Author Topic: Old Fluke Multimeters  (Read 188010 times)

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Offline drtaylor

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Re: Old Fluke Multimeters
« Reply #50 on: November 04, 2013, 06:10:29 pm »
DrTaylor
 My old grey matter was wrong with actually trying the 7106 in the 8012a , must have just contemplated the idea long ago after deciding it was the same as the FLUKE chip !!. And to prove it I dug out an old 8010a and swapped the A/D with a 7106 and no it did not work  ::). Now its got me thinking if It could be made to work. (not that I need to bother!).
 I was going to ask about the 8050a , but I see it predated the 8060a, any similarity or lessons from the 8050 to the 8060 or completely different?.
As has been said by others these stories of yours give interesting hints to what happened behind the scenes. There is a ready audience for these types of reminisces.
 Thanks for taking the time to share.
lowiimpedance - I didn't think the 7106 would work. The 429100 chip has a line that electronically switches the range from 200mV to 2VFS. You can set up a 7106 for either one or the other, but not both. I suppose with a huge kludge circuit, you could add circuitry to change the analog components to do the switch, but it would be fraught with gotchas.
I only had peripheral contact with the 8050. It used a discrete analog dual slope converter with a custom controller IC. Getting that circuit working well was a trial for the designer. So the 8050 was still a dumb design, no software, and therefore only slightly related to the 8060. I remember studying its circuitry carefully while designing the 8060. I knew the 8050 input design would never support wideband AC readings, so I pretty much went my own way on the input structure of the 8060.
 

Offline drtaylor

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Re: Old Fluke Multimeters
« Reply #51 on: November 04, 2013, 06:37:05 pm »
Prototype of never released Fluke Power Supply:

This was to be one of the first Power Supplies with a digital readout. It used the Fluke version of the ICL7107 which Fluke never used in a production unit. The design was just a concept...the next task was to add constant current control, but it never got that far. I also had a design that would have used the 8060 MAC and a 4-bit controller to allow programmable VI settings. I was pretty bummed it got canned due to concern that we couldn't crack the power supply market. But I was relieved that I didn't have to design into that case again. Industrial Designer madness...
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Old Fluke Multimeters
« Reply #52 on: November 04, 2013, 06:42:18 pm »
Thank you very much for your interesting posts and history.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2013, 07:38:01 pm by Lightages »
 

Offline drtaylor

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Re: Old Fluke Multimeters
« Reply #53 on: November 04, 2013, 07:14:13 pm »
Improved scan - I saw that the PDF of the early concept wasn't readable. I did a little photoshop on it.

 

Offline Kryoclasm

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Re: Old Fluke Multimeters
« Reply #54 on: November 05, 2013, 01:36:51 am »
@drtaylor

Thank you very much for this information and images, most of us here are multimeter geeks and we appreciate what you have been able to tell us. :-+

Also it is awesome being able to learn about what it was like designing the equipment that revolutionized the electronics world.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2013, 01:38:54 am by Kryoclasm »
“I predict that very shortly the old-fashioned incandescent lamp, having a filament heated to brightness by the passage of electric current through it, will entirely disappear.” -Nikola Tesla
 

Offline vindoline

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Re: Old Fluke Multimeters
« Reply #55 on: November 05, 2013, 04:48:45 am »
drtaylor, I'd like to add my voice to the others that have thanked you for producing such a great piece of equipment. I've had my 8060A since the mid 80's and it's performed flawlessly for almost 30 years. A while back I was worried that if something happened to my meter I would not be able to get parts to fix it. I bought a second "broken" meter on eBay for a few dollars as a parts donor. It only took about 45 min to restore that meter to near mint working condition. I suppose I should keep my eyes open for another parts donor! I'm afraid the eBay prices may go up soon though! Enjoy all the praise, you earned it.

John Q
 

Offline retiredcaps

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Re: Old Fluke Multimeters
« Reply #56 on: November 05, 2013, 06:59:09 am »
Release article published in Electronics Magazine.
I started reading your article, but quickly realized that I will need several passes to comprehend it.  Right now, my level of understanding it is like "see spot run".   :-DD 

Nonetheless, it is a very interesting read and I appreciate you scanning it.

