Shaun Merrigan's Information Pages


Category: Tech


Tektronix TM500 Module Holder

Posted by Shaun Merrigan in 3D Printing, Electronics, Restoration, Tech. Comments Off on Tektronix TM500 Module Holder

28th June

I have previously written about the substantial number of different modules available for the Tektronix TM500 and TM5000 module plug-in systems. Since the equipment is now anywhere from 20 – 40 years old it needs to be refreshed and/or repaired before going back into service. This often means working on the modules while they are not installed in the power frame:

TM500 Extender Overview: Connects between module and power frame.

TM500 Extender Overview: Connects between module and power frame.

Dan Meeks Extender Closeup. This extender allows monitoring of all supply voltages and currents. It also has LED indicators for each voltage rail.

Extender Plugged into Power Frame

Extender Plugged into module. This allows working on the module outside of the power frame.

From the image above, the extender board projects beyond the edges of the plug-in. This means that the plug in … Read More »


Tektronix Type 106 Square Wave Generator Refresh

Posted by Shaun Merrigan in Electronics, Restoration, Tech, Test Equipment. Comments Off on Tektronix Type 106 Square Wave Generator Refresh

20th June

Introduced in 1966, the Tektronix 106 Square Wave Generator is a signal generator which can produce fast rise (<1nS @50 ohm loads positive or negative going) or high amplitude (120 Volts, high impedance load) square waves from 10Hz to 1MHz. It is used for oscilloscope calibration, risetime testing and for triggering extremely fast rise (<100pS) tunnel diode pulsers. The 106 uses a combination of vacuum tube and discrete solid-state technology. This is the sort of equipment that was used for development and testing during the NASA Apollo Program through the 1960’s.

The cost of the Tektronix Type 106 was USD 590 in 1966 or about USD 4900 in 2021 dollars. I was fortunate enough to obtain one of these units in decent condition and I was able to restore it to better than factory specification. What … Read More »


Tektronix TM5006 Power Frame Refresh

Posted by Shaun Merrigan in Electronics, Restoration, Tech, Test Equipment. Comments Off on Tektronix TM5006 Power Frame Refresh

17th June

The Tektronix TM5006 is a 6-Bay power frame which can host and power either TM5000 or TM500 plug-ins .

Tektronix themselves had about 130 different plug-ins available which comprised power supplies, signal generators, oscilloscopes, multimeters, test oscillators, calibrators, attenuators, filters, logic analyzers, frequency counters, audio analyzers and more. In addition, numerous third parties made plug-ins for the system. The total number of different plug-ins numbered at least 200. The system was introduced in 1972 and was available in some form through at least 1995. The system is remarkably interesting from a technology standpoint because it encompasses the move from discrete transistor circuitry in early equipment, evolving through microprocessor-controlled units in later equipment. The more modern TM5000 equipment also had network interface (GPIB) capability for control and data acquisition.

In terms of cost, a basic … Read More »


Tektronix Type 114 Pulse Generator Repair

Posted by Shaun Merrigan in Electronics, Restoration, Tech, Test Equipment. Comments Off on Tektronix Type 114 Pulse Generator Repair

22nd May

I recently completed repairing/refreshing and calibrating two Tektronix Type 114 Pulse Generators. This is a solid state pulse generator with variable pulse width (100ns – 10ms) and period (1us to 100mS). It can produce pulses of both polarities (-10v to +10v into 50 ohms). It was introduced in 1965. The two examples I obtained were SN 001791 and SN 003460. Initally, both units were produced output, but the waveforms were distorted (rounded square waves) and far out of specification in terms of period, pulse width, and risetime.

Tektronix Type 114 SN 003460 Front Panel

Tektronix Type 114 SN 003460 Overview

Tektronix Type 114 Pulse Generator SN 001791 Front Panel

Visual inspection also revealed damaged components and mechanical damage. A summary of the issues found follows:

Pulse width and period were out of specificationNegative pulses and square waves were … Read More »



Ebay IC Tester Instructions Update

Posted by Shaun Merrigan in Tech. Comments Off on Ebay IC Tester Instructions Update

14th November

Ebay IC Tester Instructions Update: Several years ago I posted the instruction and datasheets that came with the ubiquitous, generic Ebay IC Tester. These can be found here.

This post updates the original datasheet with new information: The datasheet with the tester indicates that 5v is the upper limit for zener diode testing, but recently tomtektest discovered that the unit can test zener diodes up to about 50v reliably. I dug into my parts bins and confirmed his finding using a range of zener diodes up to 48v. This is welcome information as it gives the tester additional usefulness in testing a much larger range of zener diodes.

