iceNINE Tech

- Tektronix TM500-Series Plugins -

I have cribbed most of these images from all around the internet; test eqipment resellers, eBay, USENET, and more. If you see an image that is "yours" in some way, and would like it removed, please email me and I will do so immediately. No infringement of anyones' copyright is intended or implied. Note that you can click the thumbnails below for higher-res images!

Conversely, these are the best images I could find of the modules. As I acquire more, I will take higher quality pictures. If you would like to "donate" high-res images, I would be most appreciative (and will of course give credit). I have found a dearth of TM500 information of the internet, and what follows is the result of detective work. Again, if you see something amiss, please let me know!

This index is not to be viewed as exhaustive, or even correct; look out below! More info is forthcoming; this is a first-pass effort to get a list online. I don't own many of these modules, so data below is mostly scavenged, inferred, or otherwise secondhand. I don't have any modules, parts, or manuals to sell, nor can I tell you where to get these.

You should also note that two separate color schemes were used over the product lifecycle. One had a dark bar at the top of the plugin, where the name appears; the other did not. More detailed info to appear soon.

AM - Amplifiers

AM501 Operational Amplifier

Output drives +/-40V & 50mA into 800 ohms, unity gain at 5MHz into this load

Slew rate of 50V/uS (into 800 ohms)

DIfferential input range of 80V

CMMR of 60Hz >20,000, input leakage <500nA @25C

Various plug-ins and overlays are available to expand the functionality of this module (013-0146-00)

AM502 Differential Amplifier

Gain = 1 - 100,000

Max BW = 1 MHz

Max common-mode voltage = +/- 50V

Can convert differential signals to single-ended for 'scope measurement

Adjustable filtering/knees (similar to the 5A22N / 7A22 scope plugins)

AM503 Current Probe Amplifier

Uses probe A6302 (100A, DC - 15MHz) or A6303 (1mA - 20A, DC - 50MHz)

The AM503S version came in a TM502, and included the "Tool Box Module" (016-0362-02)

There were also A, B, and C versions; this was perhaps the longest-lived plugin, sold until at least the late 90's


Preamplifier for use with 7L12 and 7L13 spectrum analyzers

DM - Digital Multimeters


4.5 digit

"Rotary version"

Includes temperature measurement capability


4.5 digit

"Pushbutton edition"

Includes temperature measurement capability


"True" RMS (crest factor 2-4)


3.5 digit

Does all measurements (V, A, & R) from two terminals



3.5 digit

Includes temperature measurement capability

Can autorange


"True" RMS (crest factor 2-4)


Very simple 4.5 digit meter

Temperature capability

Autoranging, with unusual "up/down" manual ranging mode

(note: a DM504 does not appear to have existed)


3.5 digit

Simple, basic, and cheap.


Unclear whether Tek sold this one or only Tegam (the people who bought the TM500/TM5000 line from Tek).

Basically a DM5110 with the GPIB removed.

4.5 Digit, with a 3.5 digit "fast" mode

Front panel uses some sort of "soft-key" menu-based system

Autoranging capability

FG - Function Generators
FG501 1 MHz

0.001 Hz - 1 MHz

Sine, square, triangle, ramp, pulse

FG501A 2 MHz

0.002 Hz -2 MHz

Sine, square, triangle, ramp, pulse

30Vp-p, +/-13V offset

25nS rise time, 50 ohm source

0.25% sine distortion (suited to audio work)

Trigger, gating, phase control

Step attentuator, variable symmetry

FG502 11 MHz

0.1 Hz -11 MHz

Sine, square, triangle, +/- ramp, +/- pulse

VCF & gating

FG503 3 MHz

1.0 Hz - 3 MHz

Sine, square, triangle

VCF, trigger out

10Vp-p into 50 ohms, 20Vp-p open circuit

Custom "decade" multiplier setting possible

FG504 40 MHz

0.001 Hz - 40 MHz

Sine, square, triangle, ramp, pulse, sweeping

Misc shaping (symmetry, rise & fall time adj, etc.)

30Vp-p open circuit

AM & FM, phase-lock input, gating, trigger

FG507 2 MHz

0.002 Hz - 2 MHz


SC - Oscilloscopes

SC501 5MHz Single-Channel Oscilloscope

Smallest 'scope in the line (one unit wide!)

One channel

Strange method of choosing time/voltage/division

SC502 15MHz Oscilloscope

General-purpose 'scope

Two channels

SC503 10MHz Storage Oscilloscope

Only storage 'scope in the line

Two channels

SC504 80MHz Oscilloscope

Fastest 'scope in the line

Two channels

I heard it's pretty noisy (electrically)...

PG - Pulse Generators

5 Hz - 50 MHz

True and inverted outputs

Adjustable (variable) duty cycle and period

Rated at "<= 3.5nS transistions", mine does 2nS

Independantly adjustable output voltage

Specified only for 50 ohm use (huh?)


10 Hz - 250 MHz

1nS transition time


"The Good One"

10 Hz - 250 Hz

250pS transition time (!)


1 Hz - 100 KHz

80V output (!)

(Would be good for driving ultrasonic transducers, I'd bet)


10Hz - 1 MHz

Intended for calibration use, includes error readout


Similar specs to PG506


5 Hz - 50 MHz

Dual output


.5 Hz - 50 MHz

Independant rise/fall time adjustment, delay


Fixed 25V p-p, 350pS rise time (!)

