Fluke 417D Laser Distance Meter Review:
The Fluke 417D Laser Distance Meter is a very popular laser distance measuring device. It measures distances up to 1/4 mile (1 kilometer). Its main advantages are its low cost, small size, easy operation and reliability. The Fluke 417D has been available since 2002 and it was designed with the needs of the amateur radio operator in mind.
In the Fluke 417D Laser Distance Meter review, we will see how accurate it is and what features it offers. We will also learn some things about other models like the Fluke 419D Laser Distance Meter or the Fluke 426D Laser Distance Meter.
Fluke 417D Laser Distance Meter Features:
It is made out of plastic and metal parts. It comes with a battery compartment, power supply unit, batteries and charger. It has a light weight design making it easy to carry around. The Fluke 417D uses two AA batteries which provide between 2 to 4 hours of continuous use. There are also rechargeable NiMH cells that can give up to 6 hours of continuous use.
It has a small display and an aiming laser that can be activated or deactivated. These beams are invisible to the naked eye but they appear bright green when viewed through a digital camera’s night vision mode. The device emits an acoustic signal once the distance has been measured.
The Fluke 417D displays the reading in both metric (cm, m, km) and imperial (in, ft, yd) units. It uses “roll-over” technology to avoid the digits from “rolling over” when the maximum measurement is reached. For example, if the maximum measurement is 9999.9 ft and you are measuring a distance of 10 ft, the reading will be displayed as 0.1 ft.
This device can measure horizontal, vertical and over-the-hill distances. It has a precision of 1/8″ at 0.5 ft, 1/4″ at 1.0 ft, 1/2″ at 2.0 ft, 1″ at 4.0 ft, 2″ at 8.0 ft and 4″ at 16.0 ft.
The accuracy is 1.5% in most measurement conditions, it can reach 5% if the user doesn’t follow the instructions properly. To get the most accurate measurements, the user should avoid measuring long distances (8 ft or more) on a single step as this decreases the accuracy of the device.
It measures distances in a straight line only. It cannot be used to measure horizontal or vertical angle and it cannot measure distance around corners or at the bottom of a hole.
The Fluke 417D can be used as an altimeter (by setting the measurement unit to feet). To measure the height of an object, the user should aim the laser at the top of that object and measure the distance from a fixed point. For accurate measurements, the user should avoid measuring height differences greater than 200 feet.
This device can measure the speed of moving objects by measuring the time it takes the laser beam to reach the object and return, then dividing that number by two. The person holding the device should not move while taking this measurement. The maximum speed that can be measured is 15 mph.
This laser distance meter comes with a calibration feature which enhances its accuracy. The user should take the calibration tool (calibrator) and point it towards the instrument, the display should show CAL. The user should press the MENU button to enter the setup mode. Now the user should use UP and DOWN buttons to select CALIBRATION option and press the OK button to select it.
With this feature, the user can reset all the factory settings and then calibrate the instrument by pressing the OK button. The display should show CAL after calibration.
This instrument can be used for various industrial applications like construction, mining and engineering. It can also be used as a part of a surveying team.
The Fluke Laser Distance Meter comes with an Instruction Manual that guides the user through various operations like measuring distance, calibrating the device, changing the batteries and handling other functionalities. The manual can be downloaded from the manufacturer’s website.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Transport properties and reaction rates of hydrogen and deuterium ions in hydrogen and deuterium gases (E Graham – 1974 – smartech.gatech.edu)