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A Good Meter For Solar System Testing

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  • Novascotiasolar
    replied
    Good info, thanks guys

    Leave a comment:


  • Naptown
    replied
    How you doing hawkman
    Long time since last post
    How are things going for you?

    Leave a comment:


  • rhawkman
    replied
    Oh yeah, any of them are more than I can afford, if I still want to live in a house and eat food. I get to play with cool expensive stuff at work. I, on the other hand have a $2 walmart analog multimeter.

    Leave a comment:


  • bcroe
    replied
    Originally posted by rhawkman View Post
    The 8566 newer? It's ancient. However, when they replaced ours with first a Rohde & Schwarz FSM30 we made them leave our old 8566. A couple years ago that was replaced with the MXA but they put our 8566 into the engineering drawings now and it has a dedicated antenna while it sits on top of our safe. I love its one button ability to do peak search and max hold and stored settings with 2 button pushes. The MXA does more but I hate having to go thru menus.

    The 8566 is so good that when we got them in the 80's the USAF PMEL guys would steal ours so they could calibrate their calibration equipment.
    The 8566 is newer than what I can personally afford. And I like knobs better than menus.
    When I was hired, they were using something even older (round screen). In recent times,
    equipment must be calibrated by methods traceable to NBS, annually (one of my side jobs).
    Bruce Roe

    Leave a comment:


  • rhawkman
    replied
    The 8566 newer? It's ancient. However, when they replaced ours with first a Rohde & Schwarz FSM30 we made them leave our old 8566. A couple years ago that was replaced with the MXA but they put our 8566 into the engineering drawings now and it has a dedicated antenna while it sits on top of our safe. I love its one button ability to do peak search and max hold and stored settings with 2 button pushes. The MXA does more but I hate having to go thru menus.

    The 8566 is so good that when we got them in the 80's the USAF PMEL guys would steal ours so they could calibrate their calibration equipment.

    Leave a comment:


  • bcroe
    replied
    Instruments

    Originally posted by rhawkman View Post
    I like these. Use them nearly every day. Ok, so they aren't mine but they are pretty sweet.

    Agilent MXA spec an

    Rohde & Schwarz SMU200a

    Best spec an in the history of mankind is the HP8566b. Found one on ebay for only $2900. Better than the $35k MXA

    [url]http://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-8566B-Spectrum-Analyzer-100-Hz-to-22-GHz

    But these suck; techtronix ths730 handheld o'scope.

    Ok, so I am a test equip geek. Sue me. I'll shut up now.
    I can't afford the newer HP8566b spectrum analyzer. But an older
    HP8565A 40 GHz spectrum is sitting on my home bench. Very good
    to see how much interference an inverter, MPP, or other switching
    controller is going to cause to my ham or other communications. A
    matching 1 GHz digital frequency synthesizer sits next to it.

    As for the THS730, it has a very unique feature. The 2 probe grounds
    are floating, they don't have to be connected to the same potential.
    Very handy to check the input & output of an isolated power supply.
    That is what I got it for. Of course it is a handy storage scope,
    which I can run off my 12V car battery.

    As for a voltmeter, it doesn't cost a fortune to get a few decimal
    places accuracy, easily good enough for this kind of work. The
    low level Fluke on my bench will resolve down to a micro volt.
    Bruce Roe

    Leave a comment:


  • rhawkman
    replied
    The SMU200 is way overkill for what we do, but probably more applicable to what you are talking about, cell stuff. The only good thing about it is the way you can program modulations into it. Ok, thats not the only thing, but in some ways for us it's like using a saturn V to get on your roof. They took away our real o'scope and gave us a headless network one. I hate that thing.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sunking
    replied
    Originally posted by rhawkman View Post
    I know it's no good for solar but I like them. And yep, HP broke into two divisions, Agilent for the 'professional' stuff.
    Well actually Agilent and Rhode & Schwartz are used a lot with Telephone Companies and Cellular Telephone companies. I am from the Telecom sector, and my company does a lot of electrical and RF work for Verizon and ATT to name a couple, and we have both Agilent and Rhode & Schwartz test equipment. I know what you mean about expensive as one of the Agilent Spectrum Analyzers cost as much as some new cars.

    Leave a comment:


  • rhawkman
    replied
    I know it's no good for solar but I like them. And yep, HP broke into two divisions, Agilent for the 'professional' stuff. You know, what the gov't buys. They spend oodles on this stuff but we can't get a decent DVM. This also made me think of when I was a kid. Made the mistake of using a PSM6 (analog meter) to check a 300v power supply test point...with it set to read amps. All the magic smoke escaped from the box and I got to fix it. At least I didn't have to pay for it. All you tax payers did.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sunking
    replied
    Kno wall that equipment, but RF test equipment is useful for solar power, and Hewlett Packard no longer makes test equipment. HP sold all that to Agilent.

    Leave a comment:


  • rhawkman
    replied
    cool test equipment?

    I like these. Use them nearly every day. Ok, so they aren't mine but they are pretty sweet.

    Agilent MXA spec an

    http://www.home.agilent.com/en/pd-78...ng&cmpid=28233

    Rohde & Schwarz SMU200a

    http://www.rohde-schwarz.com/en/prod...3493-7555.html

    Best spec an in the history of mankind is the HP8566b. Found one on ebay for only $2900. Better than the $35k MXA

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-8566B-Spe...item3ccdb5ac0f

    But these suck; techtronix ths730 handheld o'scope.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI...ectorid=229466

    Ok, so I am a test equip geek. Sue me. I'll shut up now.

    Leave a comment:


  • likes to eperiment
    replied
    Sunking, i like how you think, more stuff less fluff...

    Leave a comment:


  • Sunking
    replied
    Originally posted by iamshane View Post
    Wow! Thanks for your post man, I really find it very interesting and informative.. But why would you post and make it sound so god yet you are not interested?
    Learn to read. I have a FLUKE meter. Fluke is top of the line professional equipment and it cost around $900 for what I got. Extech are good meters for a DIY budgets at $50 to $100 price range. Which is the greater number? $900 or $100?

    Leave a comment:


  • bcroe
    replied
    DC Clamp on Meter

    Originally posted by bcroe View Post
    Another clamp on meter with 40A and 400A DC scales
    is the TENMA 72-7226. I managed to get one on sale for $40 from MCM, but
    regular isn't a lot more. Very good for a quick panel test, effect of moving
    shadows, etc for my several paralleled panels. Bruce Roe
    Looks like I actually got a 72-7224. Its on sale again thru 9 Nov, 20% off the
    usual $50 from the same source using code EMC313. Bruce Roe

    Leave a comment:


  • PNjunction
    replied
    I guess it goes without saying, but avoid shirt-pocket or ten-dollar special multimeters. Just because they are digital doesn't mean they are accurate.

    I started cheap, and when I took my at-rest SOC voltage measurement, I thought I was doing fine at 12.2 volts for a rough 50% DOD. I upgraded to a Fluke, and found that I was really at 12.0 volts. Not good. A ten-dollar meter is a nice way to kill expensive batteries.

    Leave a comment:

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