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The Solution to Your Analog Meter Woes

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TonyTib
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CEO
Re: Vintage Meter Repair at "Vintage" Costs?
TonyTib   10/13/2014 11:59:58 AM
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One solution for a grand old meter like this is to keep the case and the faceplate, but swap out the movement for a microservo...

Or small stepper motor.  IIRC, many analog automotive needles are driven by small stepper motors, which is why a lot of dashboard-oriented MCUs from the likes of Fujitsu (probably Spansion parts now) include several small stepper drivers on board.

metersales
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Blogger
Re: Lighting meters
metersales   10/13/2014 11:37:40 AM
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@perl_geek: you can have translucent acrylic laser cut these days for pretty cheap.  That is a good way to backlight.  The other option is to conduct the light to the front of the dial, which is not always possible.

metersales
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Blogger
Re: Vintage Meter Repair at "Vintage" Costs?
metersales   10/13/2014 11:31:07 AM
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@Douglas442: LED illumination is something that can be experimented with.  The trick is the have a clean, open work environment that you can work safely and deliberately with the meter movement.  Even bending the pointer changes the accuracy, as you will never be able to bend it exactly back into position.  There are a two different approaches to lighting, direct and conducted.  They each have their pro's and cons.  It is nice to have an empty meter case to play with, so as not to leave the vulnerable meter out in the open.

Ian Johns
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Rookie
Re: Meter repairs
Ian Johns   10/11/2014 8:49:38 PM
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@David - thanks. I'd forgotten about Wiltronics. I see they have the full range of Raspberry Pi things. At work we're looking into the Raspberri Pi for some projects. I've got one up & running already.

For components we go straight to Farnell (sorry E14). Whilst they can be expensive, the alternative of looking at anyone else means that the cost of the time taken to look around can swallow up the price difference.

Douglas442
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Rookie
Re: Vintage Meter Repair at "Vintage" Costs?
Douglas442   10/11/2014 8:42:12 PM
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"One solution for a grand old meter like this is to keep the case and the faceplate, but swap out the movement for a microservo..."

 

Aha! An interesting idea!...

 

... I'd better return this hamster back to the shop, then.

 

Clive
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Rookie
Re: Vintage Meter Repair at "Vintage" Costs?
Clive "Max" Maxfield   10/11/2014 12:29:59 PM
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@Douglas: Nevertheless! I WILL get this thing working again, somehow... even if I have to push the needle pneumatically! Hamster in a turn-wheel! Anything!

One solution for a grand old meter like this is to keep the case and the faceplate, but swap out the movement for a microservo...

Douglas442
User Rank
Rookie
Re: Vintage Meter Repair at "Vintage" Costs?
Douglas442   10/11/2014 7:50:04 AM
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@metersales: Thanks for your response! But... oh, well.

 

What a sad fate for something that looks so great and which, judging by it's markings, served it's time in the U.S. Navy.

 

Nevertheless! I WILL get this thing working again, somehow... even if I have to push the needle pneumatically! Hamster in a turn-wheel! Anything!

 

In the meantime...... it will make a nice bookend.

 

LED edge-lighting? Any chance for a DIY kit for those willing to take the risk of opening up their own meters ( ... now, where did I put that dandruff shampoo? ...oh... right... almost not enough hair left to make it worthwhile. )?

David Ashton
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Blogger
Re: Meter repairs
David Ashton   10/11/2014 4:18:57 AM
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Ian - another Aussie supplier I like is Wiltronics - I got onto them because they have lots of Picaxe stuff, but they also do Arduinos and accessories (incl Adafruit and Sparkfun stuff) and all sorts of Lab equipment as well as a very good selection the usual components - even things like Nichrome and constantan wire.

David Ashton
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Blogger
Re: Meter repairs
David Ashton   10/10/2014 9:21:22 PM
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@Ian - Oatley Electronics - thanks for that, have not seen them before, just bounced over there and they do indeed have some nice goodies.

Ian Johns
User Rank
Rookie
Re: Meter repairs
Ian Johns   10/10/2014 8:47:06 PM
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@David - have you seen Oatley Electronics oatleyelectronics.com? Lots of odd-ball stuff. We're spoilt in Canberra - 2 Jaycar stores. Thumbs up for Rockby.

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