Date   

Re: Where have all the Schematics Gone?

Michael A. Terrell
 

The last product that I helped Microdyne bring to the market had 48 size
'D' pages of schematics. It had over 150 various firmware packages to
configure it to the customer's needs. You needed about 45 pieces of test
equipment to test it at various stages and for final test. How would you
release service data for that? How wuld any released data track new
firmware, and what it was compatible with? The product was the RCB2000, a
dual channel, digital Telemetry receiver that could be dropped in to
replace an existing all analog system of two receivers and a long loop
combiner for the video output. It was built completely on custom VXI
boards, in 7" of rack space. It required special training for the
production and test techs, yet some people thought that they could repair
it with the same test equipment hey had used for over 20 years on the much
simpler Analog designs. There are two sides to the issue.

On Sun, Jan 26, 2020 at 6:33 PM Dennis Tillman W7PF <dennis@ridesoft.com>
wrote:

Message #163848
Sent: Sunday, January 26, 2020 9:20 AM
Subject: Re: [TekScopes] 11801 questions - funny fan noise and light

Ragnar asks: Are there any schematics on these [11801] boxes to be found?

By the 1960s Tek's Service Manuals (SM) were the finest in the industry.
They were a major selling point for Tek products. They were specifically
designed to give you all the information necessary to fix the instrument.
With the SM it was relatively inexpensive to maintain Tek instruments in
calibrated condition for a long time after they were purchased. The longer
those instruments could be maintained in good condition the lower the Total
Cost of Ownership (TCO) for the company that owned it. Eventually someone
would realize that the SMs were adversely affecting sales. With such good
SMs no one was in a hurry to buy new instruments from Tek when it was easy
to keep their old instruments calibrated and working perfectly.

In the mid-1980s someone in management did realize that Tek could make more
money by NOT including schematics in their service manuals. By the time the
11000 series of scopes appeared in 1986 schematics were banned from the
Service Manuals for new products. As far as I know there are no schematics
available anywhere for the 11K scopes. I tried on one occasion to get the
set for an 11K scope from someone at Tek but they were unable to locate
them. Since then Tek has tightly controlled the schematics for all of the
11K scopes and probably all other products as well. If a schematic set were
ever to escape from Tek's "clutches" and be released "into the wild" for a
supported product then returning it to the factory for repair would not be
the only way to get it fixed.

The disappearance of the schematics from Tek's service manuals was
impossible to miss when it happened. It occurred during a period in the
latter half of the 1980s when Tek was struggling financially with layoffs,
spin-offs, and decreased earnings almost every quarter.

When a product support department is a Cost Center the company recognizes
that good support is an intrinsic cost of producing a good product. The
company can charge more for its products because of the superior support
provided for them. The cost associated with providing this support is
recouped indirectly by a higher price the customer will pay for a
well-supported product.

When a product support department is a Profit Center it is expected to
generate revenue for a company by charging for support. This change will
help a struggling company's bottom line for a few years - which was
probably
why Tek chose to do it in 1986 - but eventually it will result in a loss of
customers and greater competition. In other words, this will come back to
bite you one day. Presumably the manager who is credited for this great
idea
will also know he has a few years to find a job elsewhere before the real
damage he has done becomes apparent to the board.

Why did Tek remove the schematics?
* Without schematics Tek products have to be returned to the factory or
nearest repair center for repair. This is inconvenient for the customer
because travel time back and forth can be greater than the repair time. It
is dangerous because the instrument can be damaged in transit. It is
expensive to crate up and ship a large, heavy instrument. In addition,
since
the factory has a monopoly on repairs, they can charge more than the
customer's in-house repair department costs. This increases the customers
TCO. Tek makes money but it is at the expense of the customer who
eventually
will realize that Tek products are becoming as expensive to own as other
similar products from HP, LeCroy, etc..
* More importantly, without schematics, Tek can arbitrarily shorten the
useful lifetime of their products by declaring a product obsolete and
ending
the repair service for it each time they introduce a new product that
improves on the old one. By no longer providing repair service for obsolete
products customers can be pressured to purchase the new replacement the
next
time their existing instrument breaks. Tek makes more money by selling new
products to replace the old ones they will no longer repair. The customer's
TCO goes up a lot in this scenario.

