The Avo - Ships Nostalgia
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The Avo

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  #1  
Old 24th September 2012, 09:52
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The Avo

When I was at sea I carried a Fluke digital meter of my own which I bought in the 70's. Great meter, been dropped in bilges and onto decks from heights and it's still going strong. Absolute necessity when working on solid states.

However, I was recently fiddling with some solar panels in order to charge a battery and found that when it comes to measuring current, for some reason I can't explain, an analogue meter just gives more satisfaction physically. A needle swinging up and over.

So I found myself on ebay looking for an AVO (I presume the firm has long since gone to the wall... but I don't know that for sure.) Got myself a Mark 8 still in the leather case for £20 and when using it out in the garage have found it very accurate and reliable. Yep, it is big, and clumsy, and certainly delicate ... but it is very satisfying.

AM I GETTING OLD OR WHAT .... ???
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  #2  
Old 24th September 2012, 10:05
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nope not at all - things like diodes can throw digital instruments all over the place - not so analogue.

Another reason I tend towards analogue is because the vast majority of the time I more interested in a go/no go indication rather than a measured quantity and a moving needle does that better for me than a self ranging digital.

good price by the way

Oh and Avo got taken over by Megger
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  #3  
Old 24th September 2012, 10:17
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Wow ... Do they still have diodes? How "retro"!

AVOs are are also handy for doing Personality Tests on prospective Scientologists. Come to think of it, a Megger would be pretty good for that too.

John T
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  #4  
Old 24th September 2012, 10:55
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I never seen a Fluke until much later than the seventies. I have one now (seldom used except for checking domestic plug top fuses).At the end of the day apart from the bulk of the Avo I preferred the swing of the needle.
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Old 24th September 2012, 11:08
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The essential is that it is low impedance and all DVMs are 'naturally' high impedance. Many, many wild geese have easily fled before the whizz kid with the DVM realises that the voltage he thought he had , he hasn't. There is now a Fluke with a special low impedance setting otherwise stick to an 'analogue'. (The flick seen from the corner of the eye cannot be emulated either - as for back to front ratios - fractionally more skill/knowledge required but it is always the same with an analogue - some DVMs tell you more but who really wants to be presented with a reading of the forward voltage drop - appreciation that there is one might be important (the so called loss free droppers) - but has anyone ever found a failed diode with a low forward drop that doesn't also have low/low resitance ratio?

One of the items it is never worth omitting from 'radio fault finding' is to specify with what sort of meter you want a measurement taken. I did not do this until my failing earned me a trip to the PG to find a disconnected tacho signal preventing Shaft Generator operation. There with Mantronic box disconnected to access terminals. Measured DVM within tolerance when measured with AVO zero. A lesson well learned as it was when the wogs were one of their turmoils and the first mine of the season got a launch rendezvousing off Khor Fakkan the day after mine!

On one occasion when only DVM available the astonished (and certificated E/O) found the problem with the battery and lamp I had forced him to try.

John - unless the 'high tech' integrated, surface mount, DIL packaged, software dependent and largely unnecessary crap can translate turning into a live main bus then I suggest the diodes on a brushless alternator rank as the most essential semiconductors onboard. But great idea for correcting superstition.
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  #6  
Old 24th September 2012, 11:12
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Fluke 77, tough as old boots. Mmm, you might be right about the 70's, but I carried when at sea for several years, and left the sea in 1986, was sure I bought it in late 70s.
The AVO, bought on ebay. Good meter, but couldn't really get on with it onboard ship with solid state electronics. Like it a lot in my garage though.
Sorry about the mistake in the picture (i.e. the Sun shining, it's been raining for 24 hours but soon as I picked up the camera it poked it's face from behind the clouds.)
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  #7  
Old 24th September 2012, 11:23
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I've great respect for the venerable Avo 8, it was mostly all I wanted for faultfinding in the RR and on the bridge. Like others I carried a quality Digital meter as the bulk of the Avo 8 was impracticable in some areas. There is something reassuring about the analogue meter, especially when adjusting/tuning for peak or watching trends. Later some digital meters had an additional analogue type display built in to do much the same. Happy days.
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Old 24th September 2012, 11:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobClay View Post
..... I presume the firm has long since gone to the wall... but I don't know that for sure. ...
They are still around Bob, or at least the building is, under the Megger banner, very visible from the A20 on the first roundabout as you come down the hill from the west into Dover.
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  #9  
Old 24th September 2012, 12:09
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Clear glass light bulbs were much better than those frosted glass ones. If they went out, you could see if the filament was broken and didn't have to do a continuity test. Phew.

