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Products => Test Equipment => Topic started by: nour on December 16, 2015, 06:35:53 am

Title: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: nour on December 16, 2015, 06:35:53 am
Every one knows that the fluke 87V became a fairly old model and there is a lot of new models/ technologies out in the market
also the fluke is very expensive comparing it to other models/brands today in the market even the others have much more features and ranges

So if you are going to buy for your self a new multimeter would you buy the FLUKE 87V ?

EDIT
forgot to mention: I am talking about electronics measurements not for electrical measurements 
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: Smith on December 16, 2015, 06:52:57 am
Yes definetly. It's a bit older, but it has also proven itself, and it is still a very good meter. Batteries last forever, and it is very tough. That is why I use one professionally, and for home use.
I have seen a lot of newer models with extra functions, but I don't need 99% of them.
Only drawbackback with the 87V I see is the default AC current setting.
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: Fungus on December 16, 2015, 07:05:51 am
Multimeters are all about confidence. The Fluke 87V has earned its reputation.

It's expensive .... but it will go for a very long time. Look at it in terms of cost per month and it's not so bad.

It's basic, but ... usually that's all you need. A few functions done well.

Should you buy one? There's no right answer. You need to figure out which side of the line you're on.

(https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/would-you-still-buy-the-fluke-87v!/?action=dlattach;attach=187660;image)

Now if they could just make it default to DC readings on all ranges ... I might buy one.  ;)

PS: Having lots of cheaper multimeters can often be better than one big expensive one (even better: lots of big expensive ones!)
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: Fungus on December 16, 2015, 07:22:30 am
Also: Ask yourself why your question even exists.

Why is the world clearly divided into "Fluke 87V" vs. "Everything else"? There must be a reason.
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: retiredcaps on December 16, 2015, 07:23:09 am
Discussed ad naseum via clickbait titled thread below ...

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/if-brymen-bm869s-is-cheaper-and-as-good-why-people-would-still-buy-fluke/ (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/if-brymen-bm869s-is-cheaper-and-as-good-why-people-would-still-buy-fluke/)
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: Jeroen3 on December 16, 2015, 07:29:21 am
It's like the iPhone. You can get faster, more features, more accurate for less money from other brands.
Yet still people still buy a Fluke 87 because it's a Fluke 87 and it just works.
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: Shock on December 16, 2015, 07:54:50 am
If I didn't have better ways to spend money I would buy two, depends what features you want in a meter but it's very usable for electronics.

I see you complaining the Hakko FX951 has too expensive tips and now Fluke 87V is too old. You are focusing on the wrong things. If you want the brand, features and specs either spend the money or don't - simple. If you have a business go buy them. If you are a hobbyist and they are too expensive stop looking at the expensive gear.
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: Fungus on December 16, 2015, 08:30:24 am
I see you complaining the Hakko FX951 has too expensive tips and now Fluke 87V is too old.

I don't get the "old" argument.

Try going to the hammer section of a hardware store and ask them if they have "something more modern". You'll be one of the customers they tell each other about at lunchtime.

You are focusing on the wrong things. If you want the brand, features and specs either spend the money or don't - simple. If you have a business go buy them. If you are a hobbyist and they are too expensive stop looking at the expensive gear.

Yep. Last time I had $400 to spend on gear I bought a Rigol DS1054Z instead. A Fluke 87V was waaay down the list of priorities.
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: FivePoint03 on December 16, 2015, 08:47:19 am
No I'd buy the Fluke 189 if I could.  Much preferred that meter, never really a fan of the 87V.

Recently I've had a 289 and a 17B both are very good.  I don't get the obsessions with the 87V I really don't!
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: nctnico on December 16, 2015, 08:48:45 am
Try going to the hammer section of a hardware store and ask them if they have "something more modern". You'll be one of the customers they tell each other about at lunchtime.
:-DD

Last time I needed a new portable multimeter I ended up buying an Agilent U1241B. These can be configured to start in DC mode. The main reason I went for a well known brand is electric safety so I can use it on mains as well. So far I'm pretty happy with it but I only use it 4 or 5 times per year.
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: xwarp on December 16, 2015, 09:17:37 am
No I'd buy the Fluke 189 if I could.  Much preferred that meter, never really a fan of the 87V.

Recently I've had a 289 and a 17B both are very good.  I don't get the obsessions with the 87V I really don't!

