Why I have Some 704s

Many years ago when I first got into the biz, I climbed the ladder the old fashioned way. I started as installer, got promoted to Plant Maintenance and then on to many other jobs including chief flunky. At one time, I had worked in every position in my company, except General Manager.

Along the way, I became responsible for a spell for our repair bench, and all of the test equipment associated with it. Going through the back shelves, I came across an old field strength meter that gasp (!), plugged into the wall instead of using batteries. I fired it up and checked it out on the calibrator. It worked pretty well.

As it turns out, it was the veritable Jerrold 704b.

Those of us there back then could only imagine what it was like to haul that beast up a pole, extension cord dangling down and plugged into — something? — What the heck did you guys plug those things into back in the day? I can’t imagine that your trucks had generators. Or did they?

Maybe the 704 was just used in the headend?

Anyway, when I left that organization back in the late 1980’s, I did not take the meter with me. It wasn’t mine to take. But over time, I missed it. And I wanted one. And then one day, I found one. I bought it. And then I bought another. And another. And… And now I have EIGHT of these things! My prize puppies are a pair of 704A’s S/N’s 412 and 504. As far as I know, #412 is the earliest 704A still in existence.

I also have 704B #8197. Only Graham and Jonathon have newer units.

So that’s my story.

Now, if someone will just nominate me into the Loyal Order…. I’m not kissing Pinky though!

–Dennis (30.5 years in CATV…I never meant for this to be my career!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *