Author Topic: Your choice for ANALOG Multitester?  (Read 353 times)

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mmagliaro

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Your choice for ANALOG Multitester?
« on: June 18, 2019, 11:25:32 PM »
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I've been investigating an upgrades to my US-105 analog multimeter made by "Kentrix" (a.k.a. Uchida of Japan, a.k.a Jemco) from about 1980.
I already have a digital meter.   But I also still use the analog meter sometimes and find it very handy.  But, well, I dropped it about 6 weeks ago, and while it still works, it now has a cracked bezel and a meter movement that intermittently sticks at one point.

I've looked into the venerable Simpson 260 and the Triplett 630 - used - since new ones cost about $300.
The goal is a solid, accurate, analog meter, "large portable" size (like the 260 or 630), under $100.  It can definitely be used.   I do know that these both take arcane batteries for the higher ohm range circuit (15v for the Simpson and 30v ?   for the Triplett).  But my damaged one takes a 22.5, so I'm not scared off by this.

I'd appreciate opinions and feedback on using these and any others you may have.


Point353

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Re: Your choice for ANALOG Multitester?
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2019, 03:40:46 AM »
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This outfit probably has the widest range of products in the category of under $100 analog multi-meters:

https://tekpower.us/multimeter/analog-meters.html

DKS

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Re: Your choice for ANALOG Multitester?
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2019, 05:10:03 AM »
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This outfit probably has the widest range of products in the category of under $100 analog multi-meters:

https://tekpower.us/multimeter/analog-meters.html

Yep, got one of these (TP7040). Very robust and reliable. I'm especially fond of the resistance/continuity measurement in the single-ohm range. I've always had a preference for analog meters over digital. I can't stand watching numbers flickering up and down; give me a needle any day.

 
« Last Edit: June 19, 2019, 05:17:07 AM by DKS »
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mmagliaro

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Re: Your choice for ANALOG Multitester?
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2019, 03:20:56 PM »
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Thanks, guys.

As it happens, I took a slight leap of faith and snagged an old Simpson 260 model from eBay that looks really pristine for a good price.  We'll see when it arrives if I wasted my money or not.

In the meantime... removing the bezel, I discovered that the little plastic zeroing screw/pin molded into the bezel had simply bent the zeroing finger when I dropped the meter, which was causing the intermittent hang-up problem.  Once I adjusted that finger back where it belongs, the meter seems to work perfectly.  I checked it against my digital meter and the V, A, ohm readings are all very accurate so I don't think the meter movement is damaged.

If I could just figure out how to make a plastic  bezel to replace the one with the annoying crack in it, it would be good as new.  The bezel is 3.808" x 2.965" , and it's .292" high.  Trying to find some sort of Lexan or other acrylic cover that's just the right size to snap back on there is impossible, obviously.    But making one out of acrylic and gluing it up so it looks really clean and crisp at the joints wouldn't be very easy either.

woodone

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Re: Your choice for ANALOG Multitester?
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2019, 04:27:14 PM »
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Very hard to beat a 260 Simpson.

peteski

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Re: Your choice for ANALOG Multitester?
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2019, 05:52:31 PM »
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Very hard to beat a 260 Simpson.

That brings back memories when I used to work as an electronic tech back in the '80s. That is the multimeter we used back then.  Black Bakelite case, and real glass window for the readout.  When were those first manufactured? In the '40s?  :)

I now prefer digital meters (and own several).  Another advantage of digital meters (unless you own a transistorized analog meter) is that they are more sensitive (display lower voltages), and have high input impedance for all voltage ranges.

Some digital meters have a fast-response bar-graph display which gives a good visual indication of fast changing values.  But like it has been said, analog meters really are the best for observing ever-changing values.  I do own an analog meter - a Radio Shack multimeter I picked up in the '80s.
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Steveruger45

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Re: Your choice for ANALOG Multitester?
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2019, 10:14:03 PM »
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...  I do own an analog meter - a Radio Shack multimeter I picked up in the '80s.
Would that be the one that closes over on itself like a clamshell?   I’ve still got mine, still works great.
Steve
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peteski

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Re: Your choice for ANALOG Multitester?
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2019, 01:47:53 AM »
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Would that be the one that closes over on itself like a clamshell?   I’ve still got mine, still works great.

No, I do own a Radio Shack clam-shell multimeter, but that one is digital.  The analog one is a standard, rather large, meter.  It uses a 9V and AA batteries for the resistance ranges.
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Re: Your choice for ANALOG Multitester?
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2019, 09:31:16 AM »
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mmagliaro

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Re: Your choice for ANALOG Multitester?
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2019, 01:34:41 PM »
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The Simpson 260 first models probably do date from the 1940s, but they still make it today (and they are still made in the US).  They are up to series 8 now.  The one I bought was a series 6, which dates from about 1971. 

Yes, real glass meter cover and bakelite case, although I don't know if the one from the 70s still uses bakelite.  I would tend to doubt it.  We'll know in a few days when it shows up here.

I do have a digital meter, especially for cases where I need a high impedence tester that won't load down the circuit being tested.  The analog meter is more user friendly than the digital.   A rotary switch to select right to the test range and function you want is much more convenient to me than boinking through push-button states on a digital meter.   And measuring things like current or voltage across a running motor?  Oh boy.  Motors can sometimes give the DMM fits with the digits rolling around.   Sometimes I have to connect a capacitor across the motor to quiet it down enough for the DMM to get readings.  An analog meter gives me a much better "averaging" display of what the motor is doing.

The digital meter is auto-ranging, which is very handy.  I'll give it that. 

That's the reason I have both.  They both have their uses.