I have to admit to not remembering (or ever knowing) that Radio Corporation of America (RCA) manufactured electrical test equipment, so seeing this full-page advertisement in a 1963 edition of Popular Electronics was a surprise. RCA made a few types of analog multimeter kits, some project and experimenter kits, and even an oscilloscope kit. A little more thumbing through other Popular Electronics editions revealed the RCA Institutes, which was a mail order electronics training program similar to the ITT Institute and National Radio Institute (NRI, from whom I took a course many moons ago). Knowing that if you wait long enough, just about everything shows up on eBay, I did a quick check and found a few vintage RCA Institutes items, including an RCA Institutes Ham Radio Signal Generator Kit.
November 1963 Popular Electronics
Table of Contents
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles
published October 1954 - April 1985. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.
On a whim, I looked on eBay for the 10 MHz oscilloscope kit that came with my NRI course, and there one was, but it had already been built (on left). I remember that the time base was calibrated by clipping a ceramic capacitor to the probe and sticking it in the wall receptacle and adjusting for 16.67 ms. Amplitude calibration was done by measuring a battery voltage with a voltmeter and adjusting accordingly. Close was good enough at the time.
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