The amateur experimenter's workshop requires a certain minimum amount of test equipment to successfully build circuits at home and get them working. Up until recently, I've had regular access to a General Dynamics R8000B Communications Analyser which I used at my work place. It's an "all in one" piece of equipment with a price tag to match. However, I have now acquired a Siglent Spectrum Analyser which is a welcome and permanent addition to the test bench. My new analyser will take a while to become completely familiar with.
The Tracking Generator's minimum output level is only -20db so an external variable attenuator is handy for testing some equipment with internal gain such as this I.F. amplifier as -20db at the input is too much and tends to overload the amplifier. If testing a passive circuit and more gain is required, the analyser's RF preamplifier cam be turned on.
The R8000B uses its signal generator as the tracking generator and therefore the output level is adjustable down to the minimum. A very nice piece of professional test equipment.
It's good to be able to visualise the output of a transmitter or a filter's response and know that all is well with a circuit and that it is working as intended.
Page last updated 23 May 2018
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This photo is of the compact test bench at VK2FC. It's what I use to test my radio and electronics projects. A mixture of older and some newer equipment. Since relocating to Maitland I've had to scale back the physical size of the workshop to fit into the available space. Hams of yesteryear managed to do a lot with much less than this. I've always admired their skills in being able to build equipment and get it on-air successfully. After all of my time as a 'ham' I still find it fascinating to make a QSO on a home made radio!
My Parts Collection below. I've just recently consolidated them in a 20 foot shipping container.
Homebrew Ham Radios
Amateur Radio Station VK2FC
To assist with the metalwork associated with homebrewing radios I'm fortunate to still have a small guillotine, sheet metal bender, lathe and a drill press or two which are left-overs from my days of operating a small business.