Topics

Push button font


Dave Peterson
 

Hi All,

A common problem with older scopes seems to be the text on push buttons and knobs wearing off.

I have an idea for restoring these, but I'm wondering if there's a spec for the font on these? I'm looking specifically for 465 push buttons and CH1/CH2 VOLTS/DIV knobs.

While I'm at it, any suggestions for restoring the plastic for the grey AC/GND/DC, COUPLING, and SOURCE switches? A simplistic idea would be to use an automotive exterior plastic restorer, but I suspect you guys have more sophisticated ideas.

Dave


Stephen
 

On Sun, Dec 13, 2020 at 12:40 PM, Dave Peterson wrote:


Hi All,

A common problem with older scopes seems to be the text on push buttons and
knobs wearing off.

I have an idea for restoring these, but I'm wondering if there's a spec for
the font on these? I'm looking specifically for 465 push buttons and CH1/CH2
VOLTS/DIV knobs.

While I'm at it, any suggestions for restoring the plastic for the grey
AC/GND/DC, COUPLING, and SOURCE switches? A simplistic idea would be to use an
automotive exterior plastic restorer, but I suspect you guys have more
sophisticated ideas.

Dave
I was working on a project to rebuilt the lettering on Volts/Div knobs and push buttons for the 400 series and maybe others. But work has been overwhelming, and I haven’t had time to get back to this project.
I hope I will soon.


Paul Amaranth
 

I made a label for a 465 channel select button once upon a time.

I used a 6pt Helvetica-Narrow-Bold font in xfig and it matched up pretty well.

Paul

On Sun, Dec 13, 2020 at 03:58:08PM -0800, Stephen wrote:
On Sun, Dec 13, 2020 at 12:40 PM, Dave Peterson wrote:


Hi All,

A common problem with older scopes seems to be the text on push buttons and
knobs wearing off.

I have an idea for restoring these, but I'm wondering if there's a spec for
the font on these? I'm looking specifically for 465 push buttons and CH1/CH2
VOLTS/DIV knobs.

While I'm at it, any suggestions for restoring the plastic for the grey
AC/GND/DC, COUPLING, and SOURCE switches? A simplistic idea would be to use an
automotive exterior plastic restorer, but I suspect you guys have more
sophisticated ideas.

Dave
I was working on a project to rebuilt the lettering on Volts/Div knobs and push buttons for the 400 series and maybe others. But work has been overwhelming, and I haven’t had time to get back to this project.
I hope I will soon.







!DSPAM:5fd6aa9e97051065365781!
--
Paul Amaranth, GCIH | Manchester MI, USA
Aurora Group of Michigan, LLC | Security, Systems & Software
paul@AuroraGrp.Com | Unix/Linux - We don't do windows


toby@...
 

On 2020-12-13 6:40 p.m., Dave Peterson via groups.io wrote:
Hi All,

A common problem with older scopes seems to be the text on push buttons and knobs wearing off.

I have an idea for restoring these, but I'm wondering if there's a spec for the font on these? I'm looking specifically for 465 push buttons and CH1/CH2 VOLTS/DIV knobs.

Scopes 4xx and newer all use various weights of Univers.

Button labels are usually Univers Bold Condensed.

If you post a close-up picture I can better identify the variants for you.

--Toby


While I'm at it, any suggestions for restoring the plastic for the grey AC/GND/DC, COUPLING, and SOURCE switches? A simplistic idea would be to use an automotive exterior plastic restorer, but I suspect you guys have more sophisticated ideas.

Dave





Tom Lee
 

Thank you, Toby -- that's very helpful! I only know two fonts: One is Courier and the other isn't.

--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 12/13/2020 16:14, toby@telegraphics.com.au wrote:
On 2020-12-13 6:40 p.m., Dave Peterson via groups.io wrote:
Hi All,

A common problem with older scopes seems to be the text on push buttons and knobs wearing off.

I have an idea for restoring these, but I'm wondering if there's a spec for the font on these? I'm looking specifically for 465 push buttons and CH1/CH2 VOLTS/DIV knobs.
Scopes 4xx and newer all use various weights of Univers.

Button labels are usually Univers Bold Condensed.

