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DMM for life?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

I am in the quest in looking for a new DMM. I am still in school, going for a electrical engineer degree, so I guess a good meter will last me for a life. I probably wouldn't just use it for DIY audio, also on anything that will come up in the future jobs/project. Measurements should including mV, mA, ohmic values in single digit, may be good capacitance readings too. So I guess a good $100+ Fluke DMM would be nice.


How are the Fluke 189 and 179 compared? I know there is something called 4 wires resistance measurement, are these 2 DMM capacable of such?

I looked on eBay, and saw this Fluke 177 going for less than $150, and some Fluke 189 going for around 200. Do they look good for your guys? HMC is selling 179 for $240 and 189 for $412, do the eBay ones look like scam to you?


Thanks,
Peter

post #2 of 35

I recently bought a Fluke 189, and it's a great multimeter. My only wish is that it could measure beta/Hfe, but I don't think *any* Fluke DMMs will measure that. I had been using a Fluke 27 for a long time (also a great DMM, built like a tank), but the lack of capacitance measurement was what drove me to get the 189.

If you want to know how the 170 and 180 series compare, check out this page. I don't know what the 4 wires resistance measurement is, so I can't help you there...

Fluke makes really great DMMs; they're very pricey, but they'll also last a very long time. My Fluke 27 was actually passed down to me from my Dad when I went to college. If there's a such thing as an heirloom multimeter, Fluke makes them.

The pictures on that ebay auction look legitimate; my retail-bought 189 came in very similar packaging.

post #3 of 35
Thread Starter 
Although the guy on eBay got pretty good feedback, but only paying with money order makes me worried. How's the 189 working out for you, ashpool? Did you look at the 179 before you jump on the 189?

How much difference do 179 and 189 work out in real life? Or spec-wise?

Thanks,
Peter
post #4 of 35
Thread Starter 
Ahhhh, I see now that the 170 series don't have capacitance, so i guess that's what worth the money. totally overlooked that.

How much did you guys paid for the 189? On eBay or retail?

Thanks,
Peter
post #5 of 35
170 series do have capacitance even the cheaper 110 series has it also.
post #6 of 35

The 170 series also measures capacitance. If you look at the comparison page I linked to earlier, you can see that the 180 series differs from the 170 series in terms of range for certain measurements and basic DC accuracy. Also, the 180 series does true RMS readings for AC+DC, while the 170 series only does it for AC.

The 189 is working out great for me so far. I didn't really look at the 170 series before getting the 189. I bought my 189 from Fry's, a local electronics retailer that everbody hates, but it's the only game in town, so we shop there anyways... I paid around $410. I don't think I'll ever use the logging feature, but the 187 and 189 were almost the same price.

If I were still a student, I probably would have done a little more research and considered my needs more carefully before buying a new DMM. I also probably would have looked on eBay, instead of going for the instant gratification of buying it at Fry's. As it is, I work too much and have limited time for personal projects, so I bought the 189 because I knew I wouldn't have to deal with DMM-related issues.

post #7 of 35
I bought the Fluke 187 not so long ago. For some reason, the local Fry's had them at (if I remember correctly) $309 and the 189 was about $379 at the time. I didn't need the logging feature anyhow, so I got the 187. It's a great meter and couldn't be happier with it.

But if I were a student, I'd take a look at the Fluke 12. I have one of them, too. It handles capacitance and has quite a few other good features. I think they retail around $100, but you can often find them used for $50 or so. That's probably the best deal out there.
post #8 of 35
I am also a happy Fluke 187 owner. It's a great autoranging meter with superb specs and some nifty frills. No transistor Hfe measurement, but I do have another el cheapo meter that does.
post #9 of 35
I have bought several 10,000 count Wavetek meters off of Ebay for $15-$50. They are very good meters. They don't have the sex appeal of the Flukes but they are very well made. As a result they get very little bidding on ebay. Everybody is too busy bidding up the Flukes.
post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilR
I have bought several 10,000 count Wavetek meters off of Ebay for $15-$50. They are very good meters. They don't have the sex appeal of the Flukes but they are very well made. As a result they get very little bidding on ebay. Everybody is too busy bidding up the Flukes.
I agree with Neil on this, Waveteks can be a bargain. But they are MUCH more delicate.
If you can afford it, a Fluke 189 is nearly a lifetime investment.... like my HP calculator. They are TOUGH instruments.
I don't know of any handheld that does 4 wire. Gotta go to a benchtop for that.
BTW, I'm a metrologist, I know of what I speak.
...Bill
post #11 of 35
Is 189 the most decent one by Fluke?
post #12 of 35
Thread Starter 
Crap, then I skipped a great price for a 179, it was sold for $125 last night. Oh well, good reason to go on a 189.

I saw another 189 on eBay this morning, no original package (no probes, like-new condition, probably going for under $170, do you guys think its a good deal?

Thanks,
Peter
post #13 of 35
189 is the best DMM fluke makes.
post #14 of 35
You should try the 73 III, or 77 III also. I've heard enough positive comments about those that I just bought one from Ebay.
post #15 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by peterpan188
Measurements should including...ohmic values in single digit

I'm not certain, but I think you can get accuracy better than 1 ohm on the Fluke 189. From my reading of the specs page, it looks like the worst case error on the lowest range is +/- 0.35 ohms.

This assumes you keep it calibrated, of course. Budget $50 per year for calibration services if maintaining this level of accuracy is important to you.
 

Quote:
I know there is something called 4 wires resistance measurement

From what you wrote, I don't think you can afford 4 wire measurement. The cheapest name brand meter I'm aware of that will do that is a Keithley model 2000, which will run you over $1000 new.

You can find used 4-wire meters for less money, but they'll probably be less accurate than a Fluke 189, if they're in your price range.
 

Quote:
How much difference do 179 and 189 work out in real life?

The 179 is a 6,000 count instrument, whereas the 189 is a 50,000 count instrument. All else being equal, that means that the 189 can give readings that are over 8x more accurate. All else probably isn't equal, but the main point remains.

If you're looking to save money, go with the 187 over the 189. I don't believe I've ever used the data logging feature of my 189, which I believe is the only thing it has over the 187.
 

Quote:
189 is the best DMM fluke makes.

Ah, no. This is the best DMM Fluke makes. It'll run you about $9,500.

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