An informative web site for test equipment repairs


tek_547
 

Thanx for the link Brad. Good in these times for hours of reading :-)
René


Tom Lee
 

Exactly. I didn't see it as his engaging in mindless bashing of Tek, either. Although I don't necessarily agree with everything he says, he's very careful to point out -- multiple times -- that these are his opinions, and he provides some concrete examples that have informed his opinions. Those with different experiences likely will have come to different conclusions.

-- Tom

--
Prof. Thomas H. Lee
Allen Ctr., Rm. 205
350 Jane Stanford Way
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-4070
http://www-smirc.stanford.edu

On 1/30/2021 12:26, Ke-Fong Lin wrote:
I've taken a quick look at the website, there's a lot of material, very interesting.
I don't think it 's about bashing Tektronix. It's on the contrary rather candid comments about test equipment from various brands.
Nothing is perfect, every design has shortcomings.
In particular, the guy explicitly recommends Tektronix for scopes (and HP for spectrum analyzer).
And he notes that most Tek problems are mechanical, whereas HP is electrical.
I wouldn't view that as "berating" Tektronix, that's rather "positive" for a company selling electronics.
I've included below an excerpt about fixing 7000 series scope plug-ins (see "Tektronix 7A12, 7A13 (new & old)").

"Rather than describe all the fixes, I'll summarize. The same comments apply for the other Tek plug-ins listed on the page. Very simply: Tektronix problems = mechanical, HP problems = electrical. I've learned this theorem over several years. Part of Tek's problem was their propensity to socket everything, including transistors. Then there's the cam switches. You can fix 90% of the 7000-series plug-ins by reseating everything in a socket and disassembling and cleaning the cam switches. The remaining 10% are switches, pots, tantalums, light bulbs, etc."




Ke-Fong Lin
 

I've taken a quick look at the website, there's a lot of material, very interesting.
I don't think it 's about bashing Tektronix. It's on the contrary rather candid comments about test equipment from various brands.
Nothing is perfect, every design has shortcomings.
In particular, the guy explicitly recommends Tektronix for scopes (and HP for spectrum analyzer).
And he notes that most Tek problems are mechanical, whereas HP is electrical.
I wouldn't view that as "berating" Tektronix, that's rather "positive" for a company selling electronics.
I've included below an excerpt about fixing 7000 series scope plug-ins (see "Tektronix 7A12, 7A13 (new & old)").

"Rather than describe all the fixes, I'll summarize. The same comments apply for the other Tek plug-ins listed on the page. Very simply: Tektronix problems = mechanical, HP problems = electrical. I've learned this theorem over several years. Part of Tek's problem was their propensity to socket everything, including transistors. Then there's the cam switches. You can fix 90% of the 7000-series plug-ins by reseating everything in a socket and disassembling and cleaning the cam switches. The remaining 10% are switches, pots, tantalums, light bulbs, etc."


Gordon Smith
 

On Fri, Jan 29, 2021 at 10:55 PM, Bob Albert wrote:


I won't argue.  He does however back down on his rating of Tek at one point.
We are all entitled to opinions and he was patently exercising his
entitlement.  More authoritative than most, as he has had a lot of hands on
experience.
Nevertheless I enjoyed the read.
Bob On Friday, January 29, 2021, 10:13:23 PM PST, Bob Albert via groups.io
<bob91343=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
My thanks to Brad Thompson for sharing the link (Brad is also a member of the Glowbugs Vintage Radio email reflector which I am also a member, BTW. Hi Brad!). A very informative website.

To me the key thing about this person's (he never gives a name I could find) ranting was that he was just as hard on himself as he was commenting on design. On his repair notes regarding some other pieces of equipment he fully admits the stupid things HE did. So he is just as hard on himself. So it appears that his rants are more his opinion regarding the reparability of something. And believe me, as a mechanical engineer I have had times when I've wanted to drag the designer of a particular piece of equipment out to the thing that he/she designed and give them a piece of my mind about how, with just a little more thought, their creation could have been MUCH more easily repairable.

That all being said, I think this comment from one section of the website sums up this gentleman's true feelings about Tektronix equipment: "Tektronix Scope Collection Bonus Rant! With this latest acquisition, I now have Tektronix oscilloscopes from the 200, 300, 400, 2000, 5000, 7000, T900 and TDS series! That pretty much does it unless I am interested in the early vacuum tube models (I'm not) or want to spend thousands on a post-2000 manufactured model (I don't). But I think it does qualify me to enter an opinion. I have said it several times already on this web page - Tektronix really does know how to make an oscilloscope. Sure, I have complained in other Bonus Rants about their needlessly complicated mechanical designs, cam switches and difficult disassembly procedures, but some of that is most likely related to Tek's attempt to lower manufacturing costs (at the expense of future serviceability). But I find their CRTs superior to others in terms of clarity and I find their mostly consistent knobology (particularly in the later TDS models) also to be the best. If you have your mind set on a 1970 - 1995 vintage oscilloscope, get a Tektronix model. Don't waste your money on other brands."

