Subject: Re: Swapfest
From: "SROYS" <SROYS-at-radiology.ab.umd.edu>
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 1995 09:49:54 EDT
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> In particular, I am interested in transformers, variable, potential, pole,
> and current, ammeters, signal generators, oscilloscopes, and RF
> Are there any other items that I should keep my eyes open for? What
> is a fair price for some of these items? What items are most useful?
After years of hard-core scrounging at hamfests, here is a list (in no
particular order) of the things that typically can be found that I either
regularly keep an eye out for or have already obtained. These are
typical "fair" prices (in my opinion), and prices obviously vary
according to make and model (name brands like Tektronix, HP, Fluke,
etc... being a bit more expensive but also more reliable in the long run).
Another useful thing to keep an eye out for are the manuals for the test
equipment that you buy or already have.
Calibrated dual trace scope, at least 10MHz bandwidth - $75 or so
(50Mhz $100 - $250).
Oscilloscope probes - $1 to $5
Test oscillator good for at least 1MHz $25 - $100 (I just bought a 10
MHz HP 651A test oscillator for $50 this past weekend so I can sell my
less capable but still useful EICO 1MHz oscillator).
Frequency counter $25 - $50 (good to hundreds of MHz, you won't need
a GHz counter - used to verify test oscillator frequency)
RG59 coax cords with BNC connectors at the ends (different lengths to
connect the scope, test oscillator, etc.. together) - 4/$1 up to $2
BNC tee-connectors .50 - $1 each
LCR meter - $49 new at the hamfest I just went to (I bought a used
capacitance meter for $10 a couple of years ago but they normally
seem to go for $15 to $25)
Variacs - (up to 20A, I have yet to find any larger) - about $1/amp if
you're lucky, $2/amp if you're not
Various panel meters (AC/DC/Volt/Amp) - $1 - $3
RF line filters - 10A -at- $1, 30A -at- $3-$5
Current transformers - $3 - $5
Used RG8 coax - cheap - just look in the grungy boxes or piles of
tangled wire laying around under the tables and offer them half of what
Recent ARRL handbook - a large handbook that has all sorts of useful
information about basic electronics theory, construction techniques,
transmission line theory, test equipment, etc...
High voltage caps - $1 to $100 depending on a lot of things
I have yet to find any pole or distribution transformers at a hamfest :-(
Large plate transformers can sometimes be found (rated at 3kV - 5kV at
at least a couple of hundred mA) and can be had for as little as $5 and a
hernia - maybe good to get a few and wire them in series for higher
Insulators (ceramic or plastic) - again look in the grungy boxes under
the tables and get them cheap (I just bought a box with a couple of
hundred cylindrical ceramic insulators from 2" to 6" long for $3)
Steven Roys (sroys-at-radiology.ab.umd.edu)