This advanced data logging multimeter is Fluke’s top-end handheld meter. An accurate and reliable device, the Fluke 289 is able to monitor and diagnose faults in a variety of fields. It displays results in TrendCapture graphical form via a 50,000-count dot matrix display and can communicate data wirelessly to smartphones and computers.
What makes it an all round great is that it is also an excellent multimeter with most test ranges on board. This is backed up by a high level of accuracy and resolution and it is good for both electrical and electronic work in the field or on the bench.
More details of the Fluke 289 review:
- Data logging
- TrendCapture graphs
- 50000-count, VGA dot matrix display
- True-RMS AC voltage and current accuracy
- Basic DC accuracy: 0.025%
- Current: 10A continuous (20A for 30s)
- Selectable AC filter (smoothing mode)
- Adjustable recording and auto hold thresholds
- Low impedance voltage
- Low-pass filter
- Info / help screens
- Real-time clock
- Relative mode
- Size: 8.7″ (222mm) x 4″ (102mm) in x 2.4″ (60mm)
- Weight : ~30oz (870g)
- 289 meter
- Probe lead set
- Six AA batteries
- Limited lifetime warranty
- User manual
Optional: temperature probe, magnetic hanger, PC cable, carry case
In-depth Review of the Fluke 289
Despite being more fit for the bench on account of its hefty size, the 289 is a multimeter first and a data logger second. It measures just about all fields, including: AC/DC voltage and millivolts, all current ranges (amps, milliamps and micro-amps), continuity and resistance, capacitance, frequency, duty cycle and pulse width, conductance, dBV and temperature.
The main standout feature of the Fluke 289 is its exceptional data logger. It can store up to 15,000 recorded events and has TrendCapture capability so you can study graphs in-situ. There’s also a real-time clock for time stamping and data can be sent off to a smartphone or PC via Bluetooth.
This is a True-RMS AC voltage/current multimeter, also good for measuring non-linear loads accurately. It is auto ranging by default, which runs very quickly unlike many other meters. The big screen is also a plus; a 50000-count display which can simultaneously show the live reading and three other results.
Extra functions: there is also a low ohm range (with low resolution), a low-pass filter for analyzing motor drives, and low impedance AC volts to eliminate ghost voltages. Other features include a relative mode, a selectable AC filter (or smoothing) for steadier readings and a superfast peak capture up to 250μs.
You can buy the 289 with NIST-certified calibration to guarantee its accuracy.
|DC voltage||6 ranges (50mV / 1000V)||±(0.025%+2)|
|AC voltage||6 ranges (50mV / 1000V)||±(0.3%+25)|
|DC current||6 ranges (500μA / 10A)||±(0.05%+10)|
|AC current||6 ranges (500μA / 10A)||~±(1%+5)|
|Resistance||8 ranges (50Ω / 500MΩ)||±(0.05%+2)|
|Capacitance||9 ranges (1nF / 100mF)||±(1%+5)|
|Frequency||5 ranges (99.999Hz / 999.99kHz)||±(0.005%+5)|
|Temperature||-328°F / -200°C to 2462°F / 1350°C|
NOTE: these are very basic accuracy figures, where a given manual range may have a different accuracy. We also don’t display extra offset counts/digits.
The data logging feature and TrendCapture are what make the Fluke 289 really standout. You can track voltage or resistance, for instance, record it and then quickly display the results in graphical form. Logging can be done at regular timed intervals or in event log format. You can log many ranges, but current logging requires an optional current probe.
Interval/event recording: along with recording a measurement based on time; say, in one second intervals, you can also track ‘events’ as a result of activity in the signal. The latter helps save battery and volume of data logged.
Save: you can save multiple logging sessions (such as when working in the field), where the real-time clock time-stamps readings automatically.
Graphing: although the 289 can’t show a graph in real-time, you can have the graph displayed right onscreen post-logging session, which saves having to upload it to a PC for viewing.
Zoom: you can zoom graphs up to 14 times to get a better resolution and thus more accurately analyze results.
Connectivity: aside from seeing everything onscreen, an IR3000 FC infrared connector (optional extra) that plugs into the rear of the meter will transmit the data to PC or smartphone. Fluke Connect and ShareLive™ can then have this data shared as a video call.
While perhaps not as rugged as the likes of the 87V or 28II, the Fluke 289 is well built nonetheless. It is made in the USA, where some of the cheaper series’ are put together in China. The holster is of the integrated type, so can’t be removed, and it has a plastic kickstand.
While the exterior is solid, we noticed in the Fluke 289 review that the large screen makes it somewhat vulnerable to drops. It is thus best to get a carry case to help protect the screen, especially for those who intend working exclusively on the shop floor.
Display and Labels
The display is a full dot matrix, quarter VGA type, which enables it to build graphs. The count is 50,000 (4 4/5 digit), so it has pretty great resolution too. The best of it is you can get multiple readings at one time, such as Min/Max/Average, together with the live readout. Another example: display voltage and frequency simultaneously. Very few handheld meters can achieve this.
You also have zoom facility on graphic mode, which lets you zoom right into the graph and get incredible resolution. This is a big time-saver as it saves transferring to PC to do the same thing. There is also a bar graph, which is very responsive and easily picks up fast-changing signals.
The only real negative in all this responsiveness is the ghosting that appears on rapidly changing digits. This can be smoothed somewhat via the AC filter. There is also a two-stage white backlight for the massive screen. Be aware, though, that it eats up the battery more than anything.
Of the labels, they could be clearer. The dial selector is a bit cluttered, but then again this is not meant for beginners and it doesn’t take long to find your way around.
