Tuesday, October 8, 2013


     I finally downloaded the manual for my (obsolete) 666-R VOM -- Triplett's product support is quite good! -- and loaded batteries for the ohmmeter function (2 AAs and a C).  This puts one more meter on my bench for the ongoing Stancor 10P transmitter project, which has been considerably slowed due to lack of time and energy.  The 666-R is the smaller version of their 630; only 1000 Ohms per Volt but a good, solid meter, well worth owning.  It has the same single range control setup as the larger meter:
     The meter leads are, as you might expect, much newer.  I love old meters but old insulation can ruin your day.  (I'm rebuilding a set with super-sharp phonograph-needle tips, something very useful that you absolutely cannot find today.  Mind you, replacement needles for your Victrola are out there, but the once-common test probes with tiny pin-vise chucks for them are no more, probably because of some kind of product liability issue.  Fluke does make some very sharp add-on probe tips, at least.)

    For the Stancor 10P transmitter, I'm bidding on some more plug-in coils of the 50 Watt, end-linked variety that, if I win them, will help a lot with being able to put it on the 80 and 160 Meter bands.  Finding the end-linked ones has been slow; I have coils for 20, 10 and 5 (!) Meters in decent shape, fixed one for 40 Meters that wasn't, and have a couple more in need of much repair.
     I'm still hoping to put them back into useful shape.  It's slow and fiddly work.


  1. Pomona also makes some nice test leads with wicked sharp points.

    They come in a complete set with screw-on "hook" adapters, and a bunch of other tip adapters for those that aren't so blood thirsty.

  2. I worked for Toledo Scale Co. back in the mid/late 60's and they issued a Triplett 630 to me. Personally, I preferred it to the equivilant Simpson because of the single function/range switch.

    Some years ago, I had my WWII-vintate M5 military genset at a show when a fella walked by with an elderly woman on his arm. He looked at the control panel and said, "Look, Ma, Triplett meters!". Until then, I hadn't noticed that the volt- and amp- meters were Triplett and made in Bryan, OH, about 60 miles from the show grounds. The old lady related how during the War, her sister was shipped to NY State someplace to learn how to work with the jewels in the Triplett meters.

  3. There's an interesting story about Triplett -- the founder was originally a watchmaker and went to work for one of the big OT meter companies (Jewell, I think). While there, he realized they were doing a lot of the meter designs in costly, old-fashioned ways and his watchmaking background led him to propose various changes and simplifications. They weren't at all interested; so he bided his time, saved his money, and eventually moved back to his home town to set up in the meter business using the ideas his former employer rejected. He did quite well.

    The single-control knob on the 630 meter -- and the fact that it is recessed, out of harm's way -- made it a very popular meter with a lot of folks. It's certainly as good as a 260.

    Alas, my little 666-R has a problem: the movement binds if the meter is vertical. It works just fine on its back, so there may be something in the tiny motor that runs the pointer. (Honest, the meter guys call that a motor!) This is usually fiddly to fix, involving toothpicks and very small bits of sticky tape.

  4. I just repaired a Triplett 666-R meter that had broken glass and the bakelite was shattered around the selector shaft, and the needle was bent against the meter face scale. My son used epoxy on the bakelite, I used plexiglas for the glass replacement, and we successfully cleaned up the meter and scale of debris and the needle straightened out. It seems to be accurate so far with a few rudimentary tests.

    So I set him out to verify the resistor values, and most all the resistors are out of place compared to the manual I downloaded. I thought perhaps the selector was inverted. It is not. the schematic seems accurate compared to the resistance readings, but that physical layout error bothers me. Did you go into the components at all?


  5. I just Googled this meter that I've had since I was a kid. I haven't used in probably 20 years. It is still in its plastic bag and has the manual with it too. If someone is interested, I would be willing to let it go for a fair price. Mine appears to be closer to a production date of late 50's, early 60's.
    Josh email- crawler4christ@hotmail.com

  6. I have a 666-R I bought a few years ago, and I'm having a heck of a time installing the batteries. (2 AA & 1 C, correct?)

    They just won't fit into their spots - the spring-loaded contacts are working correctly. I am flummoxed.

    Is there a trick I'm unaware of?

    Thank You!

  7. David, I just saw this, and I have no answer. They dropped right in on mine. Where are they sticking? Too long, too wide...?

    1. Thanks, Roberta. They just won't quite fit into their spots. Possibly a little long?

      When I get back to this (too many projects) I'm going to file down the contacts a bit and see what happens.