511

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Tektronix 511
10 MHz Tube scope
First Tektronix oscilloscope
Tektronix 511 front

Produced from 1947 to 1953

Manuals
(All manuals in PDF format unless noted otherwise)

The 511 was Tektronix' first oscilloscope, introduced in June 1947 but only the second product released by the young company – the first was the Type 101 Video Calibrator. Howard Vollum was directly involved with the design of the 511.

According to TekWeek March 23, 1984, "511" stood for 5-inch tube, 1 channel, 1st model. It sold for $795[Note 1], compared to $1,800 for a two-piece Dumont scope that was mostly pre-war technology.

An improved version, the 511A, was introduced in November 1948. Major improvements included a regulated power supply for CRT, and a (in later models, s.b.) a calibrator. The 511AD was available through 1953.

Key Specifications

Bandwidth 5 Hz to 10 MHz (8 MHz with 2-stage amplifier); no DC coupling
Rise time 40 ns (50 ns with 2-stage amplifier)
Deflection Without amplifier, 27 V/cm – 200 V/cm, DC or ACp-p. 1-stage amplifier, 2.7 V/cm – 40 V/cm. 2-stage amplifier, 0.27 V/cm – 4 V/cm.
Input 1 MΩ // 40 pF; 600 V max. DC+peak AC
Sweep 100 ns/cm to 10 ms/cm + variable; ×5 magnifier
Trigger 0.5 to 50 V (Peak) sine or pulse ≥50 ns
X input DC coupled via 100 K potentiometer and sweep amplifier; 1.5 V/cm or less; DC to 800 kHz
CRT 5CP, 3 kV acceleration
Calibrator Clipped sine wave of power line frequency, ranges 0-0.3, 0-1, 0-3, 0-10, 0-30, 0-100 Vp-p
Outputs Sweep sawtooth, 20 Vp-p; Positive and negative gate, 40 Vp-p
Weight 511 – 29 kg (65 lb); 511A – 23 kg (50 lb);
Dimensions 15½" high, 12½" wide, 21½" deep
Power 511 – 180 W; 511A – 105-125 or 210-250 V, 50-60 Hz, 230 W

(511A unless noted otherwise)

There is also a 511AD, where the "D" in the model number indicates that it has an L-C delay line.

Prices

  • $795 in 1948 (~$9,700 in 2023 dollars)

Internals

The 511/511A uses a standard CRT, the 5CP1A (with P1 phosphor), 5CP7A (P7) or 5CP11A (P11) below S/N 5100, the 5ABP from 5100 up. P1 was standard, P7 and P11 optional at no extra charge.

The vertical output is a pair of 6AG7 tubes, AC-coupled to the vertical deflection plates. The horizontal amplifier is DC-coupled through a chain of five NE-2 neons on either side for voltage offset.

There was an option that added a 1 μs marker generator.

Neither the 511 nor the 511A has a thermal cutoff.

511

The original 511 was produced with serial numbers 101 to 454 (June 1947 – November 1948).

There are two power transformers, T1 and T2, both operating on 60 Hz mains power with their primaries in parallel. T1 produces the CRT anode and cathode voltages, as well as various other regulated and unregulated voltages. The CRT cathode and anode voltages (+1500/-1500 V) are simply rectified voltages from the secondary of T1. The lack of regulation means that variations in mains voltage results in variation of deflection sensitivity. The +275 V and + 475V rectifier circuits have choke inputs.

511A (SN 455+)

The main difference introduced in the 511A is the power supply. The regulated positive supply voltages were lowered somewhat to +225 V and +450 V, with capacitor-input circuits (no chokes).

The CRT cathode and anode voltages are produced by a 2 kHz oscillator (a 6AQ5) that is powered by the +225 VDC regulated supply. This results in vertical deflection calibration that is independent of mains voltage. HV rectifiers are two 1B3GT tubes producing +1500/-1500 V.

511A (SN 1406+)

Beginning with SN 1406, the 511A(D) gained a continuously variable sweep speed control, visible as a 2nd dial next to the "sweep speed multiplier".

