Tag Archives: Used-Line

What to Consider when Purchasing a Digital Multimeter

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The Digital Multimeter (DMM) is the most fundamental test and measurement instrument in the electronic technician kit or engineer’s lab bench. It provides a number of functions, the most common being resistance, voltage and current. Secondary functions can include temperature, induced current, low frequency measurement, and other routine tests needed to troubleshoot circuits.

DMM types

Many technicians use more than one digital multimeter, as they tend to be designed to suit a particular purpose in various environments. A DMM used in a clean room or laboratory is totally unsuitable for use in an outdoor environment or under harsh or hazardous conditions. In practical use, the DMM may need to be operated while wearing gloves during an ice storm, or may need to be handheld, extremely compact, and lightweight for portability. They can be rack mounted in a semi-permanent installation to be in close proximity to equipment that needs to be constantly monitored.

Here is an example of a DMM that can operate in temperatures below -40°C: The Agilent U1273AX.

U1273AX Specifications and FeaturesLearn more about the various features and specifications for the U1273AX.

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DMM accuracy standards

Some DMMs are functional and practical, even without routine regular calibration certification. When the tolerance of a resistor may be 10% or 20%, a DMM accurate within 3% is generally sufficient. In the days of analog D’Arsonval meters, parallax distortion and the vagaries of electromechanical movement could result in erroneous readings near 2 to 3%. DMMS are far more stable and immune to misinterpretation of the readout.

 DMM longevity

DMMs have a relatively high attrition rate. This is the result of multiple meters required by each technician in the field and not so much a failure of an instrument. DMMs are designed to be used hundreds of times a day, both in laboratory and field conditions. Field equipment is often subject to abuse from impact of a dropped instrument to total immersion in water and similar environmental hazards. Laboratory equipment needs to be replaced as technologies advance and evolve.

DMM features

DMMs are basically the same instrument, regardless of the make or model. What distinguishes one from another are cosmetic appearance and the user interactive interfaces. Each of these differences are highlighted as features. Not every meter can have every feature; it is up to the technician to know which configuration on a DMM is optimal for any given situation.

DMM advanced or enhanced features

Some typical enhancements include dual displays, RS-232, USB or IEEE computer interfaces, audible alarms or tone feedback, which enables the technician to keep his eyes on the device under test rather than on the meter. High-priced options include very tight measurement tolerances. Some enhancements can include backlit LCD displays, as opposed to LED displays. Induced current “clamp meters” and similar exterior measurement accessories are usually optional, but may be included as a part of a package. Some features include hold and store min/max readings, auto-ranging or auto-sensing circuitry and similar hands-free operation. If multiple and various readings are necessary, these features can offer a vast improvement over manual ranging and repeated button-pushing to change DMM settings.

Here is a DMM with a USB host port on the front panel: The Tektronix DMM4040.

DMM4040 Specifications and FeaturesLearn more about the various features and specifications for the DMM4040.

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 Advantages of used DMMs

Of course, this is where Used-Line comes into the story. Leasing companies, larger companies employing scores of technicians, or smaller small- to medium-sized businesses seeking to stay within tight budgets can be well-served by considering procurement of used and re-certified, discontinued models or factory-refurbished DMMs. This is a cost-effective solution that will serve the company now and into the future. All technicians have particular makes and models of test instruments that they have high-confidence with using every day. In field applications, many techs prefer Fluke and Simpson meters for their ruggedness, durability and useful features without resorting to gimmicks or unnecessary bells-and-whistles. Given that some DMMs can cost over $10,000, depending on the degree of precision and accuracy required, buying used or as-new discontinued instruments can make or break a budget.

 Selecting the right DMM

Choose the best quality instrument that meets your need. With higher-priced test equipment it is a wise idea to lease an instrument to ensure its suitability to the task. Realize that equipment turn-over for many of the top leasing companies is due to deprecating features or advancing technology. Leasing companies frequently sell their equipment to used-line.com clients in sufficient quantities to make offering them at steep discounts possible, with no sacrifice to name-brand quality, dependability and service.

