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Buying "Untested" Answered

Is buying "Untested" equipment on ebay OK? Many auctions have very low prices for equipment that was bought in a large lot and has no testing done other than "powers on." Is there a good chance that these equipments are totally fine and functional? For example: Oscilloscopes, function generators, frequency counters, multimeters, etc.


Most of that old electronic equipment like that is not calibrated Even something simple like a thermometer can loose accuracy by being dropped. It may work but if it hasnt been calibrated in 10 years then what use is it to you. Some stuff is so sensitive that you have to send it to the company or have a specialist come in and look at it. Check your physics/electronics department at your school, who knows maybe your professor knows how to calibrate them

Even something simple like a thermometer can loose accuracy by being dropped.

Of if it was an Oral thermometer, placing it in boiling water will destroy their accuracy too hums quietly to himself, while watching the birds in the trees ;-)

know what the difference between oral thermometer and a rectal one? .... taste

Aye, and sometimes color, depending on one's sanitation practices....

well calibration isn't an issue, for example, for a function generator I can hook it up to my oscilloscope. Also, I have acess to a lot of highly calibrated items at my school.

. Depends on what you want to use it for. As others have mentioned, accuracy is liable to be a problem - unlikely that you will find many that are "totally fine and functional." For a lot of DIY purposes, relative readings are good enough, so absolute accuracy is not needed. . Plan on getting a bad unit every now and then. Read the comments to see if a vendor has a high failure rate.

go for it if its cheap and passed a burn in test

If you have no way of testing the accuracy of the equipment, nor any way to tweak it so it is accurate, it is a good bet that they are selling it so cheap because it is NOT accurate; and therefore would be worthless to you.

BUT, if you can / know how to test and adjust the equipment, than it is probably good to get, as long as it functions to some extent (I have two analog scopes, one works, one does not, the working one, however, I have no way a testing it's accuracy, so they sit in the corner...).

Go for it if its cheap. If its a more pricey item forget it

It is buyer beware out there. I had a friend get some automotive testing equipment. The stuff worked - display worked, meter moved and lights up, etc. He just found it was not accurate to the tolerance that was needed, something the buyer did not disclose or could not test.