Products > Test Equipment

Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread

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* About TEA: How it started, additional resources, Discord live sessions
* Post Icons: Common images/icons used in posts
* Points of Interest: An index of notable posts, teardowns, repairs, show-n-tells
* Glossary of Terms, Conditions, Causes, and Effects: Find out what ails you (and what thread members are talking about)

About TEA

This was the official TEA (Test Equipment Anonymous) house for everyone who has GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). The new TEA House is at

Share your stories of woe, trying to manage all the wonderful test gear you keep scoring. Maybe group therapy will cure you. Then, again, maybe not. Well, as long as you enjoy it, what's one more multimeter in the grand scheme of things?

Just remember that when you have too many, another one doesn't make the problem any worse.

TEA Around the Web
* The Official TEA server on Discord: Live text & voice chat. "TEA Time" chat every Saturday @ 21:00 UTC. Glossophobic? No problem! Just listen in to the banter or participate in the text-only channel, #teatime.
* TEA on The Amp Hour podcast #470 @ ~15:30. "Ah, test gear. It's a sickness. You should join the Test Gear[sic] Anonymous thread on the EEVblog forum."
* "The test equipment dark web..." tweeted on Jan 6, 2021 by Dave Jones. Also screenshotted in the TEA thread.
* EEVblog #1410 - Mailbag mentioned at 10:35 in reference to the TEA sign in Tony Albus's lab pics. Also, thread linked in the video description.
* EEVblog #1414 - Turning it up to 11 mentioned at 10:45, "There's even a Test Equipment Anonymous, ah, in case you've got, you know, psychological problems collecting test equipment, which is quite common."
The Genesis of TEA
In the "List your test equipment "scores" here!" thread, someone had asked what the 12 steps program was like.

1. Join EEVblog
2. Score some test gear
3. Post about your test equipment scores
4. Buy more test gear
10. Buy yet more test gear
11. Join TEA
12. Build your first circuit :-DD

which Pat kindly expanded upon

--- Quote from: Cubdriver on January 15, 2017, 09:19:17 am ---Here - as a certifiable TGAS sufferer (who am I kidding - I'm not suffering - I enjoy it!!) - let me flesh that ellipsis section out:

5. Buy op/service manuals for test gear on evilBay
6. Troubleshoot test gear
7. Seek out obsolete/discontinued components to repair test gear  |O
8. Read nixie thread and/or look at old HP Instrumentation catalogs   >:D >:D >:D >:D
9. Repeat steps 2 through 7, now searching for older, heavier, more expensive to ship things   :o 
12. Buy or build more shelves to hold test gear   :-+
13. (or later) - build first circuit   :-DD :-DD


--- End quote ---

followed by Sean

--- Quote from: SeanB on January 15, 2017, 10:04:46 am ---14. Repeat steps 2 to 12 numerous times, either till the house is full ( then move to a bigger house) or the wife leaves.

--- End quote ---

and then, Berni

--- Quote from: Berni on January 15, 2017, 11:52:24 am ---Today i just filled the last spot in my 42U high rack cabinet by adding in a Gigatronics 6100 8GHz synthesizer that managed to repair at 2 in the morning. :-+
but i also scored a Tektronix pattern generator for 40 bucks on ebay a few days ago. :-\

For me it mostly started as getting the test gear i needed for a better price since quality brand new gear costs a fortune. But in order to find a good deal on places like ebay means looking trough a lot of pages and keeping eyes open, as good deals go fast, but along the way one keeps coming across other gear that you perhaps don't need right now but it would be neat to have. But hey all this test gear is useful for doing work and you can always sell it (If done right for more than what you payed for it)... tho i only ever sold 1 piece of test equipment so far (And lost money on it cause i bought it new).

Still better than collecting stamps (Tho they are easier to ship overseas il give them that)

--- End quote ---

What's your story?

See also:

TEA Anthem

"...Mirrors on the ceiling,
and pink champagne on ice.
Then she said,
'We are all just prisoners here; of our own device...'"

(Hotel California video removed since YouTube keeps deleting them)

"...'Relax' said the night man,
'We are programmed to receive.
You can check out any time you like,
But you can never leave...'"

The Myriad Maxims to Maximally Master TEAcquisition

1. Test equipment (TE) will expand to fill all space available. And then some.
2. It's never "just a blown fuse."
3. That bodge will come back to bite you in the ass.
4. The availability of service documentation varies inversely with your current level of diagnostic frustration.
5. There's always more to fix than you first think.
6. Thou shalt use a probe prophylactic.
7. There is no substitute for exhaustive burn-in testing.
8. The TE you have on hand is never the TE you need to fix the TE you want.
9. Capacitors are Murphy's footsoldiers.
10. The adhesive used to apply a label is always stronger than the label itself.
11. Masochism is endemic, perhaps even mandatory.
12. To get the best deals, you have to be prepared to walk away.
43. Never buy the cheapest chinesium, unless it is for explosion investigation purposes.
99. Want > Have > Need

Related TEA principles

TEA Songs
* Welcome to the T E A forum
* Another Brick in the Wall (of Test Equipment)
* On the Page 2525
* Boot to the Head (TEA edition)
* The Days of Papa "Tek" Smurf
* If I Had an N-plug
TEA Mascot
"...down the rabbit hole..."

Wallace (demigod of tinkering), the Patron Saint of TEA

We all know Gromit is the smart one, though.

Post Icons
This section contains icons that are used as awards, post categories, and the like. To use one, right click on the desired icon, copy its URL (a.k.a., image location) to the clipboard, then paste it at the beginning of your post using the image bbCode. (If you quote this post, you can see how it's done to display the icons in this section.)

