[volt-nuts] What makes a HP3458A so expensive

Robert Atkinson robert8rpi at yahoo.co.uk
Thu Jan 16 16:39:47 EST 2014

Hi Attila
In practical terms, that most expensive comodity - time is the biggest cost driver. While the components appear to be the same as "cheaper" meters, many of will have been carefully selected for best performance from a larger batch. They may also have been "burned-in" for stability. These processes take time and time is money. The selection or burn-in may have been done by the supplier but they still pass on the cost. Leakage currents and thermal EMF's have a larger impact at higher accuracy. This drives the use of more expensive materials such as PTFE insulators, exotic alloys for resistors, switch / relay contacts  and beryllium copper input connectors. You can't tell most of these differences by casual observation (itwould need XRF or chemical analysis to tell beryllium copper from other alloys).

Robert G8RPI.

 From: Attila Kinali <attila at kinali.ch>
To: volt-nuts at febo.com 
Sent: Thursday, 16 January 2014, 18:34
Subject: [volt-nuts] What makes a HP3458A so expensive


I recently got my hands on a HP3458A (unfortunately, the NVRAM batteries
are dead, but that's another story) and started digging around a bit.
These beasts are sold for 3kUSD and up on ebay, while e.g. a Fluke 8845
which seems comparable (beside being 6 1/2 digits) that sells for 1500CHF new.

So, what makes the HP3458A so expensive?

            Attila Kinali

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the little doings of the day. I believe I could find something ridiculous
even in the saddest moment, if necessary. It has nothing to do with being
superficial. It's a matter of joy in life.
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