Introduction to the 7000-Series Oscilloscopes

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In August of 1969, Tektronix issued a supplement catalog featuring a new series of instruments, called the 7000 Series.

Howard Vollum himself wrote the introduction message on page 1 of this supplement, where he presented the 7000 series as a replacement to the 500 scope series, emphasizing the necessity to switch to a new platform for modular high-end scopes due to the limitations of the original 500 series platform designed in 1953.

According to Vollum, a significant portion of the previous two years' $28 million engineering budget (~$200m in 2021 value) were spent to develop the initial components and products of the 7000 series.

The initial family introduction in 1969 consisted of the 90 MHz 7504 and 150 MHz 7704 mainframes, and no less than 13 plug-ins − the 7A11 FET-probe amplifier, 7A12 dual-channel amplifier, 7A13 differential comparator, 7A14 current-probe amplifier, 7A16 singles-channel amplifier, 7A22 differential amplifier, 7B51 and 7B70 delaying timebases, 7B50 and 7B70 delayed timebases, 7S11/7T11 sampling system, and the 7M11 delay line.

While the original 7504 and 7704 mainframes were short-lived, the series lasted until the early 1990s, with some of the original plug-ins like the 7A22 or the 7S11 remaining in production throughout.

Common features of 7000-series scopes

7000 series functional color code

Mode Selection
Trigger Source or Control
Uncalibrated Variable
Denotes functional relation