Beckman Industrial HD110 Multimeter

Beckman Industrial HD110 MultimeterThis 3½-digit 2000 count manual-ranging heavy-duty multimeter is an interesting example of mid-80s technology.  With an impressive safety-yellow thick sturdy o-ring and gasket-sealed case, it looks like it could survive a drop test with the only damages being to the floor it lands on.  Ironically, the most serious damage to be repaired was not electronic, but a broken internal screw post, perhaps due to age and over-tightening.

It arrives in malfunctioning condition, flashing random numbers on voltage ranges, and alternating between random numbers and ‘OL’ on any resistance range.  A simple IPA cleaning of the LCD-main chip assembly restores functionality.  In addition, a precision resistor was found to have a broken lead, and some questionable soldering was cleaned up.

Other interesting facts and observations about the Beckman HD110:

  • The highest voltage ranges are 1500VDC and 1000VAC.  It is not CAT-rated since it pre-dates the standard.
  • Battery life is specified at an impressive 1500 hours.  The meter only draws 282μA in DCV mode and 331μA in ACV mode.
  • The continuity tester includes an omega (Ω) LCD annunciator.
  • The continuity tester only emits a short beep upon initial connection and not a continuous tone.  The threshold is very high at around 500Ω for the 200Ω range, indeed it will indicate continuity even while displaying ‘OL’.
  • The smaller fuse is inaccessible without removing the circuit board.
  • The 9V battery is supposed to be accessible by just removing the cover and the large fuse, but is essentially impossible to remove and re-install without also loosening the circuit board.
  • The tilt stand is remarkably fragile compared to the rest of the case.  It works well, however, and can be re-positioned as a hanger.
  • Later versions of the model have been sold with Wavetek, Meterman, and possibly Amprobe branding.

DMMCheck calibration check results for this Beckman HD110:

Reference Reading Notes
DC 5V 5.00
1mA 0.999
AC 5V 5.55 nominal for non-TRMS
1mA 1.112 nominal for non-TRMS
Ohms 100Ω 100.3 0.3 with leads shorted
1K 1.000K
10K 10.00K
100K 100.0K

About modemhead

Fixologist and multimeter junkie.
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62 Responses to Beckman Industrial HD110 Multimeter

  1. Matthew Jones says:

    Thanks for the teardown! One of my very few non-Fluke meters is a “Caterpillar” branded Beckman like this one. I work in the equipment industry (but not for Caterpillar) so I had to have it, even if it isn’t a Fluke.

  2. modemhead says:

    There’s just something about heavy-duty equipment that comes in safety yellow with black lettering. Tim the Toolman Taylor would be proud. Grunt, grunt…

    • Carla says:

      Just found your teardown of the beckman HD110. I have had a non-working one for a few years (I couldn’t bring myself to junk it) and finally got time to look at it today. It had the numbers rolling thing. I cleaned all points of contact on the display and it is as good as new. BTW the foam insulation on the thick film resistor must be original. Mine has it too and it’s never been “repaired” before today. Thank you for the info!!

  3. Robert says:

    Hi,

    Can you tell me if the HD-110 can be used with a RF probe.

    thanks

    • modemhead says:

      The HD110 has an input impedance of 22 Meg and will not work with RF probes such as a Fluke 85RF, unless an external shunt is used to bring the impedance down to the 10 Meg that the probe expects.

  4. Robert says:

    Hi,

    I’m new at this so I’m not sure what a external shunt is or is it something I can purchase. If you could point the way for me I would be thankful. Also do know where
    I can purchase or obtain a copy of the manual.

    Robert

    • modemhead says:

      A shunt is just a resistor in parallel with the meter inputs, in this case 20Meg or so, to bring the impedance down to about 10Meg, if that is indeed what your RF probe expects.

      I don’t know where to obtain a real Beckman manual, but the one for the later Wavetek/Meterman version might suffice. Note that these newer versions specify 10Meg input impedance. The older Beckman unit I have pictured in this post is definitely 22Meg though.

  5. N Clark says:

    I found your article on the Beckman HD110 very useful.when repairing mine.mine is slightly different it does not have the big fat fuse or a buzzer in it.is it earlier or a later model.I checked every thing in the article but still have a unstable last digit on mains mesurements.dc is o/k

  6. N Clark says:

    Hi thanks I did wonder if it could be that.the digits do see to react a lot faster than most meters.thanks again for your advice.N.Clark.Bristol

    • N Clark says:

      Hi are there any spare parts for the Beckman HD 110.The control shaft on my HD110 has broken it is grey in colour and T shaped one end.is there any chance I can buy one,thank’s. N.Clark

      • modemhead says:

        I am not aware of any sources of spare parts other than old units you may find at flea markets, hamfests, eBay, etc. Fortunately a lot of different Beckman models seem to share a common mechanical design, so the mechanical/structural parts are interchangeable.

