Author Topic: DMM.s  (Read 21542 times)

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Offline Vyper

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DMM.s
« on: January 22, 2011, 08:47:38 am »
Any one own a Fluke 199c? I found one at a price I couldnt pass up so I bought it. I have more than enough test equipment and dmm,s but this was a steal. Any way was just curious what anyone thought of this particular HH scope. It works really good I cant find any problems at all. Ill play around with it for a bit and if I cant/dont/wont use it Ill consider selling it.
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Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2011, 11:29:41 am »
well, what do you expect from a $2K++ HH DMM DSO?
« Last Edit: January 22, 2011, 11:17:07 pm by shafri »
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Offline saturation

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2011, 01:55:03 pm »
I don't own one, only know of it. 

Its great tool, the killer is the cost needed to make it a portable scope.  It lists for $3600, you can get an equivalent desktop scope for 70% less at the same bandwidth, but without the CAT level safety or portability.

Given its power requirements, it uses rechargeable battery packs, I hope they are also not expensive to replace.
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Offline Vyper

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2011, 06:41:21 pm »
Well its got everything with it as far as i can tell, It came in a big hard case. Only thing it doesnt have is the battery pak, Im using alkilines in it right now. Its a little older than I thought though. I pulled up the cal menu and it read 2006 october. It doesnt appear to have been used much at all no scrathes or dents or dings and the lcd is extremeley clear. I said it wa a good deal, I gave the woman 1000 dollars so idk. i must say the more I use it the more i like it.
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Offline saturation

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2011, 09:27:45 pm »
$1000 I'd consider buying it, but I'd not blink if it was the 200 MHz version.  

The 199c has been around a while, that's a good thing, its tried and tested, debugged  ;D!

It runs off alkaline too?  That's sweet!  That means it can work off regular NiMH AA, its a steal then.  Congratulations!



Well its got everything with it as far as i can tell, It came in a big hard case. Only thing it doesnt have is the battery pak, Im using alkilines in it right now. Its a little older than I thought though. I pulled up the cal menu and it read 2006 october. It doesnt appear to have been used much at all no scrathes or dents or dings and the lcd is extremeley clear. I said it wa a good deal, I gave the woman 1000 dollars so idk. i must say the more I use it the more i like it.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2011, 09:29:24 pm by saturation »
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Offline Vyper

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2011, 05:11:11 pm »
@Saturation..Yes I put 8 alkalines in it(maybe 6) and it works great. Got bout 3 hours out of them tho so I need to mabe order the rechargeble pak for it. It is the 200Mhz BW version. and in color. Taking it to the lab at work tomorrow and gona see just what its capable of.
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Offline Vyper

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2011, 05:46:44 pm »
Just gona throw this out there guys.  I recently purchased the Agilent U1253A. everything Dave said on his review was correct about it, Nothing to awful as I remember anyway. It is slow in continuity readings but overall a very good DMM. one thing I dont recall in the review is just how really easy it is is to read the lcd at some very odd angles which can happen from time to time while working around equipment. One could almost look at it from any angle and easily see the read out on the screen. Im sure it has its faults but I'm happy with it.
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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2011, 06:57:11 pm »
@Saturation..Yes I put 8 alkalines in it(maybe 6) and it works great. Got bout 3 hours out of them tho so I need to mabe order the rechargeble pak for it. It is the 200Mhz BW version. and in color. Taking it to the lab at work tomorrow and gona see just what its capable of.
3 hours is pretty close to the original spec I think (4 hours?). Good low self-discharge NiMH cells like Sanyo Eneloop will probably last significantly longer. Don't be surprised if the original battery pack is very expensive, and be careful with used battery packs, since cells tend to degrade with age. I believe this is the chief complaint I've read about these units, dead batteries, so maybe that's why it's missing. If you can get fairly close to original battery life with standard rechargeable cells, I might just use those instead of expensive proprietary battery packs.

I wouldn't worry about performance, I'm sure Fluke did their homework, especially since it's not the first generation, those had nasty passive monochrome LCD displays, low sample rate and non-isolated channels. There are at least three generations before this one, maybe more. The Scopemeters are the sole reason why Fluke bought the Philips Test & Measurement branch (it used to be a joint venture between Philips and Fluke). Fluke dumped almost all other Philips test equipment like multimeters (they already had those), bench scopes and other lab equipment, and kept the Scopemeters.

The main complaint I've heard is about battery packs, and some people dislike the interface, a bench scope with larger display and proper knobs is nicer in some ways. It's hard to beat Scopemeters for portable applications, however, especially anything involving high energy circuits. It's designed to be fully floating, so you can safely clip the reference lead to any potential (within specified limits), and both channels are fully isolated (so both 'grounds' can be at different potentials). Don't try the same with 99% of the bench scopes, it will cause fireworks ;). The Scopemeter inputs are rated for CAT III; many other scopes are CAT II.

You should use the original probes (made by Multi-Contact I believe), since Scopemeters use special insulated BNC connectors. This is both for safety (the probes are designed with extra insulation around the reference lead, not much attention is paid to this with regular scope probes since the reference is grounded anyway), and because using metal BNC connectors will quickly wear out the plastic female connectors, which do occasionally break.

Just gona throw this out there guys.  I recently purchased the Agilent U1253A. everything Dave said on his review was correct about it, Nothing to awful as I remember anyway. It is slow in continuity readings but overall a very good DMM. one thing I dont recall in the review is just how really easy it is is to read the lcd at some very odd angles which can happen from time to time while working around equipment. One could almost look at it from any angle and easily see the read out on the screen. Im sure it has its faults but I'm happy with it.
Most of Dave's negative comments were focused on the OLED display, except the slow continuity, and he did give it a thumbs up. Nothing is perfect, at least you can safely put this meter next to your cell phone ;). Good to know that the LCD has good viewing angles, I agree that it can be very frustrating if you're unable to read the LCD screen from where you're standing. One reason why I prefer VFD or LED, but that's way too power hungry for battery powered applications (kinda like OLED ;))
« Last Edit: January 23, 2011, 07:16:07 pm by alm »
 

Offline mzacharias

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2011, 08:32:40 pm »
I keep looking at pics of the U1253B. What a wild looking meter! The battery life does seem like a killer, then I consider how I actually use a multimeter, and it doesn't seem so bad. I mostly take a couple or a few readings, then set it aside. And there's always the auto-off function. I have started referring to my Paypal account as the "1253B" fund. ;D

« Last Edit: January 23, 2011, 08:46:28 pm by mzacharias »
 

Offline Vyper

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2011, 01:48:18 am »
Thanks for the heads up and info on the 199c ALM. I did notice that both probe sets were heavily insulated like you said. Ill probably not get the battery pak as they are really expensive. I own a several fluke hand held dmms and like them all, hard to beat'em realy. I just recently sent my 867B to fluke for calibration and repairs, Cost me 500 bucks! Ive also got some old Simpson meters I keep in the lab, I might tinker around with them one of these days :). One is ithink, A simpson 376, really old. I think its an old rectifier type Ac volt meter. I dont know much about it.
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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2011, 10:58:42 am »
I keep looking at pics of the U1253B. What a wild looking meter! The battery life does seem like a killer, then I consider how I actually use a multimeter, and it doesn't seem so bad. I mostly take a couple or a few readings, then set it aside. And there's always the auto-off function. I have started referring to my Paypal account as the "1253B" fund. ;D

The OLED display is indeed gorgeous.
As noted in my review and follow up you would probably get quite usable intermittent use life out of it if you used a lithium battery.
Even Alkaline would be quite reasonable, probably a few months use @ 5/10 minutes a day.
There is the identical LCD version also which gets you much longer battery life and usability outdoors.

Dave.
 

Offline mzacharias

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2011, 11:08:07 am »
I keep looking at pics of the U1253B. What a wild looking meter! The battery life does seem like a killer, then I consider how I actually use a multimeter, and it doesn't seem so bad. I mostly take a couple or a few readings, then set it aside. And there's always the auto-off function. I have started referring to my Paypal account as the "1253B" fund. ;D

The OLED display is indeed gorgeous.
As noted in my review and follow up you would probably get quite usable intermittent use life out of it if you used a lithium battery.
Even Alkaline would be quite reasonable, probably a few months use @ 5/10 minutes a day.
There is the identical LCD version also which gets you much longer battery life and usability outdoors.

Dave.

Yeah, the U1252b is a rechargeable LCD version otherwise identical and the display _almost_ as cool looking, but IIRC it only gets about 36 hours battery life on the rechargeables, not all that much better, really. Still even the 8 hours on the rechargeable 1253B model would be OK for me in a shop. If it ran down, just grab another meter. Not good for field work, but I rarely do outside service calls.

Still, it doesn't have the TrendCapture of a Fluke 289...

So many meters - so little time!  ;D

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Offline Vyper

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2011, 08:03:24 pm »
Im glad I'm not the only one here who has a boat load of DMM's ;)   Iv'e still got the first Fluke I ever bought at my first job as a tech, Maintenance on HF welding equipment, Its a Fluke model 27. Haha, I was on top of the world with that DMM and my first job!  Its big, yellow, Heavy and still works!. If I remember right it was a milspec meter, water proof to a few feet and msha approved for CA & explosive atmosheres environments..Ive also have a fluke 707 LC and the 772 mpcm. Love the 772! also have a AWS AC VOM digisnap model DSA-2002p and an Extech current loop simulator (4-20) that doesnt even have a model # on it.    )
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Offline PetrosA

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2011, 12:10:22 am »
I'd love to add a scopemeter to my collection but life has its priorities... I am getting a new DMM though - Agilent U1272A which will be the best one I own specs wise. Hopefully should be here sometime in the next few weeks :)
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Offline Rutger

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2011, 02:49:34 pm »
I keep looking at pics of the U1253B. What a wild looking meter! The battery life does seem like a killer, then I consider how I actually use a multimeter, and it doesn't seem so bad. I mostly take a couple or a few readings, then set it aside. And there's always the auto-off function. I have started referring to my Paypal account as the "1253B" fund. ;D

The OLED display is indeed gorgeous.
As noted in my review and follow up you would probably get quite usable intermittent use life out of it if you used a lithium battery.
Even Alkaline would be quite reasonable, probably a few months use @ 5/10 minutes a day.
There is the identical LCD version also which gets you much longer battery life and usability outdoors.

Dave.
I have ordered the U1253A from Grainger for $146.25 and that is the only one still available here in the US (as of March 29, 2011). I have called the local stores and they have told me that the U1251A & U1252A are gone nationwide.  Hope to get it soon. So if you still want one get it quick (link below)!

My only concern is with the battery life like Dave pointed out, but I am wondering if I am going to use it for bench work only (low voltage) if there is a hack to add a external adapter to bypass the battery, in other words could you add a little jack for a charger.  The only problem I see is that if the meter is getting charged you can't use if for anything else! So you would have to either bypass the battery or something making the meter think it is getting a perfect 9V. Even better would be to power the meter and drip charge the battery at the same time, are they any suggestion on a small drip charge circuit and a small plug with a 3-way switch?

Rutger

PS: Here is the link: Agilent 1253A
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 02:52:22 pm by Rutger »
 

Offline Russel

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2011, 05:42:08 pm »
As Dave said regarding the U1253A:

[...]As noted in my review and follow up you would probably get quite usable intermittent use life out of it if you used a lithium battery.[...]

The Ultralife 9v Long Life Lithium Battery is 1200mAh and not all that expensive.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 05:43:44 pm by Russel »
 

Offline Strube09

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2011, 07:35:41 pm »
A quick note on the continuity beep...

If you turn on the meter to continuity and change range to 500M the beeper is much quicker to detect as it doesn't have to auto range.
 

Offline saturation

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2011, 08:00:15 pm »
A $1 9v alkaline delivers ~300-500mAH at < 100mA drain, so a $7 Li is 4x more power at 7x the cost.  You'll get ~ 32 hours instead of 8.  

A 7.2V 200mAH NiMH rechargeable may worse case, last about 4 hours, but typically can be recharged 300x, so its more cost effective.  Old style NiMH has a self discharge rate, so you'd have to top it up routinely to keep it in shape.

There is a new type 9V NiMH using LSD technology akin to eneloop, and has a terminal voltage closer to 9V:

http://www.amazon.com/Maha-PowerEx-IMEDION-Low-Self-Discharge-Rechargeable/dp/B0045KJ0Q6/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1301428121&sr=1-4

I guess you'll need to weigh how often you use the DMM to see which power approach is best suitable for your work style.

In my experience, troubleshooting just requires a measure here and there, rarely do you watch a trend over time, so hourly power consumption is less an issue.  But in design work, its easier to to monitor outputs with multiple meters all on, you could of course just measure it as you need to.  Changing batteries is easy as the battery door on the 1252A is just a half turn screw using a coin.  Those little irks do however, make one think twice about plunking $400 for an Agilent versus a Fluke 87V, but less so for a $140 Agilent  ;D.



« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 08:02:39 pm by saturation »
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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2011, 08:42:59 pm »
Yes. I've been using mine sparingly and even the rechargable battery has lasted many many months.
That's only a problem with the OLED version though.
They have a LCD version too with much longer battery life.
So unless you absolutely need or want the OLED version, the LCD version is the way to go IMO.

Dave.
 

Offline saturation

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2011, 10:01:55 pm »
In many of your shows since the DMM review, Dave primarily uses different Gossens and/or the Fluke, I've rarely seen the OLED Agilent, my guess is the screen refresh is another downer for video.

To Agilent's credit, the meter's overall design has a distinctness to it.  However, for the money Agilent asked for it originally, it does make a buyer see its faults far more critically.   AT $140, the faults seem less troubling.  In test equipment, its easy to see how vital price affects one's perception of vices and virtues.


Yes. I've been using mine sparingly and even the rechargable battery has lasted many many months.


That's only a problem with the OLED version though.
They have a LCD version too with much longer battery life.
So unless you absolutely need or want the OLED version, the LCD version is the way to go IMO.

Dave.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 10:05:10 pm by saturation »
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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2011, 10:06:00 am »
In many of your shows since the DMM review, Dave primarily uses different Gossens and/or the Fluke, I've rarely seen the OLED Agilent, my guess is the screen refresh is another downer for video.

Yes, the screen flicker makes it unsuitable for video use. Only been used once or twice on video since then.

My main meter now is either of the Gossens, they are just so nice. The big thick probe tips suck though.

Quote
To Agilent's credit, the meter's overall design has a distinctness to it.  However, for the money Agilent asked for it originally, it does make a buyer see its faults far more critically.   AT $140, the faults seem less troubling.  In test equipment, its easy to see how vital price affects one's perception of vices and virtues.

Very true.
At $140, it's the bargain of the century. I'd buy 2 or 3 or 4...

Dave.
 

Offline Rutger

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2011, 01:59:13 pm »
Dave in your review when you took the DMM apart you showed that the display is a separate board, would you think you could order the LCD version from Agilent and replace the display (down the road)? Based on the specs I looks like that the 1251 and 1253 have the same display board and I would think that it would be compatible with the 1253 pins.  I found Agilent website for parts, but when I enter the model it doesn't find it.
Here is the link I found: Agilent Online Store

What model should I be enter?  Does anyone have a part number for the LCD display board?

Also isn't the OLED display suppose to be better in conserving energy than a regular LCD display or is that a regular Color LCD.

I am curious to know how much the display actually draws versus a LCD and if this is the cause of the bad battery life, but it could also be the super fast refresh rate as the other DMM also don't have a great battery life.

Rutger

PS: I have send an request for info on this part to Agilent and when I know the details I will let you all know.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 02:23:02 pm by Rutger »
 

Offline saturation

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2011, 03:01:50 pm »
As there are 2 threads discussing these meters on slightly different foci, see here about the risks of bypass the battery power.  I think you're chatting there too Rutger, but FYI, I feel a touch guilty for recommending it.

