Old lab equipment was often built to last and can give decades of service when treated correctly. It is often so beloved that when a part fails, it is worth repairing rather than replacing with something newer. [Michael] that’s exactly what i did, put the work to give its Fluke 8050A Multimeter a shiny new display.
The Fluke 8050A is a versatile device, capable of measuring voltage, current and resistance in addition to decibels at various impedances and conductances. The original screen doesn’t show some of the finer details so well, so [Michael] chose to improve on this when it installed a new 2.2-inch graphic LCD to replace the basic 7-segment LCD that originally came with the hardware.
To complete the installation, the original LCD display module was removed from the chassis. A superimposed device that sits below Fluke’s microcontroller was then used to extract the signals from the new graphical LCD display without requiring any modification to the meter’s PCB itself. An Atmega32u4 microcontroller then picks up these signals and then drives the graphic LCD display accordingly.
It’s a great hack that makes the old multimeter easier to use, and the new white-on-green display is also much easier on the eyes. We’ve seen other multimeters get screen transplants before. Of course, if you’re new to the world of segmented LCDs and want to learn more about how they work, [Joey Castillo]Last year’s Remoticon talk will get you up to speed!