INSPECTION

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    Inspection, Visual and/or Electrical, to establish the basic functionality of a meter


    Here at Instrument Meter Specialties, we dedicate ourselves to repairing Simpson 260 VOM's as well as other Simpson Test equipment and some Triplett VOM's. We stock a large number of replacement parts for these meters, including pre 260 Series 6 models. For information about your 260, we highly recommend that you visit Simpson260.com.

    Q1: Can my 260 be repaired?
    Q2: How much will it cost to repair it?
    Q3: Can I purchase the parts to repair it myself?
    Q4: How much will it cost to have it calibrated or certified?
    Q5: What is the difference between calibration and certification?
    Q6: How can I make sure that I don't have to have it repaired again?
    Q7: Where do I send my VOM to be repaired?
    Q8: Have other customers been happy with their repairs?



    Q1: Can my 260 be repaired?

    It is more likely that a 260 can be repaired than not. There are only 4 main areas that the rugged 260 would need repair in:

    • The Case
    • The Circuit Board
    • The Meter Movement
    • Fuses & Batteries

    Replacement of the fuses and batteries is the most common maintenance to be performed, and is usually done by the owner of the VOM, but we have them in stock if a customer requests these be replaced.

    The next most common procedure is the replacement of components on the circuit board. Some of our customers with more experience may prefer to do this themselves by purchasing the parts. Sometimes the circuitboard requires replacement or extensive repairs when the batteries leak.

    Replacement of the Bakelite components can be easy, or tricky for customers to perform, depending on what piece is damaged. If the meter movement cover (glass piece) is broken, replacing the Bakelite and glass cover is generally an easy repair, but this can be an indication that further work may be required. If the meter cover or seal was damaged for a long period of time, small metal shavings and/or hair can enter the movement when it is not protected by the cover, and would necessitate a cleaning of the movement. We can perform this procedure, and highly caution anyone from doing this themselves. The Taut Band movement is very delicate, which brings me to my next topic, the meter movement.

    Replacement of the movement is a relatively involved procedure. However, these movements run around $80 and necessitates calibration once installed, which is a service we perform with any repair.

    Q2: How much will it cost to repair it?

    In short, we do not have a flat rate for repairs. Our labor rates are $75 per hour with a 1 hour minimum. We do bill fractional hours after 1 hour. We recommend having your meter inspected. If you decide not to have it repaired, then your cost will be the inspection fee and the return shipping charges which you already paid for. If you decide to donate your 260 to the boneyard, the return shipping fee is waived. The following example pricing is given for meters received in relatively good condition and are to give an idea of the minimum costs involved. A 260 of Series 7, 8, or 9 usually costs about $75-$125 for most minor repairs. The series 5 or 6 usually costs about $150-$200 to repair. The wire wound resistors used on the earlier series and other problems that are due to the age of the meter cause an increase in the repair cost. A series 3-4 will usually require around $150-$250 in work (including parts). Series 2 and older usually fall into the $250+ range. These are by no means fixed prices. Meters with moderate to heavy damage will cost more. Many meters that we have repaired have cost much more that the listed prices. Lately we have been seeing a lot of Series 7 and earlier that needed extra troubleshooting, beyond the inspection fee because of battery corrosion on the circuit board.

    Q3: Can I purchase the parts to repair it myself?

    In short, Yes, in general you can. However, you run the risk of negatively effecting the meter's calibration if the part in question is electrical in nature. Or, if the part in question is the meter movement cover, then you risk ignoring small debris blocking the movement travel path (I.e. the needle will get stuck.).

    Q4: How much will it cost to have it calibrated or certified?

    Calibration will be quoted after any inspection. Calibration is included in every repair. Certification costs start at $75 per meter, in addition to the calibration cost.


    Q5: What is the difference between calibration and certification?

    Calibration includes no guarantee that our equipment has been Certified. You have our guarantee that we won't put one of those silly calibration stickers over the zero corrector of your meter. It is ridiculous to do such a thing as it prevents the meter from being zero corrected and actually hurts the proper indication of the meter.

