05 August 2021

Topward multimeter and function generator - for repair

I got two Topward instruments at a fundraising event: they give away truly untested and almost certainly broken electronic devices that might have a second chance of life in a different form. Most of the hardware available is composed of old computers and parts from 10-20 years ago, with the occasional electric/electronic lab novelty.

Topward TFG-8104 and 1302
Topward TFG-8104 and 1302.

I brought home a Topward Function Generator TFG-8104 and a Topward Digital Multimeter 1302. Built in mid-1980's in Taiwan by a company that is still around in 2021, and has released scans of manuals and diagrams.

Both boxes are very light, even though they contain a real transformer. I initially thought they were empty! I would say that even back in 1980's these guys were entry level devices and according to the front panel wear, they haven't been used much.

The multimeter seems OK. Voltage readings are all a bit low. Resistance is in the right ballpark and I haven't measured a current, which is the faulty part in other multimeters around my lab.

The function generator, while quite obsolete today, it provides uncalibrated 0.1 Hz to 2 MHz sine/square/triangle and AM/FM modulation, which makes it suitable for driving optical transmitters or "transmitting" a signal to a nearby AM radio. I had a look at the schematic diagram before buying it and its use of standard components makes it very suitable for repairs, which is the fun part I am looking for.