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Steve's Antique Technology, Auburn NY

Supreme Instruments

Supreme Goes To War

During World War II Supreme stepped up production and produced test equipment and panel meters for the war effort. Switching from single assembler to production line methods during the 1940s, Supreme was able to produce thousands of tube testers, VOMs, and meters for the U.S. Army, Air Force, and Navy.

Shown here are some of the Supreme Instruments testers and meters I have collected that were manufactured for the Military.

I-56-K Test Set
The Military Test Set I-56-K shown at right consisted of a single wooden case containing the Model I-176 Test Unit, an I-166 Voltohmmeter, and the I-177 Tube Tester. (all shown below from my collection)
The total weight of the I-56-K loaded was 73 pounds.

Larger Photo

Supreme I-166 Meter Supreme I-166 (1944)
World War II U.S. Army Signal Corps. Volt ohm meter

This meter is one of the units contained in the I-56-K Test Set shown above.
Meter measures: AC Volts, DC Volts, and ohms. It uses a 4.5V battery for the ohms scale.
Unit has a heavy protective coating inside and out to protect it from moisture and to help combat fungus.

   Larger Picture    Inside    ID Plates

I-176 Supreme I-176 (1944)
World War II U.S. Army Signal Corps. High Voltage Multimeter

This meter is another Military tester manufactured by Supreme for the war effort. This meter is also one of the units contained in the I-56-K Test Set shown above.
Meter measures: AC and DC Volts, Ohms, Current, and contains high voltage probes for measurements up to 5,000 volts.
Meter is housed in a heavy steel case.
This unit has all the original manuals, probes and the spare rectifier that was issued with the meter for field replacement.

   Larger Picture
   Front Panel
   ID Plate
   Schematic and Manual

Supreme I-177 B Military Tube Tester
This is one of the tube testers that I use on my workbench today. The I-177s were built for the military by several manufacturers. This is a "Mutual Conductance" tube tester capable of testing most of the tubes produced from early 4 pin UV/UX vacuum tubes through tubes manufactured up to the 1950s. This is an excellent tube tester for working on antique radios.
I-177 B Manual and Tube Data
Supreme I-177 B

Military 542 Meter
542 Meter
Moisture and fungus proofed.
Supreme 542 Multimeter
This small Supreme Model 542 multimeter was produced in large numbers during the 1940s. It's face is only 6"x3".
Meter measures:
AC Volts/DB with 6V,30V,150V, & 600V ranges.
DC Volts with 6V,150V,300V, & 1,500V ranges.
Milliamps with .3 ma, 6 ma, 30 ma, & 150 ma ranges.
There is no selector for ranges. Each range has it's own pin socket.
The military version was moisture and fungus proofed.
After the war this meter was a popular meter for field service use by telephone repairmen.
Military 542
Photo of side plate
Metal case Telco version with a flip down steel cover to protect the meter face.
1946 Catalog Description & Photos

WWII Panel Meters
WWII Panel Meters
Supreme Panel Meters
were manufactured in large numbers for the war effort.

Shown are a set of WWII era 2¼" milliamp meters in 0-50ma, 0-200ma, and 0-300ma ranges.
Larger photo

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