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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 07-18-2011, 1:16 PM
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Default What Service Monitor to buy?

First time posting. Our department is looking to buy a new Service Monitor. Our old IFR 1500 finally gave up the ghost and Aeroflex no longer repairs that model. We have a conventional analog system and no specific plans to go digital in the future, but I don't want to buy a piece of equipment that will limit us in that area.

All Quantar receivers and transmitters. Several hundred HT 1000's and about 50 XTS3000's, 45 XTS1500's. Mostly Astros and XTL5000's for mobiles.

I am looking at the Aeroflex 3920. Particularly attractive is the Auto-Alignment feature. Also, the ability to upgrade it easily in the future to almost any system through software.

Would like some help in determining if there is another product out there that will meet our needs now and in the future. It is my understanding that Motorola no longer sells a service monitor. I think General Dynamics made their latest monitors anyway. Obviously we want the most bang for the buck.

Thanks for any and all help!
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Old 07-18-2011, 2:15 PM
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Cushman>?
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Old 07-18-2011, 2:47 PM
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We have 6 General Dynamics 2625's, suits everything we need, from bench to tower. We align all our own duplexers so it has the tracking generator. The last one came with P-25 even though we don't need it yet. we are looking at an Anritsu for NXDN, which we are being forced into in the next few years.
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Old 07-18-2011, 3:34 PM
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There are not a lot of choices in the service monitor market these days - Aeroflex and General Dynamics are the two top contenders.

The Aeroflex 3920 is certainly a good choice and should be their top tier product for some time to come. It is very spendy - starting price North of $30K.

General Dynamics still offers the 2600 series instruments - this is a legacy platform going back many years. Although they do have P25 capability in the 2625 and 2670, they don't plan to offer the latest formats such as ETSI-DMR [Mototrbo] and NXDN on the 26XX series.

General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies - Antennas

The latest General Dynamics instrument is the R8000 which has the advantage of being quite compact and much less expensive than an Aeroflex 3920.

http://www.gdsatcom.com/CTE/datasheets/R8000.pdf
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Old 07-18-2011, 5:54 PM
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Default Cushman

Quote:
Originally Posted by KI4VBR View Post
Cushman>?
Cushman has been out of the service monitor business for many years. However, there is a pretty good Yahoo site available to everyone who needs help, and there is a dealer/repair shop active there who handles rebuilt equipment, chassis parts, etc.
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Old 07-18-2011, 5:56 PM
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Originally Posted by W2NJS View Post
Cushman has been out of the service monitor business for many years. However, there is a pretty good Yahoo site available to everyone who needs help, and there is a dealer/repair shop active there who handles rebuilt equipment, chassis parts, etc.
Thanks for the info......I used to use one years ago and it was like my best friend in the field.....never let me down.

Vince
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:05 AM
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Vince,

I still run and use both a CE3 and a CE6 here at home. The 6 has a deviation meter in place of the usual green scope and both work great many years after they were made.

Regards,

Tom, W2NJS
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Old 07-19-2011, 7:43 PM
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FWIW, there are many other places besides Aeroflex that can fix your 1500.
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Old 07-20-2011, 7:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mastr View Post
FWIW, there are many other places besides Aeroflex that can fix your 1500.
Can you give me names?

Thanks!
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:04 AM
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check with Auburn Metrology Labs, if they can't fix it they can sell you a used certified and most likely warrantied unit for a great price. my 2600 is with them right now, I hope it is repaired and back to the office when i return from vacation!

they also have some Aeroflex 3900 series for sale that are only a few years old, with warranty(i can't remember how long) for around 19k instead of the 30k new!
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Old 07-21-2011, 1:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidgcet View Post
check with Auburn Metrology Labs, if they can't fix it they can sell you a used certified and most likely warrantied unit for a great price. my 2600 is with them right now, I hope it is repaired and back to the office when i return from vacation!

they also have some Aeroflex 3900 series for sale that are only a few years old, with warranty(i can't remember how long) for around 19k instead of the 30k new!
Good News! and thanks for the help!

I'll try to make this concise. I called Auburn Metrology Lab and was able to talk to a technician that knows the IFR 1500. He gave me a wild idea how much it would cost to fix it based on the symptoms and past record with this machine. "But", he said, "sometimes just reseating the IC's that are in sockets can fix a problem like that." So I thought, what could it hurt.

I took it apart and pulled the cards one at a time and reseated the IC's. In the process of doing this I inspected the cards and noticed that on one of the connectors that plug into the pins when the card is inserted, one of the terminals had backed out of the connector. The fact the I had to snap it in to lock it after I pushed the terminal back in makes me think it was never inserted right when it was new. Lo and behold, after I reassembled it I turned it on and it worked!

Just brief testing makes it look like it is working properly. I still plan on buying a new one, but at least at this time it should give me a little more time to do some research as to what we really need and want.

Thanks again for the help, I may not have found the problem if I hadn't talked to their technician. Makes me wonder if some of the flakey symptoms I sometimes saw (now that I think about it) could have been related to this problem.

Woo Hoo!
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Old 07-21-2011, 3:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grradio View Post
Can you give me names?

Thanks!
Auburn was the place I had in mind.
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Old 07-21-2011, 4:38 PM
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I use a Motorola R2670 (General Dynamics) for work, and I have an HP8920 at home that I use. I haven't had any issues to speak of for either of them.
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:15 AM
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The HP8920A or B or the HP 8921A is hard to beat. Sid.
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:36 AM
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Nice field repair! Nice piece of equipment.
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grradio View Post
Can you give me names?

Thanks!
Here is a local (to me) outfit that I deal with and has given me a good deal
on a trade in.

They have a warehouse full of new and used(refurbished & realigned) gear of
all types.

Once you decide what you want/need call and talk with Jim Steele and ask for
a price, he may just surprise you on a price for a good used instrument.

Welcome - Alltest Instruments
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