The Tektronix TM500 / TM5000 is a modular test equipment system offering a variety of plug-in modules that fit a dedicated series of mainframes with one to six module slots. The plugins are not compatible with other Tektronix lines such as oscilloscopes. The 5000 series added a GPIB interface on the mainframe to control intelligent plugins. 500 series modules work in 5000 series mainframes but not necessarily vice versa (see ref. below).
In addition to the modules that appeared in Tek catalogs over the years, there were probably a hundred or more that Tektronix designed and used in-house on their production lines for test and calibration of their products. These in-house units usually have an 067-xxxx-xx number.
There were also several other companies that made plugins that fit into the TM500/TM5000 mainframes. The most common non-Tek plugins seem to come from Pulse Instruments, Spectracom, General Optronics, Lasertron, Metrotek, Xetron, Ball Efratom, Digital Audio Corporation and Ballantine.
See also the List of TM500 and TM5000 equipment.
- Bob Ragsdale, TM500 series - a new dimension in plug-in instrumentation. In TekScope Vol. 4 No. 3, May 1972
- Tektronix TM500 series and compatible equipment (Alternate)
- Plugin hacking and homebuilt plugins (French)
(For plugins, see TM500 and TM5000 plug-ins.)