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post #11 of 15 Old 03-18-2013
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Re: Fluke 87

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Originally Posted by asdf38 View Post
I design electronics, use flukes all the time, but like others have never used more than volts, amps, ohms, C, and an occasional diode check. That said their accuracy and durability is great. I'll get one myself eventually but right now I get by on a $10 online one.

Do not spend money calibrating it. For regular use you'll never need that much accuracy.

I'm not sure about schockt's comment about a high resistance short though. A short is a subjective thing, it's a somewhat arbitrary threshold on a resistance measurement below which the meter will beep and above which it won't (usually around 100 ohms). The fluke will do a better job making that resistance measurement, but I don't see anything special about a meter that just happens to have a high threshold for the beep. And even a cheap meter can make an ok R measurement over a pretty wide range. Perhaps the fluke lets you change the threshold.
A short isn't a subjective thing when you are trying to troubleshoot a line voltage control circuit that is blowing control fuses, and the cheap meter says that a portion of the circuit is O/L, and the good meter says it is shorted to ground. In that case having a crappy meter means spending a lot more time searching for a problem that it can't see.
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post #12 of 15 Old 03-18-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Fluke 87

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Originally Posted by SchockT View Post
A short isn't a subjective thing when you are trying to troubleshoot a line voltage control circuit that is blowing control fuses, and the cheap meter says that a portion of the circuit is O/L, and the good meter says it is shorted to ground. In that case having a crappy meter means spending a lot more time searching for a problem that it can't see.
Does that kind of circuit exist on a sailboat?

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post #13 of 15 Old 03-18-2013
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Re: Fluke 87

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Does that kind of circuit exist on a sailboat?
Probably not. It was just an example of why I prefer to use professional grade meters.

As I said, the Fluke is overkill for your purposes but it is quality.

I keep a Fluke 83 on my boat, but then again I sometimes end up doing work on dock power at some of our outstations, which includes 600v transformers.

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post #14 of 15 Old 03-20-2013
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Re: Fluke 87

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Originally Posted by SchockT View Post
A short isn't a subjective thing when you are trying to troubleshoot a line voltage control circuit that is blowing control fuses, and the cheap meter says that a portion of the circuit is O/L, and the good meter says it is shorted to ground. In that case having a crappy meter means spending a lot more time searching for a problem that it can't see.
In that case, a short (in the blow something up sense) is anything greater than the fuse. Which in the case of a 120V system and a 1A control fuse might be 120 ohms or more. However compare that to boat circuit where a 120 ohm load is only 0.1A. That's not a short by anyone's definition in almost any circumstance.

However, in this respect, measuring low resistance, the better meter is going to help you. For example a 12A load in a 12V boat circuit would be just 1 ohm and plenty of boats have plenty of loads that strong. That means that even 1 ohm on a boat can easily be a normal load and not a fuse blowing "short". Distinguishing between low ohm loads is probably more important on a boat, with its 12V high current circuits than 120V systems with comparatively low current high resistance loads. And the fluke meter is going to help you do that.

Although even the fluke will struggle below 1 ohm because test leads, and the resistance of a touch connection between them and another metal surface add on the order of 0.1 to a few ohms. And all that said, loads don't usually present themselves as just a simple resistance.

But anyways, still saying the fluke is great.
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post #15 of 15 Old 03-20-2013
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Re: Fluke 87

On land pretty much any meter can

1. Test the ohms of a motor windings legs to see if they are the same or a coil winding

2. Measure voltage drop

3. If your blowing breakers i generaly dont find big issues with tracking it down

To be honest finding problems with stuff like the position sensors for tilt on and outboard or sterndrive or a fuel sender is simple with and analog meter as

A wacky problem at 1/2 becomes simple to see on the dial

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