Do you by chance have the 6 page technical analysis of Fluke 8020 in Electronics magazine as well?  I asked about it here

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/looking-for-6-page-technical-analysis-in-electronics-magazine-of-fluke-8020/

Is there a chance that the Technology at Work article written by Fluke HQ is wrong when they mention the 8020 and it is really the 8060A article that you scanned?
« Last Edit: November 05, 2013, 07:00:44 am by retiredcaps »
 

Offline ModemHead

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Re: Old Fluke Multimeters
« Reply #57 on: November 05, 2013, 01:52:12 pm »
Yes, thanks much for including the article scan.  I too will have to read it more than once, but I love it when someone explains in detail how something works.  Especially when it clears up mysteries after having tried to figure it out myself.
 

Offline Dr. Frank

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Re: Old Fluke Multimeters
« Reply #58 on: November 05, 2013, 05:22:32 pm »
8060 Documentation:

Copy of original schematic. This did not survive to production as I had to modify the 7660 circuit due to noise. But it is mostly intact to what ended up as the final schematic, which can be found in 8060 Manuals. It's funny now that I laboriously hand drew all those schematic symbols, some with a template. I got a lot of flak about only using a single squiggle for resistors, but I thought the meaning was just as clear.

Release article published in Electronics Magazine. This had some editing errors. The very last paragraph talks about Teflon Resistors which don't exist. Should read NPO Ceramic Caps and Teflon Trimmer caps. I think there are other minor errors. The editor took the text I wrote and "improved" it for publication without additional proof reading.

Cal Procedures for the 8060 and 8062 used by production. Written by yours truly.

My original concept sketches for the 8060. The earlier one proposed a dual slide switch on the side, but was deemed too radical a change from the 8020 series. The second was the one I did most of the design on and only at the last instance was the functionality changed. You can see a quite complex LCD in this, but the SM-4 couldn't drive that many segments at duplex.

I hope this proves interesting for aficionados  of old Fluke meters. My design process has always been design the front panel and define the feature set first, then see if you can come up with electronics that support it. That process I still follow today.

DrTaylor,

thank you for sharing, just love hand drawn schematics..

I've just picked out old FLUKE schematics of the 332B and the 845AR, and they also as if they were drawn by hand.

Was FLUKEs philosophy of that time, perhaps?

Frank
 

Offline drtaylor

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Re: Old Fluke Multimeters
« Reply #59 on: November 05, 2013, 05:51:46 pm »

DrTaylor,
thank you for sharing, just love hand drawn schematics..
I've just picked out old FLUKE schematics of the 332B and the 845AR, and they also as if they were drawn by hand.
Was FLUKEs philosophy of that time, perhaps?

Frank

Frank, This was the early 80s. Everything was done by hand. At Fluke the Engineer would design on paper, I used 11X17 graph paper, and when Fluke wanted to turn it into final schematics, we would give it to a draftsman to beautify. My editing tool was an eraser. Fluke was very adamant about keeping a design notebook due to patent and lawsuit protection.

In 1984 Computer tools were scarce, expensive and required a lot of training. Fluke was just beginning to use them when I left. The 8020 through 8060 PCB designs were hand taped 4 up on Mylar. Probably the most advanced tool I used was a spreadsheet to perform error analysis. I also used a PDP11 based word processor. WYSI NOT WYG. My trusty HP11C was used for all calculations. It's still functional 30 years later and I use it every day. Talk about a great tool! When HP offered new HP15Cs last year, I snapped up one just in case ol' Betsy croaks. The new HP15C doesn't have as nice a feel on the keys as my 30 years old HP11C, but it does work just like the old. But I digress...

The custom IC designs were done on computers, (like the MAC used in the 8060) and were plotted on large pen plotters to check the design. I remember bending over a large light table looking at IC features and working with the IC designer on fine points of design. Quite a different world then. My phone is more powerful than that huge PDP11.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2013, 06:21:10 pm by drtaylor »
 

Offline Napalm2002

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Re: Old Fluke Multimeters
« Reply #60 on: November 08, 2013, 02:41:58 am »
Awesome info keep it coming dr!
 

Offline retiredcaps

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Re: Old Fluke Multimeters
« Reply #61 on: November 08, 2013, 11:51:51 pm »
I noticed in the 8060A manual that the aluminum caps have mfg supply code 89536 which is John Fluke Manufacturing.  Did Fluke make its own brand of caps or just buy them in bulk and put their own part number on them?
 

Offline retiredcaps

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Re: Old Fluke Multimeters
« Reply #62 on: November 09, 2013, 12:10:30 am »
@drtaylor, If it is not a trade secret anymore, can you share the budget for your bill of materials?  For example,

$1 for pcb
$2 for molded plastic
$5 for caps
$5 for custom MAC
$5 for transistors
etc

If not, I totally understand.  I'm asking because I saw a comment on youtube that claims the Fluke 87V has a $6 BOM??
 

