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ml
Guest

Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:35 am   



hi

wanted to try my hand at experimenting /repairing/aligning ham
radios or at least being able to make some simple tests to see if
they are in cal

could someone suggest some low cost gear and where I can get
same(specifically), was thinking along the lines of RF signal gen, rf
millivolt meter, af sig gen, anything I overlooked? I already have a
osc scope , spec anal, freq. counter.


stuff has to come from a place that calibrates it, I'd buy off
ebay but the cheep stuff is usually scrap

maybe someone knows a refirb/used place that does at least test the
gear to make sure it's in spec?

ideas welcome

thanks

Fred
Guest

Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:33 am   



ml <m_at_di.net> wrote in news:m-9F9A4A.20355306022011_at_news.optonline.net:

Quote:
hi

wanted to try my hand at experimenting /repairing/aligning ham
radios or at least being able to make some simple tests to see if
they are in cal

could someone suggest some low cost gear and where I can get
same(specifically), was thinking along the lines of RF signal gen, rf
millivolt meter, af sig gen, anything I overlooked? I already have a
osc scope , spec anal, freq. counter.


stuff has to come from a place that calibrates it, I'd buy off
ebay but the cheep stuff is usually scrap

maybe someone knows a refirb/used place that does at least test the
gear to make sure it's in spec?

ideas welcome

thanks


While I, as a ham radio operator and electronic technician (Metrology)
appreciates your thoughts on the subject....knowing how cheap 99% of all
ham radio operators born in the last 70 years are, I think you're
seriously CRAZY! If you just need a hobby to bide your time and wile
away the hours keeping your mind occupied, fine....go for it.

But, alas, if you think you're going to make a living fixing ham radio
gear, just forget it and go work at Waffle House for more serious money.

Your other problem is that ham radios made in the last 30 years are very
proprietary computer devices with everything controlled by software
you'll never get access to, made by tight Japanese companies...Yaesu,
Kenwood and Icom, for the most part. These rarely beak down unless
lightning hits their antenna ports, rendering repair impossible as
everything is just GONE! Older equipments that were, marginally,
repairable, analog transceivers with non-proprietary, non-unobtanium
parts belong to the very poor hams, among us, who are not going to pay
you anything near a fair price for their repair as most of them fix the
equipment themselves...as a hobby.

Do yourself a huge favor and put this nonsense out of your mind. If you
live to be 200, you still won't recover any investment in test equipment
off paying hams.....who are all dying of old age as there are so few new
hams caused by the internet generation. The average age of any ham radio
convention (hamfest) is somewhere around 60-70, now....a bunch of tired
old men trying to unload the 1960's crap out of the garage so they can
move into the retirement center with the free wifi.

Jeff Liebermann
Guest

Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:00 am   



On Sun, 06 Feb 2011 20:35:53 -0500, ml <m_at_di.net> wrote:

Quote:
wanted to try my hand at experimenting /repairing/aligning ham
radios or at least being able to make some simple tests to see if
they are in cal

There is no "simple" in RF.

Quote:
could someone suggest some low cost gear and where I can get
same(specifically), was thinking along the lines of RF signal gen, rf
millivolt meter, af sig gen, anything I overlooked? I already have a
osc scope , spec anal, freq. counter.

Search for a "service monitor". You can live without the millivolt
meter. You'll also need an RF watts-guesser, PL/DPL generator, 12V
bench power supply, SINAD meter, and possibly an RF sweep generator.
That's for analog radios. A dummy load, pile of attenuators, coax
adapters, and cables, are alsos required.

If you're going to deal with old Motorola radios, you'll also need a
really old 286 or 386SX computah, as the old programming software
doesn't run on faster machines. You'll also need a wide variety of
power cables, programming cables, and software depending on what you
plan to repair.

