Vacuum tube oscilloscope

What is it?

It is an analog oscilloscope. What's interesting about it is the fact that it works with Vacuum tubes instead of semiconductors.

I thought it would be fun to post a few pictures and information about this oscilloscope on this page. Here is the schematic: schematic.jpg (300k)

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It is a oscilloscope of the RCA brand, model 54-45. It was a DIY kit, used in an electronic class given by RCA Institutes, Inc.

- From the manual:
  • Compact, lightweight design. Fits on any bench, goes anywhere.
  • Flat-face CRT gives full utilization of face area.
  • Intensity and focus controls plus astigmatism adjustment.
  • 4-range sweep generator covers 10 cycles to 100,000 cycles.
  • 1500 volt high-voltage supply for sharp, bright trace. No blooming.
  • Full retrace blanking and fully automatic sync.
  • Removable green filter easily snaps into the front of the plastic bezel.
  • Permits external use of the power supply, with 400 VDC at 20ma and 6.3 VAC at 300ma, available at rear pin jacks.
Recently I scanned the full manual. You can download a zip file containing all the images here: (5.2M)


Here are a few pictures of the oscilloscope:

More information

Here are a few websites containing information on vacuum tubes: