Cheap Ideas for Signal Generator.

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Cheap Ideas for Signal Generator.

Post by NashvilleRad on Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:05 pm

Anyone come across a cheaper (read as inxpensive) signal generator for troubleshooting ... or perhaps even a low-cost DIY kit or home-brew suggestion?

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Re: Cheap Ideas for Signal Generator.

Post by Resistance is Futile on Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:34 pm

10 to 25 dollars is considered cheap for an old generator.
How inexpensive?
You could take a small old pocket transistor, radio and use the oscillator as a generator, and also use the audio amp stage as a signal tracer.
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Re: Cheap Ideas for Signal Generator.

Post by NashvilleRad on Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:07 am

I've got a couple of signal tracers - one I built that works better than my old Micronta ...

And I do happen to have a small pocket transistor radio ... and I'm ready to take it apart if you can lead me in the right direction!

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Re: Cheap Ideas for Signal Generator.

Post by Resistance is Futile on Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:38 pm

Take two radios in close proximity, turn on both, with volumes set to reasonable level. Use radio A as unit needing work. Then second radio (B) would be a signal source.
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Dial up and down the B unit, the oscillator will be heard at some point as a squeal or tone on Radio A.

I have done this with many radios to verify that the oscillator portion of a questionable radio is working.

If it works then use it as a source to trace the signal path through the RF to the audio. Most oscillators are set to 455KHz and will change frequency as the dial is moved. Its a cheap way to use it as a signal source when a generator isn't available. Another way is just use a radio station signal and trace its path until the signal drops out.
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Re: Cheap Ideas for Signal Generator.

Post by NashvilleRad on Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:59 am

Excellent suggestions ... and very intuitive. It's the 'why didn't I think of that' moment!

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Re: Cheap Ideas for Signal Generator.

Post by willy3486 on Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:27 pm

If you find a older one from the 50s or before that needs to be restored let me know. If you don't want to fix it I might trade with you. I have one I have never used that I need to check out. I have one I use and never use this one. It looks like a decent one and if it works I would trade it for a older one that didn't. I want to set up my shop to look like a older shop. I can't remember the brand off hand. I am not to far from you and we might could meet up at one of the shows.

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Re: Cheap Ideas for Signal Generator.

Post by NashvilleRad on Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:53 pm

willy3486 wrote:If you find a older one from the 50s or before that needs to be restored let me know. If you don't want to fix it I might trade with you. I have one I have never used that I need to check out. I have one I use and never use this one. It looks like a decent one and if it works I would trade it for a older one that didn't. I want to set up my shop to look like a older shop. I can't remember the brand off hand. I am not to far from you and we might could meet up at one of the shows.

Excellent ... let me go back through my 'bench' and see what I got and balance that with the wish list and get back with you.

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Re: Cheap Ideas for Signal Generator.

Post by sprman on Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:43 am

You can try swap meets have seen gens go cheap 40 to 50 some as cheap as 25$ They work and may drift a tad.New gens go for about 160 or so some cheaper.Sprman

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Re: Cheap Ideas for Signal Generator.

Post by NashvilleRad on Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:57 am

Well ... I was able to get an RCA WR-50B RF signal Generator for $15.00 on eBay. So, I can tentatively hold off trying to home-brew something up.

Now I'll just have to check the condition as advertised when it gets here ...

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Re: Cheap Ideas for Signal Generator.

Post by Resistance is Futile on Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:03 pm

Don't do my big mistake, plug it in and POW. Embarassed Crying or Very sad Sad
Power cord was shorted to casing with bare wires just at power cord hole. Replace power supply caps very first thing. Sparkin and arcin at both the case and the wall outlet, flames in stereo. No
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