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obnoxious Fluke 87 V meter problem

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Cydrome Leader, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. My hamfest special Fluke 80 something series something 20 year old meter
    started to act weird so it was time to upgrade.

    Got a spiffy 87 series V meter from Specialized.

    It's much larger than the old meter which is sort of a bummer, but it has
    a nice display and came with a cheapo temp probe.

    I tried to measure the temp of the shower water I like and few minutes
    later the meter started to freak out with "L38d" errors. It would not shut
    the hell up unless it was in the mA or uA range.

    So apparently the humidity condensed inside the lead sockets and shorted
    out the other side of the connector shell causing the meter to think I was
    stuck in a current range of some sort.

    a dry qtip wasn't able to dry the sockets out. Neither was pure alcohol,
    or a fan. I was about to get a RAM on the piece of shit, but finally,
    after about 20 minutes of being set in front of a fan, the thiung dried up
    enough to work again.

    I checked the service manual and found a strange section suggesting your
    spray a swab with WD-40 and work it around inside the lead sockets to
    prevent this problem.

    WTF.

    Is there some some secret settings I can enter on this meter to supress
    the input warnings, or is it time to unsolder half the connectors?

    Since the entire meter is semi sealed and had gaskets and orings all over,
    it seems stupid that a miniscule amout of moisture or a drop of water will
    completely disable the meter.

    I'm calling shit design on this one.
     
  2. Charles

    Charles Guest

    "Cydrome Leader" wrote in message
    My hamfest special Fluke 80 something series something 20 year old meter
    started to act weird so it was time to upgrade.

    Got a spiffy 87 series V meter from Specialized.

    It's much larger than the old meter which is sort of a bummer, but it has
    a nice display and came with a cheapo temp probe.

    I tried to measure the temp of the shower water I like and few minutes
    later the meter started to freak out with "L38d" errors. It would not shut
    the hell up unless it was in the mA or uA range.

    So apparently the humidity condensed inside the lead sockets and shorted
    out the other side of the connector shell causing the meter to think I was
    stuck in a current range of some sort.

    a dry qtip wasn't able to dry the sockets out. Neither was pure alcohol,
    or a fan. I was about to get a RAM on the piece of shit, but finally,
    after about 20 minutes of being set in front of a fan, the thiung dried up
    enough to work again.

    I checked the service manual and found a strange section suggesting your
    spray a swab with WD-40 and work it around inside the lead sockets to
    prevent this problem.

    WTF.

    Is there some some secret settings I can enter on this meter to supress
    the input warnings, or is it time to unsolder half the connectors?

    Since the entire meter is semi sealed and had gaskets and orings all over,
    it seems stupid that a miniscule amout of moisture or a drop of water will
    completely disable the meter.

    I'm calling shit design on this one.

    I have been using a CEN-TECH P98674 DMM with an external temperature sensor.
    It is kind of flimsy (the sensor) so I have been careful when using it. I
    will not stick it into the shower!

    I own 2 Fluke DMMs and they are both flaky.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Jamie

    Jamie Guest

    Fluke does not make meters like they used to any more. Actually, I don't
    think they make them in the US any more. The last I heard, they are all
    made in china now..

    For a while, they were having the low ends made in china and kept the
    upper models where ever they were doing it the last time. Then, that
    changed and all of it is now chinese made.. That's what the sales rep
    told us.

    We have a Fluke 289 that was not made in china. Couple of the guys
    wanted a 289 so when theirs came in, those were made in china and you
    can see the difference in the case and switch action, they are not the
    same quality..

    It does not surprise me that you have found that design flaw.. You
    most likely got a chinese designed version in a case that mimics the
    original fluke and approved by fluke, which is nothing more than an
    office and web sight, as far as I can see.

    Jamie
     
  4. ED

    ED Guest

    NOT per
     
  5. From what little experience I have with the new meter vs the one from
    decaces ago, I'm going to agree. This one is assembled in the US, like my
    old one though.
    It's a legit Fluke meter bought in the last 6 months from a valid
    distributor. It's still preposterous that the slightest amount of moisture
    causes it to think the leads are in the wrong sockets or that you need to
    spray WD-40 all over the fucking thing.
     
  6. It's really hard to tell what the heck those photos are supposed to be,
    but I do have the one with the metal stub on the mode selection switch,
    which would be rev 11 or the new one, I think.

    So I just ran a test.

    power on meter with no leads. Great.

    I then dampened a qtip and squeezed it as dry as it can get as they're too
    fat to slide in the jack all the way when fluffed up.

    I jammed it into the uA range jack and the meter started the several beeps
    er second and LEAd (or whatever it looks like in 7-segment) freak out
    input protection mode.

    I stuck the other dry end of the qtip in the jack and it still won't
    settle down, even after being shut off and on. A second qtip still can't
    dry the jack enough. No amount of rotating or just straight up and down
    action with any number of qtips seems to dry the thing out enough to work
    again.

    The only ranges that act normal are mA and uA.

    From this photo

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/eevblog/5904503364/in/set-72157627120630430/

    You can see there are two solder leads per jack. It seems that one side is
    the "working" terminal of the jack and the other is just for sensing when
    a probe is inserted because it will short out both pins. Inside the red
    plastic jack each half terminal is just a nearly semicircle shaped contact
    that wraps around almost half the banana-ish plug you's stick in there.

