Sunday, February 24, 2019

Fixing a Tektronix Spectrum Analyzer

So the other day, a decently well of RF lab at CU Boulder was getting rid of stuff. And, as a good young engineer, I immediately started digging through their pile and asked about their situation to the nearest apparent lab-member. It turned out to be the head of the lab, and he let me take some stuff. I asked about this NOAA spectrum analyzer with plugin unit range to 60Ghz, and he said it didn't. I told him I could fix it, and he chuckled a bit.

Anyways I fixed it, and it is now part of the Solid State Depot (SSD) hackerspace in Boulder:
I have yet to test it with a proper source, as I don't have one, but at least it shows a neat FFT plot! Basically the power to the CRT as well as the plug in modules was not working. I replaced some fuses and other small components, and it fired right up.

I'm no stranger to adopting lovely old Tektronix test equipment. Here is a Tek 543 from 1959 and a 561 from the 60s. I got both working back in high school as fun projects. The first was picked up from a garage sale and belonged to Sarkes Tarzian himself. The second was a gift from a gracious history teacher.

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