Wavetek 3000 (old but cheap):
<http://802.11junk.com/jeffl/pics/home/slides/BL-shop5.html>

IFR-1500 (much better and not cheap):
<http://802.11junk.com/jeffl/pics/home/slides/BL-shop6.html>
The giant mess is optional.
<http://www.google.com/images?q=ifr-1500+service+monitor>
<http://www.repeater-builder.com/aeroflex/aeroflex-index.html>

Just about anything you purchase that resembles a service monitor
that's over 10 years old is going to have dried out electrolytic
capacitors, that might need replacement. For the Wavetek 3000 service
monitor, you also get to replace ALL the tantalums. That's the price
of buying cheap.


--
Jeff Liebermann jeffl_at_cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558

Fred McKenzie
Guest

Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:06 am   



In article <m-9F9A4A.20355306022011_at_news.optonline.net>, ml <m_at_di.net>
wrote:

Quote:
could someone suggest some low cost gear and where I can get
same

You're dreaming!

There is Tucker Electronics in Texas, Skycraft Surplus in Orlando,
Florida and many others. Next weekend (Feb 11,12,13, 2011) there is the
Orlando Hamfest at the fairgrounds. Larger Hamfests often have used
test equipment dealers.

But the good stuff is not cheap. Perhaps a used Bird Wattmeter with
various elements can be had for $100 plus $30 each element. Maybe an
old HP 8640B signal generator for $300. Yes, E-Bay is a gamble. But so
are the alternatives.

You can also take what you have and devise methods of testing for
various parameters, until you get better equipment. For example, you
can tune an HF radio to 20 MHz WWV and calibrate it so CW and CW-Reverse
produce the same audio tone. If your ear is good, it could be more
accurate than your counter.

Fred

Jeff Liebermann
Guest

Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:09 am   



On Sun, 06 Feb 2011 21:00:02 -0800, Jeff Liebermann <jeffl_at_cruzio.com>
wrote:
(...)

I blundered across this web site:
<http://www.ipass.net/wb4iuy/radio/wb4iuy6b.htm>
that has a fairly complete lineup of what's needed to do repair work.
You can probably live without the tubes and tube testers.
--
Jeff Liebermann jeffl_at_cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558

Cydrome Leader
Guest

Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:31 am   



Fred <nobody_at_home.com> wrote:
Quote:
ml <m_at_di.net> wrote in news:m-9F9A4A.20355306022011_at_news.optonline.net:

hi

wanted to try my hand at experimenting /repairing/aligning ham
radios or at least being able to make some simple tests to see if
they are in cal

could someone suggest some low cost gear and where I can get
same(specifically), was thinking along the lines of RF signal gen, rf
millivolt meter, af sig gen, anything I overlooked? I already have a
osc scope , spec anal, freq. counter.


stuff has to come from a place that calibrates it, I'd buy off
ebay but the cheep stuff is usually scrap

maybe someone knows a refirb/used place that does at least test the
gear to make sure it's in spec?

ideas welcome

thanks


While I, as a ham radio operator and electronic technician (Metrology)
appreciates your thoughts on the subject....knowing how cheap 99% of all
ham radio operators born in the last 70 years are, I think you're
seriously CRAZY! If you just need a hobby to bide your time and wile
away the hours keeping your mind occupied, fine....go for it.

But, alas, if you think you're going to make a living fixing ham radio
gear, just forget it and go work at Waffle House for more serious money.

Your other problem is that ham radios made in the last 30 years are very
proprietary computer devices with everything controlled by software
you'll never get access to, made by tight Japanese companies...Yaesu,
Kenwood and Icom, for the most part. These rarely beak down unless
lightning hits their antenna ports, rendering repair impossible as
everything is just GONE! Older equipments that were, marginally,
repairable, analog transceivers with non-proprietary, non-unobtanium
parts belong to the very poor hams, among us, who are not going to pay
you anything near a fair price for their repair as most of them fix the
equipment themselves...as a hobby.

Do yourself a huge favor and put this nonsense out of your mind. If you
live to be 200, you still won't recover any investment in test equipment
off paying hams.....who are all dying of old age as there are so few new
hams caused by the internet generation. The average age of any ham radio
convention (hamfest) is somewhere around 60-70, now....a bunch of tired
old men trying to unload the 1960's crap out of the garage so they can
move into the retirement center with the free wifi.

everything you said is sort of sad, but true.

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