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Old 20th January 2014, 05:21 PM   #1
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Default Fluke multimeter Question

I have an older model Fluke I've been using which I bought off ebay witch was used when I bought it can't remember at the moment what model number it is though. Any way, I plan on replacing some more caps, transistors etc. in my preamp and was thinking of upgrading to a new better meter and was thinking about the model 179 Fluke are these all that's needed for basic audio components troubleshooting, adjusting bias, etc and are the specs good enough for accurate enough measurements? Thanks for replys! Fluke 179 Digital Multimeter 6000 Count DMM with Backlight & Temperature Measurement | TEquipment.NET
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Old 20th January 2014, 06:21 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by crippledchicken View Post
I have an older model Fluke I've been using which I bought off ebay witch was used when I bought it can't remember at the moment what model number it is though. Any way, I plan on replacing some more caps, transistors etc. in my preamp and was thinking of upgrading to a new better meter and was thinking about the model 179 Fluke are these all that's needed for basic audio components troubleshooting, adjusting bias, etc and are the specs good enough for accurate enough measurements? Thanks for replys! Fluke 179 Digital Multimeter 6000 Count DMM with Backlight & Temperature Measurement | TEquipment.NET
It looks good and Fluke have an excellent reputation.

However, I doubt it will do a better job than your existing (3-1/2 digit?) meter for such a task.

Do not be ashamed to admit enjoying using "tools" which exceed the immediate requirement. It is part of the fun!
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Old 21st January 2014, 05:29 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crippledchicken View Post
I have an older model Fluke I've been using which I bought off ebay witch was used when I bought it can't remember at the moment what model number it is though. Any way, I plan on replacing some more caps, transistors etc. in my preamp and was thinking of upgrading to a new better meter and was thinking about the model 179 Fluke are these all that's needed for basic audio components troubleshooting, adjusting bias, etc and are the specs good enough for accurate enough measurements? Thanks for replys! Fluke 179 Digital Multimeter 6000 Count DMM with Backlight & Temperature Measurement | TEquipment.NET
Frankly, the 179 is a bit long in the tooth and dated for the price they want. At that price you can do better. If you want to stick with fluke get a used 87V and a DMM Check+ to ensure both your meters are in calibration. Frankly, there are a variety of others new and used that will give you better features and accuracy. For example, the Brymen BM869 gives you 500,000/50,000 count resolution, cat4 1000v (fluke is only cat 3, both are UL tested), etc for the same price new. This meter is also the greenlee dm-860+ if I remember correctly (though the greenlee cost more for the greenlee name).

If it were me I'd consider getting a real lcr instead and a DMM check for the other meter. It would allow you to do things like capacitor matching/binning, esr check, etc. A great value is the Der EE DE-5000. It does everything I mentioned plus has testing frequencies up to 100khz. It's a real lcr for around $120. I would go no cheaper than that, because below that you get into the toys. this one I'd actually a damn good deal which is why I recommend it.

Another option is you could do a combo of the above. Get a second useful meter for around $150 (say a used 87V if you are lucky, though I can mention many more if you want) and the LCR.

Last edited by PedroDaGr8; 21st January 2014 at 05:35 AM.
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Old 21st January 2014, 11:39 AM   #4
skidave is offline skidave  United States
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MM560A - MultiMaster® High-Accuracy Multimeter

I have the 560, the newer version 560A includes dB relative to 600 ohms and other terminations I believe. Just as good as a Fluke 87 (any version) and much cheaper.
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Old 21st January 2014, 07:28 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by PedroDaGr8 View Post
Frankly, the 179 is a bit long in the tooth and dated for the price they want. At that price you can do better. If you want to stick with fluke get a used 87V and a DMM Check+ to ensure both your meters are in calibration. Frankly, there are a variety of others new and used that will give you better features and accuracy. For example, the Brymen BM869 gives you 500,000/50,000 count resolution, cat4 1000v (fluke is only cat 3, both are UL tested), etc for the same price new. This meter is also the greenlee dm-860+ if I remember correctly (though the greenlee cost more for the greenlee name).

If it were me I'd consider getting a real lcr instead and a DMM check for the other meter. It would allow you to do things like capacitor matching/binning, esr check, etc. A great value is the Der EE DE-5000. It does everything I mentioned plus has testing frequencies up to 100khz. It's a real lcr for around $120. I would go no cheaper than that, because below that you get into the toys. this one I'd actually a damn good deal which is why I recommend it.

Another option is you could do a combo of the above. Get a second useful meter for around $150 (say a used 87V if you are lucky, though I can mention many more if you want) and the LCR.
Hi, is this the meter you are referring to? and does it have as good or better accuracy as the Fluke 179? I don't mind changing brands for good accuracy and sturdy build for same price or cheaper. I mainly want good accuracy over features that are not generally used in my case such as frequency and temp probe but, if they are included I'll take them. BM869 BRYMEN - Digital multimeter | Transfer Multisort Elektronik Would a new, Fluke 87v be a better unit or is the BRYMEN a better deal?

