I am sorry and understand your frustration about this matter. At the end of the day, you, with a few words, went to the core of the matter, while we, the Wiseguys, the "We Know All Engineers" were not able to deliver what the less experienced guy really needs: certainty about the way to go. I apologise for this in all humility, for the most important scope of a Community Forum is to provide real help and clear cut information to other guys who need it and who share our interest in Radio Communications. What I should have done from the first would have been to write what comes next.
1) I have started using the Noise Generator in question in June 2018 and published work using it here:viewtopic.php?f=5&t=3352
2) I purchased it as I was curious to learn by my own means how a such a low cost, wideband Noise generator would behave.
3) I was in fact gladly surprised by the performance I saw, considering the price, but MOST OF ALL I WAS HAPPY BECAUSE THE GENERATOR HAD VERY HIGH RF OUTPUT
WHICH IS IDEAL FOR PASSIVE FILTER TESTING. In fact the higher the output, the higher the DYNAMYC RANGE
you can measure on the Spectrum Analyser.
2) The BG7TBL was quoted by the vendor for a supply voltage of 12 V, but this was wrong information and the last amplifier stage failed after 15 days of operation. I bought another one, mounted it on a slab of wood together with a 9 V AC-DC power supply and this generator has been working happily in my lab since the end of June 2018. I also repaired the failed generator by bypassing the failed amplifier and use this when I need less RF output. SO, ACCORDING TO MY EXPERIENCE, THIS IS A RELIABLE PIECE OF EQUIPMENT, capable of working continuously for months. Additionally, it does not need any "modification": it works well enough as is.
3) In summary, according to my FIRST HAND experience, the generator is reliable and outputs the power you need to test the filter you wish to build. Furthermore I have published RF levelling performance in this thread, so you have all the info you need to take your decision and buy it. THIS IS THE SAME QUESTION OF ILLLIM WHO JUST NEEDED INFORMATION ON WHAT I HAD USED TO TEST THE FILTERS DESCRIBED IN THE THREAD and who also must have been confused and dismayed, learning from a single reference that the generator that had been used to develop the filters was "Chinese junk".
4) On the contrary the $100 generators advised by Roger do not fill the bill because, although they are more accurate in the stated frequency range, their power output, by reading their specs, is far lower. Then you have to start looking for a wideband amplifier etc., so you initiate a process that perhaps will take more effort than building the filter itself, while the $15 unit, fit for the purpose, is available already. This is what happens when you give advice based on the experience of others, while you only have some background theoretical experience. In fact it came as a surprise to me to read in his last post that Roger had not tested the unit himself.
To conclude, I agree the references provided by Roger are confusing: going through them you find horror (ridicolous?) stories, like that quickly noted by you about excessive heat and cooking eggs on the generator's board. And this brings me to another important point: you cannot publish references to the work and/or opinions of others without accepting any responsibility
. You cannot, as Roger did, publish ONE reference stating that the generator is junk and stating you should not buy it, period and then deny any responsibility, refusing to come to a certain conclusion, as I read in his last post. This is not helping the other guy at all. I think it is much better service to the Community to write about YOUR OWN experience: any guy, in need for more information, can go and look on Internet on his own and form his own opinion, without the help of us, the Know All Engineers.
Sdrom33, do carry on with your work, I am very pleased that my effort with the filters is found to be useful by other Forum Members.