Topics

5xx 'Scopes

@0culus
 

Hi all,

Getting the 7104 has gotten me thinking again, I've always wanted one nice example of a classic 5xx series scope. Ideally in good shape, so I can use it as a lab heater in the winter. :o) I'm aware that the 547 is pretty much the classic example of that line. What should I be looking for in one of these? I have a big hamfest coming up next month so I'm hoping to maybe see some older gear like this.

Thanks,

Sean

 

Hi Sean,

The 547 is a beautiful scope and it marked the transition to semiconductors at Tek. It is easily my favorite in the 500 series. But there is another scope to consider.

Have you considered the 545B? In all of Tek's history only two scope models have been so successful they reached the "B" phase. This meant the scope was so successful in its original design concept that Tek saw the benefit of refreshing the design for a variety of reasons. That resulted in the 545A. Sales of the 545A continued to be strong enough to support another round of improvements which resulted in the 545B. The other scope that had the same success was the 7623/7623A/7623B. Unfortunately Tek decided to terminate the entire 7000 series about a year after the 7623B was released so they are hard to find.

Unfortunately I think you will have a very hard time finding ANY 500 series scopes. It has been several years since I saw one show up at a ham fest / swap meet. I don't even see them on Craigs List. In fact all I do see on Craigs List are portable scopes. Ebay might be a better place to look for a 500 series scope. You will want to only be looking for sellers that are local or within travel distance from where you are so you can pick the scope up. Shipping it would be dangerous due to all the damage to the CRT that might happen and shipping will cost more than you will pay for the scope.

Dennis Tillman W7PF

-----Original Message-----
From: TekScopes@groups.io [mailto:TekScopes@groups.io] On Behalf Of sdturne@q.com
Sent: Sunday, August 11, 2019 11:33 AM

Hi all,
Getting the 7104 has gotten me thinking again, I've always wanted one nice example of a classic 5xx series scope. Ideally in good shape, so I can use it as a lab heater in the winter. :o) I'm aware that the 547 is pretty much the classic example of that line. What should I be looking for in one of these? I have a big hamfest coming up next month so I'm hoping to maybe see some older gear like this.
Thanks,
Sean




--
Dennis Tillman W7PF
TekScopes Moderator

Chuck Harris
 

If you want heat, the 547 is a poor choice, being mostly solid state.
Better would be a 535, 535A, 545, 545A, 585, or 585A. Nice long
vacuum tube distributed vertical amplifiers...

If you are a true glutton for punishment, any of the 519, 555, 556 or
565 would do the trick, in spades.

Of course, your high electric usage might get you a visit from DEA...

-Chuck Harris

sdturne@q.com wrote:

Hi all,

Getting the 7104 has gotten me thinking again, I've always wanted one nice example of a classic 5xx series scope. Ideally in good shape, so I can use it as a lab heater in the winter. :o) I'm aware that the 547 is pretty much the classic example of that line. What should I be looking for in one of these? I have a big hamfest coming up next month so I'm hoping to maybe see some older gear like this.

Thanks,

Sean



 

Chuck comments reminded me that I forgot to mention one other intriguing possibility since you have a 7104: Get yourself a 519. This was the original, and first ever, 1GHz scope Tek made. It make a nice comparison to the 7104. Since it was produced from 1961 to 1974 it almost overlaps the 7104 which was introduced in 1978. The contrast between the two instruments shows how astounding Tektronix advanced oscilloscope technology. In 17 years Tek revolutionized the capabilities of the oscilloscope from a tiny 2cm x 6cm single channel barely visible trace into a dual channel 8div x 10div (0.85cm/div) plug-in lab scope with over 80 plugins you can use with it.

For a few minutes I had a 519 on my bench next to my 7104. And then to my relief Barrie Gilbert arrived to take the 519. I really didn't have room for it anywhere so I was glad to see it leave.

Dennis Tillman W7PF

-----Original Message-----
From: TekScopes@groups.io [mailto:TekScopes@groups.io] On Behalf Of Chuck Harris
Sent: Sunday, August 11, 2019 11:53 AM
To: TekScopes@groups.io
Subject: Re: [TekScopes] 5xx 'Scopes

If you want heat, the 547 is a poor choice, being mostly solid state.
Better would be a 535, 535A, 545, 545A, 585, or 585A. Nice long vacuum tube distributed vertical amplifiers...

If you are a true glutton for punishment, any of the 519, 555, 556 or
565 would do the trick, in spades.

