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As someone who's not a native English speaker as well (I`m Brazilian) and
being someone who knows quite well how fluent in English the French folks
usually are (no offense intended), I must say that your English is great.
I work for 18 years for KLM and since we have been bought by Air France
more than 10 years ago, I deal on a day-to-day basis with English speaking
French colleagues and managers and there haven't been too many in those
last 10 years that I can say writes in English as well as you do (and we
had quite a good sample from your first message :-) don't we?).
Remarkable if you only lived for 3 years in England!
By the way, you said you're on Aircraft maintenance business... I can't
refrain from asking... Do you work for Air France?
I happen to have some familiarity with AC maintenance as well. My (older)
brother used to be an AC maintenance engineer back in the eighties (for
Varig, the defunct Brazilian Airline) and my brother-in-law is an AC
maintenance engineer himself to day (in Air Canada).
Regarding your loooong message... I cannot speak for the others but, from
my side at least, consider yourself excused.
I share with you the feeling for Twitter... 144 characters is just too
short to be of any value! (I suppose it's just fair that I`m the first one
to reply to you).
As for your collection, for someone who's (only) 39 and not working
directly on the electronics / R&D or Repair / business, you have quite an
I wish I could say the same. I'm 53 and only one year ago I managed to get
my first Tek...this stuff is hard to get by in Brazil and when they show
up, it's always expensive.
Having welcomed you well enough, I remain telling you that I`m a novice in
Tek maintenance / restoration so, I am myself more of a reader than a
contributor on this message board, but you surely got to the place where
the most knowledgeable people are (not just in Tek gear, but in many areas,
as you will learn if you start following the threads).
I look forward seeing your questions about the issues on your equipment.
2017-06-17 19:20 GMT-03:00 vincent.trouilliez@... [TekScopes] <
Well... where to start.
Like most of you I assume, I am a hobbyist who likes old CRT scopes and
Tek in particular.
I am 39 and live in France. First and last time I subscribed to a
mailing-list was 20 years ago.. you chaps suddenly make me feel 20 years
younger, and for this alone, I want thank you ! LOL :-)
I understand (?) most of you are in the US, home land of Tek and birth
place of the electronics industry really.
As for electronics education, I started with electronics as far as I can
remember, from the age of 9 at school, (was born in 1977), in the early
'80's then, wiring an LED on a bread board as you do ! :-) Kept fiddling
with electronics at home, taking things apart, salvaging tons of parts just
because... until the age of 20, in 1998, when I got my French degree in
electronics. My "lab" back then was quite rudimentary. Then I moved for 3
years in the UK to try and get an engineering degree, a "BEng" at the
University of Hertforshire in Hatfiled, north London. that didn't work out.
Nothing to do with technical level though, but more to do with
"politics"... and me doing stupid mistakes due to young age, I do regret
now, but too late. Anyway, I obviously could not play with electronics in
my student room, not that the gear would have fitted in my car anyway. I
managed to pack my desktop computer and 17" CRT and large laser printer,
and a table, but that was already a challenge... we don't drive huge
pick-up trucks over here in western Europe ! ;-)
So, 3 years later I come back to France, with no engineering degree so
can't work in R&D/design which is all I am interested in really. So
basically I never could work in the electronics industry, and I eventually
gave up and moved on after nearly 10 years of depressing...
I trained for a year in another field I like, aeronautics. So I learned
how to repair an airframe. Assessing the damage, cutting-out what needs to
be taken off, crafting new custom parts by hand, and handing over a plane
that can actually safely fly again. That was 5 years ago. 5 years on, the
need for electronics, which has never faded at all, eventually led me to
building myself a new lab, after 20 years of void. mid-life crisis told me
that it was now about time to allow myself to do the things I really like.
Built the thing last fall, and throughout last winter, I spent all my
evenings on Ebay and the local ad site, searching for cool old gear I like,
to populate the workbench... it's so wonderful to now be able to buy top
quality professionnal gear that 20 years earlier I could only dream about !
Still some way to go to be fully operational/productive, but It's now
getting to the point of actually starting to be useful, so I have started
fiddling with electronics again, a little here, a little there...
But so far, most of my time is spent taking apart all the old test gear I
buy, so I can clean them thoroughly, refurbish or fix the little things
that need to, here and there, and generally see how its put together so I
can satisfy my curiosity and learn some thing from it.
As for scopes, I love old CRT scopes, especially Tektronix, though other
majors brands made some stuff I also like and will try to acquire at some
point. I have :
- an old analog scope, a German Hameg "HM604" (2x60MHz).
