Author Topic: FLUKE: Cutting to the chase  (Read 10718 times)

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Offline easilyconfused

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FLUKE: Cutting to the chase
« on: July 05, 2010, 12:11:56 am »
I'm embarrassed at how many hours I've been debating which meter to buy. Dave's episode giving a list of multimeter must-haves (for hobby electronics) was great, but.... taking that list and trying to match it up with various products is over my head because the spec listings are unclear to me from one brand to another and from one model to another. So what I would really like to do is to just go ahead and get a Fluke so that I can take quality out of the equation. That's half the battle. Then-- I wish Dave would come right out and name the Fluke models that satisfy the aforementioned must-haves. Then I could simply buy the cheapest one. That might mean new, it might mean used. I'm pretty sure I'd make a DONATION. ;)
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: FLUKE: Cutting to the chase
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2010, 12:42:46 am »
Oh no , just another one, fishing for info about multimeters ...  ;D

I am not going to debate with any one , but its silly to ask for an recommendation ,
with out having knowledge of what you need ..

No one could tell you what " you need "  ... simple as that. 
 

Offline easilyconfused

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Re: FLUKE: Cutting to the chase
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2010, 01:24:30 am »
Oh no , just another one, fishing for info about multimeters ...  ;D

I am not going to debate with any one , but its silly to ask for an recommendation ,
with out having knowledge of what you need ..

No one could tell you what " you need "  ... simple as that. 

Okay smart ass. I DID say what I was gonna do with it. I said I was going to use it for "hobby electronics". If that's too vague for you consider this: I said it had to fulfill Dave's parameters. I even narrowed it down to one brand. If Dave chooses not to point out the particular Fluke's that meet his parameters-- that's fine. It might be a lot of work sifting through them. But-- for all I know, he may know precisely which one's do. On every forum there's a shit-ass like you looking to flame someone for asking a question.
 

Offline Time

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Re: FLUKE: Cutting to the chase
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2010, 01:29:20 am »
Oh no , just another one, fishing for info about multimeters ...  ;D

I am not going to debate with any one , but its silly to ask for an recommendation ,
with out having knowledge of what you need ..

No one could tell you what " you need "  ... simple as that. 

Okay smart ass. I DID say what I was gonna do with it. I said I was going to use it for "hobby electronics". If that's too vague for you consider this: I said it had to fulfill Dave's parameters. I even narrowed it down to one brand. If Dave chooses not to point out the particular Fluke's that meet his parameters-- that's fine. It might be a lot of work sifting through them. But-- for all I know, he may know precisely which one's do. On every forum there's a shit-ass like you looking to flame someone for asking a question.

whoa whoa, I don't think he was trying to "flame" you.  Calm down!  He was just trying to be helpful and sincere.  I don't think he meant anything ill at all.
-Time
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: FLUKE: Cutting to the chase
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2010, 02:40:07 am »
The problem is that IMO, the Fluke 80 series is the cheapest Fluke that I'd consider suitable for "electronics" use because it has uA current ranges. The Fluke 80 however is one of Fluke more expensive top-shelf meters, and that's the down side.
The 110 series are electricians meters, and the famous Fluke 170 series are very nice, but also lack uA ranges, so more suited to "electrical" use than electronics.

There is the Fluke 17 of course that meets all the spec requirements, but that's made in China, sold only in the Asian market, and doesn't have the usual Fluke Lifetime warranty. It's built down to a price. But I'm sure it's a good enough meter and a lot of the Fluke quality would rub off on it. At least I'd hope so after the Fluke 19 fiasco of may years back.

Dave.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: FLUKE: Cutting to the chase
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2010, 02:44:28 am »
Oh no , just another one, fishing for info about multimeters ...  ;D

I am not going to debate with any one , but its silly to ask for an recommendation ,
with out having knowledge of what you need ..

No one could tell you what " you need "  ... simple as that. 

Okay smart ass. I DID say what I was gonna do with it. I said I was going to use it for "hobby electronics". If that's too vague for you consider this: I said it had to fulfill Dave's parameters. I even narrowed it down to one brand. If Dave chooses not to point out the particular Fluke's that meet his parameters-- that's fine. It might be a lot of work sifting through them. But-- for all I know, he may know precisely which one's do. On every forum there's a shit-ass like you looking to flame someone for asking a question.

whoa whoa, I don't think he was trying to "flame" you.  Calm down!  He was just trying to be helpful and sincere.  I don't think he meant anything ill at all.