Of course, your high electric usage might get you a visit from DEA...

-Chuck Harris

sdturne@q.com wrote:
Hi all,

Getting the 7104 has gotten me thinking again, I've always wanted one nice example of a classic 5xx series scope. Ideally in good shape, so I can use it as a lab heater in the winter. :o) I'm aware that the 547 is pretty much the classic example of that line. What should I be looking for in one of these? I have a big hamfest coming up next month so I'm hoping to maybe see some older gear like this.

Thanks,

Sean







--
Dennis Tillman W7PF
TekScopes Moderator

@0culus
 

On Sun, Aug 11, 2019 at 11:52 AM, Dennis Tillman W7PF wrote:


Hi Sean,

The 547 is a beautiful scope and it marked the transition to semiconductors at
Tek. It is easily my favorite in the 500 series. But there is another scope to
consider.

Have you considered the 545B? In all of Tek's history only two scope models
have been so successful they reached the "B" phase. This meant the scope was
so successful in its original design concept that Tek saw the benefit of
refreshing the design for a variety of reasons. That resulted in the 545A.
Sales of the 545A continued to be strong enough to support another round of
improvements which resulted in the 545B. The other scope that had the same
success was the 7623/7623A/7623B. Unfortunately Tek decided to terminate the
entire 7000 series about a year after the 7623B was released so they are hard
to find.

Unfortunately I think you will have a very hard time finding ANY 500 series
scopes. It has been several years since I saw one show up at a ham fest / swap
meet. I don't even see them on Craigs List. In fact all I do see on Craigs
List are portable scopes. Ebay might be a better place to look for a 500
series scope. You will want to only be looking for sellers that are local or
within travel distance from where you are so you can pick the scope up.
Shipping it would be dangerous due to all the damage to the CRT that might
happen and shipping will cost more than you will pay for the scope.

Dennis Tillman W7PF
Hi Dennis,

Thanks for the pointers. I hadn't looked at the 545B, but it does look like an interesting model. It seems that the 545B and the 547 were released almost concurrently.

I hold out hope that there likely are more than a few people around here who still have 500 series scopes due to the proximity of national laboratories and government surplus auctions.

Sean

@0culus
 

On Sun, Aug 11, 2019 at 11:53 AM, Chuck Harris wrote:


If you want heat, the 547 is a poor choice, being mostly solid state.
Better would be a 535, 535A, 545, 545A, 585, or 585A. Nice long
vacuum tube distributed vertical amplifiers...

If you are a true glutton for punishment, any of the 519, 555, 556 or
565 would do the trick, in spades.

Of course, your high electric usage might get you a visit from DEA...

-Chuck Harris
Ha! They may already be interested if that's the case. :o) Man, a 555 or 556 would be amazing. A dual beam scope is definitely something I don't have. Based on Mr. Carlson's tour of his 555, I'd say that should satisfy heat requirements and then some.

Sean

@0culus
 

On Sun, Aug 11, 2019 at 12:25 PM, Dennis Tillman W7PF wrote:


Chuck comments reminded me that I forgot to mention one other intriguing
possibility since you have a 7104: Get yourself a 519. This was the original,
and first ever, 1GHz scope Tek made. It make a nice comparison to the 7104.
Since it was produced from 1961 to 1974 it almost overlaps the 7104 which was
introduced in 1978. The contrast between the two instruments shows how
astounding Tektronix advanced oscilloscope technology. In 17 years Tek
revolutionized the capabilities of the oscilloscope from a tiny 2cm x 6cm
single channel barely visible trace into a dual channel 8div x 10div
(0.85cm/div) plug-in lab scope with over 80 plugins you can use with it.

For a few minutes I had a 519 on my bench next to my 7104. And then to my
relief Barrie Gilbert arrived to take the 519. I really didn't have room for
it anywhere so I was glad to see it leave.

Dennis Tillman W7PF
Huh, that is an excellent point. I wouldn't be surprised if there are some around locally due to the reasons mentioned in a prior message. I'll keep my eyes open.

Sean

Dave Daniel
 

Sean,

Where do you live?

