Author Topic: List your test equipment "scores" here!  (Read 471583 times)

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Offline james_s

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Re: List your test equipment "scores" here!
« Reply #1225 on: February 27, 2017, 04:04:20 pm »
A GPC-3020 power aupply.

This showed up on EBay as a damaged but functional item. For $40 total including shipping I couldn't resist. I was able to recalibrate everything except for one of the voltmeters. The zero adjust screw won't bring the needle down to the zero position. It's about 1V high. Possibly the big smash that cracked the case also messed up the meter movement.

I might just give this power supply a meter upgrade. For $20 I can replace the analog meters with cheap Chinese digital meters. It would be an easy upgrade since the power transformer has two extra outputs to provide isolated supplies for the ammeters. This power supply had an option for digital meters. It looks like they used the same transformer for both models. I'll have to think about this. It's functional now. It only cost me $40. Add another $20 for digital meters??? Maybe just put a note by the bad meter to remind me that it reads 1V high...

This instrument is a really old design with generic components. The only IC's that I saw were 741 op amps! Other than the custom transformer, I'd have no problems finding replacement parts. Even after an hour long full load test, the transformer was only warm. Instek also produced a 3A version of this power supply. They may have used the same transformer for the 2A and 3A version. If that's the case, the transformer in my my 2A version should last forever. Besides, how often do you run your power supply at full load?

Finally, the last time I was on Ebay there were still a few of these damaged power supplies for sale for $40. You might want to get one before they're gone.

You might try to pop the face off the meter and see if the calibration crank has popped out of the place it goes in the lever or maybe the pointer is bent near the base. It's hard to find nice analog meters these days, I actually like a good analog meter better than a cheap digital one in most cases. You generally don't really need super high accuracy in the meter on a power supply.
 

Offline lmester

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Re: List your test equipment "scores" here!
« Reply #1226 on: February 28, 2017, 12:55:36 am »
Well, I dont dislike CRTs in general, first of all. But they, sadly, are no longer being made - so to keep instruments alive, one will need to go LCD one day. Also, less weight, less heat dissipation and stuff ;)

CRT's are certainly a problem. Unfortunately, not the biggest problem. You at least have a chance of getting a NOS or used CRT for a replacement. For some high end equipment, LCD retrofits are available now. Do an internet search for "NewScope LCD kit".

The big problem is one that's been happening for years. Older equipment quite often had ASIC's and other parts that are no longer available.  Now we have a lot of equipment with FPGA's and microcontrollers. The problem is now custom firmware.  A replacement IC may still be available. You'll have little chance of getting the firmware to program it.

I hope we don't have more "ROM rot" problems like some of the old HP equipment. After 30 years, the data in the PROM's starts to fade away. It'd be really nasty if FPGA's data started to go poof!

In the future we'll be doing more and more repairs by stripping parts from donor equipment.


Also, I bought another power supply. I'll post some pictures after it arrives. I'm going to need to join the TEA thread before I'm too far gone :( It might already be too late  :P

 
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Offline james_s

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Re: List your test equipment "scores" here!
« Reply #1227 on: February 28, 2017, 03:36:21 am »
FPGAs are not really the problem, the configuration data is internally loaded into static RAM at powerup, the bitstream is stored in an external configuration ROM and that is a concern over the long term. Then again, if the FPGA fails and you can't get the source that produced the configuration bitstream then it will have to be replaced with an identical FPGA. ROM rot in microcontrollers that are locked to prevent firmware extraction is going to be a real issue I think. ASICs are an even bigger problem, I'm reminded of the Tek scopes with the custom hybrids that fail.
 

Offline Ysjoelfir

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Re: List your test equipment "scores" here!
« Reply #1228 on: February 28, 2017, 08:19:59 am »
Lets do a guessing game :) Last week I scored a nice piece of vintage equipment at ebay for 30€ + pickup around 25km away.
What have I got? :)

Shouldn't be too hard to guess, even the model could be somehow easy.
Greetings, Kai \ Ysjoelfir
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Offline Vgkid

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Re: List your test equipment "scores" here!
« Reply #1229 on: February 28, 2017, 08:45:07 am »
Lets do a guessing game :) Last week I scored a nice piece of vintage equipment at ebay for 30€ + pickup around 25km away.
What have I got? :)

Shouldn't be too hard to guess, even the model could be somehow easy.
Your pictures aren't loading. So no clue :-//
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Offline sorenkir

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Re: List your test equipment "scores" here!
« Reply #1230 on: February 28, 2017, 08:50:38 am »
Invisibility Cloak (in good working order) !
 
