I just picked up this incredible bench top meter that measures everything.

This things measures to 4 places and you can even measure freq response
and it measures current to 20 amps and it has two displays and what's nice is,you can match resistors,capacitors and even transistors and diodes for turn-on voltage. It measures DB..This was like 800usd new and I got it for 125 including shipping on ebay..They say they are used but I talked to the seller and they are in fact new and it came in the box with the little protector you pull off the display..I've been like a kid in a candy store because this does much more than my Fluke 87 does.Here is a spec sheet on it.
Discontinued Products - Digital Meters, LCR Meters - 4 1/2 Digit Dual Measurement Multimeter, GDM-8246 - Digital oscilloscopes,Digital storage oscilloscope-GW Instek

Instek GDM 8246 Dual Display 4 1 2 Digit Multimeter | eBay

Just offer 125.00 and it should go thru..It did for me.


  • IMG_1591.jpg
    559.3 KB · Views: 948
  • IMG_1592.jpg
    537.7 KB · Views: 932
  • IMG_1590.jpg
    480.6 KB · Views: 879
  • IMG_1589.jpg
    394 KB · Views: 852
  • IMG_1588.jpg
    592 KB · Views: 836
Last edited by a moderator:
Hi Mikey, with all due respect, this looks like a Chinese made unit? I think I would rather spend more for a USA made product even second hand. Even if its older and with fewer features. regards, 808
I'm with you. It is a Chinese meter and it's discontinued. When it fails, you're SOL. They've been selling fast. Several today and there's one left. But I'll stick with my HP 34401A. It's at least ten years old and still going strong.

Edit: Actually it's Taiwanese. (Good Will Instrument Co. LLC)
Last edited:
You're right to a point. For the price paid verses what it does it's a good deal especially if you have nothing else better. Perhaps I'm spoiled by owning commercial instruments. My concern is dependability and support which seems to be none by looking over their site. This means you fix it yourself if you can. It's microprocessor controlled and surely surface mount technology which I hate working on. So it becomes a throw away item. But they all sold fast the other day, maybe as a result of this thread.


  • bench1.JPG
    124 KB · Views: 239
Last edited:
Perhaps I'm spoiled by owning commercial instruments.

Several of the pieces on your bench were current tech when I worked in the Motorola cal lab (1974 to 1984). At one time we owned "half of Boonton's production" of those green faced RF signal generators. The silver plating on the "inductuner" wears thin and the frequency starts jumping around. The inductuner is the variable inductor that is connected to the tuning knob. We were swapping them every 6 months or so, but these machines were used to tune radio pagers 24/7. I doubt you can get an inductuner today.

We developed a method to replace the thermistors in the sensor heads on the 432 power meters too. We ripped the old ones out, then used a wirebonder to weld a new one in.

A lot of the old HP gear is no longer supported by Agilent/Keysight. Nobody can find a board level service manual for my HP8664A RF generator.
I always liked the old Boonton stuff. It didn't sell as well as the HP equivalents so I used them. And having friends that worked there helped back then. Although most of my stuff came from Uncle Sam's disposals. I seem to remember a variable capacitor in those. Anyway, that 102F gets less use as I get older and may outlast me.

I always assumed that wire bonding was how HP did it. I considered fixing them at one time but didn't have access to a bonder or the parts. And those thermistors are sooo tiny they're like fly poop with whiskers. I do have several spares both coax & WG.

Another friend of mine just retired from Agilent's power supply division in North Jersey. He told me that a little before HP changed names, they stopped supplying service manuals on all of their high tech items. Even he had a hard time getting them. They didn't want the technology getting out anymore and they didn't want anyone getting in them either. A far cry from the good old Bill & Dave days.

I was looking on Keysight's website this evening. The 34401A will be discontinued as of 1/12/16 and replaced by 34461A series with a graphic display. About the same price range.
Hi Mikey, with all due respect, this looks like a Chinese made unit? I think I would rather spend more for a USA made product even second hand. Even if its older and with fewer features. regards, 808

They are American designed and made in Taiwan..THey are all gone now but Taiwan is not China and neither is HongKong..THey are both very expensive upscale places. I hear you tho..I have a fluke 87v and I love it but these meters are fantastic and well made.
While I don't own any Instek gear I have used some of their meters and power supplies in the past. They seemed quite reliable and performed better than I would have expected at the price point. It might be lower risk than a 20yr old Fluke or HP meter for not much money.

Keep in mind that these meters are 869.00 new and they sold for that because these came out of Nokia's testing lab..These are brand new units even tho it said they were used but since they are out of the manufacturer warranty,he wrote it as used.
I seem to remember a variable capacitor in those. Anyway, that 102F

Our Boonton generators were 102A's. The variable reactance element was a silver plated spiral inductor made by Mallory, called the Inductuner. Apparently inductuners were used in tube TV's dating back to WWII (pre UHF).

We had Mallory make us a batch with heavier plating, and we tried plating up some ourselves. The best ones were our own home cooked recipe with gold over nickel, but in the end all the Boontons were replaced with a special design HP generators.

They were a mongrel design with the best parts from HP8656A, HP8656B, and HP8657. When the paging division was killed off, the building was bulldozed, and a "luxury condo living experience" now stands where about 4000 Motorola employees worked in the 90's. The test equipment was sold for scrap.....I still have two of those mongrel generators. The "chicklet" push buttons have failed on one, but it still works good over HPIB, and the other is still 100% working.

The facility where I worked was recently sold and the dozers are currently turning it into a medical park. About 300 of the 5000 employees still work there.......they tell me this is progress. I still haven't got a reply from their scrap guy. One of my friends tell me that they laid HIM off......no clue what's going to happen to all the good test equipment in that place.
I've got my dad's HP UHF signal generator and his HP VHF signal generator. I'd love to trade for equipment that's more audio-oriented, like an appropriate HV supply for experimenting and diagnosing audio tube circuits. I think these big old mjulti-band signal generators are probably tube units. Removed from the Northrop labs. Worked great when last powered up, probably about 20 years ago...
There's a bunch of huge variable capacitors, a giant "Q Meter", some antenna tuning stuff, an RF decade box of some kind...I haven't really looked closely yet. I was supposed to take it to a ham fest but got delayed by weather.