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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 21st Apr 2017, 5:25 pm   #1
Pete_kaye
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Default What is it and how to use?

I found this last year and wondered what to do with it .Is it some kind of signal injector? It has 2 wires coming out the end which give o/c reading . For a battery? And a transistor inside which seems to have had its inside exposed.
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 6:06 pm   #2
TonyDuell
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Default Re: What is it and how to use?

I wonder if it's a temperature measuring probe. There were various designs for those using diodes or transistors as the sensing device.
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 7:03 pm   #3
KeithsTV
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Default Re: What is it and how to use?

If the transistor case was deliberately broken open then it could be for light sensing. If not it's probably for sensing temperature.

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Old 21st Apr 2017, 7:04 pm   #4
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Default Re: What is it and how to use?

That is likely. Or a hall effect probe. Check it with a diode test function on a meter. If it looks like a diode, attach an 8.2k resistor in series with it and a 9v battery and measure the voltage across it with a DMM on 2v range. Hold the tip between your fingers and see if the value changes on the meter in line with temperature. Or light, try measuring the voltage across it.

I made both of those sensors with old OC transistors as you could scrape the paint off
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 8:34 pm   #5
The Philpott
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Default Re: What is it and how to use?

...bearing in mind it probably started life as a Bic biro don't be putting it anywhere too hot as the fumes from them are pretty noxious when set on fire!
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Old 22nd Apr 2017, 4:57 pm   #6
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Default Re: What is it and how to use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Philpott View Post
...a Bic biro
Ouch. You've just hit one of my pet niggles. The original ball-point pen was invented by László Bíró and his brother György in 1931. Bic started making them some time later. So you actually mean a "Bic ballpoint pen".
I get just as miffed over things like "Panasonic Hoover". I must go and lie down in a darkened room.
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Old 22nd Apr 2017, 6:01 pm   #7
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Default Re: What is it and how to use?

Right on, Colin. Couldn't agree more.
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Old 22nd Apr 2017, 6:13 pm   #8
The Philpott
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Default Re: What is it and how to use?

..Careful now, we are lurching very close to being featured on 'Have i Got News For You' !

Has this mystery sensor been interrogated yet i wonder?

Famously one of the early moon landings only achieved a return journey because having bumped into the circuit breaker reset for the thrusters and snapped it off, the astronaut found the only thing that could jam it closed was the lid off his pen. On topic. Sort of.

He still has the pen!
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Old 22nd Apr 2017, 7:11 pm   #9
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Default Re: What is it and how to use?

Technically correct, but like many names, probably ones that were pioneering or just dominant, Biro has passed into general usage. I suspect that the originals are not too bothered by the free advertising they get either.
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Old 22nd Apr 2017, 9:00 pm   #10
cmjones01
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Default Re: What is it and how to use?

That does look like a home-made light pen. There was a time when they were quite popular for drawing on computer screens. The phototransistor picks up the light pulse created as the electron beam scans the CRT, and the computer's graphics circuits use the timing of the pulse to work out where on the screen the pen is pointing. It doesn't work if the screen is blank, of course.

Believe it or not the hardware of the BBC Micro supported this natively: there was a pin on the analogue port to which you could connect such a light pen (I made my own with an old felt tip pen and a phototransistor) and it was possible to write software to use the pen to control the cursor, do drawing and so on.

There were plenty of other machines that could work in the same way, but light pens never really made it beyond some specialist applications: Tektronix graphics/CAD terminals and the Synclavier synthesizer spring to mind.

The 'gun' on various video arcade games of the 1990s, which usually seemed to involve shooting zombies, worked the same way but with a lens on the front of the phototransistor so it worked at a distance rather than in contact with the screen.

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Old 22nd Apr 2017, 11:12 pm   #11
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Default Re: What is it and how to use?

That's a good point regarding the light pen.
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Old 23rd Apr 2017, 7:45 am   #12
Herald1360
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Default Re: What is it and how to use?

It's made out of a pen and it doesn't look very heavy........

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Old 23rd Apr 2017, 10:26 pm   #13
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Groan.."..........
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Old 30th Apr 2017, 3:06 pm   #14
Pete_kaye
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Default Re: What is it and how to use?

Tested for diode but no readings either way so damaged and discarded but thanks for the replies.
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