Author Topic: First impressions of my new Fluke 17B  (Read 72839 times)

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Offline easilyconfused

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First impressions of my new Fluke 17B
« on: July 19, 2010, 05:55:49 pm »
Generally, if you want steak you don't order hamburger. I didn't think I deserved a Fluke, but I really hated to order something less. Could there be a compromise? Most of you probably know about the Fluke 17B available direct to your door from Hong Kong. But am I kidding myself? Is it really a Fluke? Or is it built down so that it's no different from any other el-cheapo? I decided to take a gamble. My thinking was that Fluke wouldn't allow the Chinese to use their actual name, colors, so forth without a certain level of quality. I ordered it here http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.28659. It came today. Being a stone beginner I'm certainly not qualified to review it. But I can tell you what I see. First, the mailman actually rang the door bell and got my signature. Already I'm impressed that the price included handling so that it didn't get tossed up on the porch. It's packed in a very nice looking cushioned envelope. The meter is in a cardboard box not intended for the English speaking market. All text on the box (except for the word Fluke) is Chinese. The meter itself is labeled in English ("hold", "range", etc.). The owner's manual is Chinese version first, English second. I thought this meter would be tiny. It's big. It's well packed in a cardboard tray and wrapped in poly and complete with leads. A heat probe in included. Why do men get excited at such things? It's a damned multimeter! Oh well.

The how-well-does-it-lie-on-the-table test is somewhere in the middle. You can force it to spin but really-- it prefers to stay put owing to the rubber case. Dave would probably like the bail. At first-- the fully-open position seems a little spongy. But alas, things are not always what they seem. The pivot point is a meeting of hard plastic and rubber. This sponginess absorbs some of the forces that makes it easier for my cheaper meters to fall over when I breathe hard. The stand could be better by being bigger but you gotta draw the line somewhere and I like it just fine.The digital display has a separate packing film which I will probably leave in place for the time being. The batteries are already installed and the digits appear instantly. The ranging knob rotates smooth as butter yet detents nicely at each range.  It doesn't seem to have a back light and I think that's great. I'm a hobbyist attempting to learn electronics. I won't be doing that in the dark. I would've had to pay more for the feature that I can't use. The leads are long, thick, supple, marked with the Fluke name. There are protective plastic caps for all four ends. Striking the probes together produces a disappointing response. I cleaned them with automotive brake cleaner but it didn't seem to help. But when probing with the points on a piece of metal the response was excellent. So I don't know. The tone for continuity is the same tone when changing modes with the yellow button. There's nothing wimpy about it. It's loud and clear. It does not sound when rotating the ranging knob. There is a micro-amps function per Dave's list of must-haves. Overall the thing looks good and feels heavy and beefy. I'll add more as I use it.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2010, 05:06:15 pm by easilyconfused »
 

Offline saturation

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Re: First impressions of my new Fluke 17B
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2010, 07:13:43 pm »
Enjoy!  Some general info:

Chinese link to 17B

New 18B

Those links go through Google translate converting Chinese to English.
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline longview

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Re: First impressions of my new Fluke 17B
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2010, 07:29:57 pm »
Lovely, this seems to confirm most of what's being said in the comments on DX.

I ordered it myself but they haven't shipped it yet, expecting to get it in approx. 2 weeks.
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: First impressions of my new Fluke 17B
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2010, 08:09:06 pm »
Oh my .... it has LED test holes on it .... And Dave hates such designs   ;D 

Do not expect to see an review of it here ...   :D  :D  :D
 

Offline lhc

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Re: First impressions of my new Fluke 17B
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2010, 08:16:13 pm »
LED test? Are they serious? Strange idea.

Time for Dave's "what ticks me off...!" moment   ;D
 

Online NiHaoMike

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Re: First impressions of my new Fluke 17B
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2010, 09:04:38 pm »
On the cheap multimeters with transistor test, it's possible to test a LED by plugging it into the C and E holes. But a 9v battery and resistor will do the job just as well.
Cryptocurrency has taught me to love math and at the same time be baffled by it.

Cryptocurrency lesson 0: Altcoins and Bitcoin are not the same thing.
 

