Vintage Tektronix

Trip down memory lane.
Try not to drool…:grin:

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One of my first video jobs was monitoring a Quadraplex VTR. Had the lovely experience of the air compressor quitting on the unit and it spooling off tape onto the floor.

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Experience says that if one works long enough w/ any kind of open deck reel to reel machine, it will do something “entertaining”. :rofl::scream:

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We still have several different tape systems in our studios. They are hardly used anymore but we have everything from DAT tape up to 2 inch audio tapes in the source material and master recording archives.

I have fond memories of some of the Telex duping machines we used.
Along w/ even fonder memories of running black backed sticky tapes through them.
Good times…

I actually saw a 2 inch reel to reel machine just last week. Talk about a crazy tape head.

Instead of a helical scan, the head is practically perpendicular to tape travel. Plus they have vacuum hold down as well as air bearings. Complicated beasts, especially the servo/tracking circuits! Some did time base correction mechanically and were actually better than electronic time base correctors at the time.

Doing machine to machine editing was an interesting experience as they often needed 20-30 seconds of pre-roll. Whereas Sony BetacamSP decks could do 2-3 second pre-rolls pretty successfully. Damn I’m old!

Well then, let me show my age as well. I operated a 2 inch reel to reel 28 channel data recorder onboard a US Navy Research aircraft. It had 24 channels of data and 4 channels of parity and sync signals. The reels were concentric, one reel mounted on top of the other reel to conserve space. The tape speed was 15 inches per second, a large reel had about 12 minutes of recording time. We had a Harpoon Missile permanently mounted under the wing as we collected all the data for later Lab evaluation. The pilot ran mission runs against other Navy ships to simulate actual performance. It was a rather bumpy ride as our elevation above sea level was just over 50 feet. That’s not a typo…fifty feet! As we approached the target ship we would pull up. One time we actually scrapped the top antenna mask of the ship as we were pulling up, that was just too close. Just try re-threading spools of tape while bouncing around. Oh, those were the days.


I have 2x 556 dual beam o’scopes.
50 MHz 85 lb hybrid room warmer.
Dual plugins.
Use a pair of 1A4 4chnl plugins and you could approximate a crude logic analyzer.
Get every thing sync’d to where it actually meant something was exercise in much patience.

Best I can tell Tektronix was the only manufacturer of this type of scope.

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