Fluke released new 5540A/5550A/5560A MFC for mainstream calibration applications

Fluke Calibration 5500A and later 5520A, 5522A models are bread and butter of nearly every electrical calibration laboratory. These instruments are used to perform adjustments and calibration of all the typical field instruments, such as handheld and basic benchtop instruments.

Top tier metrology applications are usually use higher end series, such as modern 5730A or older (now out of support) models 5720A, 5700A. 5730A is essentially improved 5720A with new shiny LCD-based front panel and revamped GUI. 5790B AC Voltage Standard is also refreshed version of old but still capable 5790A.

5730A with refreshed UI was released back in October 2015, good seven years ago. But 5520A remained unchanged until now. Thanks to power of web and some clever marketing at Fluke we can find this teaser page. I’d wish more companies do such teases of the new upcoming instruments to cheer up discussions among metrology nuts :)

Based on this we see improved 5520A with new front panel style just like the 5730A and 5790B.

Fluke had few demo’s of new 5560A in exhibitions, where could get some more information:

Buzz page says launching Autumn 2022. Winter is here already and hopefully we will have full specifications and datasheets on official Fluke website soon enough. In fact, few of distributors already started spilling information, such as one here.

Among major items that newer 5540/5550/5560A series bring are capability to source simulated inductance (for 5560A only) and new ultra-linear ADC. Per brochure new ADC “enables the 5560A, 5550A and 5540A to achieve performance specifications that were not possible in the 5522A and 5502A, allowing you to calibrate a more accurate and demanding workload”.

In fact we can already access some information in patent US11316528B2 about new PWMDAC, likely used in these new instruments. I’d love to see linearity performance test results and tear-down photos of REFDAC board used in this 5560A now.

There is also new fancy looking cable harness adapter for output terminals on 5560A. It is also patented under US11398707B2 just early this year. Probably cost another thousand on top of the unit, but it does look nice indeed.

Feature 5500A 5520A 5522A 5540A 5550A 5560A 5720A 5730A
Front panel Alpha-numeric LCD Graphical touch color LCD Dot-matrix VFD + alpha-numeric VFD Graphical touch color LCD
Target use case Handheld DMMs and entry benchtop DMMs 5½-digit DMM 4½-digit DMM 5½-digit DMM 6½-digit benchtop DMMs Long scale DMMs, metrology applications
DC Voltage up to ±1020 VDC up to ±1100 VDC
DCV best accuracy 1 year [24 hrs] 50 ppm [4 ppm] 11 ppm [2 ppm] 24 ppm [2 ppm] 8.5 ppm [2 ppm] 6.2 ppm [2 ppm] 4 ppm [1 ppm]
DCV noise, tempco 100 µV on 32V range 50 µV 4 µV on 22V range
AC Voltage 1 mV to 1020V 220 µV to 1100V
ACV Frequency 500kHz <3.3V, 100kHz 32.9V, 20kHz 329V, 10kHz 1kV 500kHz <3.3V, 100kHz <329V, 10kHz 1kV 3 Hz to 500kHz 10 Hz to 1 MHz <220V, 1 kHz 1kV
ACV waveform sine, SQV, triangle Sine, triangle, SQV Sine only
Resistance synth, up to 330 MΩ synth, up to 1100 MΩ synth, up to 1200 MΩ fixed, 17 values from 1 Ω to 100 MΩ
Resistance, best accuracy 1 year 90 ppm 28 ppm 50 ppm 22 ppm 19 ppm 10 ppm
DC Current up to 11 A up to 11A or up to 20.5A time limited up to 30.2 A continuous up to 2.2A
AC Current 0.02 mA to 11A 0.03 mA to 11A or up to 20.5A time limited 0.03 mA to 30.2A continuous 0.009 mA to 2.2A
ACI Frequency 10 Hz to 10 kHz <33mA, 1kHZ >33mA 10Hz to 10kHz <3A, 5kHz >3A 3 Hz to 30 kHz 10 Hz to 10 kHz
Capacitance 330pF to 1100 µF 190pF to 110 mF 0 nF to 120 mF None
Inductance None 12 µH to 120 H None
Thermocouples B,C,E,J,K,L,N,R,S,T,U from -250 °C to +2316 °C A1(BP,A),B,C,D,E,G,J,K,L,N,R,S,T,U,XK, 10 µV/°C, 1mV/°C, -250 to +2500°C None
RTD Cu427,Pt395,Pt3926,Pt3916,Pt385(200,500,1kΩ),PtNi385 120Ω Cu427,Cu428,Ni120,Pt385(200,500,1kΩ),Pt3916,Pt3926 None
DC Power 33 mV to 1020V, 3.3mA to 11A 33 mV to 1020V, 3.3mA to 20.5A DC, 33mVAC to 1020V, 1.2mA to 30.2A None
Scope output Yes, 300ps edge, 300 or 600MHz or 1100MHz leveled sine Yes, 300ps edge, 600, 1100 or 2100MHz leveled sine Wideband 30MHz Wideband 50 MHz
Booster support 52120A or 5725A 52120A only 52120A only 5725A, 5205A, 5215A or 5220A 52120A or 5725A
Phase lock None Yes

Front panel design is clean and well organized, with proper 5-way low thermal binding posts even on lower end 5540A model. Scope output is still additionally paid option, now available with frequency up to 2.1 GHz compared to only 1.1 GHz on older 5522A. 2.1GHz scope calibration was available before from (now discontinued) Fluke 5820A that shared similar platform to 55XX series.

Price for these new instruments would be in range of existing 5520A series, which is around 40-60k $USD.

Update from 12 December 2022

Fluke Calibration finally released new 55×0A series.

Author: Illya Tsemenko
Created: Sept. 28, 2022, 11:35 p.m.
Modified: Jan. 2, 2023, 5:35 a.m.