Thank You, Gordon


Joel B Walker
 

I wasn't pleased by his Tektronix bashing either, but it is a very interesting site. He does seem to be an excellent troubleshooter. And yes, Tektronix scrap can be thrown my way, too!


Michael W. Lynch
 

On Sat, Jan 30, 2021 at 08:12 AM, Roy Thistle wrote:


One thing... if someone reading his blog (sort of a blog).... if someone
reading it has the inclination to throw out a Tek plugin because a tunnel
diode popped... please consider throwing it my way.
If you don't need it, I will take any "Scraps" , Especially calibration fixtures.
--
Michael Lynch
Dardanelle, AR


Roy Thistle
 

On Fri, Jan 29, 2021 at 10:55 PM, Bob Albert wrote:


I read through most of that.
His collection looks like the undergraduate physics labs storeroom, before enough profs died that they could empty it out... for 1 cent (or less) on the dollar. (... a lot went straight onto Ebay... but, not for 1 cent on the dollar.)
He has... what the lit theory types like to call... "a voice" ... so it's not altogether an un-entertaining read.
I suppose that it's worth a control S; but, there are a lot better sources for repair info... for much of this stuff... on groups.io et. al.
One thing... if someone reading his blog (sort of a blog).... if someone reading it has the inclination to throw out a Tek plugin because a tunnel diode popped... please consider throwing it my way.


Tom Lee
 

Thanks, Brad, for finding this. I have enjoyed the little bit that I’ve read so far. Even his Tek rants.

— Cheers,
Tom

Sent from my iThing, so please forgive typos and brevity.

On Jan 29, 2021, at 5:58 PM, Brad Thompson <brad.thompsonaa1ip@gmail.com> wrote:

Hello--

I just finished spending a couple of enjoyable hours reading through this web site...

https://emperoroftestequipment.weebly.com/

...In which the author describes experience acquired while repairing assorted test equipment,
most of which had multiple problems. Like many (most?) of us test equipment
collectors, the author looks for equipment described as "not working, doesn't power up"
that's priced accordingly.

Have fun!
73--

Brad AA1IP






Bob Albert
 

I won't argue.  He does however back down on his rating of Tek at one point.
We are all entitled to opinions and he was patently exercising his entitlement.  More authoritative than most, as he has had a lot of hands on experience.
Nevertheless I enjoyed the read.
Bob On Friday, January 29, 2021, 10:13:23 PM PST, Bob Albert via groups.io <bob91343=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

I read through most of that.  At the appropriate place he mentions buying an HP 5245L that had been erroneously described as a 5345 and when he complained he got his money back and kept the counter.  I was probably the guy who made the costly error and refunded his money but didn't want to add to my losses by paying for return shipping.
I had another 5245L that I finally got rid of to a friend and now have a 5328A that I pieced together from three bad units, luckily including the 10811 ovenized oscillator.
Bob K6DDX

On Friday, January 29, 2021, 07:21:21 PM PST, John Williams <books4you4@mail.com> wrote:

I had a quick look and may be some interesting stuff there for someone. However he just spent too much verbiage on berating Tektronix. People like that piss me off. I always wonder what they contributed to the world. So I can’t recommend the site to members of the forum. Just mt nickels worth.


Bob Albert
 

I read through most of that.  At the appropriate place he mentions buying an HP 5245L that had been erroneously described as a 5345 and when he complained he got his money back and kept the counter.  I was probably the guy who made the costly error and refunded his money but didn't want to add to my losses by paying for return shipping.
I had another 5245L that I finally got rid of to a friend and now have a 5328A that I pieced together from three bad units, luckily including the 10811 ovenized oscillator.
Bob K6DDX

On Friday, January 29, 2021, 07:21:21 PM PST, John Williams <books4you4@mail.com> wrote:

I had a quick look and may be some interesting stuff there for someone. However he just spent too much verbiage on berating Tektronix. People like that piss me off. I always wonder what they contributed to the world. So I can’t recommend the site to members of the forum. Just mt nickels worth.


John Williams
 

I had a quick look and may be some interesting stuff there for someone. However he just spent too much verbiage on berating Tektronix. People like that piss me off. I always wonder what they contributed to the world. So I can’t recommend the site to members of the forum. Just mt nickels worth.


Brad Thompson
 

Hello--

I just finished spending a couple of enjoyable hours reading through this web site...

https://emperoroftestequipment.weebly.com/

...In which the author describes experience acquired while repairing assorted test equipment,
most of which had multiple problems. Like many (most?) of us test equipment
collectors, the author looks for equipment described as "not working, doesn't power up"
that's priced accordingly.

Have fun!
73--

Brad  AA1IP