Boat anchor warning: Indicates that the post is about big, heavy test equipment.

Drool!: Lusting after some test gear or envious of a fellow TEA member's recent score? This is your icon.

Jammy Git award: Because nothing goes better with TEA than Jam & Biscuits, the "Jammy Git" award — our equivalent of a Daytime Emmy — is awarded to the holder of the latest, most egregiously "I got a steal of a deal" post in the TEA thread, with the more drama the better. It changes hands often, but there seem to be a few regular "repeat offenders." Be on the lookout. (Larger 120x120 icon for more drama!)

Points of Interest
Following is a growing index of posts within this thread that are noteworthy, interesting, TEA-inducing, or otherwise worthy of a look. If you have a nomination to be added, PM me or put it in a reply to this thread with the associated URL to the post of interest.

Test Equipment
* A wall of HP Nixie tube test equipment (and one that's a little different)
* Fluke 8300A rack-mount Nixie multimeter teardown (pristine!)
* DIY equipment replacement handle (good use of webbing)
* DIY power meter probe (save $$$)
* Custom-machined enclosure for DPS5015 power supply (so much aluminiminimum)
* HP 6114A precision DC power supply repair
* Repairing an oscilloscope knob shaft via splice & solder
* Philips PM2421 Nixie multimeter teardown
* Advance Type 63A FM/AM signal generator
* Leader 17A signal generator teardown
* GW Instek GVT-417 teardown
* Tektronix 2465 teardown & instrument record with original factory sign-offs
* A peek inside a Tektronix 115 pulse generator
* Dumont 765H "Portascope" (brochure/manual pics)
* The collection of the admin for a Vintage Tek Facebook group
* Systron/Donner 7050 DMM
* Tektronix 576 and Heathkit IT-1121 curve tracers
* HP ET8036 and ET-6585 variacs
* Zenith variac teardown
* Metrix MX52 tear down
* QRP Labs QSX transceiver with built in SA and tracking generator
* HP test equipment wallpapers[2]
* HP 53132A with option 124 teardown
* HP 141S spectrum analyzer teardown
* Racal 9915 with 9442 OCXO teardown
* VK5RC's wall of Nixie gear powered up
* Keithley 610CR electrometer teardown
* HP 6227B dual DC power supply teardown
* HP 6209B 320V DC power supply teardown
* Racal SA535 teardown
* HP 400E teardown
* Solartron/Schlumberger 7150 Plus teardown
* Racal-Dana 9008A modulation meter
* Custom blower fabrication for Tek 2465
* HP 3310A innards
* Boeschert power supply for HP 53310A
* Tektronix 191 constant amplitude signal generator teardown, 2, 3, 4
* Marconi TF2015 signal generator teardown
* Philips PM2454 teardown
* Boonton 4300 power meter
* Solartron/Schlumberger 7150
* Solartron/Schlumberger A200 Nixie multimeter
* HP 6215A power supply innards
* Tektronix 2465 vs 2465B enclosures/panels
* Solartron/Schlumberger 7061 multimeter
* Tektronix 7904 oscilloscope
* Solartron/Schlumberger 7060 multimeter
* Solartron/Schlumberger 7045 multimeter
* Dumont 274-A Oscillograph (a.k.a., oscilloscope) (manuals, more info)
* Heath EU-80A voltage reference
* Solartron/Schlumberger 7050 multimeter
* Klein+Hummel Röhrenvoltmeter VTVMs: RV-12, RV 12 or RV-11
* Airflow Instrumentation LCA6000 Airflow meter
* ESI SV-194B Voltage Calibrator
* Heathkit OL-1 teardown
* Heathkit S-3 Electronic Switch
* Tektronix T932
* Fluke 1953A counter timer
* HP 3310B function generator
* Tektronix 191 constant amplitude signal generator
* Tektronix 485 oscilloscope
* Fluke 7260A frequency counter
* Fluke 1912A multi-counter cont'd
* HP 3456A digital voltmeter
* Leader LTC-905 curve tracer
* Rohde & Schwarz VTVM, type URU 1080BN
* HP 5221A DIY internal crystal clock upgrade
* Dana 5330 digital voltmeter
* Heathkit V-7A VTVM
* HP K20-5280A reversible counter, with preset
* Substitute for HP 1820-0732 IC in HP K20-5280A
* HP 618B SHF signal generator
* HP HP 974a multimeter
* Meratronik V540 teardown
* Tektronix 106 square wave generator, and another one
* Tektronix 549 storage oscilloscope
* HP 200CD oscillator
* HP 4329A high resistance meter
* HP 3410A AC microvoltmeter teardown, 2, 3, 4, demo
* HP 8566B spectrum analyzer, documentation (New old stock!)
* DIY AC option for HP 204B oscillator
* Hantek 8022BL teardown
* Tektronix 535A restoration, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, power supply schematic
* Schlumberger 7081 precision voltmeter (8.5 digits!), 2
* ESI Dekapot DP311
* General Radio 1192-B counter
* HP 8920A communication analyzer
* Kikusui PMC350-0.2A power supply
* HP 3325A function generator
* HP 5334A universal counter (OCXO upgrade)
* Fluke/Philips PM6681 high-resolution programmable timer/counter/analyzer
* Agilent E8510A LAN/GPIB gateway
* Gertsch RatioTran RT-18R ratio transformer
* Yamaha PT-3 tuner (oscilloscope)
* DER DE5000 LCR meter
* Hameg HM 307 oscilloscope, 2
* Cossor Pikoskop oscilloscope
* Scopex 14D-10 oscilloscope, 2
* UM25C USB voltage/current tester
* HP 3400A RMS voltmeter, 2
* Tektronix 2445 oscilloscope, 2
* Fluke 8600A multimeter
