*Vintage* RS 22-174B DMM - Refurb possible?


Newly Enlightened
Dec 9, 2022
Bought this meter back when for measuring outputs from oxygen sensors for mixing breathing gases for diving. Thirty years service about and just recently showing signs of age. Can barely measure a voltage. Replaced with an Extech 355 for time being. Fluke 87 be nice but the price, ugh, although if I am buying one every 25 years, well, maybe.

Can this 22-174B DMM be cleaned/refurbed? This particular meter has the slots for THT leads, which for me is a major convenience. Modes CCW of the DC voltage selection are "dead" and unusable. Contact cleaner under the selector dial is a start I think. But...what else...

Thanks, Mark


Flashlight Enthusiast
Aug 31, 2002
Don't know specifically, but suggest you open it up and look. Most meters have a contact arm under the selector dial and contacts on the PC board undeneath. You may have dirt, something bent, or even worn through the contacts. At best, it might need a little cleaning, worst is you've worn out parts and is best recycled.

30 years later, you can buy some perfectly good meters for fractions of a Fluke (I do keep Fluke and others, but they are local and I like to buy local).


Flashlight Enthusiast
Apr 24, 2015
Phoenix, AZ USA
I've used iterations of the Fluke 87 for decades professionally in many segments of the industry (electronics), and consider it to be the best all-around, general purpose DMM on the planet. If I could afford one for my now-basic and infrequent needs at home, that would be my choice - not even a second thought. When I've needed functions / capabilities it doesn't have, I've use others (Flukes) such as 289, clamp current meters, thermocouple meters for critical temperature applications, etc.

Since I can't justify that cost personally, know what I use at home? An Extech. I also use them professionally (industrial applications most recently), and have had excellent results. I was skeptical and even did some side-by-side comparisons with much more expensive, calibrated Flukes, and I was impressed. Great stuff for value / quality at an affordable price. Both Fluke and Extech are good U.S. companies. There's a lot of stuff on the market in 2023 from no-name, johnny-come-lately companies on the other side of the world which I consider likely to be 'junk'; all very attractively priced, of course. From what I can tell, I wouldn't go there. Pick a name you have recognized for a few years and which has a track record (like the 2 above) instead. If one needs to be able to trust anything, test equipment is near the top of the list. If it can't be trusted, it's worth nothing.

If a little careful cleaning (think Deox-It) doesn't help your vintage RS (which is cool), you'll likely need some expertise (which I don't know if you have), and possibly documentation (which might be difficult to find) as well, to go any further with it, and professional repair (if available) is probably not cost-effective at this point.

EDIT: I understand that there are some factory-refurbished Flukes available which might save some good money, and I would likely trust those.
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