Author Topic: Tempo Sidekick 7B and T&N Stress Leakage Cable Testers, Tempo E2520 TDR  (Read 5017 times)

Offline DavePEI

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As you know, every time I get a new and unusual tool, I post information on it in the Forum. I am hoping that eventually, it will serve as a good resource for these tools. I enjoy not only the collection of phones for the museum, but also have an extensive collection of Telecom tools which can be seen in the museum, and which I use for maintenance on the Museum's equipment. I enjoy the collection of tools and learning how to use them as much as I enjoy the phones!

Recently, I purchased a Tempo Sidekick 7B on eBay. These can be quite expensive, ranging up to five hundred dollars or so. IMHO, they aren't worth that much, but they are a very useful instrument. I found one for $20 plus shipping, of course. It had no soft case, but I will find one on the aftermarket:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/121167637921

It was a bit rough, but the scratches and discoloring buffed out easily. The case back looked much more discoloured and marked up than the front, and it looks as though this one was put together from non-working meters. It has now arrived, and cleaned up very well, and works 100%.

Dave
« Last Edit: October 11, 2013, 04:50:36 AM by DavePEI »
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Offline DavePEI

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Re: Tempo Sidekick 7B and T&N Stress Leakage Cable Testers, Tempo E2520 TDR
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2013, 06:09:37 AM »
I am looking for a manual for a Tempo Sidekick 7B tester. Does anyone know of a source of a printed or PDF copy? Even the Greenlee site no longer has a manual for the 7B - supplanted by those for later models... I found lots of Google Links for them, but all I found pointed to the old Greenlee manual which isn't on their server anymore!

Dave
Thanks to Steve Cichorsky, I now have a copy of the manual. Previously, the only copy I was able to find was in French. Once again, Steve has come across with another great scanned manual! I suspect Steve will have it posted on the TCI library eventually.

Thanks,

Dave
« Last Edit: September 14, 2013, 02:53:16 PM by DavePEI »
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Offline DavePEI

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Re: Tempo Sidekick 7B and T&N Stress Leakage Cable Testers, Tempo E2520 TDR
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2013, 06:47:58 AM »
Thanks to Steve Cichorsky, I now have a copy of the manual. Previously, the only copy I was able to find was in French. Once again, Steve has come across with another great scanned manual! I suspect Steve will have it posted on the TCI library eventually.
For those unfamiliar with Sidekicks and what they can do, here is a small portion of its description from a promotional circular:

Tempo Sidekick Copper Loop Testers

1.1 GENERAL DESCRIPTION

The SIDEKICK 7B, which combines the functions of a Longitudinal Balance Tester with a Volt-Ohmmeter/Kickmeter, is used to quickly determine the noise susceptibility of dry or idle working pairs. Used regularly, the SIDEKICK 7B will reduce repeat reports and improve the customer’s quality of service. The SIDEKICK T&N provides all of the features of the SIDEKICK 7B plus five transmission and noise tests. The additional tests determine circuit operating parameters of POTS facilities as well as load coil presence. The SIDEKICK T&N’s thorough circuit analysis simplifies problem identification.

NOTE:
Operating features specifically identified as “SIDEKICK T&N Only” apply only to the SIDEKICK T&N. Features not labeled as such are common to both instruments and operate in an identical manner.

The SIDEKICK’s patented Stress Test determines the capacitive and series resistance balance characteristics of telephone pairs.When this test is activated, the SIDEKICK excites the pair in a longitudinal, or simplex fashion, through a network that is perfectly balanced between Tip and Ring. The SIDEKICK’s analog meter simultaneously measures the audible noise produced when the 90 dBrnC power influence encounters imbalances on the pair.

