Nowadays, a very beautiful oscilloscope can be placed in your toolbox, and even the “big” instrument may be something you can clip under your arm. But this is not always the case.Consider this old HP 150A, Revert to [USagi Electric]. (Video, embedded below.)
The 10 MHz dual-channel oscilloscope may not seem very high-tech today, but when HP launched it in the 1950s to challenge Tektronix, it was quite respected. The $1,000 price tag for mainframes only is also quite impressive. Unfortunately, because the oscilloscope with more than 50 tubes was not very reliable, HP soon had to develop new products on the oscilloscope market.
On the other hand, this machine is very easy to use, because all the circuit boards are installed, so they can be laid out for easy access. The box is a beast, and the whole thing weighs about 80 pounds.
[Usagi] Think that the oscilloscope only needs cleaning, but—spoiler alert—it needs more than that. The cleaning and painting work is impressive, and there is also a custom PCB for milling electrolytic capacitors.
There are many more stories. It turns out that changing the tube is not a good idea. The power supply problem may be caused by the oscilloscope being set to 230V input.
By the end of the video-in all fairness, this is the first part-the scope is not very good. But you can indeed see the beautiful interior, and there are indeed some traces in some modes. We are looking forward to the second part.
Compare the disassembly of the old range like this with ModernAgain, $1,000 was a lot in the 1950s, so maybe it would be fairer to compare it with more modern instruments.