Re: Boy am I slow


The USM-488 was intended to be the US Army's standard service oscilloscope
for worldwide use. When it was launched, about 1985, I was working for a
Government agency that was entitled to "piggyback" on military contracts. After
our local Tektronix rep advised me to look into the 488, I ordered a bunch of
them through the Army. The cost was less than $1000 each -- at a time when
the catalog price of the standard 2135 was over twice that much. The USM-488
is a 2135 with options. As I remember the options included RFI shielding,
an additional bandwidth reduction switch, and perhaps some other
additional-cost features. And on top of that, each USM-488 came in a wooden crate in
sealed,waterproof packing. I would have very much like to have ordered and
additional unit for myself, but could find no way to do that within Government

Another twist is that it took us about nine months to get our units released
by the Army. The Army had warehoused all of the USM-488s and was not going
to release them until the spare parts packages had been received and deployed
around the world. We finally convinced Army logistics officials that we
were not going to be dependent upon them for repairs or spare parts and
persuaded them to reluctantly release our batch of instruments. It was a frustrating
education in how the military logistics process operates.


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