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Calibrating Brymen BM-Series Multimeters

Easy Way To Calibrate a Bryman BM869s Multimeter

After replacing my lost Fluke 87V multimeter with a new Brymen BM869s
(rebranded Greenlee in the US) about a year ago, I’ve been delighted with the
multimeter. It has every possible function I could ask for and then some. It’s been
my go-to meter when working on electronics projects. I do have a Siglent
SDM3055 DMM that is very good, but due to its startup time, I usually reach for
my Brymen BM869s when I need to measure something, and it has higher
resolution. But after getting a broken HP/Agilent 34401A DMM from eBay, fixing
it up and replacing all the capacitors, I now have a better reference. I’ve compared
it to a friends calibrated 6 ½-digit multimeter, and it’s still within spec, so naturally,
I want my Brymen to be as close to my HP 34401A as possible. Turns out that
calibrating and adjusting the Brymen is quite easy. Here’s how to do it.

Deciding on what to calibrate

I’m only interested in changing the calibration of the DC voltage, especially the 0-
50 Volt range. I seldom do anything high voltage, so that’s what I want to be
adjusted. Usually, when you do a calibration, you need to go through all the
calibration steps, requiring something like a Fluke 5502A, but with the Brymen you
can do the first couple of calibration steps and still retain the settings. The DC steps
are 0, 5, 50, 500 and 1000 Volts. I can quickly do a calibration up to 50 Volts, but I
don’t have the resources or the need for the 500 and 1000 Volts.

Getting the Brymen Multimeter in Calibration Mode

There’s a manual on what you can calibrate on your Brymen Greenlee multimeter
that you can download here.

But first, it’s time to start planning on getting your 5 and 50 Volt reference to feed
the multimeter during calibration.

5 Volt Reference
First I needed a clean 5 Volt signal. I have a Siglent SDG2042X Arbitrary
Waveform Function-Generator at hand (naturally hacked to 120MHz). The DAC
on that unit is 16-bit, and the output has quite low noise. So I put the function
generator into DC mode and dialed it up to a bit over 5 Volts. Because I needed to
get 5 Volts down to 6 ½ digit precision, I connected a multi-turn 50kΩ
potentiometer that was laying around as a voltage divider to be able to set the
correct voltage.

50 Volt Reference
My bench power supply, the Rigol DP832 Programmable DC Power Supply can
only put out 30 Volts on two of the outputs and 5 Volts on the third. Luckily the
power supply outputs are floating, so all I had to do was to connect + from one of
the outputs to the – on the other. After enabling “Track On”, I just had to set output
1 and 2 to 25 Volts and get 50 Volts on the two remaining terminals. Again, I used
the potentiometer to make fine adjustments.

Channel 1 and 2 connected to get 50 Volts out.

Time To Calibrate My Brymen BM869s

The calibration procedure is the same for a lot of Brymen and Greenlee

 First, turn the multimeter off

 While holding down Select and Hold buttons, turn the selector dial to Ω
within a second. If everything worked, you should get 250.000Ω on your
multimeter display. If not, turn off and try again. It’s slightly fiddly to both
press two buttons and rotate the dial.
 After you get the 250.000Ω on display, rotate the selector dial to the part you
want to calibrate, in my case, DC Volts.
 When calibrating DC voltage, the first one is 0 Volts. Just connect a short
banana test lead between the COM and VOLT socket to short out the input to
give you 0 Volts.
 On the BM869s, press the Range and Δ buttons simultaneously to get the
multimeter ready. On other models, you need to push Range and
the Hz buttons.
 Press the Range and Hold buttons to store the value.
 The display now shows 5.0000 V on the display. Connect the 5 Volt
reference, while at the same time measuring with a good meter and adjust the
potentiometer to get to 5.00000 Volts.
 On the BM869s, press the Range and Δ buttons simultaneously to get ready,
or Range and the Hzbuttons.
 Press the Range and Hold buttons at the same time to store the value.
 The display now displays 50.000 V. Connect the power supply to the
potentiometer, adjust the voltage to exactly 50 Volts.
 On the BM869s, press the Range and Δ buttons simultaneously to get ready
or press Range and the Hz buttons on other models.
 Press Range and Hold to store the calibration value for 50 Volts.
 If you have 500 Volts available, you can continue with the calibration,
repeating the above procedure. Otherwise, you can just turn off the meter. The
stored values for 5 and 50 Volts remains.

Time To Test Your Multimeter

Do a sanity check and compare your freshly calibrated meter with your reference
meter. Voilá! You now have a calibrated meter!

If the meter doesn’t show the correct values, do the calibration steps above again
and test. Maybe you’re like me where the OCD goes on full alert if they don’t