Tektronix TDS5052 repair

I picked up another broken Tektronix scope for about 200USD scope the other day. This one had no output on any on either VGA port or the integrated LCD. However the front panel LEDs did come up and it beeped on boot.

The TDS5000 series scopes follow a similar pattern to the TDS7000s with a x86 host and a PowerPC based system on the PCI bus. The layout however is a little more “normal” with the Power PC sitting in a PCI slot.

Once the BIOS was reset, I could get output on the integrated AGP graphics card of the Intel motherboard. I could even acquire snapshot measurements from both channels, a good sign that the acquisition hardware was working.

However still nothing on the Tektronixs PCI card which uses a Chips and Technologies 69000 graphics IC. In windows you could see the 69000 as a second display, and everything seemed fine. These scopes write the waveform directly to the 69000 display, as an overlay on the PC display, so you need it working to see any waveform.

Luckily, unlike the TDS7000 it’s possible to remove the motherboard and PCI card from the chassis and run them out of the case. This means you can easily probe around and see what’s going on.

Probing around the 69000 there was no output on the RGB lines for the VGA output. All the supplies look good too… except for U5, the DACVCC. shorting this to a 3.3v supply, suddenly the VGA output started working.

Tracing the circuit from U5 showed that this pin was connect too… nothing. It lead to an unplaced component E300. E301 sits on one of the other 3.3V supplies to the 69000, in almost exactly the same layout and is just a 0Ohm resistor. The other side of E300 was a 3.3v supply…

So I just shorted it as you can see in the picture below. I’m not sure why this wasn’t placed, perhaps VGA scope output was an optional extra on this model?


Once this was in place I could see a waveform on the scope (PCI/69000) VGA output:


I also probed the LCD output, data was present, and there where no components in line between the 69000 and the LCD (a NL6448BC33-46) that would have failed. I ordered a replacement and success! Everything works fine:


Chips and Technologies 69000 datasheet: m69000