  7. Glen says:

    I’ve been using a 110 for more than 15 years, and it was used when I picked it up back then, still works great. Mine has a HV probe which can measure up to 40kv.

  8. N Clark says:

    Hi thanks for the info,I have a few beckman meters but they all work.so I can’t break them.I will keep looking on the internet.the plastic seems to be breaking down on these old meters.thanks again .N Clark

    • Peter Lindberg says:

      I’m new to your site,, what I’m looking for is a beckman hd110 w/ amp clamp and temp probe ,, also mine came in a box like case with different leads and miscellaneous ends to leads.. I’m in the A/C- refrigeration field and i really want that meter again,,,mine was stolen long ago and i think it was the best meter ever made…..ya think you can help me get one,, new i paid almost 500.00 in 92,,,,,,,,,,,,,thank you,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Pete L

  9. Jensen from C&D says:

    I’ve had my HD110 since 1986 and it’s still working great. I dropped it from the top of a 100′ tower shortly after I got it. It bounced off of about three different steel railings on it’s way to the ground. When I got to it. the display was bouncing all over the place so my company sent it in for me. A week later the original was back and working perfectly fine ever since then.
    This is on tough meter.

  10. CG says:

    In an effort to help an automotive tech buddy who owns a Beckman Industrial
    HD100, I, in searching for a resource for fuses I came upon this page from Mr. ModemHead. Is there anyone who can advise me as to what are the 2 fuses the HD 100 uses and where can they be found, such as Radio Shack maybe. Thanks in advance for all replies.

    • modemhead says:

      The HD100 models I’ve seen only have one 2A 600V fuse. This info should be embossed on the back of the meter. It is a ceramic-bodied 6mm x 26mm cartridge. An identical fuse may be hard to obtain. A more common fuse of the same size is the AGX 2A 250V glass-bodied fuse. Even these fuses are not likely to be found at Radio Shack, because they’re shorter than the standard 32mm glass fuse. But they are available on-line. If you use that fuse, the meter will not retain it’s original safety ratings, but at least it should be over-current protected. BTW, a blown fuse will not prevent the meter from turning on or measuring voltage and ohms.

      As for repair, this model is practically an antique and you would be hard-pressed to find an economical repair service. I’m sure a new DMM would cost less.

  11. CG says:

    Mr. MH,
    Thanks for the prompt reply. I will share your response with my buddy. The discussion of the meter arose from my telling him that I was having a parasitic drain on my 92 Volvo 240, and if I could locate the fuse to get the meter working he would trouble shoot the problem. Its not the only meter he owns I am sure. I will try getting the alternative fuse you fuse you suggested.

    • modemhead says:

      You may be in luck. If you’re in the US, check eBay for item #350827062580. A 5-pack of original Beckman Industrial 2A ceramic fuses for $5, shipped. (I have no connection to this seller, so I can’t vouch for them.) Otherwise, in searching for “AGX 2A 250V”, I see there are a number of reputable places to get a 5-pack of these for a reasonable price. Shipping costs more than the fuses. I got some through Amazon a couple years ago.

  12. Richard Raffensperger says:

    Dear Modemhead, the article was very interesting. I have had a Caterpillar version of this Beckman HT110 since about 1991. I had to sent back during the warranty period for repairs and have not used it much since. The problem I have had with it is it does not zero out in the voltage modes or in the OHM mode with the leads shorted together. I have tried to clean the LCD contacts and that did not help. I can open up the meter and shift the display or tap the meter on my hand and get it to zero out for a while but won’t stay there. Do you have ant suggestions? Thanks Richard

    • modemhead says:

      The high-impedance circuitry in a DMM is very susceptible to PCB contamination that leads to current leakage, so it’s important to clean everything with 91% or higher isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and allow to dry. It may sound like an overly simple fix, but it usually clears up this type of problem, as long as you don’t create any bigger problems during the disassembly/assembly process.

      Unfortunately, this particular meter design is difficult to deal with because of the way the main measurement chip is attached to the board, and the rotary switch with inaccessible and fragile contacts. Best advice is to clean everything the best you can (including the surfaces of the circuit boards), while being very careful not to mangle the switch contacts or break any old brittle plastic pieces.

