Fluke Connect With A Single User:
CJ and Dave wanted to get to know the Fluke Connect gear pretty well before trying to collaborate on their joint project. They start with If the units don’t work for the single user case for real measurements, they won’t stand a chance with collaborations. They will take you through how useful the tech was in their own labs using meters like the , , and .
Hi measurement geeks! Dave here to explain how I ran some datalogging tests with the Fluke Connect gear. Occasionally I run some tests on Voltaic System’s gear which requires solar input. As my video below shows, the sad card table lab setup doesn’t have the sweet gear that my normal lab has for datalogging. Usually I take the data manually as in my intern days: pen and paper, which leaves a lot to be desired. Plus, who does solar testing on a black table?! Thanks to the Fluke gear I was able to take data AND monitor the solar setup from inside my lab.
The video below shows how I was able to do it, however after filming I noticed that the out-of-range behavior had some problems. If one of the units went out of range, the entire datalogging setup would break. All data would be lost, as would the test setup. Losing a connection is inevitable, so it would be much better if the unit that was out of range stopped taking data and simply picked up again when back in range. I would be fuming if I lost an hour’s worth of data because I forgot to take the phone out of my pocket when I went to the bathroom!
Last week I had the chance to test some Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)-enabled Fluke meters. The system that connects the meters by BLE to an app and allows logging and sharing readings to the cloud is called Fluke Connect.
Engineers who have been using apps since childhood sometimes prefer a user interface (UI) on an app to physical controls on equipment. I learned in the 90s twisting physical knobs and reading data from displays on the equipment, so I will be slower to adopt GUI-based readouts.
Fluke Connect, however, is an addition to, not a replacement for, the traditional readout. You only need to use the app if you want to view readings from multiple meters in one place, log data, or share data.
Connecting my iPod Touch to the Fluke meter was easier than expected. You enable wireless on the meters and the model numbers just pop up in the app.
The range seems consistent with what I get from a well-matched chip antenna running a 10mW BLE SoC such as CC2540. When I walked out of range and back in, the connection re-established on its own about half the time. The other times I had to press the wireless button on the meter again to re-establish the connection.
Just to have something to experiment with, I used Fluke Connect to measure the current into an oven while simultaneously measuring the temperature. As I expected, the oven draws nearly 10A with both elements on and 5A with one element on. I was happy to see the thermostat on the oven, an analog oven thermometer from the grocery store all agree with the thermocouple.
Doing the test reminded me of doing thermal testing on phase-angle fired industrial lamp dimmers in the late 90s. I would put a current clamp on one of the phases, change the set point and then monitor the temperature and current. Fluke Connect frees engineers and interns from having to sit and record this data. The information can be saved and shared with other members of the team. I have not tried the camera function, but the system supposedly supports taking pictures of the test setup and sharing it over the Internet. So if the intern is reporting only trickle of current flow, the engineering manager can have her or him send a picture of the test setup and see instantly if the current clamp is connected to neutral instead of one of the phases.
I am eager to try sharing data with Dave.
Dave and CJ have been reviewing Fluke's new Fluke Connect system with articles and videos being released every other week. Other articles in the series: