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'[EE] Really really need an oscilloscope'
2011\01\26@132931 by V G

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So my recent electronics endeavors have become exceptionally diffciult with
the crude equipment I have - which is basically just a cheap multimeter. I
really need an oscilloscope. Something *cheap* - something a student can
afford. It doesn't have to be fancy.

What would you guys recommend? I don't mind if its old and monochrome, or
USB based, or whatever.

Parameters:

Price: cheap as possible.
Size: small is preferable, but not essential.
Feautres: doesn't need to be fancy, or high bandwidth. Just something "good
enough"

2011\01\26@135449 by Herbert Graf

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On Wed, 2011-01-26 at 13:29 -0500, V G wrote:
> So my recent electronics endeavors have become exceptionally diffciult with
> the crude equipment I have - which is basically just a cheap multimeter. I
> really need an oscilloscope. Something *cheap* - something a student can
> afford. It doesn't have to be fancy.
>
> What would you guys recommend? I don't mind if its old and monochrome, or
> USB based, or whatever.
>
> Parameters:
>
> Price: cheap as possible.
> Size: small is preferable, but not essential.
> Feautres: doesn't need to be fancy, or high bandwidth. Just something "good
> enough".

kijiji or craigslist. My first scope was a 20MHz dual channel analog
scope. Wasn't amazing, but did the job. Don't remember the exact amount
I paid, but it was <$100, bought from "some guy" near Warden and Finch
that I found on tor.forsale ... ahh, the memories...

TTYL

2011\01\26@140323 by Charles Rogers

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>
> Parameters:
>
> Price: cheap as possible.
> Size: small is preferable, but not essential.
> Feautres: doesn't need to be fancy, or high bandwidth. Just something
> "good
> enough".
> --

I have a HP 1740A on a stand, it is old but it works.  I don't have an
operator's manual but I have a very complete service manual.
This is a " FREEBE", but I will not pay for shipping.  I also have
a lot of other stuff all, are free ! !

In what part of the world are you ?

CR

2011\01\26@141636 by Vitaliy

face
flavicon
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V G wrote:
> So my recent electronics endeavors have become exceptionally diffciult
> with
> the crude equipment I have - which is basically just a cheap multimeter. I
> really need an oscilloscope. Something *cheap* - something a student can
> afford. It doesn't have to be fancy.
>
> What would you guys recommend? I don't mind if its old and monochrome, or
> USB based, or whatever.
>
> Parameters:
>
> Price: cheap as possible.
> Size: small is preferable, but not essential.
> Feautres: doesn't need to be fancy, or high bandwidth. Just something
> "good
> enough".

I suggest buying a good, stand-alone, digital oscilloscope.

We bought an analog scope for work many years ago, and I don't recall ever using it for a project. It's collecting dust in the warehouse as we speak. If you insist on buying an analog scope, at least make sure it has the "single shot" function. I used this one for a little while:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Oscilloscope.jpg

Combined with a digital camera, it can be used as a poor man's DSO.

Avoid USB scopes, they are limited to +/-10V. Unless you always deal with low voltages, it is a serious limitation.

The best inexpensive scope that we found, is Rigol DS1052E. It's about $300, which is four times cheaper than a comparable Tektronix scope (which we also own), but it gives it a run for its money. I only wish sometimes that it had more than two channels.

One thing I learned over the years, is that you should buy the best tools within your reach. It may seem crazy to pay $30 for a pair of cutters, or $300 for a soldering iron, or $800 for a microscope, until you realize that the difference in performance is worth every penny.

Vitaliy

2011\01\26@141814 by Mark Rages
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On Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 12:54 PM, Herbert Graf <spam_OUThkgrafTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

I got a bargain by searching auction sites for "oscilliscope" (note
misspelling).

Regards,
Mark
markrages@gmail
-- Mark Rages, Engineer
Midwest Telecine LLC
.....markragesKILLspamspam@spam@midwesttelecine.co

2011\01\26@145331 by Carey Fisher

face picon face
On Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 1:29 PM, V G <x.solarwind.xspamKILLspamgmail.com> wrote:

