View Full Version : Big RF Generator... Should I scrap it?


Maxxarcade
08-01-2010, 12:58 PM
What should I do with this? The power transformer might be worth more than the whole unit.

The selenium rectifiers are scary...

http://i322.photobucket.com/albums/nn428/Maxxarcade/IMG_0474.jpg

http://i322.photobucket.com/albums/nn428/Maxxarcade/IMG_0476.jpg

http://i322.photobucket.com/albums/nn428/Maxxarcade/IMG_0477.jpg

http://i322.photobucket.com/albums/nn428/Maxxarcade/IMG_0478.jpg

http://i322.photobucket.com/albums/nn428/Maxxarcade/IMG_0475.jpg

http://i322.photobucket.com/albums/nn428/Maxxarcade/IMG_0481.jpg

dshoaf
08-01-2010, 01:14 PM
Sure looks like an HP from sometime in the 50s to me. The tubes will likely have some value as the power xformer if it has windings that are interesting for your next project. Build quality is typical for HP of that era and all the silk screened identifiers are the proper font for HP. A believe Sloober and Audio Addict picked up some gear last summer of about the same age and have gotten a number of nice pieces off of them.

The funny thing is that I've not seen that many military-specific items from HP, which this seems to be. Standing policy at HP was not to build to spec for military contract work. Rather, they'd bid on federal contracts with their standard line of test gear.

Cheers,

David

Bob91343
08-01-2010, 01:18 PM
That is an HP608, very expensive in its time. The main thing wrong with it is that it only has AM, no FM. And yes it's military but the same as the commercial version.

I think the manual may be available on line. It might be a 608E, the most popular model, but there were several from about A through F I think.

I wouldn't mind having it but you are too far and shipping would cost more than it's worth.

Sam Cogley
08-01-2010, 01:19 PM
The HP logo on one meter is a clue, too. I think I'd be gutting that monster for parts.

battradio
08-01-2010, 01:20 PM
The cost of shipping it would be cost prohipitive .So unlees you can sell it local it woth most as scrap

IF you do scrap it out , save the knobs with the metal dials and variable caps , they are very usefull to make crystal radios , and most likely could be traded for tubes or other parts for audio .

JimJ[VT]
08-01-2010, 01:43 PM
They'd snap up the parts like crazy on a place like amfone.net or QRZ.com :)

Tom Bavis
08-01-2010, 05:51 PM
10-420 MHz so you can't even use it for aligning AM radios... an HP606 would be MUCH more useful. I've stripped two of these, and found that the PAECO transformer is good for MUCH higher current than the markings... 300 mA DC would be a more reasonable rating, as I recall. The going rate for these is about the value of the scrap aluminum - I think I paid $5 and $10 for the two I had.

vigman
08-01-2010, 06:00 PM
That's a BEAST!.....
I say scrap it! the freq range is not useful.... for anything " current "...

Great knobs N stuff!

Mike

Maxxarcade
08-01-2010, 06:07 PM
10-420 MHz so you can't even use it for aligning AM radios... an HP606 would be MUCH more useful. I've stripped two of these, and found that the PAECO transformer is good for MUCH higher current than the markings... 300 mA DC would be a more reasonable rating, as I recall. The going rate for these is about the value of the scrap aluminum - I think I paid $5 and $10 for the two I had.

I was thinking the transformer would be the best part too. I can't believe the filament windings... 3x 6.3v 4.5a should be enough for a beast PPP 6L6GC amp :D

coffee123
08-01-2010, 09:32 PM
Look at the size of those selenium rectifiers!

Mark

Maxxarcade
08-01-2010, 09:55 PM
Look at the size of those selenium rectifiers!

Mark

Ya, I don't think I'll be keeping those...

analog addict
08-01-2010, 10:33 PM
You'll find that the quality of the parts is about the best you could buy at the time. Well worth adding to the parts and pieces box....:thmbsp:

bharper
08-01-2010, 10:36 PM
that is actually a pretty good rf generator, the sum of its parts will not make anything more useful, I think I would save it, and go tear up a magnavox....

Maxxarcade
08-01-2010, 10:41 PM
that is actually a pretty good rf generator, the sum of its parts will not make anything more useful, I think I would save it, and go tear up a magnavox....