We can’t exit this blog post without showing a Fluke. If you’re looking for 365-day stability, have a look at the Fluke 8508A reference multimeter.

8508A Specifications and FeaturesLearn more about the various features and specifications for the 8508A.

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Where Can I Find a Clintec Automix 3+3 Compounder?

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Probably not at a Walmart store.

And why would I want a Clintec Automix Compounder?

Well, personally, I don’t actually need one – but – according to the stats on Used-Line, quite a few of our users do.

Before we look at the statistics, let’s try to describe what a Clintec Automix Compounder is. It is not a gas chromotograph, which was discussed in our most recent blog about the Agilent 5975. After doing your compounding thing with the Clintec Automix, you could then use the Agilent 5975 to separate and analyze what you compounded, but why would you want do to that? You would be reversing the process, wouldn’t you?

The Clintec Automix Compounder is a parenteral nutrient compounding system. If I understand this correctly, parenteral nutrient compounds are compounds that are administered by circumventing the digestive system. The compound is often fed intravenously.

Saline solution for IV

Saline solution for IV (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most of us are familiar with IV (intravenous) lines, but are less familiar with the processing of the mixtures that are inserted into the IV lines. This is where  compounding systems come into the picture. The Clintec Automix 3+3 Compounder is one such system. It is an automated system, and it can handle the processing of large volume ingredients, such as water and glucose.

Now let’s move on to the statistics.

Last month, July 2013, the terms, “clintec automix” were used in Used-Line searches 199 times. These two terms used together took up position number three in the top 100 search terms entered by visitors. Similarly, Google Analytics revealed that “clintex automix” was used in 72 Unique Searches on Used-Line, placing the terms in position number one for the month of July.

July 2013 Stats for search term, "Clintec + Automix"

AnalyticsCountUnique SearchPosition
Google 721
Used-Line1993

So where can you find a Clintec Automix 3+3 Compounder? On Used-Line, of course!

If you are in the market for a Clintex Automix compounder (you may be one of the 72 unique searchers who contributed to our July statistics), Toronto Surplus & Scientific has listed a Clintec 2M8286 Automix pump module on Used-Line. Toronto Surplus & Scientific Inc. has provided the following specifications on their own website:

  • Delivery Volume Range: 10 – 5000 ml
  • Specific Gravity Range: 0.50 – 3.00
  • Dimensions: 20.5″ W x 12.5″ D x 21.5″ H

If the pump module is not specifically what you want, you can post your own want list in the Used-Line Wanted System, which sends out a daily list of wanted items to all registered dealers. We will be talking about the ULWS soon! Watch for it!

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Six Top Reasons for Listing your Inventory on Used-Line.com

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Here’s the windup...

BaseBall Windup

Baseball Windup (Microsoft Office Image)

You mean you need a reason? Ok, so fine, we’ll give you six reasons. All six reasons are based on points that Used-Line customers have already made about Used-Line’s portal for used test, lab, and semiconductor equipment.

Used-Line appreciates customer feedback, both positive and negative. Well, mostly positive! But we are always ready to learn from our customers.

Let’s make one thing clear. There aren’t only six reasons for listing your equipment on Used-Line.com. We’re simply listing the TOP six reasons here. Our blog post would become a lengthy dissertation if we were to list them all. And you would probably get the point by the time you read Reason #73.

The six reasons we chose are those that we garnered from our customers’ feedback. You can read what our customers have said in their own words in our customer testimonials. Thank you, Used-Line customers!

…And here’s the pitch.
Baseball Pitch

Baseball Pitch (Microsoft Office Image) 

1. EXPOSURE

Used-Line exposes you to a large potential customer base. Used-Line visitors, whether dealers in the market for buying or selling equipment, or private buyers and sellers, learn to trust those users they conduct transactions with on Used-Line. It is easy on Used-Line to build your own network of long-term trustworthy dealers and customers because of the solid framework for conducting your business and because of the vast selection of equipment listings.

