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Author Topic: TIME ELECTRONIC UK - MICRO CAL 1030 precision analogue voltage current DC source  (Read 268 times)

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Offline Kiriakos GR

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This is a topic dedicated to MICRO CAL 1030 precision analogue voltage current DC source.
First revision of this product this circulated in the market at 90s, this including a black in color face-plate (sticker) and a read in color control knob.

Somewhere at 2010 it seems that TIME ELECTRONIC UK decided to renew the look of it (modernize it).
Changes are limited to face-plate (sticker) color and also about the color of the knob.

Technically speaking, despite the age of MICRO CAL 1030 in the market, this still has much to offer speaking of potentials.
Even my self I was not aware of entire number of applications which this product can serve when I purchased a used one back in 19 July 2010 from a lady in UK, I won specific eBay auction in the price of 31 Euro (including shipping to Greece).    ;) 
 
MICRO CAL 1030 Description this is: Analog precision source and this does not necessarily translates as regressing back to an earlier age.
Practically what matters the most at such voltage & current source this is delivered detail of adjustment, so the output to be at the required level.
Output control this is made due a good quality 10 turn potentiometer, which it does the job but due mechanical design limits it can not offer fine adjustment when your application this is up to five digits or more of measuring resolution.
Back in 90s best handheld multimeter had 4 1/2 digits resolution and Microcal 1030 it was as good as needed to be.
Microcal 1030 this is even today a very respectable source about calibration inspection of analog meters.   

Generally speaking when we care to purchase such a source we must do our own homework first.
Best model selection is the one that is far closer in the requirements of the applications that we plan to get involved with.

List of less advertised features:
1) Microcal 1030 comes with detailed user guide in printed form, only if you care to read it in detail you will also discover that this is capable to work also as K-type probe simulator.
Potentiometer of 10 turns in combination with output range of 10mV (as max), it does deliver necessary resolution about simulating one wide range of temperatures.
Detailed user guide includes a special table demonstrating specific mV output in steps for simulation of specific temperature value (Thermocouples Temperature tables ITS90).
From zero mV up to 10 mV simulation you get temperature measurement of 0~244 Celsius (K type thermocouple ) and this is possible with great detail regarding adjustment capability.

What is not analytically explained this is how the user will determine cold junction setting according to room temperature.
Well by setting output of the source at 0.00 mV or better use toggle switch to off position, you may use REL function on your high quality multimeter and this will compensate automatically regarding cold junction subtraction from your measurement. 

HIOKI DT4282 multimeter it does something unique when REL function activates at Celsius range, it primary digits line it does display the measurement and second digits line holds the measurement which is subtraction value when REL activated.  8) (Huge Thump up for HIOKI and their product design ideas )

2) Microcal 1030 this can also operates as voltage source from 0 to 8V according to user guide, at 10mA range you have to connect one 1K Ohm resistor (0.1 %).
When Microcal 1030 works as battery powered then it potentiometer knob dial, this works accurately from 0 volts up to the target of 8V, above that point the knob does nothing regarding adjustment.
When Microcal 1030 this gets powered due 12V (stabilized) DC power supply then it voltage output increases up to 10V DC.
In simple English the combination of Microcal 1030 with a Vishay precision resistor and also 12V input voltage the sum transforms Microcal 1030 in to a 10V DC reference source.   
Typically with an 9V battery when this is full of charge, you may see voltage up to 8.5V   

Applications list that Microcal 1030 this serves at ITTSB Blog
To be honest this Micro Cal 1030 it is my first purchased precision source, my needs was higher than what this model has to offer and at the same time my wallet was not strong to deal with high priced electrical standards’.

While Micro Cal 1030 this is well build I did sensed right away that it ten-turns pot this it can not deliver adjustment precision this satisfying electronic digital display.
Newer model TE 1048 source this it does comes with fine adjust buttons which them are extremely helpful when you need a voltage output this be precise as for example 5.000 volts (5V DC).

In my case I had to hack Micro Call 1030 by adding a pair of binding post to it, the idea was to create one electrical connection in parallel to wires of this ten-turns pot so to connect my seven dials resistor box as fine-adjust control circuit.
My idea it did succeed at the cost of loosing confidence regarding which value it should be in the output.
Entire product design of Micro Call 1030 this is based at it own Vernier dial, the actual reading of this Vernier dial it represents the output value, if you do compensate original potentiometer resistance then you simply get perfect adjusted electrical parameters but this is not considered any more as be a calibrator.
 
