Fluke Connect: It works but needs work

-June 17, 2014

Fluke Connect is an innovative concept that uses a smartphone app so you can share measurement data, voice, and even video. With Fluke Connect, field technicians can communicate and send measurement data to others in almost real time, even if others are outside plant. Armed with two Apple iPhones running iOS 7.1.1 and two Fluke Connect meters, I gave it a try. Local connectivity using Fluke Connect works well and are easy to use. Remote connectivity, however, needs instructions to get things working and Fluke needs to do a little more work. Consider this article as your initial instructions.

Fluke sent two Fluke Connect meters, a v3001 DC voltmeter and an a3000 AC current clamp meter. Because I was mostly interested in Fluke Connect as opposed to any measurement capabilities, I used the DC meter without connecting probes. Moving a finger over the probe connector sockets created a few millivolts, enough to see the display change.

Meters equipped Fluke Connect can communicate with a phone over Bluetooth. So, start by downloading the Fluke Connect App from the App store or from Google Play. Open the app and create an account for the phone. You'll need a different account for each phone. Accounts are based on e-mail addresses so I used two gmail addresses, one for each phone. I used my work phone (hereafter called "local") to connect to the the meter over Bluetooth and my personal phone as the remote phone.

You can create an account from the app or you can create and view your account online at connect.fluke.com. Open the app, turn on the meter, turn on the phone's  Bluetooth link, and press the meter's Send button. The local phone should see the meter. To complete the connection, touch the yellow bar in Figure 1. The local phone displayed the meter reading in real time. Touching the Capture button saves the data to memory. If the phone is connected to the internet and you've set up an account, data will be stored online. If you don't have an internet connection, you can save the data to your account once connected. You can send data to others by e-mail if connected to the internet.

Figure 1. When a Fluke Connected meter communicates with a phone the app will identify it.

After touching the yellow bar, you'll see data appear on your phone. You'll get a digital display as in Figure 2.

Figure 2. The phone now displays measurements from the meter.

Taking a tour of the options, you'll see choice of "123.0" or a waveform. In Figure 2, 123.0 is selected and the phone displays the data in digital form. Touching the waveform adds a trend plot, Figure 3. The vertical scale in in millivolts, which you can see from the digital display. I created the waveform by running my fingers over the COM and VDC probe sockets to generate a few millivolts.

Figure 3. Trend plots can be displayed on a local phone over Bluetooth, but not to a remote phone at this time.

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