Real Rack Equipment Project

Fluke rack equipment

Fluke 801BR and 803BR Vacuum Tube Voltmeters

My plan for securing my projects in better enclosures is to purchase used rackmount equipment, gut it, and use the front panel and chassis (modified as needed) to house my own projects.

The first shipment just came in. Two old Fluke differential voltmeters (means you can dial in a voltage, and the meter will tell you the difference between the voltage you are measuring and the voltage you dialed in) from Fair Radio Sales in Lima, Ohio. These both run on vacuum tube electronics (dating probably from the late 1950s) which make them too big and heavy. But removing the tubes should make them much smaller and lighter.

I have two more such units coming in. And that should do it for the time being.

Though I got these units primarily for the all-aluminum rack-width front panels (which can cost almost as much new as these cost), this equipment has a nice look to it, don’t you think? It’s rendered in classic Navy Grey with the old fluted knobs (two set screws each!) and shiny chrome handles. A classic retro look.


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