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Tektronix R7103
1 GHz non-storage mainframe
Tektronix R7103

Produced from 1985 to 1990

(All manuals in PDF format unless noted otherwise)
Manuals – Specifications – Links – Pictures

The Tektronix R7103 is a 1 GHz mainframe, the rack-mount version of the 7104. It takes 7000-series plug-ins, two vertical and one horizontal.

The scope employs a micro-channel plate CRT design to get good screen intensity at high sweep speeds with moderate acceleration voltage.

Many R7103s were used in nuclear instrumentation, i.a. because

[...] Waveforms as fast as 1 ns per division can now be recorded on high-quality films substantially resistant to unwanted radiation exposure.

[... The MCP] provides a gain in waveform brightness of several thousands. This level of brightness allows for a selection of film-processing combinations that are highly resistant to unwanted radiation.[1]

Key Specifications

Bandwidth 1 GHz (with 7A29) — rise time < 350 ps
Fastest calibrated sweep 200 ps/Div (with 7B10)
  • Micro channel plate CRT
  • Readout
  • 2 probe power connectors



  Year 1985 1990
Mainframe only Catalog Price $22,920 $30,200
In 2023 Dollars $65,600 $71,100
Mainframe with
7A29 and 7B10
Catalog Price $28,155 $37,075
In 2023 Dollars $80,500 $87,300


Mighty Oak Nuclear Test Incident

"MIGHTY OAK was conducted on April 10, 1986, below the surface of Rainier Mesa in the T-tunnel complex. Containment of MIGHTY OAK was satisfactory in that there was no accidental release of radioactivity to the atmosphere whatsoever. However, the tunnel grout in the near-cavity region was not sufficiently constrained. Failure of this plug led to the subsequent failure of the mechanical closure systems and to the eventual flow of cavity gas, plug material, and other debris down the line-of-sight (LOS) pipe to the experiment chamber and the tunnel complex beyond." [2]

The Mighty Oak containment failure in the tunnel reportedly destroyed 100+ oscilloscopes.

"All of the diagnostic equipment, and much of the construction equipment in the tunnel complex were lost as a result of heat damage and radiation contamination. At present, the loss of normally recoverable and reusable equipment is reported at approximately 32 million dollars."[3]

($32M in 1986 is almost $90M in 2023 dollars.)


  1. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/6731423 Oscilloscope Photography at Nevada Test Site (1990)
  2. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/5363382 Mighty Oak Containment Review (1989)
  3. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/6607938 Containment and Safety Review for the Mighty Oak Nuclear Weapon Effects Test (1987)


Some Parts Used in the R7103

Part Part Number(s) Class Description Used in
155-0011-00 155-0011-00 Monolithic integrated circuit clock and chop blanking 485 7313 7403N R7403N 7503 7504 7514 7603 AN/USM-281C 7613 7623 7623A 7633 7704 R7704 7704A 7834 7844 7854 7904 7904A R7903 R7912 7912AD 7912HB 7934 7104 R7103 AN/USM-281C
155-0012-00 155-0012-00 Monolithic integrated circuit Z Axis Logic 485 7504 7514 7704 R7704 7704A 7834 7844 7854 7904 R7903 7904A R7912 7934 7912AD 7912HB 7104 R7103
155-0067-02 155-0067-00 155-0067-02 155-0067-03 Monolithic integrated circuit SMPS controller 7704A 7834 7844 7854 7904 R7903 7904 7904A 7934 R7912 7912AD 7912HB 7934 7104 R7103 308 434 485 690 P7001
155-0173-00 155-0173-00 155-0173-05 Hybrid integrated circuit vertical channel switch 7104 R7103 7904A 7934 EG&G N-AM-173A
155-0175-00 155-0175-00 155-0175-05 Monolithic integrated circuit broadband amplifier 7904A 7912HB 7934 7104 R7103 7A29 7A29P 7F10 067-0587-02 067-0587-10 11A71 SCD1000 EG&G N-AM-173A
T7100 154-0783-00 CRT micro-channel plate CRT 7104 R7103
T7101 CRT micro-channel plate CRT 7104 R7103