Test card generator for L3-3 .. looking for alpha testers

Brand name believed to be KALIBR.
cerker
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:24 am

Test card generator for L3-3 .. looking for alpha testers

Post by cerker »

And there comes my next post right away ..

Since the L3-3 doesn't supply any cards for european tubes, and even the cards for the russian ones are seldom included in offered devices, you have to make them at your own. Although it's not that complicated, there are MANY chances to make errors, mainly because of the complex wiring of the various sockets. The first time I tried it with a friend, we got a magic smoke leak ;).

Therefore, I began to make a software which creates a test card from entered tube data. It's basically working, but I'm sure there are some overseen bad errors in it, which is why I'm looking for some alpha testers. You can download it here:

https://sourceforge.net/projects/l33testcardgene/

If not already installed, you may need the VS2010 C++ Redistributable (x86):

http://www.microsoft.com/de-de/download ... px?id=5555

On english system, it SHOULD adjust to english language, but I wasn't able to verify that yet. If someone can do, that will help lot.

As mentioned there, I really against productive use yet!! Please check ANY card EXTREMELY careful before using it and please report any errors you encounter.

Greetings,
Christian

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Admin19
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Re: Test card generator for L3-3 .. looking for alpha tester

Post by Admin19 »

Wel, this is a very beautiful piece of work!

Just some notes:

1) I was not able to set the plate current for a 300B above 50mA.

2) Ug2 setting must be the same as Ua, to prevent short circuits. Also Ug2 must have a plug always, also if not used. This is explained in the Robert Berger Document.

cerker
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Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:24 am

Re: Test card generator for L3-3 .. looking for alpha tester

Post by cerker »

1) I was not able to set the plate current for a 300B above 50mA.
You have to set the plate voltage above 25V at first, since the lowest plate voltage supply range from 5-25V is limited to 50mA (according to the Berger document). There are some dependencies which are intended to prevent invalid settings. The GUI is designed in such a way that when you do the operating settings on the left from top to bottom each setting should only affect settings you haven't done yet. Then you can set the expected values inside the limits given by the operating settings.
2) Ug2 setting must be the same as Ua, to prevent short circuits. Also Ug2 must have a plug always, also if not used. This is explained in the Robert Berger Document.
That's correct for the selection of the AC plate voltage, since Ug2 and Ua share a common rectifier. By using two setting at a time, you will short circuit the transformer. Different range settings although should be possible if done inside the range of allowed dissipation in the regulator tubes .. but I will check that. Where did you encounter a non set Ug2 range plug? I coded that only when checking rectifiers by AC, where it should be allowed to do because the regulated DC supplies are not powered then.

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Admin19
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Re: Test card generator for L3-3 .. looking for alpha tester

Post by Admin19 »

The 50mA issue was my mistake. Just need to set the plate voltage above 50V as you say.

The Ug2 issue, I just have this from the Rober Berger file. I never checked it myself. I thought he said Ug2 and Ua settings must be the same, and Ug2 plug must always be used.

I think in any case, the combination Ug2 = 300V and Ua=150V should not be possible. This may damage a pentode (if not the tester).

Is it possible to activate the "save data" option? Otherwise it gets a bit difficult to discuss testcards.

cerker
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:24 am

Re: Test card generator for L3-3 .. looking for alpha tester

Post by cerker »

I thought he said Ug2 and Ua settings must be the same, and Ug2 plug must always be used.
That only refers to the range, since the plate voltage range determines which AC supply voltage is to be used and the screen supply has to use the same rectifier, therefore also the same range.
Is it possible to activate the "save data" option? Otherwise it gets a bit difficult to discuss testcards.
I'm working on that right now .. The main problem is how to make the file format backwards-compatible, meaning that you can still use data sets from older versions in newer ones with additional parameters. I think it would be "annoying" to lose your 500 cards just by updating to a newer version.
I think in any case, the combination Ug2 = 300V and Ua=150V should not be possible.
Yes, in a very early version there was a lock to prevent that, but it was buggy and produced deadlocks sometimes. So I removed it for the testing phase. It will come back later.

