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Old 02-04-2011, 06:27 PM   #61
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IMG_0372.jpgIMG_0373.jpgMighty quiet lately.

Here is a puzzler for the afficionados. What is the device in the photo?

Hint: it was used in early Earthquake research. Both photos are the of the same device.
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Old 02-04-2011, 07:06 PM   #62
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I don't have a scope handy ... I really need a scope...
Then darn it, start looking on eBay. One can get a nice working Tektronix scope for around $100, solid-state and with bandwidth of more than 100MHz too.

PS. I wouldn't get an old tube type Tek scope to restore. Of course you can do that, but get a working solid-state one first.
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Old 02-04-2011, 07:19 PM   #63
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Attachment 11187Attachment 11188Mighty quiet lately.

Here is a puzzler for the afficionados. What is the device in the photo?

Hint: it was used in early Earthquake research. Both photos are the of the same device.
The only old Rubicon stuff I've ever seen was a galvanometer. don't know what else they made.
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Old 02-04-2011, 07:39 PM   #64
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Quick solution Nodak. It is a galvanometer, with a tiny mirror attached to the rotor.

The output of a Wood Anderson Long Period seismometer was connected to the galvanometer.

It was used in concert with a slit light source as a noiseless amplifier. The light source and the photosensitive paper on a rotating drum was 15 feet from the galvanometer. Thus amplifying the varying signal of the seismometer.

All of which was on top of concrete pier poured on bedrock. This particular unit was used atop the Palisades rock formation just north of Alpine NJ. Taken out of service around 1980. Photosensitive paper (about 2'x4') got to be way too expensive. Saved this one from the junk yard. many others were tossed. I use it as a paperweight etc.
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:46 PM   #65
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An interesting modification for the galvanometer, it never would have occurred to me that they were ever used that way.
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:46 PM   #66
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Although I grew up playing with vacuum tubes, I do not see myself going back to that any time soon. Well, maybe when I fully retire and have more time. Right now, antique electronics to me means individual transistors, dual-gate MOSFETs, ICs that are in DIP packages, TTL chips, Z80 and 68000 microprocessors, etc... These 30-yr old ICs take tremendous board areas and are awfully power hungry compared to SMD devices now, hence are antique to me.

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I remember a Tektronix spectrum analyzer from my early career, about 1975, that almost took two people to move it. It actually had two handles.
I still have in my garage a venerable HP-141t spectrum analyzer which weights perhaps 50lbs. No tubes in that granddaddy, except for the CRT. All the circuits are solid-state, but the weight is because of the tremendous shielding that the thing has. For accessories, I have all the 3 plugins: HP8553 (1KHz-110MHz), HP8554 (100KHz-1250MHz), HP8555A (10MHz-18GHz). The IF is of course the HP8552B. I also have the HP8445B Preselector.

The above setup can still fetch some money, but no way I would want to sell it. Yes, even if I have a modern, lighter analyzer with a built-in tracking generator. That beauty and another piece of equipment, a lab grade signal generator, together cost me $50K when I bought them a few years ago. These are of course nowhere near top-of-the-line. For that, a top-notch best-money-can-buy spectrum analyzer with phase noise so low it brings tears to your eyes cost $99,500 back then.

PS. No, my memory was failing me. The analyzer was $25K and the signal generator was $15K for a total of $40K, not $50K.
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Old 02-04-2011, 10:49 PM   #67
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I just now went looking on eBay, and saw nothing other than non-working Tek scopes that the sellers still want way too much money for.

Admittedly, the last time I looked was a few years ago, and I could swear I saw many good deals then. Was I imagining it? Where have all these good used Tek scopes and HP analyzers gone? Did they all die and go to electronic heaven, and the remaining survivors now fetch higher prices, if one could be found?
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Old 02-04-2011, 10:57 PM   #68
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NW-bound: I started my career with the 8555A. Great instrument. I remember when we took delivery of the then-new 8565. It was immediately dubbed the 'Star Wars analyzer' because it had a cool red LED readout of the (approximate) frequency. Oooh.