Each time the TCO goes up for the customer it encourages him to look at
competitive products and even low cost products from places like China
which
do not have the engineering excellence Tek is (was?) famous for. By making
support a Profit Center Tek makes more money in the short term but loses
customers in the long term when they purchase competitive products with a
lower TCO. In the very long term Tek loses the low end segment of the
market
to new competitors who see an opportunity to enter it with 1) products that
are cheaper than Tek can make, and 2) products the customer can justify
buying because they understand it was meant to be recycled rather than
repaired when it eventually breaks. The TCO is irrelevant for throw away
products.

In the very long term, supporting customers with a Profit Center model,
will
drive customers to reputable competitors with similar products that offer
them a choice of in-house support vs. Tek Profit Center support. Some
customers will realize they have another choice - buy an inexpensive
throw-away instrument for 1/4 to 1/3 of the price Tek charges. This creates
more competition at the low end of the marketplace where the profit margin
has eroded so deeply that Tek is no longer competitive.

Dennis Tillman W7PF







Re: TEK514 needs new 5V4G tube

Steve Hendrix
 

At 2020-01-27 12:07 AM, Chuck Harris wrote:


Electrolytic caps get into a condition where they
become lower voltage versions of themselves.

An ohmmeter tests at 1.5V in most cases, and 9V in
VOM's.  Using one to test a 400V capacitor is less
than worthless.
I was wondering about that, because I rarely use electrolytics anywhere above about 24V in my work. But would a shorted cap cause the rectifier tube ahead of it to arc over? I suppose it's possible that extra heat generated in the tube could soften or melt some of the internal structures, causing spacing to shrink as something bends. In that case, it seems to me that the tube is now bad, but the root cause of a shorted cap still needs to be fixed. Would you suggest replacing all the big electrolytics first? Since Tek seemed to like stocking only 20uF caps (which were called 20mF in those days), they used as many as 6 in parallel in some places. The physical connection methods used are beautiful artwork, but makes it a bit tricky mechanically to replace the caps as they're used as standoffs to hold everything else.

Steve Hendrix


Re: TEK514 needs new 5V4G tube

Steve Hendrix
 

At 2020-01-26 09:01 PM, Dennis Tillman W7PF wrote:


Is there any reason you can't buy a 5V4G? There are 123 of them on eBay at
the moment. Prices start at $12 for them and go up.
I can test it for you to confirm its good if want to send it to me.
Odd, I already looked. Out of the first hundred or so hits, I found only two, and both were way more expensive than that. I'll have another look, and try some different search terms so i don't get 4WD nuts etc. Thanks for the pointer.

Steve Hendrix


Re: Where have all the Schematics Gone?

Leo Bodnar
 

I am sure that 11800 series was COCOM / export controlled product and so was its technical documentation.

Maybe still is... When things get onto export control list they tend to stay there for a very long time: pulse generators with 500ps (or shorter) risetime and amplitude of 6V or more are still considered a strategic export and dual use technology and need export licence.
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/856510/UK_strategic_export_control_lists_20191231.pdf

Leo


Re: Where have all the Schematics Gone?

G Hopper
 

Quite possibly my best typo ever :-)

On Sun, Jan 26, 2020 at 10:01 PM Carsten Bormann <cabocabo@gmail.com> wrote:

On 2020-01-27, at 05:24, G Hopper <kb7wsd@gmail.com> wrote:

I think if you were to tell this story to a Boeing engineer, he might
call
it the McDonald Douglas disease.
This.

(Although they probably will call it McDonnell Douglas disease.
Somehow, McDonald’s does figure in, though :-)

Grüße, Carsten





Re: Where have all the Schematics Gone?

Brian Cockburn
 

Tam,

I'm sure that the US government put subtle or un-subtle pressure on US carriers to buy US made aircraft, just as happened in the EU. It is natural. And as a European it always delights me when the EU does similar things to the US and the US whines about it. (Not that I'm saying that you are whining.)

Cheers, Brian.


Re: Where have all the Schematics Gone?

