Discussion:
Weird Stuff WareHouse shutting down
(too old to reply)
Jeff Woolsey
2018-04-08 04:18:14 UTC
Permalink
Geez.  The Agilent IEEE-1588 units I mentioned a month or two ago were
the last things I bought there.
There is one crazy place down in northern LA. Some what hard to get to but
my god the stuff. Overwhelming. They dicker also. Nothing like a tough
bargain was there 3 years ago.
I happen to have returned from a family spring break in LA/SD just
today.  Yesterday I visted C&H surplus in Duarte and picked up a couple
items, one was way-underpriced.  This morning I was at APEX Electronics
in Sun Valley.  Overwhelming is right.  Being where they are in LA they
have a fair amount of prop business.   Imagine the backroom at
WeirdStuff. Now imagine ther same thing, only open to the sky, out
back.  I inquired about a couple items near the front, but didn't have
room in the car (or my wallet) for them.  The Yelp reviews are accurate.
--
Jeff Woolsey {{woolsey,jlw}@jlw,first.last@{gmail,jlw}}.com
Nature abhors straight antennas, clean lenses, and empty storage
"Delete! Delete! OK!" -Dr. Bronner on disk space management
Card-sorting, Joel. -Crow on solitaire

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paul swed
2018-04-08 14:36:51 UTC
Permalink
Thanks
It has to have been Apex that I visited. The back areas were a mix of open
sky and sort of sheds.
The air was typically pretty dry so the stuff held up well. There were
things I would have liked to have grabbed.
Could easily see a day digging around.
Inside its stacked to the 20 ft ceilings and they have ladders like you see
in home depot to get to the top.
There was a genrad admittance bridge on the top shelf. In good condition
and in the nice wood box.
I did not go to C&H as I simply ran out of time. Pretty good?
Regards
Paul
WB8TSL
Geez. The Agilent IEEE-1588 units I mentioned a month or two ago were
the last things I bought there.
There is one crazy place down in northern LA. Some what hard to get to
but
my god the stuff. Overwhelming. They dicker also. Nothing like a tough
bargain was there 3 years ago.
I happen to have returned from a family spring break in LA/SD just
today. Yesterday I visted C&H surplus in Duarte and picked up a couple
items, one was way-underpriced. This morning I was at APEX Electronics
in Sun Valley. Overwhelming is right. Being where they are in LA they
have a fair amount of prop business. Imagine the backroom at
WeirdStuff. Now imagine ther same thing, only open to the sky, out
back. I inquired about a couple items near the front, but didn't have
room in the car (or my wallet) for them. The Yelp reviews are accurate.
--
Nature abhors straight antennas, clean lenses, and empty storage
"Delete! Delete! OK!" -Dr. Bronner on disk space management
Card-sorting, Joel. -Crow on solitaire
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jimlux
2018-04-08 15:52:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by paul swed
Thanks
It has to have been Apex that I visited. The back areas were a mix of open
sky and sort of sheds.
Don't want to be there in an earthquake. After the Northridge quake,
they had to rearrange their outdoor maze to improve safety somewhat.
Post by paul swed
The air was typically pretty dry so the stuff held up well. There were
things I would have liked to have grabbed.
Could easily see a day digging around.
Indeed - the only problem I have with Apex is that if what you're
looking at is junk, but would look good on a set, they can make more
money renting it to a production than selling it - and it's priced
accordingly. Anything with a rack full of blinky-lights panels has
likely been rewired to be "blinky lights".

They have (or used to, haven't been there in about 5-6 years) an
excellent selection of multi pin circular connectors at reasonable
prices - very handy if you've got some surplus gear with no cables.