DaveD

Sent from a small flat thingy

On Aug 11, 2019, at 15:49, sdturne@q.com wrote:

On Sun, Aug 11, 2019 at 12:25 PM, Dennis Tillman W7PF wrote:


Chuck comments reminded me that I forgot to mention one other intriguing
possibility since you have a 7104: Get yourself a 519. This was the original,
and first ever, 1GHz scope Tek made. It make a nice comparison to the 7104.
Since it was produced from 1961 to 1974 it almost overlaps the 7104 which was
introduced in 1978. The contrast between the two instruments shows how
astounding Tektronix advanced oscilloscope technology. In 17 years Tek
revolutionized the capabilities of the oscilloscope from a tiny 2cm x 6cm
single channel barely visible trace into a dual channel 8div x 10div
(0.85cm/div) plug-in lab scope with over 80 plugins you can use with it.

For a few minutes I had a 519 on my bench next to my 7104. And then to my
relief Barrie Gilbert arrived to take the 519. I really didn't have room for
it anywhere so I was glad to see it leave.

Dennis Tillman W7PF
Huh, that is an excellent point. I wouldn't be surprised if there are some around locally due to the reasons mentioned in a prior message. I'll keep my eyes open.

Sean


@0culus
 

On Sun, Aug 11, 2019 at 01:15 PM, Dave Daniel wrote:


Sean,

Where do you live?

DaveD
Dave,

I'm located in New Mexico, Land of Enchantment.

Sean

ChuckA
 

Sean,

I presently have thirty 500 series scopes that are restored or what I call "good enough to restore someday" and a few more that were bought as donors. I've had good luck on CL and private ads. The best areas I have seen are the Boston MA and Lancaster PA areas. Got my third 555 out of a basement in Boston area had the cart and original plastic cover with it. It was dirty but cleaned up beautifully and only had one resistor open. I did have to remove all 100 tubes to clean pins and sockets.

I really want to find a 519, but so far all the ones I have seen are in Midwest or far west, too far for a drive and I really don't want to ship one. Need one to turn up in the northeast.

You just have to keep looking and make sure you let friends who hit garage sales and the like what you are looking for. A couple of my 575's came that way.

I have over 100 scopes ranging from 1930 lab pieces to a modern digital units. Anything with a CRT is fair game to me.


Chuck

Huh, that is an excellent point. I wouldn't be surprised if there are some around locally due to the reasons mentioned in a prior message. I'll keep my eyes open.

Sean


--
See Early TV at:

www.myvintagetv.com

Dave Daniel
 

Sean,

I was hoping you lived nearer to one the places where I have lived (Denver/Boulder area in CO and east coast central FL) so I could perhaps make some suggestions about where to look. I only know of Sandia in the Albuquerque area.

DaveD

Sent from a small flat thingy

On Aug 11, 2019, at 16:20, sdturne@q.com wrote:

On Sun, Aug 11, 2019 at 01:15 PM, Dave Daniel wrote:


Sean,

Where do you live?

DaveD
Dave,

I'm located in New Mexico, Land of Enchantment.

Sean


@0culus
 

On Sun, Aug 11, 2019 at 01:45 PM, Dave Daniel wrote:


Sean,

I was hoping you lived nearer to one the places where I have lived
(Denver/Boulder area in CO and east coast central FL) so I could perhaps make
some suggestions about where to look. I only know of Sandia in the Albuquerque
area.

DaveD

Dave,

Road trips to Denver area are not out of the question! Suggestions always welcome. There's also Los Alamos...there used to be a great surplus store there that had tons of quality old test equipment...sadly it is gone now last I heard.

Sean

Sean

Dave Brown
 

Definitely IS gone- went there specially to visit it back in 2015 (or was it 2014?) and found it basically all shut up and not much to see thru the windows or in the yard.
Here's a news item about it-
https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/los-alamos-black-hole-is-going-dark/article_a83de44e-0f9d-530c-bd40-1b3b4f6556f5.html

DaveB, NZ

-----Original Message-----
From: TekScopes@groups.io [mailto:TekScopes@groups.io] On Behalf Of sdturne@q.com
Sent: Monday, August 12, 2019 08:57
To: TekScopes@groups.io
Subject: Re: [TekScopes] 5xx 'Scopes

On Sun, Aug 11, 2019 at 01:45 PM, Dave Daniel wrote:


Sean,

I was hoping you lived nearer to one the places where I have lived
(Denver/Boulder area in CO and east coast central FL) so I could
perhaps make some suggestions about where to look. I only know of
Sandia in the Albuquerque area.

DaveD

Dave,

Road trips to Denver area are not out of the question! Suggestions always welcome. There's also Los Alamos...there used to be a great surplus store there that had tons of quality old test equipment...sadly it is gone now last I heard.

