Reviews of ONLY THE BEST !! Tools for truly experienced and productive human brains.
Written by: Kiriakos A. Triantafillou, Industrial maintenance electrician, Hellas. (2012 - 2020 -> 2022)
Digital Multimeter, Clamp on meter, Oscilloscope, Electronic component testing tools.
TsDMMViewer & FLUKE 8846A Precision multimeter
RS232C Connectivity, Help and Tips.
Written by : Kiriakos A. Triantafillou - Greece 4/2020
1) Guide of required steps - How to connect 884xA with the DMMViewer.
This is all there is at the User manual.
Configuring the Remote Interface
Selecting an interface port, setting up the ports, and selecting the command set the Meter will recognize, is accomplished through the Instrument Setup key.
a) Your next step this is of you to download 8845A/8846A Programmers Manual.
b) Navigate to page No 6.
c) Have a look of: Table 3. Factory Settings of RS-232 Communications Parameters
d) 8846A inspection time: Press INSTR Setup key, now press F1 and inspect if RS232C this is a highlighted option? If not then press F5 then F1
e) Compare the Factory settings with the setup of your own DMM.
f) Default settings they should change to:
Baud 38400 / Parity None / Number of Data Bits 8 / Number of Stop Bits 1 / Flow Control None.
Tektronix using at COMMANDS menu the description SCPI and FLUKE this using the description 8846A instead, now select and highlight this menu option.
Last step, Now press MEMORY key and then F3 and then again F3 .
Time for reboot: Power off the multimeter by the real power switch at the back.
After initialization: Now inspect that all previews settings they are correct and highlighted, use BACK key to exit with out changing anything.
2) RS232 Serial cable - DB9 female plugs Plus Null-modem configuration
This is not a complex DIY adventure for a technician about making such a cable by him self.
You after market options these can be:
1) An pre made RS232 Serial cable with Null Modem configuration, with one DB9 female plug (this is for your multimeter) and the other end should have another one DB9 female plug ( this is for your computer / motherboard).
2) If your computer motherboard does not have RS232 Serial port, the next step and solution it will be relatively costly.
You will need a special USB cable this including active chip converter to RS232 with DB9 Plug. Such a cable should come along with Fresh windows drivers set. They are two known and trusted manufacturers of such chips, these are Prolific and FTDI .
Now beware that both Chip makers they are the source of your windows PC drivers, and upon USB connection there is automated chip ID inspection, any fake or copycat chips these will fail inspection and they will not work.
Regarding Prolific - Taiwan I will recommend nothing less in age than PL-2303 HXD .
At my workshop I am having and I did use for testing purposes the BRUA-20X this is data logging KIT for a BRYMEN multimeter, this using official PL-2303 HXD.
In the question which one Chip this is the best choice? Prolific or FTDI ? The answer this is rather simple, both work and were tested by us, up to 230400 baud.
From the other hand, the 8846A above 38400 baud rate this is incapable to benefit from any higher Baud rates.
DMMViewer this operates by sending command lines to multimeter, when the multimeter this respond back, the answer this is in a fixed size. After personal testing with a basic DB9 to DB9 cable, I made the discovery that 38400 baud rate this has lesser latency than 19200 and or of the much slower in latency 9600 baud and therefore 38400 this found as ideal for getting fastest possible transfer rate.
Yes 230400 baud rate this is possible with USB to RS232 cable, Windows Com port (of the USB cable) this should be set to 128000 ( this setting translates to unrestricted baud rate due the operating system) ;-)
Now you may Play (experiment) by setting 8846A at 230400 baud rate and then using 230400 baud rate at DMMViewer.
This 230400 baud rate it has even lower latency, but we faced issues relative to hardware compatibility from the side of 8846A and age of Com Port it self.
The 8846A it can benefit from 230400 baud rate only when the software in use, this makes less frequent requests of the type about this receiving entire buffer of stored values (within the multimeter memory).
By the use of simple words: The 8846A this is able to deliver an amount of approximately 20 collected measurements or more in the unit of time (within a single answer), but this pack of measurements will not include any individual timestamp's.
DMMViewer software logic this is designed with in mind the handheld multimeter communication, and the succeed rate of communication as low as 4~6 ms per recorded measurement, this is for us an equivalent to
Fastest RS232 Athlete - Worlds Record ! ! !
Be aware that not all USB cables they include by default any Null-Modem configuration & Mini Null-Modem plug will be required too.
Last in the list as connectivity option this is a really costly one, this is industrial grade of Long Range Wireless Bluetooth solution but the transfer speed will never be equal to USB to RS232 cable.
Even so this is the safest connection regarding 8846A total electrical isolation, and total protection from accidents relative to computer PC power supply failure and or power surges due bad weather.
Electrical isolation this is also possible for USB to RS232 cable with additional USB port Isolator up to 1.5KV.
3) DMMViewer : Advanced Settings / Configuration
TsDMMViewer Multimeter Data logger Software REVIEW
By assuming that TsDMMViewer this is now installed at your PC computer, and also that in case of USB to RS232 converter cable that this is also installed (drivers installation) at Windows operating system, this now translates that you are ready to go.
In case of of USB to RS232 converter cable, you need to become aware of which COM port number Windows they did assign to this cable (by you inspecting your own Windows system).
Now START TsDMMViewer …
a) Navigate to software settings
b) Select the fonts of your preference.
c) Set number of digits to 8 for ( 8846A, 8845A, DMM4050, DMM4040 )
d) Edit Date-Time-Format if required.
f) Navigate to Color settings, and select the Dark graph colors profile. Both color profiles they are editable and in a later time you may experiment by setting up the colors according to your 100% of personal preference.
Measuring Tools List ……
This is available prior any connectivity with a multimeter.
At your first visit to Tools List (Use Check All ) once - this option will remove checked marks at entire list.
Now feel free to select multimeter models which you do own.
Now you are ready at 80% for the next steps.
GET READY for applying settings for a connection with your multimeter.
Baud rate setting = 38400 for ( 8846A, 8845A, DMM4050, DMM4040) Use identical setting at your DMM settings menu, prior trying to establishing connection with TsDMMViewer.
Bellow sample of my own DMM List.
Now you are ready at 95% for the next FOUR steps.
TsDMMViewer learning curve this is rather small, use exclusively within software control panel for functions selection.
1) NOW it is time to connect your test leads.
2) NEVER EVER switching between functions with test leads connected to active electric circuit.
3) Remotely controlled ( 8846A, 8845A, DMM4050, DMM4040) this is a NEW Experience
for you and you need to be cautious all times. Especially at long term data logging sessions.
Example: DMM VFD this could be turned OFF, you PC monitor this could be in sleep mode, EVEN SO when you do log Mains 220V, your workbench will look as inactive but the DUT will be powered and this be an LIVE Safety Hazard.
In conclusion: If you ever decide leaving unattended the DMM when data logging session this is active, always keep this space locked and not accessible to any one else.
TsDMMViewer will become and your own invaluable Freeware asset, but play the Game Safely. Get for your self high quality insulated test cables and even proper test cables for the 8846A and even SAFE accessories.
Now feel free selects your next navigation point, oh yes we Electricians we do have lots of humor too when we are not working
with LIVE electrical circuits.
4) Congratulations you are now Connected !!!