Apparantly very rare

PS - Power Supplies
PS501 Single Output

Basic supply

Floating 0-20V @ 400mA supply with adjustable current limit

PS501-1 Dual Output Fine-Adjustable

Fixed 5V @ 1A supply

Fine-adjustable 0-20V @ 400mA floating supply, with adjustable current limit

PS501-2 Dual Output Metered

Similar specs to PS501-1

Analog meter can be configured to read current OR voltage from adjustable supply

PS502 Dual Output

Fixed 5V @ 1A supply

Adjustable +/- 10-20V @ 400mA floating supplies (positive and negative outputs track)

PS503 Triple Output

Fixed 5V @ 1A supply

Fine-adjustable +/- 0-20V @ 400mA floating supplies, with independant adjustable current limits

Adjustable supplies can be set to track

PS503A High-Power Triple Output

Higher-power version of PS503

Adjustable supplies capable of 1A max in high-power compartment; indicated if not available

Adjustable supplies can be set to track

PS505 - Logic Supply

Meant for logic design, in times when a large ~5V supply was needed for TTL; also good for ECL via floating supply (operating inverted)

Adjustable 3-5.5V @ 4A supply, with adj. current limit

Supply is designed to float relative to ground, output limited if non-floated

TR - Tracking Generators


For use with the 7L12 and 7L13


Similar to the TR501; newer


100 KHz - 1.8 GHz

For use with 492 and 496 spectrum analyzers

Misc Tektronix Plugins

(inc. those not part of a series and prototypes)

AA501 Distortion Analyzer
AA501A Distortion Analyzer
AA501A Mod WQ Distortion Analyzer

AF501 Audio Bandpass Filter

Tunable audio bandpass filter, to 35KHz

DD501 Digital Delay

Divide by N up to 20MHz

Delay to 99,999 events

Pulse counting up to 65MHz

Time delay (with ext. clock)

Zin = 1Meg, Vout =~ TTL range

DL501 Digital Latch

Often used with the LA501

Stores narrow data based on externally applied trigger

16 channels

DP501 Digital Prescaler

For use with lower-frequency counters

Input up to 1.3GHz

LA501 Logic Analyzer

Sometimes known as the LA501W (when connected semi-permanently with the (optional) WR501)

MR501 XYZ Monitor

Pure XYZ inputs - ranges and positions adjustable

X & Y: BW = DC - 2MHz, Zin = 1Meg, Vin = 10mV-10V

Z: BW = DC - 200kHz, Zin = 10K, Vin = 0 -5V

Can be used with one of the Sweep Generator (or Ramp Generator) modules as a basic oscilloscope

RG501 Ramp Generator

10uS -10S ramp duration

SW503 RF Sweep Generator

1MHz - 400MHz

Markers at 1, 10, 50MHz intervals

Can interface with a DC508 Opt 7 counter to display freqency

Designed by Wavetek

Meant for Cable TV industry


TG501 Time Mark Generator

1nS - 1S range, error % readout

WR501 Word Recognizer

Used with the LA501

All sorts of features, just look at the higher-rez image...

SA501 Signature Analyzer

AKA 067-1090-00

Signature analysis was a sort of poor-man's logic analysis, popular in the late 70's for troubleshooting (rahter than debug) - look it up, it's kind of interesting...

Digital Sweep Generator

TVC501 Time-Interval to Voltage Converter

A (rare!) plugin, basically a F-V converter

1sec to 1us/division (whatever that means!)

Setup/Hold Time Test Fixture

AKA 067-1037-00

Presumably for something like Logic Analyzer calibration?

Microwave Comb Generator

AKA 067-0885-00

A calibration fixture for microwave spectrum analyzers. It consists of a signal source, a coaxial cable, and a comb generator module. The output of signal source is applied to comb generator module via the coaxial cable. The 500 MHz signal source can be frequency or pulse-modulated externally. When the output of signal source is applied to the comb generator, a comb line (spectrum) of markers is generated, which are harmonics of fundamental 500 MHz. The crystal controlled source provides an accurate reference to check frequency readout accuracies up to 20 GHz. (from eBay)

Also: see this image of the spectrum generated.

Pattern Generator

Some sort of CRT tester

Other People's Plugins

High Resolution Test Generator

Seen in an eBay auction, paired with a PG501 in a TM503

More info unknown

Spectracom 8131, 8132, 8150 Frequency Standards

A precision frequency standard oscillator with battery-backup and a phase comparator

Switch selectable output at 100 KHz, 1 MHz, 5 MHz, or 10 MHz

Front panel thumb wheel fine adjustment of output in parts of 10 to the 10th.

Puts out clean square waves into a 50 Ohm load.

Bennett 31109 Test Module

Seen in an eBay auction with a DM501A and DC504 in a TM503

More info unknown

Interactive Concepts DS3217B Digital Channel Simulator

Presumably some sort of communications network test equipment

Seen in an eBay auction, more info unknown

Oregon Analog Tools ZIG-T

This company (as of 2005) makes TM500 and 7000-series amplifiers. The ZIG-T is an ultra-high input impedance amp/buffer.

Ball Screw Test Fixture

On the side is a hand written sticker that says Ball-screw test set up, F=12.0Mhz, Level +.75V, CHRT Span = 500 MV, Speed.=15cm/hr. (via eBay)

City of Hope ECG

The "City of Hope" is apparently a cancer research and treatment center in a large medical institution on the West Coast. I hear that they do some pretty good things for children.

Found on eBay.

PTB-100 Precision Time Base

Made by the Ball Corp (?) (the canning people !?)

Appears to be a precision frequency reference.

NCSL Frequency Translator


Last updated October 4, 2005
Original content copyright © Christian Weagle unless otherwise indicated.