I've both a 189 and 87v. Like them both.
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: newbrain on December 16, 2015, 09:30:20 am
I just did.

I already had an UNI-T 61D (European version, the one with some input protection), but I've been longing for a Fluke meter since I was a 12 years old.

Now, some 40 years after, I managed to get the Swedish Distrelec deal (2300sek bundled with a 62MAX+, offer now expired): more or less half the average price from a reputable seller. I could not justify the full price for "just a hobby".
https://www.elfa.se/sv/kombinationssats-fluke-87v-62max-trms-ac-20000-digits-1000-vac-1000-vdc-10-adc-fluke-fluke-87v-62max-promo/p/30003336 (https://www.elfa.se/sv/kombinationssats-fluke-87v-62max-trms-ac-20000-digits-1000-vac-1000-vdc-10-adc-fluke-fluke-87v-62max-promo/p/30003336)


So far, so good: fast, accurate (as far as I can tell), the feeling of a well done and reliable product. The test leads (TL175, not TL75 as mentioned on Fluke website) are so much better anything I've used...

I had given a thought on selling the 61D, but given that the resale value would not be high and using two meters is really a help sometimes, I'm keeping them both.



Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: joeqsmith on December 16, 2015, 01:04:08 pm
Every one knows that the fluke 87V became a fairly old model and there is a lot of new models/ technologies out in the market
also the fluke is very expensive comparing it to other models/brands today in the market even the others have much more features and ranges

So if you are going to buy for your self a new multimeter would you buy the FLUKE 87V ?

EDIT
forgot to mention: I am talking about electronics measurements not for electrical measurements 

If new as in new to me, I would not rule it out.  I like vintage test equipment and maybe if I live long enough, I'll want one in my collection with the other antiques, like my Schwinn.  :-DD   
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: Lightages on December 16, 2015, 01:55:59 pm
The 87V is a solid no nonsense meter with a long history of reliability and customer satisfaction. It has had only one or two minor problems, such as the GSM interference bug. Not much bad to say about it.

What are its drawbacks? Well it has a relatively low number of features for its price. Some other multimeters on the market can be much better buys for those who don't insist on a Fluke just because it is a Fluke.
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: saturation on December 16, 2015, 02:13:59 pm
Yes, gently used, an 87V is very cost effective and very prolific on eBay, it typically sells $100-$250.  As they are made so well, often what is sold used is effectively good as new.  New for myself? no.  For work, we pay full price but the DMM of choice is a 289 type; a graph of a measurement vs time is more important than a sampled point measure such as with min-max-ave; when the 87V was it its prime, graphing meters were impossible to get with 87V like toughness and compactness.

An acquaintance bought this, all it needed was a good cleaning and maybe new test leads, but its still in calibration.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Fluke-87-V-True-RMS-Digital-Multimeter-w-Leads-Used-Works-/321926333658?hash=item4af44e04da%3Ag%3AuCIAAOSweuxWT4f3&nma=true&si=%252BRTZzgOzrfGNulnvBh8vatPZeqQ%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Fluke-87-V-True-RMS-Digital-Multimeter-w-Leads-Used-Works-/321926333658?hash=item4af44e04da%3Ag%3AuCIAAOSweuxWT4f3&nma=true&si=%252BRTZzgOzrfGNulnvBh8vatPZeqQ%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557)

Get a low cost Keysight HH DMM, add a $50 bluetooth 'cable' and you can get the same effect of a 289 on a smartphone for under $200 and still have a robust DMM.  What you save in money vs 289 you spend in set up time each time you use it.
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: 0xdeadbeef on December 16, 2015, 02:23:43 pm
I currently own two Metrahit Multimeters (X-TRA and Ultra) which have quite a few features that the 87V lacks. Like automatic blocking of voltage/current sockets,  separate power switch, full range current measurement with same socket, data storage, IrDA communication, higher accuracy etc. Plus they are very well built, probably even better than the Fluke. And they run from AA batteries.
They are cool and I will keep and least one of them in addition to the Fluke, but for my everyday measurements I still tend to use the 87V.
It's handier (at least with the rubber holster), faster and usually good enough for my needs. If I could have only one meter, I'd keep the Fluke. That's why I also order only Flukes at work.
Besides: we have some Fluke dinosaurs at work, some of them at least 30 years old. And they don't only still work: they are still pretty much spot on.
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: Fungus on December 16, 2015, 02:32:27 pm
Besides: we have some Fluke dinosaurs at work, some of them at least 30 years old. And they don't only still work: they are still pretty much spot on.

