[time-nuts] Basic question regarding comparing two frequencies

J. Forster jfor at quik.com
Sun Jul 25 11:40:33 EDT 2010


Yup. Newer equipment is just not fixable.

I have a HP 8753D VNA with the 6 GHz option. The 3-6 GHz band is sick and
I cannot get any response out of Agilent for anything more than a
simplified block diagram from the manual. They want me to send the module
back for a $7500 fix. I can buy a used module on eBay for about $4300.

Neither are in the budget. I think the thing is fixable, but not w/o the
info.

FWIW,

-John

==================


> Jim,
>
> It might appear on the 2nd user market sooner, but the odds are you won't
> be able to either repair it or calibrate it as the manufacturer will have
> been the only supplier of either of these services, and no service manuals
> will exist.
>
> If it is still in support, the mfr will calibrate/fix it for you if your
> pockets are deep enough (probably as much or more than you pay for it).
> If (as is likely), it is out of support, then it will only be good for
> re-cycling or land-fill :-(
>
> Hmmmm does anyone but us old fogies see anything wrong with a business
> model where stuff can't be fixed and has a support lifetime of 5 years or
> so ?????
>
> Regards,
> David Partridge
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: time-nuts-bounces at febo.com [mailto:time-nuts-bounces at febo.com] On
> Behalf Of jimlux
> Sent: 25 July 2010 14:16
> To: jfor at quik.com
> Cc: Discussion of precise time and frequency measurement
> Subject: Re: [time-nuts] Basic question regarding comparing two
> frequencies
>
> J. Forster wrote:
>> Probably yes.
>>
>> There are also a number of lower cost instruments (just above consumer
>> grade)like HF-VHF VNAs that implement much of the smarts in a PC on
>> the market.
>>
>> As to high end instruments w/ USB or Ethernet, I'm not so sure. The
>> USA is doing less and less hardware development, so instruments are
>> not being bought in anything like the quantity as in the past.
>>
> A lot of the new Agilent and Tek gear (at all price points) seem to have
> Ethernet, especially if it has a LCD front panel. (there's that LXI
> interface thing, too)   Even power supplies.  Not much USB (at least for
> control.. these days, using a USB stick for data transfer seems
> ubiquitous.. they've replaced the floppy drive on scopes, etc.), except
> for RF power meters.. There's a whole raft of power meter heads that are
> USB, which makes sense.. the "hard part" is in the actual sensor, not in
> the meter which displays the power reading.
>
> Mind you, because they do this by using single board PCs instead of the
> dedicated instrument controller inside, they're subject to all the ills of
> PCs (e.g. expectation of patch cycles, etc.)
>
> It also seems that there's a more rapid turnover of equipment these days
> (probably because accounting rules allow 3 or 5 year depreciation) and so
> the idea of a place hanging onto a signal generator for 20 years is less
> common.  So that newer gear will show up used sooner (I hope!)
>
>
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