9 Ohm

A= 0.08 Ohm

Those values are identical with the 28II and the BM869 and the U1272A.

About the calibration in the current ranges it is spot on too, my reference adjustable voltage current source it can inject 10mA and 100mA plus adjustable output 0-10mA & 0-100mA.  


The DC uA and mA ranges share the same specification about accuracy of 0.2% +5.

The DC Ampere range haves 0.6% +6   


AC/ uA, mA, Ampere range

Accuracy specification of 0.6% +6   



On the current ranges AC or DC, the secondary display (or sub-display) it is active by presenting the amperes reading converted in mV, that is the backward effect of the SENSOR mode, I believe that this is unneeded information and it should not be there.

It is not helpful to have unrelated info about your measurement on the LCD screen!!



Part – 5 Exploring the advanced features


Min/Max/Average

In this mode the DE-208A performed well too. The sampling rate was fast enough and in comparison with my other meters it did record accurately every min/max event.

The addition of the time counter on the sub-display it is very welcome, and the 99 hours that is the recording limit, is also very sufficient.



Peak Mode

Well in this test the DE-208A did not acted as expected.

With 221 ACV mains the positive Peak was 300V and the negative -309V.

The U1272A and the BM869, was reading 308V/ -308V.


My DE-208A sample looks to have an issue with the Peak mode, but interestingly enough it’s not the only one.  My FLUKE 28II acts the same when I tested the Peak mode with the Low Pass filter active too.  

With disabled LPF the Peak mode was working perfectly on the 28II, with the LPF on, I got the same (let me describe it as asymmetry) between the positive and the negative voltage readings.

DER EE had shown a major interest about my specific report and they do investigating it.

Further testing shown that at 600V manual range the DE-208A works correctly, it looks that I have discovered just a software bug.


About FLUKE it looks that in their latest revision of the 28II /EUR which have circulate in the 2012, the issue have been resolved.


At list this is the information that I got from Martin Lorton (video blogger), who got one sample of those about making a video presentation for it.   

 

If FLUKE is willing to examine my 28II I will send it to them, but they will have to handle both ways shipping.

 


Temperature mode

The DE-208A at the Temperature mode uses the upper sub-display for the inner K-type thermocouple placed near at the A-mA banana jacks (on the PCB), and the main display works with the external K-type thermocouple.


The DE-208A other than been fast in temperature measurements, it offers two temperature ranges (-200C up to +200C) & (200C up to 1370C).

  

Frequency counter

By reading the specifications of the DE-208A that is capable to get as high as 1MHz,

I got excited to test it that high.


By using the mV range and sine wave, I managed to get as high as 440 kHz, the reason was the amount of mV as input that it was required so to trigger the frequency counter of this multimeter.

Sadly the DE-208A is not that sensitive as other multimeter's, at 440 kHz my function generator was able to offer 212mV that was sufficient for the DE-208 so to display the frequency correctly.

By getting higher in frequency my mV output was dropping down and the frequency counter was unable to operate at about 170mV.

The User’s manual does not specify the input level VS frequency.


By having in mind that this specific function generator was capable to push the BM869 at 7.4 MHz, the DE-208A proved for once more that is made for electrical work and not for electronics and low signal measurements.


The LCD update speed was not fast either versus frequency changes, it looks that the frequency counter it is not among the strong points of this multimeter.

 

Part – 5  SENSOR: Mode

I have all ready describe the idea or concept about this function, and how useful it is when you do own, or planning to get one AC/DC current clamp probe.


At this point I feel the need to explain few things about the Hall Effect AC/DC clamp probes, and how the multimeter it self it can help out by assisting further the measurement.


Those Hall Effect clamp probes are not capable to produce a stable output of mV up to the last count.

I did some tests by having perfectly clean DC and 1A as current load by using my expensive bench-type power supply, at that current the output voltage coming from the clamp are 1mV, and the resolution is stable only for the two first digits.

By having this in mind the 1A will be read as 1.00 mV and the third last digit will be always changing.  

If your multimeter is tremendously fast in the mV range, and with high resolution, it will work against you when you are using Hall Effect clamp probes, simply because those fast updates they will take more of your time about making a decision of what is your true reading.  


By testing my own Chauvin Arnoux PAC12 AC/DC Clamp probe with the DE-208A it looked to was a friendlier setup in the naked eye, and even a bit friendlier than the U1272A, that is a faster multimeter.