Test equipment tends to be aged - Unless you have a particular need for
a HP 600 series microwave signal generator, there are probably better
sources available much cheaper that use more modern components. In this
day and age, I don't think people should suffer through 141T spectrum
analyzers or even a 8568- Spend your money an a nice USB unit instead.
Post by paul swed
Inside its stacked to the 20 ft ceilings and they have ladders like you see
in home depot to get to the top.
There was a genrad admittance bridge on the top shelf. In good condition
and in the nice wood box.
I did not go to C&H as I simply ran out of time. Pretty good?
Regards
Paul
WB8TSL
Geez. The Agilent IEEE-1588 units I mentioned a month or two ago were
the last things I bought there.
There is one crazy place down in northern LA. Some what hard to get to
but
my god the stuff. Overwhelming. They dicker also. Nothing like a tough
bargain was there 3 years ago.
I happen to have returned from a family spring break in LA/SD just
today. Yesterday I visted C&H surplus in Duarte and picked up a couple
items, one was way-underpriced. This morning I was at APEX Electronics
in Sun Valley. Overwhelming is right. Being where they are in LA they
have a fair amount of prop business. Imagine the backroom at
WeirdStuff. Now imagine ther same thing, only open to the sky, out
back. I inquired about a couple items near the front, but didn't have
room in the car (or my wallet) for them. The Yelp reviews are accurate.
--
Nature abhors straight antennas, clean lenses, and empty storage
"Delete! Delete! OK!" -Dr. Bronner on disk space management
Card-sorting, Joel. -Crow on solitaire
_______________________________________________
To unsubscribe, go to https://www.febo.com/cgi-bin/
mailman/listinfo/time-nuts
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Andy ZL3AG via time-nuts
2018-04-08 22:58:19 UTC
Permalink
Test equipment tends to be aged - Unless you have a particular need for a HP 600 series microwave signal generator, there are probably better sources available much cheaper that use more modern components. In this day and age, I don't think people should suffer through 141T spectrum analyzers or even a 8568- Spend your money an a nice USB unit instead.
Blasphemy!


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Glenn Little WB4UIV
2018-04-09 03:20:38 UTC
Permalink
The USB stuff has no front end and stability and calibration is highly
questionable..
How can you discriminate between mixes within the USB device and the
signal of interest?
I will take my 141T or my 8566 over USB every time.
Rather lug a little weight around and know what I am seeing on the
display is what is really out there.
There is a reason that usable SAs have weight to them and USB devices do
not.

Glenn
Post by Andy ZL3AG via time-nuts
Test equipment tends to be aged - Unless you have a particular need for a HP 600 series microwave signal generator, there are probably better sources available much cheaper that use more modern components. In this day and age, I don't think people should suffer through 141T spectrum analyzers or even a 8568- Spend your money an a nice USB unit instead.
Blasphemy!
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jimlux
2018-04-09 13:30:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Glenn Little WB4UIV
The USB stuff has no front end and stability and calibration is highly
questionable..
I'm thinking here of the $1K sort of device - traceable cal, quite
stable, etc.

Not the $20 RTL-SDR
Post by Glenn Little WB4UIV
How can you discriminate between mixes within the USB device and the
signal of interest?
The same way you can distinguish on a full up analyzer - you change the
input attenuator and see if the relative heights of the peaks change.
Post by Glenn Little WB4UIV
I will take my 141T or my 8566 over USB every time.
Rather lug a little weight around and know what I am seeing on the
display is what is really out there.
A little?
Post by Glenn Little WB4UIV
There is a reason that usable SAs have weight to them and USB devices do
not.
Monolithic RF ICs have made it possible to get very good performance in
a smaller package.
Your 141T or 8566 have a fair bit of size and mass to run the CRT and
user interface.

To be fair, one should take the size&mass of the computer you're running
the USB pod with and add that.

One thing where the USB pods don't necessarily do as well is on the
tunable preselector filters or on the number of attenuator steps.


