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suggest gear ham test

Discussion in 'Electronic Equipment' started by ml, Feb 7, 2011.

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  1. ml

    ml Guest

    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
     
  2. Fred

    Fred Guest

    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.
     
  3. 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
     
  4. everything you said is sort of sad, but true.
     
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