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Old 18th Sep 2023, 9:16 am   #21
SiriusHardware
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Default Re: Most ornamental equipment?

I would say that LED V/U and S/RF meters come into the ornamental 'form before function' category, they are definitely all about the 'look' and are nothing like as useful or intuitive as analogue meters. I particularly dislike low-resolution 'digital' meters on receivers.

That said, I use digital multimeters every day and although I do own a large 'Triplett' analogue meter I almost never use it. It's really only signal level indicators where I'd take an analogue meter movement every time.
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Old 18th Sep 2023, 10:14 am   #22
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Default Re: Most ornamental equipment?

I'm another enthusiast of the visual aspect of early Avo 8s - 7s too for that matter - and of a large proportion of older test equipment in general, especially if it's somehow escaped the common fate of becoming rusty and getting knocked about. We've more space than is required for the relatively few things that have a regular use here, so many other items stay around just because it delights me to see them, and the quality of their adaptation to whatever their function may have been is one of the things that can occasion the said delight. I confess complete aversion to steampunk reinventions, whose adaptation to their new role tends to be abysmally bad - Belling Champion as light source, etc. - and to having anything at all around that's lost its original innards.

I suppose the Panasonic RF-9000 (last photo) is my main current example of practical use and aesthetic appeal in broadly equal balance with, as has been said, some knowledge of what's inside the thing definitely contributing to the latter. It gets very frequent use, but will probably stay exactly where it is if it croaks or if there's absolutely nothing left on the airwaves that I could wish to hear.

Paul
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Old 18th Sep 2023, 11:19 am   #23
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Default Re: Most ornamental equipment?

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I suppose my Beogram 4000 is decidedly ornamental. It's greatest attribute is to irritate the worshippers of certain other record rotators.

David
This is indeed one of its greatest abilities. If someone denigrates it, I find that asking "What exactly was it that you didn't like about it when you heard one?" is the perfect question as, after some bluster and indignation, they will usually back-pedal and admit they've not actually heard one!

As to VU meters, I will happily give house room to anything that has them on - wonderful things but they have to be proper analogue needle types. My power amplifier has a facility to switch the meters off but obviously this is never used - why on earth would you want to do that?!

I used to have a Technics SH-9020 power meter unit which is basically two lovely power meters in a fancy box. I still regret selling it.
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Old 18th Sep 2023, 11:43 am   #24
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Default Re: Most ornamental equipment?

There's only one purely ornamental assembly in my workshop, and it's outside forum discussion due to the amount of interference it creates when switched on.

I'm drawn to illuminated displays (particularly digital ones) although the shine is taken off nixie a little when it's no longer in the equipment it was intended for, and edge-lit blue or purple in the campest fashion possible.

I suppose my meters are ornamental, though none are on display as such. Probably Jeremy has the right idea, he repairs them to working order then puts them on display.

Dave
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Old 18th Sep 2023, 12:16 pm   #25
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Default Re: Most ornamental equipment?

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I suppose my Beogram 4000 is decidedly ornamental. It's greatest attribute is to irritate the worshippers of certain other record rotators. Maybe I need a TD125/SME to complete the set?
I must be missing out on the aesthetic politics (?) of turntable design: have just lived happily with my TD160B MkII / 3009 / V15-III since acquiring it (less the cartridge) second-hand some 40 years ago. Had a Beogram 1000 once but the combination of costly custom stylus and mediocre performance didn't appeal, so my B&O stock now is down to the Beovision 8802, a Beomaster 900K, a couple of early Beolits, and a Beocord 1100 lurking in the attic.

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Old 18th Sep 2023, 1:02 pm   #26
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Default Re: Most ornamental equipment?

The Collins-based MW transmitter on the MV Peace became ornamental in late 1986. The total weight must have been a few tons. The two PA PSU units were removed; the main assembly remained in situ and presumably still does, fathoms down!
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Old 18th Sep 2023, 1:21 pm   #27
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Default Re: Most ornamental equipment?

One thing I missed out, the B&O 4000 has one bit of street cred in the ornamental dimension that sets it out as something special, The Louvre got one for their permanent collection!

It really IS art!

David
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Old 18th Sep 2023, 1:25 pm   #28
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Default Re: Most ornamental equipment?

As I remarked upthread, I don't really do 'ornaments'.

Yet back when I was working, I had in my office the copper anode block from a cavity Magnetron which had first seen service in a RADAR aboard one of Her Majesty's ships and whhich then became a nice pen-holder.


I also had two oblong PTFE blocks, which were drilled with holes to take pairs of power-valves [2C39A type, and 4CX350 type] which occasionally provided a talking-point for visitors.
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Old 18th Sep 2023, 2:15 pm   #29
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...I had in my office the copper anode block from a cavity Magnetron which had first seen service in a RADAR aboard one of Her Majesty's ships and which then became a nice pen-holder.
Beats my pen-holder, though I do find it visually pleasing as well as useful: it could almost have been made for the job.

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Old 18th Sep 2023, 5:37 pm   #30
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Default Re: Most ornamental equipment?

