The two in one Fluke 1587 is a real time and money saver for the electrician. An accurate multimeter with insulation tester capabilities built in, it can both measure voltage, current and continuity, as well as check the insulation resistance of motor windings and cables.
It replaces the 1520 and is a True RMS meter, providing accurate measurements of variable frequency drives. It is super-reliable, too, with Fluke’s renowned build quality and ease of use. Included with the Fluke 1587 review package are alligator clips, a remote probe, thermocouple and handy case.
- Insulation test (ranges from 50V to 1000V)
- Insulation resistance (0.01Ω to 2GΩ)
- True-RMS multimeter
- Measures AC/DC volts, AC/DC milliamps, DC millivolts
- Measures resistance (to 50 MΩ)
- Measures frequency and capacitance
- Measures temperature
- Insulation test smoothing
- Capacitive voltage auto discharge
- Min/Max mode
- Low pass filter, for variable drives
- Large 6,000-count backlit display
- Auto power-off
- Safety rated CAT-IV (to 600V), CAT-III (to 1000V)
- Live circuit detection
- Size: 8″ (203mm) x 4″ (100mm) x 2″ (50mm)
- Weight: 1.38lbs (624g) – with holster
- Fluke 1587 insulation multi-tester
- Four AA batteries
- Probe leads
- Remote probe
- Thermocouple (K-Type) for temp
- Alligator clips
- Instructions (incl’ CD) – fluke 1587 manual
- Hard case
Optional: magnetic hands-free hanging strap
In-depth Review of the 1587
The inclusion of the big orange insulation test button on the 1587 is the main feature. It has five ranges – 50V, 100V, 250V, 500V, 1000V – with a measurement range up to 2GΩ. In addition is live circuit detection which prevents a test should there be more than 30V present in the circuit. Also included with the package is the Fluke TP165X probe, which comes with its own test button should you struggle with access to the meter.
The meter itself has all the test ranges, including AC and DC voltage, AC and DC milliamps, DC millivolts, a generous resistance range, capacitance, frequency, and a diode checker. In addition is a temperature range that reads both Fahrenheit and centigrade through the included K-type thermocouple. The continuity checker is fast and audible.
You can switch between auto and manual ranging and it takes care of linear and non-linear AC loads with its True RMS capability. A low-pass filter increases accuracy while measuring variable speed drives by blocking out unwanted voltages. This is ideal for plants where inverter control is common.
Further functions on the Fluke 1587 include a hold/lock feature, a min/max mode to pick up low and high readings automatically, and an input alert system. The screen is nice and large, with 6000 count resolution and a backlight.
|*AC voltage||600mV / 1000V||±(1.0% +3) @ 600mV-600V||0.1mV-1V|
|Low-pass filter||600mV / 1000V||±(1.0% +3) @ 50-60Hz||0.1mV-1V|
|DC voltage||6V / 1000V||±(0.09% +2)||0.001V-1V|
|DC millivolts||600mV||±(0.1% +1)||0.1mV|
|AC current||60mA / 400mA||±(1.5% +2)||0.01-0.1mA|
|DC current||60mA / 400mA||±(0.2% +2)||0.01-0.1mA|
|Resistance||600Ω / 50MΩ||±(0.9% +2) @ 600Ω-6MΩ||0.1Ω-0.01MΩ|
|Capacitance||1000nF / 9999µF||±(1.2% +2) @ 1000nF-10μF||1nF-1μF|
|Frequency||99.99Hz / 99.99kHz||±(0.1% +1)||0.01Hz-0.01kHz|
|Diode check||6V||±(2% +3)||1mV|
|Temperature °F||-40°F to 998°F||±(1.0% +18)||0.01°F|
|Temperature °C||-40°C to 537°C||±(1.0%+10)||0.01°C|
Test voltages – 50V, 100V: ±(3% +5); 250V, 500V, 1000V: ±(1.5% +5)
Test current – 1kΩ/V: 1mA
Max resolution – 50V, 100V: 0.01MΩ; 250V, 500V, 1000V: 0.1MΩ
Max resistance – 2GΩ
The 1587 is bigger and bulkier than most multimeters on the market (two inches thick), to accommodate the meatier circuitry. It has an integrated rubber boot that goes right around the chassis and protects it from drops. Drop test height is 1m and it is IP40-certified.
