Thread Number: 43183  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
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Post# 451425   4/9/2022 at 21:39 (530 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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Okay, so it's not a vacuum cleaner or really even a household appliance but I just got something I've been seeking for a long time, so I thought I'd share. One of the ridiculous things I have an accumulation of is volt/ohm/milliammeters (aka multitesters or multimeters) and one particular model that has continued to elude me is a traditional Simpson 260 in excellent condition. I had used meters like this when I took electronics in high school and had always wanted one. I've had a few pass through my hands in various states of (dis)repair, and sometimes even made a profit on them, but I've never had one that make me say 'wow, this one's a keeper'--until now.

I was engaging in the (very dangerous for me) activity of casually perusing eBay when I came across a listing for a Simson 260 Series 6 (1970s vintage) meter, which the photos revealed to be a newer Series 7M (mirrored display) in its original box with all of its accessories, including the owner's manual, test leads and alligator clips, which were still in their original poly bag. Honestly, the photos made this thing look almost like it had never been used and when it arrived today, I found the photos hadn't lied. Even better, when I opened the battery compartment, I discovered that even though the batteries needed replacing, they weren't leaking. This meter, date stamped '6 1984' on the box, is as nice on the inside as it was on the outside. Except for a little wear on the outer box, it looks like it could have been manufactured yesterday, not almost 40 years ago, so it was a real bargain at the price I paid. I'll be picking up some fresh batteries for it tomorrow.

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Post# 451430 , Reply# 1   4/10/2022 at 08:20 (530 days old) by Centralvacs1928 (Chicagoland)        

That's very cool! My dad has a similar Simpson meter, but his is enclosed in a case with a roll-top cover. So far I have successfully resisted the temptation to acquire my own. But these are a very handsome and well-made instrument.

Post# 451436 , Reply# 2   4/10/2022 at 09:35 (530 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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Yes, I love the mid-20th century industrial design aesthetic that has remained unchanged since the late 1930s. Of course, the insides have changed significantly over the past 80-odd years. but they're also still American made. The Simpson Electric Company is owned by the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians.

I was flipping through the owners manual last night, before I went to bed, and found the original warranty card, which has never been filled in. This thing is like a time capsule, more new old stock than second hand, even if the eBay seller was a pawn shop.

Post# 451463 , Reply# 3   4/11/2022 at 01:05 (529 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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My grandpa was an electrical engineer for Simpson back in the day. I have a whole bunch of Simpson stuff, including half a dozen 260 meters, an oscilloscope, and wave generator. Strangely his tube tester was a Hickok, even though Simpson made tube testers. He once explained the mirror on the dial to me - to prevent parallax error. He seemed very proud of that, I wonder if he played a part in that design addition. When I cleaned out his garage there was all sorts of Simpson paraphernalia, including several design drawings. Honestly regret throwing those away. I kept all the meters and equipment I found, though. Owners manuals, too. A lot of it is experimental stuff. And even a mail room tray for that matter.

He would quite often cite 'operator trouble' as the cause of failure of any number of things in daily life. And I guess he had to handle a lot of stupid customers, because he would often bring up 'reading the manual' which was the nicer way of saying RTFM.

Post# 451482 , Reply# 4   4/11/2022 at 21:42 (528 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

human's profile picture
Sounds like a cool collection. Even more so because it was your grandfather's. I agree it's a shame you tossed the drawings. I wish I'd kept more of my dad's Oldsmobile ephemera. He sold them to the dealers from 1959-91. But hey, you can't keep everything.

I don't have quite the same connection to my Simpson meter as you do to your gear but it does bring back memories of Mr. Becken's electronics classes in tenth and eleventh grade, circa 1980, a couple of years before this particular meter was made.

Post# 451531 , Reply# 5   4/12/2022 at 19:00 (527 days old) by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

Nice find! I like those old meters as well. However I do not collect them and I have quite a few of them, lost in my clutter. I have a new in box 80's cheapo from rat shack but the plastic meter mounts were broke. Still looks cool though. I have two of my dad's old Simpsons. I even have a true VTVM somewhere....
Should I unearth them some day and I no longer want them, I at least know where to send them!

Post# 451560 , Reply# 6   4/13/2022 at 14:58 (527 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

human's profile picture
I have a couple of other Simpsons that have seen better days. After all, the people who riginally bought them intended to use them and use them they did. I've also got a few Radio Shack meters, two of which my grandfather gave me back in the '80s. I've taken good care of them over the years and both are still in great shape. I've also got a kind of cool Radio Shack meter, which at a glance could pass for a Simpson. It was probably made in the late '60s or early '70s and still has its original leather case. I've also got a cute little pocket sized Midland meter (same company that was a leader in CB radios back in the day) from the 1960s. My grandfather had one just like it that I used to play with when I was little. I used to think it was magical to set the selector to one of the resistance settings and move the needle by gripping the ends of the test leads in my fingers.

Post# 451732 , Reply# 7   4/18/2022 at 00:48 (522 days old) by hygiene903 (Galion, OH)        
Nice Find, Edgar!

hygiene903's profile picture
The Simpson 260 was what we used when I was in high school electronics too! Wish I had one now! It was a great meter and easy to use. Although I don't have a 260, I do have a Simpson 240. It's a similar meter but smaller than the 260.

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