Tam Hanna
 

Hello,

now, I will lean myself out of the window a bit and go OT. My ex-wife is a Mosaic, and was in Government in Austria at the time. So I know a bit, plus I am an aircraft buff.


What really did McDonnell in was the EU. SAS, Austrian Airlines, etc all were strong users of the DC9 and MD8x aircraft.

When the EU came in and the Airbus, governments were very motivated to push the countries national airlines to use these aircraft. In the case of Austria, the company really did not want the new A320 (pilots hated them, called them Atari Aeroplane initially) and wanted to stick with McDonnel. But at the time, most airlines were government owned - and who pays the piper decides which tune is to be farted out.


Tam

--
With best regards
Tam HANNA

Enjoy electronics? Join 15k7 other followers by visiting the Crazy Electronics Lab at https://www.instagram.com/tam.hanna/


Re: Where have all the Schematics Gone?

Carsten Bormann
 

On 2020-01-27, at 05:24, G Hopper <kb7wsd@gmail.com> wrote:

I think if you were to tell this story to a Boeing engineer, he might call
it the McDonald Douglas disease.
This.

(Although they probably will call it McDonnell Douglas disease.
Somehow, McDonald’s does figure in, though :-)

Grüße, Carsten


Re: 2430a carrying handle and face cover

Terry Gains
 

Thanks Craig, Will do.

On Mon, 27 Jan 2020 at 17:08, Craig Cramb <electronixtoolbox@gmail.com>
wrote:

I also need to buy a 2430a carrying handle and face cover.

I have lots of the 2430/2430A scope parts. contact me offline if
interested.
electronixtoolbox at gmail dot com

Craig
On Jan 26, 2020, at 8:04 PM, Terry Gains <terry.waihi@gmail.com> wrote:

I also need to buy a 2430a carrying handle and face cover.


--
Kind regards,
Terry


Re: TEK514 needs new 5V4G tube

Chuck Harris <cfharris@...>
 

Electrolytic caps get into a condition where they
become lower voltage versions of themselves.

An ohmmeter tests at 1.5V in most cases, and 9V in
VOM's. Using one to test a 400V capacitor is less
than worthless.

-Chuck Harris

Steve Hendrix wrote:

Okay, it's a "valve" for our limey friends!

Today I was able to do some more troubleshooting with my dad and my sons, on Dad's TEK514. I took along my thermal camera to help track down the short that was blowing the inlet fuse. Turned out i didn't need it, but it helped confirm. One rectifier tube right next to that monster power transformer started getting extra hot within seconds of power-on, and then started arcing and making a nice arc lamp. I've done a bit of searching and it seems the audiophiles like these tubes; the best I could find was AU$55 for a pair on eBay. Dunno how much shipping would be from down under. Fairly simple fix, to swap out a tube - if that's the only problem. But we checked all the electrolytic caps with an ohmmeter and none seemed to be shorted nor open. Looking for any thoughts on a good source for the tube, and/or whether it's a worthwhile fix.

Steve Hendrix




Re: Guernsey Island 2445

Chuck Harris <cfharris@...>
 

More than crazy, it is insane. But if that is what they did, that
is what they did.

-Chuck Harris

Mlynch001 wrote:


There have been a few times when Håkan looked up the cross references
in the modification summaries, and the last 5 digits were not synced,
I just bought a Guernsey manufactured 465 s/n 103496. I will need to crack it open and see what I have. Hope it is a "Late" series (but probably not). Seems crazy that they would not sync their serial numbers across all the production sites, since so many parts of these instruments are Serial number sensitive?


Re: Where have all the Schematics Gone?

G Hopper
 

A great analysis. Succinct and well written.

Sadly, it seems to me that a lot of companies are run by the MBAs and CPAs
that missed that day in business classes. I really enjoyed reading Dennis'
analysis and it prompted my thought that we've seen examples in several
different industries that it doesn't stop there.

