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'[EE]: Coments sought on Oscilloscopes - Tek TDS200'
2003\02\18@194412 by Russell McMahon

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I'm looking at acquiring another oscilloscope.

I'd appreciate comment from anyone who owns or has used the scopes below (or
who feel they have relevant comment to make :-) ).

Choices seem to be between

   Tektronix
           TDS2002      60 MHz,   1 GS/s   2 channel colour LCD
           TDS2014   100 MHz  1 GS/s   4 channel colour LCD

   Agilent (HP)
          54621A 60 MHz, 200 MS/s 2 channel phosphor multilevel CRT

The 2 channel Tek is cheapest. The Agilent is dearest.
Tek has the superb 1 GS/s engine but very shallow buffer depth.
HP is only 200 MS/S but has a 2MB buffer.

Tek buffer is gone in a trice at higher sample speeds - no good for long
sequences with the occasional glitch or anomaly.

A major spur for me is that the HP (it'll always be HP until they sell
Agilent :-) ) comes with RS232 interface and basic PC analysis software
built in. Locally Tek charge $US300 equivalent for the RS232 interface and
$US400 for software. I wouldn't pay this as it represents a major percentage
of scope cost.

HP also have utterly marvellous triggering capabilities.
   RS232, USB, IIC, SPI, LIN, CAN (extra module)
Also apparently far more instant measurement modes on HP (still reading the
specs).

Tek have colour LCD - HP have a 32 shade grey-scale (green-scale) CRT with
2000 horizontal point resolution.

The HP with 2 channel and 60 MHz. 200 MS/s costs more than the 100 MHz Tek
with colour, 4 channels and 1 GS/s.

What you actually want to use a scope for of course influences the decision
:-)
In my case it's "everything". All things microprocessor (incl IIC, RS232
and SPI so far but USB is going to happen) and all things analogue from
sensor level signals and power electronics up to around 1 kW and some RF.
I have a motley collection of various analogue scopes plus a Velleman 0 MHz
hand held. The Tek/HP would be a major leap forward. More channels would
always be nice BUT the HP provides trigger out which can be used to synch in
an analogue old faithful (eg Tek 465).

Approximate prices USd equivalent

   Tek 2 ch        $US1000
   Tek 4ch         $US2000
   HP                 somewhat more



       Thoughts?

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2003\02\18@200808 by Tom Messenger

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At 01:43 PM 2/19/03 +1300, you wrote:
>I'm looking at acquiring another oscilloscope.
>
>        Thoughts?


TEK7000 mainframe!

er, never mind.

My thoughts: you seem to have lots of low end or older high end "boat
anchors" already.  You also seem to need something that will do a little
bit of everything. Analog, RF, digital, glitches, and so on.  You are way
beyond starting with a lowend scope to learn how to use them; and I assume
you are going to be using this professionally. So:

* * * Get the best you can afford whether you can afford it or not. * * *

At this point, does your lab need yet another "almost there" scope?  My
experience is that the low end scopes (ie, < $3000) always leave something
out you will need.  We used to do that where I work but lately have started
getting only higher end stuff and have no regrets.  Every new job usually
gets some new whizbang piece of gear that is then ready for use in later
projects. Eventually, we find that we need no new gear, regardless of what
the equipment salesmen tell us.

As usual, ymmv.
Good luck!
Tom M.

ps. 'ow bout them kiwis, eh mate?

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2003\02\18@211213 by Jai Dhar

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Not that I can directly help you out with your problem (so sorry for getting
your hopes up), but if you would like to dish off one of your old scopes I
would be more than willing to bargain with you (or with anyone for that
matter).
Sorry again,

Jai

Quoting Tom Messenger <spam_OUTkristTakeThisOuTspamTHEGRID.NET>:

{Quote hidden}

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2003\02\18@222207 by Matt Pobursky

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Russell,

I have both an HP64645D (Mixed signal - i.e. 2 100MHz channels, 16 logic channels)
and Tek TDS2014. Your comments about intended use are spot on.

