One fine meter
I run a small consulting business, and we don't have huge budgets for equipment. All of us have used various Flukes for years, usually traveling with a 117 or 179, or using a supplied 87-5 at the premise, and even a Scopemeter. Last year we decided to buy a 289 because we really needed data logging to measure drift. What a fantastic purchase.
We saved a great deal of time trying to calibrate a clock system with ovens which had phase lock drift. We could just put the leads on and walk away for a few hours, then come back later and see the logged result. This was far more helpful than just a simple mix/max/avg measurement. This meter also largely replaces the need for a separate LCR meter too because the C and R ranges are much wider than usual, and to higher tolerances than most multifunction DMMs, although it doesn't do inductance (at least not directly).
The 289 is about as tall as an 87-5, and actually slightly narrower across the front, but thicker on the sides. The case it goes in is oversized to allow for lots of leads and the manual (which you'll probably want to bring with you, at least for a while), but I'd still very much consider it a portable meter. It is very well made. They say you can drop it 3 meters onto concrete and it looks and feels like it could too. The engineers and techs at our client premises were pretty "wowed" when they saw it!
One client does calibration to NIST standards, so I gave their tech the 289 just 1 week after receiving it, just to check it out. The meter includes a calibration sheet from Fluke, so we compared its original calibration to the post calibration, and most measurements were just about identical. It was also very close to the centerline of the specified tolerances, not just pushing the limits.
If you need to make very accurate or time consuming measurements, but even if you're a serious hobbyist or small biz owner, you might want to consider the possibilities of a meter than can measure while you're doing other things. When I look back at the last 25 years, I know such a meter would have seemed expensive to me when I was younger (if such a thing existed then), but understanding its capabilities, it would have been so helpful so many times. I think if you found yourself getting this far looking into the 289, as I was a year ago, then you should seriously consider it. Over 20 years, it will pay for itself several times over.
Now if only Fluke could add built-in optical power measurements to this thing...but I guess they need something to improve for later.
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