The above comparison made me to jump in the conclusion that high speed plus high resolution it is not a winning combination in everything, there is and exceptions that we have to be aware about, and the Hall Effect clamp probes it is one of them.


Another useful tip could be the correct selection of the Hall Effect probe it self, if you get one specialised for low currents, it would be better tuned so to offer better stability in the measurement in comparison with high current clamps of 200A or more.   


About the DE-208A I did also examined the complete range of the Sensor mode, by injecting mV instead of using my clamp, at 66.98mV the display shown 66.98A which is the upper range limit.


DER EE haves in their planning to offer soon their own DE-711 Clamp probe, which is planed to be the perfect companion for the DE-208A,  unfortunately it not ready yet (June 19 2012).



Part – 6  Build to last


Even 30 years back the DMM industry was capable to create well made DMM, and some of them are still alive even today.

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.
In 2010 I have buy as second hand those three old Fluke bench top (8010A, 8012A, 8050A) which are accurate and usable for basic measurements.

I am also happy even about finding this old analogue BBC Metrawatt MA4S (Industrial version of 1987) with silver plated PCB, easy to read scale and also 25A current range, so to cover my need about one true needle on my 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 2012.  

Modern CAT directives, New safety regulations, Inverters, square waves, variable speed motors, Pulse With Motors, Duty cycle, and many more complex measurements, leads the modern technician to upgrade and select modern tools.

My own upgrades in the 2010 were the Fluke 28II as True RMS, and the UNI-T UT15C volt-tester with phase rotation test.


About the build to last part, the DE-208A it does follow the path that most modern multimeter's follow too, it does have well made (PCB), and also follows the latest safety directives and comes with HRC fuses too.


The DE-208A offers easy access about replacing battery and fuses, and even the back cover was made with attention in the detail, so to offer the best possible protection against an internal accident, as it is capable to limit the blast and protect the user.


About this new introduced technology of moulted rubber I will say that I can not predict of how it will stand against ageing.


The over all build quality of the DE-208A it can only compare with professional level instruments which always have and the highest retail pricing.

About aesthetics the DE-208A it is truly beautiful multimeter, for some people this factor have less value, but not for me.

The sum of all the positive points wins the final impression and makes the DE-208A to become one desirable instrument even for my personal toolbox.

Conclusion


The DE-208A is one multimeter made for the professional electrician.  


The electrician who need:

1) Modern multimeter

2) Fast & accurate

3) Safe CAT III & HRC fuses

4) Semi rugged

5) Almost compact in size

6) Capable to do data logging, and be easy to use

7) Ready to operate with AC/DC clamp probe

 

He will find all those features on the DE-208A and additionally he will discover one easy to use multimeter that will be greatly appreciated by expert electricians’ and trainees too.  


The Americans use to say … Tells us the price Son?

DER EE informed me about the suggested retail price range that is 380-450$ (US)


My only comment would be, that this is not a cheaply priced multimeter, and so the final decision always belongs to the end-buyer.


Personally I do like this multimeter allot, the few discovered annoyances are really few, but at that pricing I would expect to see even less.

For example the tilt bail is something that needs further improvement.


The ISO 9001:2000 certification helped many companies to improve the inner management.

My wish is my reviews to become a valuable tool for those marketing teams and product designer’s, so the next generation of those tools to be even further improved.


DER EE comes in 2012 with truly innovating ideas about multimeter's and other specialised tools which are using the latest technologies.

I do hope and wish, to see their full product line available in Europe.  


Their latest smart LCR meter DE-5000 it did arrived in the American market as re branded, and it gets also positive reviews.

DER EE comes with one significant amount of high quality tools, and many of those they will be reviewed from this website.


There is no need to say how happy I am about discovering in our days, that those Taiwanese companies like DER EE and BRYMEN they both have high quality offerings for the professionals, and reasonably priced for the quality that they offer.


It is a true personal honour to be the first who wrote a review about the DE-208A.
This is another one of the few and truly worthy technical & educational experiences in a lifetime.
Thank you DER EE.


KIRIAKOS TRIANTAFILLOU
GREECE


Commentary response: From the President of DER EE Mr.Chen, emailed by Wendy Tsao.

Dear Kiriakos,

Our General Manager Mr.Chen has great impression on your detailed reports and would like me to convey his appreciation to your precious comments on our product.

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