Author Topic: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread  (Read 2069951 times)

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Offline xrunner

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39375 on: September 21, 2019, 09:37:00 pm »
So I hit up hamfest this weekend....and well, here's a list of the damage.  :-DD Pics to come as I recuperate and get things organized.

Tek Type 204 Scope-Mobile (already got the 7904A mounted on it)
Tek P6015 HV probe
Tek P6042 current probe
Tek 7A13
Tek 7A11
Tek calibration fixture
HP 5385A counter (perfect size to perch on top of the 7904A to use on the SIG OUT!)

Last (but not TEA) is an ICOM HD51A plus DSTAR capable HT.


And that's my TEA purchasing budget for a while!  :-DD  :palm:

I am a Test Equipment Addict (TEA) - by virtue of this forum signature, I have now faced my addiction
 
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Offline BU508A

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39376 on: September 21, 2019, 09:41:08 pm »
Remember that beauty is on the inside of all things...



Very true.  :-+  Does this count for the specs as well?  ;)

This is the heart of the 3458A (the ADC module) coming from TiN's website:

“Chaos is found in greatest abundance wherever order is being sought. It always defeats order, because it is better organized.”            - Terry Pratchett -
 

Online bd139

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39377 on: September 21, 2019, 09:46:48 pm »
That's a pretty nice board that actually. You can smell that they used Zuken to do that board :-DD
 

Online med6753

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39378 on: September 21, 2019, 09:48:18 pm »
So I hit up hamfest this weekend....and well, here's a list of the damage.  :-DD Pics to come as I recuperate and get things organized.


HP 5385A counter (perfect size to perch on top of the 7904A to use on the SIG OUT!)


Copy Cat!!  :P :P :-DD

Seriously, nice haul.  :-+
An old gray beard with an attitude.
 
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Online med6753

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39379 on: September 21, 2019, 09:51:10 pm »
That's a pretty nice board that actually. You can smell that they used Zuken to do that board :-DD

Zuken? There you go again having me do a Google.  :-DD
An old gray beard with an attitude.
 

Offline xrunner

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39380 on: September 21, 2019, 09:59:49 pm »
All these pretty PCBs - I've been thinking about this for a while - making up a big circuit board wall art like this. I can do it because I'm not married so nobody to say no.  :-DD



http://www.chrisharrison.net/projects/wallart/

I am a Test Equipment Addict (TEA) - by virtue of this forum signature, I have now faced my addiction
 
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Online med6753

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39381 on: September 21, 2019, 10:00:51 pm »
All these pretty PCBs - I've been thinking about this for a while - making up a big circuit board wall art like this. I can do it because I'm not married so nobody to say no.  :-DD



http://www.chrisharrison.net/projects/wallart/

Hi Five Pal!  :-+ I got no no-no's here too.  :-DD
An old gray beard with an attitude.
 
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Online bd139

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39382 on: September 21, 2019, 10:03:09 pm »
That's a pretty nice board that actually. You can smell that they used Zuken to do that board :-DD

Zuken? There you go again having me do a Google.  :-DD
:-DD

Zuken is the CAD package I wished I got to use but I stupidly picked microelectronics as a speciality at university which meant a life sitting in front of a fucked up thing from SDA which became an even more fucked up thing, Cadence half way through the course. This started on a SPARCstation 2 which sucked massive balls at the time. If you wanted a break, all you had to do was STOP-A the machine and do a FORTH one liner to piss all over the memory, then resume the kernel and it crashed HARD. It took nearly an hour to reboot because it had no RAM at all and was swapping off disk constantly :-DD

 

Offline nixiefreqq

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39383 on: September 21, 2019, 10:13:54 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.



