DigitalFluke 189 Series II Multimeter multimeter (DMM) is the most fundamental piece of electrical equipment and a must have tool for electricians and electronics professionals and technicians. But not all DMMs are made equal.

The 189 Series II Multimeter is Fluke's top of the range handheld piece of electrical equipment capable of performing a wide range of measurements. This unit is an all around great piece of electrical equipment. This is actually 189 Series II. It is basically the same as the Fluke 289. So, this was sort of interim model between the 189 Series I and the 289.

However, they have characteristics that make them different. The Fluke 189 a dial logging meter and that is the major difference between the 189 and the 87-5. The Fluke 189 has dial logging capabilities and it features a personal computer interface capability on the end. Another important difference is increased accuracy.

Upon opening the box the first thing you notice is the size of the unit, it appears bigger than it actually is. It is much bigger than the 87-5. Also it is a very heavy tool - really too heavy for everyday use. The tilt stand is built into the instrument housing. But is not functioning like the way that it was designed for. It is constructed of low quality plastic and it is not constructed to endure the grueling environment. So that is the out-of-the-box experience, the size and weights are a minus, but it does make you feel like you're getting something for your $400.

Furthermore, the unit consumes too much power for battery powered portable use. It works on 4 AA batteries. The batteries are drained after 100 hours - not sufficient for professional use. On the other side, it features a low battery indicator to signal you when you are running out of juice.

The integral rubber holster makes the Fluke 189 perfect for the electricians' toolbox. The rubber housing is waterproof, and protects the meter from drop damage or crushing, so the user can carry it with no worries. It has that solid Fluke feel to it. So, it certainly has that traditional Fluke quality. The 87-5 has the traditional rubber holster which the user can easily remove.

When it comes to performance the specifications are very impressive. The manual describes a basic DC accuracy of 0.05% +2. It is not a +1 count like the 87-5. But it can be forgiven given that is 0.05% which is very good. This meter is simple to use and very reliable if you know what not to do to it.

The 189 Series II has changed a lot from the last series. The major difference is a display. It features a 1/4 VGA screen with a bright two-tone blue backlight. But the contrast is not as great as it first appears to be. Also the digits are much bigger on the 87-5. And the contrast is much better on the 87-5 as well. It is really not a single button, but the controls here are so well integrated and intuitive that it feels like you are using a single control instead of a cluster of buttons. The screen updating is very fast. It is really a top quality usable meter.

If the user is calculating resistance in a DC series circuit of 10 ohm he can get the resistance from 9.99 ohm to 10.01 ohm. In accordance to the specs the user can get it but there are some possible problems. The test lead and before anything else the contact resistance of the probes will not permit the needed accuracy. Because of this it has provided 0 the residual reading. So, residual reading is significantly different from the original one.

The DC voltage measurement accuracy of the Fluke 189 Series II in 0.0001 to 5-volts is .025 percent. And this is great. It also has the capability of measuring DC, AC and AC over DC measurements.

Other relevant features include FlukeView® Forms software (enables overlaying of data from 6 digital multimeters to find cause-effect relationships), magnetic hanger (enables the user to hang the unit for hands-free use), built-in data logger (helps the user to track down intermittent issues). It comes with a soft carrying case that protects the unit. USB cable is also included.

Also the user can do the measurements and calculations in dB automatically. He can use the Fluke 189 to measure min, max and average value. It is good to know that the max frequency for the AC measurement it 100 kilohertz. And the max range for DC and AC is 1,000-volts. But I do not believe it is sufficient for extreme professional use.

The unit can store and recall up to one hundred readings with the memory/recall function. You can rest assured that when data is needed - it is delivered.

Overall, the Fluke 189 is well equipped and a great value with lots of functions for the price range.