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What is this "Radio Engineering Laboratories Wavemeter Cat. 125"?

I do not know the history of this device or where we got it from. The text on top has an "REL" logo (Radio Engineering Laboratories) and "WAVEMETER CAT. 125 SER. NO. 2041". There are three big coils on the compartment with different amounts of turns on them, and they mount to the screw things on the side. The awesomely cool knob goes from 0 to 100, but spins all the way around...it may have come loose inside. The lightbulb-looking thing has a standard Edison base, but isn't connected, just poked into the hole, I think the socket fell out. It looks like a neon lamp of some sort. There was also a laminated card in the box, a scan is attached.

What the heck is this thing? All Google came up with was a court case where someone sued REL in 1934.

Picture of What is this
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Re-design7 years ago
You have a piece of radio history.  It's pretty old.  Probably a piece of lab equipment.

PLEASE DON'T TAKE IT APART.  You won't learn much from it.

Go to this web site and post you pictures, ask them what you've got and you'll get several offers to buy it.  These don't show up often.

It may be worth less than $100 or could possibly be worth more than $1000.  It just depends exactly which model, maker etc.

That tube is called an "eye tube".  It lights up green when working.
CameronSS (author)  Re-design7 years ago
I did kinda take it apart, in that I removed three screws to open up the front cover. All it has is a monstrous tuning capacitor on the knob and a bunch of wires that aren't connected to anything, so I think it's junk. I'll still see if anyone desperately needs the parts, but if not, it'll probably be dismantled or modded.
Opening it up is okay.  Just don't dismantle it until you find out if it is rare or valuable.

It sounds like someone might have already had their way with it but you would be surprised to find out what some people start with and restore to perfect condition.
Dr.Bill7 years ago
What you have there is an early grid dip meter to find resonant frequencys.
When the light glowed brightest you were on frequency.
Want to sell it ?
CameronSS (author)  Dr.Bill7 years ago
I am willing to sell it if someone makes an offer I like. So far, I've had multiple people tell me that "someone" will buy it, but no one's actually offered. I'm in no hurry to sell it, I'm fine with it sitting around here looking mysterious, but it's available if someone wants it.
Contact ARRL 1-888-277-5289 toll free # they can help you find a buyer maybe.
Goodhart7 years ago
Have you tried looking at Radio Links sites?
 
lemonie7 years ago
(Without checking) It looks like a device to measure wavelength. The knob tunes a circuit, and the bulb lights at maximum brightness when it's fully tuned (like a radio station sounds best when it's properly tuned with a knob). The chart tells you what the wavelength from the knob position and which coil you've mounted.
It's essentially a radio-receiver, probably coupled to a simple amplifier which powers the bulb instead of a speaker. Usage? checking transmitters or finding transmissions I guess?

L
Burf7 years ago
That is a  wave meter, a device for measuring radio wave lengths or frequency. That one looks like it may have been made for the military. I believe what you call a light bulb is probably a tube, a diode perhaps.
I remember when I was a young kid, my grandpa was a radio fanatic and he had a 'Wavemeter"  but his was a different style and manufacturer, Edison I think it was.
He kept it in his basement along with a bunch of crystal radio receivers and transmitters, batteries and other stuff that I don't have a clue as to what it was. He would show the equipment to me and explain what it did and how it worked, but my memory is a hazy now because that was more than 50 years ago.