      • Richard Raffensperger says:

        Modemhead should I clean the entire PC boards or just the area that the display mount to. I did not clean the rubber display isolators. Thanks Richard

      • modemhead says:

        Yes, try to clean the entire PCB board. I recommend an old toothbrush with paper towels to soak up the excess. If you float any contaminates up with the IPA, you want to remove them and not let it just dry back onto the board.

        The LCD side of the stack-up is not likely to be a problem if the display looks OK. But the bottom side with the main chip and the two little connector strips does need to be cleaned. After cleaning, do not handle them with your fingers, use tweezers. There are several different designs of these connector strips, and some of them can be very finicky, requiring that you try them in various positions until they work.

        I wish I could give you some magic words, but this Beckman design really is a bit of a pain to deal with. But I have had success in reviving quite a few of them with just a good cleaning procedure.

  13. Matt McKee says:

    Greetings Mr. ModemHead,
    I came across your website in a attempt to find out some info for my Beckman HD-110. My meter needs repair, if my memory is correct, the readings are not correct. Ay suggestions would be helpful from you and and your followers!
    Thanks,
    Matt

    • modemhead says:

      Sorry I missed your comment earlier… If you scan through this blog you’ll find I mention cleaning things with isopropyl alcohol (IPA) as a first step with most any repair. On the Beckman models like the HD-110 with the big rotary switch, it is important to disassemble and clean the “stack-up” of the LCD, two sets of elastomeric connectors, and the main processor chip held together with a pressure clip. However this can be a hard job, because the old plastic parts can crack and break, and it requires a bit of patience and a soft touch to disassemble and re-assemble without causing more problems.

  14. Roy Hopkins says:

    Do you provide repair service for the Beckman HD110?

  15. Lars-G. Lundelin says:

    What would be wrong with my Beckman HD110 as it doesn’t show correct values on AC.
    When measuring main voltage (230 V) it shows 175V on the 1000 V range and 180 V on the 200 V range.

    L-G. Lundelin

  16. Millie Weed says:

    Mr. ModemHead,
    We have a Beckman HD 110. We are needed a replacement fuse. It is an inch long and 1/4″ wide. Also, it looks like it is a 2A. The best I can read on it, it also says PVM 400 112 I can’t see where I can order a replacement. Do you know where I can get one or a substitute? Also, do you know the voltage for this fuse? Any information would be appreciated.

  17. N Clark says:

    Hi Mr Modemhead.more advice please. I am repairing a Fluke8024a and have found the interconnect ribbon connecting the two boards has disengrated.is it possible to solder separate wires between the two boards.Or is there another way.The segments are very close together.Have you come across this problemThanks. N.Clark

  18. ulisetion says:

    Hi Mr. ModemHead, I have a caterpillar 6v7070, and the issue with it, it´s that it seems to work fine measuring AC-DC, but when I try to measure resistance, at first it shows 0L, then it just shows random numbers, ranging from 1.5 to 150 ohms, and when I put the probes on the resistor ends it goes down to 0. I hope you could help me, I´m kind of desperate here.

  19. Rex B says:

    Just finished refurbishing my Beckman HD 110 T (thermocouple) per your great instructions . Bought it new around 1986-7 and it worked flawlessly until a month ago, random numbers on AC scales. It now looks AND works like new. Still have thermocouple and a 1000A clamp on amp probes. Both work perfectly. send email and I’ll send a picture.
    Also have a older Tech 310 that has a half black diplay but can be used for parts. Display parts are the same except it does not the peice that holds the split stand off post stiff . It still worked when I took it apart. (Free)

    RexB

  20. bill comarsh says:

    I work in a hospital just north of sac. ca.town called marysville,is there a vendor close to me where I might purchase a set of test probes for my HD110T tester?

  21. bill comarsh says:

    need test leads for a HD110T tester

  22. Paul Dedman says:

    i have a beckman hd110 that the numbers in the display don’t all show correctly. Only half of the zero will display and others do the same with missing pieces. Any advice?

    • modemhead says:

      First order of business is to disassemble the LCD/main chip stack and clean everything with IPA (strong isopropyl alcohol). It requires care not to break any of the aging plastic bits. Try to maintain the elastomeric connectors in their original position and orientation.

  23. Dave says:

    You may be interested to know that Amprobe currently list an HD110C meter which, as you say, is a later version of this – probably the last surviving descendant of the famous Beckman rotary switch manual ranging design. Interestingly, it has an AC/DC button for both voltage and current so only has an 18 position switch as opposed to 28 positions on this one.

    http://www.amprobe.com/amprobe/usen/Multimeters/Industrial-Multimeters-/AMP-HD110C.htm?PID=73245

    It would be interesting to see what’s inside, if you ever get your hands on one.

