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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 Oct 2010, 10:40 am   #1
David Pannell
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Location: Horsham, West Sussex, UK
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Default What test equipment do you own/use

I thought it might be interesting to hear what other members have in their workshop, but specifically what instruments they use on a regular basis.

Don't know if this has been done before, but I couldn't see anything.

I'll set the ball rolling by listing what I regularly use in my hobby, as being the owner of an electrical business, I have over 100 instruments, some duplicated, of course.

Telequipment D54
Telequipment D65
Telequipment DM64 (storage scope)
Cossor 4000

Avo 7 Mk2
Avo 40 Mk2

Signal Generators
HP 205AG
Advance J1B
Advance J3B
Wayne Kerr S121

Valve Testers
Avo valve characteristic meter Mk2
Avo valve characteristic meter Mk3
Precision Apparatus Co. Dynamic Electronometer Valve Tester Type 920

Digimess LRC100
Wayne Kerr B221
Yokogawa 2755

Clare Instruments PAT tester A255 Mk2
Biddle PAT tester 235303
Biddle decade resistor box 724330-7
Numerous soldering irons - mostly Weller temp. controlled.

The PAT testers usually used when repairing equipment, to check for electrical safety before proceeding.

I've probably left a lot out, but I hope this will have sparked some interest.


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Old 13th Oct 2010, 11:08 am   #2
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Default Re: What test equipment do you own/use

Sure beats the hell out of my cheapo tandy's multimeter and a wet finger!
Ignorance of The Law is No Excuse - but I didnt know that!
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Old 13th Oct 2010, 12:12 pm   #3
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Default Re: What test equipment do you own/use

I work mainly with AM stuff so don't need anything very sophisticated. The main thing I use is a cheap Chinese multimeter which includes capacitance, inductance and frequency ranges. If that's not enough, I have an ancient 20MHz scope. I also have a cheap Chinese signal generator which when calibrated using the multimeter is fine for alignment. Then there's a bird's nest of components which on a good day reforms electrolytics. Valve testers have become so expensive that it's easier just to buy another valve and if the original one was OK then I have a spare.
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Old 13th Oct 2010, 12:34 pm   #4
David Pannell
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Default Re: What test equipment do you own/use

If I were just involved in the hobby, I doubt very much if I would have a fraction of the kit listed, but as I said, running an electrical business I tend to be rather spoilt for instrumentation.

Our test lab is full of weird and wonderful equipment, but as my hobby revolves around audio thermionics, I have listed those instruments which I am most familiar with and which I reach for as a matter of habit - and of course can easily use at home. I only tend to work in the lab if I am on a big repair or project.

This thread was simply initiated out of interest, and certainly those of us who possess a minimum of kit should be applauded in what they can achieve.

There is a famous saying amongst engineers:

"We have been doing so much with so little for so long, that we can now do anything with nothing for ever".

Cheers to all,

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Old 13th Oct 2010, 1:34 pm   #5
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Default Re: What test equipment do you own/use

All used regularly

AVO 7 Meter
Fluke 75 Meter
TakedaRiken RMS meter
Hunting Hivolt EHT meter
Heathkit IT-28 Bridge
AVO Bridge
HUNTS CRB-3 Bridge
Marconi TF893A output meter
AVO 2 panel valve tester
Zenith Variac
ALtai Bench PSU
Leader LCT 910a CRT Tester
Weller WTCP-50 Iron
Charles Austen Desolder station

Intend to start using a soon

Telequipment D52 Scope

Not used much

AVO All wave OSC
Solartron CT426
Heathkit V7AU VVM
Cossor 1044K VVM
Taylor Model 22 fault tracer
Nombrex 27 Sig Gen

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Old 13th Oct 2010, 1:46 pm   #6
dave cox
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Default Re: What test equipment do you own/use

there was a similar theme some while back
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Old 14th Oct 2010, 2:16 pm   #7
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Default Re: What test equipment do you own/use