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Offline Ysjoelfir

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Re: List your test equipment "scores" here!
« Reply #1231 on: February 28, 2017, 09:06:39 am »
 :palm: Correct, an invisibility cloak! (*mumbles* stupid apple egg tablet crap thing, never does what I want... *tries uploading again*)

edit: seems to have worked now...
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Offline bsudbrink

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Re: List your test equipment "scores" here!
« Reply #1232 on: February 28, 2017, 09:16:14 am »
Yup.  Definitely a cloaking device.  Of the type Captain Kirk first stole from the Romulans.  You can tell by the Dilithium crystals in those little glowing canisters.   :-DD
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: List your test equipment "scores" here!
« Reply #1233 on: February 28, 2017, 09:31:56 am »
That looks like an old Tek scope. I never knew such machines had a spool of spare solder inside. Cool  :-+
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline apelly

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Re: List your test equipment "scores" here!
« Reply #1234 on: February 28, 2017, 09:38:11 am »
That looks like an old Tek scope. I never knew such machines had a spool of spare solder inside. Cool  :-+
It's high silver content solder for use on their ceramic terminal strips. Apparently normal tin/lead damages the bond to the ceramic. I think all their scopes came with a bit.
I'd rather a Google clue, link, or some theory than "do this" (generally)
 

Offline lowimpedance

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Re: List your test equipment "scores" here!
« Reply #1235 on: February 28, 2017, 09:38:41 am »
Tek 556 ?? . All the old TEK space heaters of this vintage were supplied with a small spool of this silver loaded solder for the inevitable repair not involving a bottle swap :D.
The odd multimeter or 2 or 3 or 4...or........can't remember !.
 

Offline Cubdriver

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Re: List your test equipment "scores" here!
« Reply #1236 on: February 28, 2017, 09:41:12 am »
Well, I know it's not a Tek 545 or 575, so that eliminates two possibilities...

Nice to see that the solder spool wasn't pilfered from it.

-Pat
If it jams, force it.  If it breaks, you needed a new one anyway...
 

Offline Cubdriver

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Re: List your test equipment "scores" here!
« Reply #1237 on: February 28, 2017, 09:46:33 am »
Not a 506, 515A or 531A either....   :-//

(nor a 310)

-Pat
If it jams, force it.  If it breaks, you needed a new one anyway...
 

Offline DaJMasta

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Re: List your test equipment "scores" here!
« Reply #1238 on: February 28, 2017, 01:25:31 pm »
Got a pair of Symmetricom TimeSource 3500s off ebay in unknown condition but local enough for me to pick up.  Took 'em apart and the specs were right... I've struck rubidium!





Will be a few days until I have a -48V supply to actually turn them on, but the boards look like they're in good shape, and since they are GPS disciplined rubidium sources, the datasheet says the 10MHz out is good down to 5ppt.  Provided they both work, the price was good, even for parts it may be ok given two rubidium oscillator modules (though they're mounted annoyingly enough that it's really difficult to see what brand they are).
 
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Offline JenniferG

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Re: List your test equipment "scores" here!
« Reply #1239 on: February 28, 2017, 01:35:54 pm »
Won a GPD-3303s power supply today on ebay for $114 plus $30 shipping.  Hope this was a "score".  It's the version without overshoot problem.  Also, allegedly it is in good condition, cosmetic and otherwise.
Test Equip:  Instek 8251a w/ Probemaster 8028S, Commercial Electric MAD830B, Tektronix 2225
Power Supplies: HP 6236B, GPD-3303S (w/o overshoot problem)
Soldering Station:  Hakko 926, Backup: Velleman VTSS5
 

Offline Vgkid

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Re: List your test equipment "scores" here!
« Reply #1240 on: February 28, 2017, 02:05:33 pm »
Got a pair of Symmetricom TimeSource 3500s off ebay in unknown condition but local enough for me to pick up.
Nice I was watching them, wondering when they would sell. Most likely an lpro-101.
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Offline DaJMasta

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Re: List your test equipment "scores" here!
« Reply #1241 on: February 28, 2017, 02:36:06 pm »
Nice I was watching them, wondering when they would sell. Most likely an lpro-101.
[/quote]

There's a chance, but I don't see any images that match up.  The module looks surprisingly like a PRS10, slightly off square and with the same connector in the same orientation, but I'm not sure the mounting holes match, and of course the phase noise spec is like 20-30dB too high for it to be a genuine PRS10  :)

For some reason (probably thermals), the module is wedged in between two thick aluminum plates and the front panel which seem to be permanently connected - no mounting screws but definitely solid in place.  Then there's thermal pads on both sides and the front plate and a cage of screws holding the thing in a cutout in the board.... and at least one of the screws needed to remove the board from the front plate is covered by one of those aluminum brackets sticking off the front.  There's got to be a trick to it, but at least for today it's beyond me.

Also had a loose screw from one of them blocking the sliding out of the second unit, so I had to take the back off, fish around, and eventually finagle the screw out just to open it... the chassis shell is all just riveted aluminum.
 

Offline Vgkid

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Re: List your test equipment "scores" here!
« Reply #1242 on: February 28, 2017, 03:16:31 pm »
I know the 2700 used a prs-10. Google images says that the newer ones used a x72 or its variants.
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Offline VE7FIM

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Re: List your test equipment "scores" here!
« Reply #1243 on: February 28, 2017, 03:32:19 pm »
Nice score on those TimeSource 3500 units!

