A simple, or maybe not very simple, request

Brand name believed to be KALIBR.
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Trivistor
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:57 am

A simple, or maybe not very simple, request

Post by Trivistor »

Hello everybody, I have been owning an L3-3 for some time now. It's a late 1986 production, bought brand new in its wooden crate and in excellent shape. I am not an engineer, nor have a technical background, I am just an ordinary audiophile from Italy who is very much into tube amplification and music reproduction. I understand the basic logic of tubes circuits and testing, I have 2 others Hickok testers, but the L3-3 it's really a fascinating instrument and would like to have a better understanding of its functions.

I have been studying the different manuals supplied on the DIY board (http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/tubes-va ... ester.html), both German an English versions. I have a very basic understanding of German but I am fluent in English (and French and Spanish, but this has to do with my profession), and yet, while I have been able to complete the basic calibration and testing procedures, I have the feeling there are many points I am missing, and the different translations of the original Russian manual never go down to the simple yet clarifying details I would need to know. Unfortunately, all the English translations I found (thanks to the authors, of course!), including that on the jacmusic.com website, are somehow obscure, cryptic, aimed to technicians, not common users. Calibration procedures differs so much that in one case we have to take apart the tester and use up to 3 different multi-meters and oscillators, in another simply measuring a point would get the same result. A more consistent approach would be much more useful.

A step-by-step instruction set for calibrating and testing would be of great help for everybody I guess. I understand that many fine functions of the tester are not needed for the simple testing and matching of tubes, so I would probably prefer a straightforward guideline instead: setup, basic calibration (with detailed instruction and how-tos), basic tests for leakage, short circuit, emission and transconductance, in other words what we actually NEED to use our tubes. This plus a proper set of cards for the most common western tubes and their equivalent in Cyrillic (yes, I know that 6SN7=6H8C and 6H13C=6AS7G..., but a list of, let's say, the 20 most used tubes in audio circuit would be just fine).

What is critical is an exact transliteration of the Cyrillic labels: I found irritating that an English translation always used "Uc1" instead of the plain "Ug1" marked on the front plate of the tester. Cyrillic can be read without problems, what we need it's an operating manual without the technical jargon and with proper language.

I also know that many respected hobbyists and perhaps Mr. Jac himself would scream in horror reading this request. But I am probably not the only one who sees the L3-3 as a wonderful tool for enjoying their tube gear more than a technical challenge in itself. It's cold war aesthetic and clever project are both appealing to people who don't have deep technical skills.

I am ready to cooperate with anyone who would be willing to write this new instructions manual. Also, we could set up a donation scheme with PayPal to help the development of such an useful guide.

Just let me know what you think. A collaborative approach is the best feature of the internet.

jimmy74
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:02 pm

Re: A simple, or maybe not very simple, request

Post by jimmy74 »

Ciao and welcome to the forum, though I am probably the person with least expertise with this tester nor in Russian nor in German. I think Cerker has had a fantastic idea in writing up a program to use on PC in english and german, but as he says the original basis of the program itself is hard-coded and through the testing process some bugs have popped up and he has to find a way of resolving them before renewing the testing procedure. This will take time and I think that this is the main problem with studying, transcribing and translating the original instructions for a non technical audience, everyone would appreciate it but the engineers and experts of this tester, just don't have the time to start semplifying and translating. Also I think that this tester is in itself a very technical tool, that is the instructions although in Russian are not for the everyday russian person to understand, and a russian engineer would probably have a very hard time semplifying it for an everyday russian audience, it would take up even more time and patience getting these semplified russian instructions translated into english or german. And everything would have to then be checked and double checked, this includes testing and pointing out flaws and eventual errors in any of the instructions and their translations. In other words = time time time. A humoungous part of this work has already been done by our most onorable moderator Mr. Jac himself along with all the fantastic engineers and experts in this forum. If only I knew a little russian or german, I would leap at the idea of helping and trying to get an instruction guide together.... but I don't... I only know English (being Australian) and Italian having lived here since 1993. So at the most I could help in grammatical corrections but this would be the last part of getting the instructions together.

just my 2 cents

Trivistor
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:57 am

Re: A simple, or maybe not very simple, request

Post by Trivistor »

Hello again, And thanks for your comment.

A rudimentary "step by step" instruction manual already exists. Find it attached here, and also here: http://www.vacuum-tube.eu/wp/?p=393

Also attached the "simplified calibration procedure". Both documents come from the DIY forum: http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/tubes-va ... ester.html

I think it would be very useful if any of the more technically versed people here would revise and amend it, especially if (as I suspect) there are some inconsistencies in the procedures.

I have been able to setup, calibrate and use the L3-3 with different tubes, and yet, I have the feeling that I am basically WRONG: Many function switches on the front panel are left unused, and procedure go from very easy to obscure, at least to my untrained eyes.
L3-3-tube-tester-simplified-calibration-procedures.zip
Calibration
(19.72 KiB) Downloaded 742 times
Manual L3-3 English.zip
Manual
(93.63 KiB) Downloaded 806 times
Thank you.

anton
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:47 am
Location: Hazerswoude, The Netherlands

Re: A simple, or maybe not very simple, request

Post by anton »

Hello Trivistor
As jimmy says, it’s very time consuming and that is the main problem.
These testers were also being made with English print on the deck, so why not by such a version? :mrgreen:
Sadly, the Russians didn’t make cards for European or international tubes, nor make a English manual.
Maybe this picture will be a little help:
model 1994 Engels1.JPG
model 1994 Engels1.JPG (15.11 KiB) Viewed 13849 times
Quality is “not too bad”, it’s from the www (of course)
Best Regards,
anton

Trivistor
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:57 am

Re: A simple, or maybe not very simple, request

Post by Trivistor »

Hello Anton, I understand the Russian labels, that is no problem at all... Have a look to the English translation I attached in my previous message. They are quite useful and yet don't offer a complete, easy to understand, user guide. I am just wondering if we can refine or correct those translations with the help of the experts here.

Timofey
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:31 pm
Location: Moscow, Russia
Contact:

Re: A simple, or maybe not very simple, request

Post by Timofey »

Hi!
What step of calibration is difficult to you?

anton
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:47 am
Location: Hazerswoude, The Netherlands

Re: A simple, or maybe not very simple, request

Post by anton »

I have read the short form simplified calibration procedure thoroughly, there are indeed some "misprints" and "non conformities" to the original manual(s).
My advice: If you not 100% sure what you're doing, don't use it!!
I didn’t have much time now, but I will correct it later (if the original contributor is agree,)
Regards,
anton

Trivistor
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:57 am

Re: A simple, or maybe not very simple, request

Post by Trivistor »

@Timofey: none of them, I would just need to have an expert advice if the English translation is correct in general. What I'd is an expert looking at the translated operating instruction I posted and tell the erst of us if they can used used safely. I have been testing tubes with these instructions and they seem to be consistent so far.

@Anton, I indeed used that procedure many times already, and it seems to work, at least it procures no damage to the tester. As per the original contributor, yes, you may ask him, albeit I believe that in a collaborative environment, improving should be understood as a service to the community.
From what I see, comparing the English translation to the German manual, that procedure is much more simplified.
As per the test itself, did you have time to read the testing instructions? Do you feel they are correctly reported?

Thank you all.

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