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 Post subject: A Sabtronics What??
PostPosted: Apr Sat 20, 2013 3:40 am 
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Does anyone remember a DVM and a Frequency counter from an American company called Sabtronics? They came out in the mid 70's. I bought both of these when I was in college in 1977. It was one of the 1st affortable DVMs for $59.95 (when introduced, but went up to $69.95 after I bought it). A short time aferwards they made the counter for not much more (but dont remember what tho). Both were very nice for that time. They were in Dallas Texas at that time and I think they came out with some other products but, now.. never heard of them since.

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Last edited by Saturn5tony on Apr Sat 20, 2013 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: A Sabtronics What??
PostPosted: Apr Sat 20, 2013 4:29 am 
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See here: http://www.radiomuseum.org/dsp_herstell ... y_id=10329

Pete

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 Post subject: Re: A Sabtronics What??
PostPosted: Apr Sat 20, 2013 4:32 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Harviell MO USA 63945 (12 miles S of Poplar Bluff)
I've been recently indexing all of my Popular Electronics mags and saw where Sabtronics first popped up in advertising and a few equipment reports. I don't think they kept going for but maybe 6 to 10 years. They were in a pretty competitive market when DMMs and counters were being produced in the $100-200 range by several manufacturers. It was a feeding frenzy where there were very few survivors, Global Specialties (Continental Specialties) being one of those few.

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Contributing editor emeritus in Poptronics magazine, R.I.P.


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 Post subject: Re: A Sabtronics What??
PostPosted: Apr Sat 20, 2013 7:38 am 
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Joined: Sep Thu 23, 2010 6:37 am
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Location: Powell River BC Canada
I have that Sabtronics 8100 frequency counter and 5020A function generator. Built them
both from the kit. Have worked perfectly for years. What ever they did, they did it right.

I also have that Heathkit IT 121 transistor tester too. :D

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VE7ASO VE7ZSO
Amateur Radio Literacy Club. May we help you read better.
Steve Dow
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 Post subject: Re: A Sabtronics What??
PostPosted: Apr Sat 20, 2013 8:19 am 
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Location: Hayward, California USA
I remember the Sabtronics frequency counter kit very well. They and Ramsey Electronics (with its CT-70) (not CT-600) were the big new names with 600 MHz counters in the $100-110 range, an unheard-of bargain at the time. A friend of mine built the Sabtronics, and I built the Ramsey. My Ramsey CT-70 still works like new, over 30 years later, with only a bit of Deoxit in the switches a few weeks ago for maintenance. Nice to see those, still working as well.

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Last edited by ChrisW6ATV on Apr Sun 21, 2013 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: A Sabtronics What??
PostPosted: Apr Sat 20, 2013 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Sep Sat 15, 2012 1:36 pm
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I still have the dvm in good working and had the frequency counter that did work fine but died so I gave it away


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 Post subject: Re: A Sabtronics What??
PostPosted: Apr Sat 20, 2013 4:43 pm 
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Hi Guys,
Wow, many knew about them as well. Chris do you still have the Ramsey CT-600? Put up a pic! Thanks for the link Pete.. haha, whats funny is that I also found my receipt from them for my DVM model 2000 and its dated 8/1/1977 and costing $63.45 with shipping. The radiomuseum listing shows them starting in 1978 not in 77 when I bought it. I never did see those other models above the 8100 or any function generator!

I know tho that I may have been one of the very few that got the 2000 in 1977.. I remember getting my parts 1st and waiting a few more months for the blue case. I think they were having problems making the case at 1st. The version I got was very crude. Look at my pic at the top on my 1st post and you can see a light blue and somewhat crooked at the edges. I could not put the stickers on the side because it was off. No problem tho, It fit OK and the design was great and very accurate, like radiotechnician says "they did do it right". The counter later had a good case fit.

Also..Yes Dean.. so correct, I found the DVM in a Popular Electronics Review during the summer of 77. (PE was my fav back then as it seems for you as well!) God I loved that pub and many of you, also, and Radio Electronics as well. I think I have so many going back to the 60's most all of them PE. I even started to collect back issues and visited used book stores for them as well. I even have one from 1955.

