Off-topic, but interesting (Fiorina fired)

From: Philip Pemberton <>
Date: Thu Feb 10 19:27:54 2005

In message <>
          Scott Stevens <> wrote:

> Your 555 will last a lot longer than his 466. No portable Tek scope
> newer than the Tek 453 was made without almost entirely unobtainable
> custom ICs. I have a 465M but have no illusions that it will be
> servicible forever.

Tek 2445: Full of Tek custom hybrids, renowned for letting out copious
          quantities of Magic Smoke. Most common fault: Hybrids.
Tek 466: A couple of hybrids (2x Y amps IIRC), plus a state machine PROM
          (full code listing in the service manual). Most common fault: power
          supply or cooling fan.
Tek 555: No idea - I haven't seen the service manual for one of those :)

> of the tube-based 5xx series.

They're tube based? Heh. Bulletproof then.

> But the old line, with the passive components point-to-point on fired
> ceramic mountings,

Aren't they the ones you have to use a special silver-bearing solder on? I
seem to recall reading about Tek putting a small roll of solder inside the
chassis of every scope that used the ceramic mountings.

> To back-comment to something said earlier, I have never been that
> impressed with HP's scopes, particular in comparison to Tek scopes of
> the same era.

To be honest, I wasn't that impressed when I had a look round a few surplus
dealers a while back. I paid ?35 +VAT for my 466 in a liquidation auction.
Also got a rather nice Farnell L30B power supply (?6 +VAT) and a Fluke DMM
for ?8 +VAT. Not too bad IMO.

> HP made a lot of good gear, but their scopes weren't
> notable in many ways. I've known people who actively disliked the
> old-line HP scopes, and not for subjective/political reasons. I'd take
> a Tek 547 over any analog scope from HP anyday.

I think the only thing HP really made well were logic analysers. The only
thing I've got against my 1651B is its total inability to send a screendump
(in raw format) over the GPIB link under the control of a GPIB master. If
you want screendumps, you have to hook a serial cable up *and* a GPIB cable.
Use the GPIB to issue commands, then grab the data off the serial cable. Then
after that, you've got to decode the PCL data back into a TIFF file or
whatever. Ick.
I've hacked together some software to do it, but it's not really production
quality... That and it's written around the CEC-488 API, not the NI-488 API,
which kinda limits you to using it on CEC GPIB hardware.

Phil.                              | Acorn Risc PC600 Mk3, SA202, 64MB, 6GB,              | ViewFinder, 10BaseT Ethernet, 2-slice,          | 48xCD, ARCINv6c IDE, SCSI
... Wanted a pair of watch dogs, named the pups Timex and Rolex.
Received on Thu Feb 10 2005 - 19:27:54 GMT

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