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 Post subject: Enhancments and Mod's for the Hickok 539B/C Tube Testers
PostPosted: Mar Sat 13, 2021 11:16 pm 
Member

Joined: Oct Thu 29, 2020 10:17 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Centennial, Colorado
I have been a member here for a number of years as William, Bill and Bill Jr Eccher with my main interest in tube testers primarily the Hickok 539B/C models. Over the years I have designed modifications and enhancements for these testers. I will be 90 in August of this year and our small group VHSystems will no longer be fabricating and selling product.

A few years ago we made many of them available for free download on my son Mike’s eccher.com website under VHSystems. Over the next few months Mike will also be listing the following items on eccher.com for free downloading:

All-In-One II Test and Calibrate Unit
Parts list, schematic, wiring sketch, face plate printing and pictures of the process along with test and calibration instructions using this unit.

Digital Main Meter
Schematic, pictures and calibration instructions.

Digital Bias Meter
It duplicates the dual function of the original analog meter.
Part List, instructions for configuring the Datel Applications Board, wiring instructions and power supply mounting method along with pictures.

Digital AC Power meter
This one is simple, but some thoughts on selecting one.

There will also be changes to some of the currently listed mod’s and enhancements.

For some items we will include a file to print the face plate instructions.

We would prefer questions and support be addressed on an open forum, hence my question to members is if it would be appropriate on this Forum? If so then the eccher.com website would direct questions to this Forum. It would be appreciated if I can get members thoughts on this. I would do my best to respond to questions and I’m sure other members would have suggestions that would be helpful.

Thanks, Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Enhancments and Mod's for the Hickok 539B/C Tube Testers
PostPosted: Mar Sat 13, 2021 11:34 pm 
Member

Joined: Jan Tue 10, 2012 8:39 am
Posts: 2912
Bill it is highly unusual for me to find someone older than I. I will be 89 in August so you are one year older. Amazing.

I am still fooling around with electronics but not Hickok. I have owned a few over the years but not lately.

I hope all is well and you are staying safe.

Bob K6DDX


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 Post subject: Re: Enhancments and Mod's for the Hickok 539B/C Tube Testers
PostPosted: Mar Sun 14, 2021 12:46 am 
Member

Joined: Oct Thu 29, 2020 10:17 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Centennial, Colorado
Hey Bob we are lucky to be this old and still able to enjoy electronics.

Life is like a roll of toilet paper the closer you get to the end the faster it goes.

I wish you the very best. Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Enhancments and Mod's for the Hickok 539B/C Tube Testers
PostPosted: Mar Sun 14, 2021 1:27 am 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Nov Wed 30, 2016 7:35 pm
Posts: 11322
Location: Sunbury, Ohio 43074
Hi BIll. I'm a mere 68 years old... hope to last a bit longer. Thanks for making all of this available to the community. Every resource like your experience is valuable, and often unrepeatable. So I'm glad to see your decision to make it public.

Are you going to keep the website up and running, and if so, for how long ? If not, do you have any objections if some of us post it up for future generations?

Barry

_________________
Preserving the hist. of electronics, one boat anchor at a time! :)
https://www.bbtvtestequipment.com


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 Post subject: Re: Enhancments and Mod's for the Hickok 539B/C Tube Testers
PostPosted: Mar Sun 14, 2021 2:12 am 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Mar Sun 20, 2016 11:04 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: Mesa, AZ 85206
I know it's already been said:

Thank you for all that you have done for us "younger" folks (my son will be my age (66) when I am your age!)

Your experience, wisdom. and perspective are a credit to you both!

(you too, Barry...but I was focusing on Bill and Bob)

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Enhancments and Mod's for the Hickok 539B/C Tube Testers
PostPosted: Mar Sun 14, 2021 2:02 pm 
Member

Joined: Dec Thu 04, 2014 12:44 am
Posts: 143
Location: Union Bridge MD 21791
Bill You have me by 19 years only 71 this spring ! Your efforts to enhance the reliability and protect 539 series from Operator error and improve accuracy and documentation and explanations of how circuits work are priceless and need to be preserved for all future generations who will hopefully find the glow of vacuum tubes are just as cool as it gets ! THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!

I think this forum is a great place to make available Your information.

BE SAFE GOD BLESS!!!!!!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Enhancments and Mod's for the Hickok 539B/C Tube Testers
PostPosted: Mar Sun 14, 2021 3:12 pm 
Member

Joined: Jan Mon 24, 2011 6:03 pm
Posts: 424
Location: Selkirk,MB,Canada
I'm up there with you agewise,having turned 90 in Oct.o 2020.How fortunate I have been to have a hobby like restoring antique radios,especially during this pandemic.I'm still in my shop most days and not ready to quit yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Enhancments and Mod's for the Hickok 539B/C Tube Testers
PostPosted: Mar Mon 15, 2021 8:20 pm 
Member

Joined: Oct Thu 29, 2020 10:17 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Centennial, Colorado
First I want to thank everyone for their kind words and with no one objecting I will pursue this endeavor.

In the next 2-3 weeks I will be sending files to Mike that he will post on his website eccher.com. As they go on the site one at a time I will post notifications here.

First to go on will be the All-In-One II that I think will be the most interesting. It along with its predecessor were very popular. At first glance it my just look like a switchable load box, but it offered something unique. Since the 539B/C models had a separate power and filament transformers I found the filament transformer could be used as the isolated current source for the Gm tests. This eliminated the need for the Variac and isolation transformer. A passive device much safer and easy to handle with just a push button switch and resistor added to the box. The box also included al the loads, with provisions for the rectifier and shorts test along with a safe test for the main meter controlled by a 10 turn pot. A complete users manual with pictures that takes the user through one step at a time. Lot's of other stuff like component locations, schematic and a simplified Gm Circuit. I will be making a few minor changes before its posted.