    They also do an HD160C which is autoranging.

    http://www.amprobe.com/Amprobe/usen/Multimeters/Industrial-Multimeters-/AMP-HD160C.htm?PID=73247

    • modemhead says:

      Funny you should say that, I recently acquired an Amprobe HD110C. Internally, it has no similarity at all with the old Beckman HD110. It has an extraordinarily loud beeper, IP67 and CAT IV 1000V ratings, and is VERY sturdy. Nice industrial-type tool. The AC/DC button is a push-on/push-off type switch so the unit “remembers” the last setting, which is handy.

      Of note also is the Wavetek/Meterman-branded HD110. Externally, it looks almost identical to this Beckman HD110, except that the LCD digits are much bigger. Internally it has a more modern design based on a 40-pin DIP ICL7126 (lo-power 7106) and a compact rotary switch directly on the PCB.

      Then there’s the Beckman RMS225, the Wavetek HD160, and the Wavetek/Meterman RMS225A. The first two are almost identical, the latter is very different inside but has an identical “menu” system for features. Haven’t laid my hands on an Amprobe HD160C, so I’m not sure how it fits in, except for the model number similarity.

  24. John Conley says:

    Mr. Modemhead:
    I have 2 Beckman HD110 multimeters both of them in need of the “push on knob” for the “range and function” selector switch. The knob “shaft end” that pushes on the stem of the selector switch has broken off. Most likely due to age of the plastic. Could you tell me where I might find a replacement for that “knob”, any help you can offer would be appreciated. Many thanks – John R Conley Jr

  25. Lindy's Refrigeration says:

    Dear Mr Modemhead …I bought a new HD 110T in 1990 it came with amp clamp and temp probe – 2 sets of leads
    All kinds of different clips too in a large hardwall case. I paid somewhere around 500+ ? Maybe more like 600. It was stolen in 2000. The only repair I ever needed was the multi function knob shaft stripped… PLEASE EMAIL WHERE TO BUY ANOTHER ONE WITH ALL THE BELLS & WHISTLES !! I am in the HVA\C-R FIELD ..plus I repair so much more. When it was gone itfelt like I lost my right hand..THANKS…….Pete

    • Raul Poronga says:

      To lindy’s refrigeration:
      I have a beckman hd110t in perfect working order with temp probe, ac/dc current probes, test leads, large case and manuals. Please let me know if you are interested.

  26. IBANEZ says:

    Bonjour je suis à la recherche de la notice BECKAMN INDUSTRIAL HD10.Comment puis je la trouver ou l’acheter. ou encore la télécharger.

    Merci
    Cordialement
    Jean Ibanez

  27. Robert Cheeley says:

    Hi Mr. Modemhead,
    Great site and Great info! I just fixed my recently aquired $15.00 Beckman Industrial HD 110 T, with the help of your tutelage. Got the case and a pair of good Fluke leads with it.
    It wouldn’t “lockon” in any setting. It would “hunt” several digits, depending on the setting, ohms being the worst.
    Instead of having a foam block behind the Caddock pack, mine has a small screw through the little hole next to the negative battery solder pad. That gave me pause,, it is threaded thru one of the big solder pads. Last cal’d by Transcat/EIL in ’98. I figured they did it and no “ogre” work in mine, so I left it in.
    Again, thanks for a great site.
    Robert

  28. John B. says:

    I have a Beckman HD100 that needs service. I used it for about 20 years before it was submerged in a flash flood. I pulled the battery out and left the case open in a zip-lock bag with some of those silica gel moisture absorbent packs and forgot about it.

    It sat for about 15 more years in that condition. It was dry & corrosion free when I ran across it out recently. I put a new battery in & it works, but it’s kind of flaky.

    I’m getting varying voltage & resistance readings with no test leads attached, and sometimes when reading a voltage all of the LCD elements are visible with the actual reading just slightly darker. I have to turn the meter so it’s just the right angle to read it. The only other problem is that the rubber O-ring for one of the screws that hold the back on deteriorated & is no longer there.

    You said in response to another comment that you do not do repairs for others, but you will offer advice.

    Can you advise me of someone who would do a good job servicing a Beckman HD100?

  29. Dale Eustice says:

    I let the battery go dead on my HD 110 and when I replaced it the display reads 1.8.8.8 on all scales, I don’t have a manual and am looking for a quick fix, it did work very well before the battery change.