When I'm doing my everyday general microcontroller development work, I opt for the
HP. When I'm going "signal searching", I'll often pull out the Tek. Let's put it
this way -- the HP stays permanently on the equipment riser right above my lab
workbench next to my software development workstation...

I find that for everyday use general purpose use, the HP works better for me
because of it's deep sample memory.

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

On Wed, 19 Feb 2003 13:43:45 +1300, Russell McMahon wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2003\02\19@075024 by Alan B. Pearce

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> Choices seem to be between
>
>   Tektronix
>       TDS2002      60 MHz,   1 GS/s   2 channel colour LCD
>       TDS2014   100 MHz  1 GS/s   4 channel colour LCD
>
>   Agilent (HP)
>      54621A 60 MHz, 200 MS/s 2 channel phosphor multilevel CRT
>

I have both a TDS2024 and a TDS3034. If you are prepared to find the bit
extra to get the HP, then you should probably also look at the TDS3000
range. The TDS2024 is the 200MHz version. With regard to the plug in modules
for the TDS2000, are you aware that the TDS200 serial module will work in
it?

For TDS3000 :-
Slightly bigger screen. Finer pixel size. Can be fitted with a battery, if
no battery then it has a tray to store probes in what would otherwise be the
battery compartment. If you get the 4 channel version then it comes with the
FFT and advanced trigger modules, 2 channel version is supplied sans these.
IIRC comes in 100, 300 & 500MHz versions. The 300MHz version comes with the
same probes as the 500MHz version, so worth having some cheap probes for
normal hack use. Has floppy drive for saving screen images, which can be
saved in a variety of formats (I've only tried BMP as that suited best at
the time). Screen image can be set or saved as monochrome if desired. Screen
can be expanded to be a window on the capture memory (I used this to debug
my IIC interface). TDS3000 also has more softkeys around the screen and some
other functions separated out to front panel buttons than the TDS2000. Each
input socket has connections to supply probe power to (presumably expensive)
special purpose probes. I have not investigated what is available in these.

Against TDS3000 :-
Single knob to adjust all vertical channels (adjusts currently selected
channel), where TDS2000 has separate knobs for each channel. 4 channel
version has no separate trigger input. Again like the TDS2000 has no serial,
HPIB or LAN port, but these can be fitted using plug in modules. Slightly
bigger than the TDS2000, but still a very light portable scope.


Agilent :-
No experience with their modern scopes. Last I had dealings with in any
serious way was an HP 1740 :)) However one of my colleagues has one of their
mixed signal scopes (2 analogue, 8 digital channels IIRC) and was showing me
the way he could zoom in on waveforms with it, similar to how you were
saying. However it is definitely larger than a TDS3000, I would put it in
the class of "bench scope" although it may be light enough to be classed as
portable. However he has taken it off to another part of the site at present
so I cannot get the model number.

>A major spur for me is that the HP (it'll always be HP until
>they sell Agilent :-) )

Agreed, the wrong half of the company kept the HP name. Mr Hewlett and Mr
Packard must be spinning in their graves :))

>comes with RS232 interface and basic PC analysis software
>built in. Locally Tek charge $US300 equivalent for the RS232
>interface and $US400 for software. I wouldn't pay this as it
>represents a major percentage of scope cost.

Yeah it is a pain not to have at least an RS232 port as standard. However in
my case the TDS3000 needed an HPIB, and that came with a serial port as
well. However if I was doing it again I would look seriously at a 10/100
Base-T port.


Agilent versus Tek :-

Well I can only really talk about the TEK as I said I have no experience
with the Agilent. What I do like is the probes come with little coloured
clip on pieces that match the trace colours. Just make sure you connect the
probe to the correct input, and you instantly know which channel is which at
the probe tip. This would not be much use if you were to buy the monochrome
TDS1000 version of the TDS2000, but I find it real handy with the coloured
screen.

TDS2000 versus TDS3000 :-
I prefer to use the 3000 as the trigger options are better, and the pixel
size is smaller, while the screen is bigger. I do not know off hand what the
relative total pixels are. Also with the window expansion of the captured
buffer on the TDS3000, this may do you for a lot of what you are looking at
as an advantage of the Agilent.

