Author Topic: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread  (Read 1902944 times)

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Offline Neomys Sapiens

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39325 on: September 21, 2019, 02:19:01 am »
I think I found out why the TI-95 won't power up.  :-DD



 

Offline Neomys Sapiens

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39326 on: September 21, 2019, 02:22:27 am »
Some of the hams here have antenna analyzers, of which I have a Comet CAA-500, simple but it does a good job of telling you where your ant. is resonant. I also use an RF bridge with my DSA815-TG to get nice return loss plots which you can get the SWR from easily. The plot is from my main fan dipole that covers five HF ham bands, which I can plot easily all at once.

The simple antenna analyzer is all 99% of the hams need around here, but they buy the NanoVNA, as I said, so they aren't the only kid on the block that doesn't have one. It does plot VSWR over a range which is nice. However, after the first few days of looking at all the other colored & curly-cued lines, they will just use it as an antenna analyzer for SWR. I guess it's fine it's only 50 bucks. :-//

So what's your opinion of the nanoVNA, compared to obviously better manufactured gear? Is it reasonably accurate? Are the results close enough and repeatable across the advertised range to be worth 50 bucks?

mnem
*currently packing away my ImmersionRC RF Power Meter*
It's biggest issue is the lack of data points over a wide sweep where sometimes its interpolation results in a series of straight lines between points.  ::)
Narrow the sweep right down are results are better.
Joe's work with his homemade SW is primarily to polish the thing and obtain some of the functionality of a half decent VNA.
In which direction? Forward or .....ähhhhm, reverse?
 
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Offline mnementh

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39327 on: September 21, 2019, 04:02:51 am »
From the "Even a Stopped Clock Is Right Twice a Day" Dept...



https://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-we-want-you-to-learn-python-programming-language-for-free/
Some genius in the gaggle of halfwits and donogoods i'm replacing

Don't give a flying fuck about their ulterior motives and why they want Python programmers... it's a good thing.

mnem
*back into the hole*
A very special genius in the gaggle of halfwits and donoggoods I'm replacing decided once to program some automatic RF gear test setups in Python. Now I run around in a predominantly SW company and NOBODY admits to know Python when I ask. Maybe I must resort to trick questions.

Ummm... maybe nobody wants to admit they like an environment that is moderately accessible without lobotomizing your soul, and only occasionally kicks you in the balls?  :-//

mnem
 

Online tautech

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39328 on: September 21, 2019, 05:51:46 am »
Some of the hams here have antenna analyzers, of which I have a Comet CAA-500, simple but it does a good job of telling you where your ant. is resonant. I also use an RF bridge with my DSA815-TG to get nice return loss plots which you can get the SWR from easily. The plot is from my main fan dipole that covers five HF ham bands, which I can plot easily all at once.

The simple antenna analyzer is all 99% of the hams need around here, but they buy the NanoVNA, as I said, so they aren't the only kid on the block that doesn't have one. It does plot VSWR over a range which is nice. However, after the first few days of looking at all the other colored & curly-cued lines, they will just use it as an antenna analyzer for SWR. I guess it's fine it's only 50 bucks. :-//

So what's your opinion of the nanoVNA, compared to obviously better manufactured gear? Is it reasonably accurate? Are the results close enough and repeatable across the advertised range to be worth 50 bucks?

mnem
*currently packing away my ImmersionRC RF Power Meter*
It's biggest issue is the lack of data points over a wide sweep where sometimes its interpolation results in a series of straight lines between points.  ::)
Narrow the sweep right down are results are better.
Joe's work with his homemade SW is primarily to polish the thing and obtain some of the functionality of a half decent VNA.
In which direction? Forward or .....ähhhhm, reverse?
Once we might have thought VNA's and SA's operated in the analog domain however modern equipment is very different and VNA's in particular where results are based on a collection of data points from the sweep to which just maths are applied to them to give us the results we seek plus the industry standard of Touchstone files that we can export to a PC for further processing. This is what Joe is doing.
Still, the more data points the better as they help improve accuracy. The SVA1015X sweep I posted earlier was taken with the max 701 that doesn't impact on sweep speed noticeably however its default is just 201 points.  ::)
I've yet to find a use case where i need to lower the points from the max 701 so I'm at a loss to know why it isn't running at max all the time.  :-//
Avid Rabid Hobbyist
 

