In order to determine the Bit Error Rate of digital communications systems there is a need to apply a digital test signal that is routed through the communications channel and at the output of the channel count the errors. The Frederick Electronics 600A system is made using discrete transistors, i.e. the golden age of electronics. This is a 3 Rack Unit high (5") modular BER test system with the following modules (left to right):
- Model 600A pattern Generator
The clock period can be adjusted from 0.01 to 100 ms and the NRZ data and the clock output is +12 V to -12 Volts (i.e. RS-232). A pseudo random data pattern is output when the Drive switch is in the INT position. The CR1 and CR2 switch positions are for crystal controlled baud rates (no crystals are installed).
- Model 600A Synchronizer
Uses the Clock and Data signals and synchronized the data to the clock.
- Model 600A Error Counter
Has a mechanical Veeder root counter that is fed from an electronic counter inside so the speed of the mechanical counter is not a limitation. To zero:
- mechanically reset counter
- press "clear memory and depress RESET at the same time
By experimentation I found that if the clock and data from the pattern generator are connected to the clock and data input to the synchronizer and:
- Data Generator is set to INTernal and NM,
- The Synchronizer - Depress RESYNC a few times to get synched and select an AFC time constant to center the meter.
- The error counter mechanically zeroed and electrically zeroed, error mode in COUNT and alarm pressed down to RESET
To zero the counter: Wait for it to stop counting, press RESET and then, RESET and clear memory at the same time.
- Now when the data cable is disconnected the counter will start counting the errors. For example when the clock period is short (.1 - .01 scale) and the data cable is disconnected for a very short time, the counter may count up to 1,000. This takes a number of seconds to complete.
- At power up if all the connections are made as described then the counter will be counting. To stop it you need to press RESYNC on the Synchronizer many times to get the meter centered then the counter will stop. Now the counter can be zeroed.
There are a number of screw terminals on the rear panel including some marked Printer. But it's not clear to me what that means.
Used and operational, but missing the fuse and fuse cap (borrowed form another instrument to test). The line cors has a break on the outer insulation and should be replaced although the wires themselves are OK.
The CV-89A/URA-8A is a Military tube type FSK converter with a CRT type tuning indicator.
The MD-1142 (BR Communications 6029C) Time Deversity Modem
The CV-483/URA-17 is a solid state FSK converter with a CRT type tuning indicator.
The Frederick 1203 FSK Demodulator
Digitech also made a modular rack mount Digital Data Generator test set
F91120 Field Radio BER Test Set
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