the value of old test and repair equipment

tony duell ard at
Sat Aug 6 07:14:02 CDT 2016

I also collect old/classic test gear. Some I use (my main 
'scope is a Tekky 555, I think that's old enough to be a 
classic :-)). Some I just collect because it's a beautiful 
piece of electronics. My latest find was an HP3770B
telephone line analyser -- an instrument to measure the
freqeuncy response, etc of a telephone line. I have no
real use for it, but it's classic HP, built like a brick outhouse,
designed to be repaired (fixing screws are labelled, there
are testpoints for everything, there's even an extender board
stored inside). I had to add it to the collection.

> I've been restoring a HeathKit capacitor checker.
> I also have a couple HP counters with Nixies.

Ditto. Mine have those HP counter boards with 8 transistors
as the counters, 8 neons as the latch and a thick film CdS
photoresistor array to drive the nixie tubes. 5243 and 5245 I think.

> I even have a 10 channel printer ( need to repair the
> roller ). I've found that one doesn't need the expensive
> ink roller ( though I'd love to have one, used or not ).

Is that the HP5055. I've rebuilt one. Be warned the printer
motor runs off the mains, and that therefore there's mains
on some PCB traces where you might not expect it. 

Interestingly the HP59301 HPIB-> 64 bit parallel interface
can be connected directly to the HP5055 printer. There 
are 2 conenctors on the interface, one carries 40 bits
the other 24. The 40 bit one links to the 5055 with a straight-wired
50 pin microribbon cable. The alternative character set for
the HP59301 was clearly designed for this, it decodes ASCII
V,A,O into the V, A, Ohms symbols on the 5055.

> I use the two layer impact paper.

Mine had an ink roller in it _and_ the impact paper. The fomer
was doing a good job of gunging everything up, so I removed
it and stored it in a plastic bag. 


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