But what could I do with it? I figured I'd build an amp with the parts.

ke4mcl
08-01-2010, 10:54 PM
ive scrapped a few of those. get a power screwdriver and just start removing every fastener you can get to. the whole thing will just come apart like a collapsing building.

id yank the knobs, ceramic tube sockets if any, tube clamps, transformers, tubes, indicator lights and jewels.

you guys are right about hp not building special military gear. i have a useless signal generator from los alamos with a waterslide decal on it for an agency called DASA that has an atomic cloud on it. nobody seems to have knowledge the agency existed, hence the only reason i keep that sig gen in one piece. its a regular ole hp microwave range sig gen.

Maxxarcade
08-01-2010, 11:10 PM
ive scrapped a few of those. get a power screwdriver and just start removing every fastener you can get to. the whole thing will just come apart like a collapsing building.

id yank the knobs, ceramic tube sockets if any, tube clamps, transformers, tubes, indicator lights and jewels.

Maybe either indicator jewel would fit the bias lamp on the Hickok 600 that I got with the generator.

I'm actually up to my knees in vintage test equipment right now, because of cleaning this out:

http://www.youtube.com/user/Maxxarcade#p/u/3/ra6pFixkgwc

analog addict
08-02-2010, 05:57 AM
I'm actually up to my knees in vintage test equipment right now, because of cleaning this out:

http://www.youtube.com/user/Maxxarcade#p/u/3/ra6pFixkgwc

:sigh:...I see my life flashing before my eyes....

PakProtector
08-02-2010, 06:35 AM
hey-hey!!!,
What are the big tubes in the third picture? Those look interesting; metal springs inside like the Bendix Red Bank Hy-G-300 series.
cheers,
Douglas

Maxxarcade
08-02-2010, 07:30 AM
hey-hey!!!,
What are the big tubes in the third picture? Those look interesting; metal springs inside like the Bendix Red Bank Hy-G-300 series.
cheers,
Douglas

The big tubes are 6080WA.

ducati_EL34
08-02-2010, 07:30 AM
you guys are right about hp not building special military gear. i have a useless signal generator from los alamos with a waterslide decal on it for an agency called DASA that has an atomic cloud on it. nobody seems to have knowledge the agency existed, hence the only reason i keep that sig gen in one piece. its a regular ole hp microwave range sig gen.


DASA = Defense Atomic Support Agency


http://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/374.html

BinaryMike
08-02-2010, 04:22 PM
I suspect there are many amateur radio fanatics who would put that generator to good use, but I don't know where they hang out online.

ke4mcl
08-02-2010, 04:51 PM
thanks for the link ducati. got some reading or tonight!

sloober
08-02-2010, 11:50 PM
Mine had silver plated sockets for all tubes. Used them when I rebuilt my MC-30 pair. Also lots of good transformers, caps, handles, and when done tons of stainless hardware. Scrap it. John

KGBMAN
08-03-2010, 05:40 PM
I believe that's the 608D model.

I gave one and an original manual if you're interested.

toxcrusadr
08-03-2010, 06:24 PM
Well, I'll put in one lonely vote for keeping it intact just for the history of it. I understand you can't keep everything, especially if you're up to your @$$ in unusable vintage test equipment. Sure wish there was a museum somewhere for this stuff. :sigh:

Westy56
08-03-2010, 06:46 PM
Well, I'll put in one lonely vote for keeping it intact just for the history of it. I understand you can't keep everything, especially if you're up to your @$$ in unusable vintage test equipment. Sure wish there was a museum somewhere for this stuff. :sigh:

I just hooked a ham radio tech up with a friend who has all kinds of that stuff. The tech has many friends to share these testers and things with.

It beats seeing them get scrapped for tubes and copper...:yes:


Steve

Tom Bavis
08-03-2010, 07:29 PM
No love for the HP-608 here... cheap source of parts - free after a trip to the metal recycler. But an HP-606... I'd definitely make room for one of those. Put a LOT of mileage on the dials of those while working as a 2-way radio tech. Even though it's BIGGER than the 608, it's about a hunnert times more useful to me...

Sandy G
08-03-2010, 08:04 PM
The big tubes are 6080WA.

