agreed, but from a development POV it is cost effective.
I think a TS-1 but with a smart rotary encoder instead of simple full range pot could be faster yet.It would be interesting to put the TS-1 beside an NTI and compare the amount of time it takes users to get "800 Hz at -23 dBu" or some other oddball combo into a load. I'm thinking the TS-1's "analog" user interface would get me there quicker. The single scroll wheel selecting level and function bothers me.
My thought process on a TS-1 revisit is evolving.... I have two TS-1 around my shop, with one still working (mostly). Not bad for 30+ years in the field. I bet there are lots of these out in the wild still used (if working) and loved by their owners. What the world might like is a drop in PCB that could replace the guts of the original TS-1 and perform all the original functions, perhaps even better, but more alike than different (like an old friend).Not sure what Pascal's goal is but having a modern board in a TS-1 style box with big bright LEDs seems appealing to me. I've never had interest in the NTI stuff for analog.
If one did go whole hog DSP for tone generation and analysis I'd put a mic and low bit rate recorder in it to produce voice circuit-identifier messages. If you're in a broadcast TOC and you've got tone coming at you from 14 different sources its hard to identify where its coming from or if you have the right circuit. The generator could announce its circuit ID and location. A small monitor amp with miniature internal speaker tied to the input would also be useful at the far end of that tone.
I did a product I called "The Identifier" using ISD chips that alternated between message and tone. It ran for weeks on 4X AA batteries and was low-cost enough to be disposable. It read out the circuit ID, provided reference level and let other people know that circuit was in-use.
If i could replace the LED with LCD display, I could easily support good battery life. As I already suggested a smart rotary encoder for frequency could be faster and easier to hit spot frequencies... a similar smart level encoder could use the same algorithm for tweaking fine levels.
Covering the +20dBu output might require using an output transformer since I would run this from a low voltage battery rail. That +20dBu does not need to drive low Z but 600 ohm would be really nice... Original TS-1 had 51 ohm resistor in series with output (from a TL074 op amp so 2k drive capability) and measured the drop to impute load impedance. (of course with a micro, the impedance measurement could do the lookup table in the micro).
I bet a lot of people would pay a few hundred US dollars to bring their TS-1 back to life. Better control interface and battery power would be huge pluses.
I'll need to soak this in beer for a few nights.