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=2958.msg39582#msg39582


My only concern is with the battery life like Dave pointed out, but I am wondering if I am going to use it for bench work only (low voltage) if there is a hack to add a external adapter to bypass the battery, in other words could you add a little jack for a charger.  The only problem I see is that if the meter is getting charged you can't use if for anything else! So you would have to either bypass the battery or something making the meter think it is getting a perfect 9V. Even better would be to power the meter and drip charge the battery at the same time, are they any suggestion on a small drip charge circuit and a small plug with a 3-way switch?

Rutger

PS: Here is the link: Agilent 1253A
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Offline Rutger

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #23 on: March 30, 2011, 03:35:31 pm »
As there are 2 threads discussing these meters on slightly different foci, see here about the risks of bypass the battery power.  I think you're chatting there too Rutger, but FYI, I feel a touch guilty for recommending it.

Don't fee guilty saturation, I bought the unit well informed and I am sure I can live with it faults.
If I really can't live with it I can always sell it on ebay and get at least my money back.

Rutger
 

Offline Rutger

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2011, 04:15:38 am »
Hi, just a follow up. Got an email back from Agilent and no you can't order parts for the unit. I am not sure what "Advanced Unit Exchange" means, but is sounds like a swap, not sure if I like that.  I wonder what happens after the warranty period?

Here is the exact message from Agilent:

The model number U1252A is not designed to be serviced in the field. There is no available Service Guide and there are no replacement parts. This model is handled as an "Advanced Unit Exchange. You would need to call the Service Center and arrange to get a replacement unit. The number is 1-800-829-4444, when connected press #, then option 3 and option 1.

 

Offline grenert

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2011, 05:16:24 am »
Our throwaway society, nobody fixes anything any more.  You can bet that after the warranty period they'll say, "It doesn't make sense to have this repaired.  The current model costs $$$."
 

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2011, 05:16:59 am »
Dave in your review when you took the DMM apart you showed that the display is a separate board, would you think you could order the LCD version from Agilent and replace the display (down the road)?

Not sure, haven't seen inside the LCD version.
I probably wouldn't bet on it.

Dave.
 

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2011, 05:17:57 am »
Our throwaway society, nobody fixes anything any more.  You can bet that after the warranty period they'll say, "It doesn't make sense to have this repaired.  The current model costs $$$."

That's the good thing about Fluke, you can buy replacement parts at reasonable prices, even for old models.

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Offline PetrosA

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #28 on: March 31, 2011, 06:12:59 am »
I have to wonder how long replacement parts will be a part of the Fluke production model or anyone else's for that matter. It can't make economic sense in today's economy to stock replacement parts indefinitely and pay a service tech to do the work if it's cheaper to pay freight and exchange for a new unit. If a company has a good enough QA system in place, they should know the statistics for how many units will fail early and that tells them how many units to overproduce for exchange. It's probable that most users would gladly accept a newer model in exchange for a broken unit and feel they got a good deal out of it. I would :)
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Offline saturation

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #29 on: March 31, 2011, 12:23:40 pm »
Its not such a bad thing if we have proper recycling.  A lot of older electronics are obsolete.  For test gear, only top quality or metrological grade is worth repairing: high end signal sources, power supplies, scopes, DMM etc., and you can compare the cost of repair versus the cost of new devices.  A 500 MHz analog scope is still a great machine, but if its a boat anchor, you'd have to weigh it value cautiously  ;D.  

The Fluke 80 series is rare example and has been around for over 20 years, its still worth repairing old models for home use, and parts for sections that will likely break are easily obtained: LCD, case, knobs, banana jacks, etc., not so sure of the PCB or specific ICs.  As there are also many thousands in circulation, its also easy to cannibalize parts.

In the late 1990s, the CAT safety rating came into being, and that makes a lot of old service level gear without the built in protection, no longer suitable for professional level work ... making obsolete models made <~ 2000.   In the case of the Fluke 80 series, that means the 83,85 and 87 series 1 and erstaz 2.  I haven't dissected the schematics to know if it the older models can potentially pass CAT III 1000V safety, but the PCBs of the Model III on face value, are different.

Our throwaway society, nobody fixes anything any more.  You can bet that after the warranty period they'll say, "It doesn't make sense to have this repaired.  The current model costs $$$."

Thanks R, I should have emphasized the cautious words.  The hacker in me says it can be done for CAT 1 type of work, but the public forum EE training in me says go with the flow.

As there are 2 threads discussing these meters on slightly different foci, see here about the risks of bypass the battery power.  I think you're chatting there too Rutger, but FYI, I feel a touch guilty for recommending it.
Don't fee guilty saturation, I bought the unit well informed and I am sure I can live with it faults.
If I really can't live with it I can always sell it on ebay and get at least my money back.
Rutger

I do see the 1251/2a series as disposable; the 1271/2a came out only 3 years later and is ruggedized, better features and lower list price slightly less counts and accuracy, but small enough to be inconsequential for a field meter.

http://www.home.agilent.com/agilent/product.jspx?nid=-536902435.0.00&cc=US&lc=eng#262144


Hi, just a follow up. Got an email back from Agilent and no you can't order parts for the unit. I am not sure what "Advanced Unit Exchange" means, but is sounds like a swap, not sure if I like that.  I wonder what happens after the warranty period?

