Fieldpiece SC480 vs SC680

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In this post we have compared two Fieldpiece multimeters – the SC480 and SC680.

Both multimeters are new additions to the Fieldpiece family. The SC480 has replaced the existing SC 460 and the SC 680 has replaced the previous SC 660. Without further ado let’s get into the comparison.

Comparison of Fieldpiece SC480 and the Fieldpiece SC680

This table provides a snapshot of the similarities and differences between the two instruments. Highlighted in red are the major differences.

PARAMETERSSC-480SC-680
Display Counts1000010000
Volts AC1000mV/10V/100V/750V1000mV/10V/100V/750V
Amps AC [Clamp]100A/600A100A/600A
Volts DC1000mV/10V/100V/1000V1000mV/10V/100V/1000V
Amps DC Series1000µA1000µA
Resistance Ω100Ω/1000Ω/10kΩ/100kΩ/1000kΩ/10MΩ/50MΩ100Ω/1000Ω/10kΩ/100kΩ/1000kΩ/10MΩ/50MΩ
Frequency Hz [Clamp] 10Hz/400Hz10Hz/400Hz
Frequency Hz
N/A
100Hz/1kHz/10kHz/100kHz
Low Pass FilterNone1 kHz
Temperature-58oF to 2372oF
-50oC to 1300oC
-58oF to 2372oF
-50oC to 1300oC
Continuity CheckYesYes᷊
Diode TestYesYes
True RMSYesYes
High Volts IndicatorYesYes
Phase IndicatorYesYes
Magnetic HangarYesYes
Swivel headNoYes
Probe StorageNoYes
NCVYesYes
BacklightYesYes
Amp OL ProtectionPTC*PTC
Inrush Current TestYesYes
% Duty Cycle for AC wave forms**NoYes
Sends Wireless MeasurementsYesYes
ThermocouplesOneTwo
Weight (lb)1.321.8
Dimensions (mm)302 (H) x 80 (W) x 50.0 (D)247 (H) x 79 (W) x 48 (D)

*PTC is faster and safer for the technician. If dISC is displayed, the capacitor is not discharged completely. they are usually used for self-regulating heating elements/self-resetting

**Duty cycle shows the % On Time of a 5V logic signal square wave. Ranges: 5%-95% (40Hz to 10kHz), 10%-90% (10kHz to 20kHz) Accuracy (5V logic): ± (2% + 10) Resolution: 0.1% PW: >10µs

Summary of Differences

Both multimeters have a useful function of direct integration with the Fieldpiece job link app that enables you to record all the relevant data without the need of a transmitter about the health of the equipment and directly communicate the readings with the concerned people/customers instantly.

  1. An important advantage the SC 680 has over the SC 480 is a Swivel Head that enables easy viewing from any angle. The main body remains upright to permit reading the display without the bother of the technician bending or kneeling.
  2. The 680 has the additional function of measuring both AC and DC with the clamp.
  3. You can turn the switch to the desired position to measure the duty cycle percentage.
  4. The SC680 includes two ATB1 Type K thermocouples for Dual Delta Temperature measurements while the SC480 includes only one ATB1 Type K.
  5. An additional frequency Hz measurement feature in the SC680 over and above the reading provided by the Clamp.
  6. The SC 680 has a very useful Probe storage at the back to prevent the pointed test leads from causing injury when removing them from the storage bag/case.
  7. The SC680 has a built-in 1 kHz low pass filter to eliminate high frequency noise from impacting the accuracy of measurements.
  8. The SC480 is lighter than the SC680 by about 15%.
  9. The SC680 is taller than the SC480 by about 50 mm or 2 inches.

Customer Feedback

While both the multimeters are rated very highly, one of the customers cited an important difference between the 480 and the 680: When checking for the LRA (Locked Rotor Amps/Inrush), the SC 480 requires the user to adjust the decimal system for every system checked, whereas, with the SC 680 there is no adjustment required.

The Verdict

The biggest differences between the SC680 and the SC480 are the usability improvements in the former. The SC680 is also larger or taller than the SC480 by about 2 inches so that’s a consideration if instrument portability is a concern. The dual thermocouples provided with the SC680 are also a plus. The difference in price between the two is $60 which when averaged out over an expected four year lifespan works out to 4 cents a day.

Considering these differences and if the larger size of the SC680 is not a concern, then we recommend going with the Fieldpiece SC680 over the SC480.