I frequently have the need or desire to do some measurement logging when developing my projects. In most cases this is a temporary requirement and involves measuring voltage, current, or temperature. The ideal instrument for this would be a wireless DMM that could communicate with a remote computer or tablet. I recently completed the Path II Programmable training program and was looking forward to using one of the graduation awards - a Fluke FLK-3000FC DMM with wireless capability using Fluke Connect: FLK-3000FC . Unfortunately it seems that this meter was not available and I received a Fluke 233 instead which has remote display capability but does not have Fluke Connect: FLUKE-233.
General Tools TS04 ToolSmart Bluetooth Connected Digital Multimeter
The DMM normally connects using an Android or iOS app so I tried that out first using the ToolSmart app on my Android tablet. The DMM is one of a family of Bluetooth connected tools from General and the app allows connection and data collection from any of these tools. Connecting is extremely straightforward - basically just push the Bluetooth button on the DMM and open the app and click on the tool icon and the app handles the pairing. The DMM came with a thermocouple for measuring temperature and the app identified the measurement mode and displayed the data. One anomaly that I discovered is that the app requires that you set the units to either Fahrenheit or Celsius and if you change the units on the meter they will not change in the app although the measurement value will change. Here are a couple of screenshots of the app.
Next step was to try running the browser code on my PC to see if that would work. The desktop PC that I wanted to use did not have Bluetooth or WiFi but I had a combination USB adapter from Edimax that I installed. Windows 10 automatically installed the drivers but for some reason only the WiFi was working. I tried installing the Bluetooth drivers from the mini CD and that worked although it also could have been the reboot that fixed it.
The interface is pretty basic. Here's a short video of it operating with the meter and thermocouple. Basically just need to hit the Connect button and pair the meter and the data is displayed. With this interface the units and value will correctly update when I change the settings at the meter from Fahrenheit to Celsius.
Next step is to add plotting and data storage capability to the web application. Hopefully, I'll get that done for the next blog. Web Bluetooth looks to be pretty useful. I'll probably give it a try with my other Bluetooth sensors and microcontrollers. One negative point to mention about the TS-04 DMM - it does not have a backlight so it can be difficult to read in low light situations - good thing I plan to use it remotely. And the battery that came with the meter did not hold up well with continuous Bluetooth usage. Hope that's just a bad battery.
One parting thought - it would be great if I could figure out how to get this to work with the Fluke 233 but I doubt that I have the patience for that.