A Boonton 190A Q Meter

A while ago I was at a local Ham flea market where someone was selling an old Boonton 190A Q meter.

What I noticed right away was the green calibration verification sticker on it. I recognized the sticker and my first thought was that if my initials were on it. The initials were not mine but I knew whose initials they were. I did not have much use for a Q Meter but I bought it anyway mainly for the history behind it.

The Q Meter was out of the old Northern Electric (NorTel) Shearer Street plant in Montreal. It is now called the Nordelec Building. My first real job was in this plant. I repaired and calibrated production and lab test equipment there before moving on to the Field Engineering group. To get an idea how old this instrument is the calibration date on the sticker was September 1972. It came with a preliminary operation manual with some calibration sheets but there wasn't a complete calibration history. The earliest results were dated June 1954.

In September of 1972, I worked in the same room where this instrument was last checked. It's also possible that I may have repaired or calibrated it around that period. It eventually made it's way to Calgary Alberta.

I haven't done anything with the Q Meter other than plugging it in to see if it still works by checking a few coils I had on hand. It still does work but there appears to be excessive drift in a zero setting. Someday I may even fix it. A complete Q190A service manual was found on the BAMA site.

The Northern Electric Shearer Street plant was an amazing place. They manufactured at the time just about any electronic component you can think of and probably a lot you cannot think of. They also manufactured complete products like long haul microwave radios including the required metal work.

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