2. ADVERTISING RESOURCES

Billboards. Banners. Listings. Your own promotions.

Plane Banner

Plane Banner (Edited Microsoft Office Image)

The advertising packages available on Used-Line are both numerous and flexible. You can be up and running in a few minutes. A first-time visitor to the site can advertise his equipment in a listing right away, simply by completing an online form. For our more sophisticated brand boosting options or for a custom-designed strategy, you can contact a Used-Line Sales Rep directly. Used-Line understands that its users have many different requirements and budgets and, as a result, Used-Line offers many flexible options.

3. EXPANDING BORDERS
There is no need to restrict your customer base to a couple of city blocks.
Of course, borders in our world have fallen away with the globalization of markets via the Internet. However, Used-Line’s international Dealer Directory provides instant contact with a vast listing of registered dealers from all over the world. This both broadens your customer base, and gives you access to hard-to-find equipment that may be available in locales at a distance from your physical location.

4. TRIAL PERIOD
The one-month free trial of Used-Line advertising lets you test the system and examine your results. You should be able to gauge the potential ROI during this first month, as well as view your results with the Used-Line Statistics feature.

5. PRICE
Price means different things to different people. Price can mean the cost of your expenses for selling equipment via Used-Line. Price can mean the selling price of your equipment. Whatever it means to you, on Used-Line, you can find the price that works for you. If your equipment is on the lower end of the pricing scale, you will be able to find a pricing scheme for selling your equipment that may cost you nothing or next-to-nothing, but which will get you top dollar for your equipment. On the other hand, you can choose a budget-friendly package with the best results for selling your high-end equipment.

6. CUSTOMER SERVICE
A smile. A fast response time. Friendly advice. Flexibility. Full attention to your specific requirements. Professional. Goes the “extra mile”.

Need we say more?


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On Views, ClickThroughs, and RFQs: Tracking your Listings on Used-Line

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If you’re wondering why your listings on Used-Line.com generate many VIEWS, but a very low CTR (Clickthrough Rate) with a decided lack in RFQs, then you are asking the right questions.

How do you check if your ad (listing) is getting the views but not the clickthroughs?

Used-Line now offers a Statistics service that can show you all the activity taking place on your listings – both individual and overall listings. We previously discussed how to write a good sell ad for Used-Line. Now let’s find out if you really do need to work on your ads – or if, in fact, you are doing OK.

The new Used-Line Statistics service can tell you how your listings are doing by providing you with:

  • Instant views of the effectiveness of your listings overall
  • The ability to drill down into the specific statistics of individual ads

Okay. So how do we retrieve all this important information?

To view overall Statistics of all your Used-Line listings for each month

  1. Log in to your Used-Line account.
  2. To view overall statistics of all your listings, click Statistics under My Used-Line on the left side of the page. View statistics for your total listings for each month in the following four graphs:
    • RFQs received: Indicates how many Used-Line buyers sent you a Request for Quote (RFQ) for items you advertised.

      RFQs received

      RFQs received

    • Views – product pages: Indicates how many potential buyers saw your postings.

      How many users viewed listings

      How many users viewed your postings

    • Click-throughs to site: Indicates how many Used-Line visitors visited your company website.

      Number of click-throughs to your site

      Click-throughs to your site

    • Click – view phone: Indicates how many Used-Line visitors clicked the Seller phone number button in your ads.

      Number of users that clicked your Phone button.

      Number of users that clicked the Phone button.

