Questions about an Avo VCM163
I have just purchased an Avo VCM163 Valve Tester from a local radio rally.
Knowing the troubles with meters and the like with the previous models is there anything I need to be wary of, need to replace, etc prior to plugging the unit in.
All help will be greatly appreciated and if anybody needs to test some valves and in the North Somerset area once its working please drop me a PM
Congratulations - that's a very fine purchase! The VCM163 is just such a good tester, easy to use and comprehensive. Even if it is rather large!
The VCM163 is pretty robust. The meters are usually fine, but can get a bit sticky with age if the VCM has been stored in a damp environment. One small trick is to only move the thumbwheels towards you. In other words make them go 9,8,7,6,5,etc. This makes sure that the small switch fingers inside the thumbwheels are never forced in reverse (they are not symmetrical). And move them gently.
There are useful threads here on VRR re faults: http://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/show ... hp?t=53598 and http://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/show ... ght=vcm163.
I suggest you lubricate the switches, make sure everything moves easily then power it up and see what you get! You might have to replace some of the caps inside, especially the reservoir cap used for rectifier testing. But I had an un-restored VCM163 for some years and it worked well once I had cured a stupid trapped wire fault.
Good luck and well done.
If the meters work and switches are OK, then it will be fine.
I had to replace the meters on my friend's model, the new meters (actually new) are a bit smaller. I scanned the old scales and resized for the new meters.