02 September 2012

Scope Sunday 37

Remember how I mentioned last week that I hadn't bought any scopes this year, and I then I bought two 422 portables at the Boxboro flea market?  Well, funny thing: I found another deal on Craigslist this week...

The listing advertised two 547 scopes for $50 in western Massachusetts.  Good deal (I've paid a little more for a 547, but I've also paid less).  I called and said I'd take them.  Turns out the seller was a high-school science teacher who had gotten the scopes from a neighbor of his parents to give to his school.  Unfortunately, the school didn't want them because they didn't have the space, and now he needed to get rid of them. (Unfortunately, his parents live in Ohio, so my thoughts of meeting this excellent neighbor were quickly dashed.)  So, we made plans to meet up.  The seller was driving into Boston this weekend to help his son move, so we met at a gas station along Route 2.

What made this transaction a unexpectedly GREAT deal were the accessories that came with the scopes.  The scopes are nice, but the accessories (some of which are shown above) are fantastic:
  1. A Model 500 scope cart, painted Tektronix grey instead of Tektronix blue.  This cart should match my Tek 511A.  It has a drawer, but no storage for plug-ins (of course, the early Tek scopes didn't have plug-ins, but that big blank panel still seems like a lot of wasted space).
  2. A complete C-12 camera system.  This is my first scope camera, and I'm kind of excited about it. Anybody have a good source for Polaroid film?  (Gotta love that smell.)
  3. A mint-condition vinyl cover, with the Tektronix logo on the side (very nice).
  4. A pair of 1A4 plug-ins, in addition to the two 1A1 plug-ins that came installed in the scopes.
  5. Original bound manuals for 547, 1A1, 1A2, the camera, and a 549 (for some reason).
  6. A photocopied manual for the 1A4 plug-ins.
  7. A 1971 Tektronix catalog.  So cool.
  8. Three extra 154-0568-00 CRTs.  Unfortunately, they're all the same and two of them are labeled "gassy".  When I saw the box of extra CRTs, I had hoped for different phosphors, but, alas, no.
So I actually got all of this for $50 and a scope.  When the seller told me that he was a science teacher, who wanted a scope for his school, I offered him the smallest scope that I had (it was a "modern" 20-MHz, two-channel, no-name scope, but it works, and it's smaller and lighter than a 422 or 453).  I hope it's small enough that he can find room for it.  I wish my high-school science club had had an oscilloscope!


Anonymous said...

The bad news: Polaroid is bancrupt and production ceased.

The good news: Some crazy people bought a former Polaroid factory in the Netherlands, re-invented all the chemical processes, fired up the machinery, which was essentially scrap metal and manage to produce Polaroid instant film again. The project is aptly called The Impossible Project http://www.the-impossible-project.com/

Christian said...

I believe that the crazy people are not making the right film for our scope cameras, at least yet. There is still hope. My small remaining stash of film is at home (in the fridge right now) so I can't tell you what I use, but when I bought it at one of the largest camera chains in Boston, they had only a few packs left, that expired the previous year, and no prospects of getting more. I had to really talk them into selling it to me. This was maybe ~2007ish? There's a date on the packs, anyway.

Funny thing - I helped Jim locate all the remaining supplies of the right stuff when Polaroid was winding up - I was working with an ex-Polaroid manager at the time and he made some calls and found the right warehouses, etc etc.