Hacking A New Display Into A Fluke 8050A Multimeter

Old lab equipment was often built to last, and can give decades of service when treated properly. It’s often so loved that when one part fails, it’s considered well worth repairing rather than replacing with something newer. [Michael] did just that, putting in the work to give his Fluke 8050A multimeter a shiny new display.

The Fluke 8050A is a versatile device, capable of measuring voltage, current, and resistance in addition to decibels at various impedences and conductance, too. The original display doesn’t show some of the finer details so well, so [Michael] elected to improve on that when he installed a new 2.2″ graphical LCD to replace the basic 7-segment LCD that originally came with the hardware.

To achieve the install, the original LCD display module was removed from the chassis. A piggyback device that sits under the Fluke’s microcontroller was then used to break out signals for the new graphical LCD without requiring modification to the meter’s PCB itself. An Atmega32u4 microcontroller then takes in these signals, and then drives the graphical LCD accordingly.

It’s a great hack that makes the old multimeter easier to use, and the new white-on-green display is far kinder on the eyes, too. We’ve seen other multimeters get screen transplants before, too. Of course, if you’re new to the world of segmented LCDs and want to learn more about how they work, [Joey Castillo]’s talk from last year’s Remoticon will get you up to speed!

7 thoughts on “Hacking A New Display Into A Fluke 8050A Multimeter

    1. Did you try?
      If there was a kit available on ebay I probably would have bought one last year when the screen cracked on my 8050, or today when I read this article and searched again for such kits.

      I am probably not alone, there must be many thousands of these meters around.

    2. Count me in, I have several of these around and they’re fantastic meters. Just clean the solver leads on the A/D chip periodically and they’ll run accurately forever – as long as the displays hold up.

  1. That paleo-Okuda interface used to drive me nuts on that meter, but the stuff behind the front face was good. Worth the effort to give it a new display.

    I like the colour-code cues used.

  2. “and the new white-on-green display is far kinder on the eyes,”
    And it matches the color of the Power button!

    I agree, it is a cool hack!
    So, many of the older Flukes suffer(ed) from dying displays and Fluke replacements were exhausted years ago.
    It is good to see them revitalized.

  3. Man I would love to be more graphically creative. I would never choose white text on a green background like that, because I can’t imagine it will look good.

    But seeing it in that picture, it looks fantastic!

    (this is not sarcasm, my interfaces tend to be over complicated and ugly)

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