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First transistors at Tektronix?


Christian
 

Good day,

Among my interests is the original uptake of transistors by companies that were not nominally (at the time, anyway) in the transistor business - customers like Tek (and HP for that matter). I'm familiar with several related milestones - the 453, the 321 (or is it 321A?) as all-transistorized machines (modulo the CTR of course). What were the first models to use them? Any similar info on other obscure transistor 'notable firsts' would be of great interest as well. Was Tek making their own transistors before they went to full ICs? Why?

At some point I'll be putting together a comparison of how transistors were initially applied at all the T&M 'big players' of the time. As such, any related physical documentation (in the best possible condition) would also be of great interest.


Jeff Kruth
 

IIRC the 547/549 and some of the P/I's. like maybe the 1A4 used some transistors. Also the 561/564 series and their P/I's used some as well. These were the hybrid series scopes, I had them all, and they performed well. The 422/321 etc were OK. IIRC as well, the 453/454 had nuvistor first stages.  The manuals for all these would be illustrative.

In the HP world, one of the earliest instruments I had that used transistors was the 8403 PIN diode modulator/pulse gen. Boards were the early light brown phenolic. I am sure there were others. 431A Power meter, and lots of Harrison power supplies in the late 50's early 60's. 73Jeff Kruth  In a message dated 10/24/2020 12:39:51 PM Eastern Standard Time, cweagle=bostondynamics.com@groups.io writes: Good day, Among my interests is the original uptake of transistors by companies that were not nominally (at the time, anyway) in the transistor business - customers like Tek (and HP for that matter).  I'm familiar with several related milestones - the 453, the 321 (or is it 321A?) as all-transistorized machines (modulo the CTR of course).  What were the first models to use them?  Any similar info on other obscure transistor 'notable firsts' would be of great interest as well.  Was Tek making their own transistors before they went to full ICs?  Why? At some point I'll be putting together a comparison of how transistors were initially applied at all the T&M 'big players' of the time.  As such, any related physical documentation (in the best possible condition) would also be of great interest.


Dale H. Cook
 

On 10/24/2020 1:14 PM, Jeff Kruth wrote:



IIRC as well, the 453/454 had nuvistor first stages.


The original 453 (serials below 20,000) had Nuvistor inputs, as well as Nuvistors in the first stages of the sweep and triggering circuits, as well as pencil rectifiers in the HV supply for the CRT. The later production 453 (serials above 20,000) replaced the Nuvistors with FETs but kept the pencil rectifiers. The 453A replaced the pencil rectifiers with solid state HV diodes, so their only tubes were the CRTs.
--
Dale H. Cook, GR/HP/Tek Collector, Roanoke/Lynchburg, VA
https://plymouthcolony.net/starcity/radios/


Dave Brown
 

The earliest I know of is the 526 which was released in 1959 and it had one transistor. It functioned as the test circle oscillator, which was
crystal controlled a few KHz away from the subcarrier frequency of 3.579545 MHz.

Dave


Ed Breya
 

I recall some of the 500 series scopes had transistors - maybe one or two only - in the heater supplies. These were for low voltage, high current regulation, using big old doorknob style or the later TO-3, which were commonly used in car radio output stages.

Ed


StefanS
 

An early use of transistors might be the base current output stage of the 575 transistor curve tracer, started in 1957.
This base supply consists of 2 pnp Germanium power transistors, driven by the (tube) staircase generator.
--
Stefan


Christian
 

Some good suggestions to dig into, thanks! According to the wiki, the Type R, released in 1958, was the first plug-in with transistors. It had 10 - nine PNP and one NPN, which is interesting. In the service manual for it you can see Tek upgrading parts presumably as they became available, it's kind of amusing to read between the lines there. Now I want to find the Common Design Parts from 1960 or so and see how things went.


Harvey White
 

IIRC, it was far easier to make germanium PNP transistors at the time rather than NPN.  (see CK721 and CK722).

Once the silicon transistor made its debut, NPNs became more prevalent.  May have been a process thing, but mixing tubes and transistors was easier with the same polarity power supply needed.

Harvey

On 10/25/2020 5:45 PM, Christian via groups.io wrote:
Some good suggestions to dig into, thanks! According to the wiki, the Type R, released in 1958, was the first plug-in with transistors. It had 10 - nine PNP and one NPN, which is interesting. In the service manual for it you can see Tek upgrading parts presumably as they became available, it's kind of amusing to read between the lines there. Now I want to find the Common Design Parts from 1960 or so and see how things went.





Tom Lee
 

Early high-volume transistors were made by an alloy process which was easier to implement for PNPs than for NPNs, so you'll see PNPs dominate the early generations of transistor electronics. NPNs finally came into their own once  diffusion and the planar process were mastered.

--Cheers,
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 10/25/2020 14:45, Christian via groups.io wrote:
Some good suggestions to dig into, thanks! According to the wiki, the Type R, released in 1958, was the first plug-in with transistors. It had 10 - nine PNP and one NPN, which is interesting. In the service manual for it you can see Tek upgrading parts presumably as they became available, it's kind of amusing to read between the lines there. Now I want to find the Common Design Parts from 1960 or so and see how things went.