Offline RayJones

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Re: First impressions of my new Fluke 17B
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2010, 08:45:09 am »
I too am awaiting my DX order to change from Pending to Ready for Fluke 17B.

DX are pretty good, so I have no real concerns.

As for LED testing, I reckon that would be damn friggin handy, especially if it works through the leads.
The amount of times I have tried to quickly verify a SMD LED's polarity before soldering and been stymied by insufficient, or even misleading results on other Flukes can be very frustrating.

Sure an power supply and resistor works, but heck if a *test* instrument can do it for me, I'd buy the 18B too  :-*

 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: First impressions of my new Fluke 17B
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2010, 09:26:16 am »
Oh my .... it has LED test holes on it .... And Dave hates such designs   ;D 

Do not expect to see an review of it here ...   :D  :D  :D

LED Test jacks - oh FFS!
To use a TV adage, they have jumped the shark!

Just use the damn probes, please!
Any good meter can light up white LED's, nothing special there.
And no real point being able to measure the voltage unless you have selectable test currents.
Doesn't say what the current on this one is, probably just the standard 1mA or so.

Dave.
 
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Offline Ferroto

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Re: First impressions of my new Fluke 17B
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2010, 11:26:59 am »
Oh my .... it has LED test holes on it .... And Dave hates such designs   ;D 

Do not expect to see an review of it here ...   :D  :D  :D

LED Test jacks - oh FFS!
To use a TV adage, they have jumped the shark!

Just use the damn probes, please!
Any good meter can light up white LED's, nothing special there.
And no real point being able to measure the voltage unless you have selectable test currents.
Doesn't say what the current on this one is, probably just the standard 1mA or so.

Dave.
Well it is targeted at the Chinese market.

But you should seriously do a review and rip fluke a new one  8)
 

Offline MrPlacid

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Re: First impressions of my new Fluke 17B
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2010, 01:28:20 pm »
Hehe...

I think I know why they have LED test holes. There aren't that many button on the meter so chinese fluke stuck that in to take up some space.

Dave, don't do a review on this one because it's only a test meter for the asian market. It's like software in alpha or beta, I wouldn't expect perfection from software still in development. When fluke deemed it's ok for global market by all mean rip them on those LED test holes ;D
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: First impressions of my new Fluke 17B
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2010, 02:35:55 pm »
it's only a test meter for the asian market.


Well I like to do an small comment on that ...

Its not ... an product limited to the Asian market ..
Fluke  planed an such marketing .

Any similar product , it will travel for few $ shipping , at every corner of this planet.
Thats the reality .

By an quick view , it does not look as an  killer product,
that will cause any explosion in the sales area too.

I continue to believe , that at med - low priced meters , UNI-T are possible to surprise pleasantly the market, about Christmas time ,  with their new range of products .   

 

Offline longview

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Re: First impressions of my new Fluke 17B
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2010, 08:09:57 pm »
LED Test jacks - oh FFS!
To use a TV adage, they have jumped the shark!

Just use the damn probes, please!
Any good meter can light up white LED's, nothing special there.
And no real point being able to measure the voltage unless you have selectable test currents.
Doesn't say what the current on this one is, probably just the standard 1mA or so.

Dave.

http://69.36.166.207/usr_1034/Fluke_15B_17B_Manual.pdf

According to the user manual it's approx 0.6 mA at 1.1 to 1.6V
 
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Offline RayJones

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Re: First impressions of my new Fluke 17B
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2010, 08:31:39 am »
LED Test jacks - oh FFS!
To use a TV adage, they have jumped the shark!

Just use the damn probes, please!
Any good meter can light up white LED's, nothing special there.
And no real point being able to measure the voltage unless you have selectable test currents.
Doesn't say what the current on this one is, probably just the standard 1mA or so.

Dave.

http://69.36.166.207/usr_1034/Fluke_15B_17B_Manual.pdf

According to the user manual it's approx 0.6 mA at 1.1 to 1.6V

yes, that's for the diode test on the 15B / 17B.

The LED test function is on the "new" 18B model....

