Author Topic: Fluke 77 or 177 or ????  (Read 12385 times)

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Offline wagon

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Fluke 77 or 177 or ????
« on: July 21, 2014, 11:16:57 am »
Hello!

I need to upgrade my meter.  I've got an ancient Fluke 73 that I keep in the car, a Fluke 115 that has a stuffed diode test range.  I also have a Tenma meter with good features, but it has terrible battery life and a crap continuity function. 

I repair electronic stuff, ranging from scales, electric fence energisers, various musical instruments, etc.... I'm in a small city and I'm the designated bunny for a multitude of weird and wonderful things. 

I need 1000vdc, a good fast continuity buzzer, capacitance to about 100uF and reasonable accuracy.  I like the look of the 'new' Fluke 77, and it seems to have good battery life.  The 177 has slightly better accuracy but I don't really need that.  The price is near enough to the same.

Ideas??
Hiding from the missus, she doesn't understand.
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Fluke 77 or 177 or ????
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2014, 09:06:09 pm »
In that price range there is a much better option IMHO.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brymen-BM829-Digital-Multimeter-Dual-Display-AC-DC-TRMS-Dual-Temp-10-000-Count-/201070664254

Better accuracy, PC connection option, non-contact voltage detection, dual display, CATIV/1000V, dual temperature measurement capability, lower price.

What it doesn't have  compared to the Flukes:
Fluke reputation, limited lifetime warranty, and autohold.

I have used many Fluke meters over my professional lifetime and they are really good no problem meters and have their reputation for a reason. Once I purchased my first Brymen I decided they at least as well built and better value. I now have three Brymens.

I know that there are maybe other options but I have settled on Brymen as my first choice.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2014, 10:14:47 pm by Lightages »
 

Offline retiredcaps

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Re: Fluke 77 or 177 or ????
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2014, 11:52:17 pm »
a Fluke 115 that has a stuffed diode test range.
What do you mean by "stuffed" diode test range?

Quote
I need 1000vdc, a good fast continuity buzzer, capacitance to about 100uF and reasonable accuracy.  I like the look of the 'new' Fluke 77, and it seems to have good battery life.  The 177 has slightly better accuracy but I don't really need that.  The price is near enough to the same.
The 77IV and 170 series is roughly 400 hours battery life with a 9V akaline.

If the 179 is not too much more money, you might want to consider that one to get the temperature measurement capabilities. 

The 77IV is not True RMS so if that is important, get the 177 or 179.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2014, 11:58:51 pm by retiredcaps »
 

Offline retiredcaps

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Re: Fluke 77 or 177 or ????
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2014, 11:57:43 pm »
In that price range there is a much better option IMHO.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brymen-BM829-Digital-Multimeter-Dual-Display-AC-DC-TRMS-Dual-Temp-10-000-Count-/201070664254
The Brymen above consumes roughly 5mA typical as per brochure at

http://brymen.com/product-html/cata820/Bm820L4.htm

meaning you will get roughly 100 hours from a 9V akaline battery (assuming 500mAH).  It does have automatic power off after 30 minutes utilizing about 50uA.

The Brymen is also bigger than the Fluke 73/115/77IV/170, but it has dual display which might come in handy?  Only you can decide if it fits in your hand/bag/kit/truck, etc.

There is no doubt that a new Brymen at retail/MSRP prices offers more features/functionality for less money compared to the Fluke meters above, but you are getting a "limited lifetime warranty" with the Fluke that you may or may not value?
« Last Edit: July 22, 2014, 12:00:56 am by retiredcaps »
 

Offline Mandelbrot

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Re: Fluke 77 or 177 or ????
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2014, 12:36:16 am »
I have a Fluke 77 and a Fluke 77IV as my meters. They are both certainly very well built and very solid. I do however find myself wanting a uA range and temperature from time to time. Duty cycle would also have been appreciated, and as already said, the 77IV is not true RMS. The current measurements also default to AC which can be annoying depending on what you do. I use the autohold and the min/max/ave features all the time and wouldn't want to part with them. On the other hand, a REL function would be very useful, and is not included on the 77IV. I'm not sure how fast the continuity mode is on the Brymen mentioned, but on the Fluke 77IV it is extremely fast and the tone is clear (maybe even a bit too loud for me.) I recently needed it to completely test all the interconnects on a breadboard I took apart and put back together.
 

