Author Topic: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread  (Read 1824311 times)

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Offline Specmaster

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #10150 on: May 01, 2018, 08:58:56 pm »
Yep, in those days it was not easy either to identify an unmarked IC, never had the IC tester and identifying equipment that you can get very easily these days.
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Offline Specmaster

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #10151 on: May 01, 2018, 09:11:42 pm »
No wonder British industry is in decline again at the present if the response to my requests for calibration is anything to go by. I think I send emails and or spoke to around 8 or 10 companies over the last few days and I have only had 2 quotes back emailed to me and another came back to within a few hours and said that they could do the calibration as they don't do that type of meter calibration and neither could they think of anyone that they could suggest to me.

I mean its not a difficult thing to quote, they must have a fixed price list to work from and a list of meters that they can do. When I did quotes I had to spend days looking over dozens of engineering drawings. Reading through a consultants brief looking for the proverbial banana skin, drawing up a quick schematic for any special parts that we would have to make should we win the project and work out the logic required to achieve the wanted result, before putting pen to paper doing a through and detailed quote often several pages long.

This country is and always has been too complacent for its own good. :rant:
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 09:21:32 pm by Specmaster »
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Online bd139

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #10152 on: May 01, 2018, 09:19:25 pm »
Yeah sounds about right for the UK. I have noticed a trend that people don't want hard jobs.

This lead to most of my team being sourced abroad. Lots of talented people willing to do work elsewhere in the world.
 

Offline Specmaster

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #10153 on: May 01, 2018, 09:23:25 pm »
But if they have the right equipment, calibrating is not a hard or difficult job, too busy discussing last nights TV or the weekends football, at the water cooler I reckon.
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Online bd139

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #10154 on: May 01, 2018, 10:12:56 pm »
Not so sure.  I spoke to one guy at a company and said “I’ve got a Hewlett Packard 3478A” and he asked me right away if it was a “fluke tester” or not.  |O
 

Offline Specmaster

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #10155 on: May 01, 2018, 10:23:28 pm »
That's just a lack of product knowledge and gaining it is not a hard job. Surely if you're setting up a company to calibrate multimeters, you do your research about what you're going to be asked to do and decide which you can and those that you can't do and produce a list of can and cannot do and keep updating it. When someone like you or I say we have a Hewlett Packard 3478A, the look on the list?

Where the hell are we heading if the staff cannot refer to a list and give a yes or no answer?  :-//
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Online bd139

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #10156 on: May 01, 2018, 10:29:23 pm »
Yeah that idea falls on it’s arse when you suddenly decide that the best course of action is being a small player and entering the market as the lowest bidder. The only outcome you get then is you hire some dude who was recently fired  from Maccy Dees for being toasted on duty because he will work for pittance which keeps your margins down.

I worked for, well dig out of the shit, an IT company in 2002 and they used that model. The most qualified person on their road based support team was a salad packer for three years before that. And when I started he quit to go and work picking onions because it didn’t require as much brain work. He didn’t actually understand that picking onions wasn’t a full time all year round job. You can imagine what the guy did when he touched a computer.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 10:31:50 pm by bd139 »
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #10157 on: May 01, 2018, 10:32:01 pm »
Not so sure.  I spoke to one guy at a company and said “I’ve got a Hewlett Packard 3478A” and he asked me right away if it was a “fluke tester” or not.  |O

It is worth distinguishing between relatively untrained front-office staff and hopefully well trained back-office staff.

I've had a (very nice) new hire at RS fail to understand the question I was asking, until I persisted. I have no idea about the quality of the back-office staff since the quote was too high.
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Offline Cerebus

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #10158 on: May 01, 2018, 10:37:49 pm »
A "fluke tester" - a device designed to check whether, by a fluke, a British elec-chicken has managed to wire up something correctly.

The relatively recent improvements in the IEE wiring regulations have forced the average electrician to actually own and use a range of test equipment that used to be almost unheard of in electrical contracting. Along with that has come a requirement to have the same checked for proper operation on a regular basis - more PASS/GO testing than what we'd regard as a proper calibration. That in turn has led to demand for testing services that do little more than run the 'fluke tester' against a simple calibration setup and churn out the paperwork to prove that the 'tester' has itself been tested. Mention something like 'test uncertainty' to the monkeys who run these businesses and you can see their eyes glaze over. They are there to mechanically follow the procedure, generate the paperwork that proves that your 'fluke tester' is still working properly, and take your money.

Many years ago I used to earn a few extra quid working as an Electrician's Mate for my mate Tony, a fully fledged and NICEIC qualified Electrician (a rarity in those days). We regularly worked on site where there were other electricians around and they are dumbfounded when Tony used to pull his earth loop impedance tester out. Most of them recognised a Megger, but only perhaps 30% of them regularly brought one along on a job with them. We'd often be there for Tony to produce an NICEIC inspection certificate on the work that the 'monkey grade' elec-chickens had carried out. Sometimes we were there to inspect electrical work that builders who were too cheap or too arrogant to employ a proper electrician had carried out themselves - therein lies some horror stories.