Sean

Sean

@0culus
 

On Sun, Aug 11, 2019 at 04:12 PM, Dave Brown wrote:


Definitely IS gone- went there specially to visit it back in 2015 (or was it
2014?) and found it basically all shut up and not much to see thru the windows
or in the yard.
Here's a news item about it-
https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/los-alamos-black-hole-is-going-dark/article_a83de44e-0f9d-530c-bd40-1b3b4f6556f5.html

DaveB, NZ
Such a shame...thanks for the note and the confirmation.

Sean

Phillip Potter
 

Hi Dave,

Yes, I am sad to report that the "Black Hole" closed many?? years ago.?? I had heard of it and when I was traveling through stopped in.?? It was a mammoth place with EVERYTHING you could imagine... well, I could imagine, anyway. I bought a few things, but swore to return.

The next time I was there a half a year later, it was closed! I wonder if all that stuff is still there behind closed doors... I can dream, can't I?

Phil-in-CA

On 8/11/2019 2:56 PM, sdturne@q.com wrote:
There's also Los Alamos...there used to be a great surplus store there that had tons of quality old test equipment...sadly it is gone now last I heard.

@0culus
 

It's always sad when a great one off place like that goes away. Oh well. I'm not in any huge hurry to obtain a 500 scope...I'm going to be patient and keep my eyes open. In the meantime, a curve tracer is the next piece of gear that would be very useful for helping repairing other stuff. :o)

Sean

Martin Mehlhose
 

Hello Sean,

the collecting of the glowing true dual beams is not so extremly complicated, I have done.



Begin with a Tek 502, 502A
then a Tek 551 (true Dual Beam with common horizontal deflection)
then the Tek 555 (Triple Nickel, best Setup is plugged with 2x CA or 53/54C)
then the Tek 556, my favorite beside the workbench,

then the cute 565.



You can close the tour buying the (Cold) Tek 7844 😊



The king of heating is a single Beam, the Tek 517.



Greetings
Martin





________________________________
Von: TekScopes@groups.io <TekScopes@groups.io> im Auftrag von sdturne@q.com <sdturne@q.com>
Gesendet: Sunday, August 11, 2019 9:48:43 PM
An: TekScopes@groups.io <TekScopes@groups.io>
Betreff: Re: [TekScopes] 5xx 'Scopes

On Sun, Aug 11, 2019 at 11:53 AM, Chuck Harris wrote:


If you want heat, the 547 is a poor choice, being mostly solid state.
Better would be a 535, 535A, 545, 545A, 585, or 585A. Nice long
vacuum tube distributed vertical amplifiers...

If you are a true glutton for punishment, any of the 519, 555, 556 or
565 would do the trick, in spades.

Of course, your high electric usage might get you a visit from DEA...

-Chuck Harris
Ha! They may already be interested if that's the case. :o) Man, a 555 or 556 would be amazing. A dual beam scope is definitely something I don't have. Based on Mr. Carlson's tour of his 555, I'd say that should satisfy heat requirements and then some.

Sean

Morris Odell
 

The king of heating is a single Beam, the Tek 517.
The ultimate in heating is to compare the standard frequency outputs of two HP 524 series vacuum tube counters in a 555. There are almost 300 tubes glowing at the same time and four fans circulating the warmth.

It's a cold winter in the southern end of Australia so I'm tempted to try it again but electricity is getting very expensive down here..

Morris

Leanna L Erickson
 

I have two working 524s.

Keith
Wayzata, mn

On Aug 12, 2019, at 6:07 PM, Morris Odell <vilgotch1@...> wrote:

The king of heating is a single Beam, the Tek 517.
The ultimate in heating is to compare the standard frequency outputs of two HP 524 series vacuum tube counters in a 555. There are almost 300 tubes glowing at the same time and four fans circulating the warmth.

It's a cold winter in the southern end of Australia so I'm tempted to try it again but electricity is getting very expensive down here..

Morris


John Griessen
 

On 8/12/19 6:07 PM, Morris Odell wrote:
The ultimate in heating is to compare the standard frequency outputs of two HP 524 series vacuum tube counters in a 555. There are almost 300 tubes glowing at the same time and four fans circulating the warmth.
It's a cold winter in the southern end of Australia so I'm tempted to try it again but electricity is getting very expensive down here..
If you go solar PV panels, it would be winter daytime heating and entertaining at the same time :-)