10 August 2021

Topward TFG-8104: does it work?

Does the Topward TFG-8104 Function Generator (from the previous post) work? Well, considering the source, the correct question is: "What is broken in the Topward TFG-8104 that I now own?"

A Topward Function Generator TFG-8104 in mint aesthetic conditions.

While it looks good aesthetically - if you ignore the heavy uniform yellowing of the plastic case -, some tools are needed to determine how the inner electronics are doing.

First test: power-up. It is quite likely that someone else has plugged it in before selling the device, so a power-on harm has probably already been done. There's always a bit of adrenaline shock when pushing the ON button, and the red LED lights up. Nothing else can be tested using eyes and nose.

Next check: does it generate something? This step is easily done with the recently acquired Hantek oscilloscope, that is now resting in its box out of sight and immediate use.

First of all I tried tuning the generated signal on an AM radio. It is easier to slowly sweep the generator over the tuned frequency than doing it in reverse. Got it. With and without modulation. Good sign, it's worth going further. Oscilloscope? Not yet.

I opted for a more fun approach: understand as much as possible with a simple multimeter.

How would you do that? What can you check?

You can contribute in the comments, and read how it I did in the next post.

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