Fluke vs. Omega Dataloggers for use with Scace thermofilter - Page 2

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CoffeeAddict

#11: Post by CoffeeAddict »

Ken Fox wrote:Another example would be when I have done consecutive shot series at one boiler temperature as well as walk up shots, using the Scace Device. If I put the consecutive shots onto channel 1 and then the walk up shots into channel 2, I'm not obligated to take the data off of the device until it is convenient to do so, since I know which shots are which even after the fact.

ken
Thanks, Ken. I'm normally not the thrifty type so if there is even a remote chance I'll need something, I'll spend more money on a higher model. And your arguments are pretty convincing. 54 it is.

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erics
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#12: Post by erics »

Let me put a plug in for the Omega HH506RA. It is $145 plus shipping and comes with software and cable to write, via an RS232 port, a nice spreadsheet file (Microsoft Excel). For $30 additional you get a USB cable that also plugs into the meter.

The one feature that the Extech 421509 (HH506RA lookalike or vice versa) has that the 506RA doesn't is that it has connections for an AC adaptor (optional) and an alarm(s) relay. I believe the Extech runs around $160 - if you could get it for $150, that's a good deal.

The Omega (and Extech) do everything (essentially) that the Fluke does at essentially the same specifications for read-rate, accuracy, and thermocouple compatibility. But let there be no doubt that, IMO, the Fluke 54 series is one heck of a great instrument with a long standing reputation for quality and durability.

As regards ease of use, I defer to Ken's judgement that the Fluke is more intuitive (I think he said that) to use but I assure you that while you may have a one or two day burn-in with the Omega or Extech, after less than a week you will say it is "duck soup." All of these meters are fully capable of recording, storing, and transferring more data than you could even dream about plotting.

Even though you say you're not thrifty (and I applaud that attitude), the Fluke is about $350 (for the 54 series alone) and $150 additional if you want their software. Being a little kind with the numbers here, the Omega is about 1/3 the cost of the Fluke. No offense meant in saying this but that, to me, is beyond the bounds of thriftiness.


Eric S.

Ken Fox

#13: Post by Ken Fox »

erics wrote:Let me put a plug in for the Omega HH506RA. It is $145 plus shipping and comes with software and cable to write, via an RS232 port, a nice spreadsheet file (Microsoft Excel). For $30 additional you get a USB cable that also plugs into the meter.

The one feature that the Extech 42509 (HH506RA lookalike or vice versa) has that the 506RA doesn't is that it has connections for an AC adaptor (optional) and an alarm(s) relay. I believe the Extech runs around $160 - if you could get it for $150, that's a good deal.

The Omega (and Extech) do everything (essentially) that the Fluke does at essentially the same specifications for read-rate, accuracy, and thermocouple compatibility. But let there be no doubt that, IMO, the Fluke 54 series is one heck of a great instrument with a long standing reputation for quality and durability.

As regards ease of use, I defer to Ken's judgement that the Fluke is more intuitive (I think he said that) to use but I assure you that while you may have a one or two day burn-in with the Omega or Extech, after less than a week you will say it is "duck soup." All of these meters are fully capable of recording, storing, and transferring more data than you could even dream about plotting.

Even though you say you're not thrifty (and I applaud that attitude), the Fluke is about $350 (for the 54 series alone) and $150 additional if you want their software. Being a little kind with the numbers here, the Omega is about 1/3 the cost of the Fluke. No offense meant in saying this but that, to me, is beyond the bounds of thriftiness.


