[time-nuts] More Z3801/Tbolt comparisons

Stan, W1LE stanw1le at verizon.net
Fri Sep 4 17:27:21 UTC 2009

If I see the rack mounting ears on a piece of test equipment I assume 
that it was rack mounted
and acoustically sheltered from the user. I assess my bid to include a 
new fan, usually 30-50$.

Yes, rack mounted test equipment was usually from a fixed location, and 
has no "road rash".

Stan, W1LE

Roy Phillips wrote:
> Nigel
> I must say that much of what you have stated is right, I have a 53131A 
> counter and the basic time-base is a joke, but agreed, we mostly use a 
> common external reference with our instruments.
> There are some exceptions, as I am finding with a very recently 
> purchased HP 8657A Sig. Gen. that has the option 001 oven oscillator. 
> This is a 1998 production (made in the US), the TCXO would seem to be 
> a very stable device with coarse and fine adjustment - after running 
> for 48 hours its holding 10 Mhz to ^10. In fact it would seem to be 
> somewhat better than the TCXO in my Marconi 2024 Sig. Gen. - - hence 
> my singing the praises of HP.
> The large number of Racal 199# on the UK market in recent times are I 
> would suggest, ex UK military issue and as portable instruments have 
> probably had a rough life, and have frequently been stored for ten 
> years in somewhat poor environments. I would suggest that buying 
> equipment that has come from a commercial origin, and has been part of 
> a rack test set-up, have been better cared for and sometimes have had 
> very little use. What do you others think about this theory ?
> Roy
> ----- Original Message ----- From: <GandalfG8 at aol.com>
> To: <time-nuts at febo.com>
> Sent: Friday, September 04, 2009 12:36 PM
> Subject: Re: [time-nuts] More Z3801/Tbolt comparisons
>> In a message dated 04/09/2009 11:18:07 GMT Daylight Time,
>> phill.r1 at btinternet.com writes:
>> Racal  19## Counters are something else - - I got rid of
>> mine some years back,  not only the ongoing problems with the 
>> key-pad, but
>> I
>> don't think they put  much cost into the oven osc. Perhaps you should
>> consider moving on to an  HP or other quality counter, "you deserve it"
>> --------------
>> Even the best counters can sometimes suffer from poor internal 
>> oscillators.
>> The basic onboard oscillator in the HP53132A for example has no 
>> practical
>> use whatsoever, other than to demonstrate that the counter is  
>> functional,
>> but I suspect most, if not all, list members will  generally be 
>> operating
>> counters with external references anyway
>> Whilst I wouldn't even consider swapping my 53132A for a 199x I  must 
>> be a
>> glutton for punishment as I've just bought another  1991 after also 
>> selling
>> my previous one some time ago.
>> Aside from the reported key pad problems, which haven't affected me 
>> so far,
>> and the lesser resolution, it's a good solid workhorse and, something 
>> not
>> to be  sneezed at, this one in very good condition cost me at least 
>> 80% less
>> than I'd expect to pay for a similar condition 53132A:-)
>> Earlier 19xx counters also strike me as being underrated these days.
>> Although it's lacking in resolution for most of my current needs I've 
>> still
>> got a 1905 I bought new in the late 70s/early 80s and that has 
>> served  me
>> very well as a general purpose counter.
>> I'd suggest that too as an excellent workhorse and more than adequate 
>> for
>> such things as transmitter or receiver adjustment etc and, at the 
>> give-away
>> prices the 1904 and 1905 often seem to fetch on Ebay, they can be  
>> quite a
>> bargain.
>> regards
>> Nigel
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