Edited: about four times because I don't appear to be able to spell or use grammar properly today.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 10:44:30 pm by Cerebus »
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Offline Specmaster

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #10159 on: May 01, 2018, 11:01:36 pm »
All of these examples just reinforce my statement about the countries industry etc getting complacent, You can't blame the people working their for the inability to do the job, its the owners and senior management complacency because they clearly do not comprehend the nature of the business that they are in and what it's job specifics actually are and what skills are required to fulfill the role satisfactorily and thus enhance the companies name and reputation. All they can think about is how can they save money by cutting corners at every juncture and hope and pray that nothing goes wrong big time for them and when the shit does eventually hit the shovel they tend to fall back one of 2 things !) its out of the warranty period and 2) How do we know that you didn't do that yourself, the latter was something that my old boss used to say all the time and bury his head in the sand and hope the problem went away. Which it did when the customer took his business somewhere else and maybe a few other with him when they get talking as they do at the water cooler.

   
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Offline Neomys Sapiens

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #10160 on: May 02, 2018, 12:34:29 am »
Not so sure.  I spoke to one guy at a company and said “I’ve got a Hewlett Packard 3478A” and he asked me right away if it was a “fluke tester” or not.  |O
It is. You can test/verify most Flukes with it.
 
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Offline bitseeker

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #10161 on: May 02, 2018, 06:44:55 am »
Depends if you're testing Flukes or flukes. The latter might be found at a cetacean institute or some such.
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Online tggzzz

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #10162 on: May 02, 2018, 06:45:09 am »
All they can think about is how can they save money by cutting corners at every juncture and hope and pray that nothing goes wrong big time for them and when the shit does eventually hit the shovel they tend to fall back one of 2 things !) its out of the warranty period and 2) How do we know that you didn't do that yourself, the latter was something that my old boss used to say all the time and bury his head in the sand and hope the problem went away.

Longstanding SOP in the construction industry is to low bid (surprise!), and then near the end of the job there is a "snagging" phase. That is like musical chairs; when the music stops one of the companies goes bust.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Online tggzzz

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #10163 on: May 02, 2018, 06:45:49 am »
Depends if you're testing Flukes or flukes. The latter might be found at a cetacean institute or some such.

Or, for that matter, in much commercial software :(
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
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Online tggzzz

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #10164 on: May 02, 2018, 06:48:28 am »
Edited: about four times because I don't appear to be able to spell or use grammar properly today.

Oh dear, it seems to be contgious; I shouldn't have gone to work this newsgroup last week :(

The preview button is like a handkerchief; it helps reduce the spread, but isn't a panacea.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline Specmaster

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #10165 on: May 02, 2018, 10:31:30 am »
The latest addition to my gear arrived today, a HP3466A but sadly because of poor packing, the handle is in 2 parts. It was all nicely wrapped up in bubble-wrap, but instead of folding the handle down and back so it tucks up between the feet, it was wrapped up out straight in front of the meter and suffered as a result :palm:. The seller has given me a £5 refund so thats helped.

It could have been a lot worse as the power lead was laid on top the meter, loose with the plug wrapped up, but the box so deep that it was possible to get 2 of these meters inside and the extra space was rammed jammed solid with....AIR. Had the box been knocked on the top, it could have crumpled and driven the plug through the top plastic cover  :palm:.

The good news is though that the meter works and after a bit of switch cleaning the correct symbol is now illuminated for each function selected and as expected is within calibration  :-+



« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 10:33:50 am by Specmaster »
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Online bd139

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #10166 on: May 02, 2018, 10:47:53 am »
What an idiot seller. I've had that before. It was a Philips meter so the entire thing disassembled itself in transit. Total write off.

Nice to see it's in good condition otherwise!
 

Offline Specmaster

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #10167 on: May 02, 2018, 10:59:07 am »
Yep, the internal lead acid battery appears to be dead, but I did expect that after all these years, I may replace that as I did in my other one.

2 more companies been touch ref 3478A, one is emailing his quote to me, the other gave me a verbal quote, they are in Leeds and calibration to 2dp is £59+vat or 4dp £80+vat, carriage was extra, WTF! its a 5dp meter for fucks sake. There was no mention that they know its a 5dp meter but could only do 2 or 4dp in their voice mail??  If they were a proper calibration laboratory, I would expected them to have acknowledged that it was a 5dp but however they could only do it to 2 or 4 places, complacency strikes again. :palm:   
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Offline med6753

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #10168 on: May 02, 2018, 11:13:35 am »
The latest addition to my gear arrived today, a HP3466A but sadly because of poor packing, the handle is in 2 parts. It was all nicely wrapped up in bubble-wrap, but instead of folding the handle down and back so it tucks up between the feet, it was wrapped up out straight in front of the meter and suffered as a result :palm:. The seller has given me a £5 refund so thats helped.



