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Used test equipment websites? - RF Cafe Forums

Because of the high maintenance needed to monitor and filter spammers from the RF Cafe Forums, I decided that it would be best to just archive the pages to make all the good information posted in the past available for review. It is unfortunate that the scumbags of the world ruin an otherwise useful venue for people wanting to exchanged useful ideas and views. It seems that the more formal social media like Facebook pretty much dominate this kind of venue anymore anyway, so if you would like to post something on RF Cafe's Facebook page, please do.

Below are all of the forum threads, including all the responses to the original posts.

 Post subject: Used test equipment websites?
Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:33 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2003 6:38 pm
Posts: 8
Location: City of Industry, CA
I'm looking to set up a simple electronics test station for working on old AM and FM radios. Thinking about maybe doing some restoration in my soon-to-be retirement. Any suggestions for where to pick up reliable used TE (other than eBay or Craig's list)? I've found some Ham sites but am leery about dealing with unknowns. How about new TE (signal generator, bench supply, spectrum analyzer, etc) at a decent price? I've done a lot of searching and know there's a lot out there for the taking, but I'm looking for some direction from someon who has done this already. No sense reinventing the wheel. BTW, I did mostly digital electronics so the RF world is kinda new. Any suggestions for books would be appreciated too. I've made enough bad purchases in my days (about 62 x 365 of them) that any sage advice would be appreciated. :smt020

 Post subject: Re: Used test equipment websites?
Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:51 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 9:16 am
Posts: 11
I have bought a lot of test equipment off of ebay and never had a problem. You have a chance to ask questions before making a bid. Also ebay will settle disputes if someone tries to rip you off. I think most credit card companies also protect you against fraud. Your most risky option is to deal personally with cash. Go for it!

 Post subject: Re: Used test equipment websites?
Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:57 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:07 am
Posts: 48
5 years ago you could have great luck finding bargains on ebay. Now about half of the stuff for sale is junk/non working.

You need to stay with sellers that have a rating of better than 300 reviews and no less thatn 99.5% positive ones! You also need to check to see if the guy routinely sells equipment! You do not want to buy a $3000 spectrum analyzer from a guy that has a great reputation selling womens handbags! That is almost certainly a sign of a scam!

AM/FM stuff....there are good deals on ebay for E4401B spectrum analyzers that will work up to 1.5 Ghz. Make sure the options are right (50 ohms, etc). If that does not work, you can go cheaper with an 8566b. In that case, make sure the screen is bright and sharp.

Maguffin Microwave Consulting

 Post subject: Re: Used test equipment websites?
Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:30 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:35 pm
Posts: 31
Location: Ramona, CA
Jimmy I recently started buying some new test gear at great prices to setup a nice electronics test lab at home. Not only was I able to find great prices on new equipment, it has great capability and remote interface, so I can automate the measurements. B&K Precision, Rigol, GW Instek, Hameg and a few others (see elexp.com Electronics Express to see some of it). I was amazed at some of the prices and capibility.
I got a B&K 2.4GHz freq counter and 4 3/4 digit DMM for just over $400 each. I got a 100MHz dual channel Oscope from Rigol for under $1000 and I am looking to get the 4000 series 60MHz function generator for about $800. They have a lot of digital equipment at good prices as well. The equipment all has remote interface so I can automate them. I saw several Spectrum Analyzers for about $4000-$5000 that go to 3GHz and have RBW's down to 1-10Hz and DANL's lower than -140dBc and again with full remote interface. I do not recommend a Spec An with RBW >30Hz minimum.
The Rigol function gen had AM/FM and PSK, Full arb waveform and over 200 waveforms available. Contact me by email and we can discuss more. Also See the B&K, RigolNA.com (Rigol North America) websites and the others for more info on latest equipment. All new with warrenties and certificates of accuracy.

Sunshine Design Engineering Services

Posted  11/12/2012
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