April 30, 2020 at 9:46 pm #14046
Hi All, Looking for advice on basic test equipment to align radios after i’m done repairing them. I guess a signal generator would be a starting point. Budget is an issue nowadays.
Thanks, GaryMay 2, 2020 at 4:36 pm #14117Gordon DannCVRS Member
to align am radios you will need a audio modulated signal generator. the old tube type such as the heathkit, echo or stark, will work . and are not to high price wise. I use a siglent SDG1032X 30MHz unit
transcat canada sells it for $430.65. INCLUDES shipping.there are other makes as well . **do not buy the cheep signal generators on amazon and ebay they are junk**. I have delt with them and they seem good. you will also need a meter I use a fluke 87 , tripplet and a old heathkit vtvm the old vtvm’s work well and can be got cheap . a Autoranging Digital MultiMeter like the exteck can be got a lot cheaper then fluke and will do the job. To align fm radios it can be done with a am generator and your ear but a fm sig. and a scope is the way to go.(the siglent has that capability) if you plan to do tv”s you need more stuff. hope this helps. Cheers GordonMay 2, 2020 at 7:10 pm #14128
That gives me a starting off point. I saw a Heathkit in the area for a good price. I will try to find it and post it here for opinions.
Found it! If the text is in French, right click the text. It does say Audio Generator instead of Signal Generator.
Attachments:May 3, 2020 at 12:51 pm #14178Ed KrausharCVRS Member
I have a Heathkit, different model than show, it works great as my main generator. Also have an Eico and a NRI. I have found it helpful to have a frequency meter to confirm an accurate output from the meter.
Ed.May 3, 2020 at 5:24 pm #14189
Showing my ignorance here, but is a Signal Generator the same as an Audio generator? The Heathkit I found is listed as an Audio Generator. Just nomenclature?
GaryMay 4, 2020 at 4:16 pm #14195
Anyone?May 4, 2020 at 6:37 pm #14196John GreenlandCVRS Member
Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s like the old saying ” all bananas are fruit, but not all fruit are bananas” ( or similar ).
There are various types of signal generators. I have one which generates pulses only of varying widths and frequency. I have not used it in years.
What you are looking for is an RF ( radio frequency ) signal generator. The Heathkit that you looked at is an audio signal generator and would normally be used to test audio equipment ( amplifiers etc ). It will not generate the radio frequencies that you need to test radios.
Hope this helps.
BTW, before you spend a lot of money on a meter, look at the 52-0052 at Canadian Tire. I have found it quite reliable and it evens measures frequency. Fluke meters are very good, don’t get me wrong, but if you are just learning to drive do you want some thing reasonably priced ( in case you damage it ) or a Corvette ?May 4, 2020 at 11:19 pm #14198Gordon DannCVRS Member
Gary you need a rf generator with audio modulation . the Heath you posted is not rf. I have not seen the Canadian tire meter the only thing I would suggest is to make sure it is auto ranging. yes the fluke’s are very pricey and not necessary it you don’t use them all the time. just don’t buy to cheap a meter
Hay I have I Heathkit SG-8 and vtvm that I would be willing to part with. I live In
Courtenay on the Island If that would work for you? Cheers GordonMay 5, 2020 at 6:29 am #14199
Thanks for the input guys!
I already have 2 meters. One is a Circuit-test DLM 260 and the other is a Fluke 115. Since my Automobile technician days, I have always been a huge fan of Fluke meters (88’s), just not a big fan of the expensive fuses inside as my staff at the garage would blow them on a regular basis (never figured out how they were doing it). Anyways, I’m covered for meters.
Gordon, I will contact you off group to discuss your offer.I sent you a PM., but it most likely ended up i your spam.May 5, 2020 at 1:18 pm #14203Ed KrausharCVRS Member
Sorry if I confused things with my comments on the Heathkit. I did not look close enough to see that is an audio generator.
As stated above you need an rf generator. They put out a modulated audio tone at the requested frequency for aligning the radio. Some of the older generators may not be exact in the frequency output so I use the frequency meter to get it exact. The vacuum tube voltmeter mentioned helps to determine when the adjustment is at its peak.
The CTC meter 52-0052 is good. I have two. I try to resist spending too much on test equipment, modern gear is far more precise and costly than old radios require.
Ed.May 5, 2020 at 5:01 pm #14219
Also found this Stark Model 10 A not far from me. I really like that it’s Canadian made. I’ve just read all about it and I think it may be a good choice and no postage!
Will it do the trick for am/sw and the odd Fm mono radio.?
https://www.ebay.ca/itm/Stark-A-10-RF-Signal-Generator-Lab-quality-Excellent-Very-Rare/153826248868?hash=item23d0c248a4:g:mQsAAOSwWNZeP2RoMay 5, 2020 at 6:07 pm #14220John GreenlandCVRS Member
Seems a bit pricey to me for probably 50 + year old tube based technology.
I must be seeing a different ad than you . It says $180 Canadian ?????
TTFNMay 5, 2020 at 6:58 pm #14222
I offered him $130. I have been looking around and there doesn’t seem to be much available in the hood. From the description, do you think it’s up to the task? here’s more infoMay 6, 2020 at 4:44 am #14226
I have gone with the Stark. I negotiated a better price that I’m comfortable with and yes I probably paid too much, but I like that it’s Canadian made and there is lots of info about it at Pacific TV etc.
The only down side is it weighs 23 pounds, so it’s quite the tank. It has been tested and cleaned and is supposed to work well out of the box.
Thanks everybody , GaryJune 6, 2020 at 10:19 pm #14792Don HenschelForum Participant
Fluke is a great choice and for expensive they also have lower priced simpler models as well. As others have mentioned stay away from cheap junk!! I desperately needed a meter one day and went to the local Home Hardware and the ONLY good news is it was cheap grrrrrrrrrr! The garbage won’t even test a 2 meg resistor because it doesn’t read that high! Just good for testing batteries and perhaps if there is power at an outlet!
Later on I purchased a Mark 8 AVO meter and they are the Rolls Royce of British Meters lol. The slang for them is a “smiling face meter” They can be purchased for minimal quid as well and are very good for an analog meter. The Flukes also test capacitors but in my case I use my Heathkit IT-11 so this kept me from purchasing a Fluke as well. I’m fortunate to have accumulated a Heathkit Signal Generator as well along with a pair of Heathkit tube testers and my late father’s Stark tube tester from the 40’s.
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