* Thurlby CM200 capacitance meter
* Tektronix spectrum analyzer models & options
* Rapid 85-0716 (Extech EX530) handheld DMM
* Tektronix Type 114 pulse generator, 2
* Good Will GOS-310 oscilloscope, 2
* HP 1120A 500 MHz probe
* HP 1105A pulse generator
* Fluke 895A DC differential voltmeter
* ESI DP1311 Dekapot
* Advance J2B AF signal generator
* Fluke 8505A multimeter
* Power Designs 2005A precision power supply, and another
* Cropico ESC1 1V voltage standard
* HP 3478A digital multimeter, 2
* HP 4332A LCR meter, 2
* Philips PM3230 dual-beam oscilloscope
* Heathkit IG-4244 oscilloscope calibrator
* Fluke 750A reference divider
* Keithley 155 null detector microvoltmeter
* Black Star 4503 intelligent multimeter service manual
* Kontron / Tabor Electronics DMM 4021
* Yokogawa Electric Works Model 2441 multimeter
* Yokogawa 2558 AC voltage current standard
* Lafayette Lab-Tester 99-5065
* A tale of two, no make that three, HP 8110A pulse generators
* Grundig UZ 56 universal counter (Universalzähler)
* Hameg / Rohde & Schwarz 8112-3 precision multimeter
* Rohde & Schwarz NGB 32/10 Stromversorgung (power supply), 2
* Rohde & Schwarz NGT 20 power supply
* Racal Dana 9904M universal counter
* HP 5326B universal counter, earlier model
* Mastech MS8911 LCR tweezer
* Rohde & Schwarz FER BN 4721 counter
* Hitachi VC-5470 portable oscilloscope
* HP 5316A universal counter
* HP 54645 100 MHz oscilloscope, 2, 3
* HP 6205B dual DC power supply, 2
* Rohde & Schwarz UGZ BN 1100 voltmeter
* Lyons Instruments PG73N bipolar pulse generator
* SMtechno SPT-5010A withstanding voltage tester
* Yokogawa DL1200A oscilloscope
* Philips PM6645 frequency counter
* Sorensen XPD60-9 power supply
* Tektronix 495P programmable spectrum analyzer
* Keithley 610CR electrometer, 2, 3
* Upgrading firmware on Agilent E4411B
* HP 419A null meter, 2
* Keithley 616 electrometer
* HP 5328A universal counter
* HP 5381A 80 MHz frequency counter display replacement
* Tektronix 575 transistor curve tracer, 2
* Rapco 1804P6 GPSDO
* HP 3311A function generator
* HP 5334B universal counter
* Racal 9839 UHF frequency meter
* Siemens Rel. send. 22b
* HP 8015A Pulse Gen
* Anritsu MG3633 signal generator
* Fluke 5101B Calibrator
* Rohde & Schwarz NGU laboratory power supply
* TA520 Time Interval Analyzer
* Soviet ТЛ-4М (ТL-4М) voltmeter
* Metrix Wobuloscope, [2]
* HP 207A sweep oscillator, [2], [3]
* IBM/Tektronix 453 oscilloscope
* HP 3480B/3481A voltmeter, [2], [3]
* LEM Memobox 800
* Harrison 802B PSU
* Tektronix 321 oscilloscope, [2]
* Rohde & Schwarz Vacuum Tube Meter URI 1050BN
* LeCroy waveRunner 6100 DSO
* Tektronix RM564
* Rochar Fréquencemètre A.1360 C frequency counter, [2], [3]
* Tektronix Type 109 Pulse Generator
* HP 181T oscilloscope (actually spectrum analyzer frame) with 1801A four channel input & 1825A delaying timebase plug-ins
* HP 745A AC calibrator
* HP 4342A Q-Meter, [2], [3]
* Tektronix 502A oscilloscope, [2], [3], [4]
* Yokogawa/HP 4350A high capacitance meter
* HP 5340A frequency counter, [2], [3], [4], [5]
Electronics Miscellany
* Dot-matrix LED character displays: 1
* T12 soldering stations, irons, tips, and more (many posts of info) 1, 2
* Good, inexpensive PCB holder ($12!)
* Best place/price for meter calibration in the UK
* Dim-bulb tester from miscellaneous parts
* The ultimate neat and tidy workshop/lab
* Test leads, patch cables, wires, connectors: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
* Russian tunnel diodes and their characteristics
* Making modern Nixie tubes from scratch
* Making a wire element Pilotron
* med6753's 190 mV/1.9 V/19 V and 190 V DC references
* Inside a Cambridge ratio box
* Surplus Sales of Nebraska: All kinds of mains plugs and sockets including unusual ones used on old test equipment.
* Info on PH-163 (oval, grounded) power cords/sockets: Volex Cord.pdf (94 KB), Alpha 543.pdf (95 KB)
* Digital Museum of Plugs and Sockets
* Krylon Gloss Bahama Sea (substitute paint for Tektronix blue)
* Oscilloscope probe tests: part 1, 2, 3, 4
* JRC (Japan Radio Company) NRD-353D communications receiver
* HP models and serial number prefixes: What they really mean, alternative definition, Harrison/HP serial numbers
* Good RF/coaxial connector & adapter brands
* Some big vacuum tubes (electron tubes, choobs, valves, etc.): E 80 CC/6085, EF 12K, Siemens RS684, GU-81M
* Thermo-ionic valves/tubes: Lighthouse 2C40, Gammatron VT-127A, RCA 6499
* Radio/microwave tubes: JAN Sylvania 1625/VT-136, RCA JAN CRC-832A, Westinghouse WL-417, JAN GL-446A, JAN RCA 8025, and more
* Yaesu FTDX-101MP, 2
* Custom Nixie tube for Keysight Technologies
* Stubborn keypad/remote control carbon pad restoration (clean with IPA before trying this)
* RAL K7 equivalent colors for HP equipment
* Working at the Philips factory in the good old days
* Generic EPROM eraser
* 15 GHz microwave amplifier (high-res)
* Tinsley Phase Splitting & Changeover Board Type 5140
* Pioneer VSX-3800 receiver
* ESI DS1464
* Collection of ESI SR1010 resistors

