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Old 21st January 2006, 04:36 PM   #11
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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Hi tempoct,
I have to emphatically state that there is nothing even remotely close to a Fluke. Buy one of the newer ones.

-Chris
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Old 21st January 2006, 05:39 PM   #12
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My first Fluke only lasted 5 years... car was stolen. I have dropped them off ladders, into lake Michigan, had them rained on, baked in the trunk, checked 480VAC on impedence, and they are constantaly left on by mistake. ANd when you really pooch one there is a friendly person on the other end in Washington willing to sell you parts inexpensively.

I think it's the lowest "cost" product in the category if you get my meaning.
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Old 21st January 2006, 08:02 PM   #13
tempoct is offline tempoct  United States
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Can I calibrate the Fluke myself? How can I know that it's off calibration.
I'm looking into these two
Fluke 179
http://www.hmcelectronics.com/cgi-bi...uct/3410-0119/
BK Precision 6350
http://www.tequipment.net/BK5360.html

More than twice the price but seems like the Fluke is worth it.....

BTW, does the Fluke really have much more bandwidth?
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Old 22nd January 2006, 12:53 AM   #14
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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Hi tempoct,
You can calibrate the meter if you have Fluke's software and a 5520 calibrator. I'm sure others will work.

These meters are calibrated "closed case" these days. The HF cal was dependant on the shield position. Very sensitive. I had made adjustment jigs using old cases for the 23 ~ 87 series.

Buy it calibrated. Chances are it will stay in tolerance for many years. Out of the box they are normally well within tolerance too.

The B&K isn't even close. Good for a utility meter. You may have a 4:1 TUR with the Fluke over the B&K! Meaning you could use the Fluke as a standard. I'd have to check the specs on both, but why bother.

Buy the Fluke.

-Chris
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Old 22nd January 2006, 03:13 AM   #15
AR2 is offline AR2  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by tempoct

BTW, does the Fluke really have much more bandwidth?

I got the Fluke just for that reason. When I compared to my old meter I couldn't beleive. My old meter was droping after 2 KHZ !!! Reading at 10 KHZ was 4 to 5 time off.
I was comparing my reading on the osciloscope to my old meter and I realised that something was off. Than I got Fluke and everything was matching to oscilloscope. If you read the specs on Fluke 189 it states bandwith 100 KHz. I checked that and it is true.
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Old 22nd January 2006, 05:18 PM   #16
testlab is offline testlab  United States
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Typically, multimeters do not have very high bandwidth. Since the manufacturer assumes that you are going to measure 50/60 Hz, there is no need. If you are interested in an ac voltmeter with high bandwidth an HP 400 is the ticket.
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Old 22nd January 2006, 06:32 PM   #17
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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Hi testlab,
Bandwidth becomes more important when looking at modern electronic systems and true RMS measurements. With modern meters, the old HP 400 has been superseded. The HP 34401 has a 300KHz bandwidth. Digital 'scopes with math functions now take the place of an older analog meter.

The point being made is that the Fluke product is the best hand held meter, and that frequency response is a much more important part of the standard measurement capabilities. I refuse to unreel an extension cord when I'm away from the bench in a field or factory floor.

-Chris
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Old 22nd January 2006, 08:18 PM   #18
testlab is offline testlab  United States
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I understand that. I work with those instruments every day. I think the point you are missing is budget concern. Fluke's superiority gap is shrinking. There are many budget instruments that are more than suitable.

A 34401A is almost $1200. An HP 400 can be had on eBay for under $100, in most cases. There is alot of work left in some of those old instruments.
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Old 22nd January 2006, 08:41 PM   #19
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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Hi testlab,
I fully agree with you that there is lots of life left in older insturments, but the title of this thread is:
Quote:
Digital Multimeter recommendation
So I'm trying to stay on topic. We are talking about handhelds in particular.

Brands like Extech, TPI, BK, Tenma can be more trouble than they are worth. We found Extech would not stay in tolerance year to year. Extech charged a fortune for calibration. Tenma and anything like that may not be in tolerance new in box. The input divider was mostly to blame. So you get new and BER (Beyond Economical Repair).

SY is right in saying Fluke is not cheap. I believe the total cost of ownership to be the lowest of the lot on average. This is due to their long life, inexpensive (usually) repairs and tendancy to stay in tolerance. I have not seen other brands getting close to this.

-Chris
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Old 22nd January 2006, 08:56 PM   #20
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Quote:

SY is right in saying Fluke is not cheap. I believe the total cost of ownership to be the lowest of the lot on average. This is due to their long life, inexpensive (usually) repairs and tendancy to stay in tolerance. I have not seen other brands getting close to this.

anatech and SY are 100% correct here. I have been guilty in the past of purchasing the lower end meters and learned that they will bite you in the butt. When you add up the extra expenses of
calibration and maintenance they will eat you alive.

Its been said that Fluke isn't cheap but then again good meters aren't. Bottom line is you get what you pay for. With cheap meters you pay and pay and pay until you finally wise up.
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