Steve
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Old 02-04-2011, 10:59 PM   #69
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An interesting modification for the galvanometer, it never would have occurred to me that they were ever used that way.
Yes, interesting stuff. I googled and just found galvanometers.

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I just now went looking on eBay, and saw nothing other than non-working Tek scopes that the sellers still want way too much money for.
I'm trying to stay in a de-accumulating phase, otherwise I'd probably just by the scope. But when a laptop has 99% of what I would need for what I might do, I'd rather just try to use that instead of buy another piece of 'stuff'.

I loaded xoscope on my linux machine. It's not too bad, but the mic/line inputs on my laptop are AC coupled, so that makes it less usefull than I would like for general troubleshooting, where I want to see AC and DC levels. Hmmm, I have an ADC I bought for converting my vinyl, that might have DC coupled inputs on the line jacks, and I think I can get xoscope to read from the USB channel. I'll give that a try. I think I have a 10x probe around somewhere.

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Old 02-04-2011, 11:22 PM   #70
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I'm trying to stay in a de-accumulating phase, otherwise I'd probably just buy the scope.
Even if I were going to live full-time in a small motor home, I would be sure to find room for my 3 scopes, 2 spectrum analyzers, and 2 signal generators (all Tek and HP lab quality equipments). Of course there were other little things like power supplies. Oh, and of course my junk boxes of parts... And my 5 desktop PCs (dual core and quad core). I guess I will leave behind the single cores that I still keep.

A geek can de-cumulate or whatever, but he's still got to remember what is important to him, ya know?

Maybe I would need to move up to a class A motor home, you think?

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... I think I can get xoscope to read from the USB channel. I'll give that a try. I think I have a 10x probe around somewhere.
Is that probe enough attenuation to probe around high-voltage circuits with a low-voltage ADC?


PS. You are trying to de-cumulate, yet you are also trying to restore old and bulky antique electronics? I say you need the scope!
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:49 PM   #71
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PS. You are trying to de-cumulate, yet you are also trying to restore old and bulky antique electronics? I say you need the scope!
But the stuff I fixed/rebuilt wasn't mine (it's the schools), so it's outta here!

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Is that probe enough attenuation to probe around high-voltage circuits with a low-voltage ADC?
Well, the line input of an audio DAC should take +/- 2V or so. So a 10:1 probe only gets me to 20 volts - I'd need to build another little divider in there for anything other than low voltage stuff.

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Old 02-04-2011, 11:58 PM   #72
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But the stuff I fixed/rebuilt wasn't mine (it's the schools), so it's outta here!
OK. I am different. Whatever I touch, I become attached to. So, at this point, I am very very careful not to get anything new. I have so much to play with already, I do not want to accumulate anymore.
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Old 02-05-2011, 07:55 AM   #73
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I still have in my garage a venerable HP-141t spectrum analyzer which weights perhaps 50lbs. No tubes in that granddaddy, except for the CRT. All the circuits are solid-state, but the weight is because of the tremendous shielding that the thing has. For accessories, I have all the 3 plugins: HP8553 (1KHz-110MHz), HP8554 (100KHz-1250MHz), HP8555A (10MHz-18GHz). The IF is of course the HP8552B. I also have the HP8445B Preselector.

snip
I used these as well. We just had the HP8554 plug in. Remember the cameras with the polaroid back that were use to record the screen. I feel old now.
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Old 02-05-2011, 12:37 PM   #74
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I just now went looking on eBay, and saw nothing other than non-working Tek scopes that the sellers still want way too much money for.

Admittedly, the last time I looked was a few years ago, and I could swear I saw many good deals then. Was I imagining it? Where have all these good used Tek scopes and HP analyzers gone? Did they all die and go to electronic heaven, and the remaining survivors now fetch higher prices, if one could be found?
I wonder if our grandkids will collect these as 'vintage' someday:


ARM DSO Nano - Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope - eBay (item 200470598507 end time Mar-05-11 08:33:18 PST)
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Old 02-05-2011, 12:42 PM   #75
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If this thing lasts that long!

