November 1963 Popular Electronics
Table of Contents
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles
published October 1954 - April 1985. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.
I have to admit to not
remembering (or ever knowing) that Radio Corporation of America (RCA) manufactured
electrical test equipment, so seeing this full-page advertisement in a 1963 edition
of Popular Electronics magazine was a surprise. RCA made a few types of
analog multimeter kits, some project and experimenter kits, and even an oscilloscope
kit. A little more thumbing through other Popular Electronics magazine
editions revealed the RCA Institutes, which was a mail order electronics
training program similar to the ITT Institute and
National Radio Institute (NRI, from whom
I took a course many moons ago). Knowing that if you wait long enough, just about
everything shows up on eBay, I did a quick check and found a few vintage RCA Institutes
items, including an
RCA Institutes Ham Radio Signal Generator Kit.
On a whim, I looked on eBay for the
10 MHz oscilloscope kit that came with my NRI course, and there
was one, but it had already been built (on left). I remember that the time base
was calibrated by clipping a ceramic capacitor to the probe and sticking it in the
wall receptacle and adjusting for 16.67 ms. Amplitude calibration was done
by measuring a battery voltage with a voltmeter and adjusting accordingly. Close
was good enough at the time. Here is the
NRI Model 2500
oscilloscope User Manual.
RCA Test Equipment
Top Performance at Rock-Bottom Cost
With money-saving RCA Electronic Instrument Kits
RCA WV-76A (K)
High Sensitivity VTVM
Measures AC Voltages .0002-Volt to 500 Volts
Doubles as a Preamplifier
An exceptional two-way kit value! As a high sensitivity AC VTVM the new RCA WV−76A
measures AC voltages from 10 mv to 100 v full-scale in nine overlapping rages; special
"low−cap" switch on probe extends upper range dial to 500 v. As a flat−response
preamplifier, it provides a 38 db maximum gain on the 10 mv range.
- Flat frequency response ±1 db from 10 cps to 11.5 Mc with probe on "direct";
and from 10 cps to 500 kc with probe switched to "low-cap."
- High input impedance for accurate measurements in circuits sensitive to loading.
- Easy-to-use, direct-reading decibel scales.
- Pre-assembled shielded probe and cable, all-metal case eliminate stray pickup.
- Large power-supply filter minimizes hum.
- Compact, lightweight, portable.
Kit price: only $57.95 Factory-wired and calibrated: $79.95
See them all at your Authorized RCA Electronic Instrument Distributor
For specifications and technical data on individual kits, write Commercial Engineering,
Section K-133-W. RCA Electronic Components and Devices, Harrison, N.J.
Posted October 21, 2022
(updated from original post on 1/6/2013)