Offline wagon

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Re: Fluke 77 or 177 or ????
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2014, 12:49:45 am »
I have a Fluke 77 and a Fluke 77IV as my meters. They are both certainly very well built and very solid. I do however find myself wanting a uA range and temperature from time to time. Duty cycle would also have been appreciated, and as already said, the 77IV is not true RMS. The current measurements also default to AC which can be annoying depending on what you do. I use the autohold and the min/max/ave features all the time and wouldn't want to part with them. On the other hand, a REL function would be very useful, and is not included on the 77IV. I'm not sure how fast the continuity mode is on the Brymen mentioned, but on the Fluke 77IV it is extremely fast and the tone is clear (maybe even a bit too loud for me.) I recently needed it to completely test all the interconnects on a breadboard I took apart and put back together.
A fast continuity range is essential.  The Tenma, whilst good in it's features, has a slow continuity buzzer.   I know the bigger Fluke units have a fast one!  The warranty issue is another reason I'm again considering a Fluke.  I need something that's reliable.....

The cheaper meters I have are OK, but it's time to step up again.  The old 73 I have I found in a rubbish bin, just needed a battery!

Has anyone had much to do with Agilent or any of the other 'big' brands?
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Offline radioFlash

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Re: Fluke 77 or 177 or ????
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2014, 01:17:57 am »
I have a Fluke 179 I got from ebay several years ago for about $160 I think. Compared to my Brymen 869 and Greenlee DM510a (which is a rebadged Brymen 257), the Fluke wins in continuity testing. Also, the Fluke's mode dial is larger and has just the right amount of resistance when changing modes. I also got a used Fluke 187 which is very nice, but the the continuity testing tone on it is not a continuous tone, but rather more like a cricket which I find a little obnoxious. However, it does have the option for the continuity mode to beep when continuity is lost which may be handy for detecting a loose or intermittent connection.
 

Offline TRIO Test and Measurement

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Re: Fluke 77 or 177 or ????
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2014, 01:31:24 am »
Have a look at the Agilent U1230A series.  They are True RMS, have a fast continuity check and lots of other good features. You can even add a Bluetooth adaptor and turn it into a wireless data logger.  Also they are not expensive for a big-brand name.

We have them on sale at the moment because Agilent is splitting into two companies.  The name "Agilent" will stay with their Life Sciences products and its test equipment business will change its name to "Keysight Technologies" on 1st August.  So we wish to clear our stock of "Agilent" branded products.

The continuity beeper is fast too. I just checked one here.  In my opinion these are more than a match for competitive meters. Prices start at $99 AUD +gst for Aussies.

Here's the link:
http://www.triotest.com.au/shop/en/search?controller=search&orderby=position&orderway=desc&search_query=u123&submit_search=Search

If you need something more up-market and having cat-IV 600V then Agilent's U1270A series are good value too and have a great set of features. They compare very favourably with Fluke's 187, 87V etc.
http://www.triotest.com.au/shop/en/search?controller=search&orderby=position&orderway=desc&search_query=u127&submit_search=Search

If you are in Sydney or Adelaide we have these in stock if you wish to try-before-you-buy
Cheers,
Charlie
 

Offline zaoka

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Re: Fluke 77 or 177 or ????
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2014, 02:43:32 am »
HIOKI DT4252

Faster than Fluke, the same or better quality, fast continuity tester, 40 samples/S for bar graph, dual display, great for repairman.



http://www.tequipment.net/Hioki/DT4252/?gclid=CKfl-Mzy178CFQIT7AodIA0Aeg



 

Offline Wytnucls

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Re: Fluke 77 or 177 or ????
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2014, 03:01:21 am »
The Fluke 19 has a fast continuity, auto hold and a useful AC bandwidth. Worth considering if a uA range is not required:

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/FLUKE-19-Digital-Multimeter-w-Capacitance-Frequency-measurements-/251593894752?pt=AU_B_I_Electrical_Test_Equipment&hash=item3a942a2b60

« Last Edit: July 22, 2014, 03:10:44 am by Wytnucls »
 

Offline retiredcaps

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Re: Fluke 77 or 177 or ????
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2014, 03:33:09 am »
The Fluke 19 has a fast continuity, auto hold and a useful AC bandwidth. Worth considering if a uA range is not required:
There are some caveats with the Fluke 19 that I heard of:

1) It is not a current model so getting support/parts is probably impossible.
2) If this is the same Fluke 19 that Dave Jones talked about, apparently these were the first Made in China Flukes and they are all very unreliable.  The newer low end Flukes are all Made in China, but with better process and QA.