* The official and facetious "TEA 12-step (at least) program"
* Chestnuts roasting, TEA-style (i.e., a Merry TEAmas poem)
* Military aircraft/airshow (mid-air closeups)
* When TEA and boating collide
* Shuttleworth evening air show (May 19, 2018) and North Weald Airfield (May 20, 2018)
* Tales of Cerebus: Part 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 1, 2, 3, 3.1/Epilogue (by mnementh & Cerebus; inspired by this post)
* New York Airshow at Stewart Airport in Newburgh, NY
* A Dog's Diary vs. A Cat's Diary (or A Brief Study of the Psychology of Cats & Dogs)
* Don't waste the heat from vacuum tubes (a.k.a., tightie whities on flying wires)
* Teksisyphus, Blue Teksisyphus
* More military aircraft, 2
* Med and Mrs. Scope, 2 (high-res)
* The state of the TEA thread as of August 2020
* List of high quality tool manufacturers

Glossary of Terms, Conditions, Causes, and Effects

See the next post, below.

Points of Interest (continued)
Following is the continuation of a growing index of posts within this thread that are noteworthy, interesting, TEA-inducing, or otherwise worthy of a look. If you have a nomination to be added, PM me or put it in a reply to this thread with the associated URL to the post of interest.

Test Equipment
* Metrix type 920 RF generator, [2], [3]
* Tektronix Type 1121 Amplifier, [2]
* Yokogawa/HP YHP 4440B decade capacitor
* Metrix MX 554 bench DMM, [2]
* HP 8052A impulse sound level meter
* Keithley 617 electrometer
* Rohde & Schwarz UVN BN 12001 Millivoltmeter
* Rohde & Schwarz ADS dual channel arbitrary waveform generator
* Continued in the next post, below
* Nordmende DIVO 3355 digital multimeter
* Tektronix Type 105 square wave generator, [2]
* Ferisol Type HA300B, [2], [3]
* HP 8904A synthesizer generator
* Thandar SC110 mini portable scope
* Farnell E 350 power supply
* Keithley 225 current source
* Tektronix 180A Time Mark Generator [2]
* Tektronix 422 oscilloscope with AC/DC power option [2]
* Rochar Nixie DMM (Model A.1135, B and D) [2] [3]
* Agilent 6653A power supply
* Thandar TF100 universal counter/timer
* Tektronix RM17 oscilloscope
* HP 208A test oscillator
* Black Star Jupiter 2010 function generator
* HP 427A voltmeter
* Kepco BOP 50-8M bipolar operational power supply/amplifier
* Meterman HD115B multimeter
* HP 54645D MSO oscilloscope
* Advance Instruments DMM2 multimeter, 2
* Heath Zenith SP-2717A regulated high-voltage power supply
* Anritsu MS610B spectrum analyzer
* Datron 1071 Autocal Digital Multimeter, 2, 3, 4, 5
* Marconi 2022E signal generator
* Systron Donner 7005A digital multimeter
* Iwatsu SC-340 scope calibrator
* HP 34750A/34702A DMM
* OR-X 311 function generator
* Gossen Konstanter T4 K 80 R 1
* HP 5210A frequency meter, 2
* Systron Donner 6016 frequency counter, 2
Glossary of Terms, Conditions, Causes, and Effects

