Both multimeters and loop calibrators are essential tools in the electrical industry. However, a combination tool that makes the need for two tools obsolete is more ideal. Fluke has introduced two process meters, the 787 and the 787B. We are going to compare them based on safety class rating, user interface, and build quality. We will base our recommendation on user needs.
The Fluke 787 is a process meter that features excellent accuracy, rugged build quality, and a powerful user interface.
The 787 is a great alternative to needing multiple tools as it combines the effectiveness of a multimeter with a loop calibrator for sourcing and measuring 20 mA current loops. The multimeter part is true RMS, which means users can measure AC voltage and current from fluctuating speed drives very accurately, up to 1 kHz.
Current and voltage ranges are slightly limited when compared to other meters, but the accuracy level is high. All voltage ranges are distinct and there are no full amp or micro-amp ranges, so this device is not as useful as other options at diagnosing and measuring power circuits or sensitive electronics.
Amperage can be measured to 1 A for 30 seconds. Additionally, it can function as an auto-ranging or manual multimeter. It can switch between the two options and then select individual ranges. Both options are fast, making it easy to test multiple cores simultaneously.
This meter does not offer the option to test temperature.
It features a rugged build quality, making it stand up to bumps and drops. The device has a raised face that protects both the display and the dial. It is shock and vibration tested as well as being drop tested. It can withstand falls of 1 m. Additionally, the battery case is engineered for further protection.
The meter features a backlit display that has a general resolution to 4,000 counts. However, this raises to 30,000 counts for milliamps. While more compact than many other meters, numbers and icons are clear, and it features a refresh rate of four times per second.
For input protection, it features a 1,000 V CAT-III rating. There is a 1,000 V input overload protection on frequency, voltage, and resistance circuits as well as 150 V overload protection on milliamp input.
The Fluke 787B is another compact process meter option. It features the option for remote monitoring, high safety class ratings, and a rugged build quality.
When compared to the 787, the 787B is slightly larger and offers a more rugged build quality. It also has a higher safety class rating. In fact, the 787B is designed as the upgraded version of the 787 so it holds all of the great features of the original with some new benefits, including a much larger display screen.
The 787B is a digital multimeter and mA loop calibrator in one and is rated to 1000 V CAT-III and 600 V CAT-IV for input protection. The calibrator can source, simulate, and measure mA with high resolution and accuracy.
It offers the option for remote monitoring, logging, and sharing data with the Fluke Connect mobile app. However, this does require an additional purchase of the Fluke IR3000FC module.
With the 787B users can measure, source, and simulate 20 mA DC as well as simultaneously look at percent of scale readouts and mA. This allows users to easily compare readings to what they see on their controller. It features manual step mA signals, auto step options, and auto ramp options for different levels of work efficiency.
It is a true RMS digital multimeter that has standard features for diode testing as well as a continuity beeper. Frequency measurements can be made to 20 kHz. It features min/max, relative, hold, and average modes for easy operation. The fuses and batteries are easy to access, allowing for fast changes.
It is housed in a rugged case to protect it from bumps, knocks, and falls. This case has been proven to work on the 789 model.
The 787B can drive a 20 mA signal through 1000 ohms. It features span check buttons that easily allow the change from 0 to 100% change of mA output. It also has a slow 25% step ramp.
Clearly, both process meters offer users a lot of benefits. However, we must illustrate the differences between the two before a purchasing decision is made. The 787 offers users a great safety rating, an awesome backlit display, and a high level of accuracy. We recommend this device for professionals.
On the other hand, the 787B offers an even better safety rating, a larger display, and more rugged case. We also recommend this for professionals.