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PICList Thread
'[EE] Time to buy a new scope'
2005\11\22@132654 by John Nall

picon face
I've got an old Leader single-trace scope that has bit the dust, and I
figure that it would cost more to it get repaired than the thing is
worth.  It is at least 15 years old, perhaps more, and has served well.  
But the time has come.  Plus I made some extra money from doing
something for someone, and it is burning a hole in my pocket.  :-)

So anyway, I want to buy a new general-purpose scope for  the shop.  I
am strictly a hobbyist -- not a professional.  I kind of know what I
want, though.  I want a dual-trace scope, around 20 or 30 MHz, and the
budget is around $600, plus or minus a few bucks.  I don't want to buy a
pig-in-a-poke on eBay, and I don't want a digital scope  that displays
on my computer -- I just want an old-fashioned analog scope with a
couple of probes that I can use out in the workshop and be happy with.

Mouser has some (Protek), Digikey has some (B&K) and if I look around I
feel sure I will find more brands.  But I have a lot of respect for
piclist opinions on stuff like this, and wondered if anyone has any
advice for me?  (This is not controversial, like asking someone to
recommend a language to program in, I hope!).

2005\11\22@140811 by Enrico Schuerrer

picon face
As a fan (and owner) of a Tektronix Scope I want to say that Tek has
"reconditioned products" - which means that you will get a second hand
scope, refurbished and recalibrated up to 70% down the (former) listprice.

Enrico
{Original Message removed}

2005\11\22@142611 by John Nall

picon face
Enrico Schuerrer wrote:
> As a fan (and owner) of a Tektronix Scope I want to say that Tek has
> "reconditioned products" - which means that you will get a second hand
> scope, refurbished and recalibrated up to 70% down the (former) listprice.
>  
Hmmmm . . . hadn't thought about a reconditioned one.  The CE's that
worked on the mainframes in  the computer center that I used to work for
always wheeled in a Tektronix scope when they had to do diagnosis of a
problem, and so I just kind of assumed that a Tektronix was out of my
price range.  Who sells the reconditioned scopes?  I went to the
Tektronix website, but it didn't say anything about reconditioned products.

2005\11\22@143522 by Paul James E.

picon face

John,

Although it's a little bit higher than your budget, you won't go wrong.
I'm talking about the Tektronix TDS-210 unit.  It's a digital scope, but
you don't need a computer to use it.  It has a small form factor so it
sits on a bench or desk and doesn't take up much room.  It's perfect for
working with PIC's and related circuits.  It has the capability of storing
waveforms from each of it's two channels to use as a reference waveform,
or for taking a longer look at a signal after it has been captured.  
You can also connect a printer so you can print the waveforms to paper if
you have the printer I/F cartridge in place.  
The cost for all of this utility is around $900.00 new.  $500.00 to $700.00
used.   I don't regret getting one.   I use it all the time.
Just a suggestion on my part, but I know you'll like it if you get one.

                                         Good Luck and Regards,

                                                  Jim


{Quote hidden}

> --

2005\11\22@143933 by Padu

picon face
I went through this process not long ago and I risked the pig-in-a-poke ebay
method. I bought a tektronix 465M (dual trace, 100MHz, "almost the same" as
the proven 465B but militarized) for $75 bucks, it was damaged. Spent $175
to fix it plus $80 on two 1/10 probes. According to the guy who fixed it,
this unit was barely used (according to the state of internal components)
and it's like new now.

Total price $340 plus the hassle of sending it to repair, which was not a
such a big problem since the guy gave me a loaner while he was working on my
oscope. I'm very happy with its quality and overall ruggedness.

But... it's a shot in the dark. I was lucky.

Padu

{Original Message removed}

2005\11\22@145944 by Mark Rages

face picon face
On 11/22/05, Paul James E. <spam_OUTjamespTakeThisOuTspamintertex.net> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

I was just going to suggest a TDS-210.  Lightweight, handy.

If you buy a used one, check with Tek about a recall they had a few
years ago, some grounding safety issues IIRC.

Regards,
Mark
markrages@gmail

--
You think that it is a secret, but it never has been one.
 - fortune cookie

2005\11\22@152502 by David Minkler

flavicon
face
John,

I've had great luck on eBay.  Take a look at some of the Tek 2235s or
other 223X scopes (search on: tek* 223* -manual ).  Look for a couple of
traces in the pictures, check knobs and switches, sellers rating in the
high 90s (I get very careful if the seller is at 97% or less) and some
volume (100+) and you should be fine.  A good working 2235 shouldn't run
more than $200 plus shipping.  You'll wind up with a low end but
professional (100MHz) scope that'll give you a great many years of
service.  I snagged a pair of 2235s for $100 each a month ago.  One knob
on one of the two needs help but otherwise, both scopes are fine.

Regards,
Dave

John Nall wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2005\11\22@153913 by Mark Rages

face picon face
On 11/22/05, David Minkler <.....minkKILLspamspam@spam@luxtron.com> wrote:
> John,
>
> I've had great luck on eBay.  Take a look at some of the Tek 2235s or

If you're looking on eBay, be sure to search for 'oscilliscope' (note
common misspelling).  You have less bidding competition that way.

Regards,
Mark
markrages@gmail

--
You think that it is a secret, but it never has been one.
 - fortune cookie

2005\11\22@154805 by olin piclist

face picon face
Paul James E. wrote:
> Although it's a little bit higher than your budget, you won't go wrong.
> I'm talking about the Tektronix TDS-210 unit.  It's a digital scope, but
> you don't need a computer to use it.  It has a small form factor so it
> sits on a bench or desk and doesn't take up much room.  It's perfect for
> working with PIC's and related circuits.  It has the capability of
> storing waveforms from each of it's two channels to use as a reference
> waveform, or for taking a longer look at a signal after it has been
> captured.
> You can also connect a printer so you can print the waveforms to paper
> if you have the printer I/F cartridge in place.
> The cost for all of this utility is around $900.00 new.  $500.00 to
> $700.00 used.   I don't regret getting one.   I use it all the time.
> Just a suggestion on my part, but I know you'll like it if you get one.

Definitely an adequate scope for general microcontroller work.  There is one
thing that really bugs me about these though, especially since it could have
been fixed with just a firmware change.  The horizontal position of the
trigger stays fixed in *time* relative to the center of the screen, not
fixed in screen position.  This is really annoying when you put the trigger
point near the left end as you often would, then change time scales.  If you
go to a larger time scale, then then trigger point moves in towards the
center and you have to put it back.  That's annoying enough, but if you
change to a smaller time scale the trigger point goes off screen.  If you
magnified the time a lot, then the trigger point ends up waaay off screen.
Of course now the adjustment knob is on the new time scale, so you can turn
it and turn it and still not get the trigger point back.  You have to turn
the time scale back until you can see the trigger, put the trigger in the
middle of the screen, expand the time scale, hope you parked the trigger
close enough to the middle that it didn't go off screen, then put the
trigger point back near the left edge where you had it in the first place.
This may not sound like that big a deal, but it gets really annoying after a
while.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2005\11\22@163709 by James Humes

picon face
On similar subject, does anyone have experience with usb peripheral scopes?
something like http://www.usb-instruments.com/oscillo_stingray.html this.
James

2005\11\22@170521 by Paul James E.

picon face

I agree 100%.   But the unit is inexpensive enough and handy enough that
I overlook the small inconveniences like that one and go on about my work.
But I do agree it's annoying.

                                                Jim


{Quote hidden}

> consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products --

2005\11\22@174747 by olin piclist

face picon face
Paul James E. wrote:
>  I agree 100%.   But the unit is inexpensive enough and handy enough
>  that I overlook the small inconveniences like that one and go on
>  about my work. But I do agree it's annoying.

I vaguely heard that Agilent came out with a similar small digital scope for
under $1000 a few months ago.  Also 60MHz supposedly.  Before buying a scope
like that I'd certainly want to check out the Agilent offering.  Since I'm
not looking for scope right now, I haven't.  Has anyone else looked into
this?


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2005\11\22@175746 by Mike Hord

picon face
{Quote hidden}

For those who can afford it, look at the 2014.  It's basically identical to the
210, but it adds FFT (which I think comes with the interface unit for the 210)
AND a handy "Set to zero" button which brings the trigger back to the
Y-axis.  It also has a color display.  Price is higher, but not ridiculously so.

Mike H.

2005\11\22@181834 by Paul James E.

picon face

Yes, I just looked.  I believe it's the DSO3062A.  
60 Mhz Dual Trace, Dual Timebase, Color, 2 Channels, somewhat larger
footprint, but still nice, and around  $995.00 USD.  Has built in math
functions, FFT, etc. 20 measurements available.

Nice looking unit.   Go to http://www.agilent.com and go to the 3000 page.
There will be a listing of the units available, and a short demo movie.
Watch the movie for most of the functionality it offers.

If you get one, let us know how you like it.


                                                 Regards,

                                                   Jim



{Quote hidden}

> consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products --

2005\11\22@182220 by John Ferrell
face picon face
I bought my Tek 2002 from Tucker. It was a good price and they had a deal
going where I got a $100 trade on any scope that would light up!
I still break out the old analog scope once in a while, old habits die
hard...

John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2005\11\22@185700 by Robert Rolf

picon face
I have been a Tektronix scope fan all my life.
I have used HP, TEK, Leader, B&K, Iwatsu, and many other
brands over the years, but always like the Tek's best.

When our lab was in the market for a new digital scope
I of course started looking at Tek 3000 series (VGA resolution) models.
Thanks to comments from this list I also looked at Agilent's
offerings (6000 series MSOs), and I was hooked.
800 times the memory (1-8Ms vs 10k), 4 times the resolution
(SVGA vs VGA or QVGA), 10 times the screen update rate (makes
if 'look' more like analog scope, and since I do need to
use it as a waveform monitor, it is important to me, and
for nearly the same cost. And for a small increment (18%)
the MSO series will also do 16 channel logic analyzer.

If there is an under $1k scope by Agilent I would love to know
about it for my home lab. They did just introduce the
100Mhz BW MSO 601x series (mixed signal oscilloscope) as
their lowest end, but there may be something in the 53xxx
series that is cheaper yet since its a few years older now.

I am sure that with the popularity of digital scopes, there
will be lots of inexpensive analog scopes to be had and
places like Tuckers and Test Equity (and others).
By spending the extra bucks to buy from a dealer, you
know you won't be getting a clunker.
What is your time REALLY worth?

Robert


Olin Lathrop wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2005\11\22@195135 by Steph Smith

flavicon
face
I read a comparison of usb 'scopes from a link on this site. summary was
useful,pricey for what you get and of limited bandwidth as the cost falls
below that of a modern DSO.I personally would wait until someone uses a
hyper-fast pic (or similar..BOOO!) in a new design; this list is the first
place to look!
----- Original Message -----
From: "James Humes" <james.humesspamKILLspamgmail.com>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <.....piclistKILLspamspam.....mit.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2005 9:37 PM
Subject: Re: [EE] Time to buy a new scope


On similar subject, does anyone have experience with usb peripheral scopes?
something like http://www.usb-instruments.com/oscillo_stingray.html this.
James

2005\11\22@200512 by John Nall

picon face
OK, you clods!  You have messed with my mind, and now rather than
straightforwardly ordering a new scope I am bidding on eBay!  For a
Tektronix 465.  Most likely I will rue the day, although the guy that is
selling it is rated very positively (99.6%) and has a string of glowing
feedbacks about three miles long.  Anyway, we shall see.  Of course, I
have not yet won the bid.  Thanks for all the good advice.  It is always
interesting to ask a question on the piclist, and then wade through the
responses to distill out the wheat from the chaff.  (Both "wheat" and
"chaff" being relative terms, of course  --  there is no bad advice,
only advice that does not comport with what I want to do).