Online beanflying

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39329 on: September 21, 2019, 06:45:10 am »
Not so much a dry joint as a non joint  :palm:

I have owned this Coffee Roaster for 7 or 8 years and today was getting a weird occasional reset on the current PID as I start sorting out the Arduino based replacement for it. Only showed up because I snipped all the cable ties and had moved some of the wires, sorry PID it wasn't you I should have been swearing at. :rant:

Oh and the moral to this is the CRO and DMM I had deployed to try and bug track it was of no use ;)
« Last Edit: September 21, 2019, 07:01:20 am by beanflying »
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Offline ThickPhilM

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39330 on: September 21, 2019, 09:11:19 am »
Yuck, that's crusty as.

I've had some luck finding issues like this in the past using "percussive" and "displacement" testing (thumping the case, and wiggling the wires).

Philips PM3218 is on its way to me as we speak, £48 shipped, only 35MHz but the dual timebase should be useful  ^-^
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nuqDaq yuch Dapol?
 

Online bd139

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39331 on: September 21, 2019, 09:58:54 am »
Philips FTW. Have a PM3217 here  :-+
 

Offline ThickPhilM

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39332 on: September 21, 2019, 10:12:26 am »
Yeah, the positive comments in this thread are what steered me in this direction.

So technically, it's your fault I keep spending all my money on old TE...  :-X
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Online bd139

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39333 on: September 21, 2019, 10:26:50 am »
We’re terrible enablers. Sorry.  >:D :-DD
 

Offline Sam Spastic

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39334 on: September 21, 2019, 12:13:25 pm »
Oh no!  Super Fest has started and I am an hour away.  Wearing black tee with gold trim, black Carharts, brown/gray shoes and an almost ZZTop beard.   :-+
An old fart.
 

Offline xrunner

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39335 on: September 21, 2019, 12:19:29 pm »
Yeah, the positive comments in this thread are what steered me in this direction.

So technically, it's your fault I keep spending all my money on old TE...  :-X


We’re terrible enablers. Sorry.  >:D :-DD

I am a Test Equipment Addict (TEA) - by virtue of this forum signature, I have now faced my addiction
 

Online med6753

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39336 on: September 21, 2019, 12:25:54 pm »
We’re terrible enablers. Sorry.  >:D :-DD

Speak for yourself. I'm not sorry.  >:D ;D
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Online med6753

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39337 on: September 21, 2019, 12:27:05 pm »
Oh no!  Super Fest has started and I am an hour away.  Wearing black tee with gold trim, black Carharts, brown/gray shoes and an almost ZZTop beard.   :-+

??  :-//
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Offline kj7e

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39338 on: September 21, 2019, 01:28:01 pm »
I think I finally get it.
 
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Offline factory

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39339 on: September 21, 2019, 01:52:10 pm »
Damn, I'm looking at a local ad site, they are selling this pretty for 250EUR... must resist, too much...

Those would be so much nicer if someone hadn't polished all the patina/age off of them.  :--

David
 

Offline xrunner

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39340 on: September 21, 2019, 02:17:38 pm »
So I ordered a NanoVNA this morning. Now I can be one of the ~ Cool Kids ~:-DD
I am a Test Equipment Addict (TEA) - by virtue of this forum signature, I have now faced my addiction
 

Online Terry01

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39341 on: September 21, 2019, 02:22:44 pm »
Sparks and Smoke means i'm nearly there!
 

Online bd139

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39342 on: September 21, 2019, 04:29:31 pm »
Found this. So true:

 
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Offline Ero-Shan

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39343 on: September 21, 2019, 04:38:41 pm »
Another epicboring photo story from Ero-Shan.

