Micro-Tel MSR-904A Microwave Receiver: crosshair, imagesetting film printing, remote control input

Some more progress related to the MSR-904A:

(1) The crosshair. The old one is badly damaged.
msr-904a crosshair

Sure, I could just use a laser or inkjet printer, but with a laser, the resolution is not good-doesn’t look sharp enough. With inkjet, I doubt it would be permanent enough, and also there, the printout is never sharp enough. So I decided to go for the solution that also Micro-Tel used, so-called imagesetting film. Back home in Germany, not problem, but here – first I need to find a source. Turns out, not too difficult, about 20 USD for 8 pcs of crosshair (minimum order fee), a company located in New Jersey, not around the corner, but not far. 2400×2400 dpi, acetate/emulsion film.

With a film printing service identified, we need to get the digital data, of the crosshair. With the human eye being a pretty precise tool to determine even small differences, and aiming for perfection with the replica – first, determined the line width and distances with a measurement microscope. Such a little microscope is extremely handy, I use it all the time for inspecting circuit boards, etc.

msr-904a crosshair measurement microscope

msr-904a crosshair measurement
one of the big divisions: 0.275 mm (26 pt at 2400 dpi) wide. Line is about 0.125 (12 pt at 2400 dpi) wide.

Here – a reconstruction drawing:

The new prints should be in the mail tomorrow!

(2) The remote control input: a 37 pin connector! Fortunately, not all wires are connected (x in the draft).

msr-904a remote control input

Controlling the function, bands and IF bandwidth, and detector characteristics (log-lin), all fairly straightforward. All of these inputs seem to have pull-up resistors, so grounding them works fine to switch. This is quite hand for control via optocoupler – no external voltage required.

The IF attenuator – traced the lines to the control board, it is a BCD control input, 2×4 bit. Unfortunately, I can’t get it to switch… the ‘enable’ signal doesn’t seem to reach the control board – more effort will be required to trace this last line! – Solved: a broken trace on one of the logic boards!

Some of the pins, despite having wires attached to them, remain unidentified – or might be reserved for options not implemented. Except for the IF attenuator control enable signal, all functions needed have been identified anyway.

msr-904a remote control input pinout

(3) The remote frequency control input – analog voltage: quick check with a frequency counter connected to the LO sample, and a DC voltage supplied – it is a 0 to 10 V input.
Scaling of the input voltage can be adjusted on the A6B2 board, R56 is for the mid-range adjustement (offset – supply 5 V and adjust for mid-band frequency), R68 is the gain adjustment (set at 0 V, and adjust for lower band limit; check setting at 10 V – should be at the high end of the band – and it really is).

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