Must admit, I like that insulator as a penholder.
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Old 18th Sep 2023, 6:13 pm   #31
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I have a large B+K analyser that's been a workshop ornament for some years now. It'd be fun to use and I'd like to get it fixed, but even though long-discontinued by B+K (and no longer serviced in-house), they have no intention of giving anyone the SM. I posted a Q here about this and found others with B+K equipment that are in the same situation. I won't be buying anything else made by the firm!
There are a couple of manuals on ko4bb;

http://www.ko4bb.com/getsimple/index...ipment/B_and_K

David
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Old 18th Sep 2023, 7:13 pm   #32
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Default Re: Most ornamental equipment?

As others have said there is something intrinsically satisfying about the combination of form and function in some older test gear. A 50's or 60's Tek scope being about the ultimate example to me. The way it's put together is a work of art and simultaneously there is the intellectual tour de force of their having designed things like distributed amplifiers, "T" coils (the secrets of which were made public only relatively recently!) and PDA CRT's.

What I don't like personally is equipment, largely for home use (Japanese and some American hi fi and some broadcast radio gear in the main) where completely OTT deliberate use of unnecessary bling meters and LED bar-graph displays have been used for styling purposes under the pretext of "technical". Just as bad is the use of graphs etc silk screened on fascias to give the impression of technical excellence...
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Old 18th Sep 2023, 10:41 pm   #33
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Default Re: Most ornamental equipment?

Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knobtwiddler View Post
I have a large B+K analyser that's been a workshop ornament for some years now. It'd be fun to use and I'd like to get it fixed, but even though long-discontinued by B+K (and no longer serviced in-house), they have no intention of giving anyone the SM. I posted a Q here about this and found others with B+K equipment that are in the same situation. I won't be buying anything else made by the firm!
There are a couple of manuals on ko4bb;

http://www.ko4bb.com/getsimple/index...ipment/B_and_K

David
Thanks!

I started a thread about the B+K, but as you will see, it didn't come to much. Woodchips' comment at the end doesn't bode well for those of us with older B+K gear.
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Old 18th Sep 2023, 11:32 pm   #34
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Default Re: Most ornamental equipment?

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I have a large B+K analyser that's been a workshop ornament for some years now. It'd be fun to use and I'd like to get it fixed, but even though long-discontinued by B+K (and no longer serviced in-house), they have no intention of giving anyone the SM. I posted a Q here about this and found others with B+K equipment that are in the same situation. I won't be buying anything else made by the firm!
If that’s the 2133 you’ve mentioned, a seller in Hungary on eBay claims to be able to offer a copy of ‘Part 1’ currently.
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Old 19th Sep 2023, 3:33 pm   #35
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Default Re: Most ornamental equipment?

Thanks. Not sure I have the appetite for buying a manual off Ebay at present ('Part 1' seems a little open to interpretation IMO).
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Old 19th Sep 2023, 4:12 pm   #36
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Default Re: Most ornamental equipment?

At Leeds when I was doing my first degree, the electrical/electronic eng department had an impressive array of Bruel & Kjaer gear. They also had all the service manuals so B&K did supply them to customers. I remember reading them avidly, but it was 5 years ago...

David
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Old 19th Sep 2023, 5:17 pm   #37
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Default Re: Most ornamental equipment?

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At Leeds when I was doing my first degree, the electrical/electronic eng department had an impressive array of Bruel & Kjaer gear. They also had all the service manuals so B&K did supply them to customers. I remember reading them avidly, but it was 5 years ago...

David
5 years David?
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Old 19th Sep 2023, 5:19 pm   #38
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Thanks. Not sure I have the appetite for buying a manual off Ebay at present ('Part 1' seems a little open to interpretation IMO).
I assume you know that all 5 Vols () of the instruction manuals are available on line? Can't see the service manuals though.
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Old 19th Sep 2023, 7:52 pm   #39
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Thanks!

I started a thread about the B+K, but as you will see, it didn't come to much. Woodchips' comment at the end doesn't bode well for those of us with older B+K gear.
Some info suggesting they stopped service info after being taken over in 1992, here; https://www.diyaudio.com/community/t...manual.401550/

Quote:
Hello: Yes -- there is actually a 2133 Service Instruction! However, it was one of the last B&K published -- since they stopped distributing these after they were bought (the first time) in 1992. So, for instance, none were ever distributed for the 2035 or 2144 &c (both of which I own). To find one, you will likely have to deal with those who were once Service Centers (i.e. Pearl only has Instruction/Operating Manuals, not Service Instructions), such as Odin Metrology (once B&K's West Coast service shop) . . . !!
Once you get into 90s, quite a lot of the big well known test gear companies stopped providing full service manuals, more assembly swapping instructions instead, this doesn't stop people from figuring it out themselves, sometimes the service info leaks out too.

Ignore the negative comment in the linked thread you mentioned, he seems to lose interest very quickly in most vintage test gear, instead prefers taking it to bits, often without asking if anyone else might be interested, you have to contact him quickly if you want to rescue stuff.

Re: the 2133, probably need to open another thread & have a closer look, the monitor part seems a self contained unit in a related model.

David
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Old 19th Sep 2023, 8:17 pm   #40
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5 years David?
Trailing zero suppression must have got turned on.

David
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