If you post a close-up picture I can better identify the variants for you.

--Toby


While I'm at it, any suggestions for restoring the plastic for the grey AC/GND/DC, COUPLING, and SOURCE switches? A simplistic idea would be to use an automotive exterior plastic restorer, but I suspect you guys have more sophisticated ideas.

Dave







Dave Peterson
 

Added Vert Mode and CH1/CH2 VOLTS/DIV pictures to:

https://groups.io/g/TekScopes/album?id=257967

Thanks for the help guys! I'll have to look up the Univers font, and I forgot to think of the size as 'point', not inches.

Dave


 

Hi Dave,
Very good question! It would be very helpful to have a list of all of the fonts Tek used everywhere in one comprehensive document.

I did a quick search of the messages in our archive looking for FONTS and I found these three topics that might help. I would love it if someone would condense all of these font substitutions from these three topics and add the additional fonts use on Tek's instruments that no one has figure out yet.

This thread of messages describes the fonts used in Tek manuals. This topic starts with message #145739. The subject is "Typefaces in Tektronix manuals, was Re: [TekScopes] Protecting button labels".

There is another thread that starts with message #143406. The subject is "Typeface used on 7000-series and 11000-series front panels".

There is another thread that starts with message #138823. The subject is "Remarking buttons".

Dennis Tillman W7pF

-----Original Message-----
From: TekScopes@groups.io [mailto:TekScopes@groups.io] On Behalf Of Dave Peterson via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, December 13, 2020 3:40 PM
To: TekScopes@groups.io
Subject: [TekScopes] Push button font

Hi All,

A common problem with older scopes seems to be the text on push buttons and knobs wearing off.

I have an idea for restoring these, but I'm wondering if there's a spec for the font on these? I'm looking specifically for 465 push buttons and CH1/CH2 VOLTS/DIV knobs.

While I'm at it, any suggestions for restoring the plastic for the grey AC/GND/DC, COUPLING, and SOURCE switches? A simplistic idea would be to use an automotive exterior plastic restorer, but I suspect you guys have more sophisticated ideas.

Dave







--
Dennis Tillman W7pF
TekScopes Moderator


toby@...
 

On 2020-12-13 7:59 p.m., Dave Peterson via groups.io wrote:
Added Vert Mode and CH1/CH2 VOLTS/DIV pictures to:

https://groups.io/g/TekScopes/album?id=257967
The first image buttons:

DC, VERT MODE are Univers Bold Condensed but I guess you don't need
those. "DIV" is not condensed, just Univers regular weight.

Buttons CH 1, ALT, ADD, CHOP, CH 2 are all Univers Condensed Regular weight.

The numerals all around the switch legend are all Univers Bold
Condensed. The "m" unit appears to be Univers regular (NOT condensed)
for extra clarity.

--Toby



Thanks for the help guys! I'll have to look up the Univers font, and I forgot to think of the size as 'point', not inches.

Dave





Dave Peterson
 

Toby, I'm gobsmacked.

Where the heck did you find this!?

Dennis, thanks for the threads. I'm thinking of going the decal route. Researching providers of custom decals as I don't have or want the equipment for doing it myself. But reading the threads reenforces my confidence in the method.

It is a challenge getting this info consolidated, isn't it? I try searching the messages, but it can be difficult to constrain the results, or find the specific info in sometimes meandering threads. It's one of the reasons I like wiki's, but there is no perfect solution. Do you have a method in mind of where to put this info? In a file? A dedicated message thread?

Again, you guys rock.
Dave


toby@...
 

On 2020-12-13 9:02 p.m., Dave Peterson via groups.io wrote:
Toby, I'm gobsmacked.

Where the heck did you find this!?
I'm a typographer ... it's what we do.

Now, if only I had a knack for analog electronics...


Dennis, thanks for the threads. I'm thinking of going the decal route. Researching providers of custom decals as I don't have or want the equipment for doing it myself. But reading the threads reenforces my confidence in the method.

It is a challenge getting this info consolidated, isn't it? I try searching the messages, but it can be difficult to constrain the results, or find the specific info in sometimes meandering threads. It's one of the reasons I like wiki's, but there is no perfect solution. Do you have a method in mind of where to put this info? In a file? A dedicated message thread?

