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Reviews For: Simpson 260 VOM

Category: Tools & Test Equipment for the amateur radio work bench

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Review Summary For : Simpson 260 VOM
Reviews: 28MSRP: 200.00
Simpson Electric Co. 260 Volt-Ohm-Milliammeter is a rugged,reliable,all-purpose measuring instrument.It is used for measuring A.C. and D.C. voltages,resistances,direct currents,decibles and output voltages.
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
WB7QXU Rating: 2021-03-08
Great trusted meter still great today Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have owned mine for 30yrs or so and still use it from time to time love to see small changes and it is great for aligning up old tube gear nice accurate meter for what it is. well made. On vintage gear it is great to use. But still has effective use in my shack. Great for monitoring voltage or current changes with the big display. well made these Simpson VOMs. Still made today. A must piece of gear.
W9LBB Rating: 2016-11-21
A Dependable Old Warhorse with a Twist! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've used numerous Simpson 260s since high school (over 50 years) and through a career as a broadcast engineer. I've never had one fail me until recently; my ancient, trusty old 260 finally bit the dust (a jammed meter movement), so I hit Ebay for a replacement.

Instead of a Series 6 260 to salvage the meter movement, I found a very nice Simpson 255 instead; that's a 260 which replaces the 10 amp DC scale with a thermocouple temperature scale, and adds an RCA jack on the front panel to plug in the thermocouple wire probe!

The 255 itself measures roughly 100 - 1050 degrees F; it was invaluable for balancing the carbs on my 2 cylinder motorcycle!

For lower temp ranges, down to maybe -50 degrees F, my 255 also came with a model 652 plug-in adapter and a thermistor probe. A simple bridge circuit powered by one D cell, it works very well indeed!

Since picking up this pair, I've been haunting Ebay for the purpose of exploring some of the other (now discontinued) Simpson plug-in adapters. They turn out to be quite handy gizmos.

The Model 654 adapter is an audio dummy load (up to 100 watts) that allows you to directly read audio power in milliwatts or watts.

The Model 653 adapter reads AC current at 50 - 3000 Hertz, up to 25 amps. It's more convenient to use than the #150 clip-on current probe; you don't have to split the cable conductors to take a reading; you just make up a test cable with male & female AC fixtures on the ends, and break one conductor to connect to the adapter.

The 255 and temperature measurement adapter came in a special, oversized leatherette case that holds both mated units. I've never seen a similar Simpson case, nor has anyone I know.

My new warhorse (apparently a Series 6) Simpson is already serving as a more than capable replacement for Old Trusty.

HIGHLY Recommended indeed!

K4JPN Rating: 2015-11-22
Excellent Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I got my Simpson 260 from W1GQQ in 1965, for mowing his lawn one summer, when I was K1VKW. He claimed he got in Korea when he liberated from a N. Korean post during the Korean War. It is old and has cloth wire wound resistors, no printed circuit board and has been going strong for the 50 years I have had it. The only thing I changed on it was the pin connectors for the leads, put in banana plugs (much more reliable). It still has the leather carrying strap, unlike the new ones with a plastic handle. Yes, it is still accurate and I still use it.
KL2TC Rating: 2015-11-21
No Mistake. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I don't know when I got my old 260, but I am sure glad that I did. I have owned a number of both analog and digital VOMs, but the Simpson is the one I always seem to end up with when I want a critical reading. As reliable a tool as a good hammer, always works. The battery life on mine is incredible!
KF4LWX Rating: 2014-05-22
I love these things Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I own 9 260s, including a series 1 labeled us army signal corps from the 1940s, 2 series 2s, 2 5Ms, a 6xlp, a series 7 and a 7P, and a series 8, I don't know what it is about these things but when I find one for under 50 bucks it's mine, you can still get them brand new but they go for about $400.00! Not made in China (yet).
KI6DCB Rating: 2014-05-11
Great instrument! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The Simpson 260 series was "THE" military/industry standard until 'WAY into the 1970's. I have several of these (some of which I actually paid for!) and they can't be beat[en] for ease of use and ergonomics. I also have a 262 Series 2 and a 269 Series 3. Both of these are similar to the 260, but with larger meters. The 269 also boasts a sensitivity of 100,000 Ohms/Volt DC.

The 260 is easy to use and nearly indestructible. It retains its calibration day-in and day-out for a long time, and, unless measuring a source capable of high current while set on an incorrect range, it is hard to hurt. Digital meters might provide greater precision, but the Simpsons are hard to beat for accuracy. Furthermore, alignments and any operations in which one is looking for a peak or a null are MUCH easier with analog meters than with the latest, greatest digital whiz-bangs.

Everyone who "fixes stuff" should have one of these.
NA7MT Rating: 2012-07-02
A "Must Have piece of test equipment Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The Simpson 260 is one of the high quality workhorses of the analog meter field. I have owned and used various versions of this meter during over 40 years of electronic and electrical testing, building, and repair. There are certain situations where a high impedance digital meter can lead the troubleshooter far astray. Like when looking for leakage or shorts between conductors or to ground on long runs of wire. The wires can pick up induced AC voltages that can make the digital readout go crazy or give erronious readings. The lower impedance inputs of many analog meters usually load the line enough to swamp out these induced voltages. Another place where the analog meter really shines is when setting points on older motorcycles and other engines. The analog meter gives an instantanious reading of when the points open or close. Many digital meters have a bit of a delay, which can get the setting off by many degrees. This is not to say that the digital meters are no good. Its just that the analog meter can outperform them during certain types of testing. A good technician should have both types of these meters in his or her inventory.
WA7URV Rating: 2011-04-15
Dead On Arrival Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Just waited several backorder weeks for my 260-RT (rolltop). It's a beautiful thing, bringing back memories of my high school electronics. Problem is, it appears the meter movement is frozen. No response on any function, and upon attempting to adjust the needle with the zero-adjust screw, still no movement. I'll follow up later after experiencing Simpson's customer service (or Tequipment's customer service, depending on how I'm supposed to handle this.) For now, I have a beautiful retro VOM that does have a continuity beeper, anyway!
WB0YLE Rating: 2011-03-08
The Go-To Tool for the Bench Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Got introduced to the old reliable 260 as a neophyte broadcast engineer back in the early 70s. Used them for everything from checking diodes and resistors to sensing RF injection in big 'Real' transmitters.

Most used tool on my workbench. Found a cherry one on Evilbay for 75 BIN. With probes.

Still use it almost every day. Never has let me down, and just looks darn good sitting there next to the other test equipment and effluvia of a tech bench.

If you find one, come across one, are given one...grab it.
WA9OUE Rating: 2010-12-16
Great Analog Meter Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I'm still using my Gov't issued Simpson from 1963. Used for 40+ years on the job and still using today. Works great, just have to remember to change the batteries. Don't do resistor checks that often.