Repairing the Fluke IntelliTone probe

I purchased the Fluke MicroScanner 2 cable verifier kit almost 1 year ago, and I did so for two main reasons:

  • I wanted something reliable – sick of buying the usual crap from eBay which explodes the second you put it near PoE or a live phone line.
  • I wanted to see if Fluke’s IntelliTone technology was any better/higher range than the usual raw toning noises.

I was in Brisbane working on a friend’s home automation installation and was trying to find the other end of a Cat-6 cable – turned out the cable was connected directly to a 24v passive PoE injector, and so yet another test tool bit the dust instantly.

Fed up, I purchased the Fluke Networks MicroScanner Cable Verifier Kit on the spot from the cheapest online retailer I could locate, having looked at it and a few other options in the past. It would be the last day I would lose trust or time to cheap crap. While it is roughly 10x the price I’d usually spend, if I add up how many cheapies I’ve bought over the last 8 years, I’ve still come out cheaper with this.

Or, so I thought. It arrived, it’s certainly a well-built device and works for me flawlessly every time. The IntelliTone range is superior to the standard modulated tone, but you can select either with the toner as needed. Instead of releasing the magic smoke when connected to PoE or another powered cable, you can hear a nice relay click inside the toner and a warning triangle/’PoE!’ message appear – it protects itself well.

Unfortunately, while I was in Sydney a few weeks ago working on the same friend’s equipment down there, I found the probe was misbehaving and automatically shutting itself off/on depending on how I held it.

The Fluke IntelliTone Pro 200

Frustrated, I took it apart as you do, and found nothing wrong with it, until I noticed that the little PCB that’s usually glued to the speaker had come off when I disassembled it and ripped the nearly invisible copper wiring off the speaker cone. I had just killed the speaker. It turned out the battery was so low it was just intermittently powering on/off, but at the time I didn’t think of that.

I packed it away, and took it back home with me to the Gold Coast. Once back, I visited my local trusty Jaycar store and located a speaker which was electrically compatible with the probe. Bought it, brought it home and began to work.

40mm All Purpose Replacement Speaker
AS3004 – 40mm All Purpose Replacement Speaker

I had to shave down the edges of the speaker (nearly to the mylar core) as it wouldn’t fit in the Fluke case once I started to screw it together. But after half an hour of fiddling, shaving, sanding and soldering, it went together beautifully and works marvellously.

Despite the poor design of the original speaker (not helped by my haste to get it apart), it’s a marvellous tool and has once again reinforced my philosophy – buy once.

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