Electronic Design

Four New HP Solid State Counters

All the advantages of solid-state design are now yours in these new hp solid state counters—offered at prices comparable to those of today's vacuum tube counters. And you get the advantages of greater readability, faster measurements, easier routine maintenance, and rack-and-stack convenience of the new hp universal module instrument cabinets.

Offered in four models, these new counters have maximum counting rates of 300 KC or 1.2 MC, with a choice of Nixie or columnar readouts. The high-intensity neon readouts are stacked in compact columns for faster, easier reading. On the in-line readouts, hp-pioneered standard incorporation of the new long-life, wide-viewing Nixies gives you many extra hours of lamp life and heretofore unknown readability, even at extreme angles. Polarized screen provides maximum readout brilliance with freedom from reflections.

A unique display storage feature of these new counters produces a continuous visual readout of the most recent measurement, even while the instrument is making a new measurement. Only if the new count differs from the previous count will the display change, in which case it will shift directly to the new reading. The fatigue and error possibility of a "blinking" display is eliminated. The storage feature may be disabled with a rear panel switch.

The counter's "inactive time" (when not making a new measurement) is independent of gate time and adjustable from 0.2 to 5.0 seconds, thus permitting a higher sampling rate.

High sensitivity permits low level measurement without accessories, and multiple period average measurement (to 100,000 periods) gives higher accuracy in lower frequency ranges, even for noisy signals. Self-check is provided for both frequency and period measurement modes.

Only 3 1/2-in. high, these counters are housed in the new hp modular cabinets, ideal for both bench use and easy rack mounting. Routine maintenance is simple with snap-out decade/readout units and circuit cards. Readout drive directly from photoconductors eliminates a complete stage of complex circuitry, to effect genuine cost and reliability advantages. (Electronic Design, October 11, 1961, p. 1)

This advertisement harks back to the days when William Hewlett and David Packard ran what was arguably the top test and measurement instrument company in the world. Now the company is called Agilent Technologies, and it's still advancing the engineering measurements art. I just hope that future engineers don't forget the achievements made by those two young Stanford engineers in a garage in Palo Alto.

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