EDIT: I just uploaded a new snapshot, were saving/loading data should work.

marc
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Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:21 pm

Re: Test card generator for L3-3 .. looking for alpha tester

Post by marc »

Congrats for this nice SW approach!

You asked for Alpha testing. Here it is. Attached my observations by creating a simple ECC83 testing card:

1) Anode current range could be improved: if I key in "1,1mA", the program uses the 3mA scale- although the L3 also provides a nice 1,5mA scale. Ok, the 3mA scale is not totally wrong for this 1,1mA current, but I personally would prefer the 1,5mA scale. Maybe you could add the possibility to overrule the "autorange scale" manually by the user.
2) Error in UGrid scale: type in -2V as grid voltage; the programm will (correctly!) put the connection to -10V range, but shows "Ug1=-2V (3)" on the printout. This is wrong- should be "Ug1=-2V (-10)".

Besides that, your tool produces exactly the same ECC83 testcard that I did manually a few months ago...but with much, much more effort :-) Congrats!

P.S.: sorry for probably violating thousands of forum rules...this is my very first forum thread, so please be patient with me. I am a bloody newbie.... :-/

cerker
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Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:24 am

Re: Test card generator for L3-3 .. looking for alpha tester

Post by cerker »

1) Anode current range could be improved: if I key in "1,1mA", the program uses the 3mA scale- although the L3 also provides a nice 1,5mA scale. Ok, the 3mA scale is not totally wrong for this 1,1mA current, but I personally would prefer the 1,5mA scale. Maybe you could add the possibility to overrule the "autorange scale" manually by the user.
At the moment, it is scaled in such a way that +50% of current don't drive the meter off scale. I already had the idea to make that adjustable.
2) Error in UGrid scale: type in -2V as grid voltage; the programm will (correctly!) put the connection to -10V range, but shows "Ug1=-2V (3)" on the printout. This is wrong- should be "Ug1=-2V (-10)".
Nope, that's correct as it is. For every voltage (Ua,Ug2,Ug1 and heater) the range of supplied voltage and the scale of measurement are configured independent from each other. For grid voltage, the MEASUREMENT scales 1.5/3/7.5/15/30/75 are available.
Besides that, your tool produces exactly the same ECC83 testcard that I did manually a few months ago...but with much, much more effort :-) Congrats!
Thanks, that's encouraging.

Greetings,
Christian

jimmy74
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Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:02 pm

Re: Test card generator for L3-3 .. looking for alpha tester

Post by jimmy74 »

I would love to take part in this test, having a good background in programming too, but sadly I do not have the tester so I can't help you very much here. Though one thing you may need to modify is "if PC language is not German & not English then set default program language to English".

I will definitely be following this post because I'm looking forward to and hoping to get my hands on one of these testers soon.

marc
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Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:21 pm

Re: Test card generator for L3-3 .. looking for alpha tester

Post by marc »

Oh sorry, you are totally right! I mixed up the internal grid operating range with the actual grid range. These are two different things,
indeed. Seems that I need to work more with my L3 to recover my memory ;-)

cerker
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:24 am

Re: Test card generator for L3-3 .. looking for alpha tester

Post by cerker »

Though one thing you may need to modify is "if PC language is not German & not English then set default program language to English".
I think I will throw away the automatic selection at all and just let the user select the language he wants to use.
I will definitely be following this post because I'm looking forward to and hoping to get my hands on one of these testers soon.
Actually, I don't own such a tester yet. I bought a L1-3 (the version which already has the primary rotary switch instead of the rheostat) on Ebay last week. It should arrive in a few days, at the moment it seems to be driven around somewhere in Poland. I hope its "working fine" at advertised, but I'm ready to fix some minor faults. Originally I was looking for an L3-3 .. but the L1-3 was cheap for it's advertised state and had reasonable shipping costs, so I grabbed it. I wouldn't have bought one with the rheostat on the other hand.

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