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HP 180A OSCILLOSCOPE
 
 

 
 

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The HP 180A was one of the first solid state oscilloscopes (apart from the CRT) and was introduced in 1966.  Various plug-in units were available for vertical and horizontal deflections.  The HP 180A Mainframe (without plug-ins) cost $825.  Included with this Oscilloscope were: the 1801A Dual Channel Amplifier, cost $650; the 1821A Time Base and Delay Generator, cost $800; and the optional 10166A Panel Cover, cost $25.  A total of $2,300 in 1968.
 
 
 
 
 
 Front view
 
 
 
 
Rear view
 
 
March 2016
 
I acquired this locally for only £1.20 so couldn't resist it, especially as this was one of the first Oscilloscopes that I used in the Laboratory at the start of my career.  Before the HP 180A, the Tektronix 500 series were the best, even if they were heavy and needed their own trolleys.
 
The 180A had a 50MHz bandwidth, the 180A/R was a rack mounting version and the 181A had a variable persistence CRT.  The plug-ins included: 1801A dual channel amplifier; 1803A differential/dc offset amplifier; 1804A four channel amplifier; 1820A time base; 1821A time base and delay generator.  Accessories included: the 1118A test mobile; 1119A trolley; 10166A panel cover; and 10004A/5A/6A 10:1 probes.
 
Downloaded all 3 Operating and Service Manuals plus HP Journal of August 1966 which introduced the 180 series. 
 
This 180A needed a really good clean-up to remove all the labels, years of dust and some switch cleaner.  The top carrying handle is missing and the 4 feet on the rear panel are missing.  At some point, a fixed mains cable had been fitted instead of the American 3 pin plug recessed in the rear panel.
 
 
 
 
HP 10166A Panel Cover
 
 
The front panel cover had done its job to protect the Oscilloscope.  Inside there is a flap so you can store Probes underneath.
 
 
 
 
Mainframe RHS with covers removed
 
 
 
 
Mainframe LHS with covers removed
 
 
 
High Voltage circuit with cover removed - DANGER!
 
 
The 4 covers are easily removable to provide access to the "aircraft frame construction" of the oscilloscope.  Access to the component side of the PCB's is good, but some dismantling is required to get access to the wiring side of the PCB's. 
 
 
 
Mainframe controls
 
 
 
 
Mainframe cage for Plug-Ins and mating connector
 
 
 
 
 
The plug-ins pull out via the front panel locking handle and easily separate via their rear panel handle.  There is 24 way and coax connectors between the plug-ins, plus a 32 way connector between the timebase plug-in and the 180A mainframe.
 
 
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HP 1801A Dual Channel Amplifier
 
 
 
1801A front panel
 
The HP 1801A is a dual channel amplifier with amplitude settings of 20V/div down to 5mV/div.
 
 
 
 
1801A LHS
 
 
 
 
1801A RHS
 
 
 
 
1801A bottom
 
 
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HP 1821A Timebase and Delay Generator
 
 
 
1821A front panel
 
 
The HP 1821A is a timebase and delay generator, with sweep settings of 1s/div (1Hz) up to 100ns/div (10MHz).  The HP 180A Mainframe has horizontal magnification of x1, x5 (50MHz max) and x10 (100MHz max).  The red switch selects main, mixed or delayed sweep display.
 
 
 
 
1821A LHS
 
 
 
1821A RHS
 
 
 
1821A bottom
 
 
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Initial testing showed a bright CRT with both A & B traces controllable for X & Y, although the triggering is not working.
 
 
 
... more to follow ...
 
 
 
 
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