Panel Meters

We started importing quality instruments in the 1950s, and have developed specialized expertise and testing equipment over this time. We supply a full range of quality analogue and digital panel meters. These typically include Moving Iron and Moving Coil Voltmeters and Ammeters, 250° instruments, Maximum Demand Ammeters, Power Factor Meters, Frequency Meters, Wattmeter’s, and Messcontactor Contact Making Instruments. We also do Digital instruments and Synchronizing instruments. We have facilities to test and calibrate all the instruments in-house. We can custom make the Scales for your application if required.

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The D'Arsonval galvanometer is a moving coil ammeter. It uses magnetic deflection, where current passing through a coil placed in the magnetic field of a permanent magnet causes the coil to move. The modern form of this instrument was developed by Edward Weston, and uses two spiral springs to provide the restoring force. The uniform air gap between the iron core and the permanent magnet poles make the deflection of the meter linearly proportional to current. These meters have linear scales.

Because the magnetic field is polarised, the meter needle acts in opposite directions for each direction of current. A DC ammeter is thus sensitive to which way round it is connected; most are marked with a positive terminal, but some have centre-zero mechanisms and can display currents in either direction. A moving coil meter indicates the average (mean) of a varying current through it, which is zero for AC. For this reason moving-coil meters are only usable directly for DC, not AC.

This type of meter movement is extremely common for both ammeters and other meters derived from them, such as voltmeters and ohmmeters.


Moving iron ammeters use a piece of iron which moves when acted upon by the electromagnetic force of a fixed coil of wire. The moving-iron meter was invented by Austrian engineer Friedrich Drexler in 1884. This type of meter responds to both direct and alternating currents (as opposed to the moving-coil ammeter, which works on direct current only). The iron element consists of a moving vane attached to a pointer, and a fixed vane, surrounded by a coil. As alternating or direct current flows through the coil and induces a magnetic field in both vanes, the vanes repel each other and the moving vane deflects against the restoring force provided by fine helical springs. The deflection of a moving iron meter is proportional to the square of the current. Consequently, such meters would normally have a non linear scale, but the iron parts are usually modified in shape to make the scale fairly linear over most of its range. Moving iron instruments indicate the RMS value of any AC waveform applied. Moving iron ammeters are commonly used to measure current in industrial frequency AC circuits.


An electrodynamic ammeter uses an electromagnet instead of the permanent magnet of the d'Arsonval movement. This instrument can respond to both alternating and direct current and also indicates true RMS for AC. See Wattmeter for an alternative use for this instrument.