I own a Fluke 27FM - it's the big chunky meter that sits at the background of nearly all of Dave's videos.

It has almost the same features as the 87V, and you could build a bomb-proof dunny with them (if you had enough).

And yeah, the measurements are all spot on (as far as I can test it).

They don't make them like this any more:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKuvmoW0AZQ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKuvmoW0AZQ)

Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: Delta on December 16, 2015, 02:34:23 pm
Multimeters are all about confidence. The Fluke 87V has earned its reputation.

It's expensive .... but it will go for a very long time. Look at it in terms of cost per month and it's not so bad.

It's basic, but ... usually that's all you need. A few functions done well.

Should you buy one? There's no right answer. You need to figure out which side of the line you're on.

(https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/would-you-still-buy-the-fluke-87v!/?action=dlattach;attach=187660;image)

Now if they could just make it default to DC readings on all ranges ... I might buy one.  ;)

PS: Having lots of cheaper multimeters can often be better than one big expensive one (even better: lots of big expensive ones!)

Shurely your line is sloping the wrong way?
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: Fungus on December 16, 2015, 02:52:07 pm
Shurely your line is sloping the wrong way?

I don't think so...  :popcorn:
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: nour on December 16, 2015, 04:48:37 pm
I have a local store that sell fluke stuff and other multimeters brand
and I wanted to get another 2 or 3 multimeter
so I keep asking my self why should I pay around 390$ for the fluke 87v when I can get 3 fluke 15B+ with only around 90$ each(already have one and I think it is good enough for the electronics that I am in for now, but not in the future though)

but the inside me keep pushing for the fluke 87V without any real reason, that's why I have opened this discussion to lessen to the people chooses

also I wanted at least 1 high specs handheld multimeter, every time I find one online, the price point (with shipping) almost as the fluke 87V in my local store so I keep saying to my self "just go and buy the local 87V one" !!

Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: joeqsmith on December 16, 2015, 06:18:01 pm
so I keep asking my self why should I pay around 390$ for the fluke 87v when I can get 3 fluke 15B+ with only around 90$ each(already have one and I think it is good enough for the electronics that I am in for now, but not in the future though)

I guess you are not asking the group and just yourself.  So maybe you want to ask yourself what features you need for your non-electrical, electronics work.   For myself, maybe RMS would be a nice feature to have if it's my only meter... 

also I wanted at least 1 high specs handheld multimeter, every time I find one online, the price point (with shipping) almost as the fluke 87V in my local store so I keep saying to my self "just go and buy the local 87V one" !!

The 87V is a high spec meter?   :-DD   I compare it with the Schwinn bicycle of days gone by.  Rugged, heavy, expensive and one of the top of the line in it's day.   If I needed a couple of meters for electronics work and had cash to spend on a new 87V,  I think I would get a couple of the BM869s and get some work done.   
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: Fungus on December 16, 2015, 06:47:04 pm
I can get 3 fluke 15B+ with only around 90$ each(already have one and I think it is good enough for the electronics that I am in for now, but not in the future though)

In what way do you think an 87V will be better for you?

What could you do with an 87V that you can't do with a 15B+? (15B+ has more features, eg. capacitance)

Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: nour on December 16, 2015, 07:02:13 pm
unfortunately at my local area the fluke multimeters are the only good multimeters available and on the top of that the 87v is the highest specs that they have
I would like to have the BM869s but I don't have local distributor and the online will cost me almost the same as the local fluke 87V does because of the shipping
and TME have a very complicated procedures to complete an order, I don't even have the ability to change any thing in my profile  :palm: and I have to ask them to do it for me  |O

I can get 3 fluke 15B+ with only around 90$ each(already have one and I think it is good enough for the electronics that I am in for now, but not in the future though)
In what way do you think an 87V will be better for you?
What could you do with an 87V that you can't do with a 15B+? (15B+ has more features, eg. capacitance)

good question, may be I need to ask my self about this point!
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: 0xdeadbeef on December 16, 2015, 07:18:58 pm
What could you do with an 87V that you can't do with a 15B+? (15B+ has more features, eg. capacitance)
Hm, what makes you think the 87V couldn't measure capacitance?
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: Marcos on December 16, 2015, 07:21:56 pm
What could you do with an 87V that you can't do with a 15B+? (15B+ has more features, eg. capacitance)
Hm, what makes you think the 87V couldn't measure capacitance?

