Re: Tek 576 Curve Tracer HV Replacement Transformer


Hi Ernesto,

It is probably a waste of my time to reply to your rant. My conclusions, from reading your comments are:
1) You haven’t got a clue what it takes to run a successful business.
2) You only think of yourself.
3) You think everything should be available forever at a price acceptable to you.
I decided to reply because I hope to learn something I don’t know. You clearly have an issue with the way Tek runs its business; ergo there are companies that run their businesses at least as well, or better, than you were expecting from Tek. I expect you to name one or more of those companies to justify your rant. I, and the other members of TekScopes, will benefit from learning which companies you have dealt with that provide the customer service and support you came to expect from Tek. So please answer the following question so we all may know who you recommend for their support and service:
Name me a company that maintains an inventory of spare parts for anything they built 50 years ago. Be sure to include only the companies that provide this service for individuals who paid less than 5% of the original cost of the instrument and who will expect the spare part to likewise cost 5% of its original manufacturing cost.
When the HV Transformer on my favorite scope, a 7854, failed this was simply not an acceptable situation. Unlike you I didn't expect a company that once was known for its stellar support to carry a spare part 30 years later just for me. I didn't disparage the company for not designing this part so it could last past my death 50 years later. Instead I got off my butt and called the manufacturer of the part listed in the Tek manual. I gave them the part number and I asked for a quote. They contacted me a few days later to say they would be happy to make a batch of them for only $425 each with a minimum order of five. Their quote was not unreasonable. Should I have explained to them that although this 7854 cost $10,000 new I bought it on eBay for $400? Therefore the replacement transformer should only cost $400 / $10000 = 4% of its new price, or $425 * 4% = $17. Do I dare follow this up by saying I only want to pay for one? Would they still be in business 30 years after the scope was made if they sold their transformers on eBay for $17? If I had told them Ernesto expects them to make it for around $17 would they have taken his opinion into consideration or would they have shown me the door?

If you have an issue with Tek or the way they run their business there are other companies who make similar products, but I doubt they have the incredible support network we do from the vintageTEK Museum, TekWiki, TekScopes Forum, and Tek’s own Service Manuals. Keep us posted on what you find. If you find something better we will all be interested in hearing about it.

I, for one, know how extremely fortunate I am that there once was a company whose dedication to quality, exceptional engineering, and excellence in everything they did, resulted in instruments that still work as good as they did 40, 50, even 60 years after they were built. Their legacy lives on with the support we receive from the volunteers at the vintageTEK Museum, the incredible creation of Kurt Rosenfeld who gave us TekWiki, Michael Dunn who recognized the need 20 years ago for the TekScopes Forum, and the amazing Service Manuals that Tek produced to support every instrument they made. I would be remiss if I didn’t include eBay. It would not be possible for us to own these incredible instruments without the marketplace they created for used Tek equipment 25 years ago.

Dennis Tillman W7pF

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Ernesto
Sent: Saturday, April 04, 2020 7:21 AM
Subject: Re: [TekScopes] Tek 576 Curve Tracer HV Replacement Transformer

(Rant-mode-on) If mlynch001 can be a source of replacement transformers, WHY CANNOT Tektronix have been the one?
Don't they feel any responsibility for their products? A part they manufactured with an OBVIOUS defect that can totally disable one of their expensive instruments?
If Michael could find a manufacturer, could they not have taken an infinitesimal part of their huge development and manufacturing facility to make these transformers?
And they didn't need to lose money. If not free, they could have delivered this parts at cost. For all their old scopes that have this HV transformer problem.
As my esteem for the old Tektronix instruments increases, my regard for Tektronix Inc with its over a billion dollars revenue keeps falling.

Dennis Tillman W7PF
TekScopes Moderator

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