Topics

Power Designs, Inc.

Malcolm S
 

Hello to all at TekScopes!
I realize this might be a long shot, but I know that so many of you Tek enthusiasts are also familiar with "boat anchor" test equipment and hoped that some of you might have some information about the Power Designs company, which manufactured power supplies on both Eastern and Western American coasts from the late 1950's until the late 1980's-1990's. I have been able to find very little information about the company and am looking for contacts. Any information would be greatly appreciated, and I hope that I have not broken any group rules by making this query.

Bob Albert
 

I have one of their power supplies.  Does that help?
Bob

On Thursday, November 21, 2019, 02:09:01 PM PST, Malcolm S <seraphim4000@...> wrote:

Hello to all at TekScopes!
I realize this might be a long shot, but I know that so many of you Tek enthusiasts are also familiar with "boat anchor" test equipment and hoped that some of you might have some information about the Power Designs company, which manufactured power supplies on both Eastern and Western American coasts from the late 1950's until the late 1980's-1990's. I have been able to find very little information about the company and am looking for contacts. Any information would be greatly appreciated, and I hope that I have not broken any group rules by making this query.

Mlynch001
 

I have 3 Power Designs Power supplies. They were based out of New York for sure. All 3 of my supplies are labeled as "POWER DESIGNS INC., New York". I have 2 of their 4005 supplies and a 2010 Precision Power supply, which I have used for calibration of scopes.

--
Michael Lynch
Dardanelle, AR

Malcolm S
 

Thanks for replying, Bob!
It's good to know that there are other owners of their designs out there;
they're fine products and stand up well even today. What I'm trying to do
is find out more about the company that manufactured them. How did you come
by yours?

Malcolm

On Thu, Nov 21, 2019 at 4:14 PM Bob Albert via Groups.Io <bob91343=
yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

I have one of their power supplies. Does that help?
Bob
On Thursday, November 21, 2019, 02:09:01 PM PST, Malcolm S <
seraphim4000@...> wrote:

Hello to all at TekScopes!
I realize this might be a long shot, but I know that so many of you Tek
enthusiasts are also familiar with "boat anchor" test equipment and hoped
that some of you might have some information about the Power Designs
company, which manufactured power supplies on both Eastern and Western
American coasts from the late 1950's until the late 1980's-1990's. I have
been able to find very little information about the company and am looking
for contacts. Any information would be greatly appreciated, and I hope that
I have not broken any group rules by making this query.





Malcolm S
 

Thanks for replying, Michael!

Do any of yours also have any markings (in addition to NY) that say Palo
Alto, CA?

Malcolm

On Thu, Nov 21, 2019 at 6:11 PM Mlynch001 <@mlynch001> wrote:

I have 3 Power Designs Power supplies. They were based out of New York
for sure. All 3 of my supplies are labeled as "POWER DESIGNS INC., New
York". I have 2 of their 4005 supplies and a 2010 Precision Power supply,
which I have used for calibration of scopes.

--
Michael Lynch
Dardanelle, AR



Jim Ford
 

We have a few at work (Raytheon).  All say both New York and Palo Alto, IIRC.  They seem to work just fine.  Sorry I don't know more.Jim Ford Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

-------- Original message --------From: Malcolm S <seraphim4000@...> Date: 11/21/19 8:27 PM (GMT-08:00) To: TekScopes@groups.io Subject: Re: [TekScopes] Power Designs, Inc. Thanks for replying, Michael!Do any of yours also have any markings (in addition to NY) that say PaloAlto, CA?MalcolmOn Thu, Nov 21, 2019 at 6:11 PM Mlynch001 <@mlynch001> wrote:> I have 3 Power Designs Power supplies.  They were based out of New York> for sure.  All 3 of my supplies are labeled as "POWER DESIGNS INC., New> York".  I have 2 of their 4005 supplies and a 2010 Precision Power supply,> which I have used for calibration of scopes.>> --> Michael Lynch> Dardanelle, AR>> >>

Bob Albert
 

I got mine at a swap meet a year or so ago.  It works great except the meter has a crack in it.  I'd like to fix that but don't have the piece I need.
It puts out up to 50V at a half amp I think, small package.
I remember the brand from my days as a working engineer, several decades ago.  I know nothing about the company.
Bob

On Thursday, November 21, 2019, 08:27:28 PM PST, Malcolm S <seraphim4000@...> wrote:

Thanks for replying, Michael!

Do any of yours also have any markings (in addition to NY) that say Palo
Alto, CA?