> So my recent electronics endeavors have become exceptionally diffciult with
> the crude equipment I have - which is basically just a cheap multimeter. I
> really need an oscilloscope. Something *cheap* - something a student can
> afford. It doesn't have to be fancy.
>
> What would you guys recommend? I don't mind if its old and monochrome, or
> USB based, or whatever.
>
> Parameters:
>
> Price: cheap as possible.
> Size: small is preferable, but not essential.
> Feautres: doesn't need to be fancy, or high bandwidth. Just something "good
> enough".
>
> Try using free software with your sound card.  I've used it quite a bit for
audio work and it seems to be sufficient for the audio range.
Examples:
Spectrum Lab http://www.qsl.net/dl4yhf/spectra1.html
Winscope 2.51 - www.zen22142.zen.co.uk/Prac/winscope.htm
Oscilloscope - http://delphiforfun.org/programs/oscilloscope.htm

Lots more electronics test equipment software using the sound card listed
here: http://www.electronics-lab.com/downloads/pc/index.html


Carey Fisher
Chief Technical Officer
New Communications Solutions, LL

2011\01\26@145737 by doug metzler

picon face
I got a Link Instruments MSO-19 USB scope and it's great for the kind of
(mostly hobby) work I do.

Since then I haven't used my analog scope nor have I used the digital
standalone scope at work.

DougM

On Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 11:18 AM, Mark Rages <.....markragesKILLspamspam.....gmail.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

>

2011\01\26@152137 by peter green

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face
V G wrote:
> So my recent electronics endeavors have become exceptionally diffciult with
> the crude equipment I have - which is basically just a cheap multimeter. I
> really need an oscilloscope. Something *cheap* - something a student can
> afford. It doesn't have to be fancy.
>
> What would you guys recommend? I don't mind if its old and monochrome, or
> USB based, or whatever.
>
> Parameters:
>
> Price: cheap as possible.
> Size: small is preferable, but not essential.
> Feautres: doesn't need to be fancy, or high bandwidth. Just something "good
> enough".
>   The key thing you need to determine is how good is "good enough". An old 2MHz analog scope plus a comparable signal generator will be fine for working with audio frequency analog circuitry but for microcontroller work it will be pretty much useless. For microcontroller work you want to be looking at a scope with a bandwidth at least equivilent to the highest clock you run your microcontrollers at and prefferablly a bit higher (so for pics you are probablly looking at getting a 50-100MHz scope). You really want it to be a storage scope as well because events in microcontroller systems tend not to come in short repeating patterns.

I don't have any personal experiance with analog storage scopes but i've heard that for fast signals the digital ones are much better. Many digital storage scopes can also tell you what happened just before the trigger which is occasionally extremely useful

2011\01\26@160749 by Bob Blick

face
flavicon
face

On Wed, 26 Jan 2011 13:29:15 -0500, "V G" said:

> Price: cheap as possible.
> Size: small is preferable, but not essential.
> Feautres: doesn't need to be fancy, or high bandwidth. Just something
> "good
> enough".

I would suggest Craigslist (or craigslist if you prefer) since you live
in or near a large city. I would first try posting to the "Items Wanted"
section and ask for something working that is free or close to free. If
a couple of runs at that doesn't turn up something, you might have to
buy one. In my area I see seventeen scopes for sale. Don't pay more than
$100, and make sure you get working probes, they are worth almost as
much as the scope.

Cheers,

Bob

-- http://www.fastmail.fm - Send your email first class

2011\01\26@161237 by Gary Crowell

picon face
I've had really good luck with Dovebid auctions.

Gary

On Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 12:11 PM, Vitaliy <@spam@piclistKILLspamspammaksimov.org> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

>

2011\01\26@161827 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 04:07 PM 26/01/2011, you wrote:

>On Wed, 26 Jan 2011 13:29:15 -0500, "V G" said:
>
> > Price: cheap as possible.
> > Size: small is preferable, but not essential.
> > Feautres: doesn't need to be fancy, or high bandwidth. Just something
> > "good
> > enough".
>
>I would suggest Craigslist (or craigslist if you prefer) since you live
>in or near a large city. I would first try posting to the "Items Wanted"
>section and ask for something working that is free or close to free. If
>a couple of runs at that doesn't turn up something, you might have to
>buy one. In my area I see seventeen scopes for sale. Don't pay more than
>$100, and make sure you get working probes, they are worth almost as
>much as the scope.

Depending. Low frequency (< 100MHz) no-name X1/X10 'scope probes are
worth about a coffee or two at Starbucks.

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
KILLspamspeffKILLspamspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com

2011\01\26@162823 by dselec

picon face
Good idea Mark. There are currently 66 oscilliscopes on Ebay!