I'd have to go look at something like a Keysight/Agilent FieldFox or the
Anritsu equivalent to see what sort of front end design they use - for
all intents and purposes these are a tablet computer and 2 port
VNA/Spectrum Analyzer in one (two)hand-held device.
Post by Glenn Little WB4UIV
Glenn
Post by Andy ZL3AG via time-nuts
Post by jimlux
Test equipment tends to be aged - Unless you have a particular need
for a HP 600 series microwave signal generator, there are probably
better sources available much cheaper that use more modern
components. In this day and age, I don't think people should suffer
through 141T spectrum analyzers or even a 8568- Spend your money an a
nice USB unit instead.
Blasphemy!
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https://www.febo.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/time-nuts
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Bob kb8tq
2018-04-09 15:08:17 UTC
Permalink
Hi
The USB stuff has no front end and stability and calibration is highly questionable..
I'm thinking here of the $1K sort of device - traceable cal, quite stable, etc.
Not the $20 RTL-SDR
How can you discriminate between mixes within the USB device and the signal of interest?
The same way you can distinguish on a full up analyzer - you change the input attenuator and see if the relative heights of the peaks change.
I will take my 141T or my 8566 over USB every time.
Rather lug a little weight around and know what I am seeing on the display is what is really out there.
A little?
There is a reason that usable SAs have weight to them and USB devices do not.
Monolithic RF ICs have made it possible to get very good performance in a smaller package.
Your 141T or 8566 have a fair bit of size and mass to run the CRT and user interface.
To be fair, one should take the size&mass of the computer you're running the USB pod with and add that.
One thing where the USB pods don't necessarily do as well is on the tunable preselector filters or on the number of attenuator steps.
The reason they can get away with that is their dynamic range. As number of real ADC bits goes up, the performance
improves. That was true back when RF ADC’s in spectrum analyzers cost thousands of dollars. It is still true today. You
still pay for performance. What you get for $2,000 is not what you get for $20. That said, if you are after a device that
covers the HF to VHF range, they just keep getting cheaper. There is more involved than just the ADC. To do well you
need things like a good clock system. If you happen to be … errr …. frequency oriented, the modern stuff locked up
to a GPSDO can do some amazing things.

Bob
I'd have to go look at something like a Keysight/Agilent FieldFox or the Anritsu equivalent to see what sort of front end design they use - for all intents and purposes these are a tablet computer and 2 port VNA/Spectrum Analyzer in one (two)hand-held device.
Glenn
Post by Andy ZL3AG via time-nuts
Test equipment tends to be aged - Unless you have a particular need for a HP 600 series microwave signal generator, there are probably better sources available much cheaper that use more modern components. In this day and age, I don't think people should suffer through 141T spectrum analyzers or even a 8568- Spend your money an a nice USB unit instead.
Blasphemy!
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Dave Daniel
2018-04-09 12:20:35 UTC
Permalink
Responding to Jim's post ( I can't find his original post), a
significant advantage to owning "vintage" instruments is that, in
general, they may be repaired more easily than later model instruments.
This fact was my guiding principle when setting up my lab, and that was
based on Jim Williams' "There's No Place Like Home" article that appears
as chapter 17 in his book entitled "The Art and Science of Analog
Circuit Design". The more recent the design of the instrument, the more
highly integrate is it's circuitry. In many cases, that integration
manifests itself in the use of VLSI ASICs of one form or another that
cannot be found, and if one is able to find one to replace a failed
component, the techniques and tools required to swap it out are
advanced, perhaps quite advanced. For a corporate enterprise, these
facilities may be /de rigeur/, but for the home lab, they are, for one
or more reasons, not feasible and the home lab owner must ship the
instrument off to some company which can perform the repair or
calibration at significant cost. I can repair a Tektronix 7104
oscilloscope. I'm pretty sure I can't repair a Tektronix TDS7104.

