Author Topic: Fluke 233 alternative  (Read 12248 times)

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Offline hacklordsniper

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Fluke 233 alternative
« on: November 07, 2011, 01:13:00 pm »
Im wondering is there any? I like the product but it has few flaws for which im sucessfuly avoiding it for now. Did any other manufacturer clone this design (deatachable display)?

Google does not have an answer  :)
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Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2011, 03:30:58 pm »
Did any other manufacturer clone this design (deatachable display)?


Only me I can understand your motives about saying something like that.  :)   ( Overpriced Fluke items in Europe)

But I do have a question for you, what if the price was equal to what someone would have to pay in USA,
would you buy it ? 
 

Offline hacklordsniper

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2011, 04:38:58 pm »
Hello!

Yes the prices of Fluke are usually 2-3 X times bigger than in USA and it hurted when i bought my Scopemeter. But however its not point of discussion here since im only interested does an alternative exsist?

IF the 233 would have mA range and some other little things to be more "electronics" meter, a rechargable battery in head (and body too) i would buy it.
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Offline Zad

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2011, 10:11:26 pm »
I'm considering modifying my 233 to reduce the IR LED drive currents by increasing the series resistor. When the units are docked they don't need to be driven at full power, and when they are undocked the RF link takes over anyway.

Offline hacklordsniper

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2011, 08:39:55 am »
I'm considering modifying my 233 to reduce the IR LED drive currents by increasing the series resistor. When the units are docked they don't need to be driven at full power, and when they are undocked the RF link takes over anyway.

It will not be a great saving but it will possibly improve little. I would wonder if Fluke did not allready think about it
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Offline Achilles

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2011, 11:09:21 am »
I hink there was a Chinese supplier who had a system like the fluke 233.....but the System on the Unit was fixed and there was a secondary remote display.
I will have to search for that one. I stumbled over that some weeks ago.  To be honest I can't say anything about the quality, but it may be worth a look at least.
 

Offline hacklordsniper

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2011, 12:19:05 pm »
I hink there was a Chinese supplier who had a system like the fluke 233.....but the System on the Unit was fixed and there was a secondary remote display.
I will have to search for that one. I stumbled over that some weeks ago.  To be honest I can't say anything about the quality, but it may be worth a look at least.

Please let me know when you find it?
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Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2011, 01:09:52 pm »
After the last incident in this forum, that was an forum member who was totally unsatisfied,
with the battery life of the removable display of the Fluke 233.
It is an surprise to me, that this specific design had start to earn new friends.  :) 

I do not have any suggestion about an equivalent model right now,
but I will pass the news if I do find anything. 
 

Offline hacklordsniper

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2011, 01:16:44 pm »
After the last incident in this forum, that was an forum member who was totally unsatisfied,
with the battery life of the removable display of the Fluke 233.
It is an surprise to me, that this specific design had start to earn new friends.  :) 


Im watching this multimeter from the times they posted a first upcoming release on their website. I have many situations where this multimeter would save me, but im ignoring it until they make it more "electronics" and fix some flaws.
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Offline Achilles

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2011, 01:22:40 pm »

Please let me know when you find it?

Yes, sure. I will follow my traces to find it again and post a link here.
 

Uncle Vernon

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2011, 01:29:58 pm »
In 99.9% of real world use what is it that the 233 achieves that could not be achieved with a longer set of quality test leads.
It's clever and all that but is the extra complexity, poor battery life etc worth that?
I cannot help but think it's may skill is looking impressive on initial encouters. For my money I can see wow value and then lots about a 233 I don't think I'd want to live with.

I'd be interested in hearing the more sane reasons about why the format is worth its apparent downsides?
 

Offline Achilles

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2011, 01:57:14 pm »
I found it again, but I have to correct myself.
It has been a clamp-meter made by Der ee
http://www.deree.com.tw/de-35.htm


Another thing I came across soem days ago. CEM (the chinese Fluke-287-Clone manufacturer) has an Android APP to acess the bluetooth enabled meters and devices. For occasional work that could work, too.
http://de.appbrain.com/app/meterbox/com.cem.androidclient.MultimeterCloud
 

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2011, 02:44:31 pm »
In 99.9% of real world use what is it that the 233 achieves that could not be achieved with a longer set of quality test leads.
It's clever and all that but is the extra complexity, poor battery life etc worth that?
I cannot help but think it's may skill is looking impressive on initial encouters. For my money I can see wow value and then lots about a 233 I don't think I'd want to live with.

I'd be interested in hearing the more sane reasons about why the format is worth its apparent downsides?

I will share one example that came to mind, without implying that the 233 is the best solution for it.

In an internal combustion engine test cell the door must be sealed shut for the test bed to operate. The only entry point for cables to the room is a hole in the floor leading to under the test bed. Passing any leads from there requires concete floor tiles to be lifted. In that situation a wireless based solution is ideal for quick tests.
 