John T
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  #10  
Old 24th September 2012, 12:10
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Glass bulbs ? .... do they still have those .... ?
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  #11  
Old 24th September 2012, 14:48
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You can't beat a decent analogue meter for fault finding around cars, audio amplifiers, ham radio kit etc. etc. DVMs are useful but it's the trusty old AVO that gets used most of the time.

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  #12  
Old 24th September 2012, 19:40
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I was never a fan of the clumsy AVO 8 and preferred smaller meters. But I have always found that I can "interpret" an analogue meter reading better. When the needle goes blurred, I know there is some sort of ripple getting in etc etc. Recently, I got a dandy little Avo Minor on a car boot sale for £4 and it works a treat and can deal with measurements that my digital gets confused with!
Can't use it for ohms as I can't get a battery, but the digital reigns supreme in that field. Its ranges are Volts - 5 - 25 - 100 - 250 and 500 (AC & DC) mA 2.5 - 5 - 25 - 100 - 500 (DC only) Ohms - a pathetic 2,000 - but I like it.
Bob
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Old 24th September 2012, 19:48
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This thread got me thinking - I was given an AVO 8 years ago and when I got it home I discovered why - The idiot had let the batteries rot and it was useless.
So I have just had look on the internet and Megger still list the AVO Model 8 Mk7 but with the words: 'After a long and distinguished career the AVOMETER® Model 8 Mk 7 has now become obsolete'

They have a sales enquiry form which seems to be at odds with those words.

Have a look yourselves HERE


By the way you grow daffodils from bulbs - lamps are for providing light.
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  #14  
Old 24th September 2012, 21:02
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mmmmm ... that would explain why the breaker pulled out when I plugged that daffodil into the mains socket.
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  #15  
Old 24th September 2012, 21:33
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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"By the way you grow daffodils from bulbs - lamps are for providing light."

Not where I come from. In Australia they're known as "light globes" - fancy that!

John T
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  #16  
Old 24th September 2012, 21:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trotterdotpom View Post
"By the way you grow daffodils from bulbs - lamps are for providing light."

Not where I come from. In Australia they're known as "light globes" - fancy that!

John T
I hope you mean the lamps and not the daffodil bulbs
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  #17  
Old 24th September 2012, 22:34
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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I hope you mean the lamps and not the daffodil bulbs
No, that would be a "daffodil globe", but that's the way the artichokes.

John T
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  #18  
Old 24th September 2012, 22:54
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'After a long and distinguished career the AVOMETER® Model 8 Mk 7 has now become obsolete'
Interestingly there's a great demand on ebay for these fellahs. I bid on several of them before I landed one. If you think about it, the above quote applies to a lot of great British engineering. Maybe there's a message in that somewhere.
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  #19  
Old 24th September 2012, 23:05
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Yes, I've just been scanning ebay - what you seem to get for £20 is, more often than not, incomplete, untested or spares / repair.
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  #20  
Old 24th September 2012, 23:39
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Patience is the only way to work on ebay. Keep bidding as they come and it will happen.
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  #21  
Old 25th September 2012, 08:26
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Love my AVO which I have had for 40 years. And you can't switch a transistor with a digital meter either.
As to bulbs and lamps, bulbs grow - lamps glow, this being gospel according to an old Lecky friend of mine.
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  #22  
Old 25th September 2012, 12:09
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This morning, wandering about our local giant car boot sale (Preston), I was wondering if I might find an AVO 8 as we had been talking about them. Hardly been there ten minutes when I saw this multimeter underneath a plaster squirrel. Took a chance and purchased it for £2. On getting it home, I was pleased to find it works perfectly. Someone had removed the batteries, so there is no corrosion. After I cleaned it up, it is in mint condition and I am very pleased with it. No indication of make, but it has Model Number C-7080EN on the dial. It measures 6.1 inches by 7.3 inches and is 3 inches deep.
Bob
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Last edited by Shipbuilder; 25th September 2012 at 12:11.. Reason: Added measurements.
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  #23  
Old 25th September 2012, 19:12
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I've got a roughservice BECKMAN one 9v battery change in 30 years !
bulbs - lamps only old purists would care...............
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  #24  
Old 26th September 2012, 00:55
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No indication of make, but it has Model Number C-7080EN on the dial. It measures 6.1 inches by 7.3 inches and is 3 inches deep.
What I like about that meter is the size of the scale. Wow that was a good buy.
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  #25  
Old 26th September 2012, 09:52
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A Chinese Meter

A popular place for shopping on my first tour in 1977 in Hong Kong was China Products and I could not resist buying this meter which reminded me of sea going days. It is built like the proverbial brick .... and I still use it on occasion today. Regards, Roger
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