Where have all the Schematics Gone?


 

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


Mlynch001
 

Dennis,

You hit the nail on the head!

--
Michael Lynch
Dardanelle, AR


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




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


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/


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.


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





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


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







Tam Hanna
 

Hello Brian,

I am on the side of the pond which has good food but limited freedom of speech and no guns.

;)


But: IMHO, what did McDonnell in was the airfoil. This incidentally also was the Soviet Union's problem, with OKB Ilyushin facing severe problems to get the air ministry to approve wing mounted engines on the IL-86.

As much as my exwife loved the MD-80 in government service (only one neighbor in Y in case you did not get your government worker OpUp to C), on the long run, it was clear that something else needed to be bought. Biplanes, after all, are fun too - but they are not suited to todays airline tasks.


What I complain about was the timing. In the beginning of 1990, when this decision was made, the Soviet Union had just collapsed and no one knew how Austria's economy would continue (and if it could continue at all). The MD-80 were fully paid for, the Airbii had to be financed. IMHO, at the then current fuel prices, saving the interest and the down payment would have been smarter.


Look at it this way: FJ, once Austria's Pride and Joy under Bruno Kreisky, went to the Western Germans in 2008 in a firesale, for one stinking Euro. Northwest, which kept the even older DC9, sold itself later, for a lot of money, to Delta.


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/


Stephen Hanselman
 

Things that are little known.... the French and German government own a fair piece of Airbus. When Boeing and MD were taking about merging Airbus through the EU told Euro carriers they would be sanctioned if they bought Boeing AC if the merger went through.

Anyone who looks at the EU as anything but a Euro protectionist group needs to do more research.

Regards,

Stephen Hanselman
Datagate Systems, LLC

On Jan 26, 2020, at 23:09, Tam Hanna <tamhan@tamoggemon.com> wrote:

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/




Stephen Hanselman
 

In my mind, the primary reason is service is profitable, very profitable and competition is bad for profit. At one point, when I was in HP field service, there was a strong rumor running around that if you signed a 5 year support contract they would give you the computer system. Never happened of course, but service was a big piece of the profits of the computer side of the house.

Regards,

Stephen Hanselman
Datagate Systems, LLC

On Jan 27, 2020, at 03:24, Michael A. Terrell <terrell.michael.a@gmail.com> wrote:

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








Carsten Bormann
 

Anyone who looks at the EU as anything but a Euro protectionist group needs to do more research.
This statement can only be believed by someone who does not know much.

Maybe we should return the discussion to Tek scopes...

Grüße, Carsten


 

This has nothing to do with Tektronix so please take it off line if you want to continue it on your own.
Dennis Tillman W7PF

-----Original Message-----
From: TekScopes@groups.io [mailto:TekScopes@groups.io] On Behalf Of Carsten Bormann
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2020 7:46 AM
To: TekScopes@groups.io
Subject: Re: [TekScopes] Where have all the Schematics Gone?


Anyone who looks at the EU as anything but a Euro protectionist group needs to do more research.
This statement can only be believed by someone who does not know much.

Maybe we should return the discussion to Tek scopes...

Grüße, Carsten






--
Dennis Tillman W7PF
TekScopes Moderator


Kevin Oconnor
 

There was a time that many industrial companies has repair and service depts or pools. They would repair anything. I have experience with Hughes and AT&T. These service depts went out of favor with localized cost/benefit accounting. Eventually I believe it became impractical to do in-house repair even if information was available. It is a sad note to this type of technology.

Anecdotally, I recently attempted to repair an Epson Artisan 837 AIO ink jet printer. I found the complete service manual online. After 9 hours of disassembly, I had it back together and working as before. But I didn’t fix the problem. Printer price ~$300. Age ~4 years. Epson estimated service $300. My time value according to my wife ~$500. My conclusion, buy a new printer, recycle old printer. Do not repeat exercise.

Should this be applied to test equipment? I don’t know. I am conflicted. An Epson printer does not have the attachment that my HP 54503A scope has, but it is fundamentally less repairable than that Epson printer.

Tek was not the only Co to go dark. HP, IBM, Fluke, etc joined them. It is as if we, (boomers) got anchored in time and expectations while the industry we loved evolved without us. Just my reminiscing.......

Kevin KO3Y


Dave Seiter
 

Back in the early 90's I had a PLP-II printer (kind of a cheap laser printer- it used an LED array instead of a laser), which printed great, but after two years the printing became erratic.  I don't recall if the company had a fix for the problem, or it was too expensive, but I found a fix online which involved taking the image transfer assembly apart and (I think) adding a bit of tape somewhere as a spacer, and cleaning the unit of errant toner.  The fix had to be done every so often (for me it was about 8 months) and it was a fairly messy job.  I kept repairing it until I ran out of toner and bought an HP inkjet.  Color was such a novelty! 
The interesting thing was that it was repairable; even the electronics were all off the shelf except for the LED array itself. I think I still have the PCBs somewhere. 
-Dave
---
Anecdotally, I recently attempted to repair an Epson Artisan 837 AIO ink jet printer. I found the complete service manual online. After 9 hours of disassembly, I had it back together and working as before. But I didn’t fix the problem. Printer price ~$300. Age ~4 years. Epson estimated service $300. My time value according to my wife ~$500. My conclusion, buy a new printer, recycle old printer. Do not repeat exercise.