Offline hacklordsniper

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2011, 02:47:47 pm »
Exactly like that, i need many times to leave meter in one room or close door behind myself to start measuring. Having so long test leads is not always best solution.
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Uncle Vernon

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2011, 07:36:18 pm »
I will share one example that came to mind, without implying that the 233 is the best solution for it.
Thanks Alex, I wasn't aiming to start meter wars or poke fun at those who have selected a 233, I am genuinely curious about which situations would show the 233 as a must have.

Quote
In an internal combustion engine test cell .............
Yes I can see where that makes perfect sense. Not something a great many would encounter on a routine basis of there work but yes I can see the 233 having real advantages in that situation.

Exactly like that, i need many times to leave meter in one room or close door behind myself to start measuring. Having so long test leads is not always best solution.
Um why? What day to day situation (such as the potential engine detonation) dictates you must retire to safety between every attachment of the meter test probes?
 

Alex

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2011, 08:23:11 pm »
Unfortunately the 233 does not appear to be Ex rated, which would be a nice accompanying feature for a wireless DMM.
 

Offline sonicj

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2011, 11:49:29 pm »
you could add a spp bluetooth dongle like the rn-41 to a serial enabled meter like uni-t's ut-61d.  you can then use your laptop, phone, additional display, whatever. rn-41 is a very handy tool for quickly converting serial devices into wireless.
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Alex

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2011, 11:55:55 pm »
Thats a great idea sonic. I guess one can use the usually optical serial port on meters say like the fluke 289 and gain the advantages of the 233. Then the receiver should appear as a COM port to be readily usable by say Fluke View Forms. Is there a commercial product to do just this?
 

Offline vk6zgo

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2011, 12:07:38 am »
In 99.9% of real world use what is it that the 233 achieves that could not be achieved with a longer set of quality test leads.
It's clever and all that but is the extra complexity, poor battery life etc worth that?
I cannot help but think it's may skill is looking impressive on initial encouters. For my money I can see wow value and then lots about a 233 I don't think I'd want to live with.

I'd be interested in hearing the more sane reasons about why the format is worth its apparent downsides?

I will share one example that came to mind, without implying that the 233 is the best solution for it.

In an internal combustion engine test cell the door must be sealed shut for the test bed to operate. The only entry point for cables to the room is a hole in the floor leading to under the test bed. Passing any leads from there requires concete floor tiles to be lifted. In that situation a wireless based solution is ideal for quick tests.

Wouldn't such a cell be provided with hardwired metering?
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Alex

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2011, 12:19:11 am »
Oh loads. But you always seem to need a sensor where you dont have one for the experiment. Say you need a thermocouple at a specific point connected to a logging DMM. It is very inflexible and LabView based...

A wireless scope probe would be even more useful, if one has come across any.
 

Offline PetrosA

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2011, 05:06:46 am »
As a mostly residential and light commercial electrician I can't say much about where wireless would be a "must have" per se, but I can sure think of a lot of situations where it would save bundles of time. Tracing circuits, testing breakers/switches for instance. Last year I did an installation at a small gas pipeline monitoring station. One of the things I did was install door sensors which had to be wired in series. Testing them turned into a two man job with one guy running around activating the switches and a second standing there looking at the readouts.
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Uncle Vernon

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2011, 05:20:19 am »
One of the things I did was install door sensors which had to be wired in series. Testing them turned into a two man job with one guy running around activating the switches and a second standing there looking at the readouts.

That's a real one, maybe not an everyday situation but certainly a common scenario where the 233 could shine.  Would depend very much on the available range of course.  I've used a Sonalert or sounder in that situation, which is something not always appreciated by cubicle clowns and other nearby tenants.
 

Offline hacklordsniper

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2011, 06:56:26 am »

Um why? What day to day situation (such as the potential engine detonation) dictates you must retire to safety between every attachment of the meter test probes?

There is no dangerous reason in any of my work. However many times the controls are on the other side of what im measuring, so i need to put the meter, turn on the controls, come back to see the meter and then go and turn it off again. Many times the object of test and the point where i should be when testing is done is not tied together.

I dont say its impossible to work without one, but manytimes it would come handy.
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Offline saturation

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2011, 11:20:40 am »
I can't recall any non-Fluke DMM with a detachable readout but Extech and others have wireless serial connections so you can see the meter's output in realtime on your laptop using Wifi or Bluetooth.

http://www.extech.com/instruments/product.asp?catid=48&prodid=530
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Offline sonicj

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2011, 06:28:10 am »
Thats a great idea sonic. I guess one can use the usually optical serial port on meters say like the fluke 289 and gain the advantages of the 233. Then the receiver should appear as a COM port to be readily usable by say Fluke View Forms. Is there a commercial product to do just this?
exactly... any software you normally use to communicate via serial should work, just select the bluetooth port instead of your normal COMX port. its basically like a wireless ft232rl.

i think sparkfun has a breakout version of the rn41. looks like iteadstudio has a similar SPP module with xbee footprint on sale for $13.50usd. i personally have a spartan blue link which is just a expensive rn41 in a nice plastic case.
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Uncle Vernon

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #25 on: November 10, 2011, 07:06:22 am »
There is no dangerous reason in any of my work. However many times the controls are on the other side of what im measuring, so i need to put the meter, turn on the controls, come back to see the meter and then go and turn it off again. Many times the object of test and the point where i should be when testing is done is not tied together.

