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Old 13th Nov 2007, 5:14 pm   #11
RobinBirch
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Cotswolds, UK.
Posts: 463
Default Re: Test equipment for valve radio repair

My three ha'porth,
1) An AVO is more use than a DVM as the voltages in the service data that we are generally working to will have been determined using analogue meters, often a mk7 or 8 avo and so will be more meaningful on similar kit.

2) It is actually useful to have a couple of AVOs as you can check conditions simultaneously around a complicated circuit - as they are dirt cheap, there is no problem with having several.

3) A reasonably accurate RF signal generator. It doesn't have to be an all singing all dancing one but something that will give you the common IF frequencies and the MW/LW bands with AM modulation will do all of the older sets.

The above will do nearly all AM domestic sets.

If you are going to set up more sophisticated sets, especially communication sets (AR88 etc) then a good wobbulator and a scope is pretty essential (anything where you want to accurately set up filters where the skirt shape is important). Much as scopes are nice toys and I have to admit that I have far more than I should, unless you are going to be doing this sort of stuff then they are not really necessary.

Once you go beyond this then it just depends how many toys your budget can extend to. I have a valve tester and it is immensely helpful. I also have a very good Marconi comms set analyser which is way way beyond the sort of gear that is really necessary but it does make some things very easy. Other useful items are valve volt meters when you can find them. I also have a megger which gets used for testing the mains side for insulation.

The thing to remember is that test gear comes under the heading of nice to haves and I can just do X better if I have a thingy and it only costs xxxx I'm sure I can find a home for it.

All of us can do most of what we do with 1, 2 and 3 above. It is rare that I actually break out the full tool set and only when I want to do something insane like setting up a complete RA17.

Robin
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