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Old 15th November 2012, 01:26 AM   #331
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Gents,

I am in the process of making v.2 of my tracer - need to improve the layout and the chassis. But I was thinking about another way to go about it and want to run it by you guys to see if it is feasible...

Here is the basic idea - use PC based scope and generator (which would eliminate many knobs and some real estate on the front/panel and controller board) and an external power amp to drive the grid. Like this:

Click the image to open in full size.

Not very sophisticated, I know... but what do you think?

TIA,
Jaz
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Old 15th November 2012, 04:10 PM   #332
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why don't you guys just use a XY plotter instead ?

Hp made some 0-300v 100ma power supplies, use another 0-60v for bias purposes. add a heater supply and your all set

Heck, be course a Xy writer is tracking you could even use a unregulated supply for example just a mosfet source follower.

cheers, V4lve
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Old 15th November 2012, 11:35 PM   #333
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v4lve lover View Post
why don't you guys just use a XY plotter instead ?

Hp made some 0-300v 100ma power supplies, use another 0-60v for bias purposes. add a heater supply and your all set

Heck, be course a Xy writer is tracking you could even use a unregulated supply for example just a mosfet source follower.

cheers, V4lve
Have not seen a XY plotter for sale in ages... And the data is still on paper not in the PC (for creating Spice modesl and whatnot)...

Jaz
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Old 16th November 2012, 07:20 AM   #334
mogliaa is offline mogliaa  United Kingdom
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Jaz,
A different route that will bring its own challenges. Have a look at Yves design. He posted the link to his website earlier in this thread. His tracer is based on a PC. Also Michael Koster was working on a digital tracer as well. Not necessarily a simpler project.

When I first built it as a breadboard, there was no shielding, minimum ferrite beads and long cables. Despite this mess, it worked fine. My only challenge has always been keeping the sync due to the PLL stability. That is something it can be improved.

I will encourage you to continue looking at what may be not working for you as you are very close to the end goal now!

Ale
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Old 16th November 2012, 12:05 PM   #335
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mogliaa View Post
Jaz,
A different route that will bring its own challenges. Have a look at Yves design. He posted the link to his website earlier in this thread. His tracer is based on a PC. Also Michael Koster was working on a digital tracer as well. Not necessarily a simpler project.

When I first built it as a breadboard, there was no shielding, minimum ferrite beads and long cables. Despite this mess, it worked fine. My only challenge has always been keeping the sync due to the PLL stability. That is something it can be improved.

I will encourage you to continue looking at what may be not working for you as you are very close to the end goal now!

Ale
Ale,

I am still planning to complete v.2 of my manual curve tracer for sure. I tried Yves' program but could not make it run properly on my PC, but it looks very good from the pictures on his site...

Jaz
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Old 16th November 2012, 12:44 PM   #336
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazbo8 View Post
Have not seen a XY plotter for sale in ages... And the data is still on paper not in the PC (for creating Spice modesl and whatnot)...

Jaz
I have an HP7470 Plotter which is very easy to use -- if you know how to configure the serial port (a legacy art which is lost to the foggy mist of the ages for all I-Pad users.)

You can always take the data from paper and convert it to a table with a "grabber" program. I've done this for some ham radio tubes for which SPICE is non-existent, and you might have seen the equations i worked up for LDR's using this method.

Best of all, just get a little data-logger, they're less than $50.
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Old 16th November 2012, 01:08 PM   #337
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackinnj View Post
I have an HP7470 Plotter which is very easy to use -- if you know how to configure the serial port (a legacy art which is lost to the foggy mist of the ages for all I-Pad users.)

You can always take the data from paper and convert it to a table with a "grabber" program. I've done this for some ham radio tubes for which SPICE is non-existent, and you might have seen the equations i worked up for LDR's using this method.

Best of all, just get a little data-logger, they're less than $50.
No doubt the X-Y plotter and the data-logger would work fine, but I like to avoid the in-between steps as much as possible - so using PC based test software such as TureRTA, Visual Analyser, Daqarta, etc. might be a way to go. I am sure there are some issues to be sorted out, such as soundcard interface/buffer, line sync, etc. More things to try/play with...

Jaz
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Old 24th November 2012, 06:31 AM   #338
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I finally completed the adapter... Thanks to Alfredo and Ale for the inspiration and assistance during the troubleshooting phase. I also made a new front panel to replace the beat-up one used in the previous version. I posted the results at DIY Valve Curve Tracer Adapter v.2 jazzbo8's adventure

Jaz
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Old 24th November 2012, 03:01 PM   #339
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Jaz, it looks great! Congratulations. So the problem was the arching?
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Old 24th November 2012, 08:02 PM   #340
mogliaa is offline mogliaa  United Kingdom
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Jaz,
Great, well done! What wasn't working For you before? What did you fix?
Cheers
Ale
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