Author Topic: AVO VCM 163  (Read 2484 times)

Offline darrylo

AVO VCM 163
« on: May 19, 2014, 03:35:59 PM »
So Ive been looking for a long time and finally found one.

Its faulty :facepalm: And I knoew that when I got it.  :moron:

Ill post pics and details tonight.
Always Looking for Heathkit, AVO and Leak
"I refuse to prove that my cables will make your system sound better", says the snake oil vendor, "for proof denies faith, and without faith, you will hear nothing."

Offline charles

Re: AVO VCM 163
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2014, 05:15:17 PM »
Dear Darryl,

All the best with the restoration of this special AVO VCM 163 valve tester.

Kind Regards

Charles

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Re: AVO VCM 163
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2014, 06:49:12 PM »
Also looking for one, but my requirements are simple:

1. Must be cheap
2. Must work
3. Should be cosmetically good

See? Simple!

Pics, Darryl, or otherwise it didn't happen.  ;)


-F_D



-Eric

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Offline darrylo

Re: AVO VCM 163
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2014, 07:17:31 PM »
^ As for your  checklist... I failed, failed and .. she is at least pretty and complete with cover and manuals.
It came with a few known faults and a few unknown.
What I was told:
At some point the valve base harness melted and fused together.
The overload relay was not working.

What I did not know:
The GM meter was unbalanced and could not be zero'd
The Gm meter reads lod by about 60%
These 2 are not related as I have rebalanced and tested the meter at 50uA FSD

First the ugly pictures.

The valve base harness melted together.


The current state of afairs.

Always Looking for Heathkit, AVO and Leak
"I refuse to prove that my cables will make your system sound better", says the snake oil vendor, "for proof denies faith, and without faith, you will hear nothing."

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Re: AVO VCM 163
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2014, 07:29:13 PM »
Looks a bit of a mess, but you should be able to sort that out. Wonder what caused the wiring harness to actually melt - over-current? Incorrect switch settings?

When you get the chance, please post a pic of it all together again.


-F_D



-Eric

That Guy in South Africa...
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Offline darrylo

Re: AVO VCM 163
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2014, 07:34:40 PM »
^will do. I stripped it the same day I got it before I took pictures.

I suspect incorrect switch settings. Im currently batteling with a low refference voltage on the oscilator board. Hopefully its something simple and not one of the irreplaceable thermistors or the transformer.

I have already replaced the transistors and the power supply diodes.
Always Looking for Heathkit, AVO and Leak
"I refuse to prove that my cables will make your system sound better", says the snake oil vendor, "for proof denies faith, and without faith, you will hear nothing."

Offline markc

Re: AVO VCM 163
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2014, 07:43:01 PM »
How much do you think it would be worth assuming it is in a perfect working order?
Transistors have ratings; vacuum tubes have guide lines.

"Happiness depends upon ourselves." -Aristotle

"I always wanted to procrastinate, but I just never got around to it."

Offline darrylo

Re: AVO VCM 163
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2014, 07:46:25 PM »
How much do you think it would be worth assuming it is in a perfect working order?

That depends:
International prices gofrom R15k up to R30k
Locally from free to R10k plus (I have offered 3 persons more than that and been turned down before( but Im not the usual buyer)).

But on average here maybe R8k

...why you want to sell one ? :rubhands:
Always Looking for Heathkit, AVO and Leak
"I refuse to prove that my cables will make your system sound better", says the snake oil vendor, "for proof denies faith, and without faith, you will hear nothing."

Offline markc

Re: AVO VCM 163
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2014, 08:28:00 PM »
I do have one in near perfect conditions, with original books and plastic cover.

But it is too useful to sell.

I traded it for some kit and was just wondering.

I have done a lot of research into it and I must say it is a very versatile beast.


Transistors have ratings; vacuum tubes have guide lines.

"Happiness depends upon ourselves." -Aristotle

"I always wanted to procrastinate, but I just never got around to it."

Offline charles

Re: AVO VCM 163
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2014, 09:21:16 AM »

The AVO 163 is the most user friendly of all the AVO valve testers as one can simultaneously observe the Ia and Gm readings.
Also the only AVO valve tester that can test Compactron and Nuvistors (not really used in audio applications). I am always in the market for another one.

Offline Kent Kassler

Re: AVO VCM 163
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2019, 12:20:30 PM »
So happy....had to share...found a perfect unit!.....with the AVO book listing all the tubes and settings.. happy days.
Audiophile Sound Sommelier Extraordinaire....aka Manic Depressive Temporary Void Filler Deluxe.

Offline Des Miles

Re: AVO VCM 163
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2019, 12:38:22 PM »
Congratulations! Pretty sure you will make good use of it. Use to use one a lot when restoring vintage valve radios, but for the past couple of years has just been sitting on shelf in workshop. I find it easier these days to just substitute a suspect valve with a new one!
I saw Sputnik, well... actually the booster rocket that went into orbit with it!!

Offline charles

Re: AVO VCM 163
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2019, 02:53:54 PM »
Congratulations, a rare find. I use my 163 on a regular basis.

Your one looks like if the front panel has been opened a couple of times.
Most probably for service reasons.

It is necessary to calibrate the 163 to ensure that it function according to its specifications.

The service manual is not very clear on certain repair/calibration actions.

Just be careful, there are some faulty settings in some the AVO data books.
I am busy compiling a list of faults/corrections.

« Last Edit: April 15, 2019, 02:59:48 PM by charles »

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Re: AVO VCM 163
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2019, 04:00:54 PM »
Hi Andre, welcome to the "163 Club"! Good find :)

Charles, please keep me informed re the list you are compiling.  :thumbs:

-F_D



-Eric

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