Kiriakos does have a "unique" way expressing his opinion, and that can unfortunately be easily taken the wrong way sometimes!

Dave.
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: FLUKE: Cutting to the chase
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2010, 11:48:32 am »

Kiriakos does have a "unique" way expressing his opinion, and that can unfortunately be easily taken the wrong way sometimes!

Dave.

Now days I am well prepared , I always hold an umbrella when I reply ..  :D  :D  :D
 

Offline saturation

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Re: FLUKE: Cutting to the chase
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2010, 11:52:13 am »
Look at these:

http://us.fluke.com/Fluke/usen/Products/Digital-Multimeter-Selector.htm

As the basic DC accuracy drops, so does the price. You can find discounts in the USA but don't know elsewhere.  If it doesn't say Made in USA, its likely from the China Fluke plant.

For prices, check Amazon.com.  Then find someone reputable who can beat that.

If there was one model to recommend, its the 87V.  Its been around for over 20 years attesting to its usability, dependability and good enough accuracy.  Any of the prior versions, 1 though 4, are just as good, if they are working well and it can be found via eBay, buying with caution as with all used items, for as low as $100.

Dave, can you explain the Fluke 19 fiasco?  I'm not sure that model was marketed outside of Asia.


The problem is that IMO, the Fluke 80 series is the cheapest Fluke that I'd consider suitable for "electronics" use because it has uA current ranges. The Fluke 80 however is one of Fluke more expensive top-shelf meters, and that's the down side.
The 110 series are electricians meters, and the famous Fluke 170 series are very nice, but also lack uA ranges, so more suited to "electrical" use than electronics.

There is the Fluke 17 of course that meets all the spec requirements, but that's made in China, sold only in the Asian market, and doesn't have the usual Fluke Lifetime warranty. It's built down to a price. But I'm sure it's a good enough meter and a lot of the Fluke quality would rub off on it. At least I'd hope so after the Fluke 19 fiasco of may years back.

Dave.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2010, 12:35:08 pm by saturation »
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: FLUKE: Cutting to the chase
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2010, 12:20:22 pm »
If there was one model to recommend, its the 87V.  Its been around for over 20 years attesting to its usability, dependability and good enough accuracy.  Any of the prior versions, 1 though 4, are just as good, if they are working well and it can be found via eBay, buying with caution as with all used items, for as low as $100.

I've personally got a Fluke 80 series on ebay for under $100 delivered to Australia, but you have to be lucky and patient.

Quote
Dave, can you explain the Fluke 19 fiasco?  I'm not sure that model was marketed outside of Asia.

The Fluke 19 was Fluke's first Made in China meter. It was built down to a price and trialed in the Asia/Pacific market only as a trial to see how the market would react. This was 1998. It was sold retail here in Australia at Dick Smith and other places for AU$199. This was a bargain compared to the Fluke prices at the times. 12 months warranty.

IRRC, it used the chipset from the Fluke 80 series so had many of the features, but not the accuracy, but still pretty good at 0.3% DC.

It "felt" and performed like a really good meter and became massively popular.
Unfortunately, a huge number of meters would eventually fail 6-12 months later (notoriously 1 day out of warranty!) and start "playing up" and doing really weird stuff. Not much in it to go wrong, so rumor was it was the chipset going kaput somehow. It was a massively widespread problem. I haven't heard of too many still working to this day.
My personal one failed, as did every single one we had at work!
Fluke learned a lot from that incident I believe, and it has lead to the 17B and other China models available nowadays.
I used to have 3 or 4 half working ones in the cupboard, but sold them a long time ago. (it's amazing what people will buy on ebay! :->)

http://www.fluke-test.com.au/pr01.htm

Dave.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2010, 12:23:45 pm by EEVblog »
 

