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OT? Well It Will Go In The Shop: New/Simpson 260

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  • OT? Well It Will Go In The Shop: New/Simpson 260

    Well, it's new to me anyway. I managed to get a Simpson 260 multimeter today from an E-Bay auction. $44.00 plus shipping and tax. I can't wait until it arrives.

    I have suffered from many digital meters going bad on me. I just characterized one as scrap last night; a Beckman, not a cheap import. I also have a Simpson digital that went south recently: I just may get an estimate on repairs as I like it. But I have used many 260s in the past and have never seen one go bad. They just work and work and work.

    I paid a bit extra for faster delivery and I just can't wait. I may even look for a good price on a second one as I have two electronic benches: one in my shop and the other here in my office. I am looking at my office e-bench now and I think the only working meter I have here is a $25, thirty-forty year old, Radio Shack which is also an analog meter. The only problem with it is the probe sockets are getting a bit worn.

    I do like digital meters and plan to have both types, but the analog meters just seem to last longer. I have another lab style, analog Volt meter that is probably older than I am (76) and it still works just fine. I use it for a standard which I check my other meters against.
    Paul A.
    SE Texas

    Make it fit.
    You can't win and there IS a penalty for trying!

  • #2
    I like them alot also. I used one in the Navy and never had a problem cept for popping a breaker, my fault. Only downside then was doing work in the radome cause it was tight and the meter is bulky-ish.

    I picked this one up years ago. Kinda dig the roll-top desk case JR

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    My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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    • #3
      What version of the 260?

      They vary. Some, the original type, are "nearly" my favorite meter.... except for their rather low input resistance. I have another meter that is 100k ohms per volt that I like better than the 260s just because of that. Other types are nasty, or at least have nasty habits.

      One version really freaked me out when reading DC.... it read double the DC voltage, but was very stable. Turns out that that particular version apparently does not like any spikes or noise on the DC, and I was trying to read a 400V PFC-fed DC link for a 2500W PWM audio amplifier. That I declared to be totally unacceptable for an "analog" DC meter. I found a "plain ordinary" 260 that another engineer had, and it read perfectly fine.

      So, a few versions I rate as worse than Radio Shack..... The old standard type is almost as good as the Radio Shack "260 copy" I have, although I like the 100Kohms/V better. I presently have 3 1/2 Simpson 260 meters plus the RS meter, and another "good brand" meter. The "half" one has a problem which I do not recall at the moment. I do need to thin the herd, but I don't think about them very much because I usually use the Fluke digital meters, either bench or hand-carry types. They come out when I need lots of meters that show changes and flaky voltages well.

      That all said, the 260 is a standard at least for older folks. The 260 will do what it does as well or better than any other analog VOM, and in many cases old equipment manuals will specify the voltages as "read with Simpson 260" or equivalent. Mostly those do not specify which sub-model of 260, because there was just one sort back then, so these days it can be a little confusing.
      1601

      Keep eye on ball.
      Hashim Khan

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      • #4
        Good deal! I got a 260 from eBay a few yrs ago to replace my aging Micronta (1 megohm/volt)
        couldn't have been happier even though the impedance is a bit low by modern standards
        If I need the really high impedance I'll use the Fluke digital
        I have their older 8000A bench portable unit
        with the rechargeable batteries and the big red LED digits.
        As well as the 117 handheld.
        Last edited by nickel-city-fab; 09-09-2020, 06:34 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by JRouche View Post
          I like them alot also. I used one in the Navy and never had a problem cept for popping a breaker, my fault. Only downside then was doing work in the radome cause it was tight and the meter is bulky-ish.

          I picked this one up years ago. Kinda dig the roll-top desk case JR

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          My employer had a 260 with the same case. I tried to talk him out of it but he would say if you can pry it out of my cold, dead hands. I couldn’t afford one at that time. Later I needed a more portable meter, so I bought a cheap radio shack model. When it made it’s death leap to the floor, I bought a Fluke. It’s been great. Still, a 260 would be great to have!
          I cut it off twice; it's still too short
          Oregon, USA

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          • #6
            Two of the finest meters ever made, a Simpson 260 and a Fluke 73
            That Simpson is 65 years old, I got it from my dad as a present for my 16th birthday
            He repaired TV's and radios back then and said if you want to do decent work, you need good equipment.
            The Fluke is 34 years old and also as reliable as the Sun rising each morning
            Rich

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            Green Bay, WI

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            • #7
              Back when I worked at an electronic place they had Triplets and Simpsons . I always picked the Simpson, the Ohms polarity is + on the red lead while the Triplets were reversed. I have one in the closet here now, lo these many years later. :-)
              ...lew...

