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  1. #1
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    Sep 2008
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    Time for a new electrical meter....

    My Simpson 260 has got a lot of miles on it and just took a nasty fall that cracked and broke it pretty badly.

    Am looking for a comparable digital meter.

    I've heard a lot of good about the Fluke 87.

    Thoughts and suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Stumptown,USA
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    One of the companies I used to work for supplied our meters. They supplied the fluke 85 (very similar to the 87). It is a great meter but I did NOT LIKE IT FOR FIELD SERVICE. Too many ranges,too many buttons. A good meter for electronics but not for field service. I just bought the Fluke 116 and I love it. Johnstone has it on sale in august for $149.95. I paid $154.95 plus $10.00 shipping from grainger but I needed it now and I didn't know it was going on sale. Those old Simpsons were the best! Accurate, dependable,durable, let us observe a moment of silence in the passing of a faithful servant.
    Challenge yourself, take the CM test --- Certificate Member since 2004 ---Join RSES ---the HVAC/R training authority ---www.rses.org

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    mass
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    534
    the 116 is a good meter but if you have the need for 4-20 ma it will not work for you. The 87 is a very good meter, but a little bulky to me for everyday use. It is less cumbersome than the 260 though.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    In the work truck
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    2,997
    I vote for the 28 ii. It is the 87-5's big brother. ( it is a little bigger overall) but water proof and that drop your simpson took would not put a scratch on the 28. I use it everyday. I got used the the size..
    Gotta have the right tool for the job!

    Where is all the stuff MADE IN THE USA?

    "Thats what we do Troy. Incredible, Invisible, Imbelivable things. We are an Unseen, Unknown, Unvincible fraternity of craftsman.."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Western PA
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    This isn't an 'everyday' meter, but rather a 'go-to' meter.

    Grounded compressors, flame signals, temperature sensors (precision DC readings) etc.

    Regular 'everyday' work is handled by a Fluke 322.

    Pascone,

    That ruggedized meter sounds like just the ticket for me. I'll look into that.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Bee View Post
    One of the companies I used to work for supplied our meters. They supplied the fluke 85 (very similar to the 87). It is a great meter but I did NOT LIKE IT FOR FIELD SERVICE. Too many ranges,too many buttons. A good meter for electronics but not for field service. I just bought the Fluke 116 and I love it. Johnstone has it on sale in august for $149.95. I paid $154.95 plus $10.00 shipping from grainger but I needed it now and I didn't know it was going on sale. Those old Simpsons were the best! Accurate, dependable,durable, let us observe a moment of silence in the passing of a faithful servant.
    I agree. I'm not at all ashamed to admit that it nearly brought a tear to my eye to see that meter bounce off the concrete.

    The first GOOD meter I ever had. It was used to start with, but it worked as well or better than any other meter.

    I've got a cheapie analog to get me by for now, but I don't trust it the same as that 260.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    SW Ohio
    Posts
    233
    I gave my 260 away 15 or so years ago to a worker of mine that didn't have a meter. I have regretted that ever sense.

    Among several other Fluke multimeters that I have I think I would put my 189 up close to the Simpson for it's accuracy. I also use a 179 on a daily basis.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    houston, texas
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    3,787
    I didn't think anyone used a 260 now a days, damn fine tool. Sorry to hear you lunched it.
    I'm not tolerating Political Correctness anymore, from now on it's tell it like it is.

    Veto Pro Pak - The best tool bag you'll ever own






  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    7,704
    Quote Originally Posted by cjett View Post
    I gave my 260 away 15 or so years ago to a worker of mine that didn't have a meter. I have regretted that ever sense.

    Among several other Fluke multimeters that I have I think I would put my 189 up close to the Simpson for it's accuracy. I also use a 179 on a daily basis.
    Your 189 and 179 are miles above a simpson 260 in terms of accuracy of measurements. The simpson has a needle you can watch which in some instances might give you a little more insight into what is going on.

    I dont believe the simpson or any other analog meter has any sort of advantage in our biz.

    I know guys who still use them......and I know guys who still use wiggies.....

    Its a 10 percent world we live in so they work fine.... but in my opinion they are just to fragile to be lugging around.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Omaha, NE
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    1,561
    Quote Originally Posted by jpsmith1cm View Post
    My Simpson 260 has got a lot of miles on it and just took a nasty fall that cracked and broke it pretty badly.

    Am looking for a comparable digital meter.

    I've heard a lot of good about the Fluke 87.

    Thoughts and suggestions?
    Did the 260 get completely totaled out or do you just need a new case? They sell parts on Ebay if the meter is nostalgic for you (even if you do go digital anyway).
    B.O. = B.S.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
    Posts
    6,164

    Cool

    write down your specs. While most front line HVAC DMMs will have the voltage range in AC, few can do millivolts DC. Most have the flame rectification, mfd, etc. but not all have temps in the range you may want even with a transducer. Then the big decisions is whether to buy a separate stand alone clamp, built-in, or as an attachment.

    If you really want to get fancy, you can get meters with non-contact voltage detection, in-rush amps,etc.

    Also look at their magnet hanger, probe storage, size and what attachments and extra leads you may want and what comes with it. If you have a digital manifold with clamps then this may affect your choice of meter, too.

    I'm thinking about buying two new meters: Fieldpiece SC77 for front line then a Fluke 116 for backup/ second kit with the 322 clamp meter. For instance, on some calls you may be bouncing back and forth from AHU to condenser and it sucks lugging your gear back and forth. Also, if you set the Min/Max, they will log these values for you so you won't miss a trend.

    The bottom line is, do your homework because this is probably your single most used tool next to a severalteen-in-one screw/nut driver.

    Please let us know what you choose and how it works out.

  12. #12
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    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by snewman24 View Post
    Did the 260 get completely totaled out or do you just need a new case? They sell parts on Ebay if the meter is nostalgic for you (even if you do go digital anyway).
    Case is broken on one corner and it is broken across the front of the meter as well.

    I've been looking and comparing Fluke meters and the 116 (HVAC specialty) meter looks pretty promising.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Stumptown,USA
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    1,251
    If you want some insight on how meters are constructed, go on youtube to "eevblog multimeter" and watch Dave Jones, (an electronics design engineer) he tears apart a fluke 117 and a fluke 85 and discusses quality of construction etc. There is also a $100.00 meter comparison of about 5 or so different meters. Check out eevblog #15 about fluke 189/289. This meter does it all! datalogging and ability to download to your pc for only $600.00.
    Last edited by Paul Bee; 07-31-2011 at 09:45 AM.
    Challenge yourself, take the CM test --- Certificate Member since 2004 ---Join RSES ---the HVAC/R training authority ---www.rses.org

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