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Please Recommend A Multimeter

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Le Chaud Lapin, Oct 23, 2007.

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  1. Hi All,

    After 15+ years, my cherished Fluke DMM grew legs and walked out of my
    garage. Arrgg..!! :(

    I don't want to pay $200+ to get a new one.

    Call me a heretic...but are there any multimeters that are more
    reasonably priced (~50) but have that Fluke feel, something that
    won't come apart after a few drops?


    -Le Chaud Lapin-
  2. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Never happened here. But we also have a Rottweiler and a Shepherd.

    I'm afraid you hafta.

    Nope :-(
  3. Jim Stewart

    Jim Stewart Guest


    Try ebay. You can usually find the Fluke
    you want for about 30-40 percent off.
  4. Charles

    Charles Guest

    I'll call you a dreamer. The Flukes are not flukes but the cheep DMMs are.
  5. Ben Jackson

    Ben Jackson Guest

    You can get an Extech with the same features, and you can read the
    online specs and look at pictures all day and it will seem fine, but
    you will get it and it's just not a Fluke. It's a lot cheaper,
  6. Ecnerwal

    Ecnerwal Guest

    You're a heretic; happy?

    We've run some terrible cheapies in the classroom, but they certainly
    lack the Fluke feel (not to mention the fitted rubber armor that helps
    so much with drops). I personally gagged on the price of Fluke clamp-ons
    that would measure DC amps and bought a Triplett, but I also try not to
    drop the thing, as it was in the $200 ballpark itself, and lacks a
    rubber jacket.

    You can certainly try FLeaBay, if only to see if your local set of legs
    is flogging your very own meter.
  7. You won't get a top quality brand new unit for much less.

    Plenty of 2nd hand Flukes on eBay for less than $100. It's possible to
    get an 80 series 3 Fluke for around $100 in as-new nick.

    For the $50 you mentioned you could get a newer series 70 meter on
    The Meterman units (now owned by Fluke) are a lower price bracket with
    more features than the Flukes.
    Build quality is very good.
    The Meterman 37XR is a bit over $100.

  8. That's why I leave a cheapo Harbor Freight $10 DvG (digital volts
    guesser) laying around in plain sight. The professional equipment
    borrowers tend to grab anything and run, thus leaving my various Fluke
    DVM's alone. I think I've lost about 5 of the $10 decoys.

    I've had my Model 77 since I stole it from work in 1980, and my Model
    10 since I stole it from a non-paying client in about 1995.
    What model Fluke were you considering? How may digits do you need?
    Accuracy? True RMS?
    Nothing close. Buy the Fluke, but also buy the $10 decoy.

    I must confess that I also have a variety of Sears/Craftsman DVM's. No
    clue who actually made them (Made in China). They all have a slip on
    rubber drop protector and seem to be surviving my abuse quite nicely.
    I've never checked the accuracy. Some are auto-ranging, while others
    require that I remember to set the range BEFORE applying the probes.
    I use them for non-critical applications, such as continuity testing,
    vehicle repair, and filthy work locations. Several have banged around
    my truck for about 2 years without damage. I think the most I've paid
    was about $40.
    I'm not sure I would actually recommend these meters, but if you must
    cut corners, and don't care about accuracy, then they'll suffice.
  9. I like my Extech MM560 just fine. :)
  10. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    I bought the TPI 153 from Digikey.. Can't complain yet..$71.00US..
    Combined it with a small parts order to dodge the min order handling
    Came with boot so it can bounce off the floor and into the high speed
    mechanics :)

    D from BC
  11. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    I have units going up to the top end of HP/Agilent but the best
    multimeter investment I ever made is my cheap well $A80 Digitech QM-1530
    does AC DC Volts ohms diode and continuity( the scales I find myself
    constantly using organized in that order), then nF uF Hz hfe uA mA A the
    scales I hardly ever use. it does have Data Hold but again I never use
    it, it has a rubber case. Also When I blew my first one up by putting
    3000 Volts into it, Jaycar were nice enough to replace it for me. I do
    have a Fluke 110 which does have the Auto off function (very useful for
    service) it has the same first scales as the Digitech and it is smaller
    but considerably higher in cost. Since you have a French surname I
    would assume you were not from Oz, but you may well find a similar
    product with a different brand stamped on it in your part of the world.

    This page has some related models

    the QM-1536 seems very similar, while the QM1462 has dataloging via USB

    regards Andrew
  12. Tom2000

    Tom2000 Guest

    Paraphrasing Charlton Heston: "They're gonna have to pry my Fluke out
    of my cold, dead hands!"
  13. Glen Walpert

    Glen Walpert Guest

    I have been favorably impressed with my Extech Mini-Tec 26 which cost
    me $40 US. It has a rubber impact boot, and comes with a thermocouple
    and a *much* better capacitance test function than my Fluke 87, but
    lacks true RMS and Hi-Z input and is slightly less accurate. It has
    been more durable than my Fluke, which is on its second LCD and
    already missing segments again after less than 2 years, in spite of
    the fact that the Fluke stays on my bench and has never been dropped
    while the Extech goes out in the field and has been dropped several
    times and used in the rain a few times too.

    IMO you really have to want the higher accuracy and true RMS to pay
    the big bucks for a Fluke, and most of these features are available
    from others at lower cost, with the possible exception of the very
    handy Hi-Z mode. So if I only had 1 meter it would still probably be
    the Fluke 87 or whaterver their current equivalent is, despite the
    poor reliability.
  14. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Paraphrasing our Rottweiler: "Don't get between me and the Fluke meter!"

  15. Are you sure he didn't say 'Bite? Me'? ;-)

    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
  16. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    He's not much of a talker. Normally very friendly (except to cats) but
    if someone does mischief there will be one loud woof. Then you better
    stop or run.
  17. PopMed

    PopMed Guest

    I love my Protek 506 which has never failed me in more than 10 years
    of use. It is slightly larger and heavier than a Fluke 77 but does a
    great deal more and is hell-for-stout. It has just recently been
    discontinued but is still available on the net for $145 which will get
    you an autoranging 3 3/4 digit DMM (and the digits are huge as well as
    optionally backlit), true RMS, Fluke-like solid construction/feel,
    holster, temp range (type K thermocouple and adapter included), RS232
    (optically isolated), signal source, freq counter to 10 MHz, limited
    cap and inductance range. It has a real on/off switch so you can
    leave the function knob on a frequently used position. It has real
    auto power off, not like the auto display off on my Fluke 77 which
    reduces power function by only ~20%. I primarily used my Fluke until
    I got the Protek and the Fluke is now stowed away as a spare.

    I see a refurbished Protek 506 on eBay which apparently failed to sell
    yesterday (start bid $90) and was relisted today at the same price. I
    don't have personal experience with the current Protek models but I
    can vouch for the 506!

  18. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Mind the wrap:

  19. Jim Stewart

    Jim Stewart Guest

  20. It's hardly Fluke like construction or feel!

    For less than that you can buy a very nice rugged Meterman 37XR for
    Since when?
    The 70 series have famously low sleep current.
    I have a Protek 506 that gathers dust. Wanna buy it?
    At my old job I had no less than 4 Protek 506's in my draw that
    gathered dust, no one wanted to use them over the Flukes.
    Too bad about the horribly clunky range switch. It's just awful.

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