Very true Chris. I cut my teeth on a 465 scope when I was starting as a radio tech in the late '70s, and you could not fault it. We've got a nice Agilent scope at work now (not as good as Tektronix of course :-) but I only have an ancient 20MHZ scope at home.... which is why my stories are in this column to try and win a nice new one! (Hell, I'd settle for a 465, they still get very good prices on Ebay occasionally!)
Apart from the portability (and saving of workbench real estate) the use of colour, on screen displays, and digital storage puts today's scopes far ahead of the older ones.
I remember in an idle day I programmed the 834 referred to above to poll a terminal and play a basic game...I forget the details, I think it was a tank type game... character only display of course, but it was an interesting exercise and showed how powerful the 834 was. I actually preferred it to the larger PC based analyzer referred to in my other story, although it only had a 16-character display. It was much more portable and more powerful as I remember, I don't think I'd have caught the extra characters as easily on the other one.
Tektronix test gear just continues to go. Well built, high quality. I’ve found many older oscilloscopes, curve tracers and protocol testers still in operation that were built in the 80’s.
Today, however, the portable oscilloscopes Tek is making are just as durable, and VERY portable for remote use. Take a look at one of today’s 100 MHz oscilloscopes like the TDS2000C and compare it to a 100 MHz Oscilloscope from the 70’s or 80’s. They are so much more portable and lighter.
Sr. Technical Marketing Manager at Tektronix
As usual David tells an interesting tale and describes the sleuth process in a way that is understandable to those not entirely familiar with messaging protocols. A good read! Looking forward to the next printer adventure.