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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2018
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    122
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    Anyone using UEI DL429 or DL489 clamp meters

    I've got some credits coming and was thinking about a backup meter for my working partner. We're kind of curious about UEI meters, not having used one, long term, since the DL389, which was a really decent meter, but kinda slow in some respects. We did try a DL479 and it was a junker for sure, slow, flaky readings, were the norm, and sometimes you couldn't tell what it was up to. After seeing the newest meters and hearing a few rumbles about them being much better, I was wondering about the DL429 and DL489, both push button meters that look interesting. I've heard the original 429 had some issues with two thermocouples plugged in gettting flaky, but there's a "B" version out now, and I'm guessing that issue got corrected. I wish UEI had better communications, especially on their website, about what upgrades the "B" version. Even an email to them netted a generic response, about "new and improved", so no help there.
    Just looking for hands on response about them. I have to confess, I'm one of those guys who hates slow meters, but they don't have to be lightning fast, just so I don't have to dither around waiting for it to decide what to display. I won't be using it, but my pard, is just as picky as me.
    Any info would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Salt Lake City/Tooele
    Posts
    5,436
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    I have had the DL429 now for almost five years. The very first one I was given to beta test the bluetooth and it crapped out for what ever reason, but I was given a later version, not sure what after the beta testing period and that is the one I have had ever since. I use it daily where I am at. Most of the guys around me have a bulky Fluke the company has issued them, but being more in HVAC, than an electrician, I like the functionality of having a handheld meter, with an amp clamp, dual display, dual temperature, micro-amps, capacitance, all in one gizmo, and it has been fairly bulletproof. It takes 6 AAA batteries, it is not power hungry, so I do not feel like I am chewing through batteries. One of the main reasons, back in the day, I wanted this meter was the ability for it to marry up with a bunch of Fieldpiece accessory heads I owned and to be able to use the blue-tooth capabilities of this meter with those heads to perform remote stuff, like be inside on a cold day while watching my micron gauge during a vacuum, be on one side of a large Intellipak in the VFD section and read what was going on back in the main control section, use the sub-cool/super-heat head attached outside a large module RTU while I am inside adjusting the TXV....that was the main reason, and it did not disappoint me with what I wanted. Now blue-tooth and wifi stuff is every where and on everything and now I can't remember the last time I used the blue-tooth feature of this DMM. Another great thing is that there is no beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep when your on high voltage like the relentless squeal of the Fieldpiece meters, I do like that for my sanity. The Non-Contact-Voltage is nice, but flaky, I would not trust your life on it as with a real one. The push buttons do take a day or two to get use to, but they are not to bad, honestly I forget that most handheld meters use a rotary switch. The push buttons are used since if you are interested in using the bluetooth app with the meter you can change the settings remotely like from ohms to voltage, etc. It has been a good all round troubleshooting meter for me. I have used it for temperature and it is fairly accurate, like anything else requires monthly ice-bowl calibration if you are needing exact readings. It seems resilient internally, I have made some pretty stupid brain fart moves, like have it in resistance mode and then start checking 480vAC source, it will beep at you that your being a bone head, but no damage no foul. I am not nice to it, it has no case and it is stuffed in a tool bucket day after day, so that has to say something.

    The dislikes I have had is the slow response to AC voltage. If you are checking for voltage the red LED will light up, but it takes about 3 seconds for the screen to display a reading, that is a nuisance to me but I got use to it. Another nuisance is the side button for HOLD, I seem to always inadvertently bump or press that, it was placed in a sh!tty location for sure. The magnets in the back are pressed into the molded plastic of the meter, and they have a very thin black covering across them, that black cover material wore away quite quickly leaving bare magnets exposed which I must be conscience of in a panel not to accidentally short something with them. The magnets are weaker than the ones used by FP, thus I find they do not always support the weight of the meter so on thin sheet metal it may start sliding or a slight tug on the test leads and it may drop.


    I may just be a lucky one that is getting a lot of use out of this meter, there may be another that had it a month or a year and just flat out hated it. Remember I was given this meter for assisting them with some beta testing, so it was free. I will say that my experience with UEI is that they are not as apt to support you as is Fieldpiece, if I had to make a choice now I would probably go with a FP stick meter instead, even though they have that consistent beeeeeeeeep...LOL.

    Hope this helps a bit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    122
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks a lot! That's just what I wanted to know. There really is a wealth of knowledge here for sharing!

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