View Full Version : Heathkit OM-3 Oscilloscope

March 29th, 2004, 02:36 PM
I was out driving today and noticed a pile of stuff sitting under a “Free” sign. One of the items caught my eye because of the dials, knobs and round screen on the front.

It turned out to be a Heathkit OM-3 Oscilloscope (1958 vintage according to my limited Googling – which DID turn up relevant results.)

It’s missing a couple of the plastic caps to the banana jacks on the front, but is otherwise complete. I powered it up and it seems to work (An adjustable horizontal line appears on the CRT, anyway.)

Not bad for a street corner find.

So, does anyone have any info; docs or otherwise?

Terry Yager
March 29th, 2004, 02:54 PM
So, does anyone have any info; docs or otherwise?

No, but it doesn't even have to work to be way kewl...it'll look good just sitting around on your workbench (very retro-geek).


February 23rd, 2005, 03:04 AM
I'll second that, an oscilloscope from March of 1958 is definately going to look very cool sitting on your workbench. I realize you obviously know what it looks like but here's a pic for everyone else. :)


As far as general information this page may be helpful:


This site has manuals for it, but they charge for them:


May 18th, 2005, 11:44 PM
Oscilloscopes never seem to die. They get constantly used by technicians and others.

I have bought and sold loads of them. Usually I get them at auctions here in Sydney.

There's a few oscilloscope collecters here in Sydney. There's probably loads of them in the USA, UK etc.

Does anyone know of oscilloscope museums?

Here's a nice site I found with some good pics:

August 21st, 2005, 08:51 AM
There are Tektronix museums online and many Heathkit sites as well - most of the Heathkit zealots would go to the door of the person that set it out and rag them on why they thought the item was junk but still thank them for making it available rather than tossing it. Heathkit itself in Benton Harbor MI does not make kits anymore but I think you can get manuals (reprints) from one of their support divisions. They make training courses now, no equipment that I am aware of.

It does add a bit of "coolness" to a bench area to have a scope even if unused. I run a repair shop out of my garage (converted to office/shop) and I used to repair monitors, TVs and terminals - still have and occasionally use my analog and digital scopes but just sitting on the shelf people have a different feeling for my skills compared to shops with boxes of salvage boards instead. When I was in the AF at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas and into my tour in Iceland we still did our own test equipment maint and calibrations - and used the gear for actual testing. I missed that part when I went to air launched cruise missiles where 99% of our work was board changes and a different shop (VACE) did all the test equipment work.

Like a multimeter, if you know how to use it, the scope can be very helpful in many ways. I know teachers that get old analog ones to hook up the line out from a mic and show the waveform of someone talking to show essentially a graphic representation of the sound.

Terry Yager
August 21st, 2005, 01:29 PM
How about this one from ComputerHell? Not sure of the age or even the make/model, but it sure looks kewl. Btw, it's for sale [/shameless plug].



UPDATE: I checked today, and this is a Tektronix 565A, with Dual-Trace Plug-In Module.


Terry Yager
August 21st, 2005, 01:38 PM
This one is a Tektronix Dual-Trace. See how much it classes up the (well-used) work area?



UPDATE: This one is a Model 585A, with Dual-Trace Plug-In.

Additional info is available here:


...and here:



November 16th, 2005, 05:27 AM
My goodness Mr Yager - that workbench is a bit untidy - tsk tsk tsk. And where's your dust cover for your CRO ?

But seriously that's a nice oscilloscope. Tektronix made good equipment, and they were built like tanks too.

I have a Tektronix 2335GF which is a ruggedized 130 MHz analog oscilloscope.


Terry Yager
November 16th, 2005, 07:21 AM
Well, it ain't exactly my workbench, I just "inherited" it in pretty much that condition.


December 15th, 2008, 03:48 PM
Hey this thread is a little old but I got a Heakit O-6 from a friend and from my googling it was made between 1950 and 51. I was amazed to find that it still works. Anyone have any information on this oscilloscope? The picture is from thebakken.org it is the same one that i have and. Does anyone have any idea how much this would be worth to a vintage collector?

December 17th, 2008, 02:28 PM
I used Heathkit computers in class, but I won't recommend them, but their manuals and guidebooks are really good.

December 17th, 2008, 07:25 PM
I had the pleasure of building a Heathkit scope, then "ugraded" to an Eico. Up until the time I had a chance to use a Tek scope, I thought all scopes were wobbly and unstable. :stupid:

To be fair, one of the old Heath, B&K or Eico scopes is prbably fine for radio and TV servicing.

If you don't need a lot of bandwidth, some of the old Tek tube scopes can be very fine, even today. I still wish that I'd kept the dual-trace storage scope that I once owned.

Ole Juul
December 17th, 2008, 08:05 PM
I've got a Bell & Howell Model 34 which is almost as old. I think any old scope is work having around because they look cool, but I doubt that they're worth much in terms of money. I think people just pass these things around - that's how I got mine. :) Sure I'd love a brand new fancy multi trace, high freq, storage, etc., scope, but that costs real money and mine is still a window into an audio circuit. My advice would be to keep the old Heathkit because ANY scope, even a wobbly and unstable one like mine, is useful for a lot of things. Everyone needs a scope.

December 18th, 2008, 01:49 PM
I used Heathkit computers in class, but I won't recommend them, but their manuals and guidebooks are really good.

Ever had a chance to use this one? (http://www.heathkit-museum.com/computers/hvmec-1.shtml)

You could do some interesting simulations on it (e.g. bouncing ball).

Ole Juul
December 22nd, 2008, 08:22 PM
Indeed, if it comes with a portable lecturn and an indoor fountain, (as advertised) I'll take one.

December 23rd, 2008, 08:12 PM
My father has a Heathkit oscilloscope he built back around 1958 or so which looks exactly like that, it still works too :-)