Thanks for reading.

Shaun Merrigan


Hickok 209A VTVM Restoration Part 6

Posted by Shaun Merrigan in Electronics, Restoration, Tech, Test Equipment. Comments Off on Hickok 209A VTVM Restoration Part 6

13th January

This is the sixth part of an “N” part series documenting my restoration of the Hickok 209A VTVM, SN 1333254.

Hickok 209A VTVM Restoration Part 6: Component replacement decisions

In this Part 6 of the series I will document the condition of the passive circuit components in the Hickok 209A VTVM, and justify why I decided to replace (or not replace) them.

Initial resistor and capacitor measurements Hickok 209A

Starting with the resistors, I measured 8 initially, and of those 5 were out of marked specification on the high side. One more was right at the high side specification and two were within specification. These were all 5% and 10% tolerance carbon composition resistors. Based on these data, I made the decision to replace all the 5% and 10% carbon composition resistors. I used 1% metal oxide resistors with … Read More »


iPad Not Charging After iOS 12.1 Update

Posted by Shaun Merrigan in Electronics, Tech. Comments Off on iPad Not Charging After iOS 12.1 Update

23rd December

I recently updated my iPad Air 2 to iOS 12.1 only to find that it would no longer charge via my computer’s USB 3.0 port. Specifically, I had been using, for many months, a decent quality aftermarket cable to connect/charge the iPad to my PC. There were no issues with charging or connectivity using the same configuration prior to the iOS 12.1 update.

A bit of digging suggested a two-part solution:

Power off and restart the iPadUse a genuine Apple cable

Well, powering off and restarting (using the same aftermarket cable) did not work; the iPad still would not charge. However either changing to a genuine Apple cable or a different aftermarket cable together with a power off and restart, did work. The iPad is now charging normally from the USB 3.0 port on my PC. … Read More »


Ebay IC Tester Instructions

Posted by Shaun Merrigan in Electronics, Tech. Comments Off on Ebay IC Tester Instructions

2nd December

Ebay IC Tester Instructions

The ubiquitous IC/Component tester found on Ebay usually comes without any instructions or documentation:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The unit I purchased came with a one page, 2-sided photocopy instruction sheet, so I thought I would share it here:

 

 

As far as I can tell, this unit will identify and test the following:

Common linear and logic IC’s
Some transistors; seems to be limited to bipolar
Zener Diodes

It does not appear to identify:

LED’s
JFET’s
Three terminal regulators

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Shaun M


Tektronix 7854 Waveform Keyboard Rebuild

Posted by Shaun Merrigan in Electronics, Oscilloscopes, Tech. Comments Off on Tektronix 7854 Waveform Keyboard Rebuild

15th August

Tektronix 7854 Waveform Keyboard Rebuild

From the Tek Wiki:

The Tektronix 7854 Waveform Processing Oscilloscope, introduced in 1980, is a 400 MHz combined analog / digital mainframe in the 7000 series that takes two vertical and two horizontal 7000-series plug-ins. In addition to a conventional analog (real time) scope, it contains an equivalent-time sampling 10-bit digitizer and a programmable waveform processor with GPIB interface. The waveform processor can be programmed using a detachable calculator-style keyboard, using postfix operators (“reverse Polish notation” like HP calculators) that operate on entire waveforms, not just individual numbers.

Tek 7854 Mainframe #2 after cleaning

Tek 7854 Mainframe after cleaning

 

It is to the repair of the detachable keyboard that this post is devoted.  I purchased a keyboard for a reasonable price only to find that some keys were intermittent, and some did not work at all.

Opening up the keyboard showed … Read More »


Ring Video Doorbell Cold Weather Charging

Posted by Shaun Merrigan in Ring Doorbell, Tech. Comments Off on Ring Video Doorbell Cold Weather Charging

24th February

Ring Video Doorbell Cold Weather Charging

This is a follow-up to an earlier post I made concerning the cold weather performance of the original Ring Video Doorbell. I have had the opportunity to observe the behavior of both the original Ring (i.e., the non “Pro”) and the Pro versions through several cycles of very cold (down to -30C) weather over the past two years, and I can now draw some conclusions.

Background information:

I have both the original Ring and the Ring Pro
The original Ring is hardwired to my mechanical chime doorbell
The Ring Pro is hardwired to my mechanical chime doorbell
The voltage at each doorbell is in the 19-20 VAC range (Klein CL1000 portable DVM)

Conclusions:

The Ring Pro doorbell seems unaffected by external temperature.  It operates properly even through prolonged stretches (10 days or more) of -20C to -30C outdoor temperatures.

The original Ring doorbell … Read More »