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Tektronix Type K
30 MHz amplifier plug-in
Type K

Compatible with 500-series scopes

Produced from 1955 to 1971

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

Page Class Description Used in
12AT7 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 3A2 3A75 1M1 A B C G H K L M N K R S Z
12AU6 Vacuum Tube (Pentode) RF pentode 81 112 512 556 575 545 549 581 585 A B C G K H L M N O R S Z
6AK5 Vacuum Tube (Pentode) RF pentode B C CA G K L S Z 517 517A 524