Friday, 28 March 2014

Simpson 260 Series 7 & 8, Reverse Banana Test Lead Adaptors

I was lucky enough to score this mint condition Simpson 260 Series 7 (1981 Vintage) on eBay, for the princely sum of £30. It came complete with the original Simpson outer case and  test leads. The meter was in such good condition I doubt it left the case much at all.
Simpson in the USA, have been making the 260 series since 1939, even today it has not really changed in appearance since the Series 1, you can still purchase the meter as a Series 8 for around $300.

There is one issue with the Series 7 , 8 though! 

Previous versions of the 260 used the 4mm female sockets which all multimeter's use today. Yet some bright spark decided in 1980, that using a reverse banana connector or reverse insulated, were by the meter side is male and the test lead end is female was a far safer option. The rational behind this was, if you had the meter connected to a supply under test, if the leads were disconnected, the tests lead plug end maybe be electrically exposed to the user. Thus increasing the potential of electrocution, the meter is rated at 1000v AC/DC after all. This is exactly why we have shrouded test lead plugs today and only the cheapest test leads do not!

While the meter did come with the original perfectly serviceable Simpson 00043 reverse insulated test leads (reverse banana). They are not the best quality at $35, and are probably not even on par with cheap Chinese shrouded leads on eBay. 

SIMPSON - 00043 - Test Probe Ends

Other situations arise also, say if I want to use one of my own test leads. After a lot of searching various forums etc, no ideal or easy solution came to me. Until I stumbled upon a female to female adaptor made by Multicomp. While they are nothing more than a insulated brass ferrules, they solve the problem.


You Can either leave the adaptors in the 260...

Or on the test lead...

If you want a snugger fit you can add some heat shrink.

Better Options: The Big "SOFTIE"

If you are after some quality manufactured silicone Test probes. Probe Master have some great 8013S probes featuring a "90 Deg. Female Safety Banana Jack". 
The cross reference list here, also shows compatibility with  the Simpson 260  7 and 8 series.
And best of all they are only $14.98


Sharp gold plated points
Silicone leads, burn resistant
Soft, comfortable hand grips
Conforms to the shape of your hand
Gold Plated Screw on accessories
48" Long, 18 GA
Seven termination styles to choose from for any application or meter style

I hope to have a pair of the Probe Master 8000 series test leads on the bench soon for testing with the Simpson, if I could only find some in the UK!

If you would like to find out more information regarding Simpson meters is a great source of information.

   Simpson 260 Glamour Shots