I was so exited after I built it, (and lost my girlfriend as well at that time.. so I had a bit more cash now.) :cry: so....I saved a few more bucks and bought the counter model 8100 almost immediately. :) (My date mode fizzled up as you now know... aarrggg, it was tuff going to electronics school at that time.) It also was, I think $70 or $80 bucks and also worked great. It was nice to read signals over 100Mhz like I needed that... Seeing a 455Khz was just fine..hehe! I did not get the pre-scaler chip though, which was an option to kick it up to 600Mhz... Back then I was so broke I had to mess with my rent just to get either of them. After just replacing caps once, they both to this day still WORK GREAT!! Hmm I guess that is what you get when you bought from a Texas outfit... in the United States of America!!

For 3-1/2 digits, it was my 1st DMM I ever had (tho I had a few analogs) and one I still use to this day. I have a half dozen others DVM's now (seems electronics has been good to me) including Tektronix and a fluke, but it cost me $59 for the model 2000, back in the disco era, and I could see 1.539 volts or amps and measure resistance so precise.

Here is a Popular Electronics reprint that Sabtronics gave me when I ordered other stuff them below. I still have all the paper work for both of these machines as well. I will also put the link in for a better picture of this reprint.

Image

1st page
http://www.flickr.com/photos/93852960@N04/8665927144/

2nd page
http://www.flickr.com/photos/93852960@N04/8664827713/

(those that know Flickr, just click on the image for a fullscreen and it can be downloaded.)

Yes Steve, to the left is a Heathkit IT-121 and my 1st meter, a VTVM no less, above that. My mom got me shack's Micronta VTVM model 22-025 back in 1969 for Christmas. (the year before that it was Eico's 710 GDO) Most kids were playing baseball at that time, me, at 14 years old in 69, I was trying to plan my future by understanding why electrons move. It took many years to finally figure out how, but by then, I did have most of the good tools to start and got into electronics school in 75. It was not until 1982 that I was able to get a good oscilloscope for my bench, from another company in the USA....and...lost another girlfriend... They just dont seem to mix. girls and electronics that is. :D That scope cost me much..much..more... than 60 bucks tho. Then again...this is another story. :shock:

Thank you all for posting.. It brings back great memories and many for you as well I hope.

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 Post subject: Re: A Sabtronics What??
PostPosted: Apr Sun 21, 2013 7:47 pm 
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Joined: Sep Thu 23, 2010 6:37 am
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Location: Powell River BC Canada
The Sabtronics 5020 A function Generator runs from a 12 Volt wall wart transformer.
If you try to run it off a DC supply, it wont work. It needs AC for the voltage doubler.

The only good way I found to set the square wave symmetry was to use my Singer
SPA-3 spectrum analyzer and null the harmonics.

PM if a cleared schematic wanted.

Attachment:
Sabtronics 5020 A Function Generator.jpg
Sabtronics 5020 A Function Generator.jpg [ 79.49 KiB | Viewed 1044 times ]
Attachment:
Sabtronics 5020 a schematic.jpg
Sabtronics 5020 a schematic.jpg [ 166.8 KiB | Viewed 1044 times ]

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de
VE7ASO VE7ZSO
Amateur Radio Literacy Club. May we help you read better.
Steve Dow
ve7aso@rac.ca


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 Post subject: Re: A Sabtronics What??
PostPosted: Apr Sun 21, 2013 8:13 pm 
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Location: Hayward, California USA
Saturn5tony wrote:
Chris do you still have the Ramsey CT-600? Put up a pic!

I was wrong, the model number is actually CT-70. Here is a picture of it, next to my now-restored Eico 324 signal generator:


Attachments:
IMG_1469small.jpg
IMG_1469small.jpg [ 150.03 KiB | Viewed 1040 times ]

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Quote: (Antique TV collecting) always seemed to me to be a fringe hobby that only weirdos did.
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 Post subject: Re: A Sabtronics What??
PostPosted: Apr Sun 21, 2013 9:25 pm 
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Joined: Feb Tue 07, 2012 9:32 pm
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Location: Middlesex,NJ
HI:

YES I STILL HAVE MY SABTRONICS2000 DVM KIT WHICH I PURCHASED AS SOON AS IT HIT THE MARKET 1977.MY FIRST DVM ALSO.I HAVE THE ORIGINAL BOOK IN FRONT OF ME AND THE RED CARD HAS SERIES 7818.I USED THIS FOR MANY YEARS AND IN THE PAST THE BATTERY COVER WAS MISPLACED.
GREAT METER.