This is an interesting idea. My problem is that a lot of old equipment finds it's way into my shed, usually behind my back (or perhaps my wife's). I spend a bit of time getting it working initially, and then find I have to do maintenance to keep it working. Thirty or forty year old equipment seems to fail when you turn your back on it. Small things like switch contacts, or a transistor expiring from old age.
But some stuff in my workshop does seem reliable (in my hands), perhaps because is physically small and fits around my bench, so I use it more frequently.
So I'll list that:
Avo 8 MkII (wouldn't be without it), Fluke 77 DVM, Solartron 7040 DVM.
Variac 1A and Isolation transformer.
Weller TCP50, and Antex soldering and de-soldering irons.
Tin of old fashioned original Fluxite for re-tinning old joints and components.
Oscilloscopes. I find my SE Labs(EMI) SM111/TF2204 at 20Mhz a reliable delight to use. Otherwise HP1707 75Mhz very fine traces, Tek 2230 100Mhz digital storage, HP181 storage+various plug ins up to 1Ghz sampling.
Power supplies. Oltronix B403 triple output 40v/20v/6v, Farnell LT30, dual 30v.
AF signal gen: Farnell FG1 function generator.
RF signal generator: Marconi TF2016 AM/FM covering MF to 120Mhz, and TF2015 AM/FM covering VHF to 500Mhz.
Pulse and Square wave: HP8012 50Mhz or Philps PM5570 100 Mhz
Oscilloscope Calibrator: Bradley 192, Cossor 1097 millimicrosecond pulse generator.
Frequency meter/counter: PM6614 500 Mhz.
Marconi TF2700 component bridge.
Avo CT160 valve tester, Avo TT537 transistor tester.
Waddington transistor tester (Wireless World June 1970). Very useful, shows how it failed, and Waddington Fet tester.

Mainly used for maintenance of my collection of oscilloscopes which cover the whole technical history of the analogue scope 1935 to 1985. Some day I may write a book, including pictures, circuits and servicing information so that other people can keep theirs' going. Otherwise any other test gear, signal generators and old radios, Roberts, Hacker or almost anything electronic.
Bill m0wpn

Last edited by WME_bill; 14th Oct 2010 at 2:22 pm.
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Old 15th Oct 2010, 6:19 pm   #8
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Default Re: What test equipment do you own/use

a little Tek Collection,

in use

323, my on the road scope from 1967,
2x 422 (the best looking screens ever)
453 (50mc)
556 with a collection of plugins (heavy)

to restore:
305DMM (portable with DMM),
567, (classic Tek digital readout)
555, (the king, heating the workroom?)
570, (heavy tube tester)
515, (nice 15mc tube)
485, (high bandwith)
519 (I dont know how to use this old wonder..)
221 (pocket)

other, warm:
Telequipment S51B, (a nice english tube scope)
R+S SMLR HF Generator <30mc
Plisch GM300 HF Generator <300mc
Heatkit VTVM
Sennheiser RV55 (vt mVm)

Counter, 100mc
Grundig Nixi Counter 2mc,
some pocket testers

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Old 16th Oct 2010, 4:05 pm   #9
Chris G7CZZ
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Default Re: What test equipment do you own/use

I haven't much but here goes...

Hameg HM203e oscilloscope
Maplin SM PSU - 0-20V 0-5A
Fluke 77 Multimeter
Maplin WG021 Multimeter
Black Star 600MHz frequency counter
Black Star audio signal generator
..and a poorly Weir 413D PSU in the process of fixing!

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Old 16th Oct 2010, 10:02 pm   #10
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Default Re: What test equipment do you own/use

Test equipment used regularly:

Hameg HM604 'scope
Levell AC Microvoltmeter TM3B
Farnell LF1 audio generator
Advance B4B RF signal generator
Thurlby-Thandar TF810 frequency counter
Farnell E30/2 variable PSU
Wier 4000 variable PSU
5A Variac in case with meters
2 homebuilt active PSU loads
Iso-Tech 9053 LCR meter
TMK TEM-1555B/2 insulation tester
Peak mosfet analyser
Peak transistor analyser
Beckman DVM
Home constructed zener tester
500W isolating transformer
750W 110V auto transformer

Less regularly used:

Racal-Dana 9901 counter
VC-350-120B HV variable PSU
Black Star Orion TV pattern generator
RS 610-281 EHT probe
HI-LO Systems Prüfer-20 IC tester
Maplin DVM
Tenma analog multimeter
Home constructed analog transistor tester

Under construction:

ESR meter
Capacitor reformer

Last edited by techiesteve; 16th Oct 2010 at 10:04 pm. Reason: Addition of transformers
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Old 16th Oct 2010, 10:37 pm   #11
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Default Re: What test equipment do you own/use

The stuff I use as primary equipment...

GMB multimeter Mk-4
Advance DVM5 (backing up for recently faulty Hung Chan 6010 digital multimeter)
Tek 2465 (recently replaced Tek 585A)
Marconi TF2701 in-situ bridge
Lafayette TE46 bridge+leakage tester
Marconi TF2002B signal generator
+ ENI 310L amplifier for more power
Racal 836 frerquency counter
GMB field and balance meter
Welz SP220 VSWR meter
MFJ 259B aerial analyser
Megger Major insulation tester
GPO 18A tester (insulation and low resistance)
15A Variac
Farnell SSA1000A spectrum analyser
HP3400A true RMS meter

Also used from time to time...
Tek 549 (for storage) - with many plugins
General Radio 1230A electrometer
HP428B clip-on DC current meter
Advance 77B millivoltmeter
HP5405A vector voltmeter
HP5328A frequency counter
Mullard MTB
Mullard HSVT
GMB audio signal generator
GMB dual 20V psu
Jason PP20 HT PSU

..and a load of others too numerous to mention, used for special purposes.
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Old 18th Oct 2010, 9:45 pm   #12
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Default Re: What test equipment do you own/use

For what it's worth....

