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Tektronix Type K
30 MHz amplifier plug-in
Type K

Compatible with 500-series scopes

Produced from 1955 to 1971

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

The Tektronix Type K is a 30 MHz amplifier plug-in for 500-series scopes.

Type 53K/54K was designed by John Kobbe, and introduced in March 1955 along with the 541/545. In August of 1955, just five months after introduction, it was renamed Type 53/54K, and in 1959, when the 541A/545A mainframes came out, it got its final name, Type K. It was dropped after 1970, with Type L replacing it.

The name was deliberately chosen to be halfway into the alphabet. Slow plug-ins would use A-J and fast ones L-Z. This idea never went anywhere.

Key Specifications

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Max sensitivity is 50 mV/div, and bandwidth in a 545 is 30 MHz.

At the time of introduction, it was the only plug-in that could utilize more than half of the new mainframes' speed − the Type A, Type B, and Type C upgrades weren't ready until August 1956.

Types K, L, and T are tied for longest production life, at 16 years. B, D, and G are next at 15 years.

Type K was the fastest of the single-channel plug-ins, and the first plug-in to use T-coils. Tek did not equal it until Type L in 1957, and did not exceed it until Type 1A1 in 1964.

Earlier single-channel plug-ins had two inputs and a switch to select between them, making it convenient to probe two test points at once. The Type K design could not tolerate the extra stray capacitance, and the feature was dropped, never to return. (Exception: the 7A16P, which has two input connectors and provides the ability to select which one is fed to the amplifier.)

Late versions had a BNC connector instead of a UHF connector.

Types K and G are the only letter-series plug-ins where the Gain vernier is not concentric with the step attenuator.


Some Parts Used in the K

Part Part Number(s) Class Description Used in
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
12AU6 154-0040-00 Vacuum Tube (Pentode) RF pentode 81 112 1L10 1L20 1L60 3L10 512 556 575 545 547 549 581 585 A B C G K H L ML M N O R S Z
6AK5 154-0014-00 154-0206-00 154-0084-00 Vacuum Tube (Pentode) RF pentode B C CA G K L ML S Z 517 517A 524