My hack turned 1030 calibrator in to fine-adjust power supply which I was missing back then and this solution it did helped me at discovering the limits at measuring range of a digital multimeter.
By disconnecting 1030 from my seven dials resistor box this becomes again a calibrator that you may trust again.

Another testing application which I found 1030 as extremely useful this is using it at 100mA max output and driving with it my own 30 turns (clamp meter) calibration coil.
Expected measuring output this is 3A DC and it is great about testing clamp meter or clamp current probes (hall sensor) with this setup.

Final thoughts and conclusion
This topic it’s not a sponsored product review, I am just presenting few of my own ideas which helped me about gaining more value regarding productivity from such a product which was build to serve analogue meters.

I am owner of Microcal 1030 for eight years up to date and still find it useful and I do consider it as a keeper testing device in my lab.
Newer model TE 1048 source this can be used also as receiver, therefore by using one 1030 as source you have two precision devices which you can use and trust.

My conclusion this is that TE 1048 it is a modern version of 1030 but not a replacement, 1030 strong point this is as temperature probe simulator (10mV range).
 
For process control quick tests neither of both can be recommended as excellent choice, best adjustment possible by switching among ranges this is 20mA and next lower range will give you 2mA.
It seems that the ideal 4mA and 20mA values can not be simulated for a quick on/off valve test due both products original product design.
 
Within 2018 I do consider both products as useful for a wide range of applications but for very specific needs it best for you to focus on dedicated product solutions.
Microcal 1030 this is great tool to inspect and compare handheld multimeter, this is not an equivalent of FLUKE 5500 calibrator but when you will combine one 1030 precision source  with one 1048 precision source, the first one gaining higher value regarding usability because you can now trust the digital reading of 1048 and lock 1030 at any required output.

Several used Micro Cal 1030 shown on eBay from time to time and therefore among them you may discover your own, but be aware that it would be out of calibration.
Used precision sources are usable from people who own high precision meters and them they can inspect calibration and adjust them if needed.
If all you multimeter they are low-end crap then you only reasonable move this is buying a New Micro Cal 1030.

Measuring precision does not come at low price because this is not a toy for kids. :)



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Offline Kiriakos GR

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On separate post I am presenting pictures of this special hidden feature of HIOKI DT4282  8)
At temperature measurement when REL (NULL) gets activated the multimeter it does retain both values on screen.
 
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Offline Kiriakos GR

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Here is another application example (100% made in Greece inspiration) of MICRO CAL 1030 in combination with DE-10ALS (1X & 10X ) AC line splitter.

In this case Microcal 1030 output at 100mA this will gain 10x multiplication by the coil of DE-10ALS and our DUT (DCA clamp meter) will measure 1A.
Because of high manufacturing quality of DE-10ALS ( By DER EE corporation in Taiwan)  the outcome this is a quite trustful setup which works also as DCA calibration check mini-lab.

While DE-10ALS at 1x (hole) will deliver 100mA output, vast majority of hall effect clamp meter and clamp probes ( the best ones in the market)  they are capable to measure at 200mA and above.
But if you have a process control clamp meter or clamp probe (for Oscilloscope), then you will be able to do more tests.   ;)

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Offline Kiriakos GR

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Now I have one last comment to add for the people thinking to use Microcal 1030 as current source for milliohm meter four wire measurements.
I did test this configuration, with U1272A and by the use of Scale function I did raise x10 the measurement of millivolt so this to become eye friendly.  8)

This combination helped me to measure down to 0.8 milliohm which is great but in the end of the day for increased productivity I will use DE5000 LCR which using ACA
measuring method as it does also my HIOKI RM3542A this is newest Resistance Meter for precision work.

Never forget that DCA milliohm meter (Multimeter among with current source) this combined with cheap cables and alligator clips it can cause high thermal effect and this setup it would come close to operate as to be an thermocouple, which will inject it own DC millivolt in to the measurement.

In my case by having  Microcal 1030 output at OFF setting, and by sorting my Kelvin clips by activating REL (Null) this taken cared about 2mV of DC noise (environmental and cables).

What is amazing this is how close one high quality handheld multimeter this can come close to a dedicated highest quality instrument as is HIOKI RM3542A.
Lets not forget that accuracy specification of U1272A at 30 millivolt range this is 0.05% + 20 counts among with 0.001 mV resolution at 10 MΩ Input impedance.
None of these low quality five digits panel meter (eBay) can even come near to such superior specifications.  :)

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