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 Post subject: Re: I have a VTVM addiction....
PostPosted: Sep Mon 05, 2016 3:31 am 
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Joined: Sep Thu 23, 2010 6:37 am
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Location: Powell River BC Canada
PaulAm wrote:
At least they're smaller than scopes (at least most scopes). :D



Don't get started on scopes !

2 sets of 13, and the others are getting too :lol: heavy..

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 Post subject: Re: I have a VTVM addiction....
PostPosted: Sep Mon 05, 2016 2:22 pm 
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Location: Plymouth, Michigan
Thanks, I feel better now that I've gotten my addiction out in the open. And yes, I'll keep looking for more!

Pete

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 Post subject: Re: I have a VTVM addiction....
PostPosted: Sep Mon 05, 2016 4:15 pm 
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Location: Liberty, Missouri
Steve,
The GR-1806A arguably the best VTVM ever, and the only one that is rated at 3% of READING, not 3% of FULL SCALE, gigantic difference. After more than a couple decades of the 410's leads laying on the bench and deciphering the RCA's 27 scales on the giant meter face, it took about 2 seconds for me to plunk down the money for the GR. However that said, having a GR-1806A, HP-3400, and a HP-410C, what else do you need?

Image

Image

Image

What else would a fella need?

CubDriver,

You talking about the 524X series of counters, including the 5248M? You have all the plug-ins? Transfer Oscillator?

If you have nearly "everything" its almost as bad as collecting the Tek 53X/54X series scopes and all the number and letter plugins.

This can be a pretty endemic hobby if one's not careful!!!!

Mike.

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 Post subject: Re: I have a VTVM addiction....
PostPosted: Sep Mon 05, 2016 5:56 pm 
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Mikeinkcmo wrote:
The GR-1806A arguably the best VTVM ever, and the only one that is rated at 3% of READING, not 3% of FULL SCALE, gigantic difference. After more than a couple decades of the 410's leads laying on the bench and deciphering the RCA's 27 scales on the giant meter face, it took about 2 seconds for me to plunk down the money for the GR.

Yes, your posts here on ARF turned me on to the GR 1806-A. It took quite a while to find one. And the price was uncomfortably high.

Mikeinkcmo wrote:
However that said, having a GR-1806A, HP-3400, and a HP-410C, what else do you need?

Oh, it's not a question of need :-)

I like the big-faced VTVM's and I was intrigued by Fred Scole's comment about Triplett basically copying the RCA WV-98 design in their model 850, so I started collecting the RCA, Triplett, and Simpson versions. I still need to get a B&K 177. Did Sencore ever make a similar VTVM? Were there any other manufacturers with a similar VTVM?

I also got intrigued by the Sylvania Polymeters, I think mostly because of the unusual name. I've got an empty spot waiting for a type 221Z Polymeter, right next to my type 302. There's a type 303, too, but it looks like Sylvania cheaped-out on that one, in their last gasp of manufacturing service-grade test equipment.

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 Post subject: Re: I have a VTVM addiction....
PostPosted: Sep Tue 06, 2016 1:13 pm 
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Location: Making For Arcady ........from 11733
I have been seeking a General Radio 1806A for quite a while, without luck. Why is such an excellent instrument so scarce?

With regard to the Sylvania Polymeter— I have been collecting VTVMs with R.F. probes that contain vacuum tubes, and am in the opposite position to that of Steve: I have a 221Z Polymeter, but need a 302. The model 303 does in fact lack the R.F. probe. Polymeters seem quite rare, too.


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 Post subject: Re: I have a VTVM addiction....
PostPosted: Sep Tue 06, 2016 1:42 pm 
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Location: Liberty, Missouri
Steve said;
Quote:
Yes, your posts here on ARF turned me on to the GR 1806-A. It took quite a while to find one. And the price was uncomfortably high.
I'm truly sorry for fueling your addiction. NOT!! ...but I also paid far too much, close to $300 as I remember.

Sadly, when I built my test bench, and because there were no provisions for rack mounting, I sold it to a friend, and although they did make a rack mount version, I decided I probably won't live long enough to find one, so I settled on a little HP-427. Nice, but certainly not nearly the equal of the GR meter.

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 Post subject: Re: I have a VTVM addiction....
PostPosted: Sep Wed 07, 2016 3:43 am 
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Mikeinkcmo wrote:
CubDriver,

You talking about the 524X series of counters, including the 5248M? You have all the plug-ins? Transfer Oscillator?

If you have nearly "everything" its almost as bad as collecting the Tek 53X/54X series scopes and all the number and letter plugins.

This can be a pretty endemic hobby if one's not careful!!!!

Mike.


Mike - I have a couple of plug ins, but I mainly meant that it got me started collecting the nixie counters, along with a few with LED displays as well. Thus far in various stages of repair, I have 3734A, 5214L, 5216A, 5221A, 5233L, 5245L, 5325B, 5326A, 5326B, 5327A, 5327B, 5340A, 5360A, 5512A and 5532A. Also have 5232A with the columnar neon display, 5302A with the little dot-type LEDs and a 5328A with run-of-the-mill 7 segment LEDs.

