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Tiny Electronic Tools That Work In Tight Spots


Developments to Watch

TINY ELECTRONIC TOOLS THAT WORK IN TIGHT SPOTS

As sophisticated electronic components proliferate in everything from aircraft to telephones, so does the need for a convenient way to repair and maintain them. That's not so easy, considering that the test and measurement tools needed are usually table-size machines that tend to be as complex as the components they are meant to fix. So Tektronix Inc. in Wilsonville, Ore., has shrunk the tools. Using low-energy microprocessors, it has come out with the TekTools line of "intelligent" handheld electronic oscilloscopes and other measurement devices that work like the old benchtop devices: They automatically find electronic and electrical signals and then display them on a backlit screen, allowing technicians to visualize problems on-site. The tools weigh about two pounds, run on standard batteries, and cost from $859 to $1,259, compared with about $2,300 for their larger cousins.EDITED BY CATHERINE ARNST


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