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Test Equipment Tektronix TSG 95 Pathfinder PAL/NTSC

 
crustytv
(@crustytv)
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The other day, I said..... “I know, how many multimeters does one man need?” Well, I guess you can also apply that to pattern generators. Yes, I've gone and added another!

I've quite fancied one of these very small, portable devices, but the prices have been rather on the steep side. This one cropped up last week, complete with case, manual, working, and at what I considered a very reasonable price.

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Mike @cathovisor may likely know a little more about these devices and their use. They date from around 1994, and I suspect they were used by technicians, testing equipment monitors in racks? I only suggest this as it's portable, and the pouch has a belt clip.

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Not a lot to say, other than it's a pattern generator, has all the usual bars and other signals, also can do NTSC. I've not been able to test the tone generation side as the outputs use XLR.

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I've ordered some adapters. For the time being, it's hooked into the PM5509 as an external video source, which allows me to piggyback the PM5509 test tone on the TSG95 video.

It will join all my other generators in the signals rack. I would play some more, but the workshop is just too hot. It's not done creeping up, I reckon before 6pm it will be 30C in here, all I want to do I sleep. 😴 

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p.s.
The service manual and user manual, have been placed in the Technical Library.

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Topic starter Posted : 23/06/2022 4:23 pm
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Cathovisor
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@crustytv Nice buy!

They were used really just to test circuits in a standalone manner when sometimes fault-finding from a destination, checking monitors, that kind of thing. We never had them at TC in the studios but I certainly remember them when we did the "major events" as being in the test equipment arsenal.

The modern day version would be something like the Phabrix Sx generators/analysers.

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Posted : 23/06/2022 6:16 pm
crustytv
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Posted by: @cathovisor

The modern day version would be something like the Phabrix Sx

My test equipment curiosity piqued, I just had to look.... OMG! Things have certainly come along way since the TSG 95, and the price !!!!! 😲 Thirty years from now, I guess these too will be affordable on eBay.

phabrix

https://phabrix.com/ftp/Brochures/Sx_Brochure.pdf

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Topic starter Posted : 23/06/2022 10:57 pm
Cathovisor
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I don't own a Phabrix (because price!) but I have the use of them at work. They run Linux (Tux appears at switch-on) and are damned handy, especially the one that has a fibre SFP as so much of my work brings me into contact with video on fibre - although I have an AFL/Noyes multi-wavelength power meter for measuring optical power if nothing else. Numerous options on the Phabrix are enabled with licences. The fact that they can both generate *and* measure video, audio and ancillary data is a Godsend. 

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Posted : 23/06/2022 11:16 pm
Hurty
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Interesting conversation. Many people in broadcasting use Phabrix but I favour the Tektronix WFM2200A or WFM2300 as it has the same screen as the normal WFM8200/WFM8300's and fibre. One limitation on the Phabrix was its "eye" measurement as it can only do this for about 10 or 30 meters of cable (memory failing here) then it doesn't read!

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Yes in this hobby it can be difficult to say no. I bought my Philips dual beam scope PM3226 in 1977, was a big buy but remember looking at the Philips PM5519 generator with envious eyes, no way I could afford one of them so constructed the Manor Supplies Colour Test Generator with the optional UHF modulator which served me for years, after all I had the oscilloscope to set it up properly. I now do own a PM5519 test signal generator as all this unaffordable stuff has become affordable to us now but as you have said we add to this as I needed teletext so now have a PM5418-TDSI and then why not add PM5501 basic signal generator just for a bit of fun. I would have died for a PM5334 tv sweep generator in the 70's! and have had one for a few years now plus also a PM5324 r.f. generator. All this of course unaffordable to me in the 70's. 

On the meter front I haven't done so bad, Philips PM2522 LED digital meter, bought with the original Philips scope in 77, Fluke37 multimeter, gifted to me, and my trusty Fluke 79 III handheld meter which is by my side whatever.