After a period of dearth on evilbay, I finally found something that piqued my interest. Amazingly, there was a Nixie counter for a moderate initial price, and not a single bidder.

Did I not see anything that all others saw clearly? Something that escaped my eyes? Did everyone know just know how bad this counter was but me? The manuals are there prominently at the usual places, so there was no holding back.

I actually stayed the only one interested, and so acquired my first hp 5254L (with 5253B converter) for 50 bucks + 10 shipping.

To quote the manual:
Quote
The model 5245L features solid state design, low power consumption, small size (5-1/4 inch panel height), light weight (32 lb), ...
(emphasis by me)

The low power consumption is around 90 watts, a little more than 100 watts with the 5253B.  >:D

But one thing's for sure: This instrument was an engineering marvel in its days. Built without a single IC, and not just 6 digits up to 10 MHz. An oven for the crystal, remote control, output for recorder, 9 decade divider, plug-ins.
I was bewildered to see that the BCD-to-decimal decoder using neon lamps and LDRs, a setup that certainly wouldn't have occurred to me. And then I learned that the lamp are also used to store the count!
What an amazing piece of technology this is!


The seller promptly shipped the instrument, and when I got home this Wednesday, I spotted a big box under the stairs leading to my front door.
I eagerly grabbed it, but something wasn't right. The whole thing just wasn't rigid enough. I didn't like the foreboding it instilled in me.

When I finally opened the carton (after taking pictures), this is what I found:


Lots of unconstrained air and 3 lousy shoe boxes. The counter was free to move wherever it wanted. In contrast to some of you, the highest priority on my packaging list is: Ensure that the goods are secured so they can't move within the box. Then only a small layer of damping material is needed.

Amazingly however, the machine looked like it survived the trip in rather good condition:


The knackered time base knob was like this on the auction picture. Almost devoid of stickers!
And, as a surprise, the box contained both manuals, too:


I guess some sellers would expect the amount I paid just for those ...

Encouraged by the orderly outside appearance, I connected it to my variac and gave it a try. A thunderous, heart stopping rattle ensued when I switched it on, but the Nixies where lighting up ... not completely. The rattling clearly must be the fan, so I let it run. The leftmost digit was only half lit (yes, really, just the right half!), and the 4th was dark. It also would not do anything during the self CHECK. However, the fan got quieter after a while.

I knew I should have opened it before plugging it in, but, well, I just like to see how they behave before I intrude. Now is the time for opening the beast. Yep, several cards don't sit straight in their notches, and the edge connector only barely sits on the oscillator assembly. Manually turning the fan I find nothing wrong.

After making sure all cards sit firmly and the oscillator is also connected, I give it another try. The same helluva noise, but the display is now complete, and the CHECK function shows the expected value! When the fan noise had died down to a bearable level, I connected the input to my GPSDO:

Not too bad.
After an hour the figure went up to about 10000.050 kHz. There are no less than three trimmers for the oscillator: course, (unnamed) and fine. After some fiddling, and with 10 seconds gate time, I arrived at this:

I like it.  ;) (Of course this is just a stunt, but I still like it.)

First I take care of the fan.
A careful inspection shows that some blades touch the bobbin of the motor winding when the axle is closest to the motor. It also needs some cleaning:

The blades can easily be bent individually, so the noise can be taken care of.

And then I made that fateful decision.
You all saw the mains connector. Using my special cable is OK for a bit of playing around, but forbids itself for real usage. The connector needs to be changed to a modern IEC one. (Does anyone know a good name for that shape? I'm not aware of any. It certainly is neither an ellipse nor an oval. Long circle?)
My attempts at getting the rear plate out where of no avail. It seems you have to disassemble the whole instrument completely, which I'm not willing to do without a better reason.
So it has to be done right there. Now way to unsolder the socket. The compartment is cramped (even the Schaffner is discrete):


Let's first loosen the voltage selector and the socket to get better access. Why do they have to use rivets? I hate those damn things! And sure enough, I cock up drilling the rivets. I get 3 of them off center. This not only makes a mess, but it also keeps the rivets in place. I use my Dremel (which is not a Dremel) to get them out somehow. Looking at what I've done, I'm so devastated that I give up for the day.

