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Tektronix Type N
Sampling system plug-in
Type N front view

Compatible with 500-series scopes

Produced from 1960 to 1964

Manuals – Specifications – Links – Pictures

The Tektronix Type N is a sampling plug-in for 500-series scopes. It was the first sampler produced by Tektronix. Its risetime is specified to be under 600 picoseconds.

Type N was introduced in 1960, superseded by the Type 661 Sampling Oscilloscope system a year later, and discontinued in 1964.

Type N is a complete sampling subsystem, using the 500-series oscilloscope just as a power supply and a display. The oscilloscope is operated in X-Y mode and gets its horizontal signal from the Type N plug-in instead of from the scope's sweep circuitry. The input signal is applied through a 50 Ω GR-874 connector.

The sampling circuit of the Type N is primitive. It uses a single diode, the "interrogate diode", D5480. The strobe pulse is added to the input signal using a passive summing circuit. Consequently, the amplitude of the kick-out pulse from the input is high, about 150 mV.

The vertical scale of the Type N is fixed at 10 mV/cm, making Type N one of the few Tektronix plug-ins with fixed vertical gain. In practice, attenuators such as the 017-011 can be placed in the signal path, external to the Type N, to achieve the desired sensitivity. Using an input attenuator also has the effect of attenuating the kick-out pulse seen by the device under test.

According to Stefan Graef (http://www.messmuseum.de/tek661.htm),

The engineer behind the N was Norm Winningstad. He worked at Hughes Aircraft Electronics Division and was offered a job at HP's oscilloscope division to join their Sampling Scope team. After getting informed about the work he went to Tektronix developing the N (according to: "A narrative history of Hewlett-Packard from 1939-1990" by John Minck).

For calibration of the timebase of the Type N, the 013-028 Timing Standard was produced.

Type N units with serial numbers from 101 to 220 did not come with a probe power connector on the front panel. A field modification kit was sold to add the probe power connector. After serial number 220, probe power was included from the factory.

Key Specifications

Rise time 600 ps
Bandwidth ~580 MHz
Deflection 10 mV/Div (fixed)

See Also


Some Parts Used in the N

Part Part Number(s) Class Description Used in
12AL5 154-0038-00 Vacuum Tube (Double Diode) high-perveance dual diode 3A2 3B2 545 545A 549 N
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 M N K R S Z
12AU6 154-0040-00 Vacuum Tube (Pentode) RF pentode 81 112 1L10 1L20 1L60 512 556 575 545 547 549 581 585 A B C G K H L M N O R S Z
12AU7 154-041 154-0041-00 154-0287-00 Vacuum Tube (Dual Triode) dual medium-μ triode 104 104A 122 160 161 162 181 190 310 310A 316 317 502 502A 507 511A 512 516 517 517A 524 526 535 536 545 545A 545B 547 549 555 561 564 570 575 581 581A 585 585A C D E N Q Hickok 1825
6AN8 154-078 154-0078-00 Vacuum Tube (Triode/Pentode) triode-pentode combo 310 310A 316 317 360 502 502A 516 517 517A 526 565 570 575 N