'Escort' digital multimeter (CPC).
Philips analogue multimeter PM2502.
Advance B4 RF sig generator
Advance type 63 AM/FM sig generator.
Philips PM5324 RF sig generator
Philips AF sig generator also doubles as an LF frequency counter
Philips SBC519 0-30V power supply (good for car radio's)
Taylor 45B valve tester
Philips PM3110 'scope
Marconi TF2700 LCR bridge
Stereo FM signal generator (Homebrew)
ESR meter (under construction)
Basic bench equipment
Weller 40W soldering station
RS bench lamp with magnifier
250W isolation transformer
5 amp variac

Then there are the numerous tools and essential bits and bobs that you aquire over 30 odd years.....

'And, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make'
The Beatles.
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Old 19th Oct 2010, 1:11 pm   #13
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Default Re: What test equipment do you own/use

Wow, what a lot of test equipment people use. My list is much less impressive.

Fluke 79 MK3 Multimeter
Hameg 1005 'Scope
B&K 467 Tube Bopper
Rank CTV Degausser
Fluke 30KV Probe
Philips PM5519 Pattern Generator
An old no-brand 1950s Toaster

That's it I think...

Kind regards.

From Mike.
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Old 19th Oct 2010, 3:12 pm   #14
dave cox
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Default Re: What test equipment do you own/use

Regular everyday repair gear, primarily aimed at transistor equipment :
Keithley 179A True RMS bench DVM
IsoTech handheld DVM
Peak atlas ESR meter
HP 3325A signal generator (with ovenised ref and high voltage OP)
Fluke 1953A counter/timer
Tek 7603 scope with 7A26 / 7A22 / 7B53a
Antex 50w tc iron
Skytronic 0-30V linear psu
8A Variac
2,4,8 & 16 ohm homemade dummy load with forced cooling (made from 64 off 15R @ 5W wire-wound)

More specialised gear, rarely used :
Tek AA501 / SG505 with IMD options
pico ADC216 (for 16 bit FFT)
Fug 0-350V linear PSU
Meguro stereo FM modulator
Marconi 2022E signal generator
Tek 7934 storage scope with 7A13 / 7A24 / 7A19 / 7B15 / 7B92A
wayne kerr b424 LCR meter

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Old 20th Oct 2010, 5:10 pm   #15
Brian R Pateman
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Default Re: What test equipment do you own/use

Originally Posted by Sideband View Post
For what it's worth.........
For what it's worth, Philips test equipment represents my ideal for day-in-day-out use. It's well built, reliable and takes up relatively little space.


Philips PM2517E (DMM)
Solartron 7150+ (Bench DMM)
Marconi TF 2700 (LCR bridge)
Marconi 893C (AF power meter)

Power supply;

Farnell E350 (0-350V plus a selection of heater voltages)
ISO-Tech IPS1603D (0-60V 3A)

Signal sources;

Philips PM5324 (RF Generator - AM/FM 100kHz - 110MHz)
Philips PM5132 (Function Generator 0.1Hz - 2MHz)
Philips PM5519 (TV Pattern generator)
Thandar TG105 (Pulse generator)


Tektronix 475 (200MHz)


Philips PM6307 (Wow and flutter meter)
Bradley 192 (Oscilloscope calibrator)
Heathkit IT1B (Transistor tester).
Homebrew ESR meter
Homebrew Capacitor reformer
Homebrew remote control tester
Homebrew crystal checker.

Then there are several other 'scopes, meters and other stuff not in daily use.

Forum moderator.
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Old 1st Nov 2010, 7:06 pm   #16
David Pannell
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Location: Horsham, West Sussex, UK
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Default Re: What test equipment do you own/use

Such an interesting plethora of test equipment!

Thanks to everyone who took the trouble to contribute to this thread.

I was aware of the earlier similar thread, but that one was more centred on members' workshops, sheds or dens, so to speak, rather than focussing on the actual test equipment used.

We all have our favourite pieces of test kit, and equally have different approaches, I'm sure. I find it just as much fun and inspiring maintaining the test gear, as I do restoring amplifiers etc.


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Old 1st Nov 2010, 9:59 pm   #17
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Default Re: What test equipment do you own/use

1 £5 DMM and a scope
If it can be built, it can also be fixed.

Last edited by Laurdys; 1st Nov 2010 at 9:59 pm. Reason: grammer
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Old 1st Nov 2010, 10:42 pm   #18
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Default Re: What test equipment do you own/use

Here goes.