    Whatever they're sensing must be in the microvolts or microamps of leakage
    between those half terminals. Whatever it is, it's way over sensitive.
     

  7. Fluke will fix it for free or replace it under the warranty. Do not try to
    fix it yourself.

    I have some experience with Fluke Service. Although nobody is perfect, they
    are really the best in the business.

    If you needed a waterproof meter you should have bought a 28 series II,
    which has identical features.

    Mark Z.
     
  8. The Fluke 110 series (116, 117, etc) are Chinese made. The 80 series are all
    still U.S. made.

    Even the Chinese ones are made to high standards, but only carry a 3 year
    warranty, whereas the U.S. made models have the famous "lifetime" warranty.

    To my knowledge there are no Chinese - made 289's. Frankly somebody would
    have to prove this to me.

    I have a brand-new 289 and it is definitely American.

    Mark Z.
     
  9. Do not spray WD in there - but since it is necessary to open the unit to
    replace a fuse for example, you will not void the warranty simply by opening
    it. Once you do, your problem may be obvious. Perhaps there is more water
    inside than you realize - in which case you REALLY need to get in there and
    clean it out to prevent corrosion.

    Mark Z.
     
  10. Sorry if I responded too quickly to your earlier post if you've already
    opened it.

    Nevertheless, you should get it to Fluke for service. They really will fix
    it for free.

    I've even heard of many cases where they cover units not 'technically' under
    warranty, not original owner, no purchase documentation, etc.

    I'm assuming you are in the U.S.

    Their turnaround is usually about 2 weeks, including UPS both ways.

    1-888-99-FLUKE (1-888-993-5853)

    Mark Z.
     
  11. Jamie

    Jamie Guest

    we have at least 7 people in the shop using them and they're all chinese
    made, accept the one I have. It's possible you can still get US
    made ones. Our sales rep told us differently..

    This reminds me of the Baldor micro AC drives we get, (VS1MD) series.
    if you go to their web sight and look at the advertised drive, they show
    a membrane keypad with a slightly different art design on the face. when
    you actually buy one, you get a chicklet push button keys and the front
    is just a plane jane control. It really does not matter but the point
    is, they are not shipping you what they advertise.. Also the ones we get
    are made in S.Korea.

    Jamie
     
  12. Sadly there isn't anything else wrong with the meter. The sockets for the
    leads are single piece of sealed looking plastic, which is then o-ring
    sealed to the front bezel. There was no water splashing around inside
    the meter, which is what I expected at first.

    I ran another test. Turn on the meter and place is face down an inch or
    two over over a cup of warm tap water. Within seconds it sensed a lead
    errors. I have to see if my breath can trigger it next.
     
  13. I'm doubting the meter is "broken" in that it won't behave like any other
    one just like it. I don't need waterproof, just to know that the meter
    doesn't have water absorbent plastics in it and it won't completely stop
    working if my glasses fog up for a second when going to another room.

    The slightest trace of moisture doesn't seem to need to get past the jack
    itself, and it's not like I'm pouring water into the jacks. Maybe I need
    to make some rubber plugs for the damn thing.

    It reminds me of those horrible ceramic thick film resistor looking dew
    sensors in VCRs that always failed on their own. Just drawing on them with
    a pencil seemed to take care of that (not really sure how though).
     
  14. I don't own WD-40 or duct tape for those reasons. I wish I was making up
    the WD-40 part, but it's actually in their manual.
     
  15. <snip>

    down to the bottom until it seals the receptacle. That's should help.

    I have a 85-III, an 87-V, a 27-II, an 8800A/AF, the new 289 and an 8840A. In
    my experience they have been absolutlely reliable, and in measurements
    there's not over about 400 microvolts difference on DC volts between them,
    even the 8800 produced around (?) 1975 and the 8840A made around 1986.

    Yes, I am a "multimeter junkie"...

    I have left my 87-V in my refrigerator for days on end getting min-max on
    temperature. It would get condensation when moved from the cold to a warm
    room, but never malfunctioned.

    I have not submerged any of them, but the 27-II is supposed to be
    waterproof...

    The 87-5 has split terminals for the current jacks - this may explain why
    the other fellow was getting the "leads" indication with moisture in there.

    Mark Z.
     
  16. I just confirmed that just one breath like one would use to clean
    eyeglasses is enough to "short out" the small current range jack.

    Can anybody else try this?

    I'm going to ask fluke about this.
     

  17. I'm going to agree with you. I think that is a fault. I'm going to try it
    with mine.

    Mark Z.
     
  18. JW

    JW Guest

    [...]
    Doesn't happen with mine. Serial # is 96800437.
     
  19. Rod Speed

    Rod Speed Guest

    Just another example of the sales bullshit not matching reality.
     

  20. OK, I checked my 87-5. DOES NOT trigger the lead warning by any amount of
    close-up hot breathing into it.

    Also checked my 289 again to confirm "Made in America".

    It is, "of U.S. and non-U.S. components" - about as I expected.

    Mark Z.
     
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