I don't yet have pictures of all of them, but here are some:

3734A:
Image

5214L:
Image

5221A:
Image

5232A:
Image

The one that started it all - 5245L with 5265A voltmeter plug in (I also have 5254C Frequency Converter and 5264A Preset Plug ins for it):
Image

5325B:
Image

5360A:
Image

The others will be added as I get to working on and photographing them. Additional pics at https://pmanning.smugmug.com/Electronics

-Pat

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 Post subject: Re: I have a VTVM addiction....
PostPosted: Nov Sun 17, 2019 3:43 pm 
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Joined: Nov Wed 30, 2016 7:35 pm
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Location: Sunbury, Ohio 43074
I decided to resurrect this thread because ... well... I decided to restore a Triplett 850 for my home bench. While I did the same with a Hickok 209C for the shop, here at home I do not have the bench space for this rather seldom used instrument so the 850 is the one I picked. I like the meter face, mainly. I know it is more or less the same as the RCA and others of this era, but I just prefer the Triplett.

Now that I've decided THAT ..... does anyone perhaps have a LEGIBLE version of the manual? The one up on BAMA is almost unreadable, particularly as far as the schematic is concerned. I hope one appears so I don't have to draw my own.. it's hardly worth the time but maybe that will be the only way.

Hi Rez scan if anyone has it I'll post it up on my site, as well as submit it to BAMA. I'll even go so far as to purchase an original copy of the manual if anyone has such.

.........the things I'm doing now to avoid wearing my glasses...... the 850 has such a nice legible meter face ....

Thanks!
Barry


Oh, btw, I've got about 60 or so VTVM's. And I don't think I bought more than one or two. They just appear with other piles of stuff over the years. Part of this 850 restoration is to weed that pile down into those that can be restored, and those that cannot, and try to get them back into hands that might use them.

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 Post subject: Re: I have a VTVM addiction....
PostPosted: Nov Sun 17, 2019 4:28 pm 
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Joined: Mar Thu 15, 2018 2:23 pm
Posts: 263
Barry H Bennett wrote:
I decided to resurrect this thread because ... well... I decided to restore a Triplett 850 for my home bench. While I did the same with a Hickok 209C for the shop, here at home I do not have the bench space for this rather seldom used instrument so the 850 is the one I picked. I like the meter face, mainly. I know it is more or less the same as the RCA and others of this era, but I just prefer the Triplett.

Now that I've decided THAT ..... does anyone perhaps have a LEGIBLE version of the manual? The one up on BAMA is almost unreadable, particularly as far as the schematic is concerned. I hope one appears so I don't have to draw my own.. it's hardly worth the time but maybe that will be the only way.

Hi Rez scan if anyone has it I'll post it up on my site, as well as submit it to BAMA. I'll even go so far as to purchase an original copy of the manual if anyone has such.

.........the things I'm doing now to avoid wearing my glasses...... the 850 has such a nice legible meter face ....

You probably should have started a new thread but anyways....
I have a manual somewhere but here is something that I hope helps.

Attachment:
Triplett 850 Parts.jpeg
Triplett 850 Parts.jpeg [ 203.59 KiB | Viewed 150 times ]


Attachments:
Triplett 850 Schematic.jpeg
Triplett 850 Schematic.jpeg [ 240.39 KiB | Viewed 150 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: I have a VTVM addiction....
PostPosted: Nov Sun 17, 2019 4:43 pm 
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Posts: 1408
I have 7 or 8 VTVMs, and they aren't even a primary interest of mine, I really like the old 50's Hi-Fi stuff ( I have 6 Bogen DB-130s, for example) There really is something about the old test equipment however, that really gets to the heart of the technology of old.

Barry H Bennett wrote:
..... does anyone perhaps have a LEGIBLE version of the manual?......


I have a good 8 1/2 x 11 printout copy I could send you (the originals are quite small) PM me your address.

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 Post subject: Re: I have a VTVM addiction....
PostPosted: Nov Sun 17, 2019 5:02 pm 
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Location: Sunbury, Ohio 43074
Thanks for the fast replies. The posted schematic is way better than the one on BAMA and I've sent a PM for the other. Much appreciated.

Yea, I know, probably not worth the time but ..... since I struck out with the Fluke 8050A that I picked up for $1 and will be forced to use my handheld for a while, I decided on something that doesn't have infinite revisions of the manual. :). And impossible to get parts. And an LCD readout that's probably bad anyway, even if I do manage to fix the power supply ......

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 Post subject: Re: I have a VTVM addiction....
PostPosted: Nov Sun 17, 2019 5:19 pm 
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Get a HP/Agilent/Keysight 34401a... easy to repair and you can purchase aftermarket VFD displays unlike the 8050a...