Again, you guys rock.
Dave





EJP
 

I aree, it is Univers Condensed. Any number can play 'what the font?' See http://www.identifont.com/.


snapdiode
 

Cough, cough... Can someone perhaps identify the font(s) used on the plastic CombBind spines of the manuals?


Chuck Harris
 

I'm pretty sure it is something put together
by Tektronix's graphics department.

-Chuck Harris

snapdiode via groups.io wrote:

Cough, cough... Can someone perhaps identify the font(s) used on the plastic CombBind spines of the manuals?






 

Dave,

I'm curious about how worn the lettering is on your scope, your pictures don't seem to show significant wear. The clear skirts on the V/DIV knobs seem to have had the number printed on the rear surface of the skirt, and the printing is susceptible to mild solvents (e.g. IPA, from what I've read), but the push buttons don't seem bothered by IPA (I just go done vigorously cleaning up a 475 with IPA, and I was careful not to get any on the back of the V/DIV skirts, but everything else got a good scrubbing, and no printing came off).

I would expect a decal or sticker to work well on the back of the V/DIV skirts, where you can ensure that it won't get any significant friction (by carefully raising the knob from the front plate), but the pushbuttons are another matter: I think a decal or sticker would have a very limited lifespan on those. I wonder if some kind of dye sublimation ("ink jet") printing could be arranged for the pushbuttons (or maybe heat transfer from a laser printed image). That would allow you to get fine printing done, then you could put a surface coat of clear epoxy over the printing to prevent it from wearing off too quickly.

I'm just spitballing here, but I know that dye sublimation is used to put printing on cheap keyboard caps (the expensive ones are injection molded in several steps, called "double shot", so that the letters are as thick as the plastic itself). I've had a close look at the pushbuttons on my 475A with a 40x loupe, but can't tell much about how the printing was done. Using the tip of a fine screwdriver, however, I can tell that the black printing on the pushbuttons is slightly raised, which suggests that it's printed on the plastic rather than injection molded into it.

I have several 400 series scopes, with different amounts of wear on their buttons and knobs. I have seen the white printing on the VAR knobs completely worn off (maybe "worn" is not quite the right word, maybe "scoured" is more accurate), and I have seen the printing on the back of the clear skirts not merely worn off, but actually transferred to the aluminum face plate by an apparent impact. I have not yet seen pushbuttons with worn lettering, however, so I am curious to see what that looks like (and how it might have happened).

-- Jeff Dutky

P.S. In a past life I was also a typesetter, but I have been out of the game so long that I wouldn't trust myself to identify a sans-serif font given only the capital letters.


Dave Peterson
 

I've added a picture to the photo album showing the issues with buttons and knobs. The button text came off with just light application of IPA on a cotton swab. The VOLTS/DIV damage is from the knob being installed up against the face of the scope. This happened on both scopes I have.

The text on the knobs is behind the skirt, so appropriate installation of the knob keeps it protected. As can be seen, incorrect installation causes damage to print as well as any other external application (decals e.g.). I have experience with decal application and know how to bond them very well. But yes, it's still a decal that can be damaged. Clear coat is often used to protect decals. I felt I would experiment with this to find the need and appropriate solution. This failure mode seems to be quite common. I see it on plenty of eBay listings. The ease with which it came off when cleaning my parts scope startled me and was the instigation of my finding a repeatable reliable remedy. That I have damaged buttons gives me a free example to experiment with. Nothing to loose now.

I'm surprised you have an alternate experience Jeff. I wish I did, but that it's been common for me motivates me to find a solution.

Dave


Szabolcs Szigeti
 

Hi,

Robin Renzetti (Robrenz) did an extreme restoration on a 7603, he
documented it on eevblog:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/tek-7603-scope-w-7a18-amp-7b53a-timebase-restoration/msg172135/#msg172135/

He actually engraved the pushbuttons with the text and filled the
engravings with balck epoxy.

BTW, he's got an awesome Youtube channel, if you are interested in
precision machining.

Szabolcs


Dave Peterson via groups.io <davidpinsf=yahoo.com@groups.io> ezt írta
(időpont: 2020. dec. 14., H, 0:40):

Hi All,

A common problem with older scopes seems to be the text on push buttons
and knobs wearing off.

