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1
Today I did receive one notification from Facebook that this project it is now one year old.  8)
And I thought to write few words as feedback.

In all these 12 months up to date, I had 100% confidence in the regard of additional parts which I choose as peripherals to ZPB30A1 110W PCB. 
Today ZPB30A1 110W PCB this has over 300 hours in operation and therefore now I have complete confidence in its and every part over this PCB.

At branded products there is warranty period, at such electronic solutions made in small labs there is no any.
In conclusion, when such a circuit this operates trouble free for over 300 hours, this works as proof of good health regarding product design and of individual passive and active electronic components (parts).

My project this is not about using one ZHIYU ZPB30A1 110W at default (stock version), this DC load PCB it is designed to be installed in to large metallic cabinet and also in to large quantities, ultimate goal this is formation of one battery tester of 50 at least testing channels.

What I do consider today as major success of Mr. Kiriakos Triantafillou, this is entire followed concept so ZHIYU ZPB30A1 110W DC Load this to become a perfect designed standalone equipment which will serve reliably over a workbench.   :) :) ;D

 

 
2
After several years of inactivity, Megger brand finally decided to release a fresh handheld multimeter Series that is Megger 800.

My own dive in to product specifications (deep waters) it did created to me several second thoughts.
First crucial information this missing it is about measurements per second update.
Second crucial information this missing it is about measurements per second update at Min-Max-Average

Megger 800 series origin this is Indonesia.

Input banana plugs has unorthodox design speaking of orientation, Voltage input this is at the LEFT side and current inputs are at the RIGHT side, and first impression this is negative.       
From the other hand all these Input banana plugs they are protected by mechanical diaphragm which will not aloud test leads connection if the range switch this is in wrong position.   

Generally speaking while AVO 800 Series it is not poor regarding offered functions (AVO 835), but there is no either any special feature to distinguish it regarding competition within 2018.

Instructions relative to activation and  use of Phase Rotation / Sequence Detection, these seems complicated and not an equivalent of one LED Phase Rotation tester.

Low current input this is fused at 100mA and therefore this seems dedicated for process control ( 4~20 mA).
10A current input this includes ranges of 1A & 10A


At that moment what I am unable to understand, this is the actual class of these products regarding innovation if any.
Pricing in UK compared to pricing in USA this has huge differences,  Megger 800 series seems significantly cheaper in USA.

Megger 800 series Official product Page

I did contact Megger and if they come back to me, I will post an update.
3
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.  :)

4
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.   ;)

5
SM8124 today this is now EOL ,  measuring accuracy at milliohm range of  +/- 3% +1 Digit among with +/- 1% +1 Digit for voltage, these are now less attractive as marketing point.
SANPO SM8124 this is no more listed at it manufacturer product page and I have the impression that SANPO does not interested to compete in this market any more.

Somewhere in 2017 a new economy battery Impedance Meter YR1030 this circulates in the market.
Digital controls and screen looks appealing,  internal lithium battery this is a bad idea, but precision of 0.7% at milliohm range this is a good sign if this is true. :P

Either way beware of Asian pricing wars, YR1030 lowest price which I found this is at 12$ US

Personally I think that any one owns SM8124 he does not have to think YR1030 as better just because of the better accuracy specification.
When a battery gets bad and this now has double or triple internal resistance, this is now a brick which it must be replaced ( no matter which meter you own).  ;)


YR1030 electrical specifications

Range -  Minimum Resolution - Accuracy ( Accuracy format: ± percentage accuracy + least significant digits.)

20mΩ    0.01mΩ 0.7%+7 (when ZR function is enabled)
200mΩ  0.1mΩ  0.5%+5
2Ω        1mΩ      0.5%+5
20Ω      10mΩ    0.5%+5
200Ω      0.1Ω    0.6%+5

Specifications are valid within 5% - 95% of the measuring range.
Bellow 5% of measuring range the error may be greater than the above accuracy.
 

Voltage measurement accuracy:

2V 0.001V 0.8%+5
20V 0.01V 0.8%+5
28V 0.1V 0.8%+5

6
External design of HOPI HP9800 & HP8713 this seems as very interesting, similarities with desktop power meters seems to be there but they are not.

9800 portable power meter this is another nameless product with specifications that you can not trust. 
By doing your own research you will discover that this product has limited bandwidth no more than 45~65Hz.

Most to all of such cheap meters they can measure efficiently only resistance loads, switching power supply and LED lights these are excluded.
They can get connected only to Mains voltage and not at AC invert-er output.

Some 9800 portable power meter they come with USB plug and also there is available windows XP compatible software (MICROSOFT .NET FRAMEWORK 4).
Software name this is: HAND-HELD Power monitor analysis (software author unknown / last version 4/2017)
This software it does logging at PC screen but you can not save any recorded values for later review, neither this includes any harmonic content analysis.
In simple English this software it is just a toy. :(

Description of True RMS neither this can be verified.

This product comes branded as Antai , HOPI , Nicetu ST-9800, and even as totally unbranded.
Possibly ODM factory of it this is Lutron in Taiwan, I did spotted this information from some text over the PCB.

Beware of specific product pricing because similar gadgets they sold for no more than 10$ or Euro.     
Regarding functionality beware of this Note: When the active and reactive power is displayed, the working time and power are displayed alternately every 5 seconds.


https://www.ittsb.eu/forum/index.php?topic=1236.0 
7
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.
 
8
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. :)



9
This is a tip for making your own 1nF capacitor if you wish to test calibration of lowest measuring range regarding capacitance in your DMM.

In case that you own HIOKI DT4282 or Keysight U1272A which both have rich display resolution, if you connect over they input one Pomona 2BC-36 cable assembly, then you may expect a measurement of 0.8nF to 1.1nF .
Such min-max (tolerance) this is a proof that your meter this is well calibrated.

2BC-36 cable assembly this is no other than two double banana plugs and RG58 at a length of 91.5 cm.
https://www.pomonaelectronics.com/products/cables/coaxial-and-rf-cables/double-banana-plugs-rg58cu
Now instead buying such cable assembly you may consider making your own.

Parts that you may seek alternatively this is a double banana to BNC and one BNC to BNC (RG58) cable no longer than 90cm.
 
I did run this test today and I discovered that my HIOKI DT4282 this does one ultra fast measurement compared to U1272A which requiring 7~8 second so measurement to stabilize on screen.
Just for the fun of it I did test also Fluke 28II, and I did rediscover for once more time that this does not have necessary screen resolution for this job.  :)

10
Bench-top Oscilloscope / Tektronix TDS2000C series Update Rate in Wfms/s ?
« Last post by Kiriakos GR on August 02, 2018, 11:47:43 AM »
This is a quick post for anyone seeking for the most hidden specification by Tektronix, for their old TDS2002c and similar models.
In the question what is their Update Rate in Wfms/s ?   
The answer is : 200 wfms/s

History recorded that Tektronix even at 2012 which was the period in which GW Instek and even RIGOL both demonstrate middle priced scopes with over 50.000 Wfms/s, Tektronix did not follow this race in favor of speed delivered at friendlier pricing.

Tektronix since 2012 and up to date, it followed another path and this was to deliver 3 in one product solutions at pricing that most people they do consider as totally unfriendly.

Personally I do not have any problem at all, when a brand wants to focus at specific customers group which this does not include me in it.
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