Eric S.
Everything you say is true, but I would not minimize the inherent cheapness of construction of the Omega device and its conjoiners. When you push a button on the Fluke, you get exactly the response you expect. When I press a button on the Omega, I have an 80% confidence level that the membrane switch under the keypad worked. So I'm always having to check to see if in fact the keypad button pushing worked. Also, when you are recording data, sometimes the timing gets rushed and you do what is intuitive. Let's say you pushed the "shift" button and assumed that it "took." Mind you, on the fluke all the major functions are "first order" functions that require only one button to be pushed, but on the Omega you have to have the damn thing in "shift" mode just to get the damn thing to log. If you did not push the shift button or if you pushed it and it didn't "take," then when you start your logging series, hitting the button that you thought would start logging but instead you have pushed the "Read" button and what you will get is an error message indicating an over temperature situation (that doesn't exist). As a result, if say you were doing a shot series, you then have to wait another 10 minutes or whatever, before you can try again. If you turn off the Omega in between shots (if there is a fairly long interval between them) then you have to remember to hit the "shift" button again and to check that when you hit the button it "took," or you will screw up your next attempt at logging as the meter does not remember that it was in shift mode before when you turn it back on. This sort of thing has happened to me many times, data lost due to poor meter design and poor product quality (granted I've done a lot of testing) and it gets to be frustrating and is a real time waster.

I don't find reviewing data on the Omega to be practical; I just have to download it through their clunky program. If you try to do this and are successful, you will go out of "shift" mode and then are likely to end up with the problem I refer to above on your next logged series. On the Fluke you can review logged data easily on the fly and then start logging some more data, seamlessly.

The Omega has a lot of functionality but it is really a cheap POS. Since most of us aren't made of money and since many of us don't do this sort of stuff for a living, we have to make compromises. And the Omega is a fairly significant compromise.

ken
What, me worry?

Alfred E. Neuman, 1955

JimG

#14: Post by JimG »

I am late in finding this thread - sorry for the rehash.

I own both meters, and don't have any disagreements with what has already been written. But I think I can add a little new info, as well as reinforce some stuff that's already been covered.

Omega HH506RA (Extech 421509)
An area where the HH506RA really shines is the ability to log data directly to the PC in real time. This can be done without having to fiddle with the buttons on the meter, and allows graphical viewing of trends as they happen, rather than after downloading and post-processing. This visual feedback is especially helpful for activities like tuning controllers.

The HH506RA software is a little clunky, and the RS-232 link drops data all the time. But it usually recovers nicely, and then continues to march along. The recorded data file can be opened as-is in Excel, and plotted with almost no manipulation. I think the only limitation on data is the size of your hard drive. I have successfully recorded a few hours of temperatures at 1 second intervals.

Because of the weak user interface on the Omega, I leave it semi-permanently hooked to a PC and rarely use it to log data in purely hand-held mode. Seems like every time I tried to use it as a remote logger, I pressed the wrong buttons. I even had to remove the batteries a couple of times 'cause I couldn't escape from where I was and it looked like I was getting ready to reset some important stuff on the meter :-(

Fluke 54 Series II
OTOH, the Fluke 54 is fantastic in hand-held mode. Like Ken says, very intuitive. Does exactly what you expect. But it can only store 500 data points (499 actually). And these data can only be transferred to the computer *after* they have been stored on the meter and the measuring is done. So realtime graphical viewing of trends is not possible, nor is capturing a large data set.

The FlukeView Forms software is powerful. It is the same software that supports a wide variety of other Fluke meters. The cable for the 54 is optically coupled with an infrared source that is hiding below the top plate on the meter (which is infrared-transparent). This RS-232 cable comes with a holster that has a friction fit in a recess in the top of the yellow armor case. Software and cable are pretty slick, but very pricey at $160+.

Finally, a minor quibble with the Fluke 54 is that both channels must be set to the same t/c type (can individually select on the Omega). Most of the time, this is not a problem. But I mix T and K probes in my shop all the time, depending on what was cheap when I bought it, or what I salvaged from junk I had lying around. So the ability to individually select T1 and T2 t/c types would be very useful.

Jim

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jesawdy

#15: Post by jesawdy »

jggall01 wrote: Omega HH506RA (Extech 421509)...

The HH506RA software is a little clunky, and the RS-232 link drops data all the time. But it usually recovers nicely, and then continues to march along. The recorded data file can be opened as-is in Excel, and plotted with almost no manipulation. I think the only limitation on data is the size of your hard drive. I have successfully recorded a few hours of temperatures at 1 second intervals.
FYI, I have an Extech 421508 which has no ability to datalog internally, but can be used to datalog tethered to a PC. The software seems plenty good, given the price, FREE to download. (I use the HH506 version from Omega). I haven't seen any issues with dropped data yet, are you using a USB/serial adapter?

