Re: Questions about TM mainframes with Option 2

Harvey White

On Thu, 05 Jul 2018 03:49:01 -0700, you wrote:

Hi all, first post here.

I'm looking to set up a TM 5000 series mainframe and trying to sort out the compatibility gotchas before I "pull the trigger" on one of these.

My main interest is in the differential amplifier plugins. I do mostly audio work and these are the ones I am thinking about:

TM5000 mainframe.


Question #1) Will the AM502 work in a 5000 series mainframe? (there seems to be conflicting information about whether or not 500 series plugins work in 5000 series mainframes)
There's a compatibility list in the archives here. IIRC, the answer
is no.

Question #2) If I get a 5000 series mainframe with Option 2 (w/ the BNC connector panel on the back of the unit), would I be able to wire from an A5xx plugin's single ended output to a BNC connector on the back panel, and then connect this to a standard o-scope input?
I don't think so. Not sure what the BNC on the back is, but it's
likely an output. Your TM5000 plugins DO NOT EVER fit into a 5000
series scope mainframe THEY ONLY FIT INTO A TM5000 SERIES RACK.

The 5Axx and 5Bxx are vertical and horizontal plugins, which while
they LOOK as if they should plug into a TM5000 series rack, DO NOT.
AND in addition the DC5010, the DM5010, the PS 5010, etc TM5000 units
DO NOT plug into an oscilloscope frame.

Seriously. They have the same pitch (spacing) connectors, but there's
a very specific key (piece of plastic inbetween the connectors) that
is different so you CANNOT plug into the wrong frame. Just don't even
try.... The voltages are WAY different, for one.

My understanding is that Tek 5000 series scopes' baseline sensitivity is 10 mV/division, so I'm assuming I can set my scope to 10 mV/division, hook up the BNC out (wired to the A5xx plugin's output) from the back of the TM 5000 series mainframe and just plug it into my scope. Does this sound right?
I'd say that you'd have to see how the TM5000 is wired, have the
TM5000 plugin in the right slot (the back panel stuff is hard wired to
a particular slot if wired at all), and then see what the output is.
You're likely to be happier taking a front panel output over to the
scope. Reading manuals will give you the details (which I do not
know). Both of my 5000 series scopes need work, and the TM5000's I
have I don't think I bothered to use the BNC's on the rear. DOn't
have the AM503, anyway.

I really appreciate any advice you have about this.
You got it. Please pay particular attention to the capital letters
(yes, either shouting or used as emphasis), because I think the points
made are rather important. Never heard anyone manage to mix the two

TM5000 was an upgrade to the TM500 series of plugin. Generally added
a microprocessor, an IEEE488 (HPIB) interface, local remote control of
the module and a relatively smart (pushbuttons not mechanical
switches) front panel interface.

Because of *some* similarities, the TM500 series of plugins (generally
older, no microprocessor, no remote, mechanical switches) *could* be
used in the TM5000 series frames, but there was never a remote

The 5000 series of oscilloscope was a 1 mhz/50 mhz (varied) maximum
bandwidth oscilloscope intended as a lower cost option for mostly
medical electronics, unless you needed 50 mhz bandwidth (see the 54xx)
series and appropriate plugins).


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