OPERATING MANUAL • SIDEKICK®
1
SECTION 1 GENERAL
2
1.2 FEATURES
• Stress Test.
• Leakage Test.
• Volt-Ohmmeter.
• Kickmeter.
• Analog meter provides instant readout.
• Low battery warning indicator.
• Handset (buttset) terminals.
• Field replaceable test leads.
• Single hookup for Tip-Ring, Tip-
Ground, and Ring-Ground testing.
• Minimal drying effect in all ranges.
• Simplex tone.
• Automatic shut-off.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2013, 02:56:00 PM by DavePEI »
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Offline DavePEI

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Re: Tempo Sidekick 7B and T&N Stress Leakage Cable Testers, Tempo E2520 TDR
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2013, 09:37:12 PM »
One thing I would love to find is a nylon (cordura) carry case for the above instrument, original if possible, but any nylon or fabric case appx. 11 x 5  x 3 inches would suffice. Please let me know if you might have such an item!

I have found a source for a case for the Sidekick 2B, other than the very expensive original case from Greenlee...

Still, if cost me twice what the complete instrument cost me:

http://store.mohawkltd.com/Tempo-TandN-and-7B-sidekick-ReplacementCase/P3111_876/

However, it will keep the instrument safe and help to keep it working for a longer time...

Dave

« Last Edit: September 14, 2013, 02:56:57 PM by DavePEI »
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Offline DavePEI

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Re: Tempo Sidekick 7B and T&N Stress Leakage Cable Testers, Tempo E2520 TDR
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2013, 06:41:44 PM »
Today, I have added to my harem of Tempo Cable testers - I have bought a Tempo Sidekick T&N Stress Leakage Cable Tester in addition to the previous 7B tester. I got this I believe for a very good price compared to many on-line prices for these, and it is in good shape...

The 7B will be used on display, and the TN in the workshop.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=190896945689

The SIDEKICK T&N provides all of the features of the SIDEKICK 7B plus five transmission and noise tests. The additional tests determine circuit operating parameters of POTS facilities as well as load coil presence.

The SIDEKICK T&N’s thorough circuit analysis simplifies problem identification.

The first photo shows the TN version - the second shows the limited available options in a 7B, and below the line/arrow the additional options of a TN version.

The TN arrived Sept 25th in mint condition, I am pleased to say!

Dave
« Last Edit: October 05, 2013, 09:13:44 AM by DavePEI »
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Offline DavePEI

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Re: Tempo Sidekick 7B and T&N Stress Leakage Cable Testers, Tempo E2520 TDR
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2013, 06:10:52 AM »
Amongst Tempo/Progressive Electronics other Telco products is the widely used 77HP toner and 200EP Inductive Amplifier. Most likely you will recognize these. I have older versions of both, which at the time were yellow. The 77HP would be connected to a line with clip leads, and the line could be traced and identified using the 200EP.

I have used mine to trace telephone wiring through though switchboard wiring bundles, in and around the museum and in many other ways. Note also; the 200EP can also be used to trace AC lines, by listening for the 60 Hz. AC signal from the line (toner not needed). It will "see" the 60 cycle current through several inches of wall and give a good indication of where the line is. If disconnected at the panel, the toner could be clipped to the line, and the normal signal traced in the same manner. However, in this application, I have always found the 60 cycle in the line to be sufficient.

In older times, an AT-8629 Test Probe (banana probe) would be used for a tracer, with the tabs of the probe clipped to your butt set. (See bottom photo) This past weekend, I picked up another of the banana style probes in a turquoise colour.

The advantage of the 200EP is greater sensitivity and the speaker being part of the probe making a three handed operation into a single handed operation. With the 200EP you don''t have to worry about the clips constantly falling off and trying to balance the butt set at your ear - after all I only have two hands  ;). However, I just wanted to point out both will work.

I have used my toner many times tracing wiring inside the walls and equipment in the museum. I recommend the acquisition of a Toner/Inductive Amplifier to anyone who does a moderate amount of premise wiring, or who is attempting to trace wiring through devices such as a switchboard.

These are relatively trouble free devices, though mine is many years old, all it has required through the years is occasional replacement of 9 volt batteries. They can be quite expensive if bought new, but some real deals may be found on eBay for lightly used ones.

As with all alkaline battery powered equipment, batteries should be changed at least on a yearly basis to prevent the possibility of battery corrosion.

