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What is a level generator ?

  1. Dec 4, 2009 #1

    being attracted by old lab instrumentation ( the more switch, led, displays and knobs, the better ) I purchased for approx 20$ a level generator ( W & G PS something ) from a surplus store. The equipment is without user manual.

    Fact is, I don't have any idea about what I bought !

    I tried to use search internet in order to find some info but with poor results.

    Can someone explain in very simple terms what this ( heavy ) equipment does ? What are the typical applications ? How can I test it ? Where can I find some more info ?

    Thanks in advance for the help.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 4, 2009 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Sounds kind of like an adjustable DC power supply, but it could be something else. Can you post some pictures? (upload them as JPG attachments)
  4. Dec 4, 2009 #3
    Could also be an audio signal generator? post a pic...
  5. Dec 4, 2009 #4
    Tomorrow I will take some pictures.

    In the meantime I discovered that the company who manufactured the equipment ( Wandel & Goltermann ) was acquired from another company called JDSU.
    They still produce a level generator, but in portable form. The equipment I have instead is table-top ( bulky and heavy and looking quite complex ).

    This is the description of the model they currently produce. It seems it's used for testing communications network. But since I'm no expert , this sound pretty obscure:"

    The PS-33A is a signal source for testing the characteristics of voice transmission systems up to 2 MHz.

    * Handheld instrument with high-performance synthesizer technology for high resolution, stability, and accuracy.
    * Balanced and unbalanced generator outputs with common standard impedances.
    * Battery operation up to eight hours.


    * Qualification of copper lines up to 2 MHz (with receiver SPM-33A).
    * Maintenance of FDM transmission systems with up to 300 voice channels.
    * All applications requiring an accurate and stable low distortion sine wave signal.

    Key Features

    * Frequency range of 50 Hz to 2 MHz.
    * Wide output level range variable by 75 dB.
    * High resolution settings of 1 Hz and 0.1 MHz. "

    Can anyone translate in " simple " terms ?
  6. Dec 5, 2009 #5
    Here are the images.

    I think it could be a special kind of signal generator used in the communication networks. Perhaps the networks of new generation are different and so these equipment has no purpose anymore ( it could be the reason why I could get it for that cheap price ) ?

    Attached Files:

  7. Dec 5, 2009 #6
    That's basically a synthesized sweep signal generator with multiple outputs with different output impedances that are often used in communication.

    It's hard to say from the pic what the frequency range is, but it should work up to 2 MHz on the black pin connectors, and perhaps higher on the BNC connector.

    When powered up, you should be able to type a frequency of the signal you want, and its amplitude. Or, in sweep mode, the start and stop frequency, and sweep time.

    You could probably connect the x-axis to an oscilloscope (in xy mode) and you will have a nice scalar network analyzer to analyze filters, transmission lines, or amplifiers.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2009
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