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Tektronix 834
Programmable data communications tester
Tek 834

Produced from 1980 to (?)

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

The Tektronix 834 is a portable "programmable data communications tester" (serial protocol analyzer) for RS-232 (V.24) circuits, introduced in 1980.

The 835 and 836 are sister models with extra features, introduced in 1986.

John Light was the software lead on the 834 and wrote some of the key parts of the software. Other software team members included Jeff McMeekin, Randy Deitrich and Bill Randle. On the hardware side was Pete J, and Lynn Saunders. Wendell Damm was the enginering project manager.

It can be used as a serial transmission monitor, modem or terminal simulator, or as a bit and block error rate tester (BERT). It supports ASCII, EBCDIC and hexadecimal displays on its 12-character alphanumeric display, for data formats with 5 to 9 bits/ character (including parity), asynchronous or synchronous (including HDLC), from 50 to 19200 bits/s.

ROM packs were available to extend the 834's functions for specific protocols.

In simulation mode, operation is user-programmable with up to 99 program steps that can reference up to 50 "parameter buffers" (registers). Some standard tests like all-character tests or "quick brown fox" tests are predefined.


Documents Referencing 834

Document Class Title Authors Year Links
Tekscope 1980 V12 N4.pdf Article A Programmable Data Communications Tester for First-Line Technicians Pete Janowitz John Light 1980


  • Option 02 - Current Loop (20/60 mA) Interface (015-0361-00 adapter)
  • Option 03 - RS-449 (RS-422/RS-423) Interface (A6741 adapter)
  • Option 04 - MIL-STD-188C Interface
  • Option 05 - Two Wire Direct Interface (A6742 adapter)
  • Option 06 - V.35 Interface (A6744 adapter)
  • A6741 − RS-232 / V.24 Tri-state break-out box
  • 834R01 - Asynchronous ROM Pack
  • 834R02 - Bisync ROM Pack
  • 834R02A - Bisynchronous (EBCDIC) ROM Pack
  • 834R03A - Link Test ROM Pack
  • 834R04 - HDLC/X.25 ROM Pack
  • 834R05 - Extended Instruction ROM Pack
  • 834R06 - Bisynchronous (ASCII) ROM Pack
  • 834R07 - PARS/IPARS ROM Pack
  • 834R10 - SDLC/SNA (RD2) ROM Pack
  • 834R11 - Extended Monitor ROM Pack
  • 834R13 - SDLC/SNA (RD3) ROM Pack
  • 830R13 - SDLC/SNA (RD3) ROM Pack


The 834 is built around a Zilog Z-80 CPU, helped by a 6802 handling the display/keyboard processing.



Some Parts Used in the 834

Part Part Number(s) Class Description Used in
Motorola 6800 156-0426-00 Monolithic integrated circuit 8-bit microprocessor 021-0206-00 021-0374-00 067-0902-00 067-1137-99 222 222A 222PS 2424L 2445 2465 4051 7912 7912AD 7A16P 7A29P 7B81P 7B90P 833 834 CG5001 CG551AP CG5010 CG5011 DF1 DF2 DM5010 MI5010 SI5010 PS5004 PS5010 SG5010 Keithley 181 Keithley 175 Keithley 175A Keithley 192 Keithley 195A Keithley 197 Keithley 199 Keithley 220 Keithley 230 Keithley 485 Keithley 580
Zilog Z-80 156-0983-03 156-0983-04 Monolithic integrated circuit 8-bit microprocessor 318 338 5223 834 DAS9100 SPG-271 TSG-170