Tektronix TDS3PRT Printer


I recently bought a TDS3PRT plug-in thermal printer for use in my TDS3000-series scope. I thought the price was reasonable; however, looking online for a manual for this printer, or the 016-1907-00 print rolls, nothing is to be found. These were discontinued at some point by Tektronix, but I assumed they were still usable. However from the sheer scarcity of information available about this printer's faults or otherwise, I am wondering if Tek lawyers didn't order marketing to make every trace evaporate. Have I made a mistake in buying this unit? Are the print rolls a standard type that can be obtained more economically elsewhere?

Bruce, KG6OJI


Since a previous message to this group I have been seeking an explanation for the scarcity of of available information on tthe TDS3PRT printer and the reason for its discontinuance. I have been hoping to find the manual or instructions furnished with this printer and any software that might have been furnished with it. What I have learned so far is that according to a Wikipedia article:

"Reports began surfacing in the 2000s finding the oestrogen-related chemical bispheonol A ("BPA") [is] mixed in with thermal (and some other) papers. While the health concerns are very uncertain, various health and science oriented political pressure organizations such as the Environmental Working Group have pressed fro these versions to be pulled from market." This may be the explanation.

The TDS3PRT printers bear Sony/Tektronix labels with J prefixes. A source confirmed they were manufactured by Sony. Sony has manufactured several high-quality thermal printer models for medical applications such as ultrasound scans. Another source indicated the TDS3PRT used 110 mm paper rolls. Sony also employed this width paper rolls in their printers and offered at least three grades from normal to highly glossy, UPP-110S, UPP-110HD, and UPP-110HG. These remain available from eBay and Amazon sources and may be compatible with the Tektronix printer. I have not found any source for the Tektronix 016-1907-00 paper (5 rolls).

Sony, being the manufacturer, may have nixed public release of the manuals. One former seller mentioned the manual was available on, but the file has apparently been pulled down.

Are any of these printers to be found in the hands of members of this group? Can anyone provide further information, particularly a source for the manual?

Bruce, KG6OJI


To reply to my own message again , the TDS3PRT printer I purchased from an overseas seller arrived yesterday, but without instructions or accessories. Upon examination I found the platen knob to be frozen; however, after disassembling the unit for inspection, and gradually rocking the knob back and forth, the platen finally broke free. I think this problem arose from a long period of disuse.

At that point I found the Sony UPP-110S 110 mm wide print roll I had hoped to work was too large in diameter for the printer. But after unwinding about two-thirds of the paper to a separate mandrel, so as to reduce the diameter to about 1-1/8-inches, the roll fit the printer. It should be possible to salvage the balance of the paper by refilling the core when the roll is depleted. The Sony UUP-110S paper I tried is their standard thermal printer paper used for printers in medical equipment such as ultrasound scanners. They offer two glossier versions: UUP-110HD and UUP-110HG. I have a roll of the latter, but have not tried it yet. As far as I can ascertain, the originally intended Tektronix print rolls no longer available from any source.

When installed in my TDS3052B the print driver for the TDS3PRT seemed to be automatically selected, and the printer worked fine, except there seemed to be no obvious way of cutting the paper after images are printed. Yet, I might have missed something. Also, I am wondering if there is a need for periodic maintenance, such as cleaning the print head. If anyone has access to the manual or instructions, perhaps they can clarify these issues.

Bruce, KG6OJI