Here is the exact message from Agilent:

The model number U1252A is not designed to be serviced in the field. There is no available Service Guide and there are no replacement parts. This model is handled as an "Advanced Unit Exchange. You would need to call the Service Center and arrange to get a replacement unit. The number is 1-800-829-4444, when connected press #, then option 3 and option 1.


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 Saturation
 

Offline Rutger

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #30 on: April 02, 2011, 10:49:54 pm »
Ok, I received my 1253 yesterday and I was all excited... I plugged in the adapter with the plug to charge the unit and I heard a spark.
The light on the power supply went off and I pulled the adapter of the charger, luckily the light came back on. So then I check the adapter and it has a short in the leads!  I called Agilent right away as the the packaging slip suggest and after 15 min on the phone they told me "we can't do anything, you need to go back to Grainger".  I went to Grainger and because they are now sold out they offer to refund me. I asked them why I could not just get a new adapter. The grainger employee called Agilent and spend about 30min on the phone and was really trying to get my problem solved, I give Grainger a A+ for effort, but he was shocked that even Agilent was not willing to do anything about the problem. They told him that if they (Grainger) took the meter back they were stuck with it and could not get an exchange or refund from them? This really was a shocker for us both.  They told him that I was to send the meter in to Agilent and I would have it back in 12 weeks!  He and I thought this was crazy, why couldn't they just send me a $ 2 adapter to replace the shorted one was beyond us both.  The last thing that the customer support person told me at Grainger is that if Agilent would give me the run-around they would exchange the meter for the next version - the 1253B, which I think is awesome service from Grainger (ofcourse he would have to get this approved from his manager).  Grainger went far and beyond to help me out and I really appreciate this.

So I have send an service request email to Agilent and am waiting to hear from them back, if they want me to start shipping stuff to them I will take Grainger up on there offer. Grainger has a life long customer in me, but I can't say the same thing about Agilent.
They might make great testing equipment but they really need to work on the customer support and not just with end users but also with big vendors like Grainger.

Rutger
« Last Edit: April 03, 2011, 04:31:26 am by Rutger »
 

Offline PetrosA

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #31 on: April 03, 2011, 12:08:48 am »
Grainger is more expensive than most other dealers, but they offer unbelievable customer service. You truly get what you pay for with them. I tend to use them in two situations - when they're nearby and the difference in price isn't enough to warrant driving to another supplier and/or when I need something special ordered. Their distribution system is one of the best around and it's rare to wait more than 48 hrs. for a part, tool etc. You might have noticed that each item has its own in-house alphanumeric code. Thanks to that system, I've never had an order messed up - ever. True professionals...
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Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #32 on: April 03, 2011, 02:51:31 am »
Wow ... that's a terrible behavior of Agilent .

And it is good enough as reason, so to personally blame them for life ..

My own adventure with the Fluke customer support , makes them to look now as angels ,
in comparison with Agilent and their policy's .
 

Offline saturation

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #33 on: April 03, 2011, 02:51:35 pm »
Ouch, sorry to hear.  Made me check mine.  You've made a customer for Grainger out off me, as my bad experiences with products is limited.  They went above and beyond, that's exceptional.

I would take them on the offer of the 1253b immediately, hopefully it doesn't have a bad supply too!  You've already been given the run around, 12 week wait for a just purchased item is too long.  I'd ask Grainger to exchange it for the upgrade, today.

My PSU unit has no light; the PSU has the banana males directly cabled to it and no power light.  The AC lines is connected via a removable standard PC 3 prong extension cord.  What I understand by this is you plugged just the charger unit into the AC lines then heard the spark?

The 'can't take it back' suggests to me its being discontinued.

While the DMM is made in Taiwan and the silicone probes appear competitive with Fluke, the PSU and probe accessories included are very cheap looking, I'll presume its electrically CAT rated safe.  In fact, you can't insert the probe accessories into the probe without looking at them and aiming for the connector, the Fluke probes are completely trouble free.  Except for the silicone insulation, these $43 "1161a" accessory kit are made worse than a $10 PCB coated Radio Shack probe kit I have from years ago.

BTW, the kit label is wrong, the contents are of the $60 1160a, anyone who has this DMM can confirm it.  Not a bad 'upgrade' but the mislabelling suggests there's a dufus in the pipeline.

I got this: not this:

Ok, I received my 1253 yesterday and I was all excited... I plugged in the adapter with the plug to charge the unit and I heard a spark.
The light on the power supply went off and I pulled the adapter of the charger, luckily the light came back on. So then I check the adapter and it has a short in the leads!  I called Agilent right away as the the packaging slip suggest and after 15 min on the phone they told me "we can't do anything, you need to go back to Grainger".  I went to Grainger and because they are now sold out they offer to refund me. I asked them why I could not just get a new adapter. The grainger employee called Agilent and spend about 30min on the phone and was really trying to get my problem solved, I give Grainger a A+ for effort, but he was shocked that even Agilent was not willing to do anything about the problem. They told him that if they (Grainger) took the meter back they were stuck with it and could not get an exchange or refund from them? This really was a shocker for us both.  They told him that I was to send the meter in to Agilent and I would have it back in 12 weeks!  He and I thought this was crazy, why couldn't they just send me a $ 2 adapter to replace the shorted one was beyond us both.  The last thing that the customer support person told me at Grainger is that if Agilent would give me the run-around they would exchange the meter for the next version - the 1253B, which I think is awesome service from Grainger (ofcourse he would have to get this approved from his manager).  Grainger went far and beyond to help me out and I really appreciate this.