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/fluke-17/
 

Offline Wytnucls

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Re: Fluke 77 or 177 or ????
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2014, 04:05:20 am »
I didn't realize this was one of the early Chinese-made models. It is a pity, as the feature set is rather attractive. I wonder what evidence Dave based his comment on. There isn't much info about the model 19 on the net, but some people seem to be using them quite happily.
Getting any Chinese-made Flukes repaired after the 1-year warranty probably wouldn't be cost effective.

« Last Edit: July 22, 2014, 04:10:01 am by Wytnucls »
 

Offline retiredcaps

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Re: Fluke 77 or 177 or ????
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2014, 05:34:31 am »
I wonder what evidence Dave based his comment on.
A quote from Dave

http://www.electronicspoint.com/threads/re-fluke-dmm-recommendations.139390/

"The Fluke Chinese "market test" started with the experimental Fluke 19
released in the Asia Pacific market. Used the same chipset as the 87
at the time, and offered unbelievable value for money. It was too good
to be true, most Fluke 19's failed with all sorts of problems.
They learned a few things from that and the 110 series is now a lot
better, but still made in China."

I also think he mentioned the Fluke 19 quality problems in one of those 3 to 4 hour live marathon shows?
 

Tac Eht Xilef

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Re: Fluke 77 or 177 or ????
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2014, 07:26:39 am »
Wow - I thought mine was about the only remaining working 19 in existence!

I knew a lot of people who bought them when DSE was selling them. Most of those died through the switch failure I think Dave mentions. Touch wood, mine's still going strong.

Apart from being only 4000 count, they're not a bad meter as Wytnucls says. In many ways they're comparable to the 87 of the time (I? II?)

Not worth that sort of money though. That's what they sold for new.
 

Offline wagon

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Re: Fluke 77 or 177 or ????
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2014, 09:41:50 am »
The Agilent U1241B looks like a good instrument.  Has anyone here had one of these?
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Offline Lightages

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Re: Fluke 77 or 177 or ????
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2014, 05:00:59 pm »
There haven't been many reports here from people using Agilents from that series. Some people have U127X and some have U125X series. There have been complaints of poor solder quality on  some, some software bugs and the molded rubber disintegrating. The Agilent meters are feature rich and built with good input protection. Whether they are to your liking or not over other meters would be a personal preference IMHO.
 


Offline TRIO Test and Measurement

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Re: Fluke 77 or 177 or ????
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2014, 01:26:30 am »
Folks an easy way to answer Wagon's question is warranty returns.  We have sold hundreds of Agilent  DMM's and we see a very low return rate maybe one or two per year.

The orange coloured versions are the latest and best.  All the early production niggles in the blue U1250A series as previously mentioned are all sorted out in the current U1250B series. There was a few bugs in the earlier U1240A series and these are fixed too in the U1240B series. The orange versions are good meters all round. Now they are what you'd expect from a world class company like Agilent and every bit as good as other big brands. 

The early U1270A series needed a bug fix which can/could be done by the user. This was a couple of years ago. All sorted out now too.

The OLED versions of all of them look great but be wary of battery life and using in bright direct sunlight.   My personal favourites are the U1233A and U1272A.  They look conventional, they are PACKED with features and, if measuring reliability by the warranty returns we see, they are VERY reliable.

Charlie.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2014, 01:28:31 am by TRIO Test and Measurement »
 

Offline radhaz

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Re: Fluke 77 or 177 or ????
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2014, 03:20:16 am »
I recently bought the 4281 for audio amp repairs and frankly, to finally have a really nice DMM. I use a Fluke 289 at work, and the Hioki seems better built. Love the dual display and the overall feel of the instrument.

HIOKI DT4252

Faster than Fluke, the same or better quality, fast continuity tester, 40 samples/S for bar graph, dual display, great for repairman.

 


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