Author Topic: How were old, analog oscilloscopes packaged?  (Read 2444 times)

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Offline GoodCrossing

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How were old, analog oscilloscopes packaged?
« on: July 15, 2018, 11:58:08 pm »
So, I've been wondering how were CRT scopes packaged from the factory recently. I looked for pictures online but couldn't find any, so now the question is stuck in my head! Does anyone remember, or have any pictures of the packaging of analog Tektronix/Hameg/HP/etc scopes?
 

Online james_s

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Re: How were old, analog oscilloscopes packaged?
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2018, 01:07:25 am »
I don't know about scopes, but I remember seeing similarly bulky electronic equipment that came in a custom molded styrofoam clamshell inserted into a heavy cardboard box.
 

Offline innkeeper

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Re: How were old, analog oscilloscopes packaged?
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2018, 03:45:55 am »
So, I've been wondering how were CRT scopes packaged from the factory recently. I looked for pictures online but couldn't find any, so now the question is stuck in my head! Does anyone remember, or have any pictures of the packaging of analog Tektronix/Hameg/HP/etc scopes?

I got my hands on a real time capsule, a scope from 1984 still in its original packaging.
it's a rebadged leader LBO-516 rebadged as a LabVolt aa-798 (with a leader lbo-516 manual packaged with it inside)
From what I understand, LabVolt rebadged stuff for sale to the academic community.

It's a bit late tonight, but, I'll take some pictures of the packaging materials and box for you and post tomorrow.
Hobbyist and a retired engineer and possibly a test equipment addict, though, searching for the equipment to test for that.
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: How were old, analog oscilloscopes packaged?
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2018, 10:13:43 am »
Textronix service manuals tell you how to pack them for shipping back to the factory.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
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Offline Fungus

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Re: How were old, analog oscilloscopes packaged?
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2018, 10:19:45 am »
I don't know about scopes, but I remember seeing similarly bulky electronic equipment that came in a custom molded styrofoam clamshell inserted into a heavy cardboard box.

This.
 

Offline GoodCrossing

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Re: How were old, analog oscilloscopes packaged?
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2018, 10:36:08 am »
Thank you! The question was tormenting me haha

So, I've been wondering how were CRT scopes packaged from the factory recently. I looked for pictures online but couldn't find any, so now the question is stuck in my head! Does anyone remember, or have any pictures of the packaging of analog Tektronix/Hameg/HP/etc scopes?

I got my hands on a real time capsule, a scope from 1984 still in its original packaging.
it's a rebadged leader LBO-516 rebadged as a LabVolt aa-798 (with a leader lbo-516 manual packaged with it inside)
From what I understand, LabVolt rebadged stuff for sale to the academic community.

It's a bit late tonight, but, I'll take some pictures of the packaging materials and box for you and post tomorrow.
Please do!
Textronix service manuals tell you how to pack them for shipping back to the factory.
I know as my 2215 came with the operators manual and the service manual, but I just wanted to know how it was done in the factory.
 

Offline Berni

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Re: How were old, analog oscilloscopes packaged?
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2018, 11:05:47 am »
Have pehaps the bigger scopes from before the 70s come in a wooden crate as it was common for big equipment in the old days?

The best modern packing method for big test equipment when the original is lost are those expanding foam bags. A capsule inside the bag is broken and the chemicals mixing inflate the bag with foam. Once the foam hardens it makes a perfect form fit damper around the piece of equipment. Because the bags don't stick together means the unpacking is non destructive so you can put them back on later and slide the huge heavy boat anchor back in the box.
 

Offline innkeeper

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Re: How were old, analog oscilloscopes packaged?
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2018, 04:47:14 pm »
here are the images below as promised. This box should be inside another for shipping.
this was circa 1984.  nothing fancy, just styrofoam.




Hobbyist and a retired engineer and possibly a test equipment addict, though, searching for the equipment to test for that.
 

Offline innkeeper

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Re: How were old, analog oscilloscopes packaged?
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2018, 04:56:30 pm »
Have pehaps the bigger scopes from before the 70s come in a wooden crate as it was common for big equipment in the old days?

The best modern packing method for big test equipment when the original is lost are those expanding foam bags. A capsule inside the bag is broken and the chemicals mixing inflate the bag with foam. Once the foam hardens it makes a perfect form fit damper around the piece of equipment. Because the bags don't stick together means the unpacking is non destructive so you can put them back on later and slide the huge heavy boat anchor back in the box.

yes!!! INSTAPAK - it is not so modern actually - I did a lot of shipping around of sensitive gear in the 80's and we used a lot of the INSTAPAK expanding foam for re-packing gear to ship. to this day I think it is the best way to package a piece of test gear to ship, providing you get the right density/weight handling foam. as pointed out the best part was once the clamshell is made, it can be reused to ship the same item over and over.
Hobbyist and a retired engineer and possibly a test equipment addict, though, searching for the equipment to test for that.
 