Dave

-----Original Message-----
From: RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesTakeThisOuTspammit.edu [spamBeGonepiclist-bouncesspamBeGonespammit.edu] On Behalf Of
Mark Rages
Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 2:18 PM
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
Subject: Re: [EE] Really really need an oscilloscope

On Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 12:54 PM, Herbert Graf <TakeThisOuThkgrafEraseMEspamspam_OUTgmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, 2011-01-26 at 13:29 -0500, V G wrote:
>> So my recent electronics endeavors have become exceptionally diffciult
with
{Quote hidden}

"good
>> enough".
>
> kijiji or craigslist. My first scope was a 20MHz dual channel analog
> scope. Wasn't amazing, but did the job. Don't remember the exact amount
> I paid, but it was <$100, bought from "some guy" near Warden and Finch
> that I found on tor.forsale ... ahh, the memories...

I got a bargain by searching auction sites for "oscilliscope" (note
misspelling).

Regards,
Mark
markrages@gmail
-- Mark Rages, Engineer
Midwest Telecine LLC
RemoveMEmarkragesspamTakeThisOuTmidwesttelecine.co

2011\01\26@171823 by Philip Pemberton

face
flavicon
face
On 26/01/11 18:29, V G wrote:
> Price: cheap as possible.
> Size: small is preferable, but not essential.
> Feautres: doesn't need to be fancy, or high bandwidth. Just something "good
> enough".

Look for a Tektronix 400 or 2400 series scope.

The 2400s are more modern machines and much more expensive. Plus side is that you get things like GPIB control, frequency counters and on-screen display, but they're harder to fix when they do eventually break. And break they will -- one of the display hybrids (U600?) is renowned for burning itself out. They're no longer available, and if it fails, your scope is a write-off.

The 454 was the old field-service standby. Built like a tank, weighs a fair amount, but almost indestructable. Most of the parts (not counting CRT, power supply module and HV multiplier, and maybe the horiz/vertical hybrids if it has them) are standard. Those parts which aren't standard are easily obtainable (Sphere have plenty of stock, as does Deane Kidd, a former Tek engineer).

There's also the 465 -- can't remember what was different between this and the 454.

I personally have a 466 -- this is a 100MHz analog storage scope. Note I said *analog* storage: it writes on the CRT display, then 'holds' the image. Catch is that you have a limited storage time (a few minutes usually) after which the image fades out, and getting the settings right is a bit of a faff. It's still better than a non-storage scope, and in some cases can be better than a DSO: bear in mind that you're storing *exactly* what's been captured, not a quantised numerical representation of it.

Expect to pay about $150 for a 465 in good working order, fully tested and in good physical condition. 466es are a bit harder to find, expect about $200 to $250. You can sometimes get good deals on ex-rack gear: testgear which has been mounted in a 19in rack, but where the parts to convert it back to standalone use (mainly the desk feet) have been lost. These can be a good deal if you can get the scope to eye level (read: bookshelf or tabletop storage system of some description), but you won't have the tilting front handle you get on the base units. Also expect them to have been used more heavily than a bench scope: they'll typically have been used in e.g. transmitting stations for monitoring the modulators and transmitters. In these situations, they're generally left switched on...

-- Phil.
piclistEraseMEspam.....philpem.me.uk
http://www.philpem.me.uk

2011\01\26@174929 by jim

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face

I have an old Tektronix 545B modular scope from the late 50's early
60's.   It too is on a cart and weighs a ton.  As far as I know the only thing
wrong
with it is the HV multiplier for the CRT anode supply.  Sometimes the
screen
will light up, but is rather dim.  Other times you can't tell if it is
lit or not.
Free to a good home.  Taker pays shipping.  I was going to restore it
for nostalgia,
but I have too many other things that need fixing that I don't have the
time, or the
inclination any more to complete it.

If anyone is interested, let me know.  Otherwise, it will probably go
into the dumpster
in the spring.



Regards,

Jim

> ---{Original Message removed}

2011\01\26@175144 by Michael Watterson

face picon face
On 26/01/2011 22:18, Philip Pemberton wrote:
> On 26/01/11 18:29, V G wrote:
>> >  Price: cheap as possible.
>> >  Size: small is preferable, but not essential.
>> >  Feautres: doesn't need to be fancy, or high bandwidth. Just something "good
>> >  enough".
often a decent bargain will cost more for carriage.

My ancient Analogue Hameg has a handy curve tracer. (Is that really a Zener, or CBE or EBC or PNP etc?) You see reverse gain and emitter zener volts.

low voltage 10Hz to 15kHz the sound card is fine.

