Old 10-07-2011, 05:29 AM #1
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Default The Fluke 27FM - A decent multimeter for the Hobbyist

Everyone uses multimeters for the laser hobby. I recently broke a chinese 3$ one...

So recently, I bought a Fluke 27 FM with my own money, from ebay, from a recycling-seller-guy, called 4runnerRecycling I believe. This multimeter is WORTH a decent review, for it is incredible in its own respect... for several reasons. Bought for 50$ shipped, made an offer.

Fluke 27/FM Multimeter w/ Accessories ~Qty Avl | eBay

Here's a few REAL facts before I get started.

-This multimeter is military issued. It was built for ruggedness.
-The 27FM is a TRUE RMS meter, although it may not be as blatant as the other facts
-The meter autoranges, but does not measure capacitance and/or other properties
-This meter contains two fuses
-Has some mathematical capabilities, i.e Useful functions for electrical analysis
This meter was manufactured in 1988

Which, IMO is absurd. This meter is unreasonably rugged, and feels almost like a brick in your hand. Its older than I am...

Anyways, here is a picture of it. It runs on a standard 9V battery. The fuses are also RIGHT next to the battery compartment. (not pictured)


Note that I have CLEANED this meter prior to this photo. On out-of-the-box meters, there may be some stickers, and sticky residue... but thats okay for me. In the shipped kit, the test leads were not OEM, and are generic. But that is still not a problem.



In this photo, you can clearly see its warranty expiration. This thing is incredibly old, and is a total shocker to live even that long. You can also see a few scratches on the meter here, but this is expected from its lengthy lifetime. The screws, also are pretty large, and extremely durable. They dont simply get worn down and get impossible to rotate if you screw them a lot.



Here is another photo, you can see the scratches on the display. Also anticipated for a multimeter that has been abused in the military.



Another interesting thing is that it also has A STAND . Which is pretty ***y when you are setting drivers and testing test loads. Also useful for other electrical stuff in my house. The only thing I can criticize about it is that one of the hinges is a bit loose, and it goes out ~.15 inches off from the joint. Not a problem, since it doesn't wiggle.



Anyways, so lets move forth to the more important things, i.e functionality.
This multimeter is ancient as hell IMO, and it measures all this in a digital, auto-ranging display. Kinda cool. Measures DC, AC, AMPs, and continuity fine. The continuity seems to be working extremely well, and gives off a loud tone when it functions... not like my older meter that crackles and ticks with its continuity function.

The buttons here are RANGE, which moves the decimal point around for accuracy depending on your application... like

18650 BATTERY VOLTAGE 4.15 or 415 or simply 4, etc.

Also has a millivolts function, set at 000. mV
Delta, for relative change after setting the ''zero'd'' value
Min/MAX you know what this is
and finally HOLD, for when you need to HOLD still for a moment.

Now when moving on to AC, something interesting happens, that I can definitely label as a CON

Here, in the ~mV range, you can see that it 'zeroes' kinda oddly, even when I'm touching nothing. It remains roughly around there, but it usually likes to hang out at ~3mV or less. This is the more dramatic case. But for my uses, this won't be much of a problem, since I never measure ~mV. I always measure ~V.

Also, for the AMPs setting, it is pretty nicely built, since it measures rather accurately. When setting my BOOSTdrive, I found out that it reaches 1.013 AMPs at max. Pretty sweet. Not sure about the accuracy, but it is decent enough for me.
___________________

And lastly, STUFF I'd like to share.

This meter is extremely practical, except that accuracy, could be questioned if it is +/-1%. But this isn't a problem.

I'd love a temperature probe.

Could measure capacitance, but this is a 1988 meter. It does what it needs to do.

I also love that freaking rugged, brick-like casing of this meter. Compared to other meters (one that my friend has), its nearly 1.5times as thick. Pretty cool.

And lastly, I'd suggest buying this meter if you are planning to get a new one (or an old, demilitarized, rugged A.F. meter). Because it is an AMERICAN made meter, not some odd Chinese thing.

Thanks for reading AND scrolling down, if thats a problem...


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Last edited by Isoleucine; 10-07-2011 at 05:30 AM.
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