I've had similar issues with the meter getting frigged in some weird state. One morning, I found my meter outside, it was locked in some state, I was too lazy to find a screwdriver to remove the battery at that moment; it started beeping for low battery some time early the next AM, and my wife set it on the back porch! :oops:
Fluke 54 Series II ...

Finally, a minor quibble with the Fluke 54 is that both channels must be set to the same t/c type (can individually select on the Omega). Most of the time, this is not a problem. But I mix T and K probes in my shop all the time, depending on what was cheap when I bought it, or what I salvaged from junk I had lying around. So the ability to individually select T1 and T2 t/c types would be very useful.
It should be noted the Omega/Extech meters have the ability to mix thermocouples.

Omega also has some new dataloggers that work with a wireless interface and PC... that might be slick, drop the tether/cable and still log to a PC in real time.
Jeff Sawdy

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erics
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#16: Post by erics »

Another nice meter is the Omega HH806 series (new) which APPEARS to be a potential replacement for the HH506 series. I

http://www.omega.com/toc_asp/frameset.h ... 806&flag=1

Yes, it's about $60 more than the HH506 but has some enhanced features as regards data storage and AC adaptor capability.
Skål,

Eric S.
http://users.rcn.com/erics/
E-mail: erics at rcn dot com

JimG

#17: Post by JimG »

jesawdy wrote:FYI, I have an Extech 421508 which has no ability to datalog internally, but can be used to datalog tethered to a PC. The software seems plenty good, given the price, FREE to download. (I use the HH506 version from Omega). I haven't seen any issues with dropped data yet, are you using a USB/serial adapter?
Nope, just an old-fashioned RS-232 9-pin cable. I think I recall Eric reporting some issues with the USB version, so I chose to not "upgrade."
jesawdy wrote:I've had similar issues with the meter getting frigged in some weird state. One morning, I found my meter outside, it was locked in some state, I was too lazy to find a screwdriver to remove the battery at that moment; it started beeping for low battery some time early the next AM, and my wife set it on the back porch!
Reminds of a favorite digital watch I wore for years - until it took exception to being dunked in the Henry's Fork during a float trip. Late that night in the cabin, it started beeping and wouldn't stop. Stuck it in the freezer where it only survived around 5 minutes. RIP.

Jim

JimG

#18: Post by JimG »

erics wrote:Another nice meter is the Omega HH806 series (new) which APPEARS to be a potential replacement for the HH506 series.
Nice. Did you buy one yet, or do I still have a few days? :wink:

Jim

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civ

#19: Post by civ »

Hello:

I've been following this thread as I am also sort of shopping for one of these instruments.
The Fluke being absolutely out of the question, I went looking around for something I could acquire locally for a reasonable price/quality ratio and came upon this:

Image

Royton Model 101/104 Datalogger
http://royston-esl.co.uk/100%20specs.htm

One and four channel models available, RS-232 Cable and Window$ software included at ~US$ 145.00 for the single channel version.

Alas, it would seem to be exactly (?) the same as this one, the Tenmars TM512D, made by an OEM manufacturer, :

Tenmars TM-7XX Series Digital Thermometers
http://www.tenmars.com/front/bin/ptdeta ... gory=12513

One, two, three and four channel models available, RS-232 Cable and Window$ software included. No price quoted at the web site but I'm sure they're are available under other names both in the US and Europe. An email to them with an inquiry may eventually produce a list of shops that carry them.

Hope the info is useful to the group.

Best regards,

CIV

JimG

#20: Post by JimG »

Hi, CIV -

Looks like another good choice. Note that the basic instrument accuracy is 0.7C. Both the Omega/Extech and the Fluke are spec'd at 0.3C.

Depending on your needs, maybe this difference is not significant.

Jim