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The 'scope of '69

16 Feb 2011

A good friend of mine managed to get hold of an old, apparently broken oscilloscope. Aware of my love of electronics, they brought it along in the hope we could get it working.

When it arrived and we got the cover off I just had to take some pictures. This beast, the Telequipment D52, was made in 1969. It has fifteen valves and a whopping five transistors.

Scope with case removed sitting on kitchen table

View of valves and trimmers

Circuitry of the scope, with stepped attenuators and valves

Valves and big electrolytic capacitors

Valves and hand-drawn circuit traces

Valves and lovely hand drawn circuit boards

Closeup of some wires, hand drawn traces, and the transformer

Side view showing the cathode ray tube

Full view of one of the circuit boards

Valves on the circuit board and trimmer pots

If you ever get hold of something like this, be extremely careful with it. Don't just plug it in, gradually warm it up using a variac. It could blow up at any moment. Unfortunately I had no idea it was as old or as fragile as it was, and I don't have a variac. I just shoved a new fuse into it and switched it on.

A waveform displayed on the scope

It worked beautifully straight away. The amount of rust on the case suggests it's been in a storeroom for most of its life, but other than the occasional wobble on one of the channels, it's in completely perfect working order. The best bit has to be the fact it's crystal clear and brilliantly responsive and yet has such primitive electrical parts.

Valves glowing softly

Closeup of a glowing valve

Valves glowing

Valves inside glowing

Closeup of a group of glowing valves

Glowing valves

The phrase "they don't build 'em like they used to" springs to mind.

Sine wave and square wave on the scope, looks like a smiling face