I have an idea for restoring these, but I'm wondering if there's a spec
for the font on these? I'm looking specifically for 465 push buttons and
CH1/CH2 VOLTS/DIV knobs.

While I'm at it, any suggestions for restoring the plastic for the grey
AC/GND/DC, COUPLING, and SOURCE switches? A simplistic idea would be to use
an automotive exterior plastic restorer, but I suspect you guys have more
sophisticated ideas.

Dave






 

Dave,

I wasn't doubting your experience, I was really just curious to see what it looked like, and how it happened. Man! I just looked at the picture, and that printing is really GONE! And you say that was just from a gentle application of IPA? It may be that the IPA that I am using is not as concentrated as yours: it has been sitting on the shelf (supposedly sealed, but who knows how good that seal really is) for at least a dozen years (maybe twice that long, if the can belonged to my father, which is entirely possible). The can SAYS that it's "anhydrous-pure" but I'm guessing it might be a little bit hydrous at this point.

I added the pictures of my cleaned up "dirty 475" and I can assure you, I put plenty of pressure on the surface of the pushbuttons with an IPA soaked paper towel to get the gray whateveritwas off. I may have damaged the printing on one of the V/DIV skirts while trying to clean the front, I'm not sure, but I figured that it was worth the risk; as you can see from the "before" images the knobs would have been unreadable if I hadn't cleaned them.

Do you have some way to make decals for the V/DIV skirts? Is there blank decal paper that I can get to run through a laser or ink-jet printer (I had never even considered that such a thing might exist, now I must look). It would sure make restoring the V/DIV knobs a lot easier if we could just print up new lettering and apply it like the decals on model planes.

Actually, I just looked it up, and holy shit it actually exists: https://www.amazon.com/Water-Slide-Transfer-Transparent-Printable-Christmas/dp/B07WC89JWF/ref=asc_df_B07WC89JWF/

I've been so busy worrying about how to repair the broken knobs (I've got some ideas that I think will work, if only I can match the colors in epoxy resin) that I had not even thought about how to fix the missing printing.

Now I just need to break out some appropriate graphics software.

-- Jeff Dutky


toby@...
 

On 2020-12-14 12:37 a.m., Jeff Dutky wrote:
Dave,
...
I'm just spitballing here, but I know that dye sublimation is used to put printing on cheap keyboard caps (the expensive ones are injection molded in several steps, called "double shot", so that the letters are as thick as the plastic itself). I've had a close look at the pushbuttons on my 475A with a 40x loupe, but can't tell much about how the printing was done. Using the tip of a fine screwdriver, however, I can tell that the black printing on the pushbuttons is slightly raised, which suggests that it's printed on the plastic rather than injection molded into it.

I have several 400 series scopes, with different amounts of wear on their buttons and knobs. I have seen the white printing on the VAR knobs completely worn off (maybe "worn" is not quite the right word, maybe "scoured" is more accurate), and I have seen the printing on the back of the clear skirts not merely worn off, but actually transferred to the aluminum face plate by an apparent impact. I have not yet seen pushbuttons with worn lettering, however, so I am curious to see what that looks like (and how it might have happened).
Yes, it looks screenprinted. To my chagrin I know that wiping with 70%
IPA will take it off. That will also dissolve screenprinted ink Tek used
in other places, too.

--Toby


-- Jeff Dutky

P.S. In a past life I was also a typesetter, but I have been out of the game so long that I wouldn't trust myself to identify a sans-serif font given only the capital letters.





toby@...
 

On 2020-12-14 12:17 a.m., Chuck Harris wrote:
I'm pretty sure it is something put together
by Tektronix's graphics department.
Yes, and I don't think it's consistent either; after all, it spanned
several decades. It would probably be possible to find a suitable free
bold, compressed font that resembles it.

--Toby

-Chuck Harris

snapdiode via groups.io wrote:
Cough, cough... Can someone perhaps identify the font(s) used on the plastic CombBind spines of the manuals?