My first scope, courtesy of my dad 25 years ago when I was still at
school. Works like a charm, weil put together, love it.
Then 4 years ago I came across EEVBLOG, the guy somehow revived my love
for electronics and motivated me to get my act together and start fiddling
with electronics again. He also made somehow look it was actually possible
for a humble human being like me, to trouble shoot fancy
complex/professional test gear. He also somehow made me believe that it was
actually possible to solder SMD parts without multi-million dollar gear.
So, this led me to buying my second scope :
- A Tek TDS 360 (2x50MHz, digital). At school in 1996 or 97, I remember
our teacher in applied physics, unpacking a brand new TDS3XX (320 I think
it was), I was impressed and joyful every time I would see it on the bench.
I remember he said it cost 50,000 (French Francs back then, no Euro
currency at the time), which was the price of a small car brand new !
so, when I spotted that cheap/non-functional TDS360 for sale, it reminded
me of that ! I could not resist, bought it, thinking what the hell... cheap
so not much to lose ! Best case scenario I manage to fix it and I would
have a "modern" digital scope on top of my old analog Hameg, and it I can't
fix it well, at least I would have had some fun trying to troubleshoot it,
and would have leaned stuff along the way. So either way I would win, from
my point of view. Sadly I still have not fixed the thing ! LOL
Tried a bit when I got it, no luck. Then left it alone for 3 years, and
now that I have my lab, I dug it out and worked some more on it. it's a
bitch to fix, still working on it, so I bought the TDS 544A instead, much
better... Obviously I still want to fix the TDS 360, just for the "fun" of
it. Problem appears to be isolated to the front panel... connected to the
main CPU board via a serial port/UART. Experiments show that the front
panel is receiving and processing orders just fine from the main board, but
it fails to report back any action I make on any button. No matter what I
probe on this front panel (local CPU scanning the buttons, or data going
out on the TxD), everything says "it works".. but still, the scope does not
react at all whatever button I press or turn on the front panel, it's
deaf... but I will get there eventually, why shouldn't I...
Maybe the RxD trace on the main CPU board is somehow broken... unlikely I
know, but it really behaves like it ! Front panel sending stuff over the
serial line, but the scope not reacting in any way shape or form ! LOL :-/
- A Tek from the early '90s, a TDS 544A (4x500MHz, digital)
Love the TDS3XX since I discovered them at school, but later I found out
about the higher end 500/600/700 series... god I was in love ! LOL Such
high-tech gear, such performance, with so many features/functionality, and
well.. I justs love the way they look, how "technical"'/rational is that !
After searching a bit, I decided my dream would be a TDS 784D. but, unlike
some video on youtube where the guy pretended they could be had for 500
buck/USD.. in my neck of the woods they are very rare and even
un-tested/troublesome units sell for the equivalent of 3000 to 6000 USD,
2000 at the very least, rarely, but still no guarantee whatsoever that it
works, so quite an expensive gamble ! Not in my price range anyway.
So, I noticed the 500X series were easier to find and usually cheaper, so
still in the order of 1000 Euros.
9 months ago I eventually came across that TDS 544A. Ad looks great. For a
change, seller looked like he knew was he was talking about, actually a
professional electronic repair technician, and was happy to discuss with me
about the scope. Price was only 500 Euros. He got from the army, POST
reported many errors as always, Acquisition blah blah blah... he fixed all
that, and recapped the thing entirely, with uprated parts, don't remember
the specifics. So I could not resist, a nice TDS 544A, color, with the 50K
memory upgrade, all the interfaces you could dream about at the back, fully
tested and recapped/reliable... it was just by a long, long shot, the best
deal I had come across after months of daily search. Actually 9 months
later, I still have not found any other deal that good. So I am really
super happy I came across that one, and I just love it.
- A Tek from the '80s : a 2232 (2x100 "hybrid" analog + digital)
That being said, although I like having the TDS544A for "when you need
it"... it's noisy and takes 60seconds to start and draws a lot of
power/expensive electricity-wise. So I was looking for a trade off between
my old analog Hameg, and the TDS 544A "beast". I wanted one of those
"hybrid" scopes from the '80's, the bridge between old analog scopes, and
the soon to come advent of the full blown digital scope like the TDS
The Tek 2232 seemed like the best model in this regard. It offered a nice
analog scope (2x100MHz, dual time base, full featured triggering options,
on screen read-out, automatic probe detection, GPIB interface, XY plotter
interface....) and at the same time the possibility to switch to storage
mode for when it's actually useful. In my case, I find it useful when
looking at very slow signals where analog scopes are a a pain, and also to
catch non-repetitive signals obviously, like catching switch bounces, a
power supply powering up, whatever. Obviously the sampling rate/overall
performance of the digital board is pathetic, but for the aforementioned
use cases, ie "slow" stuff, it's perfectly suited.
