A Difficult Measurement

Posted on behalf of Neil Schipper.

Dear Tektronix professional,

I recently used one of your measurement products to determine the ‘length’ property of a part I was seeking to specify to potential suppliers. My reading was 188 mm, and on the basis of this measurement, several requests for samples were made. Upon receipt of the first sample, it soon became apparent that it was not usable. We were able to determine that its ‘length’ property exceeded that of the original by a considerable amount.

Measurements were then made on both the original and the newly received sample using a piece of test equipment from a manufacturer other than yourselves, and a discrepancy on the order of 10 mm was found.

I am reproducing here a photo of the relevant portion of the equipment we originally relied on, in the hope that you may be able to determine the cause of the discrepancy:

Defective Textronix TDS3000 Series Measuring Device
Defective Textronix TDS3000 Series Measuring Device

What I now need to know is, can this unit be recalibrated? (No dated stickers can be seen on either side of the unit.) Where is the nearest service center that can handle this class of equipment? If it turns out that this is no longer a supported product, can you kindly recommend a newer model, perhaps one with a color display, lots of memory and the ability to operate over a network?

We must now turn our attention to less pleasant matters (particularly so in that I have used numerous Tektronix products regularly over some 16 years of embedded systems engineering, and would have described myself as a fan of your products). The above described mismeasurement resulted in direct costs of around CAN$40, plus several hours of engineering time, not to mention a certain amount of professional embarassment. I’m sure you will agree that it is appropriate that I receive from Tektronix a proposal addressing the issue of compensation for loss. Thanks in advance.

Finally, for your information, the device we used to repeat the measurement and which helped establish the incorrectness of the original measurement, was a tape measure whose side marking reads “Canadian Tire”.


Neil Schipper

Robin KAY <komadori@gekkou.co.uk>