mcguire at neurotica.com
Wed Feb 11 16:39:27 CST 2009
On Feb 11, 2009, at 4:01 PM, Brent Hilpert wrote:
>> Wow, never heard of them? Dating back to the 80s, they've made
>> (and still make, as far as I'm aware) some of the finest digitizing
>> oscilloscopes that money (a LOT of it) can buy. They also made quite
>> a bit of CAMAC equipment.
> A little bit earlier than the 80's even, the radio museum here has
> two early
> Nicolet digital scopes, one of which at least is ca. mid-70s, it
> has a fairly
> early 8080 in it.
Mmmm, I didn't know they went back that far!
> I had a brief opportunity to check it out before the switching
> power supply
> decided to go poof. Rather coarse display by modern expectations, I
> don't know
> what the sampling rate or actual bandwidth was. Didn't seem like it
> was going
> to be very useful so I haven't made much effort to repair it.
Coarse display, yes, but they're not run-of-the-mill digitizing
scopes. Most digitizing oscilloscopes have a fairly coarse amplitude
resolution (the absolutely wonderful HP 54111D is only 8-bit!) but
many of these Nicolet scopes have much higher amplitude resolution,
up to (I think) 10-12 bits. They're really neat units.
The power supply poofage isn't uncommon, unfortunately. I've had
three or four of those scopes (not as early as yours...late 80s
vintage) over the past 15 years or so, and two of them experienced
power supply failures.
> The first commercial digital scope I'm aware of is the HP 5480
> digital signal
> analyser, from 1969 IIRC, uses core memory(!). (I have one that's
> inoperative for lack of a manual.)
I drool. I'd love to get my grubby paws on one of those.
Port Charlotte, FL
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