28 October 2012

Scope Sunday 40

Two weeks ago (second weekend in October), I was in California, and I scheduled some time to do some junk shopping. I stopped by some of the surplus stores that Jim introduced me to, including Excess Solutions in Milpitas, Weirdstuff in Sunnyvale, and HSC in Santa Clara.

In addition to some surplus junk, Excess Solutions has rows and rows of components. I bought some of the capacitors that I used in my Capacitor Quiz last week.

I also stopped at HSC Electronic Supply, where they have a new banner sign with an unnecessary apostrophe.

They did have some interesting Tektronix hardware, but most of it was too rich for my blood, like this Type G plug-in unit, which was missing all its knobs and tubes, priced at $25.

However, this 3S1 dual-trace sampler was just too good to resist. It seems to be complete, but there were at least two broken components on the B channel (the vertical-position pot and a trimmer capacitor near the sampling bridge, C433). I don't actually have any 560-series mainframes (well, I have one), but I couldn't pass it up. Due to the damage, I talked the manager down to $25, and packed it into my carry-on bag for the flight home.

Saturday morning (being the second Saturday of the month) should have been the Electronics Flea Market at De Anza, but it was canceled due to a conflict with Pacificon. However, there was a swap meet scheduled for Saturday morning at Pacificon, so I went to that. It was hopping well before dawn (unfortunately I didn't have a flashlight). Here's a picture I took while it was still pitch black out.

There was some nice Tektronix gear there, including a rack-mount 545B, a nice 465B, some 7000 gear, and this 491 spectrum analyzer.

Of course, The Fates taunted me. Having just bought the 3S1 last night, I was tempted by a whole lot of 560-series equipment, including three 561 mainframes, 17 assorted plug-in units, and a cart. Of course, there was no way to get it home, or arrange to get it home (my plane departed a few hours later, early that afternoon), and I am confident that I can find these scopes closer to home. Still, funny.

Eagle-eyed observers will notice a pristine copy of Stan Griffiths' book, Oscilloscopes: Selecting and Restoring a Classic, on top of the 561B. Unfortunately, the seller would not sell it alone; it was part of the whole giant 560-series package (which was wise). You can buy a scan of it from the VintageTEK museum store. I hope somebody bought the whole lot of scopes (I probably would have, if it wasn't 3000 miles from home).

The trip home was uneventful. I carried the 3S1 sampler in my carry-on briefcase, but I had no problems at the airport. The TSA agents did test it for explosive residue, but they didn't even ask me what it was. Having breezed through security, I really regret not buying the 465B scope that I saw.

1 comment:

Anson Whealler said...

Worth noting that all three places have a web presence. Not the same as holding an item in your hands, however.

This begs the question of whatever happened to the East Coast purveyors of new and used electronic treasures and trash, such as Eli's in Cambridge and Poly Paks in Lynn (both MA). They're gone, buy why?