Offline GoodCrossing

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Re: How were old, analog oscilloscopes packaged?
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2018, 04:56:55 pm »
here are the images below as promised. This box should be inside another for shipping.
this was circa 1984.  nothing fancy, just styrofoam.





Interesting! Thanks!
 

Offline Keysight DanielBogdanoff

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Re: How were old, analog oscilloscopes packaged?
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2018, 05:20:56 pm »
All the HP ones were also just custom styrofoam in a cardboard box.
 

Offline Berni

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Re: How were old, analog oscilloscopes packaged?
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2018, 07:03:31 pm »

yes!!! INSTAPAK - it is not so modern actually - I did a lot of shipping around of sensitive gear in the 80's and we used a lot of the INSTAPAK expanding foam for re-packing gear to ship. to this day I think it is the best way to package a piece of test gear to ship, providing you get the right density/weight handling foam. as pointed out the best part was once the clamshell is made, it can be reused to ship the same item over and over.

Ah neat I had no idea it's old stuff, but I do love it.

Does it ever happen that the bag leaks and if it does what sort of mess does it make? The spray foam in a can stuff that looks similar is incredibly sticky and hard to remove.
 

Offline stj

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Re: How were old, analog oscilloscopes packaged?
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2018, 09:49:06 pm »
given the list price of the bigger stuff,
if i had ordered a scope from HP i would expect a rep to deliver it in the back of a rolls-royce!!
(and probably open a champagn when i sign for it!!)
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: How were old, analog oscilloscopes packaged?
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2018, 10:05:57 pm »
given the list price of the bigger stuff,
if i had ordered a scope from HP i would expect a rep to deliver it in the back of a rolls-royce!!
(and probably open a champagn when i sign for it!!)

I've had them do that with an XY-plotter - and we didn't even pay for it. HP were loaning us a plotter because ours had broken just before an exhibition.

I remembered that, such an ethos encouraged me to accept a job offer a few years later.

(Well, OK, it wasn't a Roller and there was no champagne - but we really didn't care about that.)
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline innkeeper

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Re: How were old, analog oscilloscopes packaged?
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2018, 03:16:02 am »
Ah neat I had no idea it's old stuff, but I do love it.

Does it ever happen that the bag leaks and if it does what sort of mess does it make? The spray foam in a can stuff that looks similar is incredibly sticky and hard to remove.
once it cures, its hard, so no issues, basically it mixes two chemicals and then cures. there are two methods used one is two chemical canisters and would mix the chemicals at the nozzle, and the instapak ones would mix in its bag but was the more expensive option in any bulk. yea the bags would sometimes pop or the foam would leak out, but for the most part, it was fine. it drys a bit brittle, so you can break it or crack it, and it doesn't stick all that well to smooth metal surfaces. most of the time any leaks happened on the sides or the bottom, I cant recall many leaks were the time was placed.  a few times i had a first time packed item that I had trouble removing..that was mostly due to the foam wrapping around a handle for example

i did try an experiment on my own to use some of that foam in a can to make my own version of an istapak, and it was an epic failure... it never cured.
Hobbyist and a retired engineer and possibly a test equipment addict, though, searching for the equipment to test for that.
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: How were old, analog oscilloscopes packaged?
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2018, 06:31:46 am »
Ah neat I had no idea it's old stuff, but I do love it.

Does it ever happen that the bag leaks and if it does what sort of mess does it make? The spray foam in a can stuff that looks similar is incredibly sticky and hard to remove.
once it cures, its hard, ...

And therein lies a potential problem for old analogue scopes with CRTs. If it is hard then and the package is dropped, then the shock will be transmitted to the scope and fragile CRT.

In order to reduce shock transmission, the optimal solution will absorb the shock energy in the packaging before it reaches the scope. Think of crumple zones and energy absorbing foam.

If you can't absorb the energy then the best you can hope for is to minimise the peak acceleration. Think of deformable foams, including rubber composition foams.


There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline innkeeper

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Re: How were old, analog oscilloscopes packaged?
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2018, 06:43:43 am »
hard was a relative term compared to its liquid state
its not actually hard... it is foam after all
Hobbyist and a retired engineer and possibly a test equipment addict, though, searching for the equipment to test for that.
 

Offline Berni

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Re: How were old, analog oscilloscopes packaged?
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2018, 07:24:19 am »
The stuff does not become rock hard. It becomes much like the soft kind of styrofoam. Its there mostly to spread a impact over a large area so that it does not get dented or cracks. It proabobly does not have enough give to significantly lower the G shock from dropping the box from a height, but should still be enough to save a CRT. If it was too soft then a big drop could cause a corner to push trough it and hit the floor directly, that would leave a good ding on the corner and send a more dangerous sharp G shock trough the instrument.