And it's fast to start and less noisy and less power hungry than the TDS
544A. So, at least in my case, the Tek 2232 is an ideal general scope, it's
my main scope. The TDS544A I fire up when its performance or feature set is
The only thing that annoys me in the Tek 2232, is the fact that cursor
measurements only work in storage mode, which is inconvenient because the
performance in storage mode does not allow to play at high frequencies,
whereas in analog only mode, it's capable of 100MHz ! So it's quite
Even more so considering that, I gathered, some purely analog scope in the
22xx serie DO have cursor measurements available ! So.. why is it the 2232
can't do it in analog mode ?! Grrr....
But apart from that, I just love my 2232.
- A Tek from the '70s : a rack mount 5111.
Not that actually use in practice, but I wanted to have an older Tek !
TDSif from the early '90's, fully digital era. Teh 2232 is from the '80s,
halfway between analog and digital. I wanted to have a model from the 70's
to add to my little museum so to speak. I quite like the rack and plug-in
systems of that era, wanted one of those. Eventually came across a Tek
5111, knew nothing about it performance wise, but I just loved the way it
looked, was in great nick, fairly price, and was the rack mount form factor
I love, not the vertical/stacked/portable form factor which I find not so
good looking (so more practical of course). It looked cool with its two x4
channels plugins, 8 channels wow... and this "memory" feature, on an old
70's scope, I was intrigued, I was sold, bought it. Later I realized it was
limited to 2MHz and the vertical amplifiers were actually only 1MHz, so
indeed I could not do much with it. But still, since I am not into high
speed modern digital stuff at all, even 1MHz coudl be usefull. 8 channels
could be nice to probe many signals of a cirdcuit at once, can be handy.
Also, with this nice plug-in design, I can get buy other cool plug-ins to
extend the performance of features/capability of the scope. For example I
noticed find for this scope, dual time base plug-ins, a fancy curve tracer,
or even a differential amplifier... THAT is gold, a true diff input for a
few buck, whereas other wise an active diff probe costs a real fortune !
Sure, BW would be 2MHz tops at best, but again I am not into fast stuff so
could still be useful to probe around gear I am trying to fix, without the
need to use an isolation transformer.
So really, even that very humble 5111 makes me real happy, glad I bought
it, and will definitely in the future get some plug-ins to accompany him.
Then later I found out about the 7 series, still rack/plugins design but
with much greater bandwidth, so more useful. But I don't find them as good
looking, and they are much more expensive for what benefit, as I have the
TDS544A for performance stuff when required.
So, really I love my 3 Tek scopes, each from different era, each their own
charm, each their purpose in the lab. I love them all.
To add to my "collection", some day I would like an older model, from the
'60s. One with a round CRT and a valve/tube design. Don't know much about
valves, but came across a nice channel on youtube, "Mr Carlson's lab", that
chap loves all tube test gear, I am learning a lot of practical stuff with
him, I am less in the dark.
So this is it, that was my presentation... any question just ask ! LOL
Obviously I am not here just to say hello ! Other the TDS360 I am working
on, on and off (pun intended), my real problem at the moment is my beloved
Tek 2232 from which the magic smoke escaped all of a sudden, just a week
ago ! :-/
Not having any serious troubleshooting/repairing experience/skills, other
than the TD360, I was feeling rather depressed to be honest with you ! :-/
Asked for help on EEVBlog as it was the only place I knew, they helped
really a lot and am getting there, but they kindly pointed me to your
specialized Tek group full of experts, some of you being on EEVBlog as I
understand it, so hi to you if are reading this ! ;-)
I will therefore post a new thread about my 2232 issues, shortly...
Yes.... I promise I will work on being more concise in the future... here
I allowed myself to let loose, because it was a presentation, not a
technical discussion ;-) But it has to be said, I do admit it, that I am
not exactly of the 144 char/Tweeter "generation"/mindset... that is for
Anyway, I hope you will forgive any typo or weirdness/oddities in my
messages, given that I am hardly a native English speaker. French people
historically suck at English, it's a fact of life. Sure I spent 3 years in
the UK but still, I am not exactly a quick learner so there is still much
left to be desired ! :-/
Have a good week-end all ! :-)
Vince the Frog (well, I guess there must be a few more Frogs on here,
salut les gars...)