Tektronix has a long, rich history in custom cathode-ray tube (CRT) design and manufacturing, starting in 1954 and ending in 1996.  This page is an index to the various articles and information on this website.

As the articles below describe, the need for superior CRT performance over that obtainable in the open market was the initial driving force for this move to vertical integration and was amplified through the years as competitors took the same path, until high speed semi-conductor signal capture devices allowed an oscilloscope’s waveform to be displayed on commodity-level flat panels.

The drive for CRT performance and quality improvements led to many innovations including Manufacturing processes, electron gun design and component fabrication, ceramic funnels, phosphor manufacturing, etc.

 

CRT History
CRT History  This six-part article written by former Tek engineer Peter Keller describes in detail the first sixteen years of cathode ray technology at Tektronix.

Early days of CRT Manufacturing with Group Photos

CRTs on Display at the VintageTek Museum

CRT Time Capsule This capsule was created in 1989 and opened at the museum in 2017.

 

CRT Design Overview
Dual Beam Guns

7844 Compared To 556 by Murlan Kaufman, Tekscope 1974

Post Deflection Acceleration Overview  from Cathode Ray Tubes: Getting Down To Basics

7504, 7704, R5030 CRTs by Larry Simpson and Connie Wilson, TekScope December 1969

Meshless Scan Expansion by Norm Franzen and Bo Janko, Tech. Report September 1983

Deflection System Overview  from Cathode Ray Tubes: Getting Down To Basics

 

Storage CRTs
The three types of Tektronix storage CRTs are detailed here.

First was the Direct View Bistable Storage (DVST) technology, also known as Phosphor Storage. This low-cost approach first appeared in the 564 oscilloscope and later was used in large screen Information and Computer Terminal displays.

Next was the two-mesh storage utilizing a dielectric coated metal mesh which stored a written charge image which was then viewed on a conventional phosphor screen. Also known as halftone-storage, Tek's first use of this technology was in the 7613 oscilloscope. (Two-Mesh: One MgO coated target plus the collector mesh).

Third was the transfer storage technology where a high-speed signal was stored on a dielectric coated mesh, then the charge image was quickly transferred to a second coated mesh for long-term viewing. The 7623 oscilloscope was the first use of the charge transfer technology. (Three-Mesh: Two MgO coated targets plus the collector mesh).

Bistable Phosphor Storage Overview  from Cathode Ray Tubes: Getting Down To Basics

The Storage Story by Bob Anderson

564 - Tektronix first Storage oscilloscope

564 Storage CRT Development

OEM 19" DVST Monitors

Information Display - The DVST and the growth of IDG

DVST Graphic Terminals from the 611 to 19" and 25" Terminals

Developments In Simplified Direct View Storage by R. Franklin, SID 1972. Brightness improvement in the 613 monitor and optical filter optimized for the green light emission of DVSTs. The paper is courtesy of the Society for Information Display. © Society for Information Display.

 

Two and Three Mesh Storage CRTs
Three Kinds of Storage in the 7000 Series Tekscope July 1972

Transfer Storage   from Cathode Ray Tubes: Getting Down To Basics

7834 CRT by Ken Hawken and Jerry Rogers, Tekscope Sept. 1977

Storage CRT Competition in 1978 by Chris Curtin, Engineering News January 1978

 

Specialized Designs
T519 Cathode-Ray Tube used in the 519

7104 Micro Channel Plate CRT  from Cathode Ray Tubes: Getting Down To Basics

MCP CRT Design for the 2476 by John Sonneborn and Ken Hawken SID 1986. The paper is courtesy of the Society for Information Display. © Society for Information Display.

7612 CRT for A-to-D Conversion  from Cathode Ray Tubes: Getting Down To Basics

7912 Scan Conversion CRT  from Cathode Ray Tubes: Getting Down To Basics

High Brightness CRTs for Avionics Application

Color CRT with Internal (“Chevron”) Alignment Marks

High Resolution Monochrome 19" CRT by Conrad Odenthal, SID 1984.

 

Ceramic Funnels
Ceramic Strip Technology leads to Ceramic Funnels

Funnel molds found under Building 13

Ceramics Role in CRTs by Bill Gellatly

Ceramic Specifications for External Sales, 1989

 

CRT Manufacturing Technology
Early days of CRT Manufacturing

Example of information shipped with a completed 549 CRT

CRT Advertising for External Sales 1987

 

References
Tektronix Instruments with storage CRTs  from Cathode Ray Tubes: Getting Down To Basics

Industry Standard Phosphors for CRTs  from Cathode Ray Tubes: Getting Down To Basics

 

Movies/Videos
A Precision CRT (1955)

CRT - A Look Back (1996)

The Cathode-Ray Tube: Window to Electronics

Building a Ceramic CRT 1967