FWIW, I have just received notification from DealExtreme that my Fluke 17B multimeter is on it way (and other assorted goodies).  :)
 

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: First impressions of my new Fluke 17B
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2010, 10:58:36 am »
aaaargh! i already got another $100 DMM! why this one has not been reviewed earlier!  >:( arggghhh! its like i want to sell mine off ebay or something!
here it is in ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com.my/FLUKE-17B-Digital-Multimeter-AC-Transducer-/190421675299?cmd=ViewItem&pt=AU_B_I_Electrical_Test_Equipment&hash=item2c56042d23
« Last Edit: July 22, 2010, 11:07:38 am by shafri »
It's extremely difficult to start life.. one features of nature.. physical laws are mathematical theory of great beauty... You may wonder Why? our knowledge shows that nature is so constructed. We simply have to accept it. One could describe the situation by saying that... (Paul Dirac)
 

Offline saturation

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Re: First impressions of my new Fluke 17B
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2010, 12:31:54 pm »
This series seems like a capable electrical meter compared to many lesser name brands.
But the specs are low for electronics work. 

Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: First impressions of my new Fluke 17B
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2010, 01:51:16 pm »
This series seems like a capable electrical meter compared to many lesser name brands.
But the specs are low for electronics work.  
0.1mV, 0.1µA, 0.1?, 0.01nF? thats electronics i think ???
« Last Edit: July 22, 2010, 01:53:46 pm by shafri »
It's extremely difficult to start life.. one features of nature.. physical laws are mathematical theory of great beauty... You may wonder Why? our knowledge shows that nature is so constructed. We simply have to accept it. One could describe the situation by saying that... (Paul Dirac)
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: First impressions of my new Fluke 17B
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2010, 02:52:19 pm »
shafri , I am happy for you, that you got this Fluke ..

You got this meter , by having in mind that it will be useful to you at some extend !!

So , get it , use it , test it , if it does what you had in mind , its your perfect DMM.
 
If you disliked it , sell it again ...  the life with one DMM its just an choice , not a marriage.  ;)
 

Offline saturation

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Re: First impressions of my new Fluke 17B
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2010, 03:32:13 pm »
I think we can trust the 17B for electrical safety as its built to Fluke standards, but for electronics, its accuracy is at the limits for low voltage electronics work.  Of course, how often do you measure this low and need it to be accurate?  There are other DMM as accurate for the same money but questionable safety, as we saw in the $100 DMM Shootout.

For example, I use NiMH cells and require a cutoff to be certain at 900mVdc, so I need accuracy down to 10mVdc at least but 100mVdc at worst.

The 17B can works but there is little room for error, its the accuracy; 1% for most ranges, not including plus digits.  This makes this DMM mostly a 3 digit meter. 

In Vac, a 1Vac will read 1.013 at worse, that makes the last 2 digits of the reading uncertain.
In Vdc, a 1Vdc will read 1.008 at worse, making the last digit uncertain.

In the 400mVac scale, the manual states accuracy is 3% + 3.  This means if I send 400mVac it will read at worse 412.3mV making the last 3 digits uncertain in this scale.  So the best accuracy is really 100mVac, the 1st digit of the 400mV scale, and not the stated 0.1mVac. 

In the 400mVdc scale, the manual states accuracy is 1% + 10.  This means if I send 400mVdc it reads at worse 405.0mV making the last 2 digits uncertain.  So the best accuracy is really 10mVdc, the 1st 2 digits of the 400mV scale, and not the stated 0.1mVdc. 

In the discussion we had about Uni-T meters, that many of their DMM near 0.16% as shown, but the low point of the Uni-T is the questionable CAT III level safety.

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=533.msg7695#msg7695

For comparison, I have the Fluke 87 specs.  400mVac reads best to 10mVac. In Vdc its 1mVdc.  Of course the Fluke 87 is $300 vs the $100 for the 17B, but is 10x more accurate.

You can find more details in the manual


This series seems like a capable electrical meter compared to many lesser name brands.
But the specs are low for electronics work. 
0.1mV, 0.1µA, 0.1Ω, 0.01nF? thats electronics i think ???