So I have send an service request email to Agilent and am waiting to hear from them back, if they want me to start shipping stuff to them I will take Grainger up on there offer. Grainger has a life long customer in me, but I can't say the same thing about Agilent.
They might make great testing equipment but they really need to work on the customer support and not just with end users but also with big vendors like Grainger.

Rutger
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline Rutger

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #34 on: April 03, 2011, 06:42:47 pm »
My PSU unit has no light; the PSU has the banana males directly cabled to it and no power light.  The AC lines is connected via a removable standard PC 3 prong extension cord.  What I understand by this is you plugged just the charger unit into the AC lines then heard the spark?

My unit was package in 2009 and has a separate PSU with a light and a adapter kit with the banana plugs. When I plugged adapter to the connector on the PSU I heard the spark, it is the adapter with the banana plugs that has the short in it. The adapter is made in China.
When I talked to Agilent directly the support technician could not understand why I had this kind of setup, according to him the charger unit in the box should have been an all in one unit. My guess is that I got one of 1st editions, and Agilent soon started getting complains about the adapter like I experienced.  I don't expect Agilent to suddenly send me a new adapter and I expect them to send an email back with shipping instructions, so I will take Grainger up on the offer (that is what I expect). The 1253B looks like the exact same meter, but I am hoping they have solved some of the short comings like the slow Continuity test. I will let you know what it outcome is.  I might even ask Grainger the 'downgrade' to the LCD version, which I wouldn't mind at all  ;D

Rutger
 

Offline saturation

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #35 on: April 04, 2011, 05:54:34 pm »
Its worth waiting and getting it replaced, I can't believe how good this DMM is.  The more I use the unit, the more I like it over the Fluke 87V for the kind of work I do.  It certainly can compete with it easily.

I just completed half of a performance test of the 1252a versus the Fluke 87v, 85III, 85I, and a calibrated HP3456a, a 6.5 digit DVM accurate to 1uV.  In all cases using Vdc, ohms, and frequency counters, the 1252a and the 87V are on par to their limits, except when the 87V cannot use its 4.5 digit mode and Fluke goes only to 800kHz.

The Fluke is easier to use because the buttons seems better laid out, but I can't separate ergonomics from the fact I've used Flukes for over 20 years.  However, I can zip along the Agilent easily too, but I find the twisted buttons, well twisted  ;D

The meters are all equivalent at DC from 30.000 mVdc to 1000.0 Vdc using the 3456a as the standard comparison DMM.  They are both accurate down to their last significant digit!

However in Vac, from 330mVac to 6.000 Vac, from 60 Hz to 100kHz, the 1252a exceeds its published specs and is only rivaled by the 3456a.  Its amazing how accurate its TRMS is, using sine, square and triangle waveforms.  The Fluke 87V & 85III are at its best under 1kHZ and its still 2-3x less accurate than the 1252a.

Its so fast, sensitive and accurate that its superbly suited for electronics work, plus it one range lower on its AC and DC scales.  The logging is great!  I can't live without it now.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2011, 07:22:28 pm by saturation »
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 Saturation
 

Offline saturation

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #36 on: April 04, 2011, 07:19:33 pm »
Yes, that is unusual, my adapter and all accessories were sealed all in the same box, manufacture date was 11/2007.  Yes, on the 1252a all the accessories are China, the 1252a is Taiwan.  The B model are just orange colored cases, AFAIK.  As in my last post, its virtues exceed its vices and as a superb measuring instrument its worth the wait.  The beep and continuity check are weaker and slower than the Fluke but it excels in other areas the Fluke 87V doesn't have:

Vac accuracy
Data logging
DC + AC measurement [ I normally check this with a scope, now I can do it with just a DMM]

Given the amp accuracy is tied to its V accuracy, I expect it to easily excel in AC too, but haven't had the time to test it yet.

Keep us posted.


My PSU unit has no light; the PSU has the banana males directly cabled to it and no power light.  The AC line is connected via a removable standard PC 3 prong extension cord.  What I understand by this is you plugged just the charger unit into the AC lines then heard the spark?

My unit was package in 2009 and has a separate PSU with a light and a adapter kit with the banana plugs. When I plugged adapter to the connector on the PSU I heard the spark, it is the adapter with the banana plugs that has the short in it. The adapter is made in China.
When I talked to Agilent directly the support technician could not understand why I had this kind of setup, according to him the charger unit in the box should have been an all in one unit. My guess is that I got one of 1st editions, and Agilent soon started getting complains about the adapter like I experienced.  I don't expect Agilent to suddenly send me a new adapter and I expect them to send an email back with shipping instructions, so I will take Grainger up on the offer (that is what I expect). The 1253B looks like the exact same meter, but I am hoping they have solved some of the short comings like the slow Continuity test. I will let you know what it outcome is.  I might even ask Grainger the 'downgrade' to the LCD version, which I wouldn't mind at all  ;D

Rutger
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline Rutger

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #37 on: April 07, 2011, 03:16:58 am »
Well, Agilent did come through after all, the send me a shipping label and expedited the repair. They told me 2 weeks. So I shipped the unit off to the Agilent repair center in California.  I hope the have it back soon.

