The Tektronix 7904 is a 500 MHz, non-storage 7000-series oscilloscope mainframe with four bays. It accepts two 7000-series vertical plug-ins and two 7000-series horizontal plug-ins. It was introduced in late 1971/early 1972 (Note 1). The successor model 7904A was introduced in 1984. There is also a rack-mount version, the R7903, albeit with only one horizontal bay.
Design Staff of 7904 Project (from July 1971 Tekscope):
- Val Garuts, project manager and horizontal and Z-axis amplifiers
- Thor Hallen, vertical amplifier and 7A19
- John McCormick, horizontal amplifier
- Les Larson and Bill DeVey, trigger and timebase (7B92)
- Bill Peek, Z-axis amplifier and autofocus
- Hans Springer, mainframe interface and channel switching
- Joe Burger, power supply
- Joel Swanno, mechanical design
- Ken Hawken, CRT
|Fastest calibrated sweep||500 ps/Div (with 7B92A, other time bases "uncalibrated for first 60 ns")|
|Acceleration voltage||24 kV (+21 / -3 kV)|
|Calibrator (7904)||4 mV, 40 mV, 400 mV, 4 V or 40 V (p-p) into 1 MΩ; 2 mV, 20 mV, 200 mV or 400 mV into 50 Ω; or 40 mA; selectable 1 kHz, ½ rep. rate of B Sweep Gate, or DC|
|Calibrator (7904A)||4 mV to 4 V (p-p) in decade steps, 1 kHz; 40 mV to 400 mV into 50 Ω|
|Power consumption||190 W|
|Weight||13.5 kg (30 lbs)|
The 7904 had an elaborate 5-decade built-in calibrator with variable rate that was dropped from the 7904A. The rear remote control connector unique to the 7904 was dropped as well. In the 7904A, The Control Illumination switch moved to the rear panel, and the readout system gained a pulsed mode in which it is synchronized with the sweep instead of interrupting the display at random times. This pulsed mode is not compatible with all time base plug-ins (see manual p. 1-12).
- Opt.2: X-Y delay compensation network
- Opt.3: Extra EMI shielding
- Opt.4: Maximum-brightness CRT with reduced area
- Opt.78: P11 phosphor
The 7904 has many modes of operation. One mode is called "Independent-Pairs Display" in the manual, where the input to the left vertical plug-in is displayed using the B horizontal time-base plug-in, and the input to the right vertical plug-in is displayed using the A horizontal time-base plug-in. This resembles the trace-slaving "ALT" mode that is produced by an 1A4 in a 547. Many other modes are available. It is possible to put vertical plug-ins in the horizontal slots for X-Y operation. It is even possible to put a horizontal plug-in in one of the vertical slots to produce a raster scan.
A special plug-in, the 7A21N, provides direct access to the deflection plates up to 1 GHz at an uncalibrated sensitivity of 4 V/Div. This plugin requires modifications to the mainframe to bypass the Y output amplifier (thus disabling readout and the other vertical plugin bay).
A rear-panel remote control connector has connections for single-sweep ready lamps, a reset button, and readout control.
The 7904 uses a switch-mode power supply and has no fan. It incorporates a 65 ns Y delay line. This delay is too short for some older time bases such as 7B53 to display the trigger event.
The 7904 makes extensive use of custom integrated circuits and hybrid circuits, inter alia, the 155-0064-00 470-ps output amplifier, 155-0022-00 analog multiplexer for channel switching, 155-0059-00 HF amplifier, 155-0095-01 and 155-0095-03 differential HF amplifiers, and 155-0067-02 SMPS controller.
|Mainframe only||Catalog price||$2,900||$4,100||$6,265||$8,810||$12,750|
| Mainframe with 7A19,
7A19 Opt. 04, 7B92
- 7904 Repair with Video
- Tekscope Vol. 3 No. 4, Jul 1971
- Tek 7904 / 7904A @ amplifier.cd
- Tek 7904 / 7904A @ barrytech.com
- Repairing front panel buttons of Tektronix 7904 oscilloscope
- See 7A11 and John Addis, Good Engineering and Fast Vertical Amplifiers, in Jim Williams (Ed.), Analog Circuit Design: Art, Science and Personalities (1991), p.114, and Tektronix New Products 1972 brochure.
Right side. Top left: calibrator; bottom left: plug-in bays; top center: readout board; top right: Z amplifier
Vertical interface piggyback board (A7). The two 155-0095-03 amplifiers (large metal cans) are used to select the signal from one vertical plug-in bay, and drive the delay line.