Now to round out my suite of cable testing equipment, someday I hope to add a portable TDR (Time Domain Reflectometer) unit to locate bad spots within wires. It would tell me exactly how far down a line a fault is located. However it is not likely I will find one which is affordable within this lifetime ;D One can always dream.

Dave
« Last Edit: September 24, 2013, 05:06:22 AM by DavePEI »
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Offline DavePEI

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Re: Tempo Sidekick 7B and T&N Stress Leakage Cable Testers, Tempo E2520 TDR
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2013, 09:29:29 AM »
Hi All:

This morning, I won an auction on a Tempo E2520 handheld TDR unit via Best Offer, for a very good price. Mind you, it isn't in perfect shape - the former owner left the batteries in it for too long, and they have corroded the battery contacts. It is being sold as untested (tr. Usually means they tried their darndest to get it to work and couldn't, so they are selling it as untested). However, I should be able to fix it, and if I can, I will have what is a very expensive instrument for a low price.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/330978214663

With these recently purchased items, I will have to reign back expenditures for a while, but they will certainly increase the cable tracing abilities in the museum's workshop, and they will be available for display.

A TDR unit can be used for a number of purposes. It can be clipped onto a roll of cable, and will tell you the length of good wire until the end of the roll (open end). It can be clipped onto a damaged line (open or shorted), and it will display the number of feet until the damaged section of  the cable.

Update Sep 23 2013: My TDR has arrived, and beyond the bad battery contacts, it works 100%, I have currently got it operating using an external battery pack, and am on the lookout for a new back/battery holder (incorporated into the back). Sadly, two contacts were entirely corroded out - the rest cleaned up nicely with vinegar, but not too late for the missing contacts. I also need proper test leads for the unit as the proper ones will give the best results. While I can get leads that are shorter, apparently the leads have to be 6.5 feet long for accurate distance results. I may end up having to make them to that length by myself.

Other than that, the case/microprocessor/display are perfect and with the external battery, it works perfectly. The battery fits nicely in the documentation pocket of its nylon case. I will play with it a bit then eventually put photos of sample waveforms for various measurements on! The photo below has been updated to show my actual unit. Since the photo was taken, I have redone the temporary battery leads with heat shrink tubing insulating the connections.



Display with no cable connected showing open and
0 feet of line under test.

Display with no cable connected showing short and
0 feet of line under test.

It is showing 0 ft., as there is no cable actually under test. I am awaiting the arrival of a set of 6' 6" test cables, needed to get accurate results (or wait for wire and bed of nails clips and shrouded banana plugs to arrive so I can make them).

Photo on right top shows the TDR with open test leads. Photo on right bottom shows the TDR with shorted test leads. A shorted cable will give an inverted peak as shown in the second photo. Other faults have their own distinct signatures.

A TDR works on a similar process to radar. A signal is sent down the cable, and faults beyond that point will reflect a portion of that signal back to the unit (basically what is known to Hams as  SWR), and that signal is parsed and shown on the display. The time of the signal's return can be displayed in feet. By the appearance of the trace, you can tell the distance to the fault, whether the line is open or shorted at that point, will show a good or bad splice, wet splice, if there is water in the cable, and if there is a loading coil in the line.

Dave
« Last Edit: October 09, 2013, 09:11:21 PM by DavePEI »
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Offline DavePEI

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Re: Tempo Sidekick 7B and T&N Stress Leakage Cable Testers, Tempo E2520 TDR
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2013, 09:01:26 PM »


My reason for posting these isn't to say, "Lookee, See What I've Got", it is to introduce people to instruments they might not come across otherwise, that are very helpful in telephone work - all instruments I have wished I had in the past. Most of these in this thread are more applicable to running and repairing existing lines, and can make that work much easier. Faults such as shorts and opens in lines can be identified and located much easier than replacing cable section by section, and much time can be saved. Even things such as ring trip faults and waterlogged cables can be identified easily.

I hope those interested only in getting a phone to work will forgive me, but for anyone doing any extensive cable work, this will be of interest.




Most of these instruments are pretty well self explanatory. Does anyone think a tutorial on  checking cables using TDR would be of interest, coupled by display photos showing various faults and line lengths?