Of course it can. Temperatures also. Can't see this option in 15B+ (only 17B+)
@Fungus...get a Fluke 87V first and ask yourself later what you missed with your 15B+ :)
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: Fungus on December 16, 2015, 07:31:18 pm
What could you do with an 87V that you can't do with a 15B+? (15B+ has more features, eg. capacitance)
Hm, what makes you think the 87V couldn't measure capacitance?

Of course it can. Temperatures also. Can't see this option in 15B+ (only 17B+)

Oh, brain fart. Capacitance is a secondary (yellow) function.  :palm:

It did feel weird when I posted that, I was, like, "surely not..." but I totally missed it when I looked at a pic of the 87V earlier.
(https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/would-you-still-buy-the-fluke-87v!/?action=dlattach;attach=187729;image)

In my defense, the 15B+ has more switch positions than the 87V:
(https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/would-you-still-buy-the-fluke-87v!/?action=dlattach;attach=187731;image)

@Fungus...get a Fluke 87V first and ask yourself later what you missed with your 15B+ :)

I haven't got a 15B+...


Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: nour on December 16, 2015, 08:14:23 pm
screw all of this >:( I just have ordered BM869s from TME and got my mind relieved :-+ :box:
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: Shock on December 16, 2015, 10:12:49 pm
I own a Fluke 27FM - it's the big chunky meter that sits at the background of nearly all of Dave's videos.
It has almost the same features as the 87V, and you could build a bomb-proof dunny with them (if you had enough).

Fluke 87V is too new for me, I like my resistors burned in for a minimum of 30 years, these are recently calibrated.

(http://i63.tinypic.com/qxmatj.jpg)
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: TheSteve on December 16, 2015, 10:25:04 pm
I wouldn't buy a brand new one but happily bought a used(but like new) one for a good deal locally. I then sold off my 87 gen I which still worked great. Ten years from now when I want to upgrade again I will be able to sell my 87 V for what I paid for it, or close to it - because its a Fluke.
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: Fungus on December 16, 2015, 11:35:53 pm
(http://i63.tinypic.com/qxmatj.jpg)

Nice collection of 27FMs. Can I get a mention in your will?


Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: mos6502 on December 17, 2015, 02:30:08 am
Why would you buy the 87V for low voltage electronics? The main reasons to buy the 87V are ruggedness and electrical safety. On top of that, the 87V defaults to AC. So you'd have to push a button after rotating the dial 99% of the time. Measuring the 5V of your Arduino is not its intended area of application.

Similar thing with the Brymen. Do you need CAT IV? Although the Brymen has some features that make it more useful in general, like data logging and PC interface. But unless you need those specific features, you're better off getting a $50 multimeter and investing the extra money in a (better) scope, an LCR meter or other things.
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: blueskull on December 17, 2015, 02:41:46 am
I'm happy with my existing ones, so I won't spend money on a 87V.

If I didn't have my 289, I will probably get a 87V.

One pitfall: 289 drains battery very quickly, and the notorious ultra cap makes it clears itself even being powered off by 20 seconds for a battery change.

Anyway, I use a bench DMM whenever I have access to one. The update speed and uncertainty as well as readability beats my 289 by a lot.
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: joeqsmith on December 17, 2015, 03:23:53 am
Why would you buy the 87V for low voltage electronics? The main reasons to buy the 87V are ruggedness and electrical safety. On top of that, the 87V defaults to AC. So you'd have to push a button after rotating the dial 99% of the time. Measuring the 5V of your Arduino is not its intended area of application.

Similar thing with the Brymen. Do you need CAT IV? Although the Brymen has some features that make it more useful in general, like data logging and PC interface. But unless you need those specific features, you're better off getting a $50 multimeter and investing the extra money in a (better) scope, an LCR meter or other things.

I was  not aware the electronics meant Arduino level low voltage.   I have never worked with an Arduino and I did not buy the BM869s for its CAT IV rating or it's data logging.  Not that those are not good features to have. 

The Brymen, with all of it features is actually getting some use where the sub $50 meters I would normally have bought (pre-Brymen days, or basically my entire life) would sit in the trailer where they would have a rough life.