A brief introduction to the affliction and its vocabulary, by Mark G0MGX


* ACCD: Accessory Collection Completeness Disorder - The unattenuated need to have every last bit of accessory that was ever made/will be made/could be made for a particular bit of TE. Often accompanied by shameless exhibitions of NEAT; particularly with regards every last bit of accessory kept in appropriate, often custom-fitted storage cases. (see also: NEAT)
* ALDERAAN: Accessible Location of Disused Equipment Ready And Available Now - A code word used when members of a TEA group wish to quickly and inconspicuously communicate interest in a viable source of gear, e.g., "I've just found a new Alderaan." To outsiders, the reference is dismissed as one related to the Star Wars franchise, a perception which is further reinforced with the fate of each Alderaan having strong similarities, namely, the scattering of all the constituent parts to leave nothing behind. These similarities and the use of actual names of the equipment allow for open discussion to be attributed to being more Star Wars banter by those unfamiliar with TEA and GAS.
* Bait Theory: The bait theory of equipment acquisition states that if you want something but can't find it, start collecting all of the parts, documents, etc., that you will need to repair and/or operate it. Somewhere out there, there is a broken device that "knows" that you have the parts to fix it and it will find its way to you.
* BaSOwItSeF: Bought a Second One with Intent to Sell the First - Usually occurs when you see a listing for an item that is cheaper, in better condition, newer, etc. than the one you already have. This act has been known to recur, resulting in more than two of the same item.
* BBBAB: Bit By the Boat Anchor Bug - When a sufferer of TEA realizes that they find boat anchor (i.e., large, vintage equipment) gear strongly appealing, which leads to one or more other syndromes.
* BCCS: Burning Credit Card Syndrome - A precursor to DBA.
* BDADD: Bouncing Digit Attention Deficit Disorder - When you don't hear your wife/kids/boss calling your name because you're too busy watching those digits flip on a stack of such instruments and trying to figure out the pattern; or because you just noticed that two or more of them seem to be in sync. (see also: FDDS, FDDAS)
* BISCUITS: Bugs Include Sub-standard Capacitors & Unbelievably Inept Through-hole Soldering. "I just got this power supply from AliExpress, but found out it's BISCUITS."
* BLIND: Buying Low Is Never Detrimental - Unlike rose-colored glasses, going TEA BLIND when a good deal is on the table rarely works against you. Even if the purchase doesn't do what you hoped, it can fund the next, better piece of test equipment.
* BNP:  Brand Name Psychosis - An obsession with test equipment from a particular manufacturer who is typically really expensive.
* BOGUS: Better Old Gear Upgrade Syndrome - Buying another of the same piece of used test equipment because it's in better condition than your current one.
* BOT:  Boundaries Of Toleration.  The limits of acceptability for the physical and/or financial impact of one's hobby - as defined by other members of the household.
* BSOD: Bright Shiny Object Disorder - A sub-syndrome of TEAS
* BUSTED: Bought Unnecessary Shitload of Test Equipment Devices

* CAF: Constant Acquisition Fatigue - Counteracts the effects of TEA, which can protect one from BCCS and DBA. The effects of CAF are usually temporary. Antonym: deCAF
* CAFE: Caught Again Finding Equipment - When your other half walks in and chastises you for being on eBay again having a COFFEE or, even worse, right in the middle of making a TEA!
* CAM: Costly Accessory Mania - The urge to have all the expensive bells & whistles on a piece of TE, or ACCD.
* CAP: Costly Accessory Phobia - Counteracts the effects of TEA.
* CCC (or 3C): Calibrator Components Collector
* CCCP: Counter Cock-up Cover Protector or Counter Cock-up Cover Provider - i.e., this:

that prevents this:

* CCMHA: Cheap China Modules History Accumulator - The urge to document history of engineering progress on small cheap Chinese electronic modules.
* COFFEE: Continuous Observations For Future Electronics Equipment - The state when you just can't stop running searches on eBay because you just know that the piece of equipment that you don't yet know you need is going to be listed at any moment.D-F

* DBA: Drained Bank Account
* DEEP: Duplicated Electronics Equipment Possession or Duplicated Endangered Equipment Possession - See also, DMM and TEST.
* DETMA: Dropped Everything To Make A... - The OCD fugue state one finds oneself in when it is discovered you need (to certain definitions of the term) some test jig, adapter, indicator or power thingie for some procedure; often requiring as much or more expenditure of time and resources as the actual task at hand.  Episodes are often triggered by CAP and its damping effect on TEAS. This compulsion is usually driven by CAM. (see also: CAM, CAP, TEAS)
* DMM: Duplicate Meter Mania
* DMZ: De-Mobilized Zone - Wherein all manner of junk accumulates in precisely the perfect manner to produce a nigh-immovable obstruction between you and some object you desperately need
* DPI: Dimensional Perfection Impulse - The need to have all equipment possess or occupy the same vertical or horizontal dimension when stacking or arranging on shelves or in racks.
* DRAM:  Dynamic RAM - A Random Access Management plan that is under constant change due to a consistently evolving inventory. This has a significant influence on the style of RAMBUS solutions implemented, where options such as adjustable shelving and rack mount feature strongly. (see also: RAM)
* EMI: Equipment Matching Impulse - This includes ESD and SMD, but covers a much wider and varied range.  As well as these disorders, EMI also includes the desire to acquire equipment from a particular manufacturer and, in extreme cases, a particular range of equipment in order to get a matching 'set' (see also, TEST). Further, EMI encompasses the expansion of the definition of 'slot' to include any space that is vacant on the test bench - or that may become vacant through reorganization - especially when matching physical dimensions, width in particular, is a driving consideration (see also, DPI).
* Enheavyment: TEA-speak and ironic term for enlightenment as quantified by curb weight of latest acquisition(s). Also, qualified as inverse function thereof.
* EOTS: Early Onset TEA Syndrome - A form of the addiction that is severely debilitating to the wallet and budget, as it does not progressively get worse, but blossoms into full fruit from the first drool while looking through eBay. Some may feel that it is a congenital problem and not learned nor acquired.
* ESD: Empty Slot Disorder - Refers to mainframe types of test equipment that have slots for functional modules or cards. Any empty slot must be filled by acquiring modules or cards, which leads to ESI.

