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The Tektronix 160 series is a modular oscilloscope made from the mid 1950's (schematics drawn in 1953) to the late 1960's (in 1969 catalog). A 160 system typically includes a Type 160 power supply, a Type 360 indicator unit, and one or more of the 161, 162, and 163 trigger and sweep modules. Each module is the size of a small shoe box. Power connections are made behind the modules using cables that have octal connectors. The power cables can be connected in a star topology or can be daisy-chained using the loop-through connection on the back of each module. Signal connections are made on the front, typically with banana plugs. The 160, 161, 162, and 163 use the ceramic strip and silver solder construction style that is prevalent in other Tektronix equipment of the era, such as the 500-series scopes. The Type 360 indicator unit contains its the CRT power supply and the vertical amplifier and is constructed using a single-sided printed circuit board.

In a typical setup, the input signal is fed through a splitter to the Y-input of the 360 and the trigger input of the 161. The 161 generates a trigger pulse that controls a 162, which generates the horizontal ramp for the sweep. This ramp signal is sent to the 360 horizontal input. The signals on the front panel of the 160-series modules are all single-ended. The 360 has a phase splitter to generate the differential drive for the horizontal deflection plates. The 360 uses as standard 3WP 3-inch (7.5cm) round CRT. The cathode voltage is -1850 volts. No post-deflection acceleration is used.

The 160 power supply was produced with serial numbers 101-619. For serial numbers 620 and up, it is called the 160A. The 160 and 160A both use a 5V4 rectifier tube for the negative voltage and two 5V4 tubes in parallel for the positive voltage. Both use 5651 87-volt reference tubes. The 160 and 160A differ in their output regulator circuits. The 160 uses 6AS7 dual-triode tube, one half for to regulate the +225V output and the other half to regulate the -170V output. The 160A uses both halves of a 6080 dual-triode in parallel to regulate the +225V output, and both halves of a 12B4 dual-triode to regulate the -170V output.