Phoenix Electroforms

View Poll Results: Which do you rather have? (assuming you don't have either one)

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  • 187

    4 57.14%
  • 87-5

    3 42.86%
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Thread: DMM crew: Fluke 187 or 87-5, which do you rather have?

  1. #1

    Default DMM crew: Fluke 187 or 87-5, which do you rather have?

    If you were to get one now, which do you rather have and why? The 187 have more features, but I was surprised to see that they're quite close together price wise.

    I have an 87-5 and an 189. I like the higher frequency capability (for swich-mode power supply internal measurements and such) of 189, but I find the 87-5 much more pleasant to use. Something about the user interface on the 189, I can't really get along with.

    http://us.fluke.com/usen/products/pr...(FlukeProducts)
    Go there and compare the features between 187 and 87-5.
    Last edited by Handlobraesing; 07-07-2006 at 01:23 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: DMM crew: Fluke 187 or 87-5, which do you rather have?

    I've used both (well, the the 189, not the 187, but it's the same thing with a datalogger added), and the 189 is a clear winner for me for the dual display. Being able to see frequency and voltage or AC and DC components simultaneously is a huge win for me.

    Right now my fluke meters include an older model 87, a couple 89-IVs, a couple 189s, an 88 automotive (for the RPM clamp, which is a nice inductive pickup for capturing and measuring audio signal frequencies), a couple 199 scope meters, a couple of network scopes, plus assorted test leads, current clamps and temperature probes.

    I've also got a Textronix TX-3 (which is nice but has a horrible user interface that requires you to push a button to get DC measurements after moving the switch).

    On the analog side nothing beats my old Simpson 260 on the bench, but for field use it's a bit bulky and doesn't do a good job at capactive kick metering (call me old fashioned), so I usually prefer something smaller (like a triplett 310-tel) or purpose built for the task at hand (e.g., a Triplett or Sidekick telco meter or a Megger leakage tester).

    The 89's and 189's are among my most frequently used digital meters, both on the bench and in the field.

    HCaul.
    Last edited by HCaul; 07-07-2006 at 01:47 PM.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* TinderBox (UK)'s Avatar
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    Default Re: DMM crew: Fluke 187 or 87-5, which do you rather have?

    A fluke 187 is £311.00 on the RS website.

    It`s a lot of money.

    http://rswww.com/cgi-bin/bv/rswww/se...cape&Nr=avl:uk

    regards.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: DMM crew: Fluke 187 or 87-5, which do you rather have?

    Yes, these meters are definitely expensive, and there are certainly much more affordable alternatives suitable for most purposes.

    For my purposes I've decided it's worth it, however, since I work mostly under conditions where time is DEFINITELY money, and where mistakes are expensive to both my client and my reputation. So I'm willing to bite the bullet and pay a significant premium for somewhat increased assurance and well-optimized user interfaces. I also occasionally run across hazardous voltages, and I really appreciate equipment that will reliably warn me about something unexpected instead of making me (or someone working for me) part of the circuit.

    Could I get by will less expensive stuff? For most things, yes. But it would sometimes increase the number of steps required for a given measurement, and I'd also spend more time in general double and triple checking things. So it's worth it to me to have equipment that I have to think about less, even though it costs more than I might be able to get away with if I wanted to work on the cheap.

    HCaul

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* TinderBox (UK)'s Avatar
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    Default Re: DMM crew: Fluke 187 or 87-5, which do you rather have?

    have you hear of a ALPHATEK TEK550 DMM, I saw one in a second had shop for £10.

    I thought it was a rebaged fluke, as it look almost identical, even down to the bargraph lcd display.

    I did a search on ebay, their was a few for sale at between £30-40.

    regards.
    Intellicharge i4 - LaCrosse BC-900 - MaHa C9000 - Charge Manager 2010 - Vanson Speedy Box - Accumanger 10 and 20 -Thunder AC6
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  6. #6

    Default Re: DMM crew: Fluke 187 or 87-5, which do you rather have?

    Quote Originally Posted by TinderBox (UK)
    have you hear of a ALPHATEK TEK550 DMM, I saw one in a second had shop for £10.

    I thought it was a rebaged fluke, as it look almost identical, even down to the bargraph lcd display.

    I did a search on ebay, their was a few for sale at between £30-40.

    regards.
    Except if there's a transient spike, it would be the difference between spending time at burn center for severe flash arc or just a loss of meter.

