The Tektronix TM500 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 TM5000 series, introduced in 1982, added a GPIB interface on the mainframe to control intelligent plugins. TM500 series modules work in TM5000 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.
Mainframes and plug-ins
- TM500 Series plug-in interface
- TM5000 Series plug-in interface
- Tektronix TM 500 Series Rear Interface Data Book (OCR, PDF) (-00, -01, -04)
- TM500/5000 Products @ vintagetek.org
- Bob Ragsdale, TM500 series - a new dimension in plug-in instrumentation. In TekScope Vol. 4 No. 3, May 1972
- List of TM500 and TM5000 equipment