Topics

Interesting scope on eBay. Hickok copy of 535 or Tektronix?


John Williams
 

Here is something interesting on the eBay site:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Tektronix-Oscilloscope-MX-2330-G/193747752801?hash=item2d1c441761:g:cIYAAOSwcbpfrZ9u

It looks identical to a Tektronix 535 but has Hickok nameplates. I would be very interested in the story behind this. I wonder if it is a Tek scope they used for a prototype, or something that they actually constructed. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks.


Dave Voorhis
 

On 12 Nov 2020, at 22:33, John Williams <books4you4@mail.com> wrote:


Here is something interesting on the eBay site:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Tektronix-Oscilloscope-MX-2330-G/193747752801?hash=item2d1c441761:g:cIYAAOSwcbpfrZ9u

It looks identical to a Tektronix 535 but has Hickok nameplates. I would be very interested in the story behind this. I wonder if it is a Tek scope they used for a prototype, or something that they actually constructed. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks.
Just as Apple and IBM personal computers (and IBM mainframes!) were cloned in the 1970’s and 80’s, Tektronix ’scopes were cloned by Hickok and Lavoie.

Years ago, I had one of the Tek 535 Hickok clones, though mine was badged as a Hickok 1805A.

See https://vintagetek.org/clone-scopes/ for the full story of the Tek clones.


 

https://vintagetek.org/clone-scopes/

https://w140.com/tekwiki/wiki/Hickok

and the very worthwhile book "Winning with people - The first 40 years".

Raymond


Dave Voorhis
 

On 12 Nov 2020, at 22:37, Dave Voorhis via groups.io wrote:

… Years ago, I had one of the Tek 535 Hickok clones, though mine was badged as a Hickok 1805A. ...
Oops, should be “Tek 545A Hickok clones…”


Jim Tibbits
 

Looks similar to tek 545 ...likely DOD contract to Hickok similar to one
given by them to Lavoie LA-265...
Jim

On Thu, Nov 12, 2020 at 2:33 PM John Williams <books4you4@mail.com> wrote:

Here is something interesting on the eBay site:


https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Tektronix-Oscilloscope-MX-2330-G/193747752801?hash=item2d1c441761:g:cIYAAOSwcbpfrZ9u

It looks identical to a Tektronix 535 but has Hickok nameplates. I would
be very interested in the story behind this. I wonder if it is a Tek scope
they used for a prototype, or something that they actually constructed.
Anyone have any ideas? Thanks.






Leon Robinson
 

I had a Jetronic about 50 years ago.
I have a LA-265 in the storage shed if it wasn't destroyed when the roof blew off 2 or 3 years ago. 


Leon Robinson  K5JLR

-------- Original message --------
From: Jim Tibbits <ab7vf1@gmail.com>
Date: 11/12/2020 9:21 PM (GMT-06:00)
To: TekScopes@groups.io
Subject: Re: [TekScopes] Interesting scope on eBay. Hickok copy of 535 or Tektronix?

Looks similar to tek 545 ...likely DOD contract to Hickok similar to one
given by them to Lavoie LA-265...
Jim


On Thu, Nov 12, 2020 at 2:33 PM John Williams <books4you4@mail.com> wrote:

Here is something interesting on the eBay site:


https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Tektronix-Oscilloscope-MX-2330-G/193747752801?hash=item2d1c441761:g:cIYAAOSwcbpfrZ9u

It looks identical to a Tektronix 535 but has Hickok nameplates. I would
be very interested in the story behind this. I wonder if it is a Tek scope
they used for a prototype, or something that they actually constructed.
Anyone have any ideas? Thanks.






ken chalfant
 

Greetings,

Following is the really short version of the story I learned.

At some point the military was compelled to go out for competitive bids on “Tektronix” oscilloscopes.

Tek may have been “compelled” to share technical information for the bid process.

Regardless of the details both Hickok and Lavoie made Tektronix knock-offs. Perhaps other companies did as well - that I don’t know.

As I recall the “equivalent” scopes were not all that equivalent. At least some lacked the ceramic parts strips using conventional terminal strips and compromised on other components.

If you come across one and bring it to life it will probably be a reasonable scope for its generation, but it will be somehow less than a Tek scope.

Hopefully others will add to, or accurize, what I have offered in this message.

Regards,

Ken

On 12Nov, 2020, at 9:15 PM, Leon Robinson <leon-robinson@sbcglobal.net> wrote:

I had a Jetronic about 50 years ago.
I have a LA-265 in the storage shed if it wasn't destroyed when the roof blew off 2 or 3 years ago.


