I've got a new 87 and I want to get a protective case for it.
Fluke wants $35 for what amounts to a piece of pleather and a zipper.
Let's just say I don't want to pay it, and leave it at that.
Who can come up with a cross-purpose case (ie, made for PSP or Wii or such)
that will work for an 87 and a few sets of test probes that's either cheaper
or has more features (extra pockets? more padding? hard shell?) than the
Fluke for the same $$ ?
It's thinking beanie time!
My wife was looking for a custom case for her Blackberry and some
other stuff. She found a lady on internet who would make anything you
want. I cut out a block of wood the size of what she wanted, we mailed
it to the lady and she sent us the case back for $30.
Search custom leather bags or something similar. You will get lots of
hits. The advantage is you are helping an American cottage industry
not some offshore sweat shop..
I use pencil boxes with custom cut foam inserts for various test
equipment. For my DMM that I carry around a lot I bought a genuine Fluke
case, it was only $25 on ebay, which for protecting a $250 instrument
seemed like a small price to pay.
I'm sure you can find something wandering around the local purse
department of your local store. Lots of extra pockets for storing
probes, clamp-on ampsguesser, spare fuses, Hi-V probe, etc. However,
it will probably cost more than the stock case. So, try the local
thrift shop. They usually have a box of old purses.
I've had to make my own cases a few times. I usually start with heavy
cotton canvas or calendared waterproof canvas. Old tent and
upholstery scrap will also work. For padding, I sometimes include a
sheepskin layer (or just bubble pack). If I want it to last, I sew it
together with a sewing machine. (I was a mechanic at my fathers
lingerie factory). If I'm in a rush or the material is too thick to
sew effectively, I glue it together with contact cement and plenty of
pressure with a wood clamps. For closure, forget about using snaps
and just glue on some Velcro.
If you're really cheap and lazy, cut a piece of 2x4 (wood) to
approximately the size of your Fluke 87. Add scrap wood to build up
lumpy areas. Find something about the same volume as the probes. Wrap
in cellophane plastic. That's your mold form. You have many options:
1. Make a 2 part plaster of Paris casting and you'll have a very
heavy, rugged, cheap, and strong case. Put hinges on it the two
halves to make it look professional. Urethane foam (or fence post
compound) can also be used. For extra strength, use concrete mix.
2. Cover the wood mold with plastic, plastic weave cloth, blue tarp
material, or whatever material you can find. Slop some glue on top to
hold it in place. Don't worry about being neat here. Add some foam
rubber of padding. Cover the foam with a neat looking cloth or
plastic outer cover. Use contact cement to hold it together.
3. Find a wood shop that has a pattern tracer. Give them the
simulated wooden Fluke 87 and have them gouge you out a 2 part case
with hinges. Use green felt for wear protection. If the shop wants
too much money to for the pattern tracing job, do it yourself with a
4. You can also build a suitable box out of heavy duty corrugated box
cardboard. Not the stuff you find behind the market, but the really
heavy duty industrial strength stuff. Make an outline pattern to
follow with the Fluke 87. Get a razor knife, cut a hole in each sheet
of cardboard, and build up a box to surround the Fluke 87, gluing the
layers together. Green felt should make it look presentable.
Anyway, if you can't use your wallet to protect your DVM, use your
If you aren't able to find something suitable for meter storage/protection
at retail or flea market, thrift shops, try a place that has military
There are a lot of rugged portable, belt or strap held utility pouches and
ammo or tool holder type pouches.
Many milsurp places have new items that were made for actual mil issue, but
there are also a lot of China stuff looky-like real products, too.
I bought some new, heavy duty pouches, velcro closure, large belt
loop/handle and a small D-ring on the back, water resistant material..
labeled 1964 French Ammo Pouch.
The interior had 3 vertical dividers that I cut out, which leaves an open
cavity that's ideal for a handheld DMM-sized instrument and a couple of sets
of test leads.
The overall size is about 9.5" x 4.5" x 2", price was $5.
I found a set of three small Craftsman canvas zippered bags at Sears in
the tool department. Product number 9-48426 for $11.99. The three are
slightly different, and one might be suitable for your meter.