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

The Tale Of Two Broken Flukes

Some repairs happen as if by pure luck, and [Sebastian] shows us one such repair on Hackaday.io. 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.

A Homebrew AC Upgrade For The Fluke 8840A

[William Dudley] picked up a Fluke 8840A bench multimeter at an auction, but was sad to find out that it was reading resistances inaccurately. It was also missing the optional board to enable AC measurements. Desiring to use the otherwise lovely meter, he set about repairing and upgrading the device.

Thankfully, the 8840A was from a time when Fluke used to openly publish schematics in its manuals. Thus, combined with taking a look at some photos online, it was straightforward for [William] to recreate the original AC “Option 09” board to enable the desired functionality. As is usually the way, his efforts didn’t work first time, but after some bodge wires were installed, all was well. [William] reports the measurements are “reasonable, maybe even sufficient” with no calibration undertaken.

Repairing the resistance issue was easy. It turned out to be corrosion on the selector switches, revealed when high-resistance measurements were accurate, but low-resistance measurements weren’t. A bit of flick-flacker with some contact cleaner sprayed into the switches got things working again nicely.

It’s nice to see old hardware restored to full functionality, particularly when it’s as attractive and well-built as an old Fluke meter. Bringing back old tools from the dead? You know we wanna hear about it!