DaveD
Post by Andy ZL3AG via time-nuts
Test equipment tends to be aged - Unless you have a particular need for a HP 600 series microwave signal generator, there are probably better sources available much cheaper that use more modern components. In this day and age, I don't think people should suffer through 141T spectrum analyzers or even a 8568- Spend your money an a nice USB unit instead.
Blasphemy!
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jimlux
2018-04-09 16:17:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave Daniel
Responding to Jim's post ( I can't find his original post), a
significant advantage to owning "vintage" instruments is that, in
general, they may be repaired more easily than later model instruments.
This fact was my guiding principle when setting up my lab, and that was
based on Jim Williams' "There's No Place Like Home" article that appears
as chapter 17 in his book entitled "The Art and Science of Analog
Circuit Design". The more recent the design of the instrument, the more
highly integrate is it's circuitry. In many cases, that integration
manifests itself in the use of VLSI ASICs of one form or another that
cannot be found, and if one is able to find one to replace a failed
component, the techniques and tools required to swap it out are
advanced, perhaps quite advanced. For a corporate enterprise, these
facilities may be /de rigeur/, but for the home lab, they are, for one
or more reasons, not feasible and the home lab owner must ship the
instrument off to some company which can perform the repair or
calibration at significant cost. I can repair a Tektronix 7104
oscilloscope. I'm pretty sure I can't repair a Tektronix TDS7104.
This comes up on time-nuts a lot...
(and at work at JPL, because for the most part, we buy equipment, not
rent it, and the original project ate the whole cost - there's no
concept of "amortization and depreciaton" - it's just how the govt works)

Yes, the ability to repair is useful, and I'll not deny the pedagogical
value of older, less "automated" instruments - nothing beats a slotted
line (or lecher wires) to understand VSWR, etc.

At JPL we have piles of HP8663 signal generators - a fine piece of gear,
but all more than 20-25 years old - and they're all slowly dying off.
Likewise, we have tons of HP portable spectrum analyzers, all with
screens that are hardly readable. But that creates a problem - we have
racks of equipment that *depend* on the idiosyncracies of those 8663s,
and because no project wants to redesign the entire test campaign, we
keep scrounging to find the last few working ones.

If your time is "free", then the hours it takes to track down a
replacement transistor with the right properties, solder it in, etc.
makes it a good deal - *if and only if* you didn't have something else
more interesting to work on.

I'm fairly busy these days, and while resurrecting test gear was
something I did when I was younger and poorer, today, I don't think I'd
make that choice. I am more interested in making the measurement, than
in learning more about the innards of 30 year old test equipment. And
I'd rather spend my time learning the idiosyncracies of modern
inexpensive equipment - that $900 SignalHound is a pretty nifty piece of
gear, even if it is "Windows only" and I have to run a VM to talk to it.
Likewise, my $500 Ten-Tec VNA won't go to 50 GHz like the 8510 I used
to use at work (the one where the sweeper hiccups periodically and locks
up, and is "not economically repairable), but it's a lot cheaper than a
FieldFox and serves the need I had for it at the time (measuring mutual
Z between antennas).
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Dr. David Kirkby
2018-04-09 00:51:42 UTC
Permalink
Test equipment tends to be aged - Unless you have a particular need for a
HP 600 series microwave signal generator, there are probably better sources
available much cheaper that use more modern components. In this day and
age, I don't think people should suffer through 141T spectrum analyzers or
even a 8568- Spend your money an a nice USB unit instead.

I think people learn more with old test equipment. I know someone who has
a 1 GHz LeCroy scope, as well as a high end Agilent, but can't seem to
measure the simplest of signals, that I could easily measure with a 50 year
old scope.

I heard about someone who could not use an analogue multimeter as it could
not measure negative voltages.

The above said, I don't entirely disagree with you either.

Dave, G8WRB.
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Tim Shoppa
2018-04-08 20:42:29 UTC
Permalink
C&H was SUPERB for test equipment in the 1990's when the aviation industry
in Southern California was downsizing.

IMHO not nearly so interesting today. Unless you're into pneumatics in
which case they are a delight.