I have some test gear that arrived trough eBay with CRT screens and it was never a problem. Often the rest of the piece of gear is significantly heavier than the CRT itself. Like a 50kg spectrum analyzer with a tiny 5 inch CRT. So the mass of the stuff around it helps reduce the GS that the CRT is exposed to. The old gear is built like a tank.
 

Online Alex Eisenhut

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Re: How were old, analog oscilloscopes packaged?
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2018, 09:32:48 am »
Don't know about scopes, but a few years ago I won a NIB Tektronix plugin, a 3T2.

http://w140.com/tekwiki/wiki/3T2

It was in its original packaging: a cardboard box taped up with water-activated paper adhesive tape, that brown stuff. It has a nice old-school Tektronix logo on it. But inside was a nasty surprise, I guess before styrofoam inserts became a "thing", they used a horrible material called rubberized horsehair.

https://www.upholsteryconnection.com/products/rubberhair-rubberized-curled-hair

So they made end caps out of this stuff to hold the plugin in place. Wonderful except that it decays and gets very moldy. I opened the box and was almost knocked to the ground by the smell. Imagine a damp moldy musty basement with no dehumidifier left alone for 40 years, multiplied by a thousand, and concentrated into a square foot.

And of course, it damaged everything it touched, the rear connector's gold-plated pins were black, the front panel was filthy. I'm usually a hoarder and keep everything but the rubberized end caps went into the bin, goodbye!

Luckily the box quickly lost the odor and the plugin was easily cleaned up.
*Except AC/DC adapters on eBay. Avoid them all!
 

Offline GoodCrossing

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Re: How were old, analog oscilloscopes packaged?
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2018, 09:38:58 am »
Don't know about scopes, but a few years ago I won a NIB Tektronix plugin, a 3T2.

http://w140.com/tekwiki/wiki/3T2

It was in its original packaging: a cardboard box taped up with water-activated paper adhesive tape, that brown stuff. It has a nice old-school Tektronix logo on it. But inside was a nasty surprise, I guess before styrofoam inserts became a "thing", they used a horrible material called rubberized horsehair.

https://www.upholsteryconnection.com/products/rubberhair-rubberized-curled-hair

So they made end caps out of this stuff to hold the plugin in place. Wonderful except that it decays and gets very moldy. I opened the box and was almost knocked to the ground by the smell. Imagine a damp moldy musty basement with no dehumidifier left alone for 40 years, multiplied by a thousand, and concentrated into a square foot.

And of course, it damaged everything it touched, the rear connector's gold-plated pins were black, the front panel was filthy. I'm usually a hoarder and keep everything but the rubberized end caps went into the bin, goodbye!

Luckily the box quickly lost the odor and the plugin was easily cleaned up.

I wonder how many models were packaged like that.
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: How were old, analog oscilloscopes packaged?
« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2018, 09:47:09 am »
The stuff does not become rock hard. It becomes much like the soft kind of styrofoam.

Yup, there's hard and then there's hard :)

Quote
Its there mostly to spread a impact over a large area so that it does not get dented or cracks. It proabobly does not have enough give to significantly lower the G shock from dropping the box from a height,

Agreed, and as such it would be useful protection for front panel controls and switches.

Quote
but should still be enough to save a CRT. If it was too soft then a big drop could cause a corner to push trough it and hit the floor directly, that would leave a good ding on the corner and send a more dangerous sharp G shock trough the instrument.

I have some test gear that arrived trough eBay with CRT screens and it was never a problem. Often the rest of the piece of gear is significantly heavier than the CRT itself. Like a 50kg spectrum analyzer with a tiny 5 inch CRT. So the mass of the stuff around it helps reduce the GS that the CRT is exposed to. The old gear is built like a tank.

My experience is of
  • a 465 where a wire had detached inside the CRT. I am not aware of it having been shipped, but that is a weak statement
  • a 1502 TDR with a busted rear end, but the CRT survived possibly because it was shock mounted. It was designed to be squaddie-proof and stored underwater :)
... so I know that I don't know :)

There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: How were old, analog oscilloscopes packaged?
« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2018, 09:49:07 am »
... they used a horrible material called rubberized horsehair.

That was the standard high quality material used in soft chairs / sofas / beds :)
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline smithnerd

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Re: How were old, analog oscilloscopes packaged?
« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2018, 07:11:56 pm »
Hairlok - it was used by SOE during WWII for parachute drops of supplies into occupied Europe. The attached image is from the 1944/45 SOE catalogue.

I also remember (and have precisely zero happy memories of), the crash mats in the school gymnasium being made from it. Revolting stuff.
 

Online Alex Eisenhut

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Re: How were old, analog oscilloscopes packaged?
« Reply #23 on: July 17, 2018, 10:47:04 pm »
I wonder how many models were packaged like that.

I don't know, but I suppose it was never meant to be kept in box for four decades.... It probably worked ok at the time, except for being revolting I guess. I certainly hope it didn't smell awful when new?
*Except AC/DC adapters on eBay. Avoid them all!
 


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