511A (SN 2406+)

From SN 2406 upward, a dedicated calibrator stage uses one half of a 12AT7, V16.1, to clip a voltage derived from the mains transformer to a 100 V level divided from the regulated +225 V rail.

The HV rectifier uses two 1V2 tubes producing +1800/-1500 V.

Delay

The Tektronix Type 1-AD-25 delay line, composed of 24 L-C sections, was available as a factory option for the 511A. With the delay, the scope is a 511-AD. Even when ordered without the delay, the 511's chassis was pre-drilled for the delay so that it could be added later, in the field, without drilling. The delay could be switched in and out of the signal path, presumably to avoid the slight signal degradation the delay causes.

History

Tektronix engineer Frank Hood recollects:

My first assignment was to build or modify some special instruments for Bonneville Power. They wanted a device that would detect and record any lightning strikes or arc-overs on the high voltage power lines running between Vancouver, Wash. and other cities such as Longview, Spokane, etc. They wanted to detect each event, in a fraction of a millionth of a second, then to send a pulse of energy down the defective line and measure the time it took to return, (this was an application much like radar). They wanted markers displayed at each mile and fraction of a mile so that they could determine the exact location of the fault. They needed to record a photographic image for latter study. Two or more such instruments were built. We called these Type 511B. They worked very well and were used for several years.

John Addis says:

The 511 was indeed somewhat crude. The vaunted calibrator which Vollum introduced to give people the sense that you could make real measurements is actually just a 60 Hz sine wave off the power transformer, not even a square wave, so it is completely unregulated. Fortunately for Vollum, both the calibrator and the CRT HV are unregulated. When the line voltage goes down, the scope sensitivity goes up (reduced HV makes beam converge less after plates). So the displayed calibrator amplitude is not very sensitive to line voltage.

Links

Pictures

511

511A

511AD

Components

Some Parts Used in the 511

Part Part Number(s) Class Description Used in
0C3 154-0002-00 Gas Discharge Tube (Voltage regulator) 105 V voltage reference 511
0D3 154-003 154-0003-00 Gas Discharge Tube (Voltage regulator) 153 V voltage reference 511 511A 513 514
2X2 154-0085-00 Vacuum Tube (Dual Rectifier) dual rectifier 511
5CP 154-062 154-0062-00 CRT 5" CRT with post-deflection acceleration 511 511A
5U4 154-086 154-0086-00 Vacuum Tube (Dual Rectifier) dual rectifier 511
6AC7 154-011 154-0011-00 Vacuum Tube (Pentode) RF pentode 511 511A
6AG7 154-012 154-0012-00 Vacuum Tube (Pentode) 9 Watt power pentode 104 104A 105 112 511 511A 512 513 514 517 517A 524
6AL5 154-016 154-0016-00 154-0038-00 Vacuum Tube (Dual Diode) high-perveance dual diode 163 181 190 1M1 310 310A 315 316 317 3B1 3B1S 3B2 3B3 3B5 502 502A 503 511 511A 512 516 517 517A 524 526 535 535A 545 545A 549 551 565 570 581 581A 585 585A C T Telequipment D56 Telequipment S52
6AU6 154-0022-00 157-0073-00 157-0059-00 154-0284-00 Vacuum Tube (Pentode) RF pentode 107 160 181 190 60 2A60 72 3A72 3C66 310 310A 316 317 360 502 502A 506 511 511A 512 513 516 517 517A 524 526 529 RM529 531 531A 535 536 545 545A 546 547 549 555 561 561A 561S 564 565 567 570 575 581 581A 585 585A 80 C CA Q
6C4 154-029 154-0029-00 Vacuum Tube (Triode) VHF triode 190 3B2 507 511 511A 517 517A Chemtrix 205
6J6 154-032 154-0032-00 Vacuum Tube (Dual Triode) high-frequency dual triode 104 104A 161 511 511A 512 517 517A
6L6 154-087 154-0087-00 Vacuum Tube (Pentode) beam power pentode 511
6SJ7 154-088 154-0088-00 Vacuum Tube (Pentode) Pentode 511
6V6 154-089 154-0089-00 Vacuum Tube (Pentode) 12-watt beam power pentode 511
6X5 154-090 154-0090-00 Vacuum Tube (Dual Rectifier) dual rectifier 511
NE-2 150-002 150-0002-00 Gas Discharge Tube (Neon lamp) Neon lamp 511 511A 581 581A 585 585A 545A TU-4


Some Parts Used in the 511A

Part Part Number(s) Class Description Used in
0D3 154-003 154-0003-00 Gas Discharge Tube (Voltage regulator) 153 V voltage reference 511 511A 513 514
12AT7 154-0039-00 Vacuum Tube (Dual Triode) dual high-gain triode 161 180 310 310A 315 316 360 502 502A 511A 512 513 513D 514 514AD 514D 516 524 529 RM529 544 546 547 556 565 570 3A2 75 3A75 1M1 A B C G H K L ML M N K R S Z
12AU7 154-041 154-0041-00 154-0287-00 Vacuum Tube (Dual Triode) dual medium-μ triode 104 104A 122 160 161 162 181 190 310 310A 316 317 3C66 502 502A 507 511A 512 516 517 517A 524 526 535 536 545 545A 545B 547 549 555 561 564 570 575 581 581A 585 585A C D E N Q Hickok 1825
1B3GT 154-091 154-0091-00 Vacuum Tube (Diode) high-voltage rectifier 511A
1V2 154-004 154-0004-00 Vacuum Tube (Diode) high-voltage rectifier 511A
5651 154-052 154-0052-00 154-0288-00 Gas Discharge Tube (Voltage regulator) 87 V voltage reference 128 160 310 310A 502 503 504 511A 512 516 517 524 526 531 531A 535 536 541 541A 543 543A 543B 545 545A 545B 570 549 581 581A 585 585A
5ABP 154-068 154-0068-00 154-0068-01 154-0068-03 154-069 154-0069-00 154-070 154-0070-00 154-0070-01 CRT 5" CRT with electrostatic deflection 511A 512 524
5CP 154-062 154-0062-00 CRT 5" CRT with post-deflection acceleration 511 511A
5V4G 154-008 154-0008-00 Vacuum Tube (Dual Rectifier) dual rectifier 104 104A 160 511A 514
6AC7 154-011 154-0011-00 Vacuum Tube (Pentode) RF pentode 511 511A
6AG7 154-012 154-0012-00 Vacuum Tube (Pentode) 9 Watt power pentode 104 104A 105 112 511 511A 512 513 514 517 517A 524
6AL5 154-016 154-0016-00 154-0038-00 Vacuum Tube (Dual Diode) high-perveance dual diode 163 181 190 1M1 310 310A 315 316 317 3B1 3B1S 3B2 3B3 3B5 502 502A 503 511 511A 512 516 517 517A 524 526 535 535A 545 545A 549 551 565 570 581 581A 585 585A C T Telequipment D56 Telequipment S52
6AQ5 154-017 154-0017-00 Vacuum Tube (Pentode) beam pentode 310 310A 316 360 507 511A 512 517 517A 524 536 570 575
6AS7 154-020 154-0020-00 Vacuum Tube (Pentode) dual power triode 160 506 511A 512 513 517 517A 524 561 561A 561S 564
6AU6 154-0022-00 157-0073-00 157-0059-00 154-0284-00 Vacuum Tube (Pentode) RF pentode 107 160 181 190 60 2A60 72 3A72 3C66 310 310A 316 317 360 502 502A 506 511 511A 512 513 516 517 517A 524 526 529 RM529 531 531A 535 536 545 545A 546 547 549 555 561 561A 561S 564 565 567 570 575 581 581A 585 585A 80 C CA Q
6C4 154-029 154-0029-00 Vacuum Tube (Triode) VHF triode 190 3B2 507 511 511A 517 517A Chemtrix 205
6J6 154-032 154-0032-00 Vacuum Tube (Dual Triode) high-frequency dual triode 104 104A 161 511 511A 512 517 517A
6X4 154-035 154-0035-00 Vacuum Tube (Dual Rectifier) dual rectifier 128 130 181 511A 512 517 517A 570
NE-2 150-002 150-0002-00 Gas Discharge Tube (Neon lamp) Neon lamp 511 511A 581 581A 585 585A 545A TU-4