I will be interested to hear what your prices are, the TDS2024 cost me
somewhere around GBP1800 with a 40% academic discount. I cannot remember
what the TDS3034 cost, but think it was around GBP3500, and cannot remember
if we got a discount on that. Also bear in mind that this is a 200Mhz
against 300MHz machine when looking at these prices.

Best of luck with your proposed purchase.

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2003\02\19@133250 by Dave Dribin

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Well, I am certainly a scope newbie (just bought my first scope a
couple weeks ago), and an electronics newbie (I've been doing all
software since college 8 years ago), so take my opnions with a large
grain of salt.  I think your level of expertise is orders of magnitude
above mine.

Like I said I just bought a scope a couple weeks ago, a TDS2012 (the
100MHz version of the TDS2002) for $1,300.  I've only been using it
for logic signals at the moment (1-Wire and transistor switches), and
it has worked just fine.  I don't have a lot to compare it to :)
Things I don't like about it:

- Small trace buffer (WTF, memory is cheap, right?)
- Probes are not good for attaching to components on a PCB or ICs.  I
  immedialy bought two new probes from Probemaster ($75 each).

If I had more money, I would have considered one of the Tek TDS3000
series that someone else mentioned.  But they are in the $3,500 to
$10,000 price range (i.e. out of mine).

Hope that helps,

-Dave

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2003\02\19@135808 by rad0

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>  - Small trace buffer (WTF, memory is cheap, right?)
>  - Probes are not good for attaching to components on a PCB or ICs.  I
>    immedialy bought two new probes from Probemaster ($75 each).
>
> -Dave
>
where's a good place to get/look at  those probemasters ?

and how are they working out? are they 200mhz?


and what does it mean the the trace buffer is full?  what happens
when it gets full?  how can you tell?


thanks

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2003\02\19@140103 by Mike Harrison

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My $0.02.....
By far the most useful feature on any modern digital scope is REALLY DEEP MEMORY.
I have a HP54645D, and the ability to just grab a bunch of data and zoom into the bit of interest
saves a huge amount of time - no need to set up fiddly triggers, just grab the lot and zoom in.
I don't like what HP have done with this scope's replacement, i.e. not have seperate knobs for each
channel (as mentioned in another post), although it does have neat stuff like I2C triggering.
The digital channels are useful, but I rarely need more than 8 - I'd sooner have 3 analogue + 8
digital than 2+16.. or even better a modular system where you could swap between 4 analogue or
2a+16d

On Wed, 19 Feb 2003 11:08:51 -0600, you wrote:

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2003\02\19@183700 by Dave Dribin

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On Wed, Feb 19, 2003 at 12:57:28PM -0600, rad0 wrote:
> >  - Small trace buffer (WTF, memory is cheap, right?)
> >  - Probes are not good for attaching to components on a PCB or ICs.  I
> >    immedialy bought two new probes from Probemaster ($75 each).
>
> where's a good place to get/look at  those probemasters ?

 http://www.probemaster.com/

> and how are they working out? are they 200mhz?

I got the 4902-2K... switchable 1X/10X, 250MHz bandwidth.  I got 2.
One works great, the other one had a lose compensation trimmer pot or
something (it wouldn't compensate correctly).  I've sent the bum one
back, and I'm waiting for a replacement.  The one that works is great.
I love having the little pincher hooks to just grab onto on IC pin.  I
can't figure out why Tek wouldn't ship those for their probes, or at
least have an option to buy new tips.

> and what does it mean the the trace buffer is full?  what happens
> when it gets full?  how can you tell?

AFAIK, the buffer fills completely everytime it triggers.  The buffer
size controls how much information you can see, though.  The Tek has
such a small buffer, that the whole buffer seems to fit only what is
needed to fit on the screen.  Though you can still zoom in and see
greater detail, if you do a single shot trigger.  You can do things
like adjust the trigger position to be anywhere in the buffer.  By
default it's right in the middle which gives you a view of what
happend both before and after the trigger.

-Dave

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