I was thinking this might be something interesting to do and perhaps would be a help to others tracing cable faults...

If people think it might be a good idea, perhaps this is something I could do, once the correct length of test cable is received.  If you feel it isn't worthwhile, or if there is little or no interest, I will save myself the time, and will post it only to the museum site. I post this type of information here in case it may someday be of use for someone.

More updates in the TDR description above.

Dave
« Last Edit: September 24, 2013, 05:03:38 AM by DavePEI »
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Offline DavePEI

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Re: Tempo Sidekick 7B and T&N Stress Leakage Cable Testers, Tempo E2520 TDR
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2013, 02:40:45 PM »
Hi All:

Just a bit of a follow-up on this thread. Today, finally, two pieces of 18 Gauge silicon covered test cable arrived from China.  It is frustrating, as this took a month to come. Previously, two bed of nails clips and insulators arrived from the U.S., and two shrouded banana plugs arrived from the UK.

I shrunk 1 inch sections of heat shrink tubing every 10 inches along the cable cutting off the cable at the 6 1/2 foot length as called for in the manufacturer's recommendations. The banana plugs were soldered to one end, and the bed of nails clips to the other.

So, finally I have a cord for the TDR unit, the correct length and with the correct ends. Also, last week, a BNC-Male to Double Banana Plug Connector arrived which mates to the TDR for testing of coaxial type cables.

I was never able to find an original cable for it, but this cable works perfectly. So for slightly over $100, I have an instrument worth $1200 and now all of its accessories. I love it when a plan comes together!

Dave
« Last Edit: October 26, 2013, 06:43:23 AM by DavePEI »
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Offline Bill

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Re: Tempo Sidekick 7B and T&N Stress Leakage Cable Testers, Tempo E2520 TDR
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2013, 04:51:34 PM »
Dave -

As you said, the TDR first sends out a pulse (transmit mode), then listens for the echo of that pulse (receive mode). It takes a certain amount of time for the circuit to switch from transmitting to receiving, and the TDR is effectively blind during that time. How long is that switching time? My guess is that it is about 10 nanoseconds, which is about 6.5 feet of cable. In other words, the only reason for the 6.5 feet of test lead cable is simply to ensure that the entire test item (cable) is beyond the "blind" distance.

So if you hook the test item directly to the TDR, without the 6.5 feet of test leads, the TDR will still find any faults or discontinuities beyond 6.5 feet. And if it has a distance calibration (the screens shots suggest that it does), then the distance readout will be in error by 6.5 feet.

Nothing to get excited about, in other words.

[Or is it 20 nanoseconds - the two-way propagation through 6.5 feet of cable? Same conclusion.]

Bill

Offline DavePEI

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Re: Tempo Sidekick 7B and T&N Stress Leakage Cable Testers, Tempo E2520 TDR
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2013, 06:53:39 PM »
Dave -

As you said, the TDR first sends out a pulse (transmit mode), then listens for the echo of that pulse (receive mode). It takes a certain amount of time for the circuit to switch from transmitting to receiving, and the TDR is effectively blind during that time. How long is that switching time? My guess is that it is about 10 nanoseconds, which is about 6.5 feet of cable. In other words, the only reason for the 6.5 feet of test lead cable is simply to ensure that the entire test item (cable) is beyond the "blind" distance.

So if you hook the test item directly to the TDR, without the 6.5 feet of test leads, the TDR will still find any faults or discontinuities beyond 6.5 feet. And if it has a distance calibration (the screens shots suggest that it does), then the distance readout will be in error by 6.5 feet.

Nothing to get excited about, in other words.

[Or is it 20 nanoseconds - the two-way propagation through 6.5 feet of cable? Same conclusion.]

Bill

Hi Bill:

Yes, switching time is 10 ns, and that is why they called for 6.5 feet of cable. The reason that I wanted to use that correct length was to eliminate the error in distance measurement... Many of the times I will be using this will be for distances under 100 feet, so the more accurate I can get the distance reading, the better. If I were checking a mile's worth of cable, it would be less significant.

Dave
« Last Edit: October 26, 2013, 06:47:21 AM by DavePEI »
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