Re: Tektronix Application Notes


Hi Neil,
It would be nice to see all of them organized in one place. Unfortunately there are logistic problems that make this very difficult.
As far as I know Tek rarely published application notes in the 1960s. Instead they published an extensive series of easy to read Concept Books which described all aspects of oscilloscopes in detail. Tek also separately published user oriented tutorials on oscilloscopes such as "The ABCs of Probes", and "The XYZs of Oscilloscopes". Many articles in TekScopes, which they published quarterly at first and then 6 times per year, were the equivalent of application notes.
That changed around 1970 when application notes were recognized as an important way to create demand for some of the more unusual or under-appreciated products. At that time Tek was constantly producing new and unusual products to respond to rapid changes in electronics. These new products could often be combined with other products to provide additional new capabilities. But those combinations were not always obvious. An app-note that showed how they worked together could be the answer to making a measurement that would be difficult or impossible up to then. In many cases the app-notes came from the same engineers that designed the products. So the app-notes appeared whenever you could coax an engineer to write about new capabilities that are possible with their product.
It seems like there was little appreciation by management of the app-notes and how important they were. Without some centralized management each product group published their own app-notes whenever they got around to it. This also meant it was hard to know what application notes there were.
By the 1980s someone must have recognized the importance of the app-notes and a group was formed to manage them. I believe one result of this was, on rare occasions, a list of app-notes might appear in an annual catalog when space permitted. For example there is an entry for Application Notes in the Functional Index on pg. 12 of the 1983 catalog. It says the portables app-notes are on pg. 311; the 7000 series app-notes are on pg. 236; and the 5000 series app-notes are on pg. 292 (they were actually on pg. 293). Unfortunately there was no mention of app-notes for the TTM5xx series. In another catalog I have a tear-out pre-paid Business Reply card with boxes you can check off for each application note you want.

It will not be easy to assemble all of the things that really are application notes that were published by various groups within Tek for numerous other purposes..

Dennis Tillman W7pF

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of nj902
Sent: Friday, May 29, 2020 11:23 AM
Subject: [TekScopes] Tektronix Application Notes

The Tek web site has a lot of newer material available but it's hard to find application notes from the classic era - which I define as roughly up to the marketing alliance with R&S and Advantest.

Up to that point, Tek made some of the most awesome spectrum analyzers available - it was sad to see the product line discontinued.

I remember a discussion about application notes on this list many years ago. At that time Stan Griffiths said he was still trying to secure permission from Tektronix to publish them.

I never saw a followup but I do see a few application notes on TekWiki so perhaps it would be OK now to create a collection of these before they are lost to time.

What I think would be great would be an itemized list by product lines: 5000, 7000, 11000, spectrum analyzers etc.

Dennis Tillman W7pF
TekScopes Moderator

Join to automatically receive all group messages.