  30. Mark le says:

    I found this site when looking for p/ns for the proper fuses to get the ammeter side for my father’s HD110 working. I still had a good original spare for the one behind the battery behind the pole, but the Beckman site wasn’t much use for finding reasonably priced replacements. The round cubby next to the screw post on the side of the 10A input (on the left looking in from the back) holds the spare 2A fuse.
    Two things I can add for you:
    1. The foam next to the resistor on yours is definitely not original equipment. (image 23)
    2. The little fuse behind the battery came with a pull strap to remove the fuse just like old transistor radios used to have one to help remove the rectangular 9v from the tight rectangular battery compartment. No need to remove the circuit board.
    There was a fairly thick plastic “do not remove” plastic sheet to shield the battery case from the fuse and input jacks. Remove the big 15A fuse and the battery. Pull the sheet up out of the way and tug firmly on the strap and the fuse comes right out.
    Thanks for the information. You helped get this 33 year-old meter fully operational again.

  31. Youssef Aly says:

    I have one HD110 that had problems switching ranges and sometimes even modes. I checked for cut traces, damaged components and I thought the jumper on the top edge of the board should be connected, so I shorted it with jumper wire just in the via, no soldering or anything. Turns out only one of both jumpers can be connected at a time, or so I think as it now shows nothing on the screen on all switch positions. Please try to help as I really want to bring it back to life. It’s the version with only one fuse holder and no buzzer.

  32. Robert White says:

    My HD110 just shows random numbers in all modes. I hate to toss it. As a retired tech I would like to attempt repair before I give up. Any recommendation as what to look for?

    • modemhead says:

      All Beckman repairs should start with a thorough clean-up. Use IPA (>90% isopropyl alcohol) on the elastomeric connectors for the LCD and main chip. Use compressed air for the rather delicate range switch leafs. In my limited experience, this clears up most of the funny readings and odd behaviors on these meters.

  33. Rives McCord says:

    I have two Beckman 110 meters. I cannot find the operation manuals for either meter.

    What leads do I use to read 0-100 ma ?

    Thanks
    Rives McCord
    Principal
    TRINITY POWER SYNERGIES
    Thanks

  34. Ralph says:

    I worked for Beckman Industrial as head of manufacturing operations from around 1988 on through the Wavetek aquisition of that Beckman division around 1995 and hung around Wavetek for a couple years longer.

    We had a ball building the yellow bricks and a pile of other products. We would take the HD meters and throw them around the parking lot like a football testing them to see if could break them. No such luck. Standard drop tests of 36″ were nothing for these meters.

    A number of folks ask how to get their meter reading to settle down or zero-out. The answers are correct. Clean the boards with a high-grade alcohol. Don’t be afraid to scrub them down with a toothbrush. Let them dry completely. They usually come back to life. This applies to most all Beckman meter models. The problem was due to the manufacturing process. They were subject to drift off over time due to moisture absorbtion on the circuit board. I would say that units produced sometime after 1990 were less affected by moisture due to a change in the soldering process. We eliminated a flux that tended to absorb moisture in higher humidity environments over time and improved the board cleaning process. But, even the newer units would, to a much lesser degree, be affected by moisture absorption on the board. Scrubbing them with alcohol helps drive the moisture off the board.

    Everywhere I’ve worked since my days at Beckman Industrial have Beckman meters in their stock of test instruments built upwards to 30 years ago or longer. We put a lot of effort in making them bullet-proof and impervious to damage, but if you asked me then if companies would still be using them 30 years later I would have said you were nuts.

    Quite proud of my time there. Great people, great product and an organization absolutely driven to creating a high quality product.

    • modemhead says:

      Thanks for sharing that Ralph! My first “real” DMM (ie. non-Radio Shack) was a Beckman. Model 310 I think. I regret tossing it out many years ago, before I became interested in repairing such things.

  35. Chris says:

    Thank you for your post on the HD110 LCD issue….I found an old unit in an abandon work tool box and it had the problem as you described. I disassembled and reassembled the LCD chip holder 3 times, but the 3rd was a charm. Working my way farther down each time (and my nerve) , the third time included removing the strips, cleaning board and strips with alcohol and “WaLa” the LCD began working correctly. ….Thanks again for the guidance .

  36. Eddy says:

    I have been given one of these but the charger is missing. Could someone be so kind at to let me know what charger would work with this unit?

    • modemhead says:

      This particular unit is powered with a regular 9V battery (PP3), and does not require a charger. I’m not aware of any model variations that were rechargeable.

  37. Greg Elder says:

    Boom!! Thanks, modemhead! My HD quit working back in early 2000. It now works like brand new. Thanks to this page & the photos!
    First time I tried it I had no change, but the second time I took the toothbrush idea. That was the trick!! Thanks again for creating your page for the Beckman’s. It’s like finding my old friend again seeing this thing work again.

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