TWO retaining latch knobs for the plug in?   WHAT SORCERY IS THIS?

have seen lots of 5245's but none with twin latches. 

won't even comment on what kind of pin headed bubble wrappin' shoebox stuffin' son of a bitch would just drop a 5245 into a box that way.

you are forgiven for your power connector bodge.  ruined a pristine 5325b that way myself 30 years ago.  was remorseful afterward and have never committed this immoral act again.  (you only get forgiveness once.  go forth and find some ph-163 cords and sin no more)

nice catch. be good to her.

ps  one possible source of those cords are telescope shops.  have an 8 inch celestron bought new in the late 70's that uses that connector/cord to power the clock drive)



"free range primate"
 
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Offline MadTux

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39384 on: September 21, 2019, 10:15:04 pm »
Interesting topic, I sometimes wondered as well, which software HP and others used in the 1980s.
PCBs in the  HP 8015A from mid 1970s, that I repaired some time ago, looked like it had been done manually with tape on glass plate or similar.
HP 8116A, 3456A from early 1980s were most certainly done with some early PCB design software.

Would be interesting to know what computers and software was used back then. Or see it in some museum. But these computers have most probably ended in scrap a long time ago   :(

Google says, it most likely was Zuken, indeed:
https://blog.zuken.com/eda-the-early-days-has-decision-making-become-harder-over-the-years/
« Last Edit: September 21, 2019, 10:19:54 pm by MadTux »
 

Offline factory

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39385 on: September 21, 2019, 10:15:49 pm »
@ero-shan, re the 5245L, good unit! Think about the number of courier's toes that unit broke on its way to you! Revenge taken by the TE! (HiHi)
I am sure you are aware but the crystal oven remains on if the unit is plugged into the mains, mine had a burnt out x-tal heater and transformer. There is a post with pics on the forum about it somewhere.
Lots of lovely plugins to acquire - be a bit careful - check out the serial number of your unit, some changes occurred during its run, some plugins only suitable after either a mod or a after a certain serial number.
Rob

They are repairable if the crystal oven heater shorts out, the transformer can burn out too, someone over on the vintage radio forum repaired one, an off the shelf transformer was used & a fuse added to prevent transformer meltdown if it happened again.
https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/showthread.php?t=145104

I have information for the mods required for serial numbers prefixed below 335 for the 5245L or 328 for the 5243L.

David
 

Online bd139

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39386 on: September 21, 2019, 10:16:10 pm »
All these pretty PCBs - I've been thinking about this for a while - making up a big circuit board wall art like this. I can do it because I'm not married so nobody to say no.  :-DD



http://www.chrisharrison.net/projects/wallart/

Adding legitimacy to your cause:



That's a minuteman computer (and Jim Williams of course)
 
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Offline factory

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39387 on: September 21, 2019, 10:22:13 pm »
TWO retaining latch knobs for the plug in?   WHAT SORCERY IS THIS?

have seen lots of 5245's but none with twin latches. 

I've seen a few early ones like that, including a 5243L that I regret not bidding on a few years ago, a few weeks later it had been butchered into a clock by that company in Cannock.  :'(
I seem to remember they butchered a whole pile of older nixie Solartron voltmeters around the same time too.

David
 

Offline xrunner

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39388 on: September 21, 2019, 10:32:33 pm »

Adding legitimacy to your cause:



That's a minuteman computer (and Jim Williams of course)

Damn thanks! I knew there was somebody else I knew about that had one, but I couldn't remember who and couldn't find it. Shame on me. Thank you.  :palm:
I am a Test Equipment Addict (TEA) - by virtue of this forum signature, I have now faced my addiction
 
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Offline nixiefreqq

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39389 on: September 21, 2019, 10:36:14 pm »
TWO retaining latch knobs for the plug in?   WHAT SORCERY IS THIS?

have seen lots of 5245's but none with twin latches. 

I've seen a few early ones like that, including a 5243L that I regret not bidding on a few years ago, a few weeks later it had been butchered into a clock by that company in Cannock.  :'(
I seem to remember they butchered a whole pile of older nixie Solartron voltmeters around the same time too.

David

thanks!  will be on the lookout for twin latches!

maybe it was just a fad......like in the 60's when everyone just had to have dual exhaust.  (until both mufflers rotted out.....then the shops used to just install one muffler and a Y pipe.  Y pipe?  was that what they called it?  never was much of a motor head. maybe the dragon will weigh in?)
"free range primate"
 

Offline factory

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39390 on: September 21, 2019, 10:44:30 pm »
You should now notice that all the plug-ins have two matching holes for those latches, you will probably be looking for a 5243L or 5245L from 1962 to 1964.