Maybe the OP will post what they think about them after a few months of use.   
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: deadlylover on December 17, 2015, 05:50:44 am
As a home hobbyist, the only reason why I bought the 87V was because I found one brand new for AUD300, they're usually 450ish here in Australia. It was a deal too good to refuse...you know how it is.  ^-^

If I were to be buying something again at full retail price, I think I will lean towards one of the newer Keysight meters or maybe a Brymen, the extra features will be more important for me than the 87V's track record, especially datalogging and such.

The 87V is my go to meter for everyday tasks even though I have a bunch of bench meters which are more accurate and faster by several orders of magnitude. 95% of the time all I'm doing is checking voltages and continuity, and the 87V is perfect for just that. Defaulting to AC current still pisses me off all the time though.  :-DD
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: jpb on December 17, 2015, 07:47:14 pm
I currently own two Metrahit Multimeters (X-TRA and Ultra) which have quite a few features that the 87V lacks. Like automatic blocking of voltage/current sockets,  separate power switch, full range current measurement with same socket, data storage, IrDA communication, higher accuracy etc. Plus they are very well built, probably even better than the Fluke. And they run from AA batteries.
They are cool and I will keep and least one of them in addition to the Fluke, but for my everyday measurements I still tend to use the 87V.
It's handier (at least with the rubber holster), faster and usually good enough for my needs. If I could have only one meter, I'd keep the Fluke. That's why I also order only Flukes at work.
Besides: we have some Fluke dinosaurs at work, some of them at least 30 years old. And they don't only still work: they are still pretty much spot on.
Oxdeadbeef, can  you expand on this a bit? I have been looking to get a Metrahit Ultra (I can get one at a reasonable price) but this would be my only hand-held apart from a cheap one I bought from Maplins years ago (I have 3 bench DMMs) but I have one or two concerns. One is the display which is (per digit) appears quite a bit smaller than rival 4 1/2 digit multimeters (as you'd expect as it needs to display 6 digits). The other is the extreme cost of extras such as the IR connector and software (though the BT option is perhaps a more economical route) and the powerpack.

The cost of the Ultra, if I get old new stock (i.e. one that has never been sold but sitting in stock for long enough for the calibration to expire) is less than buying a new 87V and the specs are much better, as you say but if the usability is less then perhaps it is not a good buy.
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: 0xdeadbeef on December 17, 2015, 08:31:45 pm
Pretty much off-topic, but I hope that's OK:

I have been looking to get a Metrahit Ultra (I can get one at a reasonable price) but this would be my only hand-held apart from a cheap one I bought from Maplins years ago (I have 3 bench DMMs) but I have one or two concerns. One is the display which is (per digit) appears quite a bit smaller than rival 4 1/2 digit multimeters (as you'd expect as it needs to display 6 digits).
Yes, the digits are a bit smaller but it can display two additional values (like data and time). The digit size wouldn't bother me at all. But there is no bar graph.
Also if you measure a constant voltage, it needs quite some time to settle to a value. And the rubber holster of the Metrahits is pretty large compared to a Fluke 87V.
As a side note, it has a lower CAT voltage specification than e.g. the X-TRA: 600V (instead of 1000V) for CAT III, 300v (instead of 600V) for CAT IV.
Both, X-TRA and Ultra have a slightly worse continuity compared to the 87V. It is probably latched, but ignores very short contacts (no beep). Also the beep is not nearly as audible as on the 87V.

The other is the extreme cost of extras such as the IR connector and software (though the BT option is perhaps a more economical route) and the powerpack.
Well, for the IR connection, I can offer a cheaper solution (http://lemmini.de/IrDA%20USB/IrDA%20USB.html).
Note that the (slightly old fashioned) Metrawin10 software currently doesn't even support the Ultra out of the box as it doesn't recognize the Ultra's ID. Gossen support promised to release a new version 6.20 some weeks before, but it didn't happen yet. This issue can be overcome though by patching the ID in some Dlls. Note that the current version of the software was released in the 2012. Then again, the ASCII protocol is documented and similar to SCPI.

