Product Review: Fluke 754
No, it’s not a fluke. Oh wait, it is. Yes, I make terrible jokes. Anyway, yes, we’re reviewing the Fluke 754 today. Why? Because everyone that works in the field has to carry a bunch of tools to access devices and simulate conditions. Don’t you want a tool that will help you out there so you don’t have to keep going back and forth?
Nowadays, many handhelds put multiple functions at your fingertips. At Visaya, we already have some reviews of similar devices, such as the GE DPI 620 Genii and Beamex MC6 advanced field calibrator. Take a look at those if you want an idea of what the market looks like at the moment.
But once you do that, come back here so we can discuss the 754. Let’s find out how it can help you in daily field activities. If you like what you see, then check out the link to buy it at the end of the post. If you don’t, then take a look at the other options on our device page, over there on the right.
Disclaimer: This product review examines only features, not performance. If you’ve used this device, feel free to share your experience in the comments. This content serves the purpose of providing information if you want a new device.
Whatcha got there?
You get many things in this single device. The FLUKE 754 is a HART communicator and documenting process calibrator. When you need to check a field device, this tool can offer you most of the features you need to troubleshoot.
The 754 resembles many other tools in the Fluke portfolio. Therefore, if you’ve used a Fluke device before, then you already know the interface, which will save you time.
At 63.35 by 136.37 by 244.96 millimeters (mm) and 1.23 kilograms (kg) with battery, it qualifies as a compact device. However, its graphic LCD display feels massive at 95 by 54 mm, and it has a button to control the backlight, which will save you battery juice.
In general, you won’t need the manual to figure out how to use even the advanced functions. It has a numeric keypad, arrows to navigate, and softkeys. It also has buttons for common needs like current (mA) and voltage (VDC), which comes in handy.
And the 754’s USB port lets you connect the device directly to your computer. It can also connect to external pressure sensors and has a HART jack for HART communication. You thought I’d throw in a “which” line to end this paragraph too, didn’t you? Haha! Oh, you didn’t notice? Okay, never mind.
What can it do?
Coffee? Not yet! However, the Fluke 754 can measure, source, configure, and document different process variables.
If you’re at your workstation or in the field, you can measure and source current, voltage, resistance, and more. You can also measure pressure to calibrate devices. That covers almost everything, right?
And if you don’t have an extra power supply nearby, don’t worry! The 754 can provide power to many devices with its loop-power function, saving time and money.
You can do all these things by just swapping cables. The manual will show you all the combos you need to pull off nearly any field check.
To measure pressure, you’ll need an extra module to source and measure the pressure, calibrate field devices, and document the calibration values.
Finally, the 754 offers several languages: English, European French, Italian, German, and Spanish so far. Sure, it’s a short list, but better than only English, isn’t it?
Why should I care?
Because some of the 754’s features will let you automate and document some processes, like calibration and HART communication.
It has a limited database straight out of the box, but you can install new device descriptions in its two megabytes of memory supporting HART protocol version 5.7. If you want to add new devices, then you’ll need a software update “on diskette” or download. A lot of this important information comes with a “modest upgrade fee.”
Anyway, you can create and run automated procedures, then record and save the results. It can save a lot of time on your standard stuff. You can also get a bunch of custom units, auto step, square root DP flow testing, and more.
Its battery supports up to 10 hours of work, measuring and sourcing at the same time. But remember the display brightness will affect it. The manual has a table that tells you more about that.
Last but not least, if you have a plant asset management (PAM) system, your 754 may be compatible with it. The 754 matches PAM systems from Honeywell, Emerson, Yokogawa, and others.
The Fluke 754 is an excellent tool to be your new best buddy in the field. You can source, simulate, measure, and configure many things. While the HART communication is not flexible as a HART communicator itself, it can still help. On the upside, the pressure sensor can help a lot in calibration, and the automated procedures and data storage are big plus points.
If you’re ready to buy, you can find it on Amazon’s U.S. site. If you want to do more shopping, then check out our device page over there on the right for more options.