Electronic – Reasons not to use these leads


I found the following note with a set of test leads we use for our Agilent 34461A[1][2]:

This Test Lead Set is designed for use with the Agilent 34xxxA Multimeters, and also the U274A, U3401A, and U3402A Multimeters. Do not use with the Agilent 3458A.

I suppose they're simply not calibrated for use with other meters and 'too inferior' for use with the 3458A[3]. But afar from precision, is there any reason not to use them on a different multimeter, provided they fit?

Best Answer

In addition to the excellent answer given by @JorenVaes there is also a simpler electro mechanical reason for this caution. If you take a close look at the lead connections for the 34xxxA multimeters you can see that they are made like shown here:

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The above type of jacks are designed to be used with the shrouded type of banana plugs that look like these:

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On the other hand the 3458A meter uses test lead connections that look like this:

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As you can see the shrouded leads will not mate with the latter type of jacks. Shrouded banana plugs have come into use on many meters because of the safety they offer. The types of meters may be used in high voltage or high current applications where the user may detach the lead from the meter when it is still clipped into the test circuit.