HP Laserjet 4L – 4P refurb and repair

by Bob Putnak, ©2010.

Of all the subjects that I have discussed, I receive the most inquiries about my HP Officejet “scanner system failure” repair article.  That article also fondly mentions the old-school Laserjet’s, and I had several inquiries about repairing them.  These old dinosaurs are still useful to any small business that prints traditional business text documents or for printing schoolwork.   So here is an article about how I have repaired and refurbished these Laserjet 4L and 4P printers in the past (not so much anymore!)  Do not attempt if you are not qualified to perform such repairs or do not want to risk further damage or inability to reassemble your printer.  The basic concept is similar with other models not shown here, although disassembly will be somewhat different.

HP Laserjet 4L

HP Laserjet 4L

These printers were built like a tank and page-feed problems are the most common complaint.  A general overhaul will take care of most of these issues.  In summary: the printer is torn down, thoroughly cleaned with compressed air (including the 4 optical sensors on the mainboard), rubber rollers are treated with rubber rejuvenator, the sticky-stuff is cleaned off of the relay coil, the relay coil arm is wrapped once with thin black electrical tape.  If you have a dead printer, you will also inspect the power supply fuses, although a blown fuse is usually the symptom of a real power supply defect.

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Hickok 6000 calibration

This article discusses repair and calibration of the Hickok 6000 tube tester. Models 6000A and 6005 are the same with only minor feature differences that are not relevant to tube test calibration, therefore the discussion is applicable to those models as well. Serious electrical voltages are present, repairs should only be attempted by a qualified technician. Copyrighted by Bob Putnak, all rights reserved. Introduction

Hickok 6000

Hickok 6000

Hickok 6000A

Hickok 6000A

Hickok 6000 series is a compact mutual conductance tube tester. Most Hickok tube testers fall in two categories: those that use a 5 vac signal voltage and those that use a 2.5 vac signal voltage. Otherwise, most Hickok’s are remarkably alike (except for the really expensive models such as 539C or 752…). The 6000 series in the the 2.5 vac signal voltage group. The compact size of the 6000 is a welcome asset to any technician’s workbench because space is always at a premium. The 6000 series also has a replaceable socket panel.  One panel has an older compliment of sockets (4-pin through 9-pin-miniature sockets); the other panel has a newer socket compliment (compactron & novar sockets instead of the antique sockets).  This system allowed easy replacement of worn out sockets — the customer simply purchased a new panel from Hickok. The setup chart configuration for the Shunt control gives “Good-Bad” readings, which were previously called the “English” readings in older Hickok testers.  In fact, the Shunt control was named “English” on older models.  The chart also provides a micromhos score for tubes that have transconductance (ie – not rectifiers, not diodes, not thyratrons…), and the Shunt control must be repositioned to the red dot on the Shunt control that is appropriate for that micromhos reading.  For example, if the chart says “2000” and you had some reason to benefit from knowing the micromhos score (which is seldom the situation), you would ignore the chart’s shunt number and instead set the shunt control to the red dot near “73” which is the 3000 micromhos range.  For most testing needs of a technician, the good/bad scale is convenient and appropriate. hr

Hickok 6000 paperwork package – $9.99 free ship USA

Need paperwork for your Hickok 6000? I offer a remastered paperwork package for Hickok 6000 — manual, schematic, remastered factory calibration document, and obsolete tube chart data supplement.  $9.99 free ship USA.
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RSP-1 replaceable socket plate

RSP-1 replaceable socket plate

Vintage is approx 1957. The 6000 sold for $182 in 1958. Dimensions: 17 x 12 x 8 (inches) and weight 16-lbs. Model 6005 is the same tube tester but integrates multimeter functions. Model 6000A has basic transistor testing capability, which I doubt that anyone uses today. The 6000A has the newer socket panel with compactron and novar sockets, but without the antique sockets (4-pin, 5-pin, etc.)   The socket panels are not interchangeable between 6000 and 6000A due to a different connection plug on the underside.  As a sidenote, this socket panel makes it very difficult to install socket-savers if you still want to close the case lid.  It can be done, but it requires a lot of work and creative thinking.  See my article [HERE].

Repair and Calibration A thorough explanation of the Hickok test method, calibration voltages, and the equipment that was used to make those voltage measurements is in a United States military document TM 11-6625-274-35 for military TV-7 series of tube testers.  This information is applicable to most Hickok tube testers (not all), with the caveat that some models use 2.5 vac signal voltage instead of 5.0 vac.  It explains the voltages for the plate, screen, grid, signal and the method used to obtain those measurements. A factory calibration document for the 6000 series also exists (and has one typo mistake) and closely follows the voltages in the military TM document. (more…)

B&K 600-606 tube tester

This article discusses repair and calibration of the B&K 600 / 606  tube testers.  Both models can share the same tube setup data book, and therefore both models are functionally equivalent.    Model 606 will be example shown in this article.  Electrical voltages are present, repairs should only be attempted by a qualified technician. Copyrighted 2010 TubeSound, all rights reserved.

