Old Scopes Linger

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I have an old EICO oscilloscope lingering in a corner, I thought since it was so old, it might be "rare". Since it was a rather crappy scope in the first place, you'd figure they'd all have been sent to the dump long ago.   It was ancient when I got it & that was probably 40 years ago!  I was completely surprised how many EICO scopes were on ebay & how many had been sold on ebay...Not sure how many of these were made & what percentage still survive after all these years.  Do you have one hiding somewhere (or maybe still use it)?

Nowadays we buy decent laptop & in 4 years its in the crusher, along with 200 million cell phones.

 

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

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Had one like that when I was in high school. Even that one was a hand-me-down several times over. 

 

Jim

Jim Wagner Oregon Research Electronics, Consulting Div. Tangent, OR, USA http://www.orelectronics.net

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I posted this one before.

My old O'scope and my new DSO.

 

Not an EICO, but a Heathkit.

 

JC

 

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I posted this one before.

My old O'scope and my new DSO.

Amazing to compare them...there is no comparison

 

I looked at the schematic for the EICO...almost all resistors were 10% parts, a few were 5%, & some were 20% !!, No 1% anywhere...probably a fortune back then. 

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

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Wow, I did not remember that Heathkit panel being such a knockoff of a Tek scope. Even a relatively flat screen scope. Those flat screens created a real problem with focus. With a normal electron gun, it would not be in focus at the edges if it was focused at the center of the screen. Tek did some sort of autofocus thing that adjusted the focus depending on the actual beam location (analog focus correction).

 

I do notice that the Heath does not have a calibrated input attenuator. Sweep was much easier to do calibrated than the vertical.

 

One of the things I find striking about that picture is the fact that the analog scope and the DSO have very close to the same usable screen area. Maybe the DSO is slightly bigger. In adjusted dollars, I'll bet the Heath was a lot more expensive than the DSO.

 

Jim

Jim Wagner Oregon Research Electronics, Consulting Div. Tangent, OR, USA http://www.orelectronics.net

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The Eico was relatively simple!

https://www.oscilloscopemuseum.c...

 

I dare say the Heathkit came out of the Tektronix factory. It does look very Tek.

 

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Pretty sure they did not come from Tek. There are lots of superficial similarities but, for example, Tek front panels were all eteched, then the markings were filled with paint; Heathkit were just printed. Heath LOOKED really similar but was not. Electrically, Tek scopes, other than the very few first models, ALWAYS had calibrated and compensated input attenuators; Heathkit had a pot that Tek would not have accepted.  Fairly flat CRTs were then available on the open market; for a few years, Tek had a corner on that because they made their own.

 

I think the Tek appearance was one of mimicry rather than cooperation.

 

Jim

Jim Wagner Oregon Research Electronics, Consulting Div. Tangent, OR, USA http://www.orelectronics.net

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I dare say the Heathkit came out of the Tektronix factory. It does look very Tek.

Tek & HP were always at a higher end in technology & sophistication than budget-minded Heathkit.  They could make their own CRT's, digital display's, IC's, Hybrids, you name it!  Spending millions/billions on R&D.

Manufacturing their own wares.

 

Today, seem like everything is made by shadowy companies who make the nearly same things for every company.   You can buy some bench supply that looks 99.9% same from 10 different companies (Extech, Sorenson, Tenma, Tektronix...etc)  

Wouldn't be surprised if some tek or Lecroy scopes came from the same factory making Rigol scopes.

Would be interesting to have a map of who is making what for whom.  We might cry.  

 

 

-----YEAH, SURE!!!!-----------

 

Sorenson makes it too!!

 

 

--SAD!!-

 

 

 

 

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

Last Edited: Sun. Jul 7, 2019 - 05:14 PM
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I don't know where Tek scopes are physically manufactured now. Could be anywhere since they don't need CRTs. And, the critical functions like S/H + ADC can be replicated in an IC and put onto a circuit board anywhere. There rest of the stuff, display and memory and firmware is equally mobile. 

 

Jim

 

Jim Wagner Oregon Research Electronics, Consulting Div. Tangent, OR, USA http://www.orelectronics.net

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Not saying you're wrong avrc -- but you might be. Sometimes the devil is in the details. The products may look the same, but be vastly different. For instance, the switches and other controls may be more or less reliable. I think that good switches can be fairly expensive.  Good switches reliably switch whenever you actuate them -- bad switches don't always.

 

There are other parts that are equally important cost wise. Things like the case material, the specs for the electronics themselves and even the circuit boards. And that doesn't even cover the assembly process. It takes good process control and skilled workers to manufacture products that are consistently reliable.

 

Just a couple of points to consider,

 

hj

 

 

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 The products may look the same, but be vastly different. 

Tis true, but I remain rather suspicious.  Just for these bench supplies , I've seen "the same" supplies from about 30 different companies ...who knows what goes on behind the import curtain.  I would hope tektronix $800 supply isn't the same as the instek $250 supply

  

well guess watt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

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Dont forget that those Heath scopes were current more than 60 years ago, not when some Chinese factory could  get away with building one thing under a dozen brands. 

 

I worked at Tek, then, and Tek would have been appalled at being associated with such stuff. There WAS a Sony-Tek joint venture to make low-cost scopes. They had small screens and were physically small (guessing front panels on the order of 20cm x 10cm). Tek was actually somewhat embarrassed by these things and let the Sony name dominate the front panel. There was also a joint venture, first on the Island of Guernsey (special status with both Great Britain and the just starting E.U.). Later, it was mostly in Heerenveen Netherlands. That was mostly over-seas assembly of components fabricated in Oregon. Never, as far as I know, was there any association with Heathkit. 

 

Now, don't get me wrong. For equipment designed for hobby users, in comparison to what else was out there, the Heath scope was not so bad. It just did not measure up to what Tek would have accepted.

 

There is also an old story, which I think is probably true. In the very early years, before HP started making scopes, Tek's biggest competitor was Dumont. A number of circuits of Tek scopes were patented. Dumont always seemed to come up with new features very similar to what Tek did, shortly after the Tek product came out. Tek was confident that Dumont was copying. So, they added a circuit that did nothing. There was high voltage, and ground, and one connection to something fairly innocuous. That same circuit showed up in a new Dumont scope. Tek sued, and Dumont could not respond adequately to the suit. They ended up going out of business shortly after. 

 

Heath scopes were after this little saga. Again, I really doubt that there was ANY relationship between Heath and Tek.

 

Jim

Jim Wagner Oregon Research Electronics, Consulting Div. Tangent, OR, USA http://www.orelectronics.net

Last Edited: Sun. Jul 14, 2019 - 06:41 AM
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avrcandies wrote:

I have an old EICO oscilloscope lingering in a corner, I thought since it was so old, it might be "rare". Since it was a rather crappy scope in the first place, you'd figure they'd all have been sent to the dump long ago.   It was ancient when I got it & that was probably 40 years ago!  I was completely surprised how many EICO scopes were on ebay & how many had been sold on ebay..

 

Face it, you were just really sad you couldn't sell it at auction like an Apple I.  cheeky  S.

 

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There is even a version with analog displays

 

 

and this variant with the push buttons placed on the top part of the control panel

 

I would bet they are all pretty much the same inside.

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I like how they ALL have the same looking power switch...is there one company injection molding these, by the billions?

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!