Be warned I have tried many cards that claim 96kHz or even 192kHz sampling. The "flat" response is about 20Hz to 20kHz. one card on 96KHz or 192kHz you could see lower sideband of 38kHz at reduced level, 19kHz pilot ok. USB of 38kHz and 57kHz non-existent. All very poor below 20Hz

However the 110MHz plug-in on HP141 set to 100kHz was able to do 15KHz to 70KHz adequately to view Stereo subcarrier + RDS carrier.

I also use sound card with I & Q zero IF SDR. Most are very poor at LF Audio.

2011\01\26@180121 by Oli Glaser

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face
On 26/01/2011 19:11, Vitaliy wrote:
> The best inexpensive scope that we found, is Rigol DS1052E.

I think the above is a pretty good choice too - about the cheapest DSO you will find that has reasonable performance and reliability - seems a lot of folk have them and are happy with them, plus I *think* you can hack them to get the more expensive models performance (increase the bandwidth - check EEV blog, there are a couple detailing the Rigol hack - not sure if it would work with a new one though so might be better to go for a second hand one with the original firmware if you intend to try this)
See here (and EEV blog):
http://chemicaloliver.net/electronics/upgrading-the-50mhz-rigol-ds1052e-to-the-100mhz-ds1102e-with-simple-serial-commands-on-ubuntu/

Either way, new/old/hacked/unhacked, it seems like a good bet, and will probably cope with most of your requirements for a good while.
If that is a bit too expensive then I would take the eBay/Craigslist route and look for a half decent analogue scope (<25 yrs old, Tek or similar quality) with at least 25MHz bandwidth, preferably >40MHz  - should be able to pick one up for less than 50 GBP (whatever that is in your dollars). Do your best to make sure it's working and comes with probes - maybe ask to see a recent working photo/video clip if not shown on the ad.

2011\01\27@020758 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face

On Jan 26, 2011, at 1:12 PM, Gary Crowell wrote:

>> I really need an oscilloscope.

You're at a university, right?  Find a student lab or similar that  will let you use theirs.

BillW

2011\01\28@012732 by Peter

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On 27/01/2011 6:11 AM, Vitaliy wrote:
> V G wrote:
> Parameters:
> Price: cheap as possible.
> Size: small is preferable, but not essential.
> Feautres: doesn't need to be fancy, or high bandwidth. Just something
> "good
> enough".
Many years ago (1998), we needed a DSO, so we went for a 4-channel and higher sample rate over a 2-channel, after looking at choices available at the time.
> I suggest buying a good, stand-alone, digital oscilloscope.
Also, look at DSO specs carefully, especially if its your first purchase, to ensure it suits your requirements.

> One thing I learned over the years, is that you should buy the best tools
> within your reach. It may seem crazy to pay $30 for a pair of cutters, or
> $300 for a soldering iron, or $800 for a microscope, until you realize
> that
> the difference in performance is worth every penny.
>
> Vitaliy
I also have found this, and agree totally!
Otherwise you end up buying the same sub-standard tool over-and-over.
Not to mention the amount of time (money) wasted!
Do it right - once!

Pete


'[EE] Really really need an oscilloscope'
2011\02\03@040444 by V G
picon face
On Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 2:47 PM, Charles Rogers <EraseMEcrogersspamtotelcsi.com>wrote:

>
>
>
>
> I live in Ochelata,OK a small town between Tulsa and Bartlesville.
> I will get deminsions and weight but not today, I am very busy.
>
> CR
>
>
Hi! I sent you an off list email regarding this a few days ago. I'm not sure
if it got to you, might have been filtered out somehow. Are you still
willing to send me the device? I will fully pay for shipping

2011\02\04@042906 by Tamas Rudnai

face picon face
On Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 6:27 AM, Peter <RemoveMEGreat_Pic_nEraseMEspamEraseMEwestnet.com.au> wrote:
>
> > One thing I learned over the years, is that you should buy the best tools
> > within your reach. It may seem crazy to pay $30 for a pair of cutters, or
> > $300 for a soldering iron, or $800 for a microscope, until you realize
> > that
> > the difference in performance is worth every penny.
> >
> > Vitaliy
> I also have found this, and agree totally!
> Otherwise you end up buying the same sub-standard tool over-and-over.
> Not to mention the amount of time (money) wasted!
> Do it right - once!
>

Although I agree with you, there is another factor on this: Does this tool
pays off itself? For example if you have a company probably you need to
calculate if you have enough trade to pay the device off, or if you can save
that much money on the research/development/production with the better tool
that would pay itself off. For a hobbyist the real question is whenever have
enough funds and of course will use that device that much that worth having
it or it just for the sake of owning a cool tool.

Tamas


>
> Peter
>

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