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Cheapest decent analog meter?

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by [email protected], Jan 1, 2006.

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  1. Guest

    Someone stole my car and therefore my meters as well. One of them was
    a Radio Shack 50K/volt analog meter that I liked a lot, but RS no
    longer carries analogs, and I don't want junk or something as costly as
    a Simpson. Even Sears has quit selling their $60 meter that was very
    similar to the RS. I don't care if the meter is an unpowered VOM or a
    FET-VOM, so long as its analog and good.
     
  2. all you can do in this case is look on ebay if you want the cheapest
    price.
     
  3. You can often find analog multimeters at electronic swap meets
    (also known as hamfests). I've seen several B&K and Simpson units over
    the years. Lists of upcoming hamfest events (not all feature swap meets)
    can be found at http://www.arrl.org/hamfests.html

    Failing that, greed-bay sellers often turn up with such units.

    Unfortunately, "cheap" and "good" are often mutually exclusive
    terms, especially in the test gear world. I would not expect that you'll
    be able to find a new/retail analog multi of decent quality for under
    $100+ if at all.

    If I may ask: What do you have against digital meters? Yes,
    there's a lot of junk Out There (I find Wavetek-branded meters to be
    particularly revolting), but there's a lot of good as well. For example,
    it's awfully hard to go wrong with a Fluke handheld.

    Happy hunting.


    --
    Dr. Anton T. Squeegee, Director, Dutch Surrealist Plumbing Institute.
    (Known to some as Bruce Lane, ARS KC7GR,
    kyrrin (a/t) bluefeathertech[d=o=t]calm -- www.bluefeathertech.com
    "If Salvador Dali had owned a computer, would it have been equipped
    with surreal ports?"
     
  4. I've picked up 3 Simpson 260s on eBay for about $20 each, 2 in usable
    condition, 1 required a new movement, but I picked up a pair of NIB
    260 compatible movements on eBay as well.

    --- sam | Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ: http://www.repairfaq.org/
    Repair | Main Table of Contents: http://www.repairfaq.org/REPAIR/
    +Lasers | Sam's Laser FAQ: http://www.repairfaq.org/sam/lasersam.htm
    | Mirror Sites: http://www.repairfaq.org/REPAIR/F_mirror.html

    Important: Anything sent to the email address in the message header above is
    ignored unless my full name is included in the subject line. Or, you can
    contact me via the Feedback Form in the FAQs.
     
  5. Steven Swift

    Steven Swift Guest

    Be careful: Fluke = Wavetek

    these days. Just rebranding on some of the lower priced meters.
     
  6. Ralph Mowery

    Ralph Mowery Guest

    Sometimes it is just having the right tool for the job. At work I can get
    about any kind of meter I need. Sometimes I grab my Simpson 260 and other
    times I will get my Fluke digital. Also Fluke makes a nifty device that has
    some leds in it. You can put it across a circuit that has from about 24
    volts up to around 600 volts AC or DC. It will tell if you have a short or
    voltage and a rough idea of how much and if it is AC or DC. Nice for doing
    quick test when I am in a relay box that may have 20 relays and I need to
    know if the contacts are really made or the relay is pulled in and the
    contacts are not made for some reason.
    Some of the devices ( PLC outputs for example) will have surge supresssor
    devices across the output and a high inpedance digital meter will give
    almost as much voltage if the output is off or on. The 260 will load it
    down enough to tell the differance.
     
  7. Simpson 260s are classic designs and can be found at ham fest flea markets,
    too.
     
  8. DaveM

    DaveM Guest


    For sure, analog multimeters are becoming more scarce every year. But there
    are a few available to be had for dirt cheap to serious money. Of course
    the Simpson 260 is the recognized industry standard for analog bench meters.
    You'll get some pros and cons about the Simpson meters, the most nagging con
    being its fragile bakelite case. But, with a modicum of care, it will last
    for ages. I've had my Simpson 260 model 3 since 1964; still in its original
    case. Many years ago, I upgraded the meter movement to a taut band movement
    from a later series, and wouldn't think of getting rid of it.

    OK... nuff about that.

    In answer to your original question, there are a few vendors still selling
    analog multimeters. Look here for a few:
    http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/st...toreId=10001&catalogId=10001&productId=206287
    http://www.fairradio.com/voltme.htm
    http://www.ceitron.com/test/3t2-524.html

    Cheers!!!
    --
    Dave M
    MasonDG44 at comcast dot net (Just substitute the appropriate characters in
    the address)

    Never take a laxative and a sleeping pill at the same time!!
     
  9. Do Little2

    Do Little2 Guest

    Re: subject line. Of all the cheap meters NexXTech, model: 221-8202,
    sold by RS actually speaks the values out loud, yes, it has a volume
    control.
    It surpasses many Fluke's with that special talking feature which comes in
    handy in many situations.

    .... Have A Happy 2006 Everyone!
     
  10. JANA

    JANA Guest

    Because of the scarcity of analog meters, I would try to buy one from eBay,
    if I would not be able to find one in the stores.

    --

    JANA
    _____


    Someone stole my car and therefore my meters as well. One of them was
    a Radio Shack 50K/volt analog meter that I liked a lot, but RS no
    longer carries analogs, and I don't want junk or something as costly as
    a Simpson. Even Sears has quit selling their $60 meter that was very
    similar to the RS. I don't care if the meter is an unpowered VOM or a
    FET-VOM, so long as its analog and good.
     
  11. Googling analog multimeters found this which I just happen to have
    too:
    http://www.multimeterwarehouse.com/yx360trdf.htm
    Mine is the same Sanwha pictured and says Made in Japan on it.
    The pictures and descriptions may not clearly indicate the leads
    are not banana type but the ma (only) current range will give that
    away.
     
