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 Post subject: Curve Tracer Recommendations
PostPosted: Nov Fri 15, 2019 3:16 am 
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Joined: Mar Thu 15, 2018 2:23 pm
Posts: 254
Looking for curve tracer recommendations other than the Tektronix 577, 576, 575, 570, etc. I have priced those and they are definitely out of the range I would like to spend. I presently have a Testline curve tracer under repair but I think I'll get rid of it sooner than later.


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 Post subject: Re: Curve Tracer Recommendations
PostPosted: Nov Fri 15, 2019 3:27 am 
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Joined: Dec Thu 13, 2018 7:55 pm
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If you are willing to go digital I highly recommend building yourself a UTracer.
That the best $$ I spent.


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 Post subject: Re: Curve Tracer Recommendations
PostPosted: Nov Fri 15, 2019 1:13 pm 
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Location: Sunbury, Ohio 43074
I second the uTracer .... love it, and haven't even used it yet. (board works, tested, need to make a box and switches and stuff.) one of these days

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 Post subject: Re: Curve Tracer Recommendations
PostPosted: Nov Fri 15, 2019 3:17 pm 
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Joined: Aug Sat 17, 2019 5:35 pm
Posts: 18
How about a Heathkit curve tracer. It is meant for semiconductors but it goes up to 150VDC. I have one and I am going to make a jig to test 12ax7 style preamp tubes. A filament transformer, a few switches, and a few sockets are all that is required for the jig.


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 Post subject: Re: Curve Tracer Recommendations
PostPosted: Nov Fri 15, 2019 3:54 pm 
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Joined: Sep Tue 15, 2015 1:16 am
Posts: 698
Location: 18424 PA
For transistors , DCA75.


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 Post subject: Re: Curve Tracer Recommendations
PostPosted: Nov Fri 15, 2019 4:39 pm 
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Joined: Oct Thu 04, 2018 2:11 pm
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Location: Suburban Chicago
I have a uTracer and I love it to the extent that someone can say they love something they have barely used. I'm in the final stages of getting it built into a box so that I can actually use it so that day will come, hopefully soon.

However, aren't those Tek machines transistor curve tracers? Can you do transistors with a uTracer? If not then I don't suppose the OP would be interested in a uTracer.


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 Post subject: Re: Curve Tracer Recommendations
PostPosted: Nov Fri 15, 2019 4:47 pm 
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Joined: Nov Wed 30, 2016 7:35 pm
Posts: 5406
Location: Sunbury, Ohio 43074
Tek actually made both tube and transistor curve tracers. Good question on the uTracer .... I don't actually know, and did not research, whether or not they could be adapted for transistors. Based on the circuitry used and the description in the tech literature, I would not think they are suited to transistor curve tracing.

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https://www.bbtvtestequipment.com


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 Post subject: Re: Curve Tracer Recommendations
PostPosted: Nov Fri 15, 2019 5:06 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Montvale NJ, 07645
The op lists a 570 which is for tubes, the remainder are for transistors. We need to know the application to make a better recommendation.


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 Post subject: Re: Curve Tracer Recommendations
PostPosted: Nov Fri 15, 2019 5:56 pm 
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Joined: Mar Thu 15, 2018 2:23 pm
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I made a mistake by including the tube curve tracer models in this topic. I'm sorry about that. For clarification, I am seeking recommendations about transistor curve tracers. Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Curve Tracer Recommendations
PostPosted: Nov Fri 15, 2019 9:19 pm 
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Location: Northwest Indiana 46350
n3uvt wrote:
For transistors , DCA75.


x2

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 Post subject: Re: Curve Tracer Recommendations
PostPosted: Nov Fri 15, 2019 11:09 pm 
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Joined: Sep Tue 15, 2015 1:16 am
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Location: 18424 PA
Granted, you need a computer but here is a example they provide.

Attachment:
dca75-960-2.jpg
dca75-960-2.jpg [ 323.52 KiB | Viewed 858 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Curve Tracer Recommendations
PostPosted: Nov Sat 16, 2019 12:21 am 
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Joined: Nov Sun 07, 2010 7:16 pm
Posts: 730
Location: Manchester, MI
That looks pretty capable. Here's a useful thread with reviews on the eevblog:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/other-blo ... -analyser/

It also includes a link to a stand you can print if you have access to a 3d printer.

There's also a kit/board floating around ebay in the $20-30 range which is an adaptation (I use the term loosely) of an Elektor design. It's a basic curve tracer and you can find prebuilt ones if you don't want to solder. This thread talks about that one and some other possibilities:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/ ... t-on-ebay/


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 Post subject: Re: Curve Tracer Recommendations
PostPosted: Nov Sat 16, 2019 3:52 am 
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Joined: Mar Thu 15, 2018 2:23 pm
Posts: 254
n3uvt wrote:
Granted, you need a computer but here is a example they provide.