Damn! That's nice and cheap. At 1Msps, it is only good for audio work, and is not going to replace my 200MHz scope any time soon. But that looks perfect for people restoring audio tube equipment.

Maybe I will get one just to play with!
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Old 02-05-2011, 07:07 PM   #76
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Although I grew up playing with vacuum tubes, I do not see myself going back to that any time soon. Well, maybe when I fully retire and have more time. Right now, antique electronics to me means individual transistors, dual-gate MOSFETs, ICs that are in DIP packages, TTL chips, Z80 and 68000 microprocessors, etc... These 30-yr old ICs take tremendous board areas and are awfully power hungry compared to SMD devices now, hence are antique to me.


I still have in my garage a venerable HP-141t spectrum analyzer which weights perhaps 50lbs. No tubes in that granddaddy, except for the CRT. All the circuits are solid-state, but the weight is because of the tremendous shielding that the thing has. For accessories, I have all the 3 plugins: HP8553 (1KHz-110MHz), HP8554 (100KHz-1250MHz), HP8555A (10MHz-18GHz). The IF is of course the HP8552B. I also have the HP8445B Preselector.

The above setup can still fetch some money, but no way I would want to sell it. Yes, even if I have a modern, lighter analyzer with a built-in tracking generator. That beauty and another piece of equipment, a lab grade signal generator, together cost me $50K when I bought them a few years ago. These are of course nowhere near top-of-the-line. For that, a top-notch best-money-can-buy spectrum analyzer with phase noise so low it brings tears to your eyes cost $99,500 back then.

PS. No, my memory was failing me. The analyzer was $25K and the signal generator was $15K for a total of $40K, not $50K.
This post reminds me of when I w*rkd at Mostek Corporation. Those were the days -- late 70's / early 80's. Mostek - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The wikipedia article makes reference to fear, uncertainty, an doubt, aka FUD, which is attributed to Gene Amdahl Fear, uncertainty and doubt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. I had the privilege of spending over a decade w*rking for Amdahl, and did have the opportunity to have dinner with Dr. Amdahl (me and five others that evening). Ok, well enough about me -- I doubt if anybody cares.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:37 PM   #77
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Today, I received the 1930 Western Electric Model 202 (D1/E1) telephone and subset that I bought on ebay. The phone looks and works great, except that it doesn't ring. I will need to check the internal wiring in the subset (ringer box) this weekend.
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Old 05-27-2011, 12:13 AM   #78
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Cool! What will you be using to ring it? Those old low-impedance ringers took a lot of power to ring. The ringers used for the last 50-60 years or so are known as high-impedance ringers. The whole REN (Ringer Equivalency Number) idea of the deregulated years was based on the high-impedance ringer as REN=1. Most telco's allowed you to have at least REN=5 on your line, to allow some phones around the house in parallel.

One of the hack jobs for a person who dug up an old phone that they wanted to use, was to replace the old ringer with a "modern" ringer. That was a "modern" electromechanical ringer, so even that was quite a few years ago! A common source was the electromechanical ringer pulled from an old 500 rotary or 2500 pushbutton set. Back in the day that if an intruder broke in while you were on the phone, you could club them with the receiver.

A 500/2500 ringer will not sound like the real old ringers, but at least it's a real set of bells. The DC-blocking capacitor of some of the 500/2500 sets was in the "network" block. So to avoid having to acquire a suitable external cap to go with the 500/2500 ringer, the 500/2500 network block could be used too, only using the terminals on it for its internal blocking cap.

Another thing people did, was to disconnect the old low-impedance ringer, and they would know when to pick up the old phone when they heard one of the regular phones in their house ringing.
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:53 PM   #79
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Gumby, what did you figure out with your W.E. phone?
I hope I didn't scare you away...
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Old 06-16-2011, 05:51 AM   #80
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The last several weekends were filled with unexpected auto repairs and other events, so I have not spent much time trying to figure out the phone. I can see that it appears to have been retrofitted with the ringer assembly from a WE 302 (I already have two of those), but I haven't gone further than that.
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