The test station provided interfacing to as many as 64 input and output (I/O) pins of the device under test (DUT). [At that time, I could not imagine today's high-end ball grid array (BGA) chip packages with thousands of pins.] The test station contained 64 sector cards, which could be connected to the pins of the DUT via software control. When looking down into the test station, it appeared as shown below:
Looking down into the test station.
For more information about the S-3260 test system, click here to see a PDF copy of the TekScope Magazine from 1973.
A big investment
The S-3260 test system was by far the most expensive investment ever made by LM Ericsson up to that time. The purchase price was around $400 000. For that amount of money, they could have bought 50 Cadillac Eldorado cars!
The Cadillac Eldorado.
Tom's Pancake House
If you ever visit Beaverton, Ore., you should make a point of calling in at Tom's Pancake House, where they have been serving wonderful pancakes and waffles for more than 40 years. But how did I get to know about Tom's Pancake House? Well, read on...
In January 1975, my boss at LM Ericsson asked me if I wanted to go to the US for a five-week training course on the S-3260 test system. This course was to be held at the Tektronix facility in Beaverton Oregon. Of course I said yes, so early in March I boarded a DC10 that was heading for Seattle. After a short commuter flight from Seattle, I arrived in a rainy Portland, where I rented a car and eventually found the way to Nendel's Inn in Beaverton.
Every morning on my way to the Tektronix office, I stopped at Tom's Pancake House and had breakfast. During the five weeks of the training course, I tried every type of pancake and waffle and drank large amounts of the colored water they called coffee. During this time, I also learnt every single detail of the S-3260 test system down to the replaceable ICs on the sector cards. Yes, all of the components were mounted in sockets, which meant that no soldering was required if it became necessary to replace a faulty device.
The Tektronix Vintage Museum
Did you know that there is a museum of vintage Tektronix equipment in Beaverton? They also have a web page at www.vintagetek.org. The video gallery has a really nice selection of old Tektronix history, such as the "Precision CRT" from 1955.
My next step
I worked as a service engineer for a couple of years. Then I realized it would be much more fun to actually program this beast, which meant I would have to move to the component test department and become a test engineer. This will be the next part of my story...