Fluke and Megger have recently updated their range of 17th Edition Multifunction Installation Testers and go head-to-head with both introducing three new models to market.
For Fluke the new model numbers are:
- 1662 – Entry level basic installation tester, three phase (replaces both the 1651 and 1652 models).
- 1663 – Mid range for the professional installer, three phase (replaces 1653).
- 1664FC – Top of range and feature loaded, three phase (replaces 1654).
For Megger the new model numbers are:
- MFT1711 – Entry level basic installation tester, single phase (replaces MFT1710).
- MFT1721 – Mid range for professional installer, three phase (replaces MFT1720).
- MFT1731 – High end, all singing all dancing, three phase (replaces MFT1730).
On first glance the appearance of the new units mirror that of their predecessors and the Man Machine Interfaces (MMI) remain constant. This is bound to appeal for those who enjoy familiarity and who may hold a soft spot for one manufacturer over another, unless there is an overwhelming case to change.
Fluke continue to adopt their simple turn dial to select the required test and then a function button to choose test settings.
Megger maintain their colour-coded dials on the front panel and retain the dual TEST and LOCK buttons on either side enabling ease of use regardless of whether the User is left or right handed.
The main changes are below the surface, or not so immediately obvious, so let’s explore.
Across the product range:
- On / Off switchable Auto-start for RCD & Looptest
- Heavy duty, single input line cord accessory
1663 and 1664 FC only:
- Continuity at L-N, N-PE inputs
- Test smooth DC sensitive RCDs (Type B)
- Earth Resistance
- Zmax Memory
1664 FC only:
- Insulation PreTest
- Insulation at L-N, N-PE inputs
- Automatic Test Sequence
- Fluke Connect Compatibility
- ShareLive Calling
- FlukeCloud Storage
To benefit from the majority of additional features then we need to look at the 1664 FC, as this unit comes with the new “Insulation PreTest”. According to Fluke, the tester will detect if appliances are connected to the system during test, if it finds any then it will stop the insulation test and provide the User with a warning (visual and audible). The claim is that this helps prevent costly mistakes of accidental damage to peripheral equipment which can provide a level of peace of mind to prospective customers.
They have also introduced Auto Test to the 1664 FC which does all the required installation tests in one sequence. This ensures compliance with local installation regulations and Fluke state it can reduce test times by up to 40%.
The other key feature of this high-end unit is that the unit is Fluke Connect compatible. This means you can hook the tester wirelessly to a smart device and share your test results (including sharing live via video call), you can also store results in the Cloud so these can be accessed from anywhere.
Across the product range:
- True RMS voltage measurement
- 1kV insulation resistance test voltage
- Full Auto RCD testing
- 10mA as well as variable RCD rated tests
- Zmax functions to test final ring circuits
MFT1721 and MFT1731:
- Additional 100V insulation test range
- mV sensor input
- Type B RCD testing
- On-board memory capable of storing up to 1000 test results.
- Bluetooth test result download (Megger Download Manager comes supplied).
- Enabled additional earth electrode testing options such as 3-pole ART electrode testing and stake-less electrode testing (please note, the clamps are optional accessories).
Megger have been quicker to the market than Fluke when it comes to the ability to retrieve test results wirelessly, so while listed as a new feature above, the capability was also available on the previous range but is worth highlighting as a comparator.
What’s in the box?
- Hard carrying case
- Zero adapter
- Heavy duty mains cord (this is new to the line-up)
- STD standard test lead set
- Padded carrying neck / waist strap
- Remote control probe and lead set
- User Manual
- While not explicitly detailed in their literature we have spoken with a number of Fluke representatives to confirm the calibration status of the new testers. Our understanding at the time of writing is that the units will come with a manufacturer certificate of calibration that includes results and is valid for 12mths.
- Standard 3 wire lead set (with prods and clips)
- Mains plug test lead
- Switched probe (not on the MFT1711)
- 12mth calibration certificate
- User Guide
- Neck Strap
- MFT1711 and MFT1721 come with a moulded case, the MFT1731 comes with a soft pouch that has space for additional extras to be stored.
Both brands feature 3 year manufacturer warranty as standard across the whole range.
- Fluke specifies theirs as 1.3kg (with batteries but donâ€™t specify if this includes or excludes the case).
- Megger units are specified at 1kg (with batteries, excluding case)
|Length / Depth (cm)||10||8.5|
Physically there is very little between the two MFT ranges, similarly in terms of appearance when compared to predecessors.
If you are looking for a basic dependable level 17th Edition multifunction installation tester then your options really depend upon the need to test three phase. If you don’t require, then our recommendation would be the Megger MFT1711. If three phase is a requisite then the Fluke 1662 is the one. Though there is an investment difference of over £100 to gain this capability, that is significantly less than opting for the next Megger model up, the MFT1721, as that will set you back an additional £300 or so. (Pricing information is based on manufacturer RRP at time of writing).
At the top end, the game changer here could be the Fluke Insulation PreTest on the 1664 FC. To determine whether this is a useful feature or a gimmicky marketing tool we have spoken with a number of industry professionals as to their opinion. The feedback has been a thumbs-up that this will prove to be highly useful. A good quoted example is where a customer may believe they have switched off and unplugged the appliances on their circuit but may have overlooked the non-obvious items such as built in devices (e.g. dishwasher) or for appliances that are hidden in an enclosed space or out of sight (such as an IT router or powered antenna/amplifier that could be located within a loft, for example).
Here at Instrotech we haven’t yet been able to extensively test this feature in our workshop and labs to determine accuracy and reliability. Presuming it does as it says then this could well become a benchmark for all Multifunction Testers to incorporate.
In either case, should you wish to generate certificates or complete electronic forms from stored data on these high-end units then additional software will need to be purchased (Fluke DMS or the Megger PowerSuite).
Price point wise, there is little between the mid-range and high-range offerings from either brand. The choice here will simply come down to personal preferences, unless the Fluke PreTest function on the 1664 FC is too good of a feature to ignore.
If you are considering a new multifunction tester then give Instrotech a call on 01923 442 244 or email us at [email protected] where our team of professionally trained technical advisors can help you decide which tester will best suit your requirements.
Information and our full range of products, services, and latest offers can also be found via our website at www.instrotech.com.
Instrotech was founded in 1984. We are an authorised distributor for a wide range of electrical & environmental test equipment covering: Sales; Hire; Calibration; Repair; PAT Training; Thermography Training.