Malcolm

On Thu, Nov 21, 2019 at 6:11 PM Mlynch001 <@mlynch001> wrote:

I have 3 Power Designs Power supplies.  They were based out of New York
for sure.  All 3 of my supplies are labeled as "POWER DESIGNS INC., New
York".  I have 2 of their 4005 supplies and a 2010 Precision Power supply,
which I have used for calibration of scopes.

--
Michael Lynch
Dardanelle, AR



Don Bitters
 

They are/were used in mil contractor shops - Raytheon, Grumman, so I would check for the Mil Cal repair guides, particularly Army and Air Force TO’s. I used several while still working. They were clean and durable.
Don Bitters

Don Bitters
 

Michael W. Lynch
 

Malcolm,
Mine all are marked with New York.  I do not recall anything stating "Palo Alto".  However,I seem to remember seeing some units that were marked with Palo Alto during my search.  I got all three of mine off of E-Bay.  It took me quite some time to find them.  For some reason, most sellers on E-bay price these Power Designs supplies very high.

Michael Lynch 479-226-0126 Home Phone479-477-1115 Cell Phonemlynch001@...@gmail.commlynch003@...

On Thursday, November 21, 2019, 10:27:29 PM CST, Malcolm S <seraphim4000@...> wrote:

Thanks for replying, Michael!

Do any of yours also have any markings (in addition to NY) that say Palo
Alto, CA?

Malcolm

On Thu, Nov 21, 2019 at 6:11 PM Mlynch001 <@mlynch001> wrote:

I have 3 Power Designs Power supplies.  They were based out of New York
for sure.  All 3 of my supplies are labeled as "POWER DESIGNS INC., New
York".  I have 2 of their 4005 supplies and a 2010 Precision Power supply,
which I have used for calibration of scopes.

--
Michael Lynch
Dardanelle, AR



Kurt Rosenfeld
 

The addresses of Power Designs in California and New York (in the 1960's) are on the second page of this document:

http://manuals.repeater-builder.com/te-files/POWER%20DESIGNS/POWER%20DESIGNS%202015R%20Instruction.pdf

I own two Power Designs power supplies from 1960's. They were, to borrow some words from the inside cover of the 1953 Tek catalog "unexcelled in the electronics industry and limited only by the current state of the art." The 3650-S is a particularly nice design with a variac that tracks the output voltage pot, keeping a constant voltage across the output transistor.

At one point in the late 1990's or early 2000's, I contacted Power Designs and asked them if they had schematics for one of their power supplies that I was restoring. This was before the PDFs were online. The folks at Power Designs mailed me a photocopy of the schematics at zero cost to me. Classy!

 

On Thu, Nov 21, 2019 at 04:08 PM, Malcolm S wrote:


Hello to all at TekScopes!
I realize this might be a long shot, but I know that so many of you Tek
enthusiasts are also familiar with "boat anchor" test equipment and hoped that
some of you might have some information about the Power Designs company, which
manufactured power supplies on both Eastern and Western American coasts from
the late 1950's until the late 1980's-1990's. I have been able to find very
little information about the company and am looking for contacts. Any
information would be greatly appreciated, and I hope that I have not broken
any group rules by making this query.
There is a comprehensive history of Power Designs, Inc at https://techobsessed.net/power-designs/. Not a lot of details about the products they produced, but a history of the acquisitions that eventually led to the demise of their excellent line of power supplies.
Back in the late 60s, I worked at a repair/calibration lab in Huntsville, Al. I saw a *LOT* of Power Designs power supplies cross my bench from the NASA labs at the Marshall Space Flight Center, mostly for calibration/certification.. Rarely did they need repair. They were (and still are) some of the quietest power supplies I have ever seen and used.
I have, over the years, bought a number of them from various sources (Ebay, hamfests, etc.). Only one of the many that I bought has ever had to be repaired. A previous owner had found it necessary to tear the reference oven apart for some reason, and couldn't put it back together.

There is a number of Power Designs manuals on Didier's manual site at http://www.ko4bb.com/getsimple/index.php?id=manuals. That site has the most comprehensive collection of Power Designs manuals on the web.

Cheers,
Dave M

Chuck Harris
 

Power Designs power supplies do most of the heavy lifting
in my lab. They are good electrically quiet supplies that
last a long, long, long time.

I have had a few failures, but they have all been stupid stuff,
that the design engineers could not have predicted, like Sprague
30D/TE capacitors drying out, and corrosion in the meters.