I wish you had some 6082s...I'd try to big-deal you outta 'em...Other 'uns I'm always lookin' for are 3TF7s, & 26Z5Ws...

KGBMAN
08-03-2010, 08:05 PM
Well, I'll put in one lonely vote for keeping it intact just for the history of it. I understand you can't keep everything, especially if you're up to your @$$ in unusable vintage test equipment. Sure wish there was a museum somewhere for this stuff. :sigh:

That's the problem with mine... it's in fantastic shape. Too nice to just cannibalize it and scrap the carcass.

I also have to agree with Mr. Bavis: the usefulness of this model is extremely limited (for audio work).

Maxxarcade
08-03-2010, 11:00 PM
I guess I'll scrap it for parts unless I stumble on a local collector beforehand. I already have several other signal generators, including an industrial rackmount one that is fully digital AM/FM.

Just FYI, this is most of what I have to sort through so far:

Calrad 65-281 Transistor tester
Heathkit S1 Electronic Switch
Sencore Handy 53 R/C sub box
RCA WR-46A Dot/Cross generator
HP 211A Square Wave Generator
Test Rite B-45 signal generator
NRI Multitester
McIntosh milliamp meter (old, wood case)
Heathkit IM-5218 VTVM
Sears 2105 Tune Up Tester
Hickok 155 Indicating Traceometer
Hickok 191X
Precise Development Corp 308-C Scope
Hickok 203 VTVM (modded)
Knight R/C Tester
Knight Signal Tracer
Knight RF/Sweep Generator
Denki Seiko Variac
Lafayette Stereo Meter
Realistic 42-2101 Preamp
Lafayette 223 Transistor Tester
Jackson Condenser Tester 112
Simpson 260 Series 6 (cracked case)
Oscilloscope model 10-17 (unknown brand)
Hickok 620 Pattern Generator
HP RF Gen (608D?) TS-510A/U (The O/P of this thread)
Superior Instruments TV-50
HP 330B Distortion Analyzer
Telectro Industries TS-382 F/U
Heathkit IG-42
Large AC/DC power supply/variac (unknown brand)
Hickok 600 Tube Tester (currently being restored for my use)

CB/HAM stuff-
Micronta/RS 3 way CB Tester
Sears SWR Meter
Heathkit SWR Meter
Johnson Viking Match Box
Johnson Directional Coupler
Skyhook II
Demco Travelier (Deluxe?)
Yaesu YO-100 Monitor Scope

Misc-
Superscope A-245 Stereo Amp
Maico D-9 Hearing Tester
Hallicrafters SX-16 Super Skyrider
Friden EC-132 Electronic Calculator
Harman Kardon ST-7 Linear Tracking Turntable
Utah Studio 4 Ambience Regenerator
Several vintage electronics books

Several cases of used tubes, unsorted (and very dusty!)

Bob91343
08-04-2010, 01:30 AM
I have some 26Z5s pulled from R-390A.

soundmotor
08-04-2010, 09:26 AM
I've stripped two of these, and found that the PAECO transformer is good for MUCH higher current than the markings... 300 mA DC would be a more reasonable rating, as I recall.

IIRC, military transformers had to do 2X their rated current under test. The markings on them are their de-rating not their full rating.

soundmotor
08-04-2010, 09:31 AM
ive scrapped a few of those. get a power screwdriver and just start removing every fastener you can get to. the whole thing will just come apart like a collapsing building.

id yank the knobs, ceramic tube sockets if any, tube clamps, transformers, tubes, indicator lights and jewels.

H-P, like Tektronix & Genrad used the best hardware available at the time. Whenever I scrap out a unit I keep it all. It is a pleasure to build with. I don't have any qualms ripping them apart. Someone, somewhere has saved one (or more) for perpetuity. OP, that piece is a gold mine of great bits!

soundmotor
08-04-2010, 09:33 AM
Maybe either indicator jewel would fit the bias lamp on the Hickok 600 that I got with the generator.

Looks like a standard Dialco-pattern from the front. If it is, it should screw right into your Hickok.

Maxxarcade
08-04-2010, 09:51 AM
Looks like a standard Dialco-pattern from the front. If it is, it should screw right into your Hickok.

Cool, I think everything will work out great if I strip it then. Also might end up stripping a couple other items on the list if they are not worth restoring.