Offline drtaylor

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Re: Old Fluke Multimeters
« Reply #63 on: November 09, 2013, 12:29:51 am »
I noticed in the 8060A manual that the aluminum caps have mfg supply code 89536 which is John Fluke Manufacturing.  Did Fluke make its own brand of caps or just buy them in bulk and put their own part number on them?
I originally spec'd in those parts from Panasonic, if I recall correctly. They were low leakage for aluminums which was a fairly new thing back then. Too bad they weren't low spewage. But they were standard off the shelf parts when I first designed them in. Fluke purchasing no doubt made a huge buy and had them custom marked. From who I don't know, but I'd guess it was Panasonic. My units all have the original off the shelf caps on them.

In another topic, I've been asked about the "new RMS converter" that went into 8060s after I had left Fluke. My understanding is that Motorola no longer wanted to make the Fluke custom RMS converter and Fluke made a last time buy that was supposed to cover the remaining year or so of production. Because the 8060 was still quite popular, someone at Fluke had to make a subcircuit using the Analog Devices TRMS chips with additional components the original unit did not require. I had nothing to do with that circuit, and I can only assume it works as well as the single chip approach did. I personally have never seen one. I only have the schematic that was published on EEVBLOG and other locations.

I had a call from Norm Strong around 1987 who wanted to ask me about design aspects of the components around the TRMS converter. I remember kind of laughing with him because he actually designed the Silicon. I said "com'on Norm, you're the one who helped me optimize it for wide bandwidth. How am I supposed to remember?" I told him to check my design book, and I never heard from him again. Only much later did I realize that I had my design book, not having left it at Fluke when I left. It must have been some time after that that the Analog Devices part went in as a module. It had to have increased the price significantly.

Someone told me recently that they were still selling new 8060s as recently as 1998. Does anyone have confirmation of that? If true the production run of 8060s went from 1982 to 1998, over 16 years. I wonder if any other DMM had such a long reign.
 

Offline drtaylor

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Re: Old Fluke Multimeters
« Reply #64 on: November 09, 2013, 12:48:00 am »
@drtaylor, If it is not a trade secret anymore, can you share the budget for your bill of materials? 
I might have had that information long ago, but no longer. But the precision divider from Caddock cost more than $6 all by itself. The gang switches weren't cheap and might have been the single most expensive part, and the LCD was over $4. I'm not sure if they even knew accurately what the MAC cost. If they amortized Fluke Labs into the cost, they cost thousands each (LOL), at least at first. The TRMS converter was around $3.

The main complaint I got from FLuke management was that the meter was too expensive. I admit I was on a bender to get my perfect audio DMM and didn't really try to make the cheapest thing I could. The 8062 only came into existence because some marketing wonk was convinced they would sell a lot better at a lower price. By taking out dB and freq counting with little or no parts cost savings, the 8062 was really a loss leader. You can turn any 8062 into an 8060 if you know what to do (and I do). But unless you can find a case with the other two holes and figure out how to get the other two elastomeric switches, it won't be pretty. Having a 4 layer board in a handheld was also a first at the time. I took advantage of the inner layers to bury high impedance traces and fully protect them from humidity. Getting of subject...suffice to say, that it probably totaled somewhere in the range of 80-100 dollars in parts and labor which is why it had to sell for $349.95 to allow those salesmen their rich cut.
 

Offline Jay_Diddy_B

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Re: Old Fluke Multimeters
« Reply #65 on: November 09, 2013, 02:55:33 am »
Hi group,
 here are some pictures of a Fluke 8022A/AF. I believe that the 8022A/AF is a military version of the 8022A. One of the obvious differences is the voltage to dB table on the case.
Despite being about thirty years old it works fine.

Outside:




Inside showing the flexible shield:




Component side of the board:



Solder side of the board:






Jay_Diddy_B
« Last Edit: November 09, 2013, 02:57:37 am by Jay_Diddy_B »
 

Offline retiredcaps

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Re: Old Fluke Multimeters
« Reply #66 on: November 09, 2013, 04:42:39 am »
Someone told me recently that they were still selling new 8060s as recently as 1998. Does anyone have confirmation of that? If true the production run of 8060s went from 1982 to 1998, over 16 years. I wonder if any other DMM had such a long reign.
Radio Shack catalog from 2001 shows the 8060A for sale at $499 MSRP.  8062A had a $419 MSRP.  See

http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/html/2001-b/h244.html

Fluke 27 is still advertised in same 2001 catalog, but I haven't done any research on when the 27 was first made yet.

http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/html/2001-b/h246.html

27 had a $349 MSRP.