To view statistics for your individual listings

  1. If you have not already done so, log in to your Used-Line account.
  2. To view individual listing statistics, click My Ads under My Used-Line on the left side of the page. Each ad is in the ItemID column in the My Ads tab. You can view the specific statistics for each of your ads in the four columns to the right of the ItemId column:
    • Views: The number of potential buyers that viewed the ad since it was first posted
    • Site: The number of Used-Line visitors that visited your company website by clicking the Visit Website button in the ad
    • RFQ: The number of RFQs that have been sent for the item you described in the ad
    • Phone: The number of Used-Line visitors that have clicked the Seller phone number button in the ad

Note: At times, you may want to update a listing because of new or changed information. This is fine, as long as you realize that your listing will be reset. When a listing is reset, the statistics for that listing are reset. As a result, only the statistics for the most recent version of your ad will be shown.

So, let’s get tracking!


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Wearing the Internet, or, Do I Need an Eye Exam for Google Glass?

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Yes, I know everyone has already written about it. Google Glass is old news (not really, it’s new news -but it’s old in that everyone knows about it already). It’s passé (writing about it, that is). But I just can not pass up on anything that looks so Borglike. So, resistance is futile. You’ll have to read this umpteenth blog on Google Glass.

When the term, “wearing” Google Glass, was first coined, I must admit I expected some sort of shirt made out of opaque glass with your choice of colors. Well, at least, I did get one thing right – the color choices. Right now, you can get Glass in Charcoal, Tangerine, Shale, Cotton, and Sky. It wouldn’t surprise me if you can find matching colors at the Gap.

Right, so it’s not a shirt. It actually looks like goggles. Strictly speaking, one-eyed goggles. Even more strictly speaking – right-eyed goggles. I don’t believe there is a lefty version yet. I guess they couldn’t call it Google Goggles, because Google Goggles already exists as a mobile application that sends images to do your searching for you. Which I’m guessing (I’m not that sure) Google Glass can do for you, or if not now, will do so in the near future.

I’m not here to review Google Glass. I couldn’t possibly do that without trying it out. Just google Google Glass and you’ll find all the reviews you want. I’m hear to express my fascination with the concept of actually wearing something that you can chat to, ask directions of, send commands to, sent text messages with, photograph with, share stuff through, check stuff with, get information from, search with. Look, Ma, no-hands Internet! I’m sure Ma is thrilled.

l just have one kvetch. Why is everyone calling it Glass? As in, with Glass you can can send videos in real-time. Glass lets you send text messages. Get your flight arrival information from Glass. Why is Glass personified? Glass isn’t my next-door neighbor. Glass isn’t even a Borg. It’s just a piece of equipment.To me, glass is that ubiquitous substance that you make out of sand and it’s only capitalized when it’s the first word in a sentence. Google Glass is not (yet) ubiquitous and I’m sure it will take a while before I can pour my soda into it.

But I look forward to the day when Google Glass will get sold on Used-Line!

And, no, I doubt you need an eye exam to wear Glass. But what do you do with your prescription glasses while wearing Google Glass? Seems it could be a little awkward wearing Glass together with your eyeglasses. Do you need to wear contact lenses? Have laser eye surgery? Well, I shall have to go and google Glass and find out!


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Live from Tektronix: The new Real-Time H500/SA2500 Spectrum Master

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The new Tektronix handheld spectrum analyzers, the H500 and the SA2500, which were recently added to Used-Line.com’s T&M Specifications page, are ruggedized instruments with an interface that has been designed for high quality visibility and easy navigation in the field.Tektronix H500/SA2500

But these usability features do not detract from the analyzer’s performance specifications. With a 10 kHz to 6.2 GHz frequency range, a +20 dBm to -160 dBm reference level range, and 100% POI for transients with 125 µs minimum signal durations (H500), these spectrum analyzers pack a punch that can be found in many desktop analyzers.

However, according to Jim McGillivary, general manager of the Tektronix Source Analyzer Product Line, “…what makes these instruments truly revolutionary is our unique real-time DPX™ live RF spectrum display technology. No other instrument or technology offers such a practical, fast and easy way to discover unknown, randomly occurring digital RF events.”