Maxxarcade
08-04-2010, 09:22 PM
I just looked at the manual for the 608d, and it showed silicon rectifiers, where the one I have is all selenium. Different revision maybe?

dshoaf
08-05-2010, 10:22 AM
I just looked at the manual for the 608d, and it showed silicon rectifiers, where the one I have is all selenium. Different revision maybe?

Yes, like McIntosh, HP would make major and minor circuit changes to gear while keeping the production lines going. They would then document changes through service bulletins for minor changes (using serial number ranges to applicability) or through the letter designation in the model number for major changes. Major changes would include chassis layouts, changes to functions on the front panel and/or circuit topology changes.

Useless audio party trivia:

There were times where the "A" model of a product didn't make it to market. For instance, HP's first product, the Model 200B, was marketed that way to create the impression that there was a 200A, when in fact, there wasn't. Engineers don't usually like to buy the first release of anything - especially if they had to bet the production line operation on it. For their first product, however, their first customer was Walt Disney who was preparing to release an animated movie and needed a sound effects audio generator in about 1939. The HP 200B sounded more solid than a device called the 100A. At the time, HP's only west coast salesman, Norm Neely, also sold for another little startup company in LA called JBL as a manufacturer's representative (aka: salesman on contract or a mercenary). Until the mid-90s, HP's west coast sales arm was called the Neely Sales Region. So even in the 1930s, there were startups making money in California! BTW, HP didn't go public until the mid-50s.

Cheers,

David (HP retired 85/'05)

toxcrusadr
08-05-2010, 11:26 AM
That HP story is so cool. I was lovin' my restored $10 HP-200B, not only because of the history but the build quality, until it started motorboating on me. Haven't had a chance to open it up and see what the trouble might be. Actually a very simple and extremely well built oscillator. I recapped it completely so it has to be something else.

dshoaf
08-05-2010, 01:54 PM
Recapped, huh? Did you clean the contacts on the variable tuning cap? Just like an FM tuner.

Unfortunately, all of the original designers are now dead but there's a Yahoo group of retired HP engineers you can tap into.

Cheers,

David

rBuckner
08-05-2010, 02:36 PM
My first job as a tech at HP in Palo Alto, Calif. in 1979 was to work on the brother of these, the HP612A. Most of them shipped to the Israel Army as I recall. I only was there 6 months, so I'm no expert on what exactly this model is but I can say that both the 606 and 608 models were made within 50 yards of my workbench. I also worked on the simple 3200B model. Yeah, I know, whopeee!!! :banana:

Also may I confess I never did do a proper self intro. I always find the most interesting threads (of all kinds) on this group. What a cool bunch y'all are! Briefly, I love to buy, restore and resell 70's receivers on that eAuction site. Mostly Marantz and some Pioneer although I've dabbled in Kenwood and HK. I'll get to that intro soon!

dshoaf
08-05-2010, 04:27 PM
Welcome, rBuckner!

This site, http://www.hparchive.com/, makes me feel old but should bring back some memories for you.

Ok, off topic enough.....back the the OP's thread!

Cheers,

David

Maxxarcade
08-05-2010, 08:36 PM
Wow, great bits of info floating around this thread lately! All this talk is making me hesitate to part out the 608 a bit. I guess it all boils down to how the progress goes with the rest of the stuff. The 608 is probably the biggest item in the lot.

What I'm really looking forward to fixing up, is the 330B Distortion Analyzer. Despite its age, it is supposedly quite accurate. And the last calibration certificate was from 1979.

steerpike2
08-26-2010, 12:10 PM
Look at the size of those selenium rectifier

Call that a selenium rectifier?
THAT'S (http://www.uploads.co.za/files/m67ewx8i2a4pshe7002n.jpg) a selenium rectifier! :D

toxcrusadr
08-26-2010, 09:08 PM
Sure that's not a 4-slice toaster?

steerpike2
08-27-2010, 01:49 PM
Sure that's not a 4-slice toaster?

I have no idea what it's for, nor of its current or voltage ratings. It was given to me by the owner of a parts store when they closed down - it's 'new' and unused. I'm guessing low voltage, high current.

djnagle
08-27-2010, 03:38 PM
Put a volume pot on the big knob and call it your passive preamp