Earlier in the week some unicorn poop arrived, a HP 5240A frequency meter, I'm still a little pissed off at the moment that one of the handles got busted off, will try and get some pictures on here tomorrow.

David
« Last Edit: September 21, 2019, 10:51:07 pm by factory »
 

Offline 0culus

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39391 on: September 21, 2019, 10:49:12 pm »
So I hit up hamfest this weekend....and well, here's a list of the damage.  :-DD Pics to come as I recuperate and get things organized.

Tek Type 204 Scope-Mobile (already got the 7904A mounted on it)
Tek P6015 HV probe
Tek P6042 current probe
Tek 7A13
Tek 7A11
Tek calibration fixture
HP 5385A counter (perfect size to perch on top of the 7904A to use on the SIG OUT!)

Last (but not TEA) is an ICOM HD51A plus DSTAR capable HT.


And that's my TEA purchasing budget for a while!  :-DD  :palm:

(Attachment Link)

Next month!  :-DD
 

Offline 0culus

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39392 on: September 21, 2019, 10:49:54 pm »
I also got some S-1 and S-2 sampling heads as part of the packaged deal of tek stuff...unfortunately no plugin for them though.
 

Offline Specmaster

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39393 on: September 21, 2019, 10:55:52 pm »
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.

Yes interesting idea. I think we're all kindof spoiled these days with what we are presented from modern instruments. I need to get an analog DMM and use the mirrored scale to make some measurements.  :)

We are indeed spoiled.

Although I have to be honest, the instruments that I get the most value from tend to be the much much older ones. In fact I've been working on the transceiver that's going in that £2 HP attenuator switch wreck chassis. It's a bitx variant with some mods (IF that doesn't suck balls, dual band, MOAR POWR!). The bits of kit I have mostly been using are a 51 year old HP 6284A, 40 year old HP 400E and a 20 year old Fluke 87. I intend to purchase an 8640B and an HP 427A at some point now I've got the 1740A as that'd be a nice and complete set (women like matching underwear, why shouldn't I like matching TE!  :-DD)

Also look at this. This is glorious. Why would you not want to use it over the new stuff?



(HP 400E)
You just have to love those gold plated tracks as well, you can't help but love the HP gear once you've seen their guts. Great attention to detail.
Who let Murphy in?
 
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Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39394 on: September 21, 2019, 11:03:27 pm »
That's been obviously designed by idiots just look at those right angle tracks.
 

Offline kj7e

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39395 on: September 21, 2019, 11:04:06 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.

This thread may be helpful to you;
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/metrology/simpson-260-series-8-calibration-instructions-(lots-of-photos-no-really-lots)/

 
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Online bd139

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39396 on: September 21, 2019, 11:10:45 pm »
That's been obviously designed by idiots just look at those right angle tracks.

There’s a bucket in the bottom of the unit to collect the electrons that came off the road.
 
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Offline nixiefreqq

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39397 on: September 21, 2019, 11:22:24 pm »
You should now notice that all the plug-ins have two matching holes for those latches, you will probably be looking for a 5243L or 5245L from 1962 to 1964.

Earlier in the week some unicorn poop arrived, a HP 5240A frequency meter, I'm still a little pissed off at the moment that one of the handles got busted off, will try and get some pictures on here tomorrow.

David

actually had noticed that the plug in's had a latch slot on both sides.  used to have an hp 5345 with a 10590 adapter and noticed at the time that its locking latch knob was on the right side.  always figured that was just because the lever latch for the adapter was on the left. 

a 5240?  wow.  have never seen one.
"free range primate"
 

Offline Mortymore

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39398 on: September 21, 2019, 11:27:52 pm »

Adding legitimacy to your cause:



That's a minuteman computer (and Jim Williams of course)

 
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Offline VK5RC

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #39399 on: September 22, 2019, 12:22:38 am »
Re the 5245L, here are my efforts, getting the heater element out of cooked foam was not fun, I rebuild it with a thermal fuse, the control circuitry had 'passed on' so it was rebuilt as well as replacing the transformer - a small toroidal one fitted in.
Quite a bit VK5RC blood in that unit!

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/repair/repair-of-hp-5245l-nixie-frequency-counter/
Whoah! Watch where that landed we might need it later.
 
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