* ESI: eBay Search Inspiration or eBay Search Infection - Often caused by TEE, ESD, or looking at too many posts in the "Post your latest purchase" or "List your test equipment scores" threads.
* FDDAS: Flipping Digit Device Acquisition Syndrome - When your TEA evolves such that you are pathologically driven to collect test gear with excessive extra digits just to watch them as they demonstrate entropy. (see also: BDADD, FDDS)
* FDDS: Flipping Digit Distraction Syndrome - When the constant flipping of the last few digits on your 4+x and 1/2 digit instrument distract you from the work you're supposed to be doing with it. (see also: BDADD, FDDAS)
* FUSS: Future Usefulness Speculation Syndrome - The inability to part with or sell equipment and parts as a result of rationalization about potential projects, repairs, etc. for which it will one day be useful.G-I

* GAS: Gear Acquisition Syndrome - Note that GAS could be misdiagnosed in cases of HUM.
* GPSDO: Generic Pathological Syndrome Desiring Oscilloscopes
* HFO: High Frequency Obsession - May be a mutation of TEA. The gear you own will never have enough frequency range driving you to buy faster scopes, better generators, faster spectrum analyzers, etc.
* ICBM: Immaculate Chassis, Board and Mechanisms - This is an associated condition to PFC and is an extension of it. As the title implies, this condition relates to all internal elements of a piece of equipment. It is most commonly acquired through the noble intention of inspecting the internals in order to identify issues, make repairs and perform preventive maintenance - but for some, it is a slippery slope. For sufferers, the minimum standard tolerable will usually be that found in equipment as it rolled off the assembly line. However, some of those satisfied with this are conflicted when they encounter manufacturer issues - such as chassis rust. This condition is considered as serious when chrome, nickel or gold plating is found on mounting brackets or shielding panels and regular fastenings have been replaced with stainless steel bolts and domed nuts. (see also: PFC)
* IHEG: I Have Enough Gear - Those with TEA don't understand what this means. It seems to be associated with people who have had an inordinate amount of pressure from outsiders, such as spouse and family. From the scant reports available, it is rarely spoken and, if so, is done in hushed tones. The structure of the term is haphazard and all indications are that it is an alien import that has been forced into place.
* HUM: Hyperbolic Unboxing Mania - Someone with HUM shows quite often the same symptoms as GAS, and that can lead to the wrong assumption of the latter. One of the most typical signs of HUM is the creation of videos showing the unboxing of packages with electronics and test equipment. One study observed that watching those videos can have a negative impact on patients with GAS. Patients with HUM will usually acquire gear that often times doesn't satisfy their needs. HUM is often confused with SCM.
* IMD: Instrumentation Mania Disorder - When there aren't enough hours in the day to stop thinking about test equipment.J-L

* JENGA: (1) Junk Engulfing Nearby Garage Areas - wherein all garage space is subject to a constantly moving and contested scrimmage line; (2) Junk Encroaching Nonpermissible General Areas - usually defined by other household members and their "need" to use nonessential spaces like living rooms, kitchens and bathrooms; (3) Junk Engulfing Nonvertical Geometric Areas - the inevitable spontaneous accumulation of all manner of tools and junk on any available table-like horizontal surface; (4) Junk Emigrating Non-Garage Areas - the inexplicable migration of entire stacks to other rooms, often discovered by other household members with a hand truck still underneath; (5) Junk Engulfing Nonhorizontal Growth Areas - the accumulation of box-shaped objects stacked from floor to ceiling, and the inevitable need to remove one object from the middle of the stack without all of it falling down on your head.
* LATTE: Last Addition To Test Equipment - When you promise yourself, your credit card, your bank balance and your other half that this really is the last TEA you will make. It's quite often immediately follows CAFE when you get caught just as you hit the commit to buy button and then you hastily promise LATTE to try and remedy a bad situation.
* LED: Lab Equipment Disorder
* LSUG: Lazy to Sell Unused GearM-O

* MEBB: Man-Eating Black Box (Alt Brown/Beige/Blue/Borked Box) - Sardonic nickname for all the huge pieces of stereo, home theater, speakers & test equipment that inevitably migrate to the “male-dominion” spaces of the household. Commonly used by offspring and/or SWMBO, particularly during type 2 JENGA-related skirmishes discussions.
* MegaTEA: Major Economic Grief Acquisition TEA. - This scenario is characterised by the high cost of purchasing a single piece of kit.  It can also be extended to include those purchases where additional accessories need to be purchased for the primary unit to be able to perform to the best of its capabilities.  While the actual financial value involved can vary, the key characteristic is that the subject's reaction to the idea of spending that amount is an immediate and resounding "NO!" followed by a period of reflection, revisiting and rationalisation that results in pulling the trigger.  Risk factors are essentially the same for any TEA acquisition, but at a much higher level.
* METH: Maintaining Endangered Test gear at Home
* MIP: Missing Instrument Psychosis - The belief that an instrument you do not already possess was owned by you at some former time, but was lost, stolen or disappeared. Hence, a replacement must be purchased to replace it.
* MIPS: Mouser Impulsive Purchasing Syndrome, Measuring Instrument Purchasing Syndrome - The former is an offshoot of TEA, which applies to excessive acquisition of electronics components; the latter is an associated activity of TEA.
* NEAT: Nested Equipment Astonishingly Tidy - When neat freaks catch TEA. see msg1796336
* NOS: Now On Sale or New Old Stock - A serious contributor to TEA.
* NSA: Nefarious Source Acquisition - Describes equipment and materials that have been obtained due to their history, previous ownership or use, in particular from government intelligence, military, aerospace or nuclear industries. Highly prized are those with a means of positive identification, such as customized front panel, enclosure, tag and/or markings. Functional capability is a bonus. Similar to POS, NSA is further down the rabbit hole, especially when it comes to being able to (or not able to) trace the chain of ownership. Sufferers of NSA (and POS) have a number of similarities in behaviour to those with EMI and material discussing EMI is useful in understanding NSA and POS.
* NTSC: Nixie Tube System Collector
* NUTS: No Unit To be Seen - The situation where you know you have a piece of test equipment but you can't find it.  You've looked everywhere, you know you have it, you know it exists somewhere within a finite distance of where you are now, but you can't figure out where the dang thing is.
* OCD: Oscilloscope Compulsive Disorder - A family of disorders consisting of compulsive behaviors involving oscilloscopes, waveform monitors, and related display and measuring devices, including, but not limited to, repeated and enthusiastic acquisition, maintenance, or refurbishment of said equipment. (see also: ESD, ICBM, OSCAR, PFC)
* OCR: Obsessive Completeness Response - This insidious affliction starts out with an acquisition of test gear that is often found to be in excellent condition, even if beneath stickers, dirt and dust. The trigger is usually the desire to add a missing component, such as a lead, manual or carry case that would have been included in the original equipment purchase or from an optional accessory. Once this trigger has been initiated, sufferers continue with an irrepressible drive until there is nothing missing. Extreme cases have been known not to rest until original twist-ties, cable ties and mains plug protectors have been obtained.
* OSCAR: OSCilloscope Acquisition disordeR - A malady that leads to the possession of way too many oscilloscopes.P-R