Cosmetically, these models look like a little brother to their larger siblings — B&K 700 and B&K 707. Model 600 shares the same color scheme with Model 700, and model 606 shares the same color scheme as model 707. The wood case construction is similar also.

Electrically, models 600 and 606 are very similar (though not identical) to the “Switch” section (bottom panel) of the 700 / 707, employing the same grid leakage test and very similar tests for Emission Quality and Shorts.

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Precision Apparatus 10-series tube tester

This article discusses repair and my calibration procedure of the Precision model 10-12  tube tester.   Serious electrical voltages are present, repairs should only be attempted by a qualified technician. Copyrighted by Bob Putnak, all rights reserved.

Introduction

6 Paco 10-series tube testers from my collection

The Precision Apparatus Company (commonly known as PACO) manufactured some very high quality test equipment.  Among their offerings are the “10-series” of tube testers, such as model 10-12, 10-15, 10-40, 10-54.  The tube test method is the same in all, and the test data is interchangeable.

I have been collecting since 1990, and in my experience model 10-12 was the most popular unit.  I have found many 10-12 over the past 19 years, and serviced many more.    I have only found one different model for my own collection, a model 10-40 that you see in the photo.

Precision Apparatus 10-12 tube tester with custom TubeSound plate current meter upgrade

It is easy to see why model 10-12 was most popular.  Four adjectives come to mind: Attractive, durable, consistent, quality.  Attractive — it has a beautiful furniture-grade hardwood case.  Durable — the entire unit is built-like-a-tank.  Consistent — I have always found these units to produce repeatable test results, year-after-year.  Quality — consistent test results from the “Electronamic” test method add up to a quality piece of test equipment.

Paco A-15 socket adapter

Paco A-15 socket adapter

Paco G-140 Socket Adapter

Paco G-140 Socket Adapter

The 10-series is also popular today because it will test a very large variety of tubes.  Model 10-12 has built-in sockets for antique tubes 4-pin, 5-pin, 6-pin, 7-pin large, and acorn.  It also has sockets for octal, loctal, 7-pin miniature, and 9-pin miniature.  Socket adapters (models A-15 and G-140) were later available, which adds the ability to test 10-pin miniature, nuvistor (5 & 7 pin), novar, and compactron tubes.  Therefore, if you have the socket adapter panel, you can effectively cover the entire range of tubes from antique 4-pin through modern 12-pin compactron.

The tester also has a NOISE JACK for connecting a set of headphones to audibly evaluate “tube noise.”

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Signal Corp I-177 tube tester calibration

This article discusses repair and calibration of the Signal Corp I-177  tube tester.   Serious electrical voltages are present, repairs should only be attempted by a qualified technician. Copyrighted by Bob Putnak, all rights reserved.

Introduction

Signal Corp I-177 tube tester

Signal Corp I-177 tube tester



I-177B with MX949A adapter

I-177B with MX949A adapter

Model I-177 is a very old US Military dynamic mutual conductance tube tester that was used during World War II years.  The War Department Technical Manual is dated August 1944, and the tester calibrated in this article is dated April 1945. The unit is extremely well-built.  Due to its age and high signal voltage, the tester is only suited to test the “antique tubes” and military tubes of its era, and does not even have a 9-pin miniature socket.

MX-949A/U socket adapter kit for I-177 models

MX-949A/U socket adapter kit for I-177 models

The MX-949A/U socket adapter kit (an extra accessory that expands the capability of I-177 models) provides sockets to test “newer” tubes.  That said, the 5.0vac signal voltage of the I-177 tester is not suited for testing many of these newer tubes and can damage small signal tubes or provide less-than-ideal readings.  That said, the I-177 does an excellent job of testing the “antique” tubes of its era.

Repair

The fundamentals for starting the I-177 project: all knobs and the meter itself are indexed at zero, check all resistors and potentiometers for accuracy and replace where necessary , replace the 0.1 mfd capacitor, clean all sockets/switches/leaf-switches/pots/rheostat with Deoxit to the extent possible. I would specifically note that the I-177 has 7 carbon resistors.  Expect that most (if not all) of these carbon resistors will have increased in resistance and will need replaced.  The remaining resistors are either wirewound or precision types, and while they should be tested, it is unlikely that any would be defective.  Inspect all wiring (AC power cord, and also each wire connection at every tube socket pin).  Remove both bulbs (#81 fuse bulb and neon shorts lamp), clean bulb connections and sockets, reinstall.  The #81 fuse bulb must be only a #81 bulb (no substitutes).

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