alm

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Re: FLUKE: Cutting to the chase
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2010, 12:21:30 pm »
I wonder if it would be better value for people on a limited budget to buy a meter without (low) current ranges and use an external shunt or two? It seems you pay a pretty large premium (assuming you're buying retail) for an 80 series meter compared to a 110 or 170 series meter, just for the microamps range (I'm aware that they have other advantages, but none are critical for basic electronics work). If you accept a burden voltage of 0.5-2V or so, you don't need something like a uCurrent. Something like a 1 kohm 1% resistor (or a few with switches) plus HRC fuse (the uCurrent does have HRC fuses, right?) would do for 2000uA full scale with 1uA/mV sensitivity, most of them (at least the older 112 I use for portable use) do go down to 1mV AC/DC. Add a switch and some lower resistors (100/10/1 ohm, the latter have to be higher power) for other ranges. Building this would cost far less than the $100+ premium that you pay Fluke, and wouldn't be very hard. Sure, you don't have everything in a nice package, but you have to change connections around for measuring current anyway, so it wouldn't be that inconvenient.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: FLUKE: Cutting to the chase
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2010, 12:29:05 pm »
I wonder if it would be better value for people on a limited budget to buy a meter without (low) current ranges and use an external shunt or two? It seems you pay a pretty large premium (assuming you're buying retail) for an 80 series meter compared to a 110 or 170 series meter, just for the microamps range (I'm aware that they have other advantages, but none are critical for basic electronics work). If you accept a burden voltage of 0.5-2V or so, you don't need something like a uCurrent. Something like a 1 kohm 1% resistor (or a few with switches) plus HRC fuse (the uCurrent does have HRC fuses, right?) would do for 2000uA full scale with 1uA/mV sensitivity, most of them (at least the older 112 I use for portable use) do go down to 1mV AC/DC. Add a switch and some lower resistors (100/10/1 ohm, the latter have to be higher power) for other ranges. Building this would cost far less than the $100+ premium that you pay Fluke, and wouldn't be very hard. Sure, you don't have everything in a nice package, but you have to change connections around for measuring current anyway, so it wouldn't be that inconvenient.

Easier to simply buy a $50 cheapie for uA measurement, and you get a bonus 2nd meter.
So in that case a 170 series would be a good option if you want Made in USA and lifetime warranty
The 110 series is nice if you are happy with Made in China + 3 years warranty.

Dave.
 

Offline easilyconfused

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Re: FLUKE: Cutting to the chase
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2010, 03:28:36 pm »
"...the Fluke 80 series is the cheapest Fluke that I'd consider suitable for "electronics" use because it has uA current ranges."
Dave.

That's precisely what I was asking. Simple as that. Thank you. Consultation fee (donation) is on the way. However, I learned about the 17b after asking the question. So I might go with it. My rationale is this: Fluke thinks enough of it to let them use the name and the look. As you know- many companies offer cheapies but only under a different name and look. And it'll be new, not an unknown quantity, from ebay.

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.28659
 

Offline easilyconfused

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Re: FLUKE: Cutting to the chase
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2010, 03:30:21 pm »
Kiriakos-GR:

I apologize. I was tired and frustrated.
 

Offline saturation

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Re: FLUKE: Cutting to the chase
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2010, 03:36:24 pm »
Good luck.  There is a thread on the 17B if case you're interested, with pics:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=384.0


"...the Fluke 80 series is the cheapest Fluke that I'd consider suitable for "electronics" use because it has uA current ranges."
Dave.

That's precisely what I was asking. Simple as that. Thank you. Consultation fee (donation) is on the way. However, I learned about the 17b after asking the question. So I might go with it. My rationale is this: Fluke thinks enough of it to let them use the name and the look. As you know- many companies offer cheapies but only under a different name and look. And it'll be new, not an unknown quantity, from ebay.

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.28659
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: FLUKE: Cutting to the chase
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2010, 04:51:26 pm »
Kiriakos-GR:

I apologize. I was tired and frustrated.

Apology accepted  :)
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: FLUKE: Cutting to the chase
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2010, 01:03:52 am »
"...the Fluke 80 series is the cheapest Fluke that I'd consider suitable for "electronics" use because it has uA current ranges."
Dave.

That's precisely what I was asking. Simple as that. Thank you. Consultation fee (donation) is on the way. However, I learned about the 17b after asking the question. So I might go with it. My rationale is this: Fluke thinks enough of it to let them use the name and the look. As you know- many companies offer cheapies but only under a different name and look. And it'll be new, not an unknown quantity, from ebay.