Tim N3QE
Post by paul swed
Thanks
It has to have been Apex that I visited. The back areas were a mix of open
sky and sort of sheds.
The air was typically pretty dry so the stuff held up well. There were
things I would have liked to have grabbed.
Could easily see a day digging around.
Inside its stacked to the 20 ft ceilings and they have ladders like you see
in home depot to get to the top.
There was a genrad admittance bridge on the top shelf. In good condition
and in the nice wood box.
I did not go to C&H as I simply ran out of time. Pretty good?
Regards
Paul
WB8TSL
Geez. The Agilent IEEE-1588 units I mentioned a month or two ago were
the last things I bought there.
There is one crazy place down in northern LA. Some what hard to get to
but
my god the stuff. Overwhelming. They dicker also. Nothing like a tough
bargain was there 3 years ago.
I happen to have returned from a family spring break in LA/SD just
today. Yesterday I visted C&H surplus in Duarte and picked up a couple
items, one was way-underpriced. This morning I was at APEX Electronics
in Sun Valley. Overwhelming is right. Being where they are in LA they
have a fair amount of prop business. Imagine the backroom at
WeirdStuff. Now imagine ther same thing, only open to the sky, out
back. I inquired about a couple items near the front, but didn't have
room in the car (or my wallet) for them. The Yelp reviews are accurate.
--
Nature abhors straight antennas, clean lenses, and empty storage
"Delete! Delete! OK!" -Dr. Bronner on disk space management
Card-sorting, Joel. -Crow on solitaire
_______________________________________________
To unsubscribe, go to https://www.febo.com/cgi-bin/
mailman/listinfo/time-nuts
and follow the instructions there.
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Jeff Woolsey
2018-04-08 19:30:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by paul swed
Thanks
It has to have been Apex that I visited. The back areas were a mix of open
sky and sort of sheds.
The air was typically pretty dry so the stuff held up well.
I did see some populated circuit boards absolutely caked with dirt (was
probably dust at first). Maybe not just outside, either.
Post by paul swed
There were
things I would have liked to have grabbed.
Could easily see a day digging around.
Inside its stacked to the 20 ft ceilings and they have ladders like
you see
in home depot to get to the top.
I didn't see any ladders, but I didn't look everywhere (too dangerous)
and I wasn't dressed for it.  I told the guy I wasn't tall enough to
shop there (could not read model numbers of test equipment 15 feet up).

I inquired about a Tek 465B ($50) and Tek 1910 ($100).  Those weren't
irresistible bargains, and I'm already trying to fix a similar scope.
Everything is as-is where-is.  Didn't ask about a Tek T932, either.

It reminded me a bit of AxMan Surplus in Minneapolis (where I didn't buy
a 465M for $75, either).
Post by paul swed
I did not go to C&H as I simply ran out of time. Pretty good?
I'd say it's an appetizer for the Silicon Valley stores.  (APEX is in a
league of its own.)  I picked up a Fluke 1900A multi-counter for $20
because of the engraved tag on it "GIFT FROM / JOHN FLUKE / MARCH 1986".
There's one left. Alas, they're only 6 digits, but have very sharp LEDs
for kHz, MHz, and Overflow.  A SHARP EL-5120 with LCD faults overpriced
at $5.  And an ailing GC-1000H clock.  Other stuff I took pictures of
include a Fluke 1953A, an HP 8006B? Pulse Generator, an EDC Programmable
DC Voltage Standard, and an external dbx dBm  meter.   There's also a
Tek 7704A with 7A26, 7A15A, 7D11, 7D12/M2 sitting on a 203 scopemobile
(and an empty one with just plugins (5B31, 7B80, 7A12, 7A19)) outside
the front door (much like Halted/HSC did at their previous location) for
$50 (just the 7704A).  I didn't have room in the car for it.

C&H days/hours are limited; I lucked out.
Post by paul swed
Regards
Paul
WB8TSL
--
Jeff Woolsey {{woolsey,jlw}@jlw,first.last@{gmail,jlw}}.com
Nature abhors straight antennas, clean lenses, and empty storage.
"Delete! Delete! OK!" -Dr. Bronner on disk space management
Card-sorting, Joel. -Crow on solitaire

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