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 Post subject: Re: I have a VTVM addiction....
PostPosted: Nov Sun 17, 2019 5:31 pm 
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mr.fabe wrote:
Get a HP/Agilent/Keysight 34401a... easy to repair and you can purchase aftermarket VFD displays unlike the 8050a...

That is a NICE meter - and very expensive. :(

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 Post subject: Re: I have a VTVM addiction....
PostPosted: Nov Sun 17, 2019 5:55 pm 
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Joined: Mar Thu 15, 2018 2:23 pm
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Sol wrote:
mr.fabe wrote:
Get a HP/Agilent/Keysight 34401a... easy to repair and you can purchase aftermarket VFD displays unlike the 8050a...

That is a NICE meter - and very expensive. :(

You can sometimes find these in the $100 to $180 USD range that may / may not need repair.. like anything else, it's there but you have to wait. I purchased four of them and had to repair only two of them. Calibration was pretty cheap at $70 USD.


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 Post subject: Re: I have a VTVM addiction....
PostPosted: Nov Sun 17, 2019 6:03 pm 
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Joined: Mar Thu 15, 2018 2:23 pm
Posts: 263
Barry H Bennett wrote:
And impossible to get parts. And an LCD readout that's probably bad anyway, even if I do manage to fix the power supply ......

There is a new display available for the 8050a if you don't want to look for a $30 donor...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Fluke-897207-4 ... SwBx1dkl6~

Get back to work on the power supply!


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 Post subject: Re: I have a VTVM addiction....
PostPosted: Nov Sun 17, 2019 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Mar Sat 03, 2007 12:53 am
Posts: 754
Although I have 3 HP 410-Cs and 2 military TS505Ds, I mostly collect unusual VTVMs such as the Weston 669, the RCA WV-65A (a battery VTVM that uses 2 tubes as a differential amp), the American Chronoscope 601 (a battery VTVM that uses 2 tubes as a differential amp and another tube as an AC rectifier), the Simpson 651 260 VTVM adapter, the Phaostron 777, and a number of single range and multi-range AC and DC TRIO panel meters. I have had a couple of Heathkits and one EICO in the past.


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 Post subject: Re: I have a VTVM addiction....
PostPosted: Nov Sun 17, 2019 6:54 pm 
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mr.fabe,

I have a 34401A. On the upper ranges it agrees with my Siglent SDM 3045X and the DMMs in both my Tek 2236 scopes. The low end is a disaster, so there is obviously something wrong. I haven't bothered to look into it because when I got a manual and looked at the specs of the 34401A, the error range on the low end is almost +/- 3%. The Siglent's error range is +/- 0.27%. My source was set to 1.41 mv at 20 kHz on the low end.

Attachment:
DMM Predicted Error Range.jpg
DMM Predicted Error Range.jpg [ 60.44 KiB | Viewed 138 times ]


As a practical matter, the 3% is tolerable, but it seems odd that 6 1/2 digit meter would have that amount of error. I can still use it for most normal voltages. Unless I discover that fixing it will give better results, it will remain near the bottom of my repair list.

I don't fit into the collector category here with no VTVMs, only 5 DMMs, and a few VOMs, since my Simpson was stolen a few years ago, but I manage to get by.

John


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 Post subject: Re: I have a VTVM addiction....
PostPosted: Nov Sun 17, 2019 7:05 pm 
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Posts: 825
The error specifications on HP meters is ridiculous. If one wishes to learn the possible error in a measurement, one must go through a major calculation what with percent. of full scale, percent. of reading, and number of digits. As a result, the readings are a mystery to me, at least.

While I understand the rationale behind these specifications, I find it too much effort to see what voltage I am measuring. So I just assume it's accurate unless I find a reason to doubt it. They are just trying to cover their ass while still giving the meter its due, but I don't like the way they do it.

Your graph is a better way, I think, although it unvovers their dark secrets.


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 Post subject: Re: I have a VTVM addiction....
PostPosted: Nov Sun 17, 2019 7:38 pm 
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Location: Sunbury, Ohio 43074
I am not at all concerned with high precision accuracy from an old tube VTVM ..... I've got a modern DMM for that. In this particular case I just want a BENCH version of my handheld so I can basically get it off the work surface of the bench. I've made a stand for mine, but it's too light really and I keep knocking it over, and once even off the shelf. Not recommended for longevity of test gear.

The Triplett VTVM is just for when I need to see a needle move, and a high impedance or RF input, at the same time. Otherwise I've also got a Simpson 270.

So, for me, the accuracy of the Triplett 850 is not going to be critical at all. If I do get the Fluke 8050A working however, that one will need to be exact. I'll calibrate it against my trusty, no name, handheld DVM of many years. PROAM 602-040 made out of Chinesium. And truly astonishingly accurate as checked with a meter calibrator and against my Beckman at the shop.

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 Post subject: Re: I have a VTVM addiction....
PostPosted: Nov Sun 17, 2019 7:52 pm 
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My DMM is a Tenma. Inexpensive with a solid reputation.

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