3 DMMs,
1 AVO NATO pattern
1 Racal bench voltmeter
HP and Solartron True RMS meters.

RF generators

Advance SG62A

function generator

Thandar TG501.

AF generators

Philips PM5110
AWA G232
Marconi TF2103

Distortion factor meters

Marconi TF2331

Bench PSU

Altai EP-515 0-30V@2.5A plus 5 and 12V @0.5A

valve tester



2.5 and 8 amp.

Frequency Meters

Racal 9906A
Racal 9921


Tek 475 200MHz
HP 1744A 100MHz analogue storage
Topward 20MHz
2 Solartron CD1400
others including Solartron and Telequipment.

Universal Bridge

Marconi TF2700

That's just most of the stuff that works and has been used or played with in the last couple of years.

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Old 2nd Nov 2010, 8:15 am   #19
Billy T
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Default Re: What test equipment do you own/use

Well, here's my list:

1) Test Equipment in good order and regular use:

AVO 8 MKlll in A1 order
ESR & Low Ohms Meter (Built from kitset)
BlackStar Meteor 600 frequency CounterStar
B&K Model 162 Transistor/FET Tester
Sekonic SS100F Chart Recorder (nail those intermittents!)
Grundig FG5 Colour Pattern Generator for the odd TV repair
Variac (no name)
Cheapie 20 K-ohm/V analogue for Office Use
Cheapie Digital for misc workshop use
Sanwa P-2B 2000 Ohm/V analogue multimeter for 'nostalgia'
Digitech QM-1523 Digital Multimter for garage use
Digitech QM-1500 Digital Multimter for office use
Digitech QM-1324 digital multimeter with L & C measurement
Kyoritsu 3132 HV Insulation Tester & Low Ohms meter
PicoScope ADC-200 Dual Channel Digital Scope
Ikusu 3 Channel 40MHz Scope
Sola 500 V/A Power Conditioner (for times when a stable voltage input would be nice)

2) Test Equipment for overhaul/restoration:

3 x AVO 8 (for restoration)
4 x HIOKI AS100D 100,000 ohms/volt (to make 1 or maybe 2 good examples)
2 x HIOKI L55 FET Multimeter (to make 1 pristine example)

Kyoritsu Valve Tester working order, to be modified to test GM
Precision Model 654 Valve tester, working order, needs refreshing
Heathkit CM-1 Capacitor Checker (needs overhaul)
Heathkit C3-U Capacitor Checker (needs overhaul)
2 x Sprague Model 500 Interference Locators 6-band 550kHz to 220MHz to make one wkg set.
Paton Vintage Multimeter ex Australia for restoration
Philips PM5300 Sig Gen (needs overhaul) I need the manual, can anybody help?
Triplett 1632 Sig Gen (needs ovehaul, have manual).
BK 3011B Function Generator
Sanwa Transistor Checker

3) Other Test Equipment, Usually Work-Only but handy for all sorts of jobs:

DSE Q1437 Dual Input/Dual Display Digital Thermometer
Digitech Infra Red non-contact Digital Thermometer
Exergen Infrared Heat scanner
SE International Ionising radiation Meter (X-Ray, Gamma, Beta)
YFE YF-1065 Digital Lux meter
Seiko S11 Acoustic Distance Meter
Maester M3005 Manometer
Bruel & Kjaer 2232 Sound Level Meter
FW Bell 4048 Gauss/Tesla Meter for Static & AC Fields 0-2 Tesla
DESCO 50002 Surface Resistance Meter 0-10,000 Megohms
Amprobe Advanced Cable Tracer Kit Model AT-2004
7 x magnetic and electric field meters recorders and loggers
Mains earth impedance tester
Fluke 87 Recording Digital Multimeter (rides in tool kit)
Kyoritsu 2004 AC-DC Digital Clamp meter
Digitech QM 1020 20 K-ohm/V (rides in tool kit)
Fluke 43 Scopemeter
Fluke 33 Digital Clamp Meter
Simco FMX-002 Static Voltage Meter 0-20kV
Fluke 971 Temperature & Humidity meter


We are put here on earth to help others.
What on earth the others are here for
I cannot imagine!
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Old 2nd Nov 2010, 10:37 am   #20
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Default Re: What test equipment do you own/use

what an impressive list - I only do Radios - no TVs!
mine are:

various cheap DMMs
Avo 7
Avo 8
Thandar 351 (thanks to Woodchips!)

Radivet 211
another RF sig gen (buried somewhere!)
Advance OS3500 Scope

Mullard HSVT - undergoing restoration
Avo VCM Mk4 - which will be for sale soon!

Serial lamp limiter (most useful piece of equipment!)
Regavolt variac - 2A, 0-270v

my non-existant sense of smell, poor obervation skills and limited brain!

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