Leon Robinson K5JLR

-------- Original message --------
From: Jim Tibbits <ab7vf1@gmail.com>
Date: 11/12/2020 9:21 PM (GMT-06:00)
To: TekScopes@groups.io
Subject: Re: [TekScopes] Interesting scope on eBay. Hickok copy of 535 or Tektronix?

Looks similar to tek 545 ...likely DOD contract to Hickok similar to one
given by them to Lavoie LA-265...
Jim


On Thu, Nov 12, 2020 at 2:33 PM John Williams <books4you4@mail.com> wrote:

Here is something interesting on the eBay site:


https://nam12.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fitm%2FVintage-Tektronix-Oscilloscope-MX-2330-G%2F193747752801%3Fhash%3Ditem2d1c441761%3Ag%3AcIYAAOSwcbpfrZ9u&;amp;data=04%7C01%7C%7Cbea90295bde04e142de408d8878ad163%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637408377566465985%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&amp;sdata=aJeHGnZiVIIxMApTXBvyh8pphRDqzhuiIDr8bI%2BDCUo%3D&amp;reserved=0

It looks identical to a Tektronix 535 but has Hickok nameplates. I would
be very interested in the story behind this. I wonder if it is a Tek scope
they used for a prototype, or something that they actually constructed.
Anyone have any ideas? Thanks.














demianm_1
 

Notice the military contract number. Its from a period where the military required multiple sources for anything considered essential. Tek probably could not say no. it would be interesting to see the internal construction and see how different it is.


Tom Lee
 

The article at the vintagetek website linked to earlier tells a slightly different story, the short version of which is that Tek did not agree to give licenses to their patents, the US government effectively encouraged other companies to infringe anyway, Tek sued the US government, and won.

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

On 11/12/2020 21:41, ken chalfant wrote:
Greetings,

Following is the really short version of the story I learned.

At some point the military was compelled to go out for competitive bids on “Tektronix” oscilloscopes.

Tek may have been “compelled” to share technical information for the bid process.

Regardless of the details both Hickok and Lavoie made Tektronix knock-offs. Perhaps other companies did as well - that I don’t know.

As I recall the “equivalent” scopes were not all that equivalent. At least some lacked the ceramic parts strips using conventional terminal strips and compromised on other components.

If you come across one and bring it to life it will probably be a reasonable scope for its generation, but it will be somehow less than a Tek scope.

Hopefully others will add to, or accurize, what I have offered in this message.

Regards,

Ken


On 12Nov, 2020, at 9:15 PM, Leon Robinson <leon-robinson@sbcglobal.net> wrote:

I had a Jetronic about 50 years ago.
I have a LA-265 in the storage shed if it wasn't destroyed when the roof blew off 2 or 3 years ago.


Leon Robinson K5JLR

-------- Original message --------
From: Jim Tibbits <ab7vf1@gmail.com>
Date: 11/12/2020 9:21 PM (GMT-06:00)
To: TekScopes@groups.io
Subject: Re: [TekScopes] Interesting scope on eBay. Hickok copy of 535 or Tektronix?

Looks similar to tek 545 ...likely DOD contract to Hickok similar to one
given by them to Lavoie LA-265...
Jim


On Thu, Nov 12, 2020 at 2:33 PM John Williams <books4you4@mail.com> wrote:

Here is something interesting on the eBay site:


https://nam12.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fitm%2FVintage-Tektronix-Oscilloscope-MX-2330-G%2F193747752801%3Fhash%3Ditem2d1c441761%3Ag%3AcIYAAOSwcbpfrZ9u&;amp;data=04%7C01%7C%7Cbea90295bde04e142de408d8878ad163%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637408377566465985%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&amp;sdata=aJeHGnZiVIIxMApTXBvyh8pphRDqzhuiIDr8bI%2BDCUo%3D&amp;reserved=0

It looks identical to a Tektronix 535 but has Hickok nameplates. I would
be very interested in the story behind this. I wonder if it is a Tek scope
they used for a prototype, or something that they actually constructed.
Anyone have any ideas? Thanks.















Leon Robinson
 

When I had the Jettronic 535 clone I found several places where they had changed the circuit, because it didn't match the 535 manual.  I got it to work but never quite right.

The Lavoie worked until ok until I got a 545.


Leon Robinson  K5JLR

-------- Original message --------
From: ken chalfant <kpchalfant@msn.com>
Date: 11/12/2020 11:41 PM (GMT-06:00)
To: TekScopes@groups.io
Subject: Re: [TekScopes] Interesting scope on eBay. Hickok copy of 535 or Tektronix?

Greetings,

Following is the really short version of the story I learned.

At some point the military was compelled to go out for competitive bids on “Tektronix” oscilloscopes.

Tek may have been “compelled” to share technical information for the bid process.

