Heathkit Condenser Checker C-3

 I was given this condenser checker by an old chap that worked for the BBC before WW2. He worked in the recording department where they used wire recorders which pre-dated tape recorders.

He said they could easily record a 30 minute program but the reel of wire had to be lifted on and off the recorder with a block and tackle as it weighed around a hundredweight (in those daft French units that's about 50 Kgm). I say daft because why should anyone want to weigh things in terms of a fraction of the earth's diameter compared with a test tube of water instead of something you can see and taste ie. a bag of sweets weighs a quarter of a pound.


 The condenser checker, which actually tests resistors as well as condensers, was made from a kit of parts and, like other equipments in Heath's range, was accompanied by a banana coloured handbook which gave very detailed assembly instructions. Click the picture above to see it. Reading the instructions reveals it also performs as an electrolytic capacitor ESR tester.

A few years ago, actually 31 when I think about it... I brought back from Texas a Heathkit 100 watt transceiver kit. In order to get round import and export problems I spread the contents of the kit around my suitcase, stuffing socks with bags of resistors etc. Unfortunately things got a bit mixed up and following the instructions later wasn't too straightforward. Their kits were first class and very well presented.


 Above.. the circuit diagram of the condenser checker. Pity it's only US mains, and the way it's connected ensures a 50/50 possible jolt when plugged into the mains with the on/off switch in the off position.

 See a copy of the original assembly instructions.

 Here's a useful note for restoring a C3 from W7EKB


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