    Flukes are rated for up to 1,000v for high power stuff, like elevator motor power and super high energy like 480v utlity vaults. (IEC CAT III & IV)


    Quote Originally Posted by HCaul
    I've also got a Textronix TX-3 (which is nice but has a horrible user interface that requires you to push a button to get DC measurements after moving the switch).
    That's exactly how 87-5 is, but I got used to it. It reverts back to AC everytime too. Fluke markets 87-5 as a high end industrial meter, so it was probably intended for best convenience for electricians than hobbyists.
    Last edited by Handlobraesing; 07-07-2006 at 04:02 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: DMM crew: Fluke 187 or 87-5, which do you rather have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Handlobraesing
    That's exactly how 87-5 is, but I got used to it. It reverts back to AC everytime too. Fluke markets 87-5 as a high end industrial meter, so it was probably intended for best convenience for electricians than hobbyists.
    Are you sure? My 87-III has separate positions for AC and DC V. If so, I double my vote for the 189. I much prefer separate AC and DC positions on the switch, for both safety and convenience.

    Actually, the interface I really like is the 88 automotive meter, which powers up in manual ranging mode UNLESS you push a button when turning it on for autoranging. I usually dislike autoranging, since it makes it easy to make a magnitude error in reading the display, especailly if a value changes by a factor of more than ten. Unfortunately all the modern high end meters autorange by default.

    HCaul

  8. #8
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    Default Re: DMM crew: Fluke 187 or 87-5, which do you rather have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Handlobraesing
    Except if there's a transient spike, it would be the difference between spending time at burn center for severe flash arc or just a loss of meter.

    Flukes are rated for up to 1,000v for high power stuff, like elevator motor power and super high energy like 480v utlity vaults. (IEC CAT III & IV)



    That's exactly how 87-5 is, but I got used to it. It reverts back to AC everytime too. Fluke markets 87-5 as a high end industrial meter, so it was probably intended for best convenience for electricians than hobbyists.
    The Fluke 88-V is different in that respect, once in DC, you can switch between the two scales without reverting back to AC.
    Bill

    I'm a retired mechanic not a electronic/electrical engineer!

  9. #9

    Default Re: DMM crew: Fluke 187 or 87-5, which do you rather have?

    oops correction

    87-5 does have a separate physical switch position for AC and DC VOLTAGE, but current is shared and defaults and reverts to AC everytime

  10. #10
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    Default Re: DMM crew: Fluke 187 or 87-5, which do you rather have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Handlobraesing
    oops correction

    87-5 does have a separate physical switch position for AC and DC VOLTAGE, but current is shared and defaults and reverts to AC everytime
    The 88-V automotive model doesn't do that.
    Bill

    I'm a retired mechanic not a electronic/electrical engineer!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: DMM crew: Fluke 187 or 87-5, which do you rather have?

    I have two Fluke 189's I use at work, great DMMs! In a few months we will be getting Extech Multiscopes since they are a little larger than the 189 but add the scope so we can check power spikes more accurately.
    Peak Pacific AAA UP brass (EDC) E01 (keys), Peaks, Arcs, Fenix, Q5 Aspheric HA-III Mag etc.

  12. #12

    Default Re: DMM crew: Fluke 187 or 87-5, which do you rather have?

    Quote Originally Posted by wptski
    The 88-V automotive model doesn't do that.
    But, when you put it in AC and switch between ranges, does it revert back to DC?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: DMM crew: Fluke 187 or 87-5, which do you rather have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Handlobraesing
    But, when you put it in AC and switch between ranges, does it revert back to DC?
    No, I believe but not for sure, it stays in AC.
    Bill

    I'm a retired mechanic not a electronic/electrical engineer!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: DMM crew: Fluke 187 or 87-5, which do you rather have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Handlobraesing
    But, when you put it in AC and switch between ranges, does it revert back to DC?
    You were correct, once changed to DC, both ranges stay in DC. If you change to AC, change the range, it reverts back to DC in both ranges.
    Bill

    I'm a retired mechanic not a electronic/electrical engineer!

  15. #15

    Default Re: DMM crew: Fluke 187 or 87-5, which do you rather have?

    Quote Originally Posted by wptski
    You were correct, once changed to DC, both ranges stay in DC. If you change to AC, change the range, it reverts back to DC in both ranges.
    Must be just a matter of software


    87-V is a lot more user friendly, despite the lack of some features compared to 187/189.

    87-5:
    Min/max. Push repeatedly to toggle between min, max, avg. Hold to cancel.
    manual range. push repeatedly to change range, hold to return to auto.


    180 series:
    Min/max. push repeatedly to toggle between mode. To cancel, hit shift, then "cancel". By the way, this will throw everything else like manual ranging to default as well.

    User interface is REALLY lame on 187/189
    Last edited by Handlobraesing; 07-14-2006 at 09:29 AM.

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