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The 7000 Series oscilloscopes were produced from about 1970 to 1995. While there were various mainframes, the 7000 Series plug-ins worked interchangeably with most all of the mainframes. The breadth of plug-ins available became the strength of the product line. There were low-bandwidth differential amplifiers,  14 GHz sampling plug-ins, logic analyzer plug-ins, counter/timer plug-ins, spectrum analyzer plug-ins and digital multimeter plug-ins.

Features of the 7000 Series include:

  • Variety: The 7000 Series had one of just about anything the customer needed.

  • Versatility: The customer could change measurement capabilities simply by changing the plug-in.

  • Longevity: A 7000 Series mainframe bought in the 70's could be used with a plug-in purchased in the 90's.
1.   How old is my 7000 Series mainframe? What products are available in this product line?

The 7000 Series line was manufactured from about 1970 to 1995. It is difficult to pin point when a particular product was produced. However, 7000 Series Oscilloscope History shows a timeline of the history of the 7000 Series mainframes and plug-ins.

I found a 7603 oscilloscope being sold by a private party. What plug-ins will that product support and where are they available from?

Most mainframes support most plug-ins. Take a look at 7000 Series Oscilloscope History to see if any exceptions are listed. Once you know which products fit your needs, there are several sources to contact to find those products. Below is a list of a few of the used equipment dealers. You may know of one in your area. Check the ads in magazines like Popular Electronics.

Test Equipment Connection
Tucker Electronics
Test Equipment Depot
Telephone #

3.   How can a 100 MHz mainframe support multi-gigahertz plug-ins?

Sampling techniques are the answer. Sampling has been a viable method of reproducing high-bandwidth repetitive signals for many years. The 7603 oscilloscope with 7S11/7T11 plug-ins and S4 sampling head is capable of being used to 14 GHz. You could learn more about sampling techniques in the document called  Sampling Techniques Primer, Tektronix literature number 47W-7209.
4.   I have been using a 7633. Presently, I use a camera to capture the image and document my project. Is there another solution without going to a different oscilloscope?

You did not mention a specific plug-in that was being used. If the bandwidth (70 MHz) of the 7D20 plug-in is sufficient for your use, you could capture, store and transfer the waveform to a PC. The resultant waveform could then be included in the documentation of your project. Software that supports products like the 7D20 can be found in the  oscilloscope software and drivers area.

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