Author Topic: Fluke test lead quality  (Read 3653 times)

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Offline blueskull

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Fluke test lead quality
« on: August 24, 2016, 07:27:23 am »
I tried to mod one of my test lead (DOA Keysight fine tips, included in standard test lead kit, emailed Keysight and Daniel without response, so I am going to fix it on my own), I cut way the plastic housing and exposed the tip, and wanted to solder a test cable to it.
I found a pair of Fluke TL71 not in use, so I cut away its test leads, exposing its wires for soldering. Then I saw this :palm:.



That's serious quality issue... And this pair of TL71 came with Fluke's flagship 289!
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Fluke test lead quality
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2016, 07:58:58 am »
Well, after all I got a working extra fine test lead set. I will probably gold plate it later.

 

Offline LaurentR

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Re: Fluke test lead quality
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2016, 11:13:07 pm »
I have had 3 sets of TL71:
* One came in with an open. Went back (Fluke exchanged).
* One had one lead with consistantly high resistance(about 0.3 to 0.4 Ohm I believe).
* One had one lead with changing internal resistance depending on how you held the probe.
* None were molded straight (this has been reported in another thread), which it not a big deal.

All in all, the TL71 is my favorite lead set by far (I use it with my Keysight meters  >:D ), but my experience with their quality has been underwhelming.

Strangely, I have other Fluke probes (TL175 "TwistGuard", which I like less than the TL71 and the TL910 "Precision" which are awesome), and those have been great.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Fluke test lead quality
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2016, 11:16:39 pm »
I have had 3 sets of TL71:
* One came in with an open. Went back (Fluke exchanged).
* One had one lead with consistantly high resistance(about 0.3 to 0.4 Ohm I believe).
* One had one lead with changing internal resistance depending on how you held the probe.
* None were molded straight (this has been reported in another thread), which it not a big deal.

All in all, the TL71 is my favorite lead set by far (I use it with my Keysight meters  >:D ), but my experience with their quality has been underwhelming.

Strangely, I have other Fluke probes (TL175 "TwistGuard", which I like less than the TL71 and the TL910 "Precision" which are awesome), and those have been great.

The fancy test leads you mentioned are made by Pomona, while TL71 is made by Fluke.
 

Offline TheSteve

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Re: Fluke test lead quality
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2016, 11:34:43 pm »
I have had 3 sets of TL71:
* One came in with an open. Went back (Fluke exchanged).
* One had one lead with consistantly high resistance(about 0.3 to 0.4 Ohm I believe).
* One had one lead with changing internal resistance depending on how you held the probe.
* None were molded straight (this has been reported in another thread), which it not a big deal.

All in all, the TL71 is my favorite lead set by far (I use it with my Keysight meters  >:D ), but my experience with their quality has been underwhelming.

Strangely, I have other Fluke probes (TL175 "TwistGuard", which I like less than the TL71 and the TL910 "Precision" which are awesome), and those have been great.

The fancy test leads you mentioned are made by Pomona, while TL71 is made by Fluke.

Being Fluke owns Pomona they should all come from the same place.
VE7FM
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Fluke test lead quality
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2016, 11:40:53 pm »
Being Fluke owns Pomona they should all come from the same place.

Then it gets interesting. Some KS probes are also made by Pomona, and Fluke belongs to the same group owns Tek.
BTW, KS probes are not that good either, if they were not DOA, I wouldn't bother to do this mod.
 

Offline stj

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Re: Fluke test lead quality
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2016, 02:12:56 am »
interesting.
sounds like buying $5 no-name chinese probes off ebay / DX / BG is not such a bad idea.
 

Offline SkyMaster

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Re: Fluke test lead quality
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2016, 02:23:51 am »
Well, after all I got a working extra fine test lead set. I will probably gold plate it later.

What will be your process to gold plate them?
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: Fluke test lead quality
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2016, 07:29:54 am »
FWIW, Danaher owns both Fluke and Pomona, and from what I've seen, the QC seems to have taken a serious dump.  :--

If you're after quality test leads at decent prices and still made in the US, then I'd suggest taking a serious look at Probemaster. I do realize that not everyone lives in the US, but they do ship internationally (group buy might be worth investigating). I've found the quality to be equal, if not better than Fluke/Pomona (i.e. spring loaded test leads), and cheaper to boot (= amazing value).  :-+

Otherwise, it may be better to order wire & ends from one of our members, Franky Tong (aka iloveelectronics), who has an eBay store (99centHobbies).
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Fluke test lead quality
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2016, 07:32:20 am »
interesting.
sounds like buying $5 no-name chinese probes off ebay / DX / BG is not such a bad idea.

At least if you buy from Franky he is gonna test before shipping, so at least you won't get a DOA :palm:.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Fluke test lead quality
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2016, 07:34:08 am »
What will be your process to gold plate them?

Brush plating kit. I need to nano-bond some brass CNC parts recently, so anyway I need to develops a gold plating process.
When you see the solder material 10x more expensive than the gold surface you are soldering, you won't skimp on plating cost.
 

Offline timb

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Fluke test lead quality
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2016, 08:21:46 am »
Probemaster makes very high quality test leads. I've also found Cal Test to have exceptionally high quality leads and probes. They're actually the OEM for some major T&M companies, including Tektronix (for example, they *still* produce and sell the 500MHz P6139A probe).
« Last Edit: August 25, 2016, 10:54:56 pm by timb »
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic; e.g., Cheez Whiz, Hot Dogs and RF.
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: Fluke test lead quality
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2016, 08:38:11 am »
Probemaster makes very high quality test leads.
This has been my experience as well, particularly of late (been using Probemaster for years, as they've always been a better value). Sadly, Fluke/Pomona has definitely taken a dump in more recent years, making Probemaster an even better value IME.

Oldaker was another top quality manufacturer, but their factory burned down according to their website (here), so I'm not sure if they're going to make a return or not (same message has been up for over a year IIRC).
 

Offline Jester

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Re: Fluke test lead quality
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2016, 01:42:56 pm »
I use and like the Fluke TL40 probes
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: Fluke test lead quality
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2016, 02:03:29 pm »
Fluke TL71 seem to be heavily counterfeited on eBay.

I wonder if that's the problem.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Fluke test lead quality
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2016, 02:16:32 pm »
Fluke TL71 seem to be heavily counterfeited on eBay.

I wonder if that's the problem.

I got my tl71 in box with f289.
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: Fluke test lead quality
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2016, 02:22:27 pm »
Fluke TL71 seem to be heavily counterfeited on eBay.

I wonder if that's the problem.

I got my tl71 in box with f289.

But ... where did you get the F289?

It wouldn't surprise me if there were people out there opening Fluke boxes and swapping the leads for Chinese clones.

(nb. I'm not saying it IS the reason, just a possibility. It seems weird that Fluke would skimp so badly on the leads).

« Last Edit: August 25, 2016, 03:15:44 pm by Fungus »
 
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Offline BMack

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Re: Fluke test lead quality
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2016, 03:21:35 am »
When it's time to replace a lead I normally cut it so I can reuse it with a different connector. I have yet to see a Fluke lead like the second picture and I've cut 5-6 of them, often one of a pair. The most recent was literally today and it was a TL71.

I'm not saying I don't believe you but I find it rather off. Maybe it's an anomaly, maybe it's a Chinese market Fluke lead that was put into the box. Maybe someone switched it on you with a knockoff. Maybe there was a bad run, I have no idea.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2016, 03:23:47 am by BMack »
 


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