« Last Edit: July 22, 2010, 04:22:47 pm by saturation »
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: First impressions of my new Fluke 17B
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2010, 04:51:51 pm »
shafri , I am happy for you, that you got this Fluke ..
no i dont have it. i got Uni-T

disliked it , sell it again ...  the life with one DMM its just an choice , not a marriage.  ;)
i wish i could afford poligamy :D

@kiriakos & @saturation: maybe i just fooling around alot today... but surely i learnt alot tonite! thanx guys! thats what you are here for. i didnt noticed the tolerance accuracy... and didnt even bother before. until now.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2010, 04:53:46 pm by shafri »
It's extremely difficult to start life.. one features of nature.. physical laws are mathematical theory of great beauty... You may wonder Why? our knowledge shows that nature is so constructed. We simply have to accept it. One could describe the situation by saying that... (Paul Dirac)
 

Offline saturation

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Re: First impressions of my new Fluke 17B
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2010, 06:42:28 pm »
You're welcome.  The specs of the 17B raised my curiosity, so checking its very similar to the US low end DMM model 114, which is made in China.  It costs about $100-130 retail, so its quite competitive and similarly spec'd as the 17B.  Its certainly a clear option.  See attachment.

shafri , I am happy for you, that you got this Fluke ..
no i dont have it. i got Uni-T

disliked it , sell it again ...  the life with one DMM its just an choice , not a marriage.  ;)
i wish i could afford poligamy :D

@kiriakos & @saturation: maybe i just fooling around alot today... but surely i learnt alot tonite! thanx guys! thats what you are here for. i didnt noticed the tolerance accuracy... and didnt even bother before. until now.

Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: First impressions of my new Fluke 17B
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2010, 06:49:28 pm »
I think we can trust the 17B for electrical safety as its built to Fluke standards

Fluke does not have standards,  it just making products that comply to some of them.



In the discussion we had about Uni-T meters, that many of their DMM near 0.16% as shown, but the low point of the Uni-T is the questionable CAT III level safety.

If it is so , it is just by you ..    by the simple electrical tests of Dave , testing at 1000V ,
everything gone smooth ..

And we can not go over and over about the CAT III level safety.
Let the professional electricians , who works at the heavy industry , to worry about it.   
« Last Edit: July 22, 2010, 06:56:19 pm by Kiriakos-GR »
 
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Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: First impressions of my new Fluke 17B
« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2010, 07:09:27 pm »
so... whats the bottom line? kiriakos?


The bottom line , are the true tests , that Dave does , by spending all this energy ..
There is one good DMM for every type of user .... but, never will be,  any DMM that all the world will scream about it, as to was an "sex on a stick"  ...  :D




 
 

Offline saturation

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Re: First impressions of my new Fluke 17B
« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2010, 07:12:14 pm »
Yes, on Fluke "standards," what I meant Fluke builds to truly comply with IEC safety standards.

CAT III at 1000V is an 8000V transient, that was not tested. 



I think we can trust the 17B for electrical safety as its built to Fluke standards

Fluke does not have standards,  it just made products that comply to some of them.



In the discussion we had about Uni-T meters, that many of their DMM near 0.16% as shown, but the low point of the Uni-T is the questionable CAT III level safety.

If it is so , it is just by you ..    by the simple electrical tests of Dave , testing at 1000V ,
everything gone smooth ..
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: First impressions of my new Fluke 17B
« Reply #23 on: July 22, 2010, 07:21:31 pm »
Yes, on Fluke "standards," what I meant Fluke builds to truly comply with IEC safety standards.

CAT III at 1000V is an 8000V transient, that was not tested.  


Well if this forum become one day an Electricians Engineers VB.
We will do all day CAT III testing, and we will skip the rest tests  ..  ;D

The only official electrocuting test on video by Fluke , was about the Fluke 87 ...
Well if they like to prove them selfs , I would be best , to show similar tests for every meter that they produce...  this move , it will boost their sales too ...

But I think that I will never see them .. ( their testing videos for its and every model )
 

Offline MightyTwin

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Re: First impressions of my new Fluke 17B
« Reply #24 on: July 22, 2010, 11:51:18 pm »
Fluke does not have standards,  it just making products that comply to some of them.   

Sure they do. They've got certain in-house standards when it comes to circuit design, build quality, build consistency, measurement accuracy over time, etc. Heck, they've even standardized their paint scheme.

If they didn't, then their products would be all over the shop, with sloppy build quality, mis-matched products and parts, and so on.

-MightyTwin.
 


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