David Kuhn
 

I agree. At GE Inspection Technologies, the same thing happened after GE
purchased us. Even our Sales Representatives with their own authorized
service departments could not get schematics. Then the factory repair
service became a profit center and part prices went through the roof.
Well, GEIT is not more. What is left of the company is a shell of itself.
The US Plant in Pennsylvania shut down, production moved between Southern
Ireland and Slovakia. Service, without the experienced techs to the
Houston, TX area. Now their name changed (GEIT is no more) and their
product offering a ghost of what it used to be. Meanwhile, their
competitors are going great guns.

As far as Chinese Scopes. Siglent is quite good. Even their 200MHz economy
scopes are very good and beautiful and inexpensive. The displays are
outstanding! The only reason I keep purchasing 20+ year old TDS3000
series scopes in the ability to set the mid reference levels when measuring
pulses. In the UT industry, the pulse widths are measure at the 90%
reference levels verses the standard 50%. I was in email with Siglents
tech support and engineering for a year. They understood what I needed.
New firmware releases would come and still not that ability. The best they
ever did was show a Python example of reading the waveform in and then I
could "calculate" the width at 90%. I was so frustrated. I do write a lot
of support code in VBA and VB6 that perhaps I could have done that, but I
could not make heads or tails out of their code example. I really think it
was pure subterfuge. I gave up and relegated the Siglent as a back-up;
this year, I will not even get it calibrated. If they ever gave me the
ability to set the mid reference levels to whatever I wanted them to be, a
$700 brand new Siglent could easily replace a brand new $10K+++ Tektronix
TDS3000C series, or even used TDS3000 series.

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







KeepIt SimpleStupid
 

I called tech support for a Nuvo NV-MI1 mute interface for a doorbell and phone  https://www.legrand.us/nuvo/audio-video/brackets-accessories/accessories/mi1.aspx

I asked how it worked and what the output was.
The tech support guy was flabbergasted that he had no information on the device.In fact, he even asked me if they made it.

On Wednesday, January 29, 2020, 3:09:32 PM EST, David Kuhn <daveyk021@gmail.com> wrote:

I agree. At GE Inspection Technologies, the same thing happened after GE
purchased us.  Even our Sales Representatives with their own authorized
service departments could not get schematics.  Then the factory repair
service became a profit center and part prices went through the roof.
Well, GEIT is not more.  What is left of the company is a shell of itself.
The US Plant in Pennsylvania shut down, production moved between Southern
Ireland and Slovakia.  Service, without the experienced techs to the
Houston, TX area.  Now their name changed (GEIT is no more) and their
product offering a ghost of what it used to be.  Meanwhile, their
competitors are going great guns.

As far as Chinese Scopes. Siglent is quite good.  Even their 200MHz economy
scopes are very good and beautiful and inexpensive.  The displays are
outstanding!  The only reason I keep purchasing 20+ year old TDS3000
series scopes in the ability to set the mid reference levels when measuring
pulses.  In the UT industry, the pulse widths are measure at the 90%
reference levels verses the standard 50%.  I was in email with Siglents
tech support and engineering for a year.  They understood what I needed.
New firmware releases would come and still not that ability.  The best they
ever did was show a Python example of reading the waveform in and then I
could "calculate" the width at 90%. I was so frustrated. I do write a lot
of support code in VBA and VB6 that perhaps I could have done that, but I
could not make heads or tails out of their code example.  I really think it
was pure subterfuge.  I gave up and relegated the Siglent as a back-up;
this year, I will not even get it calibrated.  If they ever gave me the
ability to set the mid reference levels to whatever I wanted them to be, a
$700 brand new Siglent could easily replace a brand new $10K+++ Tektronix
TDS3000C series, or even used TDS3000 series.

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







Brad Thompson
 

Hello--

Quite a few years ago, I purchased for $5.00 a used Rohde & Schwarz SWOB Polyskop III
instrument which comprised a vacuum-tube era sweep generator and a CRT display. IIRC,
it was used as an alignment scope and a SNA of sorts. As might be assumed from the low
purchase price, it came with a few problems.

I contacted R&S about obtaining a schematic and a service manual. Their
asking price was $500.00; after explaining the 100:1 ratio between
the manual and purchase price, I politely declined the purchase.

73--
Brad  AA1IP


Dave Brown
 

One of those turned up on the local club trading table a year or so back- working order- dunno who took it but could ask around in case they found a manual.(assuming you still have it?- most unlikely I guess!)
73
Dave, ZL3FJ

-----Original Message-----
From: TekScopes@groups.io [mailto:TekScopes@groups.io] On Behalf Of Brad Thompson
Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2020 14:17
To: TekScopes@groups.io
Subject: Re: [TekScopes] Where have all the Schematics Gone?

Hello--

Quite a few years ago, I purchased for $5.00 a used Rohde & Schwarz SWOB Polyskop III instrument which comprised a vacuum-tube era sweep generator and a CRT display. IIRC, it was used as an alignment scope and a SNA of sorts. As might be assumed from the low purchase price, it came with a few problems.

I contacted R&S about obtaining a schematic and a service manual. Their asking price was $500.00; after explaining the 100:1 ratio between the manual and purchase price, I politely declined the purchase.

73--
Brad AA1IP