    Certification requires that our equipment be certified to NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) traceable standards, which is indicated on the report.

    Q6: How can I make sure that I don't have to have my VOM repaired again?

    This is very simple. Can you say Nylon Padded Case? Very good. We hardly ever see 260's with Bakelite damage when these are used. Even the newer model 260's, with the high impact plastic casing, benefit greatly from the padded case. A padded case also lends itself to helping you handle the meter due to the shoulder/neck strap included.

    The next best way to protect your meter is battery management. DO NOT store batteries in your meter for extended periods of time. Battery leakage (usually from the D-cell) can be fatal to the circuit board. Dry-cell batteries, usually marked "Heavy Duty" seem to not have the same failure rate that Alkaline batteries have. If you know you won't take the batteries out, use Dry-cell batteries.

    And, as always, use the proper fuse in your meter. Fuses are a very inexpensive solution to a very expensive problem.

    If you are buying new, then one thing to seriously consider are the models with the "P" (I.e. 260 series 9SP, 8P, 8XiP, 6XLP, 6XLPM). If you are buying used, also consider the previous models with the "P" (I.e. 260 series 7P, 6P, 5P, AFP) This means that the meter has a protective relay circuit, and is well worth the extra money. This is because you won't have to spend that money on repairs later. In other words, you pay it forward, and at a discount. The 5P and AFP meters used a 15V battery that is difficult to obtain. If you must have one of these, either source the battery before hand or ask about our 9V+9V conversion kit. We highly recommend having us to install this kit for you.


    Q7: Where do I send my VOM to be repaired?

    Please send your VOM to our facility in Lancaster, CA. You may use the Inspection Order Form in the Available "Files" section below to help us know who your 260 belongs to. We have received several 260 meters over the years without any identifying documents. Please either fill in and print as much of the form as possible. The filled form data cannot be saved, so printing is the best method. The form is made large enough that should you wish to fill in the information by hand, you may.

    Q8: Have other customers been happy with their repairs?

    We have repaired about 250 Simpson 260s, not counting other VOMs or panel meters, between 2012 and 2017. I think the best way to answer this is with some customer responses we received from late 2009 to early 2012.

    Jason and everyone at IMS,
    I have no idea what transportation gods made it possible for my meter to make it to Lancaster and back within one week, but your immediate turn over time in the shop was most impressive also. I have been without my favorite meter for a number of years and it is fantastic to have back and working again! I must say this has been a very positive experience and will recommend your services.
    Thank you all very much!
    Michael

    Jason,
    I just wanted to let you know that my 260's came in yesterday and made the trip great. They look fantastic and I will be proud to use them. You guys did an excellent restoration on them and thank you also for your calibration of them. I will be proud to suggest your company to others who may need your services!
    Best regards,
    Jim

    My Dear Fellow Jason:
    The Simpson's here(260-3). Everything's perfect. I have no words to express my appreciation for the interest you have put on my equipment. Thanks again for such professionalism.
    Luis
    (SPAIN)

    Hi Jason!
    In January, after the holidays, I will send you a new 260-III to adjust and calibrate. It is in better condition than the other one. The first one it is working at 100%. Sincerely,
    Luis
    (SPAIN)

    Ike,
    A quick note to tell you how pleased I am with the repair work on my Simpson 260. GREAT JOB. I was happy with the work and the quick turnaround. I will tell other people and keep your contact info.
    Thanks Again + Best Regards,
    Bobby

    Ike,
    I have been wanting to write to you for a few days now but just could not get to it until now...I want to say how pleased I am for the job you and your crew did with my meter.... It looks as if it is brand new just off the shelf....I am so proud of it, especially knowing my Dad had given it to me....I have used it a couple times and it work perfectly.... Thank you so much for such beautiful craftsmanship....God Bless
    Ray

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