Rutger
 

Online alexwhittemore

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #38 on: April 09, 2011, 12:13:46 am »
I just have to throw in my 2c for Grainger as well. I've never had to use their customer service in anger, only for informational/administrative things. For example, the first time I placed an order, I had it shipped to an academic building on campus. A Grainger rep called me the next morning after I ordered and asked if I was really part of the same account that includes other departments and professors in the building, and added me to the academic account without me even realizing it was an option. That was huge both because it proactively kept everything neat and tidy for accounting on their end, but also because the academic account gets no tax and free shipping. And indeed I should have been on there to start, if only I'd known.

The second experience was through email to check when a backordered part would ship. They got back to me within the hour to say that it would ship in 3 days from their south carolina facility, and to call this number if I had more questions.

Generally speaking, they're super freaking helpful, and I've heard nothing but the same from everyone else I know who's used them. And the guy I'm thinking of in particular RARELY gives customer service the benefit of the doubt, so it's even more a testament to their patience that they're on his good side now :). And they're a local shop, just about everywhere. They're first on my list of tools vendors from now on.
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #39 on: May 02, 2011, 01:40:52 am »
Well, Agilent did come through after all, the send me a shipping label and expedited the repair. They told me 2 weeks. So I shipped the unit off to the Agilent repair center in California.  I hope the have it back soon.

Rutger

It looks that had passed over 25 days from your post ,
what was the up come ?  
 

Offline Rutger

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #40 on: May 17, 2011, 06:52:38 pm »
Have been kind of busy, but I did get the meter back after 2 1/2 weeks. And yes they replaced the charger and gave me a updated calibration report.

In the mean time I needed a DMM and scored a nice used Fluke 87 V through craigslist.  I must say this Fluke, although an older design is a better meter than my new Agilent. Maybe not in terms of features or precision, but it is just more user friendly and has a better overall feel to it (I love my Flukes!). Its hard to say what it is, but I am thinking now of selling this fancy Agilent meter and just keeping my Fluke!
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #41 on: May 17, 2011, 07:18:06 pm »
Thanks for replying to my message .

What its hard to find this days , are testimonials of how well , those famous brands respond,
if you get in trouble with their items.
It looks that Agilent solved the problem , in a logical time frame ,
and this is what matters the most.





 

Offline saturation

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #42 on: May 18, 2011, 06:57:59 pm »
Yes, construction wise, the plastic housing and user response is more solid feeling, you get a sure feeling from its readouts.  Its 20 years old models still reads true, and can still hold its own in speed and accuracy.

I have growth to like the Agilent 1252a because its far more accurate than the Fluke in AC and a match in DC.  Its great as an ersatz bench meter.  The battery life is a PITA, but with LDS 9V NiMH, it last far longer than I've expected.  I've been using it daily, and a single charge is still running now for 3 weeks.   Dual display really is helpful, when measuring circuits that have small AC components superimposed on DC, and vice versa, plus many others, such as measuring frequency and voltage simultaneously.  Its better to use the scope, but the DMM is ready faster than getting the scope booted up.  However, I don't think its tough enough to take on field trips, where I have only one meter to rely on its the Fluke and I have to rely on battery power for a week in middle of nowhere.

Have been kind of busy, but I did get the meter back after 2 1/2 weeks. And yes they replaced the charger and gave me a updated calibration report.

In the mean time I needed a DMM and scored a nice used Fluke 87 V through craigslist.  I must say this Fluke, although an older design is a better meter than my new Agilent. Maybe not in terms of features or precision, but it is just more user friendly and has a better overall feel to it (I love my Flukes!). Its hard to say what it is, but I am thinking now of selling this fancy Agilent meter and just keeping my Fluke!
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Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #43 on: May 18, 2011, 09:08:11 pm »
However, I don't think its tough enough to take on field trips, where I have only one meter to rely on its the Fluke and I have to rely on battery power for a week in middle of nowhere.

I bet that Agilent are capable to build an special model for use in the jungle :P
Special for Wild field use  :D
But you need to ask for it .
 

 
 

Offline saturation

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #44 on: May 18, 2011, 11:46:54 pm »
Sure Kiriakos, they need to copy the Fluke 80 series; I've taken Fluke's to jungles without a problem.  Many of my military friends take them in worse conditions, both on land and sea, and I've heard they have been used routinely in the space shuttle in space.

It remains accurate without calibration after 20 years,  10 years off on going to jungles and ocean trips, exposed to salt, sand and dirt.  And its only IP30 rated and has no maintenance from me except cleaning.

http://www.fluke.com/Fluke/usen/community/fluke-news-plus/ArticleCategories/RD/

http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/FOIA/NNC09BA02B/NNC09BA02B%20-%20Attachment%20J-3h.pdf

If you look at NASA's standard equipment list, Fluke meters are all over their facilities, just look for product numbers like 87III, scope meter, and 179 logging meters.  Also many good Agilent HP bench meters are there too, but not the handheld category.


However, I don't think its tough enough to take on field trips, where I have only one meter to rely on its the Fluke and I have to rely on battery power for a week in middle of nowhere.

I bet that Agilent are capable to build an special model for use in the jungle :P
Special for Wild field use  :D
But you need to ask for it .
  
« Last Edit: May 18, 2011, 11:52:07 pm by saturation »
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Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #45 on: May 19, 2011, 08:08:20 am »
Well S.  , I can not follow this path of your thinking  .