Last edited by crippledchicken; 21st January 2014 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 21st January 2014, 07:54 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by skidave View Post
MM560A - MultiMaster® High-Accuracy Multimeter

I have the 560, the newer version 560A includes dB relative to 600 ohms and other terminations I believe. Just as good as a Fluke 87 (any version) and much cheaper.
The 560 is sure cheaper, than a Fluke 87v.
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Old 21st January 2014, 10:35 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by skidave View Post
MM560A - MultiMaster® High-Accuracy Multimeter

I have the 560, the newer version 560A includes dB relative to 600 ohms and other terminations I believe. Just as good as a Fluke 87 (any version) and much cheaper.
I can't say I would recommend ANY Extech meter based no what I have seen so far. I have yet to see an Extech that didn't disappoint internally. The Extech meters are almost entirely rebadged CEM meters. I have seen Extech meters with SMD resistors that were barely attached, bad solder joints, bad input protection etc. I'd need to see some high res images before I'd ever recommend this meter.


Quote:
Originally Posted by crippledchicken View Post
Hi, is this the meter you are referring to? and does it have as good or better accuracy as the Fluke 179? I don't mind changing brands for good accuracy and sturdy build for same price or cheaper. I mainly want good accuracy over features that are not generally used in my case such as frequency and temp probe but, if they are included I'll take them. BM869 BRYMEN - Digital multimeter | Transfer Multisort Elektronik Would a new, Fluke 87v be a better unit or is the BRYMEN a better deal?
In general the BM869 beats the specs of the 87V, sometimes by a pretty significant margin. That being said, its up to you to decide which meter is the best for you. One thing that is useful is that this meter does TrueRMS AC+DC and can display both the AC and the DC components using the dual display. As you said though, many features might be extras.

Some teardown images showing the beefy input protection.
Brymen BM869 Multimeter Teardown - a set on Flickr

Also, here is a store selling the Greenlee rebadged BM869 (called the DM-860A):

http://www.toolfetch.com/greenlee-dm...FYY1QgodM3wANg

Google says it is a trusted store and the price is $297 and change after shipping. The greenlee gives the bonus of a lifetime warranty and an american center for RMA's (plus the Greenlee name if that is important to you, internally it is the same meter).


If you have any additional specs that you want you can always bring them up and I'll see what matches your search.

Last edited by PedroDaGr8; 21st January 2014 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 21st January 2014, 11:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PedroDaGr8 View Post
I can't say I would recommend ANY Extech meter based no what I have seen so far. I have yet to see an Extech that didn't disappoint internally. The Extech meters are almost entirely rebadged CEM meters. I have seen Extech meters with SMD resistors that were barely attached, bad solder joints, bad input protection etc. I'd need to see some high res images before I'd ever recommend this meter.




In general the BM869 beats the specs of the 87V, sometimes by a pretty significant margin. That being said, its up to you to decide which meter is the best for you. One thing that is useful is that this meter does TrueRMS AC+DC and can display both the AC and the DC components using the dual display. As you said though, many features might be extras.

Some teardown images showing the beefy input protection.
Brymen BM869 Multimeter Teardown - a set on Flickr

Also, here is a store selling the Greenlee rebadged BM869 (called the DM-860A):

Greenlee DM-860A Industrial 500,000-count Digital Multimeter by Greenlee | Toolfetch

Google says it is a trusted store and the price is $297 and change after shipping. The greenlee gives the bonus of a lifetime warranty and an american center for RMA's (plus the Greenlee name if that is important to you, internally it is the same meter).


If you have any additional specs that you want you can always bring them up and I'll see what matches your search.
Thanks for all your help I think I will be getting one of those they seem like good meters.
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Old 22nd January 2014, 12:04 AM   #9
skidave is offline skidave  United States
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In my repair shop, I have 4 of the Extech 560s and several Fluke 87IIIs, Vs and 177s, 179s, etc. They all get calibrated yearly by a calibration company that comes on-site. The Extechs spec out perfectly each time (just as the Fluke units do).

For the cost avoidance and for what we use the meters for in our business, the Extech is just fine. I bought one for my personal use just because they were so reliable.

To each their own...
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Old 22nd January 2014, 01:26 AM   #10
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Ok turns out it's time for me to eat some crow. I got some time to do some more research tonight. Turns out the OEM for the Extech MM560 and MM570 is.....drum roll please .... Brymen. To be exact it's the BM857 and BM859 respectively. Also known as the Greenlee DM-860 (the 860A is the BM869). It's a model down from from the 869 but still really really good. So apparently there is an Extech worth recommending.
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