Norman Bradshaw loves getting his hands on a new tester. Let’s find out what he thought of the 1664 FC Installation Tester from Fluke.
It was introduced to Fluke back in the 90s and I remember my wholesaler calling me to tell me he had a tester that he wanted me to check out. Even back then I had a reputation of being a tester and so I purchased my first 15th Edition kit.
I have seen testers evolve from individual pieces of kit to MFT’s and the change has been dramatic. I would say that MFT’s are definitely the way forward as manufacturers are able to squeeze more and more functions into them. This month I have been testing Fluke’s new 1664 FC.
I could write about this tester all day but I will focus on a few of the more interesting features included with this model. First up is the on-board Insulation ‘PreTest’ function. This is great for when you are testing in an unfamiliar office with lots of appliances connected to the system you are about to test. If the 1664 FC detects that an appliance is still connected to the system the test is aborted and an alert shows up the screen. It removes the guesswork from the situation; saving you time and helping ensure your client’s equipment isn’t damaged!
Fluke has also added a great time saver with its ‘Auto Test’ feature. This allows you to carry out a line test, no-trip loop test, RCD trip current test and insulation test with just a single press of a button. Before you know it you are back in your van and on the way to the next job!
For those of you who like your gadgets, the 1664 FC features built in wireless connectivity. With the Fluke Connect app on my phone and tablet I am able to download the memory, sync my readings and record them within the app, where they can be shared and stored as desired. Fluke Connect also allows me to upload images of installations and test results. Having other instruments that use the Fluke Connection app is a bonus because my testing world is becoming more streamlined and uniform and I’m finding it much easier to record, store and refer back to data on the various tests I perform.
“Fluke has also added a great time saver with its ‘Auto Test’ feature. This allows you to carry out a line test, no-trip loop test, RCD trip current test and insulation test with just a single press of a button.”
RCD testing can be a pain, there are so many different ‘Types’ now on the market that some electrician’s even have two machines to cover them. If you have Fluke’s 1664 FC then you have got all the ‘Types’ covered from 10mA-1000 mA, Type AC, A, B, S – Type B (I could go on). There is even a custom variable mode which you can set to the rating of your variable RCD.
The 1664 FC is also great for fault finding. The machine tests both Ω± ends of the circuit, achieved by pressing F3 button. It will test from the L- PE terminal then PE- L terminals (plus other combinations), then you can scroll through what you wish to test using the F1 function key. Therefore, once you have connected your leads or plug adaptor to the desired cables, you can do a whole raft of comparisons with relative ease. I could even add my R2 into the equation so that fault finding was made even simpler.
The MFT comes with a host of leads, crocodile clips, fused leads and traditional carrying case. The socket connection has been seriously improved so you can connect L, PE and N simultaneously. A clever and appreciated addition as this should help avoid damaging the leads.
I also liked the extra strap attached to the neck strap. This allows you to clip the instruments securely in place so it doesn’t swing or get caught as you are clambering around on ladders or crawling in conﬁned spaces.
From this brief overview 1664 FC is a tester to be seriously considered. I feel privileged to have taken it for a test run and I can say that I am absolutely smitten. The one feature I would like to see is auto start on the R1 +R2 settings so I will have to wait and see if this is added in the future. Fluke say that they will ‘Keep your world up and running’, and as far as I have seen from this tester, they certainly will.