2005\11\22@210155 by Chen Xiao Fan

face
flavicon
face
I do not know about the price but I think the TDS-3032 we are
using now are the worst scope I have ever used at work.
An old HP54600B 100Mhz is much better. The old TDS-3xx are
also much better than the TDS-3032. I guess TDS-210 and
TDS-20xx/30xx are in the same league as TDS-3032. Anyway
now I am using an expensive Lecroy LT264 so I do not need
to use the TDS-3032. If it is sent to caliberation, I
will normally use the HP54600B.

The TDS-3032 called itself a 200Mhz/2.5Gsps scope but it is
much slower than the 100MHz HP54600B. Maybe it is due to
the screen. It may be good to debug PICs but I think it is
quite bad even to debug some quite simple analog circuits.

Regards,
Xiaofan

{Original Message removed}

2005\11\23@012831 by kravnus wolf

picon face
try http://www.testequity.com

John

--- John Nall <EraseMEjwnallspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTgmail.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> --

2005\11\23@020159 by kravnus wolf

picon face
Chen,

Is the TDS 1xxx also that bad? I am looking at it for
my personal use.

John

--- Chen Xiao Fan <xiaofanspamspam_OUTsg.pepperl-fuchs.com>
wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> {Original Message removed}

2005\11\23@020805 by kravnus wolf

picon face
Anybody use Aligent DSO3000 ?? Looks affordable for
personal use.
http://www.testequity.com/products/1314/

John

--- Robert Rolf <@spam@Robert.RolfKILLspamspamualberta.ca> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

******************************************************************
> > Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978)
> 742-9014.  #1 PIC
> > consultant in 2004 program year.
> http://www.embedinc.com/products
> --

2005\11\23@023519 by Chen Xiao Fan

face
flavicon
face
Sorry I do not know. It is just my personal perception that
the TDS3032 is quite bad. Maybe it is because of the
application. The HP54600 is also not very good compare
to higher-end scopes but it is at least much better
than TDS3032 and it is a much older product. I think
they obsoleted some of these lousy scopes as well.

Regards,
Xiaofan

-----Original Message-----
From: KILLspampiclist-bouncesKILLspamspammit.edu
Sent: Wednesday, November 23, 2005 3:02 PM
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
Subject: RE: [EE] Time to buy a new scope

Chen,

Is the TDS 1xxx also that bad? I am looking at it for
my personal use.

John

2005\11\23@054248 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Is the TDS 1xxx also that bad? I am looking
>at it for my personal use.

The TDS1xxx series are monochrome screen versions of the TDS2xxx series
colour screen scopes. Otherwise (AFAIK) the spec sheet does not distinguish
between them.

You can get the spec sheet as a PDF from the Tektronix web site.

2005\11\23@054836 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Sorry I do not know. It is just my personal
>perception that the TDS3032 is quite bad.

Hmm, I have an original (not B series) TDS3034, and I quite like it. But I
do not personally like the current series of Agilent scopes, I find them not
ideal ergonomically.

Having said that the TDS3xxx does have its own ergonomic problems. Having
only one set of controls that gets switched between all channels is a bit of
a bugbear. The TDS2024 that I also have is nicer with separate controls for
each channel. Both models could do with more trace storage memory - which is
an area that Agilent seem to have done nicely (at least with the particular
one I have access to around here), allowing one to take a nice trace and
expand it out to look at a single pulse without loosing resolution on the
screen. If Tektronix did this with their machines they would be a lot nicer.

2005\11\23@060829 by Vasile Surducan

face picon face
On 11/23/05, Alan B. Pearce <RemoveMEA.B.PearceTakeThisOuTspamrl.ac.uk> wrote:
> >Sorry I do not know. It is just my personal
> >perception that the TDS3032 is quite bad.
>
> Hmm, I have an original (not B series) TDS3034, and I quite like it. But I
> do not personally like the current series of Agilent scopes, I find them not
> ideal ergonomically.

What I can say, I have a Lecroy LT262 350MHz/1GS/s but when I need to
measure noises, I go back to Philips PM200 or to an antique russian
scope.
What is digitally is good for math signal computation and triggering
fancy signals, but when you need to see really small signals without
expensive tricks, an analogic scope is the best.