Regardless of the details both Hickok and Lavoie made Tektronix knock-offs.  Perhaps other companies did as well - that I don’t know.

As I recall the “equivalent” scopes were not all that equivalent.  At least some lacked the ceramic parts strips using conventional terminal strips and compromised on other components.

If you come across one and bring it to life it will probably be a reasonable scope for its generation, but it will be somehow less than a Tek scope.

Hopefully others will add to, or accurize, what I have offered in this message.

Regards,

Ken


On 12Nov, 2020, at 9:15 PM, Leon Robinson <leon-robinson@sbcglobal.net> wrote:

I had a Jetronic about 50 years ago.
I have a LA-265 in the storage shed if it wasn't destroyed when the roof blew off 2 or 3 years ago.


Leon Robinson  K5JLR

-------- Original message --------
From: Jim Tibbits <ab7vf1@gmail.com>
Date: 11/12/2020  9:21 PM  (GMT-06:00)
To: TekScopes@groups.io
Subject: Re: [TekScopes] Interesting scope on eBay. Hickok copy of 535 or Tektronix?

Looks similar to tek 545 ...likely DOD contract to Hickok similar to one
given by them to Lavoie LA-265...
Jim


On Thu, Nov 12, 2020 at 2:33 PM John Williams <books4you4@mail.com> wrote:

Here is something interesting on the eBay site:


https://nam12.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fitm%2FVintage-Tektronix-Oscilloscope-MX-2330-G%2F193747752801%3Fhash%3Ditem2d1c441761%3Ag%3AcIYAAOSwcbpfrZ9u&;amp;data=04%7C01%7C%7Cbea90295bde04e142de408d8878ad163%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637408377566465985%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&amp;sdata=aJeHGnZiVIIxMApTXBvyh8pphRDqzhuiIDr8bI%2BDCUo%3D&amp;reserved=0

It looks identical to a Tektronix 535 but has Hickok nameplates. I would
be very interested in the story behind this. I wonder if it is a Tek scope
they used for a prototype, or something that they actually constructed.
Anyone have any ideas? Thanks.














Roy Thistle
 

On Thu, Nov 12, 2020 at 10:07 PM, Tom Lee wrote:


Tek sued the US government
The decision is an interesting read in U.S. case law... appearing in briefs, and law school case studies, even here in the colonies.


Roy Thistle
 

On Fri, Nov 13, 2020 at 08:31 AM, Leon Robinson wrote:


because it didn't match the 535 manual.
The U.S. Army technical manual (operator and maintenance) for the AN/USM-81 is online, there's some pictures, a list of tubes, but no schematics.


greenboxmaven
 

In my Air Force time 1969-73, the Lavoie clones were seen mostly at training bases. I would not be surprised it there were 500 of them at Keesler AFB at the time. I think the Tektronix prototype was already overkill in performance, the clones were more than adequate, especially with trainees. I saw a couple Hewlett-Packard clones as well, they were in radio shops. The supply system tended to ship whatever it wanted to, we were happy when we got a genuine Tektronix. I wonder if the conflict and court actions may have caused the Lavoies to be relegated to the training bases where inexperienced students would use them until they were ready for "the real thing", and if their use as educational equipment may have mitigated some of the legal implications as well.

Bruce Gentry, KA2IVY

On 11/13/20 12:41 AM, ken chalfant wrote:
Greetings,

Following is the really short version of the story I learned.

At some point the military was compelled to go out for competitive bids on “Tektronix” oscilloscopes.

Tek may have been “compelled” to share technical information for the bid process.

Regardless of the details both Hickok and Lavoie made Tektronix knock-offs. Perhaps other companies did as well - that I don’t know.

As I recall the “equivalent” scopes were not all that equivalent. At least some lacked the ceramic parts strips using conventional terminal strips and compromised on other components.

If you come across one and bring it to life it will probably be a reasonable scope for its generation, but it will be somehow less than a Tek scope.

Hopefully others will add to, or accurize, what I have offered in this message.

Regards,

Ken


On 12Nov, 2020, at 9:15 PM, Leon Robinson <leon-robinson@sbcglobal.net> wrote:

I had a Jetronic about 50 years ago.
I have a LA-265 in the storage shed if it wasn't destroyed when the roof blew off 2 or 3 years ago.


Leon Robinson K5JLR

-------- Original message --------
From: Jim Tibbits <ab7vf1@gmail.com>
Date: 11/12/2020 9:21 PM (GMT-06:00)
To: TekScopes@groups.io
Subject: Re: [TekScopes] Interesting scope on eBay. Hickok copy of 535 or Tektronix?