At this time Barry I am fine with your site pointing to the eccher.com site and it Mike discontinues his website transfer them to you with the understanding that credits will be attached.


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 Post subject: Re: Enhancments and Mod's for the Hickok 539B/C Tube Testers
PostPosted: Mar Tue 16, 2021 2:08 pm 
Member

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1078
Location: Tucson AZ
Bill,

Quote:
Hey Bob we are lucky to be this old and still able to enjoy electronics.

Life is like a roll of toilet paper the closer you get to the end the faster it goes.

I wish you the very best. Bill


And everyone else that utilizes this board is luckier to have guys like you and Bob, etc, willing to share your time and knowledge.

And I'd never guessed that any of you guys were over 60.


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 Post subject: Re: Enhancments and Mod's for the Hickok 539B/C Tube Testers
PostPosted: Mar Thu 25, 2021 9:57 pm 
Member

Joined: Oct Thu 29, 2020 10:17 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Centennial, Colorado
My son Mike informed me that the All-In-One II do it yourself instructions, pictures and the Test and Calibrate Manual are now available on the eccher.com website. For those that want to use them go to VHSystems, products, all-In-One II, Details and then the Build your own. These are free for your personal use. They are by no means like a Heathkit, but doable. Its likely the next product will be the digital meter conversions, but it may be a few weeks. Good luck, Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Enhancments and Mod's for the Hickok 539B/C Tube Testers
PostPosted: Mar Fri 26, 2021 8:59 pm 
Member

Joined: Oct Thu 29, 2020 10:17 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Centennial, Colorado
Here is the URL to go directly to the build your own page. Just scroll down to the item or items desired.

http://www.eccher.com/build-your-own-all-in-one-ii/


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 Post subject: Re: Enhancments and Mod's for the Hickok 539B/C Tube Testers
PostPosted: May Mon 03, 2021 11:13 pm 
Member

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1078
Location: Tucson AZ
Hey Bill, any updates to the page?


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 Post subject: Re: Enhancments and Mod's for the Hickok 539B/C Tube Testers
PostPosted: May Tue 04, 2021 1:02 pm 
Member

Joined: Oct Thu 29, 2020 10:17 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Centennial, Colorado
Sorry about the delay in posting.
The digital meter conversion for all 3 meters I hope to get posted by the end of May.
Beyond that there is little more of any consequence.
For those that wanted to use the same type box for the All-In-One II you can use the Hammond 1595EBK black or 1595EGY gray, since the one in the parts list is now apparently no longer available.
Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Enhancments and Mod's for the Hickok 539B/C Tube Testers
PostPosted: May Tue 04, 2021 1:08 pm 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Nov Wed 30, 2016 7:35 pm
Posts: 11322
Location: Sunbury, Ohio 43074
Bill, thanks so much for making all of this available. I wish now that I'd sent you my 539B when I still could lol. Best intentions ruled, and I thought I'd be able to get it done myself. I did not. Now I have to lol. <sigh>

Anyway I'll probably be building all of your mods at some point. Thanks again
Barry

_________________
Preserving the hist. of electronics, one boat anchor at a time! :)
https://www.bbtvtestequipment.com


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 Post subject: Re: Enhancments and Mod's for the Hickok 539B/C Tube Testers
PostPosted: May Tue 04, 2021 3:05 pm 
Member

Joined: Oct Thu 29, 2020 10:17 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Centennial, Colorado
Thanks Barry and i want to express my condolences for the loss of your furry friend. Having lost my little shop assistant almost two years ago the tho no longer seems the same. As always, Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Enhancments and Mod's for the Hickok 539B/C Tube Testers
PostPosted: Jun Wed 23, 2021 4:28 pm 
Member

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1078
Location: Tucson AZ
Just checking in for any updates.


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 Post subject: Re: Enhancments and Mod's for the Hickok 539B/C Tube Testers
PostPosted: Jun Wed 23, 2021 10:16 pm 
Member

Joined: Oct Thu 29, 2020 10:17 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Centennial, Colorado
My son that has the website and does the posting has been extremely busy and has just received a hip replacement, so it will be a little longer. Actually the only modification left of any consequence is the Digital Meter conversion. Our plan is to allow for downloading the verbiage that is needed to make the Main Meter fully functional. The circuit is simple and a schematic will provided along with installation instructions. The AC Line meter is simple and easy to do, but it will be part of the Bias Meter installation. The Bias Meter is configured to read both the Bias voltage and the VR current as does the analog meter. It does require a minor circuit modification, which will be included in the installation instructions. Until this get posted on the website I will answer question that anyone might have. I hope this helps understand the delay.
Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Enhancments and Mod's for the Hickok 539B/C Tube Testers
PostPosted: Jun Thu 24, 2021 12:26 am 
Member

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1078
Location: Tucson AZ
Thanks for the update Bill. Prayers for a speedy recover.


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 Post subject: Re: Enhancments and Mod's for the Hickok 539B/C Tube Testers
PostPosted: Sep Wed 01, 2021 10:08 pm 
Member

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1078
Location: Tucson AZ
Hey Bill, hope all is well.


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 Post subject: Re: Enhancments and Mod's for the Hickok 539B/C Tube Testers
PostPosted: Sep Wed 01, 2021 10:29 pm 
Member

Joined: Oct Thu 29, 2020 10:17 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Centennial, Colorado
Hey thanks for asking and yes I am doing well now and just got past my 90th birthday last month.
Hard top believe its been over 2 months and we still have nothing new posted.
I think I will have my son post the installation procedures for the digital meter conversion, then send my notes on the circuits here if anyone is interested. They were never formalized as I did most of the circuit wiring.


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