The Tale Of Two Broken Flukes

A closeup of the faulty section of the dial - you can spot the plastic rivets that broke off

Some repairs happen as if by pure luck, and [Sebastian] shows us one such repair on He found two Fluke 175 meters being sold on eBay, with one having a mere beeper issue, and another having a “strange error”. Now, theoretically, swapping beepers around would give you one working meter and a kit of spare parts – but this is Fluke we’re talking about, and [Sebastian] wasn’t satisfied leaving it there.

First, he deduced that the beeper issue could be fixed by repositioning the piezo disk – and indeed, that brought the meter number one to working order. This left the mysterious error – the meter would only power up in certain rotations of the dial, and would misbehave, at that. Disassembly cleared things up – the dial mechanics failed, in that a half of the metal contacts came detached after all the plastic rivets holding the metal piece in place mysteriously vanished. The mechanics were indeed a bit intricate, and our hacker hoped to buy a replacement, but seeing the replacement switch prices in three-digit range, out came the epoxy tube.

An epoxy fix left overnight netted him two perfectly working Fluke meters, and while we don’t know what the listing price was for these, such a story might make you feel like taking your chances with a broken Fluke, too. The tale does end with a word of caution from [Sebastian], though – apparently, cleaning the meters took longer than the repairs themselves. Nevertheless, this kind of repair is a hobbyist’s dream – sometimes, you have to design a whole new case for your meter if as much as a wire breaks, or painstakingly replace a COB with a TQFP chip.

11 thoughts on “The Tale Of Two Broken Flukes

  1. I have a nice little Fluke Model 12 that is still pristine but has a bad zebra strip (elastomeric connector) that links the buttons on the front with the board. Cleaning the strip and the contacts makes it work for a few days but then it goes flaky again. I’d just hard-wire it but the buttons on the front are on a flexible PC board that I’m afraid to try to solder to. Fluke has abandoned it and I can’t find aftermarket replacements. Can anyone suggest a source?

  2. Fluke has a lifetime warranty, just send them for repair. I bought a used 287, it has a very low beeper sound, I did send it to warranty, they fixed the beeper and replaced the battery backup at no cost to me.

    1. I tried that with mine, they said it was out of support and parts were no longer available. Take the Fluke “liferime warranty” with a grain of salt. The warranty is good until it isn’t.

  3. Now the question is whether an epoxied up Fluke is still a superior meter to the cheap replacement. I have to say that recent Fluke stuff has not impressed me very much. It’s almost like comparing a mechanical Rolex to a quartz Timex. The Rolex is nice but it does not keep better time than a quartz cheapo.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.