Still, way better than HP/Harrison supplies, and those GW
supplies that Tektronix badge engineered.

-Chuck Harris

David M wrote:

On Thu, Nov 21, 2019 at 04:08 PM, Malcolm S wrote:


Hello to all at TekScopes!
I realize this might be a long shot, but I know that so many of you Tek
enthusiasts are also familiar with "boat anchor" test equipment and hoped that
some of you might have some information about the Power Designs company, which
manufactured power supplies on both Eastern and Western American coasts from
the late 1950's until the late 1980's-1990's. I have been able to find very
little information about the company and am looking for contacts. Any
information would be greatly appreciated, and I hope that I have not broken
any group rules by making this query.
There is a comprehensive history of Power Designs, Inc at https://techobsessed.net/power-designs/. Not a lot of details about the products they produced, but a history of the acquisitions that eventually led to the demise of their excellent line of power supplies.
Back in the late 60s, I worked at a repair/calibration lab in Huntsville, Al. I saw a *LOT* of Power Designs power supplies cross my bench from the NASA labs at the Marshall Space Flight Center, mostly for calibration/certification.. Rarely did they need repair. They were (and still are) some of the quietest power supplies I have ever seen and used.
I have, over the years, bought a number of them from various sources (Ebay, hamfests, etc.). Only one of the many that I bought has ever had to be repaired. A previous owner had found it necessary to tear the reference oven apart for some reason, and couldn't put it back together.

There is a number of Power Designs manuals on Didier's manual site at http://www.ko4bb.com/getsimple/index.php?id=manuals. That site has the most comprehensive collection of Power Designs manuals on the web.

Cheers,
Dave M

Mlynch001
 

There products are beautifully constructed. I have had a look around the inside of two of my PD supplies and they are built like a tank. Beautifully dressed wiring, everything secure and properly routed. It just does not get better than what you find in these old supplies. I suppose this is why they still bring a good price and still operate properly.
--
Michael Lynch
Dardanelle, AR

Greg Muir
 

Have several PD products (5015T, TP340A, TP343B, TW5005T, TW6050A) that are in frequent use in the lab. It may be noteworthy that the TW6050A lists both Westbury NY and Palo Alto on its front panel. The manual for the TW5005 also lists the addresses of both locations in its manual.
https://nscainc.com/wp-content/uploads/pdf/POW_TW5005.pdf

Given their age they have never needed service except for the 5015. It has an inherent design issue when using to charge NiCad batteries that pops one of the transistors if you are not careful when connecting it.

In all, I will admit that these power supplies probably see more use than the numerous HP power supplies sitting on the shelf. If the late Jim Williams used them during his work with IC development they must be OK.
(Good older PD discussion on EEVblog.com - https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/looking-for-goodinexpensive-bench-power-supply/)

Greg

Carl Hallberg
 

Hi Greg,
I always have a diode in series with the output when charging a battery.  Most analog supplies have emitter follower outputs and if a voltage source (battery) greater than the zener voltage of the base-emitter junction of the output transistor(s)  is exceeded, could be a problem.  For instance, if the power supply is off and a car battery is hooked up.  Diode should have voltage and current rating greater then the  power supply.

Carl

On Friday, November 22, 2019, 12:13:36 PM CST, Greg Muir via Groups.Io <big_sky_explorer=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

Have several PD products (5015T, TP340A, TP343B, TW5005T, TW6050A) that are in frequent use in the lab.  It may be noteworthy that the TW6050A lists both Westbury NY and Palo Alto on its front panel.  The manual for the TW5005 also lists the addresses of both locations in its manual.
https://nscainc.com/wp-content/uploads/pdf/POW_TW5005.pdf

Given their age they have never needed service except for the 5015.  It has an inherent design issue when using to charge NiCad batteries that pops one of the transistors if you are not careful when connecting it.

In all, I will admit that these power supplies probably see more use than the numerous HP power supplies sitting on the shelf.  If the late Jim Williams used them during his work with IC development they must be OK.
(Good older PD discussion on EEVblog.com - https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/looking-for-goodinexpensive-bench-power-supply/)

Greg

Greg Muir
 

Carl,

It’s a little different with the 5015 supply when connecting to a battery. The supply has to be turned off before connecting. If you connect with it on and no matter where the voltage is set around the battery voltage, one of the smaller regulator control transistors (I believe it is Q6 in the “T” version) on occasion opens up.

Greg