I dont say its impossible to work without one, but manytimes it would come handy.
I guess it's personal preference and what annoyances  you routinely encounter. I can see the advantages for isolation chambers etc. and when working on things like full sized control room panels, but still believe in a lot of the situations Fluke has suggested some longer leads would be ultimately more convenient than chasing up a bucket load of batteries on a regular basis.

I'd like one, I can see where it would be a good addition to my handheld test gear locker, but there are a lot of other toys still higher on my priority list. The wireless serial option back to a knockabout netbook might be a good low cost alternative. (thinking)
 

Offline hacklordsniper

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #26 on: November 10, 2011, 10:14:25 am »
Im not too impressed about using a netbook and bluetooth toys. First you need to pair them, then connect them.... It could be useful in a lab as static setup but doing it all the time would not be so fun. System "pull the display and use it" is only thing i would consider anywhere. If they would atleast install a rechargable in the display charged by base which will have a beefy rechargable battery inside i would buy it with specs as it is.
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Offline saturation

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #27 on: November 10, 2011, 10:25:04 am »
Yes, I would prefer the same because bringing a laptop is more bulk.  At least, you can use LSD NiMH in the Fluke to save batteries costs.  But you are left with only the Fluke solution.

If someone writes an app for Android or iPhone you can use the cellphone as a remote terminal using a wifi or bluetooth lower cost DMM as the sending unit.

Im not too impressed about using a netbook and bluetooth toys. First you need to pair them, then connect them.... It could be useful in a lab as static setup but doing it all the time would not be so fun. System "pull the display and use it" is only thing i would consider anywhere. If they would atleast install a rechargable in the display charged by base which will have a beefy rechargable battery inside i would buy it with specs as it is.
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Offline hacklordsniper

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #28 on: November 10, 2011, 10:29:02 am »
I wonder does Fluke listen to these customer customer wishes and needs?

I have a feeling that Fluke is simply somewhat living on the "old glory". If i look their many ranges (ScopeMeter) for example its like time has stopped long time ago.
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Uncle Vernon

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #29 on: November 10, 2011, 10:42:31 am »
Im not too impressed about using a netbook and bluetooth toys.
I can totally understand and thankfully (connect seven times out of ten) bluetooth isn't the only or cheapest serial RF option. I have the netbook there all the time for other task, so for me it'd be no issue. On site it's all about carting the minimum amount of space junk from location to location, for someone else the meter may be less clutter.

Quote
First you need to pair them, then connect them....
You'll get no argument from me about bluetooth being a kludgy piece of perpetual annoyance. some simple serial and USB RF transceivers however you just power plug and go.

Quote
If they would at least install a rechargable in the display charged by base which will have a beefy rechargable battery inside i would buy it with specs as it is.
That's my main disincentive from the 233 it looks like battery hell.
A different form factor would have probably been a lot more practical and made room for some hefty rechargables. But I guess marketing had long ago decided that a Transformers Style offshoot from a familiar design would be what the public would accept.
 

Offline hacklordsniper

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #30 on: November 10, 2011, 10:56:55 am »
I agree with all your points. Who knows maybe Fluke listens us and will come with something up.

However i know Agilent is watching this forum too, maybe they come up with a their version. Im also suprised Chinese still did not clone this...
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Offline Zad

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #31 on: November 10, 2011, 07:33:50 pm »
Fluke did listen to me in the element-14 forum. Unfortunately their response was that their customer research (this would be the marketing department) had decided that certain functions were acceptable trade-offs for a poor battery life. Conveniently neglecting that doing proper engineering would have allowed them to have both.


Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Fluke 233 alternative
« Reply #32 on: November 10, 2011, 08:25:20 pm »
I wonder does Fluke listen to these customer customer wishes and needs?

I have a feeling that Fluke is simply somewhat living on the "old glory". If i look their many ranges (ScopeMeter) for example its like time has stopped long time ago.

a) They do.

b) The No1 about service and support in USA, they are living in their reality, that is a super large corporation that takes a minimum risk, about getting new models every year.

Actually no one needs new models every year, but even if some one needs something as differential design from what they have in their current production,
I believe that they do their calculations, and if it looks profitable, they move on.


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