Vasile

2005\11\23@091653 by Darrell Wyatt

picon face
You can have a look at http://www.candhsales.com too.
They sell a lot of surplus stuff, and have several
older scopes to choose from.

                      * DISCLAIMER *

* No affiliation whatsoever, just a satisfied customer *

D.



{Quote hidden}

>{Original Message removed}

2005\11\23@095708 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 11/23/05, Vasile Surducan <piclist9EraseMEspam.....gmail.com> wrote:
>
>  What I can say, I have a Lecroy LT262 350MHz/1GS/s but when I need to
> measure noises, I go back to Philips PM200 or to an antique russian
> scope.
> What is digitally is good for math signal computation and triggering
> fancy signals, but when you need to see really small signals without
> expensive tricks, an analogic scope is the best.
>
> Vasile
>

The Lecroy should be quite good. At work I am using the LT264 and
I like it. The zoom memory could be bigger though. I was developing
a universal power supply (12V-240V DC and 24V-240V AC) powered
optic sensor for most of this year and the scope proved to be very good.
Of course this is not cheap and should not be recommended to
hobbyists.

I do not know about PM200. I used to use a digital/analog Fluke/Philips
scope and it is pretty bad as well (slightly better than the TDS3032 but much
worse than the HP54600B).

By the way, one of the HP54600B had an old firmware and we were able
to play Tetris on it. Just need to press one or two buttons
when power up and we could select the game option. That was in the year
1999. Later when we sent it out for caliberation, they changed the firmware
and removed the game.

The HP54600B probably is one of the best budget scope in the 1990's. It is
still servicable now. TDS3xx/5xx should be better but they must be more
expensive than HP54600B.

Regards,
Xiaofan

2005\11\23@115516 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>I do not know about PM200. I used to use a digital/analog
>Fluke/Philips scope and it is pretty bad as well

I don't know about other folk, but I find that I just cannot get on with any
of the Philips/Fluke instruments that have PM as the leading characters in
the model number. These are all instruments that came from the Philips part
of the fold, and the continental mind set in how they expect the instrument
to work is quite different to mine.

2005\11\23@131629 by Bob Blick

face picon face
Surely they must be better than the ones with PMS

<duck>

Cheerful regards,

Bob


{Quote hidden}

2005\11\23@151018 by Dwayne Reid

flavicon
face
At 06:04 PM 11/22/2005, John Nall wrote:
>OK, you clods!  You have messed with my mind, and now rather than
>straightforwardly ordering a new scope I am bidding on eBay!  For a
>Tektronix 465.  Most likely I will rue the day, although the guy
>that is selling it is rated very positively (99.6%) and has a string
>of glowing feedbacks about three miles long.  Anyway, we shall
>see.  Of course, I have not yet won the bid.  Thanks for all the
>good advice.  It is always interesting to ask a question on the
>piclist, and then wade through the responses to distill out the
>wheat from the chaff.  (Both "wheat" and "chaff" being relative
>terms, of course  --  there is no bad advice, only advice that does
>not comport with what I want to do).

I've been supremely happy with both of the 465 scopes I have.  I find
I use them far more often than my THS720P digital scope.  But: much
of my work involves either audio or low level analog signals.

The digital scope can't be beat when tracking down glitches or
reading a signal that requires either storage or measuring.  But it
sucks when trying to look at low level analog signals.

I'm sure that there are modern digital scopes that work as well as
analog scopes these days.  I just haven't found one yet.

dwayne

--
Dwayne Reid   <EraseMEdwaynerspamplanet.eon.net>
Trinity Electronics Systems Ltd    Edmonton, AB, CANADA
(780) 489-3199 voice          (780) 487-6397 fax

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2005\11\24@150239 by Enrico Schuerrer

picon face
I saw a  "linking badge" at http://www.tektronix.com. I bought mine around a year
ago here at Tektronix Austria (a small 2 channel analog model, 30 MHz) for a
little bit more than 300 Euros. Maybe you have to directly ask the Tektronix
guys.

Enrico

{Original Message removed}

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