View Full Version : New toy,

09-08-2016, 02:02 PM
I just picked up a BK Precision 1856B frequency counter for my shack. It has been a few years (around 30) since I had one. What is the easiest way to set it up for checking frequency on the various radios? Would it be better to pick up a RF sampling port or home brew one? Would it just be as easy to use the antenna that came with the counter (it picks up my Wifi)? As I said it has been years and what I find online is a ton of differing opinions and ways.

09-09-2016, 02:08 PM
For the purpose you describe you've answered your own question. Before you use it for anything you need to calibrate it, but unfortunately the service manual appears to be made of unobtanium. That being the case you may consider a calibration house (traceable to NIST) that will cost some moolah, but if you want any kind of accuracy test instruments need periodic calibration.

09-09-2016, 09:55 PM
You can go to BK and do a search for your counter and it will tell you it is discontinued. But you can go to : http://www.bkprecision.com/support/request.html and ask for a manual, it does not say if you will have to pay or not.

09-09-2016, 10:03 PM
Found a manual for the D model: bkprecision.jp/downloads/manuals/ja-jp/1856D_manual.pdf

09-10-2016, 01:30 PM
When I get my rubidium standard fixed this winter I'll be able to calibrate counters down to thousandth of a Hertz accuracy. Figure out how to get your B&K here after the lab is ready and I'll calibrate the thing for you.

09-10-2016, 01:49 PM
In you search, also look for a prefix name of Dynascan. B&K was a division of them, and some stuff got out the door under Dynascan. I'll look around in the trains since it's starting to get nice enough to be weeding them out in the AM and PM. I have a plethora of books on how to use different types of equipment for all kind of situation besides to obvious. I also have a metric shit ton of data books from all the major manufacturers. As the turn up, I'll post them, and they are yours for the shipping. Details to follow, film at ten.

Disregard the Dynascan part of the post. I found a picture of a d unit and it would be way too GNU for that to be out there. But the rest is true. Honest. Bob will vouch for me. Anybody got his Lodge number in Minnesota?

09-11-2016, 01:03 PM
"Found a manual for the D model:"
I found it first (;->) and didn't bother mentioning it because it's only useful to those who have no idea how to use a frequency counter. This unfortunately won't help a bit, the usual found on page 18:
4-2. Adjustment and Calibration
Regular adjustment and calibration of this instrument is recommended. The
procedures involved should be executed by qualified and authorized personnel only.

"When I get my rubidium standard fixed this winter I'll be able to calibrate counters down to thousandth of a Hertz accuracy."
If it's a standard 10MHz TXCO WWV is good enough for government work, it IS the government.. (;->)
"Figure out how to get your B&K here after the lab is ready and I'll calibrate the thing for you."
You're not authorized personnel but I'd say you're qualified personnel. The way is anything but UPS, they have a bad habit of destroying things. I worked for air cargo and saw things like never mark anything FRAGILE, they played football with them. I shipped a National NC-303 in perfect, like new condition, it arrived looking like an elephant sat on it. A friend bought a tri-band vertical from HRO, when it didn't arrive HRO sent another that did. Two months later he found the first one hidden in the bushes in the back yard, I got a free antenna. Ya jus' cain't make this stuff up!

Speaking of WWV on 10MHz as a calibration standard, I put a BNC on the back of my old enough to have TTL and a Nixie tube display Yeasu YC-355D counter with a short piece of RG-58 going to the HC-6U crystal and the center conductor soldered to the case. Then when temperature stabilized, using a nonmetallic screwdriver through a hole I drilled over the trimmer cap, zero beating during the silent period puts it right on target. The S meter waving slowly up and down says yep, that's zero beat.

09-11-2016, 06:56 PM
It came with a users manual and I figured for an Offer of $100 on ebay, half of what their buy it now price was worth it. Getting the counter is easy if you trust the postal service.... I have to look through the test equipment out that I got when I bought out my Neighbors stuff. One of these days I have to get the O-scope working.

09-16-2016, 09:21 PM
I would buy an ocxo like on eBay and you can get that calibrated rather than the tcxo reference. Get a 5 or 10MHz reference and run that into the counter.