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  • EEVblog #185 – Fluke 87V Multimeter GSM Fix

    Posted on July 11th, 2011 EEVblog 21 comments

    What have Fluke been up to since the infamous GSM mobile phone bricking incident back in Oct?
    Not only have they fixed it, but they are giving an unprecedented exclusive look at their new pre-production board!

    Hi-Res photos here:


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    • bhtooefr

      In the US, there are laws against “false marking” of products with patents, and there are interpretations of those laws that say that the manufacturer must pay between $100 and 500, split between the government and the party bringing the lawsuit, for each expired patent, and each individual product example, marked on a product.

      So, if Fluke sells 100,000 multimeters with the first patent (which I believe expires this year) marked on them, after the patent expires, they could be on the hook for $10-50 million. And, because there’s two other patents, and a patent pending statement that may no longer be true, on there…

      (In fact, they may have needed to make that particular change as a running change, to avoid that risk, separate from the PCB revisions.)

      Not stating the patent numbers on the product avoids that quite nicely. (Also, silkscreening them instead of molding them would make a running change easier, there.)

    • Drone

      And… where’s the link to the video?

    • ac

      Just me or does the old darker and more textured plastic look better?

      • EEVblog

        You have a keen eye, it is a slightly different texture.

    • f4eru

      Dave, neyt time you open your mike, put some 100pF caps on every IO of the board ;))

    • Steve


      Where’s the link to the photos?
      Also, did you do the simple test of checking if the new components connect to the jtag pins? they might…

      Best Regards

      • EEVblog

        Link added. All photos go up on my EEVblog Flickr account.

    • Randy Ott

      OK, I just don’t get the point. If you put a strong RF emitter (cell phone) next to your DVM it might weird out. So what? Don’t do that! Why call Fluke to task over a non-issue?

      While I’m on my soap box, what’s the deal with the special sliding insulators on the probes? If you are working with dangerous voltages, be careful. That little 1/2 inch of probe is probably the least of your worries. If you can’t handle that, find another profession. Otherwise let natural selection take its course.

      • EEVblog

        The meter can be potentially BRICKED (rendered permanently inoperable) by putting a GSM phone next to it. You don’t think that’s a big deal for the worlds most famous and respected industrial meter?
        Fluke obviously though it was a big deal because they took it very seriously and fixed it ASAP.
        A GSM mobile is something that can reasonably be expected to inadvertently put near a multimeter on a work bench or desk. It is not just some random RF source at some random frequency.

    • Are

      Dave why don’t you try adding that cap and resistor to your old meter and see if it fixes the problem on the old one?

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    • Tijs

      Hi Dave,

      I Have a rev. 10 board here (Not the sticker, the board). This one doesn’t seem to have the problem either. I held the transmitting phone in every possible position, but not anything happening on the meter. This might show that the problem was fixed earlier. No idea how old this meter is.

      Just thought I’d tell you. Keep up the good work!

    • Eddie

      Be careful Dave… Becomming too important in the electronics world could cost you more than your time.

      • EEVblog

        How so?

    • http://www, dominic frank

      Hello sales,

      We are interested in placing an order Fluke Multi-Meter 87-V.


      Fluke Multi-Meter 87-V

      Kindly advise back with the price and current stock availability for this items or you can special order. Payment Credit Card.

      Dominic frank
      Groc Company
      Ph:206 202 9051
      Fax: 206 202 9051

    • Martin

      Hi Dave,

      I’m proud owner of a brand new fluke 87V-Meter and I must confess, it’s the most expensive meter I’ve ever buyed for my hobbie in private the last 30 years, professional skills (radar sites, etc.) or private (amateur radio stuff), but it’s worth every single cent! Built like a brick, a live saver every day and a no-brainer to concentrate on the real work, beauty!
      Thanks for your great reviews on such stuff, carry on! Btw, no problems with GSM or the mobile phone stuff, great! And the new one TL175 probes are like ‘my wishes come true’… :o)

      Best regards from Hamburg, Germany,

      • EEVblog

        Enjoy. I’m sure it will give many decades of reliable service.

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    • Yun Sindt

      Great video, technology moves so fast.