It gets even worse for them at the end:
"This creates more competition at the low end of the marketplace where the
profit margin has eroded so deeply that Tek is no longer competitive"

More or less rehashing what Dennis said in order to frame up my
observation: When a buyer no longer sees an instrument as a very safe long
term investment (that continues to have value either being sold as surplus
(or given to employees) or in secondary or tertiary uses as one decides to
buy more or newer equipment) then those buyers start looking carefully at
life-cycle return (which I think is more than simply TCO) and buy gear that
is just good enough for the job and can be rapidly depreciated and
discarded (the true consumption model), so spending a premium for the
higher end gear (even for a lower end use) is a poor choice.

This creates the niche for the entrants at that low end who can produce a
'good enough' product to survive. And once they survive long enough and
become a reasonable choice for the 'cheap' products, they also gain enough
experience to start moving up little by little. Because they can operate
on such tight margins so effectively, they have enough 'agility' to grow
their product line and sophistication. For this to work, their products
don't even need to be great, they just need to be good enough and meet a
value expectation.

Soon they're taking away little bits of market share (in higher, more
sophisticated market segments) from the well known manufacturers, and
because their operation(s) can do this and remain lean, they can afford to
deeply undercut the competition in order to get people to try out their
products (because they're so much less expensive, the risk is close to zero
for the buyer), and many discover that they don't need Tek level products
even for more rigorous uses because the 'Chinese competition's' products
are good enough at that higher level and Tek, HP, etc. loose another sale.
And this happens over and over again. Truly death by a thousand invoice
paper cuts.

I think if you were to tell this story to a Boeing engineer, he might call
it the McDonald Douglas disease. The same shortsightedness has destroyed a
lot of businesses and all for the sake of propping up share prices and
pleasing stock analysts. As Dennis' explanation pointed out, blind pursuit
of revenue is the road to doom. Hopefully some day more business leaders
will learn that.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts Dennis!

Grant
KB7WSD

On Sun, Jan 26, 2020 at 6:21 PM Mlynch001 <mlynch002@gmail.com> wrote:

Dennis,

You hit the nail on the head!

--
Michael Lynch
Dardanelle, AR




Re: 2430a carrying handle and face cover

Craig Cramb
 

I also need to buy a 2430a carrying handle and face cover.

I have lots of the 2430/2430A scope parts. contact me offline if interested.
electronixtoolbox at gmail dot com

Craig

On Jan 26, 2020, at 8:04 PM, Terry Gains <terry.waihi@gmail.com> wrote:

I also need to buy a 2430a carrying handle and face cover.


A piece of gear I would like to move on

Eric
 

Does anyone have an interest in a Tektronix CMD80? It is not a scope but it is tek branded. Mine came broken but mostly optioned up. I think it has 75% of the options installed. I can take pictures if anyone would like? It has been repaired.


Re: Guernsey Island 2445

Mlynch001
 

There have been a few times when Håkan looked up the cross references
in the modification summaries, and the last 5 digits were not synced,
I just bought a Guernsey manufactured 465 s/n 103496. I will need to crack it open and see what I have. Hope it is a "Late" series (but probably not). Seems crazy that they would not sync their serial numbers across all the production sites, since so many parts of these instruments are Serial number sensitive?

--
Michael Lynch
Dardanelle, AR


Re: Where have all the Schematics Gone?

Mlynch001
 

Dennis,

You hit the nail on the head!

--
Michael Lynch
Dardanelle, AR


Re: Type O plugin with Power Supply

Glenn Little
 

Link to picture.
Can take more if interested.

https://groups.io/g/TekScopes/photo/239601/0?p=Created,,,20,2,0,0

Glenn

On 1/26/2020 9:03 PM, Dennis Tillman W7PF wrote:
Groups.io strips out anything that isn't simple text. The photo didn't make it in your message.
Easiest thing to do is put your picture in the photos section of TekScopes, copy the link and send your post again including the URL for the photo.
Dennis Tillman W7PF

-----Original Message-----
From: TekScopes@groups.io [mailto:TekScopes@groups.io] On Behalf Of Glenn Little
Sent: Sunday, January 26, 2020 4:39 PM
To: TekScopes@groups.io
Subject: [TekScopes] Type O plugin with Power Supply

Many years ago I bought this from Deane Kidd.
It has been in my back room since.
The plugin is serial 000096.
Serial 000098 sold for $100.00 as a parts unit.
The power supply has no type number on it.
I suspect that is may be a prototype.
The power supply is missing at least two tubes and one transistor and has no cover.
A picture is attached.
I would like to get $100.00 plus shipping for the plugin and power supply.
Is anyone interested?

