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Holsters & cables management Agilent VS Fluke

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I made some observations about the DMM holsters, test leads, management of cables,
and I like to share them will all of you.

Those are from the details, that the one who loves perfection he should be aware of.

On the pictures bellow there is :
The Fluke 87V holster ( No DMM )
The Fluke 28II with the original holster and test leads.
The Agilent U1272A with the original holster and test leads.
Additionally the is the  “ Premium “ Fluke test leads TL- 71,
Guest Star: one small UNI-T 30D dressed up as Fluke  87V  ( it acts as photo model) :-)   

Now before any one makes any comment, I will say upfront that I did cheated,
and kept the 87V holster as spare. 

Now let’s focus on the real subject.
That is the details that it does matter.

About the Fluke 28II as you can see, the cables that comes with it,
they have  be made in a such way that it was pre calculated the length and the shrouded bananas size ( length),
and so when you turn the cables on the body of the DMM, and secure the test leads at the back, looks clean and tidy.

The same clean and tidy look, it should be there with the 87V too, with the original leads TL-75. (I have never tried it as long I had it)

At the Agilent U1272A I had some difficulty to find the best way to wrap the cables on the body, but I found the way “the only way”,
the cables just look to be a bit longer than needed so to archive one clean and tidy look, but the longer test leads,
they do keep the cables in a position , that they are securely attached on the body.

Unfortunately, they had not calculated that the long shrouded bananas corners will cause such of problem of harmony, with the DMM body.
Even so the specific test leads, even if they look and possibly are made by the old good & known CHI SHING,
they are special version, softer and with anti-slip characteristics, similar to the Fluke TL-75 ones.
I do own two original sets of CHI SHING test leads, nice probes from hard plastic, but not as pleasurable to the touch,
with the ones stamped as Agilent and more specifically the U1169A test leads set.

Now about the Fluke premium test leads I made one sad discovery today.
This is sad mostly for me, because I had pay full price so to get them !!
Well it looks that the finger guards was not made properly, so to fit on the Fluke holsters,
and so they do not get in place with out using extreme force.
I did try those TL-71 in both holsters of 87V & 28II, and faced the same big problem,
the test leads has wrong external dimensions and large finger guards.
And the point is that I can not blame even the room temperature of 28C for this problem, like that it softens a bit the rubber surfaces.
Their length in longer than what is needed for one clean and tidy look on the holster,
and the shrouded bananas with the more over-sized corners do not help either.

The TL-75 cables (standard test leads) gets with less force in place, in both Fluke holsters.
And the Agilent U1272A comes as clear winner of the pack,
due the fact that U1169A (test leads) gets on the U1272A body (holster) with a very gentle manner,
and even so, they stay securely in place.

My current advice is to not get the Premium test leads,
if you have the habit to secure the cables and test leads on those yellow holsters.
I like my own  TL-71 set, but I would have to use them only for bench work,
and keep them stored in my hard case, or in a soft case, but never on the holster.

Check the pictures bellow, full size direct from the camera.   

You miss one point: Fluke sells cables that are supposed to fit all DMS manufactured by them.
It would be impossible to find a size that will fit snugly all DMM's available at the time, or even previous ones.

I, for one, do not keep the cables wrapped on the DMM's that I have. Just rolled them round the meter in it's C35 Soft Carrying Case.

For some reason the C35 was not easily available at Europe.
About 10 months back there was limited stock even in the USA too.
And because of that reason I got the C25,
this one has a different external material that looks like leather,
and had an price of 32$ on April 2010 that I got my holster from USA, the C35 was equally priced back them.

I just checked today about the C35 and noticed that it is again available, and at very low price this time like, 16$ !!
In comparison, the Agilent U1174A Soft Carrying Case , with identical external look with the C35 retails to 25$.

If you can post a picture of the inner layout of the C35 (with out DMM in it) , I would be very happy. ( 1024x768)
So to add it in my collection.

About cables and length, I need to find one copy of the latest Fluke accessories compatibility chart.
If Fluke has listed as compatible the TL71 for the 87V and 28II, this is an mistake.
If they do not get on those holsters, they should not be listed as compatible,
just because the bananas get in them.     

Fluke updated their DMM and test leads models ( before two months) and the TL-71 to TL71-1  and the TL75 to TL75-1.

Check for more here ..

Uncle Vernon:
If I catch anyone tightly wrapping my meter leads around the device body like that I'll chase them with a bamboo stick! Yes I know it is convenient and that (too) many do it. But reality is that it is probably the greatest single cause of premature test lead failure from continual tight wrapping and unwrapping.  Coil them loosely they will last for ages.


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