Especially when I have examples near me , like the large Pro's Kit DMM that it is made in Taiwan ,
and under the hood , has an PCB made by Mastech .
And it is my main DMM since 1990 = 21 years until today ..
Its still rock solid and accurate , and it is completely off  at the 200MOhm range that I do not use .

Even so , I do not believe that Mastech is any king of DMM's ,
but I do believe that this model it was an true success .
( and so I have become "Model loyal"  than " Brand loyal"  )  

Do not also forget, how vulnerable are the modern Electronics !!
We get expensive mobile phones , that moisture can kill them in one night ,
if you forget them on the table at night,  under the clear sky !!

The Old Fluke models, like the bench type   8010A / 8012A / 8050A ,
are truly build to last .
But they can not follow , or be that useful with the modern needs.

What I am trying to say , are that today its harder than before ,
to find true robust electronics , like the ones found  in our past .

And so we have to evaluate daily every single product ,
no matter the brand of it .

The idea like ...  blind trust due brand loyal ship,  is DEAD to me.

    

        
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 10:39:10 am by Kiriakos-GR »
 

Offline saturation

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #46 on: May 19, 2011, 10:24:18 am »
In the US, major departments like the Army, Navy or NASA have a documented set of parameters reflecting the accuracy and robustness of any tools for use in their service; if the equipment passes, samples are then thoroughly tested in labs.  So for the military to use it means they too have checked the Fluke 80 series.

To be used in the space shuttle, it would be tested at lower working atmospheric pressure and higher radiation exposure.  NASA has specifications of derating required in the design phase, in order for equipment to survive space use, and to be such, the electronics has to far more robustly made than those used on earth.  So it tells you a little bit, how well they are designed electronically and why the units last so long.

Brand loyalty is a problematic concept because all tools coming out of any 'brand' can have production defects, even if designed correctly, so you must performance check each tool you add to your lab or tool box.  

I would be skeptical if your 21 year old DMM is truly working properly, but maybe its accurate enough for your type of work or it was a defect when first bought it.  If one section of  DMM fails or is unreliable, as you suggest with your 200 Meg ohm range, I would have to be sure all the other ranges are truly working properly by a metrology quality check.  My meters are as old, and all ranges work as factory specified because that's what it was purchased for, if we needed lesser DMMs, we could have bought a cheaper one.


Well S.  , I can not follow this path of your thinking  .

Especially when I have examples near me , like the large Pro's Kit DMM that it is made in Taiwan ,
and under the hood , has an PCB made by Mastech .
And it is my main DMM since 1990 = 21 years until today ..
Its still rock solid and accurate , and it is completely off  at the 200MOhm range that I do not use .

Even so , I do not believe that Mastech is any king of DMM's ,
but I do believe that this modelt was an true success .
( and so I have become "Model loyal"  than " Brand loyal"  )  

Do not also forget, how vulnerable are the modern Electronics !!
We get expensive mobile phones , that moisture can kill them in one night ,
if you forget them on the table at night,  under the clear sky !!

The Old Fluke models, like the bench type   8010A / 8012A / 8050A ,
are truly build to last .
But they can not follow , or be that useful with the modern needs.

What I am trying to say , are that today its harder than before ,
to find true robust electronics , like the ones found  in our past .

And so we have to evaluate daily every single product ,
no matter the brand of it .

The idea like ...  blind trust due brand loyal ship,  is DEAD to me.
  

        
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 10:32:06 am by saturation »
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 Saturation
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #47 on: May 19, 2011, 10:47:28 am »
Well I do not have the mood to continue an such dialog.

Because it brings to my mind , the cars who races  like F1 , and the normal cars.
And the picture of the poor guy who gets an average normal car , and acts like F1 driver .

Even so , If I will ever decide to go to the moon , I will buy one DMM made is USSR.
There is no a single source about anything in this planet . 


 

Offline saturation

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #48 on: May 19, 2011, 11:09:48 am »
Well K, your analog is faulty, F1 cars are very unreliable, it needs a team of people to keep it working.

Its probably more like military surplus binoculars, or just a military grade backpack, if it was designed to survive the abuse by the military, to work in desert heat and freezing artic weather, it should be good enough for you to use for civilian use.  Because these tools are mass produced it can easily be found in surplus stores, brand new, and very cheaply too.

To be more specific, there was a military grade Fluke issued in the 1980s, the Fluke 27, and that is built like a stone.

Well I do not have the mood to continue an such dialog.

Because it brings to my mind , the cars who races  like F1 , and the normal cars.
And the picture of the poor guy who gets an average normal car , and acts like F1 driver .

Even so , If I will ever decide to go to the moon , I will buy one DMM made is USSR.
There is no a single source about anything in this planet .  

« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 11:12:02 am by saturation »
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 Saturation
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: DMM.s
« Reply #49 on: May 19, 2011, 11:36:32 am »
The truth is that I do hide some admiration about Fluke and especially for the specific models like 8010A / 8012A / 8050A .

When I did read the service manual , about PCB disinfection ,
like that you can wash it out, and let it for hours in to a oven at 60 C so to be cooked up and dry.

I had an huge and major surprise.

But I can not say the same about the fresh made ones ( Last decade )   

And so nothing will convince me about that if an model stands up to all the quality factors ,
other than lots of positive testimonials about it.
 


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