* PETA: Preservation of Equipment Through Acquisition
* PETTE: People for the Ethical Treatment of Test Equipment. Failure to properly care and feed test equipment may lead to behavioral problems.

* PFC: Pristine Finish Compulsion - The need to ensure all elements of a piece of gear's external appearance are in at least as good condition as they would have been when originally packed by the manufacturer. All those afflicted with TEA usually have some degree of PFC as well. There is no known cure and the condition inevitably requires a regime to manage it. Sufferers cringe at the sight of mis-matched elements, such as a wrong coloured button or the wrong feet. They become anxious at the sight of stickers or sticker residue, especially on front panels and will take every effort to remove the same, without causing any damage to escutcheons, markings or any other vulnerable elements. Removal of any paint - even if only noticeable as a faint discolouring of a cleaning cloth, can cause nervous twitches and panic attacks. Smearing of any markings and/or manufacturer supplied labels will result in howls of anguish that are indistinguishable to those when repeatedly running a cheese grater up and down one's inner thigh.  This malady is often limited to external finish - but can extend to internal elements, where it is more properly covered by the ICBM compulsion.
* POS: Previous Owner Syndrome - The need to collect and hoard based solely on who previously owned the equipment: aerospace, celebrity, historical significance, military, government, and the like. Highly prized are items that possess detailed notes of provenance, metal identification tags, or other means of direct identification. Also qualifying are probable origins as well as associated origins. Functionality is of course a bonus, as is knowing the actual history. (see also: NSA)
* RAID: Redundant Array of Instrumentation Devices - When just one piece of gear simply isn't enough. Of course, having three or more is better for cross-checking the validity of measurements. See also, DEEP, DMM and TEST.
* RAM:  Random Access Management - The process of locating various pieces of test equipment in a manner so that they are quickly and easily accessible.  This process can be applied to both equipment storage areas as well as the active work bench.  Failure to implement a RAM protocol will result in equipment getting buried, requiring the moving of several other pieces of equipment to gain access to a specific item or, even worse, to prevent that specific item from being found. (see also: DRAM, RAMBUS, RAMDAC, SRAM, TETRIS)
* RAMBUS:  Random Access Management - Building Useful Structures.  An inevitable sub-activity of implementing a RAM policy.  Applicable to both equipment storage and active work bench areas, this activity can include any number of sources for materials, including, but not limited to, Ikea, Craigslist, eBay, yard/garage/boot sales and hardware stores.  Typically overengineered, the resultant structures are designed to safely support equipment for at least 150 years.  These structures - especially ones on any workbench - are designed according to the RAMDAC requirements. (see also: RAM)
* RAMDAC:  Random Access Management - Distribution, Access and Comfort.  The process of designing the layout of a workbench to accommodate all the equipment desired and to have it placed in a functional manner where everything can be comfortably accessed.  This process can become somewhat of a challenge in ordinary circumstances, but even more so if other factors - such as DPI, EMI or TEST - are involved. (see also: RAM)
* RIFA Madness - May refer to the state of the equipment or its owner when old RIFA capacitors suddenly let out copious amounts of pungent magic smoke. With some devices, this can occur even when the power switch is turned off. Beware!

* RRT: Reduced Rational Thinking - A common symptom of TEA.  It is manifested when objective assessment of an item is impaired by inhibition suppressing factors coming into play.  These factors include alcohol, the adrenaline response in discovering an auction ending within 60 seconds or (perhaps the most dangerous) convincing oneself that SWMBO wouldn't notice.  This condition often results in increased risk of BOT transgressions and DBA.  Attempts to address RRT usually have some short-term effects.  Long-term effects are rare and there are no known cases of any cure.S-V

