I'm looking at getting their 830 model... it's a multifunction calibrator that simulate mA, V/mV, frequency, and resistance, plus a bunch of profiles that correlate mV and resistance to known thermocouples, RTDs, and pH probes. I know it's a long shot since it's a niche tool, it's hard to find any opinions about their reputation, aside from Fluke.
Kind of a pricey tool, but the fact it can measure and simulate all the basic mV/V, mA, and ohms makes it kind of a nice swiss-army knife. Has some neat features too, can tell you loop mA, voltage, and load. has dual channel that can be set up to translate one to the other as a transmitter. Pretty compact too.
Anyways, just curious if anyone has heard of them or knows about their quality.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention - not heard of them before!
It's described as a 'technician friendly calibrator', and presumably has a market for constant multiple process calibrations.
Perhaps purchaser reviews may help in assessing value for money.
I like the PIE's.
Our company has had a half a dozen 334's (4-20mA calibrator/sources) for at least 7-8 years now. The 820E and an 830 are maybe 3-4 years old. I have used the 4-20mA, volt, thermocouple and RTD, both source and read functions, and all work as expected.
I like the disposable AA batteries, compared to our HART handhelds with rechargeable batteries that need a fair degree of 'battery management'.
The carry case is large enough to carry spare batteries and the probes/cables.
The PIEs are rugged and we have not needed any repair services.
The cal 'cert' that comes with a new unit states only that it passed calibration; it is not a full blown cert with values and deviations at various points. I presume you can get a full-blown cert but we only need a full blown cert on one or two units, so we pay for the full blown cal cert on those one or two. I seem to remember that PIE provides full calibration procedures so other cal labs can cal it, (or if you want to cal it yourself) so you're not stuck getting a cal done only by the manufacturer.
The only thing I need to show someone is the method used to kick the meter into loop power mode when sourcing the loop power - one has to run the rotary knob upscale until loop power kicks in. I typically show that to a new guy one time, they get it and that's it. The feature is labeled on the front panel, but it helps to show someone the first time.
I took the 820E out to a site that complained that "the analog input is seeing more current that the transmitter is putting out". Sure enough the AI was seeing a greater current value; there was a ground loop and the 830 displayed the leakage current.
A couple years ago I ran into one of the PIE principals at a show and discovered that PIE has a Transmation heritage, the guy was the son of the founder of Transmation. So PIE has a long standing background in process instrument calibration.
Thank you for such a detailed response!
Sounds like a great device but honestly I'm most impressed that you can calibrate them yourself. That just shows they care more about end-user functionality and making it the best possible than making a couple more bucks by forcing people to pay them for the calibration. Think I'm gonna pull the trigger on one...