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Author Topic: History facts M3500A PICOTEST - ARRAY 6 1/2 multimeter - Made in Taiwan 2006  (Read 2031 times)

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Online Kiriakos GR

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These days I am exploring entire market and makers of   6 1/2 benchtop multimeter.
M3500A  DMM this one it is much less know in Europe because for a long time Taiwanese ODM they were selling this product to American brands and them selling it overpriced with end result vast majority of consumers never touched it. 

Now lets get back in time and start from the begging, first marketing trace of M3500A DMM this made by PICOTEST Corporation and according internet traces, first one this discovered at October 2006. Asian web-page.

Two years later ARRAY.sh  in Taiwan also appears as factory distributing this model.
While January of 2018 ARRAY brand prints it first product flyer, general manager Mr. Hawk Shang, he was received final documents of product declaration according to European standards at  13 August 2009,  therefore since then and after they could export their product.

What it does bother me this is the FACT that in the past 12 years neither of them demonstrated passion for perfection so to build a nice website, this also offering the ability so international customers to be able to order a single spare part for this multimeter. 
M3500A it was about to be forgotten even in Asia, but it competitor HP/Agilent  34401A this become EOL at 2016 and M3500A resurrected from the dead as compatible product design which it can replace dead 34401A these working in specific industrial test systems.

Regarding vast majority of consumers in west world M3500A this is invisible, no one tested it, no one made a review of it and no one take it apart.
From the other hand my research revealed that this product since day one was fully documented and service manual was freely available with all technical details other than calibration unlock password.

Within 2012  (five years after production) in a Chinese forum users starts talking about it, and major complains are two, menu system has some of complexity and internal voltage reference ( APEX  VRE310 ) this is not that immune to room temperature changes caused at night and within  24 hours operation.
In simple English while M3500A this is somewhat superior to 34401A in measuring speed, when it comes down to electrical metrology comparisons and testing of voltage accuracy, old 34401A with internal Vref LM199/LM399 (By Linear Technology)  this has superior stability and repeatability (warranted by internal heater).

Personally I did build my own 10V voltage reference standard by selecting LT1021-10 (By Linear Technology), direct comparison of the three:  LM399 – VRE310 and LT1021-10, it makes clear that LT1021-10 it is the winner while all three are quit similar.
LT1021-10 this is just a bit clean of Peak to Peak noise compared to LM399, and immune to drift from 2 Celsius up to 100 Celsius.

At January of 2019 I did politely challenge both PICOTEST and ARRAY so ITTSB Blog to receive a latest produced product sample, this inducing matured firmware and PCB revision, for a true evaluation and product review of M3500A in European terrain. 
In case of refusal from their end, this automatically translates that neither ITTSB Blog will ever deliver a positive recommendation to Blog visitors about getting one.
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