Similar thing happen on a Fluke 8600A. But luckily it was just one corner rather than completely broken. Epoxy fixed it up.
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Offline Specmaster

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #10169 on: May 02, 2018, 01:16:35 pm »
3478A quote from Lambda Calibrations for the calibration and return carriage of the meter, all up including VAT for the princely sum of £208.92, thats nearly 6 times what I paid for the meter, that makes RS look like a real bargain.  :--
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Online bd139

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #10170 on: May 02, 2018, 01:17:14 pm »
3478A quote from Lambda Calibrations for the calibration and return carriage of the meter, all up including VAT for the princely sum of £208.92, thats nearly 6 times what I paid for the meter, that makes RS look like a real bargain.  :--

What the fuck were they thinking?!?!? That's a "go away" quote!

..................

Anyway more TEA from me (finally).

Nabbed a Leader 17A signal generator for £31 off ebay as untested. These things literally have nothing in them to go wrong. If they aren't smashed they will probably work. This is a very much cloned instrument by the Chinese. Lots of inferior clones exist out there, including historically from crap shifters Maplin. But alas this is the original made in Japan unit which has superior capacitors and surprisingly high tech innards!

I like these because of the manual control (try manually filter sweeping a synthesizer or finding the resonant point of a double tuned circuit - kill me!) and the price.



I cracked it open, as per regulations, to look inside before I even fired it up. The power supply is a nice simple design and quite elegant. Greeted with a panasonic capacitor as well no less. No wun hung lo here.



Moving along a bit we have the main tuning capacitor and reduction drive assembly. Nice and tight. Ridiculously high quality capacitor in this one.



And now for the anachronistic thing. This is basically a giant LC oscillator design which has been around since the 1940s with various tubes, transistors and ICs connected to it. But what is this? Surface mount parts! A fully discrete oscillator and ALC section hides in here. The earlier units didn't have ALC.



And on to the glorious bit. This is pretty much unchanged from the 1940s:



And in action, shouting at a Baofeng:

https://youtu.be/hfrA_lH7iEQ

Dial calibration is about right ... 1/2% off on the higher ranges which is pretty normal for these.

 :-+
 
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Offline Specmaster

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #10171 on: May 02, 2018, 01:41:02 pm »
Nice nab that, I've looked at those before but discounted them as being just another Tech TE-20D in a different format which it clearly isn't because its solid state. It also doesn't do FM modulation only AM but it sure looks in good condition.

I'm happy with my Advance unit, only has a single valve but works perfectly and even has a separate dedicated output to a oscilloscope so you visually see the response curve as well hear it but mine did cost another £5 over yours though. I did notice that like the Tech TE-20D the 96-450MHz band is done using harmonics, so it looks like its a modern version of the Tech jobbie.
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Offline GerryBags

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #10172 on: May 02, 2018, 01:41:58 pm »
Beauty! as Dave would say.
Jubbly! as I would say.

I love the mix of technology, the important elements are the epitome of 'tried & tested'. I'm partial to the looks, too. Good score for less than one of those cased Chinese DDS sig-gens.

I soldered in that huge thermistor on the 2467B. It's a no- go. Just too damn big. I've sent a msg to vintage Tek, on the advice of the wonderful Alan Wolke, to see if they might have a lead on a more suitable replacement.

Also, with regards the Vintage Tek Museum, they are having a fundraiser for the digitizing of their micro-fiche collection and are nearly 2/3 of the way to their goal. Any help from the TEA-fiends here will surely not go amiss!
https://www.youcaring.com/vintagetekmuseum-1085244/donate/general
 

Online bd139

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #10173 on: May 02, 2018, 02:14:01 pm »
Nice nab that, I've looked at those before but discounted them as being just another Tech TE-20D in a different format which it clearly isn't because its solid state. It also doesn't do FM modulation only AM but it sure looks in good condition.

I'm happy with my Advance unit, only has a single valve but works perfectly and even has a separate dedicated output to a oscilloscope so you visually see the response curve as well hear it but mine did cost another £5 over yours though. I did notice that like the Tech TE-20D the 96-450MHz band is done using harmonics, so it looks like its a modern version of the Tech jobbie.

Yep it is exactly a modern version of the TE-20D really which is a modern version of something far older.

Despite them not doing FM modulation, they do actually. The AM modulation sucks enough that it causes FM deviation as well  :-DD (My Baofeng in the video is a 2m FM rig - would have been silent without frequency modulation)
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 02:17:36 pm by bd139 »
 

Online bd139

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #10174 on: May 02, 2018, 02:16:49 pm »
Beauty! as Dave would say.
Jubbly! as I would say.

I love the mix of technology, the important elements are the epitome of 'tried & tested'. I'm partial to the looks, too. Good score for less than one of those cased Chinese DDS sig-gens.

I soldered in that huge thermistor on the 2467B. It's a no- go. Just too damn big. I've sent a msg to vintage Tek, on the advice of the wonderful Alan Wolke, to see if they might have a lead on a more suitable replacement.

Also, with regards the Vintage Tek Museum, they are having a fundraiser for the digitizing of their micro-fiche collection and are nearly 2/3 of the way to their goal. Any help from the TEA-fiends here will surely not go amiss!
https://www.youcaring.com/vintagetekmuseum-1085244/donate/general

w2aew FTW. He's a forum member here as well. Interested to see how you get on as I want a 2467 :)
 


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