A number of people ask me about where to obtain used test equipment or manuals so I decided to gather all my information and post it here. Then all I have to do is just refer people to my web site rather than having to find all the scattered information. Another plus of posting this is that I can use it too - all the links are in one handy location. Be sure to check back often as I will revise this list as I discover new good sources. There are a number of other sources I know of but have not yet done business with.
The following companies are listed in alphabetical order. I
have done business with each of these companies and highly
recommend all of them.
A-Comm Electronics located
in Aurora, Colorado. Owner is John Ayres http://www.a-comm.com This
is an excellent company for used test equipment and sometimes
including manuals. In my experience, John is very responsive to
emails and telephone calls. His prices are just a little bit on
the high side but the quality is very high. I highly recommend
AST Global Electronics located in Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania http://www.astglobal.com This company has a wide selection of equipment and very good prices. They are very easy to work with. They are very responsive to telephone calls. If you need something then call them - they may have it and at a good price.
Fair Radio Sales located in Lima, Ohio http://www.fairradio.com This is one of the oldest electronics surplus companies around. They do not have a wide selection of test equipment but their prices are good and the quality is high. They have a lot of odd, hard to find items. Many things they sell are sold as in "reparable condition". In my experience, this generally means that it either works fine but may need some minor adjustments or needs only some simple work to restore it to new condition. They are generally slow to respond to emails so allow at least a week. A phone call is probably the best way. Just because you do not see it on their web site does not mean that they do not have it. They also sell photocopies of some test equipment manuals but the selection is not broad. Although they list some manuals on their web site, they actually have much more - so you need to call.
GLK Instruments located in California http://www.glkinst.com This company sells a small variety of mainly hard to find specialty cables for old test equipment but they also have equipment from time to time. These cables are newly manufactured to meet or exceed all specs of the original. They have a complete line of cables for all HP141 series spectrum analyzers and accessories. I purchased a cable to connect to my HP8443A tracking generator and it is excellent. The prices may seem high but the bare connector pieces are expensive if you can find them and expensive crimp tools and know how are often required for assembly. Your best bet is to buy the cables made by an expert. I highly recommend them.
Kentronix located in New Jersey. Owner is Brian Kent http://www.kentronix.com When you call, you will talk to Brian. He is very knowledgeable and glad to help. He sells only the best stuff in the best condition so his prices are a bit on the high side but you know what you are going to get. His prices often include a photocopy of the operator's manual. Sometimes the full operator and service manual is available. He packs the equipment so well for shipment that it is often hard to unpack. The equipment would survive a major wreck in shipment.
Precision Services located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, http://www.linearz.com/ .The owner is John Bau and his specialty is quality surplus electronics. Everything he sells has been checked out and is guaranteed to work -- my personal experience confirms this. His prices are generally very competitive with any other source. I have known him to sell guaranteed to work items for less than the same item sold for on ebay where the unit was untested. He updates his web site every few weeks. You can also get on his email list and receive immediate notice of new equipment a week or so before it is posted on his web site. This feature has worked well for me. John is very easy to deal with -- every time I called he was there ready to help in any way. Everything I have bought from him was just as he said. I highly recommend him to everyone. By the way -- do a Google search on either the name, Precision Services (formerly Precision Audio Services), or John Bau, and you will discover that in a former life John was an expert speaker designer. His designs are world known.
Tucker Electronics located in Dallas, Texashttp://www.tucker.com This company sells a wide variety of test equipment and manuals. They are well known and provide excellent service. There prices are on the high side but you get great service (the equipment is checked out and guaranteed to work) and they will take the equipment back if you are not happy. They also have a manual store and have many old manuals.
These sources are listed in alphabetical order. I
have done business with each of them.
Consolidated Surplus, The Library of Manuals
http://www.usimperio.com I have purchased manuals from them
via their ebay auctions and have been very pleased.
Manuals Plus http://www.manualsplus.com I have been amazed that they actually had some manuals for some very ancient test equipment. The best way to use them is to go to their web site and submit a list of equipment you want manuals for. Be sure to provide the serial number of the equipment since they may have the exact manual for a particular serial number series. They will respond by the next day with what they have and the price. I have bought a number of manuals from them and I have not had a case where they did not have the manual. Their prices are on the high side but their service is great. I highly recommend them.
W7FG Vintage Manualshttp://www.w7fg.com This company located in Oklahoma is an excellent source for high quality photocopies of manuals for test equipment and consumer electronics. I have purchased a number of manuals from them and the quality is indistinguishable from an original. If the manuals did not come with comb binding and with their logo cover you would think the manual was an original. You can see a list of their manuals on their web site. They keep the site up to date but call if you do not see what you want as they are always obtaining new manuals. Since they only sell copies, they are never out of stock. If you see it on the web site, they have it.
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