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Vintage Test Gear and Workshop Equipment For discussions about vintage test gear and workshop equipment such as coil winders.

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Old 13th Jan 2022, 8:44 pm   #1
dsan224
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Default Advanced Electronics TC3

Hello.

I've picked up this rather handsome beast and started the journey of getting it working again. After sourcing the right power cable, I managed to power it up tonight to see what works and what doesn't, and here's where I'm coming cap in hand to see if anyone has any user manuals or guides to how best to use it.

The display seems very dim, and I'm not sure if that is because it is moving really fast or something is wrong.

any hints would be greatly appreciated and thanks in advance, this forum is one of the last places keeping these things alive.
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Old 13th Jan 2022, 9:20 pm   #2
factory
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Default Re: Advanced Electronics TC3

I've not seen one of those before, very nice and probably a rare survivor.

One of my Racal counters uses a similar display, I also thought the digits were quite dim, compared with other counters of the same age using different display technology, I suspect the high brightness of lights above my bench doesn't help.
Changing the lamps for LEDs isn't an option I want to take, as the Ge transistors used are known for being electrically leaky, causing multiple digits to be lit at the same time, plus I hate certain bright LEDs.

You should be able to get a stable display if you select "check" of the control to the right of the display, other modes would require external signals.

P.S. The title should be "Advance" without an extra "D" at the end, not that this will help with web searches as they tend to default to "Advanced".

David
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Old 13th Jan 2022, 9:26 pm   #3
dsan224
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Default Re: Advanced Electronics TC3

Thanks David. I tried check and nothing really changed, no matter what I pressed. Are there any known guides on these at all out there?
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Old 13th Jan 2022, 10:10 pm   #4
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Default Re: Advanced Electronics TC3

I haven't personally seen one, but maybe someone on here will have, manuals for early digital test gear made by Advance seem pretty hard to find.

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Old 14th Jan 2022, 6:11 am   #5
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Default Re: Advanced Electronics TC3

Check the power supply especially the 100v high voltage supply for the nixies and give the screen a good clean. Telford shows as having instruction manuals for the TC4A etc - http://www.telford-electronics.co.uk/manual.php?alpha=a , might be worth ringing them to see if they have any service manual's.
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Old 14th Jan 2022, 9:17 am   #6
dsan224
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Default Re: Advanced Electronics TC3

I do know they aren't nixies, they're the dotted digits of a Perspex/light-bulb display. Good call on cleaning the screen, ill call Telford now, thank you
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Old 14th Jan 2022, 10:29 am   #7
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Default Re: Advanced Electronics TC3

Try sending a PM request for help to forum member WME_bill. He has been helpful to me with an old Advance timer-counter manual scan and may be able to assist.

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Old 14th Jan 2022, 2:28 pm   #8
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Default Re: Advanced Electronics TC3

I have worked on a simpler version of the advanced counter. You wont get any sense out the logic circuit before replacing the electrolytic capacitors.
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Old 14th Jan 2022, 3:43 pm   #9
dsan224
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Default Re: Advanced Electronics TC3

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristianFletcher View Post
I have worked on a simpler version of the advanced counter. You wont get any sense out the logic circuit before replacing the electrolytic capacitors.
Thanks, I assumed as much given the age of the components. This should be fun
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Old 14th Jan 2022, 7:26 pm   #10
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Default Re: Advanced Electronics TC3

I've repaired a few of the Advance, and other brands of identical instruments like Houston Instruments, Marconi and one brand I don't remember right now - they all had identical electronics and cases, just different brands stamped on the labels and front panel.

I agree with ChristianFletcher that you need to sort the electrolytics and also the power supplies first.

There were several dozens of germanium transistors and diodes that either were open circuit or shorts in those that I have repaired, it took me a ton of time to replace these to get something to start work so I hope you won't have to do that - it is also costly. You should also check the lamps as some of these might have gone dark on the inside of the glass bulb but otherwise the counters needs to work properly for the lamps to light up correctly - start with the first counter stage and get it to work properly before you go on to the next one, that will help you to sort out much and the other stages are more or less identical.

If you get hold of the TC3 manual I would like to have a copy if possible.
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Old 15th Jan 2022, 10:46 am   #11
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Default Re: Advanced Electronics TC3

I would definitely have ago at the restoration they are interesting. I never got the one I had 100 percent as it used to suffer the odd logic glitch. I wasn’t sure if it was failing logic IC or the rather complicated switching arrangement. But good luck the punishment is part of the fun.
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Old 15th Jan 2022, 7:48 pm   #12
factory
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Default Re: Advanced Electronics TC3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diabolical Artificer View Post
Check the power supply especially the 100v high voltage supply for the nixies and give the screen a good clean. Telford shows as having instruction manuals for the TC4A etc - http://www.telford-electronics.co.uk/manual.php?alpha=a , might be worth ringing them to see if they have any service manual's.
The TC4A manual is also on electrotanya as a free download; https://elektrotanya.com/advance_tc4...wnload.html#dl
Seems to be a more basic instrument than the TC3. The TC4A is similar in appearance to the TC2, but with neon tube displays instead of incandescent displays. For comparasion there is a TC2 in this thread; https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...d.php?t=122557

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