I recently purchased a “Parts/Repair” Fluke 8060a off eBay for $25, and have been working on and off to repair it for the last couple weeks. When it arrived, it was quite dirty (as to be expected for a 20+ year old multimeter), and was a bit spotty in performance. It would power on, but it took some time to come up, and the readings were all over the place.
So, having read a fair bit about repairing them on the wonderful site by Mr. Modem Head, I started first by disassembling the meter to clean up the case in some Mr. Clean all purpose cleaner. Interestingly, after getting the case off, I found that the COM jack had broken loose of the PCB and just spun freely. First time for everything (I’d get that soldered up later).
Cleaning the case was quite easy, and just took some time to dry as there’s a metal shield on the interior of the back panel that cannot be removed, and therefore requires some time for the water to dry between it and the case, and after a few days, I had a nice clean case. Soldering the jack back in place just entailed firing up the soldering iron, and placing the whole tip into the jack and letting it get it nice and hot, and running solder around the jack and the PCB (similar to soldering copper pipe with a torch). I also cleaned up the LCD crystal with some plastic polish (PlastiX), and a polishing end on my drill press (set to the lowest speed, about 600rpm). This took a good 20-30 minutes of polishing to get the scratches to blend with the rest of the crystal.
After that had cooled (took a good 2-3 minutes given the thermal mass), and confirmed to be firmly in place, I set about replacing the electrolytic capacitors on the board (which I had ordered from Mouser shortly after getting the meter). Here are the Mouser part numbers (the Digi-key part numbers can be found in the Mr. Modem Head blog post, in the comments).
C19 – 647-USR1A470MDD
C36 – 647-USR1C220MDD
C12,C21,C28 – 647-USR1C100MDD
As usual, order extra. They’re cheap, and you never know when you’ll need a capacitor for some other repair/project.
Replacing the caps on the unit, however, is kind of a pain. Everything is through hole, but space is at a premium, so getting the caps out, especially the three clustered together, is a pain. Just use plenty of solder wick (I used a solder sucker to remove most first), and some forceps (I wasn’t going to reuse the old caps, so I didn’t care about crushing them a bit), and getting them out should go pretty quick.
Once the new caps were all fitted, I scrubbed the back of the board with 99% IPA and a toothbrush, then the front I swished around in IPA (trying to avoid submerging up to the switches). Blowing off the excess with compressed air, I set it aside to dry. After 6 hours, I powered it up, and the readings were all way off. So, I let it dry another 24 hours, and things were right where they should be with no calibration. Just for good measure, I let it dry another 24 hours before re-assembling fully. One other task was to clean the input jacks. Initial cleaning I did with some IPA and a cotton swab that I had removed most of the cotton from (so it would fit in the jack). Once those came back clean, I used some Deoxit D100 on a swab to lubricate/clean the inside of the jacks. They felt great after that (they are always going to be stiffer than the jacks you see on modern Flukes, as the 8060a has solid tube jacks, where modern jacks are “split” so they give a bit when the plugs are inserted.
Reassembly is quite easy. Just make sure when screwing things together that you don’t force the self tapping screws, otherwise you could strip the plastic side of things, or worse, break the plastic. Powering up showed a unit that was EXTREMELY close to my Keithley 196’s, and required no calibration at all. Even the frequency measurements were right on target. And while I couldn’t get the plastic quite back to the level of Mr. Modemhead, I’m pretty happy with how the unit looks, and extremely happy with how it functions. Especially for $25! It may very well be my go-to handheld meter when I don’t need the Fluke 189. May even bring it into work.
Thanks for reading!