* SAD: Shipping Anxiety Disorder - Unrest during the time when you order a piece of test equipment on eBay but the seller hasn't shipped it yet.  Where you keep going back to your eBay account to see if it has shipped, even though you know they would email a notification that it had shipped.  But you think that maybe somehow you missed the email or it got lost on the Internet somewhere.  So you go back again to refresh the order page.
* SCM: Serial Collector Mania -  We have all seen these poor souls torture themselves to try and acquire every HP signal generator, or every Tektronix spectrum analyzer. Soon they become incapable of functioning normally in the hobby as they are obsessed to have every last item in their target gear type. The extreme cases are truly sad. SCM destroys families and even communities. See example.
* SCOPE: Serious & Chronic Obsession with Personal Electronics
* SECRET: Surreptitiously Enjoying Covertly Received Ebay Transactions
* SMD: Slot Mismatch Disorder - A variant of ESD where new modules or slots must be acquired to rectify the mismatched condition.
* SPEED: Systematic Preservation of Endangered Electronic Devices
* SQS: Shelf Queen Syndrome - Prized pieces of test equipment that are too good to use and instead sit on a shelf to be admired.
* SRAM:  Static RAM - A Random Access Management plan that changes infrequently, if at all. This can be the result of a lazy attitude or the unfortunate situation where the equipment at hand remains unchanged. (see also: RAM)
* TEA: Test Equipment Anonymous, Test Equipment Addict, Test Equipment Addiction, or Test Equipment Acquisition (see also: TEAS)
* TEAnniversary: An anniversary of the founding of Test Equipment Anonymous: 2017 Jan 15 (PST)/Jan 16 (UTC).
* TEAS: Test Equipment Acquisition Syndrome (see also, TEA)
* TEASE: Test Equipment Acquisition, Score Extreme - The act of securing a significant collection of test gear singled handedly. This achievement is then compounded by then making interested parties wait before the detailed reveal.
* TEE: Test Equipment Enthusiast - A precursor to TEA. Also, Test Equipment Envy and Test Equipment Enabler - Some would say this is the sign of a true TEA member.
* TEO: Test Equipment Overload - When TEA really goes overboard.
* TESLA: Test Equipment Storage Location Anguish - The conundrum of where to put all the acquired boat-anchor test gear.
* TEST: Test Equipment Symmetry Transfixation - A personal idiosyncrasy desiring identical pieces or brands of test equipment to be side by side. If the afflicted person sees any equipment or brands in their lab that do not have a complementary unit, they will tend to be drawn to eBay or other sellers to find something to complete the perceived lack of symmetry. This affliction tends to develop gradually.
* TETRIS:  Test Equipment Torment - Reorganization In Situ.  The equivalent of changing spark plugs while driving down the highway, this is the high stress process of rearranging equipment - but being limited to doing so in the existing space.  Any attempt to 'borrow' space in another area of the premises is met with threats of items found outside the boundaries of toleration will be immediately disposed of.  Protests are met with references to some storage area that was temporarily borrowed 3 years ago - that you still occupy. (see also: RAM)
* TON: Temptations Of NOS (New Old Stock) or Temptations Of NIB (New In Box)
* TN: Time Nut - One who is obsessed with timing and time accuracy. A significant contributor to TEA.
* VMD: Version Match Disorder - When you are driven to have all the cards in the slots of a device to be the same firmware and revisions, irrespective of whether it really affects how the unit actually operates, and thus you now need extra frames to house the now mismatched card and housings.
* VN: Volt Nut (also voltnut) - One who is obsessed with measurements and measuring accuracy, precision and resolution. A significant contributor to TEA.
* Volt Mutt (also voltmutt) - The opposite of a volt nut; those who enjoy test equipment, but for whom "FLUKE SEZ BAM!!!" really is good enough.W-Z

* WIFI: Whisker Intensive Fending Initiative - A typical response to distract those critical of TEA affected persons with images and/or stories of their animal friends.  It is also used within TEA affected circles to redirect attention away from their addiction, while still feeling safe within that group of like minds.
* WNR: Want-Need Ratio - WNR defines the ratio in dB between the want [W] over the need [N] for a device that can/should be purchased or has already been purchased. TEA members always present high levels of WNR, generally above 20 dB. Generally speaking, WNR and MWC (money wasted coefficient) are directly proportional.

For more details, see Zucca's follow up post
* WWND: What Would Neo Do - A meme that refers to member neo's penchant for snagging large lots of boat anchors at ham fests. So, the next time you're staring at some test equipment, stuck in an analysis paralysis loop about whether or not to get it, just whisper to yourself, "What would neo do?"

* YAGI: Yet Another Gain for Inventory - A term used to rationalise the typical consequences of GAS - especially when there is no immediate or prospective need for an item.
* YALBOA: Yet Another Low-Balled Offer Accepted - The cognitive dissonance that results when you are on the fence about a piece of test equipment being offered for sale and, after submitting what you feel to be a silly low offer just to feel satisfied that you did something about the situation, it gets accepted.

My name is Robert and I am a test equipment-aholic, (HiHi)
My purchases really took off as about the time eBay began I paid off the mortgage.
I try to switch the working stuff on about once a month to keep the electros etc happy.
I am seriously running out of room, and have enough projects to keep me busy till I get to 90 ( am 55yo now)!


I don't need to worry about the latter part of Sean's step 14 - the wife punched out a bit before I really got back into playing with electronics as a hobby, and about a year before the TGAS really hit.   :D  The cats are cool with it - they enjoy climbing on the boxes when it comes, and later stealing and losing the parts off the bench.  Climbing the equipment rack is a popular pastime as well.

My biggest downfall is stuff that contains glowie glass things, whether they be numeric displays or transistor predecessors that control streams of electrons flowing within their evacuated selves.  And any HP stuff with a density greater than that of a neutron star (which pretty much covers ALL of it!)


It all started ~15 years ago when I was given my first CRO and it needed fixing....that wasn't too hard  :) .....oh look there's another busted one on our local online buy/sell Trademe.
Fixed that one too, then another, then another, and another.......... Oh look a broken DSO.....fixed and sold, and another..... Hmmm, these things are easier to sell than CRO's.  ;D

No cheap new DSO's available locally.  :-//  Hmm let's try one from eBay  >:D ... and another, and another....until a big sale deal for a good # of units came up........ Shite what do I do now ?  :scared:

No need to tell the rest of the story....I've got heaps of bright shiny new ones now.  ;D

My name is Rob and I'm hooked on TE too.  ^-^

I plead guilty of helping others foster their addiction.


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