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.28659

Fluke have cheaper meters branded Amprobe. But it's a different company they acquired and a different design group.
I'm lead to believe the Fluke 17 is designed by the Fluke team.
In either case, and Fluke and Amprobe branded meters are qualified and tested by Fluke in the US.

Inside shots here:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=384.0
Certainly has all the hallmarks of a Fluke design.

Dave.
 

Offline KLRdude

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Re: FLUKE: Cutting to the chase
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2010, 07:27:34 am »
Hello Dave,

I am really curious what your take is on the Fluke 15/17 only being CAT I 1000V/ CAT II 600V.  I personally wouldn't buy either one because of that.  Maybe that is what Fluke marketing requested as I would think it would discourage some customers.  I do understand that a lot of people would only be using it for low voltage electronics work but every now and then most guys end up checking something on the mains.

KLR
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: FLUKE: Cutting to the chase
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2010, 08:38:24 am »
I am really curious what your take is on the Fluke 15/17 only being CAT I 1000V/ CAT II 600V.  I personally wouldn't buy either one because of that.  Maybe that is what Fluke marketing requested as I would think it would discourage some customers.  I do understand that a lot of people would only be using it for low voltage electronics work but every now and then most guys end up checking something on the mains.

In all honesty it doesn't really matter in this case. As much as a I harp on about CAT ratings, it's horses for courses. If you only have that sort of money to spend then the Fluke 17 looks like a great meter. It would be perfectly suitable for hobby mains use. CAT-II is technically all you need to measure a typical household mains outlet safely anyway, but I do prefer to tell people to opt for a CAT-III meter.
The inside photos of the 17B show it well laid out, with the classic big HRC fuses and MOV's, so it's certainly not skimping on protection.
I should have included it in my $100 shootout I guess, but technically it's not for sale outside of Asia.
And personally I'd trust a CAT-II Fluke more than I'd trust a CAT-III one-hung-low brand.

Dave.
 

Offline Simon

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Re: FLUKE: Cutting to the chase
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2010, 05:29:49 pm »
Oh no , just another one, fishing for info about multimeters ...  ;D

I am not going to debate with any one , but its silly to ask for an recommendation ,
with out having knowledge of what you need ..

No one could tell you what " you need "  ... simple as that. 

Okay smart ass. I DID say what I was gonna do with it. I said I was going to use it for "hobby electronics". If that's too vague for you consider this: I said it had to fulfill Dave's parameters. I even narrowed it down to one brand. If Dave chooses not to point out the particular Fluke's that meet his parameters-- that's fine. It might be a lot of work sifting through them. But-- for all I know, he may know precisely which one's do. On every forum there's a shit-ass like you looking to flame someone for asking a question.

Oh shut up ! as a new member you should hang about a bit and get to know regular members, you would soon learn that kiriakos has a certain, err... attitude and i think a lot of it is to do with him trying to write in a different language and not understanding just how little of the language he really knows. You have also not watched the blog much because a few Fluke models are mentioned often, and "hobby electronics" is still a broad thing ! I'm a hobbyist but have a project that requires more or less accurate measurement of up to 50 amps, now you don't get that in every fluke do you ?
« Last Edit: July 06, 2010, 06:00:28 pm by Simon »
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Offline saturation

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Re: FLUKE: Cutting to the chase
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2010, 06:59:55 pm »
Couldn't agree more.  A problem in many lesser brands is that the spec sheets don't live up to what the meters do.  For example, see the Uni-T thread here on the forum.  Uni-T offers decent specs, but if you can't trust what's written, what else is off?

Since CAT level protection requires high voltages to test them, at times destructively [ as some of Dave's videos show] its not an easy thing for owners to test on their own.  You have to take it on faith the meter does live up to its claimed protection.



I am really curious what your take is on the Fluke 15/17 only being CAT I 1000V/ CAT II 600V.  I personally wouldn't buy either one because of that.  Maybe that is what Fluke marketing requested as I would think it would discourage some customers.  I do understand that a lot of people would only be using it for low voltage electronics work but every now and then most guys end up checking something on the mains.