Tektronix H500/SA2500 specifications


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How to Write a Good Sell Ad on Used-Line.com

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Okay, all you equipment dealers out there. It’s time to put on your marketing caps. I know that Copy-Writing 101 was not on your Engineering Degree Curriculum. Or was it? In fact, I had to pass a compulsory technical writing course before I could graduate with my Electronics Technician Diploma. By the time I realized my lifelong dream of soldering resistors and caps onto circuit boards, it was 1990. By then, college curriculum planners, those prophets of trends in marketing and everything else, could already envision the day when their students would unplug their soldering irons, frequency counters, and scopes to don their sales or marketing caps – and suits.

So now that you are spending your days writing advertising copy, where are all those anticipated RFQs? Could it be that our users are not clicking through to view your ad?

Reasons that an ad may not succeed

  • No details
  • No price listed
  • No image
  • Item not actually in stock

Well, I know, that doesn’t tell you much. In fact, I rest my case. It’s almost a carbon copy of an ad that is not going to bring in the RFQs. So, let’s see what we can do about this.

How to to generate interest in your ad

Include a description, not just a title.

  • Key specs: A potential buyer may not need to know the formula for calculating the aperture frequency accuracy of a used network analyzer right off the bat; however, he will at first glance be interested in a little more than only the frequency range of the instrument. Depending on the complexity of the instrument, three to five key specs are all you need to encourage a buyer to look deeper and request more information.
  • Configuration information and options included: Can you throw in the CD Player without the special trim hubcaps? In the days when most vehicles sported cassette players, and a CD player was considered a luxury item, this double item option was offered to me on a new Chrysler Neon. It was all or nothing! The CD Player and the special hubcaps or, sorry, lady, no cigar. (I didn’t want the cigar either.)

I think we understand the importance of specifying the specific configuration of an instrument not only when the various options offer a variety in specification ranges and upgrades, but also a vast scope in functionality – all for the same model number. The “luxury” configuration that increases the overall cost of the instrument may not be needed. On the other hand, you may be surprised at how easily a more minor extra, such as an operator’s manual, may be just the impetus for producing a clickthrough. So, tell the users about all of it – the expensive upgrades, the specialty functionality options, and the default configuration. As well, letting buyers know that an instrument has no options built into it is also useful information and may be just what they are looking for.

  • Features: Keep your features description personal. Go ahead and use manufacturer brochures to describe your equipment’s features, but zoom into the special add-ons and specific configurations of the unit you are selling.
  • Condition of the instrument: Your item may be new, almost new, used for a year, reconditioned, calibrated, five years old, or good for spare parts only. Tell our users about it.
  • Price: Providing a price for our users eliminates a step they would otherwise need to take. It brings a buyer closer to transaction completion. Everything else being equal, the priced ad is more likely to get the clickthrough than the “Call for price” ad.
  • Image: Use a genuine photograph of the actual instrument to
    • Spark interest in YOUR ad.
    • Provide confidence that the instrument actually is in stock.
    • Reassure the buyer that there will be no surprises – what you see is what you get.

By the way, if you provide an image of your equipment, it has a strong chance of being featured in the top row of the listings page together with only three other ads.

  • Describe your sales conditions if these are not already in your dealer description on Used-Line.com. These include warranty information, terms and conditions, and payment options.

If I was to summarize all of the above in one sentence, it is this: Do not try to make the potential buyer do all the research if you want him to click through your ad.

And here’s a tip with a plug for a Used-Line feature! Consider using Used-Line’s inStock icon: in Stock icon001

Nothing can be more frustrating for a buyer than to find exactly the equipment he needs in an ad, only to discover that it is not currently in stock. Much of the equipment advertised on Used-Line is actually in stock, but how does the user know this? Using the inStock icon in an ad gives it an edge over an ad with inventory uncertainties. If you would like to learn more about the Used-Line inStock icon, see our FAQ .

See on Used-Line.com:
Add your company to Used-Line’s list of Dealers
Selling your equipment on Used-Line


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