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Azur Electronics

Spectrum Analysis Progress and Problems is a short review of how far I have got with this project and what's holding me up. 
Bearing in mind that I'm starting from scratch so I know little about Spectrum Analysis. I have a limited amount of time to spend on this hobby, so work proceeds in occasional short bursts. I generally learn something new every time. 
October 2006

Bought a HP 141T Display Section, HP 8555A RF Section 10MHz to 18GHz, HP 8552B IF Section in good condition.

Huge learning curve in reading downloaded Manuals. Inspected units and powered up ok. System all working.
Now Sold.

November 2006

Bought a damaged HP 8553B RF Section 1kHz to 110MHz. Downloaded Manual. Completely stripped down, damaged parts replaced (thanks Robert), a few faults fixed and re-assembled.
Now Sold.

December 2006

Bought a untested HP 8556A LF Section 20Hz to 300kHz. Downloaded Manual.
Now Sold.

Bought 2 off HP 8443A Tracking Generator Counter, 1 in good condition and 1 for spares. Downloaded Manual. Inspected good unit and powered up ok.
Now Sold.

Spare unit stripped down to assembly level for spares to resell, see HP 8443A Parts.

Attenuators used to make stand-alone attenuator unit, see Azur ATN105 RF Attenuator.
Now Sold.

April 2007

Bought a HP 8445B Automatic Preselector with inter-connecting cables. Downloaded Manual. Inspected and powered up ok. Works ok with 141T.
Now Sold.

July 2008

No activity on this project for months! Too many other things going on. At last bought a HP 8444A Tracking Generator with a Manual.
Now Sold.

August 2008

Ordered the special inter-connect cables for the 8443A & 8444A to 141T from GLK Instruments. Occasionally these cables come up for sale on eBay but tend to sell for a similar price. Although expensive, probably better to buy some new ones. Cables arrived quickly, had forgotten about extra €50 for import duty! Very well made and tested ok.

At last, starting work on system testing. Apart from lack of time, I first had to get other basic items of test equipment tested such as Signal Generators, Frequency Counters, Power Meters, and DMM's.

Now tested are the HP 141T Display Section, HP 8552B IF Section, HP 8555A RF Section and HP 8444A Tracking Generator. Good progress this month.

January 2009

Wanted to use the Spectrum Analyser to test some cables and no display! Having moved the Analyser a few times maybe something had become dis-connected. Need to put it on the Bench and check it out. See Repair HP 141T Display Section and Repair HP 8552B IF Section.

February 2009

Repaired the fault in the 8552B causing no display. While the Spectrum Analyser is on the Bench started work on the 8553B and 8556A.

Tested the 8553B RF Section and 8556A LF Section both ok. It is essential that the special D-type connectors between the IF and RF or LF Section are correctly mated.

Tested HP 8443A Tracking Generator Counter.

March 2009

Bought a HP 08553-60122 50 Ohm Termination, which is used instead of the special cables when the Tracking Generators are not connected.
Now Sold.

Tested 8445B Automatic Preselector.

November 2014

Minor repair of 8552B and 8555A plus work on Operating Procedures.

Tested 8445B Automatic Preselector.

July 2018

Acquired some useful maintenance aids: HP 11592-60015 Plug-In Extender Assembly and HP 11592-60016 Inter-Connecting Cable.
Now Sold.

Plug-In Extender Assembly and Inter-Connecting Cable
July 2018

I have been looking out for a HP 8554B RF Section to complete the set, although its frequency range of 100kHz to 1,250MHz is provided by the other RF Sections.

Bought a 'Job Lot' of Spectrum Analyser parts which included a HP 8554B RF Section as well as: two HP 141T Display Section; HP 8552B IF Section; HP 8552A IF Section; HP 8554L RF Section; HP 8556A LF Section.  All to be tested when I have time, then sell the extra parts.
Now Sold.

October 2018

Started retesting all my existing Spectrum Analyser equipment, then next testing the 'Job Lot' of equipment.

November 2018

Tested all the 'Job Lot', a few tricky faults but now all working ok.

As well as the 8554B, I'm going to keep one of the 141T's and the 8552B as working spares, as these provide substitution units to help with trouble shooting. In the event of a fault occurring the problem unit can be more easily identified. A fault in one part of the system can often affect another part.
Now Sold.

The other 141T together with the 8552A and 8554L has been sold.

Complete Spectrum Analyser System 2018
Project Summary

Now have a complete Spectrum Analyser System with Tracking Generators for: low & audio frequencies 20Hz to 300kHz; video & radio frequencies 1kHz to 110MHz; VHF & UHF frequencies 100kHz to 1,250MHz; and microwave frequencies 10MHz to 18GHz (tracking to 1.3GHz).

Also have all the special inter-connecting cables and maintenance cables.

Performance testing has been completed as far as possible.

Operating information has been detailed as a quick reference for using the system.

Project completed.


I am selling my complete Hewlett Packard 141T based Spectrum Analyser System, 20Hz to 18GHz, together with all accessories. After completing various design projects, I need to downsize my Workshop and create some space. 
This has taken me quite a few years to collect and many hours to refurbish and test the equipment, accessories and system. I would much prefer to sell the whole system to another electronics enthusiast, rather than break it up and sell it all item by item on eBay.

Now Sold (thanks Alan).

October 2019

After researching various HP Spectrum Analysers, have bought a HP 8594E Spectrum Analyser 9kHz to 2.9GHz.