In June of 1949 Tektronix developed a wide-band high speed oscilloscope under contract to the Air Materiel Command for $50,000. This oscilloscope pushed the limits of high speed analog design using distributed amplifiers. This report, issued by Howard Vollum and Dick Rhiger on May 31, 1950, covers the final development, construction, and performance testing of the oscilloscope. Click on the image to view the PDF.


Following this research contract was the development of the Type 517 oscilloscope which achieved a performance of 50 MHz and was introduced in 1951. This oscilloscope did not utilize plug-ins and required a separate chassis for the power supply. These two photos show the 517 under development on the bench of Dick Rhiger at the Hawthorne plant.

This photo shows Dick Rhiger with the 517 oscilloscope.


The first advertisement for the Type 517 was in September 1951.


The 517 was in production from 1951 to 1955. It was replaced by the 517A which was in production until 1965 when replaced by the 547. This field communication describes the improvements with the 517A. The museum does not have a 517 or 517A in its collection.