Both models don't show up in the 2002 catalog, but still could have been sold as Radio Shack may have decided to concentrate on their own brand name multimeters?
« Last Edit: November 09, 2013, 04:46:14 am by retiredcaps »
 

Offline Robomeds

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Re: Old Fluke Multimeters
« Reply #67 on: November 09, 2013, 02:44:46 pm »
First, I would like to thank everyone for an all around interesting read!

Second, I have a question about the 87 series vs the 8060 series.  At my first job the hand helds were a mix of 83s, 87s and 80x0 series meters.  I had what I think was a 2nd gen 83.  Anyway I didn't know much about Fluke at the time.  How did the 87 series compare to the 8060?  Was it meant to be the replacement?  I looks like the 8060's base DC accuracy was unmatched until Fluke came out with the 87-IV.
 

Offline drtaylor

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Re: Old Fluke Multimeters
« Reply #68 on: November 09, 2013, 11:36:52 pm »
Hello Mr. David Ryan Taylor - I have a mail from Fluke the Netherlands confirming  that they ceased production of the 8060A in 2001 and ceased production  of spare parts in 2005.

Hopefully you will enjoy this news :-)

IMHO one of the finest DMMs ever made ... (I have many units in my Fluke vintage lab)
gazelle, Thanks so much for the report. I definitely enjoyed that news. Your comment and the comment from retiredcaps confirms the 8060A was in production until 2001. So the 8060A lasted almost 20 years in production! Gotta be a record.
Also thanks for the compliment. As I said, I just wanted a great meter to use with my audio gear. The feature set and performance hit the mark.
 

Offline drtaylor

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Re: Old Fluke Multimeters
« Reply #69 on: November 10, 2013, 12:11:47 am »
Gazelle,

Thanks again for your post. I thought I'd answer your email on the forum as it might be interesting to others. To answer your questions: 1) Regarding a label over a shield screw - I can't be certain, but it is common practice to place a label over a screw as warranty protection. To remove the label shows tampering with the circuitry or calibration, and thus voids the warranty. Just a guess. 2) Regarding European produced 8060As - The 8060 was mostly built in Everett Washington. Fluke has their own plastic molding capability and many other vertically integrated technologies. In order to save export costs, 8060A raw parts such as plastic, circuit boards, switches, custom chips, all produced or controlled at Fluke, were shipped to Tilburg. Final assembly, test and calibration were then performed there. This is also a common practice to allow US products to be competitive in spite of tariffs and import fees. It technically was produced (assembled) in Europe.

A little known fact is in early 83, Fluke set up a production facility in Bejing China. A truly rare find would be to find a Chinese produced 8060A. Again, the unit was supplied in kit form, only final assembly was performed. Fluke had to get permission from the US State Department to sell to China, which was just opening up to US markets.

The 8060 was truly international. This was new for Fluke back in the 80s. Now common including models not even intended for the US market.
 

Offline Napalm2002

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Re: Old Fluke Multimeters
« Reply #70 on: November 10, 2013, 04:08:15 pm »
Now if I can only find a blue cased 8060a. I gotta have one. It's a sickness!
 

Offline retiredcaps

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Re: Old Fluke Multimeters
« Reply #71 on: November 10, 2013, 05:46:03 pm »
I haven't seen the 8060A with the yellow colored manual, white sticker serial number and screw on battery cover. 

NOS, good luck to interested bidders.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/131038250294
 

Offline gizmoco

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Re: Old Fluke Multimeters
« Reply #72 on: November 10, 2013, 07:49:19 pm »
"I haven't seen the 8060A with the yellow colored manual, white sticker serial number and screw on battery cover. "

I have one just like it. It's also NOS.

When comparing it to my 3 other 8060A's (well, 4 more if you count the one that doesn't work) I noticed that the later model unit has a different display with larger numerals. Nice.....
 

Offline gizmoco

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Re: Old Fluke Multimeters
« Reply #73 on: November 10, 2013, 07:51:43 pm »
"My collection of 8060A and 8062A DMMs in my Vintage LAB."

Flukes are additive. I'm up to 32 of them.
 

Offline retiredcaps

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Re: Old Fluke Multimeters
« Reply #74 on: November 10, 2013, 09:35:10 pm »
I noticed that the later model unit has a different display with larger numerals. Nice.....
Can you post a picture of the two lcd displays side by side?  I would like to see if the font changed and how much bigger the numbers are.

Do you have 32 806x?
 


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