Looks similar to tek 545 ...likely DOD contract to Hickok similar to one
given by them to Lavoie LA-265...
Jim


On Thu, Nov 12, 2020 at 2:33 PM John Williams <books4you4@mail.com> wrote:

Here is something interesting on the eBay site:


https://nam12.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fitm%2FVintage-Tektronix-Oscilloscope-MX-2330-G%2F193747752801%3Fhash%3Ditem2d1c441761%3Ag%3AcIYAAOSwcbpfrZ9u&;amp;data=04%7C01%7C%7Cbea90295bde04e142de408d8878ad163%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637408377566465985%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&amp;sdata=aJeHGnZiVIIxMApTXBvyh8pphRDqzhuiIDr8bI%2BDCUo%3D&amp;reserved=0

It looks identical to a Tektronix 535 but has Hickok nameplates. I would
be very interested in the story behind this. I wonder if it is a Tek scope
they used for a prototype, or something that they actually constructed.
Anyone have any ideas? Thanks.
















Brad Thompson
 

greenboxmaven via groups.io wrote on 11/13/2020 4:17 PM:

In my Air Force time 1969-73, the Lavoie clones were seen mostly at training bases.
<snip>

Hello-- Suffering from a bad case of Tektronix lust in 1968 and not having much cash, I bought a
bargain-priced Lavoie LA-259 (?)  scope from a certain salvage yard in Cambridge, MA. After
dragging the thing home, I discovered that its power supply had failed.
 IIRC, its oddball power supply was built around a saturable reactor/transformer
(memory fails me here).

So had the saturable reactor.

The word "unobtanium" hadn't been coined at the time, but it would have applied in
this case.

73--

Brad  AA1IP


Tom Lee
 

Hi Brad,

That salvage yard was Eli Heffron (and sons), perhaps? Brings back fond memories of piles of mystery electronics.

—Cheers,
Tom

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

On Nov 13, 2020, at 4:54 PM, Brad Thompson <brad.thompsonaa1ip@gmail.com> wrote:

greenboxmaven via groups.io wrote on 11/13/2020 4:17 PM:

In my Air Force time 1969-73, the Lavoie clones were seen mostly at training bases.
<snip>

Hello-- Suffering from a bad case of Tektronix lust in 1968 and not having much cash, I bought a
bargain-priced Lavoie LA-259 (?) scope from a certain salvage yard in Cambridge, MA. After
dragging the thing home, I discovered that its power supply had failed.
IIRC, its oddball power supply was built around a saturable reactor/transformer
(memory fails me here).

So had the saturable reactor.

The word "unobtanium" hadn't been coined at the time, but it would have applied in
this case.

73--

Brad AA1IP





greenboxmaven
 

The transformer was probably ferroresonant. It would compensate fairly well for line voltage variations, but would not regulate or stabilize the voltages produced by the secondary windings. Also, the power frequency has to be close to the design or the output of the transformer drops quickly. If the Lavoie used one of these transformers, it was almost certainly custom made and would have been very costly to replace.

Bruce Gentry, KA2IVY

On 11/13/20 7:53 PM, Brad Thompson wrote:
greenboxmaven via groups.io wrote on 11/13/2020 4:17 PM:

In my Air Force time 1969-73, the Lavoie clones were seen mostly at training bases.
<snip>

Hello-- Suffering from a bad case of Tektronix lust in 1968 and not having much cash, I bought a
bargain-priced Lavoie LA-259 (?) scope from a certain salvage yard in Cambridge, MA. After
dragging the thing home, I discovered that its power supply had failed.
IIRC, its oddball power supply was built around a saturable reactor/transformer
(memory fails me here).

So had the saturable reactor.

The word "unobtanium" hadn't been coined at the time, but it would have applied in
this case.

73--

Brad AA1IP





Jim Tibbits
 

Never saw a Lavoie when I was in USAF (61-65)..spent about a year and a
half curled up in the "wine celler" on the B-52 tweaking alignments on the
terrain avoidance computer with a trusty tek 545 tho

Jim

On Fri, Nov 13, 2020 at 4:54 PM Brad Thompson <brad.thompsonaa1ip@gmail.com>
wrote:

greenboxmaven via groups.io wrote on 11/13/2020 4:17 PM:

In my Air Force time 1969-73, the Lavoie clones were seen mostly at
training bases.
<snip>

Hello-- Suffering from a bad case of Tektronix lust in 1968 and not
having much cash, I bought a
bargain-priced Lavoie LA-259 (?) scope from a certain salvage yard in
Cambridge, MA. After
dragging the thing home, I discovered that its power supply had failed.
IIRC, its oddball power supply was built around a saturable
reactor/transformer
(memory fails me here).

So had the saturable reactor.

The word "unobtanium" hadn't been coined at the time, but it would have
applied in
this case.

73--

Brad AA1IP