Re: 485 Cordwrap Feet


Hi Jim,
That is the official IEC connector recommended for switching mode power supplies. See examples of other official IEC 60320 shapes (there are at least 15 different ones) each specified for a different purpose.
Dennis Tillman W7pF

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Jim Ford
Sent: Wednesday, July 22, 2020 9:38 PM
Subject: Re: [TekScopes] 485 Cordwrap Feet

Funny you should mention those IEC power connectors, Dennis, as I just received a new wired router (opting for security, reliability, and speed for my 3 computers that stay in one place) today, and what do you know, it did not have an IEC connector on it. Instead, the power cable had a
"3 merged circles" (kind of like 3/5 of the Olympics symbol) connector.
Not sure why.

Now, my Tek 5103N/D10 and 7603 scopes have attached power cables, and every other piece of gear (most of it Tek or HP) I own except for the HP 400E AC voltmeter (pre-1970, no doubt) has a detachable cord with an IEC connector on it. No, wait, that's not true. I noticed some time ago that the 3 power supplies I own, an HP 6111A, an Elenco Precision XP-581, and a Trygon TL8-3, all have attached cords. I wonder why that is...

Another oddball is my Tek TLA711 mainframe. While it has an IEC male connector on the back of it, there is an extra rib below the GND pin, so a normal IEC female will not mate with it. Until you chop a groove into it with a utility knife, that is. I don't know why Tek did that. Maybe if you fill up the chassis with a thousand channels worth of logic analysis it draws so much current you need an extra beefy power cable (with a special notched IEC connector) hooked up to a 100 A circuit?

Speaking of extra beefy power cords, I have one I got from Mercury Transformers at the L.A. Guitar Amp Show some years ago. They were giving away these slick, fat, red cables. I'm not going to hook that up to just anything; no, that one is being saved for something special!
Seems like I have dozens of normal ones, though. The ones with the right angle IEC connectors come in handy when using a deep piece of equipment like a 7904 up close to the wall. But they always seem to point the wrong way, as do GPIB connectors. ;)

Rambling again - sorry.

Jim Ford

------ Original Message ------
From: "Dennis Tillman W7pF" <@Dennis_Tillman_W7pF>
Sent: 7/22/2020 11:39:48 AM
Subject: Re: [TekScopes] 485 Cordwrap Feet

Hi Jeff,
It was not unusual for the design engineers at Tek to pay attention to
product details (known as Human Factors Engineering in those days) just
like this one. This was one of the things that distinguished Tek from
many other companies. The 485 was a portable scope which meant things
like a power cord had to have a secure place to be while it was being
moved from one place to another. The logical way to carry the scope was
by the handle with the scope in an upright position so there would need
to be feet on the rear of the scope. Why not kill two birds with one
stone and design a foot that would also secure the power cord?

There are some things that the mechanical engineers at Tek never seem
to be satisfied with and cord wraps are one of them. The cord wrap
evolved constantly. It was almost as if the mechanical engineers saw
each new portable scope as an opportunity to improve on the design of
the previous instrument. My 453 (the 454 and 453 were the original
portables Tek designed to meet the needs of the IBM Field Engineers)
had fairly simple rear feet which the power cord could be wrapped
around. I think there was a chance the power cord could become undone
from around the rear feet while travelling with the 453 scope. By the
time the 485 appeared the cord wrap foot was just about optimal: It
holds the power cord securely, and it communicates to the user, by its
unusual shape, what its intended purpose is, without the need for any further explanation.

In other words its unusual shape tells you what it does. Donald Norman
in his book "The Psychology of Everyday Things" coined the term "affordances"
for the properties of objects which show users the actions they can take.
Users should be able to perceive affordances without having to consider
how to use the items. A simple example we all encounter every day is
the handle on a door leading into or out of a store. The shape of the
handle should communicate to you whether you should push or pull it to open the door.
Instead most of them are so poorly designed that it is necessary to
include a sign saying "Push" or "Pull".

With the advent of the IEC power connector standard in 1970 many
instruments gradually started using power cords that could be unplugged
from the instrument which created a totally different problem of what
to do with the proliferation of these power cords now that they are
everywhere. Somehow we all end up with more of them than we can possibly use.

Dennis Tillman W7pF

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of
Jeff Davis
Sent: Tuesday, July 21, 2020 12:30 PM
Subject: [TekScopes] 485 Cordwrap Feet

I had a customer approach me about developing a replacement cord wrap
foot for the Tektronix 485. He sent me one of his that was mostly
intact - but it led to some questions that I'm now posing to the group.

The 485 service manual shows that the cord wrap looks a lot like the
cord wraps on a 2465, i.e. two assemblies, one right side and one left
side, that extend from the bottom to the top, and the cord wraps around
the two of them.

On the other hand, what my customer sent to me looked more like a foot
from a 465, i.e. 4 pieces, one on each corner, with flanges to hold the
cord. The cord wraps around the four pieces located at each corner.

Did early and later versions of the 485 have different cord wraps? If
so, are they interchangeable? I can only find one version of the
service manual, and it shows the 2465-like cord wraps.

Would greatly appreciate anyone who could shed light on this mystery.

Jeff / N0DY

Dennis Tillman W7pF
TekScopes Moderator

Dennis Tillman W7pF
TekScopes Moderator

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