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Vintage NIB Rhode & Schwarz Test Equipment Found in Attic
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The inventions and products featured on these pages were chosen either for their uniqueness in the RF engineering realm, or are simply awesome (or ridiculous) enough to warrant an appearance.

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Vintage R&S Test Equipment () - RF Cafe

New-in-Box (NIB) Vintage Rhode & Schwarz Test Equipment

It's not quite as monumental a find as discovering the Dead Sea Scrolls in a cave, or an original showroom-new Ford Model T sitting in a barn, but what Martin H. came upon in the attic of a old house in Gorlitz, Germany, definitely rates an "amazing!" response. Sitting on the Polish border, previously owned by an East German policeman, the domicile contained one each of the following pieces of vintage Rhode & Schwarz test equipment in brand new condition:

  • R&S Resonance Frequency Meter, Type WAM, BN 4312/2, FNr. 300133/37 (ca 1968)
  • R&S Phase Meter, Type PZN, BN 1941, FNr. F 2728/41 (ca 1965)
  • R&S Power Signal Generator, Type SMLM, BM 4105, FNr. 300438/27 (ca 1974)

Rhode & Schwarz (R&S) has been in the business of designing and manufacturing high quality test equipment since 1933. When the topic of German engineering comes up, most people immediately think of automobiles and clocks, but the expertise goes far beyond those two areas - airplanes, energy generation, rockets, physics, medicine, finance, to name a few more. I have often said that Germany would legitimately rule the world today if not for the stupidity of two maniacal attempts to rule it illegitimately (WWI & WWII).

Rhode & Schwarz opened it first sales offices in the United States in 1978, pitting themselves against the immensely popular Hewlett-Packard. R&S quickly established itself as a source for high quality test equipment and gave HP a run for its money. HP, IMHO, doomed the brand with loyal scientist and engineering customers by splitting off the test equipment business in 2001 and renaming it Agilent Technologies (then to Keysight Technologies). Owning original HP gear is still a matter of pride, but nobody (that I know) boasts of having Agilent or Keysight stuff. Just as HP/Agilent/Keysight allowed itself to be trumped by AWR for RF/microwave design and simulation software by being slow to adapt to Windows (and then looking for years like Unix programs running under Windows), it was slow to ramp up on full-featured test equipment for the commercial wireless boom in the mid-to-late 1990s - again, just my opinion.

Martin is looking for a buyer for all three of these magnificently preserved pieces of electronics history. The photos show no sign of damage, contamination or fading. A few pictures of the insides would be nice, but my guess is a factory QA seal would need to be broken to do so. Since no good (if any) examples in any condition could be found online, the value of them is a matter of negotiation. I suggested that he contact Rhode & Schwarz to see if they would like to procure them for a corporate historical museum.

If you are interested, please send me an e-mail and I will forward your message to Martin.

Here are some of the photos Martin sent.

R&S Resonance Frequency Meter

Type WAM, BN 4312/2

FNr. 300133/37

R&S WAM Resonance Frequency Meter (front) - RF Cafe

R&S WAM Resonance Frequency Meter (case) - RF Cafe

R&S WAM Resonance Frequency Meter (boxed) - RF Cafe

R&S Phase Meter

Type PZN, BN 1941

FNr. F 2728/41

R&S PZN Phase Meter (front) - RF Cafe

R&S PZN Phase Meter (case) - RF Cafe

R&S PZN Phase Meter (boxed) - RF Cafe

R&S Power Signal Generator

Type SMLM, BM 4105

FNr. 300438/27

R&S MSLM Power Signal Generator (front) - RF Cafe


User Manuals for R&S Resonant Frequency Meter and Power Signal Generator - RF Cafe

User Manuals for R&S Resonant Frequency Meter and Power Signal Generator

Here is an early Rhode & Schwarz advertisement in the December 13, 1964 issue of Electronics magazine.



Posted March 8, 2021

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