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              • #8
                We had a Simpson bench meter back in the day, a VTVM. That's vacuum tube volt meter. It had a very large meter movement- can't remember the model, but it was some kind of standard bench meter at that time. It had a warm-up time and required zeroing before use. My boss used it- usually when I walked past it the needle was either buried to one side, or it was somewhere in the middle without an input voltage. I think it was the only meter he used that kept working- one day our salesman brought in three meters for us to try, and within five minutes one was toast. One of the other ones also didn't last the day. Something about measuring line voltage on the ohms range-

                We had another bench meter- this was an fet model, and it was actually pretty rugged, lasting many years. Analog meter as well, with a large display. I thought I was doing pretty well, having my 20kohms per volt 'pocket' meter.

                We also had an RCA SeniorVoltOhmist, big analog display- that was another workhorse meter.
                Last edited by darryl; 09-09-2020, 11:41 PM.
                I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lew Hartswick View Post
                  Back when I worked at an electronic place they had Triplets and Simpsons . I always picked the Simpson, the Ohms polarity is + on the red lead while the Triplets were reversed. I have one in the closet here now, lo these many years later. :-)
                  ...lew...
                  Funny you should say that. I have a few Triplets and like those for a reason. Perfect size for some jobs. JR

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                  My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

                  https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think the one I had was a Sanwa. These had a body that looked like about 5 lbs of bakelite, and the tiny probe tip sized jacks on them. But my favorite meter ever has to be the Elavi analog meter. Taut band movement, mirrored scale, fast acting disconnect relay, would read capacitance in addition to ac and dc current, and voltage up to 5000 without an adapter. It came with two current transformers, one would read up to 500 amps ac or dc, and the other up to 1500 amps ac or dc. Stated accuracy was 1.5%- pretty good for a '60s analog meter.
                    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                    • #11
                      What was your first 'scope? Mine was an Eico, think it was a 450 or 460, something like that. A whopping 4.5 mhz, single channel. The trick was to let it warm up for an hour or more, then twiddle the dials until you found the trace- then quickly use it before the trace drifted off screen again. Big clunky box. I found it in the storage room where the dead Dumonts, Philcos, Silvertones, et al lived- along with the only 45 rpm dash-mounted record player I've ever seen.
                      I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by darryl View Post
                        What was your first 'scope?
                        Still have my first and only scope, A Tektronix 545A with the 1A1 vertical amplifier plug-in. Dual channels/traces. Still works fine, has Raytheon 1955 property ID tags. Will warm up the house in winter.

                        I really miss some of the stuff I used to have and there's no way I could afford to replace it now. I have a soft spot for the old linear power supplies, like my old rack mount Kepco. Thing had a ferro resonant isolation transformer as well as a variac for the coarse adjust. max was 10 amps at 50 volts. It was incredibly stable and clean.

                        Miss the HP 201 Audio oscillator I had. That was foolish of me to ever get rid of it.

                        Still have the Eico RF generator around here somewhere.

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                        • #13
                          HP 201, eh? Nice.

                          I used to have a couple quite old pieces of HP equipment. One was an HP 200B oscillator, and the other an early 1940s (WW2 era) tunable voltmeter. They were replaced by a 200CD and a newer tunable voltmeter, which, for some reason, I still have.

                          I still have way too much old audio test equipment. Three HP distortion analyzers One is a newer SS unit), a Crown IMA, and I do hardly any audio stuff now. Used to be in the biz, repaired equipment while in school, designed it for 28 years, and now I do very little with it. Had a couple of power amps in for repairs, belong to my wife's friend's husband (a musician). One was a dead channel and not worth it, all old TO-3 case stuff that you cannot get now, and had a shorted channel. The other has a bad control, the replacement for which should be in soon.


                          Originally posted by darryl View Post
                          I think the one I had was a Sanwa. These had a body that looked like about 5 lbs of bakelite, and the tiny probe tip sized jacks on them. But my favorite meter ever has to be the Elavi analog meter. Taut band movement, mirrored scale, fast acting disconnect relay, would read capacitance in addition to ac and dc current, and voltage up to 5000 without an adapter. It came with two current transformers, one would read up to 500 amps ac or dc, and the other up to 1500 amps ac or dc.Stated accuracy was 1.5%- pretty good for a '60s analog meter.
                          DC current transformers? Something going on there, must be a probe type deal. I have a Columbia instruments meter that reads DC or RMS AC current, and has different read heads for different current ranges. I'll have to dig it out, have not used it for a while, and now that I think of it, I could have used it some time ago if I had recalled that I had it.... measuring welding current in a spot welder. One of the heads I think has a crazy high current range. Need to look at that again.
                          Last edited by J Tiers; 09-10-2020, 01:50 AM.
                          1601

                          Keep eye on ball.
                          Hashim Khan

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            meters going bad? wierd. i have probably a dozen digital meters, some of which i got 30 years ago. all of them work. oh, wait the display on one went bad after i left it in direct sunlight for hours. it was black.

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                            • #15
                              Those old Simpson's last for ever.

                              JL.....................

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