Rockland 7530A

The (Wavetek) Rockland 7530A is a DC–100 kHz FFT spectrum analyzer plug-in for 7000-series scopes.

Rockland Scientific Corporation 7530A
100 kHz FFT Analyzer
Rockland 7530A

Compatible with 7000-series scopes

Produced from 1979 to (?)

(All manuals in PDF format unless noted otherwise)

Manufacturer was Rockland Scientific Corporation (later acquired by Wavetek).

The Rockland Instruments 7530A and 7530B plugins for Tek 7000 scopes are outstanding, and unique, Spectrum Analyzers.

In the mid-1970s, Rockland Instruments was a small company driven by brilliant engineers who thought outside the box to create state of the art instruments. It was no surprise that Wavetek, which had greater resources and name recognition, bought them several years later to get access to their engineering team.

In 1976 they were among the first, if not the first, to create a spectrum analyzer using an A/D converter to sample the incoming waveform, convert it into a stream of digital values, perform an FFT (Fast Fourier Transform algorithm) on the data, then use a D/A to convert the results back into the display that appears on the CRT of the 7000 series scope.

HP was not far behind Rockland Instruments. By comparison Tektronix was so deeply committed to swept-IF Spectrum Analyzers that it took over a decade before they realized the advantages of FFT Spectrum Analyzers.

The only limitation the 7530 has is due to the speed and performance of microprocessor chips available in the mid-1970s. The only solution at the time that would be fast and precise enough was to create 12- and 24-bit wide CPUs using AM25LS381 bit-slice chips.

The result is a 3-wide, 1 Hz to 100 kHz FFT Spectrum Analyzer plugin for the 7000 series scopes that meets or exceeds the specs of the 7L5 in the same frequency range.

Key Specifications

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Some Parts Used in the Rockland 7530A

Part Part Number(s) Class Description Used in
AM25LS381 Monolithic integrated circuit 4-bit ALU slice Rockland 7530A Rockland 7530B
Intel 8080 156-0954-00 Monolithic integrated circuit 8-bit microprocessor 4024 4025 CT 8101 Rockland 7530A Rockland 7530B