  12. none

    none Guest

    I've got three or so of them myself and often fall back on them when
    my newer digitals break down.
    Got one that I've had since the mid 60's, a hand-me-down from my dad
    who'd had it for years before me. I've had it calibrated 3 or 4 times
    over the past 40 years (though it hardly needed it.) and it'll run
    with the best of them.
     
  13. One nice thing about older Simpson 260s is their 5000 V DC and AC ranges.
    Try to find that on any modern DMM! :)

    --- sam | Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ: http://www.repairfaq.org/
    Repair | Main Table of Contents: http://www.repairfaq.org/REPAIR/
    +Lasers | Sam's Laser FAQ: http://www.repairfaq.org/sam/lasersam.htm
    | Mirror Sites: http://www.repairfaq.org/REPAIR/F_mirror.html

    Important: Anything sent to the email address in the message header above is
    ignored unless my full name AND either lasers or electronics is included in the
    subject line. Or, you can contact me via the Feedback Form in the FAQs.
     
  14. GregS

    GregS Guest

    So does the Tripplet 360.

    greg
     
  15. none

    none Guest

    Talking about this older test gear got me wanting to dig through my
    warehouse and see what kind of shape the meters I've had stored away
    for years were in.
    All of my Simpsons were in working order of course, thing was I found
    alot of gear I'd forgotten I'd even had.
    I've got a Triplett VOM model 630-APL brand new that I'd picked up God
    knows when or where still in it's leather case with full documentation
    and papers.
    Similar in design to the Simpson, black bakelite case etc...
    Anyone ever use one of these?Also found and vintage Sadelco field
    strength meter used for measuring VHF/UHF band model FS-3C.
    something my old man I used back when he had a repair shop.(We
    probably installed a thousand tv antenna's. That was back when tv
    repairmen still did house calls.)
     
  16. DaveM

    DaveM Guest


    Yuppp!!! I've used the Triplett 630 meters a lot. I used to work in a
    calibration lab (late 60's) that was a distribution/mod center for Simpson
    and Triplett instruments. We did a large volume of repair and calibration
    on both Simpson 260 and Triplett 630 meters. As I remember, the Triplett
    meters seemed to be a lot more fragile than the Simpsons, because the
    Tripletts came in with broken cases and meter faces at about twice the rate.
    The Tripletts are larger than the Simpsons, making the scale a bit larger
    and easier for us old-timers to read.
    Have no doubt... both meters are venerable instruments and will give many
    years of dependable service with appropriate care.

    I have a Sadelco FS-3 field strength meter that needs a meter movement.
    Does your FS-3C still work? Would you be interested in selling? I really
    don't need a field strength meter any more, but was just thinking it might
    be fun to play with if I ever get back into 2-way radios.
    --
    Dave M
    MasonDG44 at comcast dot net (Just substitute the appropriate characters in
    the address)

    Never take a laxative and a sleeping pill at the same time!!
     
  17. none

    none Guest

    As far as I can remember it's still in working order.(haven't had call
    to power it up for nigh well 35 years.)
    Cosmetically it's in mint condition, virtually brand new.( As I recall
    this particular one saw little or no use, I believe we bought it as a
    backup. I'd been in the service for some time when my father passed
    and this meter and much of the test gear I have now is what I'd kept
    when I sold off the shop. So it hasn't seen any use since, just been
    stored in the back warehouse. I never was much on Ham radio myself
    though I'd had a notion that when I get settled out in the southwest
    I'd set up a base for communications.)
    I'm thinking that I want to hold onto it a bit longer but let me dig
    around in the warehouse and see if I can't find another unit.(I
    literally have tons of spare parts for just about anything as I'm an
    all-around diy'er.)
    If I can locate one I'll post here.(I'll take an inventory of all that
    I have while I'm at it and post the list here if you're interested in
    older gear.)
     

  18. The meter movement was made by Modutec. It was one of their standard
    movements with the Sadelco meter scale. A lot of these meters failed,
    because it is a vow quality meter movement. They work OK, but they
    don't stand up to being tossed around in a service truck. I don't
    remember the current rating on the movement or which series its from,
    but I see these movements surplus from time to time. The OEM is:
    http://www.jewellinstruments.com/PanelMeters.htm and Mouser is one
    distributor. Its easy to change the meter scale, and I have at least one
    spare Sadelco meter scale, somewhere around here.

    --
    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
     
  19. DaveM

    DaveM Guest

    Thanks for that, Michael. I haven't looked at my Sadelco meter for several
    years, but I believe that I have the scale. I got the instrument from a
    relative who thought I might be able to repair it; he had already removed
    the meter movement and thrown it away. Thankfully, he saved the scale, so I
    held on to the instrument in hopes of finding a replacement some day.
    In all the years that I've had it, I haven't been able to identify the meter
    sensitivity. If you (or anyone else) has a schematic and/or parts list that
    identifies the meter sensitivity, I'd really appreciate a copy.
    I'm familiar with the Modutec line.. I used to work in a cal lab that was a
    distributor for several meter manufacturers, and as a result, I was pretty
    familiar with most lines of meter movements.
    If you happen to see a copy of that meter any where, I'd appreciate a ping.

    Cheers!!!!
    --
    Dave M
    MasonDG44 at comcast dot net (Just substitute the appropriate characters in
    the address)

    Never take a laxative and a sleeping pill at the same time!!
     
  20. Guest

    wrote in @g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:
    Harbor Freight Tools has a good inexpensive digital multimeter.
     
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