I have loved my time in the TV/VCR trade but moved into Broadcast for the last 40 years and still love it, UHD and Dolby Atmos and now uncompressed video over IP matrixes. Transmission systems next in ip with compression, it never stops. The latest device is the Prism waveform monitor (was Tektronix now Telestream) which does Video, quad UHD video, ip 2022-6/7 video and UHD 2110 ip video. There is a bit of reading for you.

As an engineer you cannot stop learning.

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Posted : 25/06/2022 3:39 pm
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Cathovisor
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Yes, a few Telestream units have popped up where I'm working. Bought because they can monitor HLG/HDR. 

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Posted : 25/06/2022 3:55 pm
crustytv
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I'm really taken with this TSG95, as a result I've decided the next bit of kit I'm looking out for is one of the two portable waveform and vectorscope device Tek provided to partner the TSG95, the Tektronix WFM90/WFM91. This will allow me to replace my bulky 528A/1421, and I can retire my 5509/5515-T, reclaiming valuable space on my rack.

wfm90
wfm91

Oh, and the XLR adapters arrived, so I've been able to test the tone generation side, lots of options to choose many frequencies, not just the 1kHz.

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Topic starter Posted : 25/06/2022 4:08 pm
Hurty
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We had the WFM90's. I was very disappointed with them as this is very early display technology. Your pictures look like the displays are nice and bright. I reality they where dim and had to be looked at off angle to see them like early miniature LCD TV's. I was offered one of these from work but turned it down. Hope you have more luck. 

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Posted : 25/06/2022 4:17 pm
mfd70
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I've got a kit of a TSG95, also TSG601 and a SDA601 which are SDI generator and analysers almost obsolete since they are SD only. 

The Phabrix is a great tool, value for money and good UK based support I use one regularly, the other wfm/scope I use now is the Tek Prism, very comprehensive, but not as nice to use as the WVR5000 or WVR8200 rasterizer 'scope. I think since Telestream have take over the broadcast section of Tek the new products aren't as good. Another useful generator /analyser I use a lot is the Hitomi Matchbox, again good UK support. Google the prices of these items and you'll see money is no object (and never was) in broadcasting and live events, just a pity more of it does not make its way into my pocket.

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Posted : 25/06/2022 8:13 pm
Cathovisor
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Posted by: @crustytv

This will allow me to replace my bulky 528A/1421

If I were you I'd give serious consideration to the WFM1751, which is 19" rack mount and a half-width unit. I have a frame and blanking panel for one if you want.

The ne plus ultra of the PAL world is the VM-700A, of course... 

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Posted : 25/06/2022 8:45 pm
mfd70
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@cathovisor I've got a VM700A, bought a pair from Granada, Quay Street, sold one kept the other nice bit of kit. I've also got a 1571 in the bay but the PSU is a bit flaky, starts up intermittently.

VM700

 

 

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Posted : 25/06/2022 10:24 pm
Cathovisor
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Posted by: @mfd70

I've also got a 1571 in the bay but the PSU is a bit flaky, starts up intermittently.

I 'd look it over if I were you as you don't want to end up in the situation I did with my TSG271, documented on here. Never seen so much dead silicon, and all because a snubber resistor went open.

I too have a VM-700A and the software to drive it from a laptop - in DOS! 

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Posted : 25/06/2022 10:43 pm
turretslug
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Re the "1571" (1751?), look out for teensy cheapo carbon film feed resistors in the start-up tickler supply going very high value or open circuit, even the mighty Tek seemed to get caught out by them eventually succumbing in high applied voltage situations. I lost count of the number of this generation of waveform monitors/vectorscopes that came in with this fault of getting more and more reluctant to start up and finally just not powering up at all. Talk about spoiling the ship for a ha'p'orth of tar and all that.

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Posted : 25/06/2022 10:57 pm
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mfd70
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@turretslug 1571 / 1751 ? Since I'm not working at Glastonbury this year, the wine has been open since about 19:00 😀 

I need to get it on the bench to sort out the PSU but it is sandwiched in the bay and getting it out will probably be as hard as trying to fix what I expect is an overly complex Tek circuit.

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Posted : 25/06/2022 11:28 pm