Subject: Re: [rescue] HP 1640a serial data analyzer

Larry Snyder larrys at
Sat Apr 12 23:56:08 CDT 2003

Dave McGuire <mcguire at> wrote:
>    Mmm, tasty blue scopes.  My current 2465A is very blue, as was my 
> trusty old 545A. :)

Those folks did really neat stuff.  The ceramic strips in your old
545A were Tek-made.  They kept the stray C down.  The vertical amps
were designed to be flatter than a plate of piss.  This was done by
using lots of low gain stages.  There was one 500 series box that had
7 pairs of 6DJ8's cascaded in the vertical amp.  They also made
their own crt's, as no one else was accurate enough.

There were a couple of Cybers, I'm thinking a 75 and a 170, but it's
been a while.  There was also rumored to be an electron beam geometry
modeling program that they weren't allowed to run during the day.
It apparently brought the 170 to a crawl.

Nuther story:
Seems some marketing types had bought into the same marketing crap
that NCR/HP/whoever did AFA cabinet colors.  They developed a line
of "Earth Tone" colors.  These got prototyped.  Not long thereafter,
Howard Vollum ($FOUNDER) ran across these.  His only comment was
"Tek scopes are blue".  Brown went away.

It was a really neat outfit to work for.  Sometime in the early 80's
(I don't remember exactly when) Howard went face down in his plate at
a Portland restaurant.  His successors didn't have his vision, and
the rest is pretty much history.  Tek is still around, but it's
much more marketing driven.  I really miss the days when it wasn't.

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