Dave Peterson
 

I just looked at the bottle I'm using. It's 70%, but also quite old. Pilfered from my wife's cosmetics cabinet some years ago.
I recall seeing someone post on EEVBlog, I think, that they had this problem, so I was watching out for it. But I didn't expect to just dissolve at a touch. Live and learn. And the problem still exists with scopes that haven't even been cleaned yet. So I was already looking for a method for addressing this. And the damaged Volts/Div knobs too. Ya gotta clean these things, and if the print's gonna just wipe off then I've gotta have a viable remedy in place. It seems only the buttons have the problem, but I also haven't used more than water on the backs of Volts/Div knobs. The face and other knobs have been cleaned with IPA (70%), Windex and a toothbrush, so I'm confident the face printing and knob paint are durable enough.
I'm not surprised to see DIY solutions to water transfer decals. But I think I'm going to go with someone who does it as a gig. Of the many hobbies I've dabbled back into since becoming an adult (laughter ensues) scale models is one. My last serious attempt at doing a good job was a 144:1 737-800 with Alaska Airlines livery: https://www.shopdrawdecal.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=20%2D737%2D113
One of the things that I practiced (many times over!) and learned was how to set these things: MicroSol and MicroSet. They soften and set the decal quite well. The only question remains how durable button lettering would be. There are also a couple/few methods of covering decals with clear coats. From clear "paints" to Future floor wax (which I actually prefer for gloss finishes!). I have an airbrush for model painting, and lots of clear coats, so I figured I'd experiment with an already damaged push button. But the base quality of the ink and transfer material are very important to the final outcome. So I'm willing to work with an experienced vendor.
I have a couple of providers in mind, but I didn't want to reach out to them until I had some specifics for them to work with. Thus last nights query on the group. I'm blown away by the response. The font is dead on. I need to resolve the size. 6pt looks like it might be too large. I don't know if 5pt is a real thing. But I'll use some precision calipers to check it out. I also now have some good pictures to include with a request for quote. The button lettering will be easy and I'll be able to have literally 100's of button faces printed up. The Volts/Div knobs will take some working with the vendor on. I'll just have to reach out to them and see how much graphics they can/will do on their own and how much I'd have to provide. I figured good specific specs is a good place to start, and the ring of the knob can be done as one decal. It also shouldn't need to be as high a demand sheet. Once I have everything in place I'll do an aggressive cleaning on a dial with already damaged lettering and see what it takes to strip the remaining numbers.
Yet another bit of minutia to chase! And having fun doing it.Dave

On Monday, December 14, 2020, 12:17:25 AM PST, Jeff Dutky <jeff.dutky@gmail.com> wrote:

Dave,

I wasn't doubting your experience, I was really just curious to see what it looked like, and how it happened. Man! I just looked at the picture, and that printing is really GONE! And you say that was just from a gentle application of IPA? It may be that the IPA that I am using is not as concentrated as yours: it has been sitting on the shelf (supposedly sealed, but who knows how good that seal really is) for at least a dozen years (maybe twice that long, if the can belonged to my father, which is entirely possible). The can SAYS that it's "anhydrous-pure" but I'm guessing it might be a little bit hydrous at this point.

I added the pictures of my cleaned up "dirty 475" and I can assure you, I put plenty of pressure on the surface of the pushbuttons with an IPA soaked paper towel to get the gray whateveritwas off. I may have damaged the printing on one of the V/DIV skirts while trying to clean the front, I'm not sure, but I figured that it was worth the risk; as you can see from the "before" images the knobs would have been unreadable if I hadn't cleaned them.

Do you have some way to make decals for the V/DIV skirts? Is there blank decal paper that I can get to run through a laser or ink-jet printer (I had never even considered that such a thing might exist, now I must look). It would sure make restoring the V/DIV knobs a lot easier if we could just print up new lettering and apply it like the decals on model planes.

Actually, I just looked it up, and holy shit it actually exists: https://www.amazon.com/Water-Slide-Transfer-Transparent-Printable-Christmas/dp/B07WC89JWF/ref=asc_df_B07WC89JWF/

I've been so busy worrying about how to repair the broken knobs (I've got some ideas that I think will work, if only I can match the colors in epoxy resin) that I had not even thought about how to fix the missing printing.

Now I just need to break out some appropriate graphics software.

-- Jeff Dutky