Glenn

--
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Glenn Little ARRL Technical Specialist QCWA LM 28417
Amateur Callsign: WB4UIV wb4uiv@arrl.net AMSAT LM 2178
QTH: Goose Creek, SC USA (EM92xx) USSVI LM NRA LM SBE ARRL TAPR
"It is not the class of license that the Amateur holds but the class of the Amateur that holds the license"





--
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Glenn Little ARRL Technical Specialist QCWA LM 28417
Amateur Callsign: WB4UIV wb4uiv@arrl.net AMSAT LM 2178
QTH: Goose Creek, SC USA (EM92xx) USSVI LM NRA LM SBE ARRL TAPR
"It is not the class of license that the Amateur holds but the class
of the Amateur that holds the license"


Re: 2430a carrying handle and face cover

Terry Gains
 

I also need to buy a 2430a carrying handle and face cover.

This for a 2430a with Tekmate restoration. The carrying handle and face cover are needed for portability and completion.

Kind regards,
Terry G


Re: Type O plugin with Power Supply

 

Groups.io strips out anything that isn't simple text. The photo didn't make it in your message.
Easiest thing to do is put your picture in the photos section of TekScopes, copy the link and send your post again including the URL for the photo.
Dennis Tillman W7PF

-----Original Message-----
From: TekScopes@groups.io [mailto:TekScopes@groups.io] On Behalf Of Glenn Little
Sent: Sunday, January 26, 2020 4:39 PM
To: TekScopes@groups.io
Subject: [TekScopes] Type O plugin with Power Supply

Many years ago I bought this from Deane Kidd.
It has been in my back room since.
The plugin is serial 000096.
Serial 000098 sold for $100.00 as a parts unit.
The power supply has no type number on it.
I suspect that is may be a prototype.
The power supply is missing at least two tubes and one transistor and has no cover.
A picture is attached.
I would like to get $100.00 plus shipping for the plugin and power supply.
Is anyone interested?

Glenn

--
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Glenn Little ARRL Technical Specialist QCWA LM 28417
Amateur Callsign: WB4UIV wb4uiv@arrl.net AMSAT LM 2178
QTH: Goose Creek, SC USA (EM92xx) USSVI LM NRA LM SBE ARRL TAPR
"It is not the class of license that the Amateur holds but the class of the Amateur that holds the license"






--
Dennis Tillman W7PF
TekScopes Moderator


Re: TEK514 needs new 5V4G tube

 

Hi Steve,
Is there any reason you can't buy a 5V4G? There are 123 of them on eBay at the moment. Prices start at $12 for them and go up.
I can test it for you to confirm its good if want to send it to me.
Dennis Tillman W7PF

-----Original Message-----
From: TekScopes@groups.io [mailto:TekScopes@groups.io] On Behalf Of Richard Solomon
Sent: Sunday, January 26, 2020 4:33 PM
To: TekScopes <TekScopes@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [TekScopes] TEK514 needs new 5V4G tube

This may be blasphemy, but you
could replace the rectifier tube with
a couple of diodes.

You may need a small resistance to
adjust for the lower voltage drop in
the diodes.

73, Dick, W1KSZ

On Sun, Jan 26, 2020 at 4:34 PM Roy Morgan <k1lky68@gmail.com> wrote:

Steve,

I would strongly suspect a shorted filter cap in that supply.

If you have an external variable B+ supply, bring the voltage up VERY
SLOWLY at the tube cathode while monitoring the current. (Scope power
off)

Roy Morgan
K1LKY Western Mass

On Jan 26, 2020, at 6:10 PM, Steve Hendrix
<SteveHx@hxengineering.com>
wrote:

Okay, it's a "valve" for our limey friends!

... One rectifier tube right next to that monster power transformer
started getting extra hot within seconds of power-on, and then started
arcing and making a nice arc lamp. ...







--
Dennis Tillman W7PF
TekScopes Moderator

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