The Tektronix P6230 and P6231 are passive ×10 (450:50 Ω) probes with 1.5 GHz bandwidth and DC offset capability, intended to minimize DC probe-loading effect when used on logic circuits.
The P6230 has an offset control potentiometer in the termination box and connects to the scope, e.g. 7000 series scopes, through a BNC connector with ×10 readout pin. It can be powered from 7000 series mainframes having LEMO S-series connectors for probe power, or compatible units such as the 1101.
The P6230/6231 shares accessories with many other Tektronix subminiature modular probes although the input hybrid is unique. Tip color is yellow, connector end color is blue, part number 206-0279-00. Its end to end resistance is 400 Ω.
|Bandwidth||DC to ≥ 1.5 GHz|
|Rise time||≤ 230 ps|
|Input Impedance||450 Ω // 1.3 pF (1.6 pF guaranteed)|
|Signal delay||8.7 ± 0.1 ns|
|DC offset||–5 V ≤ (Vsignal + Voffset) ≤ +5 V|
The P6230/6231 probes are sometimes described as FET probes or active probes, however, as the circuit diagram clearly shows, this is not correct. After the 400 Ω input hybrid, the AC component of the input signal is connected directly to the scope input through a 1 μF capacitor, then terminated in 50 Ω either in the scope input or the switchable terminator. The active circuit in the P623x, a standard NE5532 dual opamp, has the function of restoring and offsetting the input signal's low-frequency and DC components. This approach is similar to the feed-beside technique used in the 7104 scope and 7A29 amplifier.
Tek explains the raison d'être for the P6230/P6231 thus:
The P6230 acts as a standard 500 Ω passive voltage probe with the additional capability of having an adjustable tip "nulling voltage." This feature reduces the dc-loading effects on the probe when it is used to measure signals whose mid-voltage value is other than zero volts, or in circuits where the termination impedance is returned to other than ground level. The Input Bias/Offset Voltage may be adjusted so that at a particular test-signal voltage both ends of the probe input-resistor are at equal potentials and no current is flowing through the resistor.
ECL logic is most commonly operated from a -5.2 V supply with Vcc connected to ground. The output of an ECL gate is the emitter of an NPN emitter follower stage. The output is pulled down to a negative supply (about -2 V) with an external resistor (50 Ω to 100 Ω). Since speed is a major consideration in ECL designs, the interconnections between gates are often transmission lines, and the pull-down resistor doubles as a line termination.
If a standard 500 Ω, 10× probe without the input Bias/Offset feature were used to examine an ECL output, the probe's 500 Ω resistance to ground would form a voltage divider with the gate's output-termination resistor. This divider can cause distortion of the output signal levels, shift the DC operation point of the output transistor, and reduce the gate's noise margin.
The DC-load nulling capability of the P6230 helps to solve this problem. By adjusting the Input Bias/Offset Voltage to the ECL low level or to the termination voltage, the only effect of the probe resistance will be a small decrease in the ECL output-termination resistance. The effect of the probe on output voltage levels is negligible.
|P6230 Catalog price||$385||$395||$420||$525||–|
|In 2022 Dollars||$1,100||$1,030||$1,000||$1,140||–|
|P6231 Catalog price||–||$410||$410||$525||$799|
|In 2022 Dollars||–||$1,070||$980||$1,140||$1,550|