WALTER-W2WIQ


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 Post subject: Re: A Sabtronics What??
PostPosted: Apr Sun 21, 2013 10:08 pm 
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Joined: Jun Sat 02, 2012 11:00 pm
Posts: 83
Location: Massachusetts
radiotechnician wrote:
The Sabtronics 5020 A function Generator runs from a 12 Volt wall wart transformer.
If you try to run it off a DC supply, it wont work. It needs AC for the voltage doubler.


Wow, Steve, I really did not know they made a function generator as well!! Thank you so much for showing us this. It also seems to be a nice design as well.

Also thank you Chris, yea I did a small search for that one from the old post, but your CT-70 looks great! It seems a bit smaller than my 8100 but yea.. from that day and there were so many people making good hobbyist equipment then, and lowering the cost by making it a kit. I also just bought and restored an Eico 324 as well. Did not have it in that one in the early days (I do have an Eico 710 Grid Dip oscillator tho I got in the 70's) and it seems so many good and inexpesive tools were made back then.... Now... arrgg. Maybe you can get a 10 dollar DVM at sears.... or some hardware store but who cares.. you cant build it. Its usually crap as well.

No one makes cool kits like those from Eico, Heathkit, as well as Sabtronics. I even had a great stereo kit made from Science Fair - (an old Radio Shack offspring) that was so much fun. Their all dead becuase kids dont care anymore about the magic of electronics.... On line gaming and/or facebook seems to better mankind these days?!!

If I could go back... I'd buy more kits!!

Found this site tho that looks cool... http://www.hobbyengineering.com/

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KB1YGN


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 Post subject: Re: A Sabtronics What??
PostPosted: Apr Mon 22, 2013 10:30 pm 
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Joined: Dec Thu 06, 2007 11:54 pm
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Location: Hayward, California USA
That Hobby Engineering site also has (or had) a retail store near where I work, in Millbrae, California. It did look cool.

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Quote: (Antique TV collecting) always seemed to me to be a fringe hobby that only weirdos did.


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 Post subject: Re: A Sabtronics What??
PostPosted: Apr Tue 23, 2013 12:58 am 
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ChrisW6ATV wrote:
That Hobby Engineering site also has (or had) a retail store near where I work, in Millbrae, California. It did look cool.


Hi Chris,
Yea it seem these are the few people making any kinds of kits these days. Seems ok but very simple like HE. I would love to get a nice 100Watt Hifi stereo kit or some cool hi end test equipment kit now.

There is a nice AM transmitter kit but its a bit high for just sending some AM signals. I did that once on a protoype board and an CD player, but this one is oover 100 bucks. A cheap 29 dollar Signal generator from Eico is gone now.

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 Post subject: Re: A Sabtronics What??
PostPosted: May Thu 08, 2014 7:55 am 
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Joined: May Wed 07, 2014 8:44 pm
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Hello, I am one of the original founders of Sabtronics Inc. Thank you all for giving us high ratings for our products.
Our company produced one of the best DMM and Frequency counter kits of that era, but we had to wind down due to cheap imports from Asia. We were not able to compete with the imports. However, we have continued our business from Switzerland in PCs, and now getting into Arduino compatible kits. We will be happy to work you all.

Thanks
Gul Sabadia


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 Post subject: Re: A Sabtronics What??
PostPosted: May Thu 08, 2014 9:58 pm 
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Joined: Dec Thu 06, 2007 11:54 pm
Posts: 1553
Location: Hayward, California USA
Welcome to the forum. I would enjoy hearing any stories you have about your test equipment starting in those days.

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 Post subject: Re: A Sabtronics What??
PostPosted: May Mon 12, 2014 5:00 am 
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Joined: Jan Sun 06, 2008 5:49 am
Posts: 66
Location: Central Michigan
Can someone post or send me the schematic of the DMM Voltmeter Model 2000? I don't know if I'll ever get around to fixing it, but the schematic would be nice. I doubt I can get the parts for it anyway.


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