Attachment:
dca75-960-2.jpg

That's a lot of curves...
I definitely like the form factor and if it performs like the ESR70, then it may be the way for me to go. Has the voltage and current limitation cause any testing issues?


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 Post subject: Re: Curve Tracer Recommendations
PostPosted: Nov Sat 16, 2019 4:02 am 
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Joined: Mar Thu 15, 2018 2:23 pm
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Chappy wrote:
How about a Heathkit curve tracer. It is meant for semiconductors but it goes up to 150VDC. I have one and I am going to make a jig to test 12ax7 style preamp tubes. A filament transformer, a few switches, and a few sockets are all that is required for the jig.

The Heathkit ones look pretty good. It says 200V on the one I saw. Is this the same model or a limitation of the Heathkit ?


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 Post subject: Re: Curve Tracer Recommendations
PostPosted: Nov Sat 16, 2019 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Aug Sat 17, 2019 5:35 pm
Posts: 18
Yes you are correct. I was mistaken, mine goes to 200V as well. I have the IT-3121. I bought it used off of Ebay. Of course it was not working when I received it. I replaced an inline fuse in the step amplifier circuitry, cleaned all the controls, and re-calibrated it and it is working nicely. The full IT-1121 manual (incl assembly) and a partial IT-3121 manual are available online. I have some gut shots as well if you would like to see the interior.

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Curve Tracer Recommendations
PostPosted: Nov Sat 16, 2019 10:41 pm 
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Joined: Nov Sun 07, 2010 7:16 pm
Posts: 730
Location: Manchester, MI
For the price of the Heath curve tracers, I'd just look for a Tek 577; I think I paid $150 for mine. The display is the same used in some of the 5000 series scopes which are dirt cheap, so it is possible to turn a non-storage 577 into a storage version without a lot of effort or expense.

Deals do happen, I recently read about someone GIVING AWAY a 575


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 Post subject: Re: Curve Tracer Recommendations
PostPosted: Nov Sun 17, 2019 11:16 pm 
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Joined: Mar Thu 15, 2018 2:23 pm
Posts: 254
PaulAm wrote:
For the price of the Heath curve tracers, I'd just look for a Tek 577; I think I paid $150 for mine. The display is the same used in some of the 5000 series scopes which are dirt cheap, so it is possible to turn a non-storage 577 into a storage version without a lot of effort or expense.

Deals do happen, I recently read about someone GIVING AWAY a 575

$150 is a great price for a 577. Did you get any appliances with it? The appliance modules are pretty expensive.
I found two "parts only" ones for $500 plus shipping in the $500 and below bracket. I'll have to keep a watch on these... In the meantime, the Heathkit and Peak DCA75 look pretty good.


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 Post subject: Re: Curve Tracer Recommendations
PostPosted: Nov Mon 18, 2019 12:11 am 
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Joined: Aug Sat 17, 2019 5:35 pm
Posts: 18
Depending on what you need a curve tracer for the B&K 501A curve tracer might also suffice. I have one of those as well. I bought it at roughly the same time that I acquired the Heathkit. It is easier to use than the Heathkit, however not as capable. You should be able to pick one up on the auction site at a much cheaper cost compared to the Heathkit. It is lighter too so shipping will be less as well. The manual is available online so you can see if it's specs meet your needs.

Sincerely,
Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Curve Tracer Recommendations
PostPosted: Nov Mon 18, 2019 12:53 am 
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Joined: Mar Thu 15, 2018 2:23 pm
Posts: 254
I saw a B&K 501A curve tracer but skipped it because I thought it was overpriced at $175 on ePray. I also looked at the Leader LTC-905 but I thought those were too much to pay for at $250+ at the time. Then I saw a Model A Judd Williams that reminded me too much of the Testline Model 101. Probably the same design with the 3 pin probe jack in front. No thanks, pass.

I think I will buy a Peak DCA75 and call it (in my mind) a component tester. If I find a decent Heathkit on the market, I may jump on it and use it for higher voltage testing. I'm sure I can get my money back on the IT-1121 should I decide to part with it later. Are there any differences between the IT-1121 and the IT-3121? I've read it's only the paint schemes that are different.


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 Post subject: Re: Curve Tracer Recommendations
PostPosted: Nov Mon 18, 2019 3:38 am 
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Joined: Aug Sat 17, 2019 5:35 pm
Posts: 18
I dont believe that there are any differences electronically between the two Heathkits. I bought mine in the summer from the auction site when prices were much more reasonable. I saw the B&Ks going for approx 60USD at one point. I think you could get a Heathkit for around 100 on the auction site if you wait until the spring or summer.


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