The cost of the Ultra, if I get old new stock (i.e. one that has never been sold but sitting in stock for long enough for the calibration to expire) is less than buying a new 87V and the specs are much better, as you say but if the usability is less then perhaps it is not a good buy.
I bought mine for 350€ unused (calibration valid until 1/2017) on eBay which is a bit more than what I paid some years ago for a Fluke 87V (new on eBay for ~260€). I planned to replace the X-TRA with the Ultra and sell the X-TRA but currently I'm hesitating. Also for some reason, there's an X-TRA sold on eBay like every week or so. Anyway, in my opinion, the X-TRA is closer to the Fluke 87V regarding everyday usability.

[Edit: typos]
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: jpb on December 17, 2015, 10:25:41 pm
Pretty much off-topic, but I hope that's OK:

I have been looking to get a Metrahit Ultra (I can get one at a reasonable price) but this would be my only hand-held apart from a cheap one I bought from Maplins years ago (I have 3 bench DMMs) but I have one or two concerns. One is the display which is (per digit) appears quite a bit smaller than rival 4 1/2 digit multimeters (as you'd expect as it needs to display 6 digits).
Yes, the digits are a bit smaller but it can display two additional values (like data and time). The digit size wouldn't bother me at all. But there is no bar graph.
Also if you measure a constant voltage, it needs quite some time to settle to a value. And the rubber holster of the Metrahits is pretty large compared to a Fluke 87V.
As a side note, it has a lower CAT voltage specification than e.g. the X-TRA: 600V (instead of 1000V) for CAT III, 200v (instead of 600V) for CAT IV.
Both, X-TRA and Ultra have a slightly worse continuity compared to the 87V. It is probably latched, but ignores very short contacts (no beep). Also the beep is not nearly as audible as on the 87V.

The other is the extreme cost of extras such as the IR connector and software (though the BT option is perhaps a more economical route) and the powerpack.
Well, for the IR connection, I can offer a cheaper solution (http://lemmini.de/IrDA%20USB/IrDA%20USB.html).
Note that the (slightly old fashioned) Metrawin10 software currently doesn't even support the Ultra out of the box as it doesn't recognize the Ultra's ID. Gossen support promised to release a new version 6.20 some weeks before, but it didn't happen yet. This issue can be overcome though by patching the ID in some Dlls. Note that the current version of the software was released in the 2012. Then again, the ASCII protocol is documented and similar to SCPI.

The cost of the Ultra, if I get old new stock (i.e. one that has never been sold but sitting in stock for long enough for the calibration to expire) is less than buying a new 87V and the specs are much better, as you say but if the usability is less then perhaps it is not a good buy.
I bought mine for 350€ unused (calibration valid until 1/2017) on ebay which is a bit more than what I paid some years ago for a Fluke 87V (new on eBay for ~260€). I planned to replace the X-TRA with the Ultra and sell the X-TRA but currently I'm hesitating. Also for some reason, there's an X-TRA sold on ebay like every week or so. Anyway, in my opinion, the X-TRA is closer to the Fluke 87V regarding everyday usability.
Thank you - it is very helpful having unbiased feedback from real users. This is especially true as I have no opportunities to see the different options without buying them - it is hard to judge accurately just looking at photos and videos.
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: 0xdeadbeef on December 17, 2015, 10:46:35 pm
Thank you - it is very helpful having unbiased feedback from real users. This is especially true as I have no opportunities to see the different options without buying them - it is hard to judge accurately just looking at photos and videos.
Don't get me wrong: if I had no 87V or would have owned the X-TRA long before the 87V, I might as well prefer the X-TRA today. For electronics work at home, you can remove the rubber holster of course which makes the multimeter much better to handle. Still the 87V has the better continuity mode and is a bit faster to display a stable voltage value - but of course it also displays one decimal less.
Actually, there is a lot that speaks for the Metrahit meters and it obviously depending on your personal preferences what you find annoying and what mandatory. E.g. the 87V annoys me (and a lot of other people) for defaulting to AC when measuring currents. Also the 400mA limit on the low current socket always worries me (so I prefer the Metrahits for current measurements). I also dislike the 9V battery, the somewhat cheapish battery connector and the lack of an on/off switch.
Title: Re: would you still buy the fluke 87V!
Post by: HarlanKing on December 18, 2015, 12:54:53 am
I have no regrets so far. This has been my first week with the 87v and have used it extensively on some VFD's at work.

It's nice having a rugged meter and an lcd with good viewing angles. The ability to disable certain functions such as auto power off is nice.. I recommend getting the magnet hanger accessory if you are doing much field work!