Next day I realize that the IEC socket will not even fit in the available space. The voltage selector needs to move a millimeter down. And the holes from the old socket will not be hidden under the flange of the new. Don't ask how I made the opening ...  :palm:
After around 4 hours it was finally done. I thought I'd better not show you the horrible outcome, but remembering med's fan botch, I gave in. I'm fully aware that I might get tried for crimes against a HO instrument, likely with nixiefreqq as prosecutor.:


I cleaned up the counter the best I could, swapped the knackered knob with one from behind and also tried the frequency converter. This is 500 MHz (490 + 10):


I must say that I'm more than pleased with this counter. 60 € was a real steal, IMO.

Now I've wasted 2 hours writing this story. It'l take at least as long to catch up.
 
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Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39344 on: September 21, 2019, 04:47:39 pm »
Found this. So true:


Where's Keysight?
 

Offline xrunner

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39345 on: September 21, 2019, 04:49:48 pm »
I actually stayed the only one interested, and so acquired my first hp 5254L (with 5253B converter) for 50 bucks + 10 shipping.

Wow! You lucky dog!  :-+ Amazing it wasn't damaged what  piss-poor packing job.

That's a real prize I congratulate you. Thanks for the pictures.

I am a Test Equipment Addict (TEA) - by virtue of this forum signature, I have now faced my addiction
 

Offline Ero-Shan

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39346 on: September 21, 2019, 05:22:09 pm »
I actually stayed the only one interested, and so acquired my first hp 5254L (with 5253B converter) for 50 bucks + 10 shipping.

Wow! You lucky dog!  :-+ Amazing it wasn't damaged what  piss-poor packing job.


As someone has put it: Built like a tank!
 

Online med6753

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39347 on: September 21, 2019, 05:26:02 pm »
My 2465 fan bodge is apparently world famous, isn't it?  |O |O :-DD :-DD
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Offline Cubdriver

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39348 on: September 21, 2019, 05:26:30 pm »
Nicely done, Ero-Shan.  But be forewarned - a 5245L was the gateway drug for my current nixie addiction.   >:D  You got a good deal on that, and the packing job is a good testament to the robustness of HP instrumentation of that era.

Low power consumption and light weight seem humorous from a modern perspective, but compared to its contemporaries that were loaded with vacuum tubes, it was very impressive.





Enjoy your newfound addiction!!!

-Pat

If it jams, force it.  If it breaks, you needed a new one anyway...
 
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Offline Johnboy

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39349 on: September 21, 2019, 05:30:49 pm »
I picked up a Simpson 260-8P with original leads last week for a song. One of the leads was bad, intemittent connection, but the unit's cal seemed spot-on, so I got Probemaster to send the oddball leads it uses; they arrived three days later. Strangely, the unit reads slightly high on volt ranges now; not sure what to think about that.

In the interest of getting "back to basics" and reinforcing fundamental understanding, I had the idea of splitting my lab into two. On one side, I have 'modern' stuff (low-end DSO, PSU with digital meters, PC, electronic calculator, etc.) On the other, I have set up the Simpson, an Elenco xp720 kit, junk soldering iron, an older Tek CRO, and a bamboo slide rule, among others. The idea is to work through an older textbook and lab manual and have the same or similar tools that were used in that time period to navigate it. I've never posted in this thread before, but I think this is TEA for sure. I am trying to do this "the hard way" using the giveaway analog stuff without spending a fortune, but the older stuff is clunky, bulky, and gives me an occasional hard stare as though I should "cut the crap" and just use the more modern equipment I actually had to save up for (which is currently collecting dust on the other side of the partition since I decided to do this). I thought this might be amusing to some of you.

 
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