Function and Performance
There’s a traditional multifunction dial, which is busy and has most ranges on it. The good thing is the voltages have their own range positions, including AC and DC millivolts – DC millivolts shares its position with temperature. One obvious omission from the dial selector is the OFF position. The 289 has a lighted button for powering up.
There are four ‘hot keys’ up top, enabling screen menus for the many measuring functions. These are used with the data logging features (such as start and stop), as well as for various range options. The four directional buttons navigate the menu screens, plus there are four shortcut buttons, the power button and the backlight.
HOLD: manual hold screen and set up Touch Hold® for automatic hold
MIN/MAX: displays the minimum, maximum and average values (including simultaneously)
RANGE: changes auto / manual ranging and steps through manual ranges of a given range input
i info: help button, explains functions
Power: powers on and off, also pulses each time data is logged
Backlight: display backlight on and off
Automatic power-off: default off time is set to 15 minutes of the meter not being used. This time can be adjusted or it can be disabled altogether.
Battery saver / screen sleep: the screen will fall to sleep after five minutes of not being used while in record or min/max modes. Auto-off will have to be enabled for this to work.
Battery life: stated 200 hours (100 hours minimum), but more likely somewhere in between. The screen sleep mode conserves the batteries when in extended data logging mode.
A (10A – red)
mA/μA (milliamps, micro-amps – red)
COM (common – black)
V/Ω/Temp/Cap/Diode (main terminal – red)
Input warnings: the 289 differs from many other multimeters that have an input warning system for incorrectly plugged in leads, in that it does so by utilizing optical sensors. If, for instance, you have the dial set to AC volts and plug the red probe lead into amps (A), it will beep and display a warning message.
Low-pass filter: helps measuring performance on variable frequency drives by blocking voltages above 1kHz. Get there via the Menu hot key when in AC voltage / AC voltage frequency ranges.
Low impedance voltage (LoZ): imparts a low impedance across the leads to ultimately eliminate ghost voltages from neighboring wires, for instance. There is a separate input dial position for LoZ.
Low ohms (LoΩ): allows you to measure lower resistance in circuits more accurately through compensating for the natural resistance in the probe leads, as well as through high resolution. The 289 has its own low ohms (50Ω) range position.
Smoothing mode: lets you steady an erratic, or noisy, reading through a selectable AC filter.
Min/Max: the 289 is perhaps the most useful multimeter on the market for measuring and displaying the min/max mode. It lets you do so by having both readings and the average between the two, together with the live reading, all displayed at the same time. Each reading is also time stamped.
NIST calibration: you can pick up the 289 with or without NIST calibration. This simply certifies that your meter is working to the manufacturer specifications.
The performance of the Fluke 289 is excellent. Even forgetting all the fancy data logging and extra features, this is a very fast and capable multimeter. The auto ranging is especially responsive and even capacitance can be measured down to a general accuracy of 1%.
The 289 is not as tough in the field as other Flukes, and certainly if you’re comparing it to the much vaunted 87V. This is not surprising as it is also built for the bench and has some pretty delicate circuitry. It is tougher than most other non-Flukes nonetheless and features a rugged integral boot. In addition, the probe leads are of high quality, with finger guards and sharp ends.
The input overload protection and input isolation is excellent. Regards connectivity, the 289 has an optical interface so there is no electrical continuity at that point, which would protect your computer in the event of a voltage spike, for instance.
Fuses: inboard fuses are the expensive HRC, high rupture type.
- 10A input: 11A, 1000V fuse
- mA/μA input: 440mA, 1000V fuse
Fluke 289 Pros and Cons
- Measures all electrical ranges
- Advanced data logging capabilities
- Extra functions, like low-pass filter and low impedance
- Very accurate and fast
- Clear, detailed display
- Fast auto range / screen refresh rate
- Quite rugged
- Lifetime warranty (limited)
- Bit big for the field
- Battery life not great
- Has to boot up – couple seconds
- Need optional adapter/cable for smartphone/PC connectivity
- No temperature probe
Difference between the Fluke 289 and 287
Both the 289 and 287 have data logging capability. The difference between the two is that the 289 also has a low-pass filter, low impedance, and low ohms ranges.
289/287 vs 87V: the differences with the 87V are more obvious. Aside from the data logging, optical interface and extra functionality, the 289 and 287 are more accurate than the 87V. There is also a more comprehensive display. However, the digits are smaller, plus the 87V is a lot more compact and rugged, built mainly for everyday field use.
In this Fluke 289 review, we have a very capable multimeter / data logger that is both feature-packed and precise. While expensive, it is well worth the cost for the benefits it offers. It suits professionals interested in recording and analyzing systems both in the field and on the bench.
If you’re a beginner, the Fluke 289 would be overkill unless perhaps you’re a mid-term apprentice engineer. But if you don’t need this level of functionality, accuracy or resolution, consider something smaller and cheaper like the UNI-T UT61E. Bearing in mind it cannot compete with Fluke on features or input protection. The Agilent U1253B, on the other hand, is a good, high precision alternative.
Negatives: there are some negatives, such as battery drain and lack of extras when buying the standalone meter, and it’s a shame that there is no AC input to plug it in when on the bench.
The standalone multimeter only includes the test probes and batteries. To have it talk to a PC or phone, you’ll need an extra cable or Bluetooth adapter. There is also no temperature probe, hanger or carry case.
Fluke 289/FVF Combo
The kit pack is not a huge amount of extra money but presents better value. As well as the meter and leads, it also includes:
- Alligator clips
- Test probe caps
- Jack plugs
- Thermocouple probe
- *FVF-SC2 software & cable
- TPAK magnet hanger
- Carry case
*FlukeView forms to create, professional-looking documents.
Other options include a probe for data logging current and ShareLive™ to share the data on a video call with Fluke Connect.