In all honesty it doesn't really matter in this case. As much as a I harp on about CAT ratings, it's horses for courses. If you only have that sort of money to spend then the Fluke 17 looks like a great meter. It would be perfectly suitable for hobby mains use. CAT-II is technically all you need to measure a typical household mains outlet safely anyway, but I do prefer to tell people to opt for a CAT-III meter.
The inside photos of the 17B show it well laid out, with the classic big HRC fuses and MOV's, so it's certainly not skimping on protection.
I should have included it in my $100 shootout I guess, but technically it's not for sale outside of Asia.
And personally I'd trust a CAT-II Fluke more than I'd trust a CAT-III one-hung-low brand.

Dave.
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: FLUKE: Cutting to the chase
« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2010, 08:15:48 pm »
I think its time to strike back  :P  

Wow people ,  when an home user needs to buy his first DMM , speaking about CAT level ,
its not the top rank subject to bother with.

Speaking about multimeters and choices , just one was never enough ..

Personally since the age of 19 ,  I always had  three multimeters next to me ..
And now at my 42 (age) ,  I made them  as " eight  units "  ..  ;D

Every one has its own personality as instrument ..

My small one portable ....
My medium sized portable ..
My  " one hand " hold tester ...
My Super extreme accurate True RMS portable ..
My " industrial type " analog  - portable ..
My bench type  " general - use "   ( I do all do not worry Boss ) 3 + 1/2   ( two of them )
My bench type  " advanced "       ( I do all do not worry Boss ) 4 + 1/2

I love them all , all fingers does not have the same size but we need them all .

The correct multimeter choice ....  its a VERY WIDE  subject ...  

By trying cut corners  here and there, so to offer , one opinion about the most usable single multimeter ,
its an utopia .
 

Offline MrPlacid

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Re: FLUKE: Cutting to the chase
« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2010, 08:28:48 pm »
Yeah, to test something you must destroy it in the process. Not an easy task for us to verify. I still have the urge to test cheap auto fuses, nothing spectacular to dave's capacitor and dmm test though.


--edit--
Kiriakos-GR, I love owning at least 3 of the exact same multimeters wether they are cheapie or a name brand one. I play mix and match the probes ;)
« Last Edit: July 06, 2010, 08:32:03 pm by MrPlacid »
 

Offline KLRdude

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Re: FLUKE: Cutting to the chase
« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2010, 01:21:12 am »
Dave,

I agree with what you are saying.  I wouldn't be surprised if the Fluke 15/17 were designed and tested to CAT III but just labeled as CAT I/II to discourage buyers outside of China.  Thanks for taking the time to answer the question.  Also glad to hear others opinions.


I am really curious what your take is on the Fluke 15/17 only being CAT I 1000V/ CAT II 600V.  I personally wouldn't buy either one because of that.  Maybe that is what Fluke marketing requested as I would think it would discourage some customers.  I do understand that a lot of people would only be using it for low voltage electronics work but every now and then most guys end up checking something on the mains.

In all honesty it doesn't really matter in this case. As much as a I harp on about CAT ratings, it's horses for courses. If you only have that sort of money to spend then the Fluke 17 looks like a great meter. It would be perfectly suitable for hobby mains use. CAT-II is technically all you need to measure a typical household mains outlet safely anyway, but I do prefer to tell people to opt for a CAT-III meter.
The inside photos of the 17B show it well laid out, with the classic big HRC fuses and MOV's, so it's certainly not skimping on protection.
I should have included it in my $100 shootout I guess, but technically it's not for sale outside of Asia.
And personally I'd trust a CAT-II Fluke more than I'd trust a CAT-III one-hung-low brand.

Dave.
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: FLUKE: Cutting to the chase
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2010, 03:26:23 pm »

--edit--
Kiriakos-GR, I love owning at least 3 of the exact same multimeters wether they are cheapie or a name brand one. I play mix and match the probes ;)

Ahhh what can I say , the last three DMM's that I got , cames all of them with out leads ..
And I have only two compatible sets of leads , from my other DMM's .

I will start buying  DMM leads from the wholesales suppliers  ;D
« Last Edit: July 07, 2010, 03:32:24 pm by Kiriakos-GR »
 


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