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“Do frequency meters ever misread?”
It’s known to happen. Older frequency counters can drift off calibration due to the same reason why a crystal oscillator would drift…the reference crystal in the counter drifts off spec, thus causing it to misread and display an inaccurate frequency count.
Ya I would not worry about the 8Khz offset on the Veronica unit. At least not until a digital receiver starts having problems locking onto the carrier when its modulated. Not sure about the Radio Shack meter’s tolerances. At one time products from Radio Shack had not just specifications in the manuals, but a schematic too on the last page.