Anyone having an issue with Fluke cases getting brittle? I have a 177 that had the battery cover crack in the screw boss area, and the other side won't hold a screw as the inside post is cracked. The plastic is brittle and reminds me of the aging of plastic in 1990s plastic television cabinets. My 85s never did this and I have a very old 77 that is still in perfect shape although it doesn't get a of use. The 177 is my daily meter and yes, it's fallen a few times.
Sorry to hear. I have 3 fluke multimeters: a 77(30 yo?), 179 (6-7 yo?), and 289 (~2 yo). None of them have the issues you describe. The 179 is my daily driver most of the time. Surprising that the aging plastic issue would crop up on a Fluke. For the inside post repair, you may want to consider, if there is enough space, to slide over a plastic sleeve filled with epoxy to reinforce it? Then use a slightly oversized screw? Heat-shrink sleeve over post perhaps? good luck J
I'm sure I could kluge up a fix (or just retire the meter - it's close to 10 years IIRC), but I was more curious if anyone else had seen this (yet?) The brittle plastic syndrome was bizarre and I'm wondering if I'm an early victim of this on Fluke meters. Years ago, I remember two guys bringing in a 32" Sony flat CRT TV for repair and heard the telltale snapping as they muscled the beast in the door. It literally came apart in their hands and the CRT fell out the front as they put it down.
Any sources of ozone nearby, such as electric motors? A friend, who owned a machine shop, used to have the same problem with meters after a few years. However, we're not sure if it's the ozone or the machine oil in the air that's causing the plastic to become brittle. I also created some cracking in one of my Fluke meters when I repeatedly used alcohol to clean the case.
This might be of interest:
Note the photo of the replacement metal hex standoffs for the broken plastic.
At some point in the past, it became necessary to put additives in the plastic to make it fire retardant. My guess(tm) is that this has something to do with the crumbling plastic. Look on the inside of the case for the acronym that indicates the type of plastic used in your
Nothing out of the ordinary certainly. My older meters have been used in the same environment and never had this issue. I just checked my 40 year old Beckman HD100 that I keep at home. I pulled the back cover to replace the battery last night (overdue) and flexed the inside plastic parts of the case. Shows no sign of brittleness even when tested with a pocket knife.
That makes sense. Unfortunately. Another case of creating far more problems than it solves.
Generally, my approach to cracked cases of this nature is to clean thoroughly, add a generous bead of JB-Weld, right up to and including filling the screw holes, allowing it to cure, then drilling out the holes as needed Haven't lost a patient yet. It may not be the prettiest of cures, but it has the overwhelming virtue of working well.
I'll kluge it together at some point, or retire the meter. Haven't decided.
In the meantime, I checked ebay to see if cases were available, and I found one with ---- a cracked battery door same as mine except both sides are cracked *and* it looks like someone already filled the back case with epoxy for a previous failure. Scroll down the pictures to see the battery door and rear case half. Clearly brittle. Here's a link to the auction and an imgur link of an auction pic that I saved in case anyone sees this years from now after the auction is gone:
I found a new case on line but its almost as much as the meter cost. <shrug>
Good idea. I've done case repairs that way. I have to be careful which plastic I try to glue. Some of my epoxies don't want to stick. JB Weld 50139 Plastic Bonder works well enough but takes a full day to properly harden.
What I've been experimenting with is plastic welding. YouTube videos showing how it works with a soldering iron:
I didn't do too well because the parts I was trying to weld were too small or thin.
I also tried hot air. Something like these except I made my own tool:
I installed a tiny nozzle on my hot air desoldering station for the welder. I also made a nozzle that heats along a straight seam. I collected some plastic knife shavings from various junk plastic cases found around the shop. No need to color match as all the welding is going to be on the inside of the case. In general, hot air works, but you have protect nearby parts with an aluminum foil heat shield. Also, some practice is helpful.
I have the beginnings of a water gas (HHO) hydrogen generator and torch, which will allow me to make a very narrow hydrogen weld. It's been sitting for about 3 years waiting for me to finish the build. No clue if it will weld nicely (or blow up the shop), but it looks promising.