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Old 7th December 2011, 06:21 PM   #1
a.wayne is offline a.wayne  United States
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Default Chinese Fluke ... any good .?

Bought a new Kluke DMM and it's made in China...? any issues with them..?


Thanks ....
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Old 7th December 2011, 06:31 PM   #2
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
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A Kluke !

I'd say it were a fluke if it worked at all
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Old 7th December 2011, 07:37 PM   #3
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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Hi a.wayne,
Treat it as just another inexpensive meter. Don't trust any readings until you can compare it with a known good meter on each range and function. I'm not trying to be mean spirited about this. After seeing many name-brand meters that didn't meet their rather loose specifications at new, a no-name meter doesn't instill confidence.

Now, once you have checked it, go ahead and use it. You will have a good idea where the reading is in relation to the actual quantity you are measuring. Do check your meter every so often to note where the readings are drifting. That is the purpose of calibration, and the cheaper meters need it more than the expensive ones do. That's about opposite of what happens in real life. Just check the voltage ranges as that should carry to AC volts as well. Resistance can be tested with some 1% resistors.

Resist the temptation to record every digit on the display. That goes for any digital meter in fact. With the lower end meters, often the last digit in a 3 1/2 digit display means nothing if you work out the accuracy spec. That's revolting! My guess is that your new meter should be a 4 1/2 digit type. That will be more accurate (I hope) than the earlier standard 3 1/2 digit models. Often, if you open these up, you will find standard 1% resistors used in the divider. The cheap metal film resistors can have a surprisingly large temperature co-efficient. Also, I wouldn't want to trust the AC voltage measurements on anything but a sine wave around 60 Hz.

If you are looking for an "off-brand" meter, look for a brand called "Escort". Those aren't bad and you can trust their specs. Also, I do use no-name meters as well. However, they are used in applications where I only want a rough idea of the measurement, and I do check them against my good meters. The calibration is typically done on the 2 volt scale just below full scale. So, that means 1.900 volts for a range that reads up to 1.999 volts. You have to make sure the meter doesn't up-range on you some times. All the other ranges depend on the divider, so if a range is out of tolerance, you have to mess around with changing individual resistors.

Now, a real Fluke meter (years ago anyway) uses a thick film voltage divider assembly. This allows all resistors to track each other thermally, plus the resistors are low inductance and low capacitance. Add low temperature co-efficient as well to that. This means that the actual divider ratios are stable over temperature, and the frequency response is really good. Fluke also uses a good RMS converter for AC voltage conversions so you can get accurate readings on wave forms that are not sine shaped. There are other brands that do the same (like Agilent and Escort) that use the same idea. Note that something like Extech is not considered to be that reliable or stable over time.

Just out of curiosity, how much did this one cost you?

-Chris
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Old 7th December 2011, 09:22 PM   #4
a.wayne is offline a.wayne  United States
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Thanks for the response guys ...

Chris: This model Fluke cost me 140.00 , i only bought it because it was a fluke, tried to stay away from unknown brands , i will look into the escort..


Regards,
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Old 7th December 2011, 09:43 PM   #5
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Old 7th December 2011, 09:49 PM   #6
tvrgeek is offline tvrgeek  United States
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I bought my Fluke used off e-bay. Kluke. Insulting. Like Roladex watches. Some may actually work but buying it is just rewarding fraud. China needs to learn to stand on their own capabilities and name. They can, so watch out. When they sell the same meter with their own real name, offer support and verification of performance, then no problem. I have several Instek instruments that seem to be fine. ( and my Simpson, tek scope, HP generators...)
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Old 7th December 2011, 09:50 PM   #7
a.wayne is offline a.wayne  United States
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Bought it at Lowes...
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Old 7th December 2011, 10:05 PM   #8
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Judging from the price, seems like it would be something like a model 115. I don't see any reason for automatically assuming performance issues. My main assumption is that Fluke remains concerned with reputation and liability issues.
When I was a child, it was "Made in Japan," and you all know the rest of that story.
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Old 7th December 2011, 11:44 PM   #9
Minion is offline Minion  Canada
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I use a cheapo $20 dollar model that seems to be pretty accurate , at the least the Voltage,resistance,capacitance seem to be accurate .....
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Old 8th December 2011, 12:02 AM   #10
Enzo is online now Enzo  United States
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I will assume that "Kluke" was just a typing error.

CHina is just a place. They can make things. They can make absolute junk, and they can make high precision quality stuff. And anything in between. It ain;t just a bunch of folks wearing shower clogs and wading in rice paddies. A company like FLuke doesn;t just call over there and say "Hey, make me a batch of voltmeters and stick my name on them." They can make throw away stuff, bit on the other hand, they have a space program, make high tech electronics, have a nuclear arsenal. (Willing to bet those things won;t function if deployed? I'm not)

The Chinese will make whatever the contractor - in this case Fluke - will accept as good enough. I wouldn;t expect a $140 meter to have the performance of a $1000 meter, regardless of where it was made. I wouldn;t dismiss it just because it says China on it.

If I buy a Fluke meter, I generally expect it will work to their claims, and live through their warranty. I get those $8 meters from Harbor Freight, you know, the ones that are often on sale for $2 and can usually be had for free with a coupon. I expect little from them, but they are fine for checking continuity - is this voice coil open? Basic voltage - is this wall outlet hot? This battery dead? But my basic and aging FLuke of course runs rings around those and is my main go-to tool.

Anatech suggests not trusting it at first. GOod advice. Apply that advice to ANY piece of gear you get, not just Chinese Flukes.
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