Both the buttons and dial switch are solid and will stand up to a certain amount of abuse in industry. A tilting bail is a part of the holster, underneath which is a separate battery compartment for easy changing of the AA batteries. Below this is the fuse compartment, which saves having to open up the case.
Display and Labels
The Fluke 1587 has a beautiful 6000-count, 3¾ digit display. Although not to the precision of the 87V, 177 and others at this price point, it doesn’t need to be. As a dual display, it can show insulation resistance measurements together with the test voltage simultaneously. There is plenty of space and it is legible at angles and distance. A backlight helps in low-light conditions.
There’s plenty going on with this device, as it is a multimeter and insulation tester in one. It’s not cluttered, however, with the dial showing typical meter ranges and a nice big button for insulation tests. The input jack sockets are a bit more involved than your average meter, but with straightforward instructions on the case.
Function and Performance
It functions as well as any other multimeter, with a fast continuity checker and a useful range of voltages. The meter defaults to auto range mode when turned on, but can be changed to manual mode via a RANGE button, which also chooses the various operating ranges.
To perform an insulation test: the dial is simply turned to the insulation test range (with the leads plugged into the appropriate sockets) and the user hits the TEST button. Individual voltages are selected via the RANGE button.
HOLD / LOCK: freezes the display / locks insulation reading
MIN/MAX: records low and high values
Hz: checks frequency across ranges
RANGE: switches between auto/manual ranging, changes test voltage
Backlight: turns on and off backlight
INSULATION TEST: performs a test when set on dial
Select: changes between ranges on dial
The Fluke 1587 has the traditional common (COM) and main terminal (V, Ω, temp etc) input sockets on the right side of the interface, but is slightly different from other meters. Milliamps is measured between mA and COM, while the leads have a dedicated position for the insulation resistance test. The remote probe also plugs in here.
Input alert: there is a warning system should you plug into the wrong sockets while about to perform a measurement.
Other functions: there is an auto-off feature that comes into operation after 20 minutes of the meter not being used. This can be disabled. The low pass filter function is located on AC voltage, via the blue select button.
1587 vs 1507 vs 1550C Differences
The main difference is that the Fluke 1587 is a multimeter, so can perform multiple measurement functions as well as its insulation resistance tests. While the 1507 can also measure resistance, it cannot do voltage, current, etc. Both the 1507 and 1550C have higher insulation resistance ranges, however, at 10GΩ and 1TΩ respectively. The 1550C also has a test voltage up to 5kV.
1587 FC: includes several other functions, including Fluke Connect. The latter enables connectivity with a smartphone that has the app installed. With this, you can send data over to your phone and then trend-share or save to the Fluke Cloud. Works with Android 4.3 / iPhone 4s and up and is downloadable from the App Store / Google Play.
It comes with the standard input protection of other Fluke meters and can stand up to input surges. The 1587 is rated to 600V CAT-IV installations and also to 1000V CAT-III installations. As there is no amperage input (aside from an attachable amp clamp), there is just the one 440mA HRC fuse. The temperature operating range is between -4°F (-20°C) and 131°F (55°C)
IP40 protection: this makes it impervious to particles greater than 1mm diameter. It is not watertight but is somewhat protective against splashes.
Pros and Cons of the 1587
- Multimeter functionality
- Includes an insulation resistance tester
- Convenient to use (push button action)
- Auto and manual ranging
- True RMS
- Low pass filter
- Accurate and tough
- Nice dual display
- Good battery life
- No in-built hi amps range
It might be steep, but the Fluke 1587 review details a high quality product. A multimeter-cum-insulation tester, it has a lot going for it, not least it saves having to mess around with two pieces of equipment. You could buy a separate multimeter and insulation tester from a lesser company to save money, but that would defeat the object.
Also available as a kit:
Alternatives: The upgraded Fluke 1587 FC has Fluke Connect connectivity, dielectric absorption ratio and polarity index, while the excellent MIT420/2 Megger also comes highly recommended.