The Timesource 2700 CDMA units also come with a Rubidium module, and can be had for $150. I have one from a few years back, so I took it down off the shelf and opened it up. 30 screws and one (time) nut later, here's what you get if you buy one of these units:

The Rubidium module itself is a Stanford Research PRS-10, which is a NICE unit. These usually sell for $200, so this is a great deal, just for the module.

The RF front-end is also re-usable, depending on your frequency needs.

Not much else of (easily extractable) value, though.
 

Offline Ysjoelfir

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Re: List your test equipment "scores" here!
« Reply #1244 on: February 28, 2017, 06:33:19 pm »
Tek 556 ??

Nope, I guess SWMBO would kill me if I would get one of those :S

Well, I know it's not a Tek 545 or 575, so that eliminates two possibilities...

Nice to see that the solder spool wasn't pilfered from it.
Not a 506, 515A or 531A either....   :-//

(nor a 310)

-Pat

You were correct, it's none of the mentioned. It's actually a 502A. Thought It could have been guessable as the picture shows no plug-in unit, and there weren't that many Tek tube scopes without plugins iirc :)

Whopping 1MHz at lowest resolution and down to 100kHz at full resolution of .1mV/Div - dual beam with blue phosphor! I like that thing. Sadly, it's not working right now, somehow the timebase is not basing its time, so just two dots are visible. But that sould be fixable.


Just a little overview of the technological progress:


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Offline Cubdriver

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Re: List your test equipment "scores" here!
« Reply #1245 on: February 28, 2017, 06:42:10 pm »
Sweet!  The ones I listed are all I currently have on hand to directly compare it to.  P-11 phosphor, huh?  Nice.  I've got my eye out for one with that, too, but am not holding my breath.  Good luck getting its time base sweeping again.  My fingers are crossed that it's something minor.

-Pat
If it jams, force it.  If it breaks, you needed a new one anyway...
 

Offline bitseeker

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Re: List your test equipment "scores" here!
« Reply #1246 on: March 01, 2017, 10:04:55 am »
Just a little overview of the technological progress:




Nice visual history. Quite the size comparison, too.
I TEA.
 

Offline Cubdriver

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Re: List your test equipment "scores" here!
« Reply #1247 on: March 01, 2017, 11:03:01 am »
I hadn't noticed that.  LOL - screen size is inversely proportional to cabinet size!  Amazing how things have progressed down through the years.  Imagine the exploded heads that would result if you could bring the top one back in time and show it to the guys working with the bottom one!

-Pat
If it jams, force it.  If it breaks, you needed a new one anyway...
 

Offline james_s

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Re: List your test equipment "scores" here!
« Reply #1248 on: March 01, 2017, 11:11:45 am »
I hadn't noticed that.  LOL - screen size is inversely proportional to cabinet size!  Amazing how things have progressed down through the years.  Imagine the exploded heads that would result if you could bring the top one back in time and show it to the guys working with the bottom one!

-Pat

Imagine if I showed my current PC to myself 25 years ago, I'd have needed new underwear. I never would have believed that I'd have 16 gigabytes of RAM and several terabytes of HD space, nevermind the fact that the CPU is thousands of times more powerful and it cost less than half what the PC my family had at the time did. It's actually a much bigger difference than the scopes if you consider the amount of processing power and storage space per unit of volume.
 

Offline Cubdriver

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Re: List your test equipment "scores" here!
« Reply #1249 on: March 01, 2017, 11:39:56 am »
Imagine if I showed my current PC to myself 25 years ago, I'd have needed new underwear. I never would have believed that I'd have 16 gigabytes of RAM and several terabytes of HD space, nevermind the fact that the CPU is thousands of times more powerful and it cost less than half what the PC my family had at the time did. It's actually a much bigger difference than the scopes if you consider the amount of processing power and storage space per unit of volume.

That is quite true.  I remember about ten or fifteen years ago finding a computer magazine from the early 80s (whenever it was that the IBM PC came out and could be had with a hard drive - 84ish??) and reading about the then current systems - IBM PC, whatever the current top Rat Shack TRS-80 was, probably a Commodore something-or-other, and perhaps an Apple II.  I believe at the time I found and read it, HDDs were getting into the 1-2G neighborhood size-wise.  I was amazed at the progress then, in that you could get a 5-1/4" half height drive that held north of a gig for a few hundred bucks, when less than 20 years earlier the option was a 5-1/4" full height unit that held 10 MEGAbytes of storage, and it was $3 or $4k for the drive alone.   :o :o  1/100 of the storage for 10x the price (without compensating for inflation - with inflation it would be what, probably about 20x the price)!

Computers have certainly improved by leaps and bounds over the years.

-Pat
If it jams, force it.  If it breaks, you needed a new one anyway...
 


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