'more scope questions'
|> now I have also seen
> probably my dream scope which is the Tek 210, it comes in a slimline
> package which I thought was neat, and it also said it could be hooked up
> via rs-232. Will I need a separate program to get the data on my
> computer or does it export it in a picture format or what? the only
> problem with that is its around a 1000 smackaroos.
I have a Tek 220 and I'm real happy with it. Having used quite a few
different (and expensive) scopes from Tek, Philips and HP (my favourite was
a tube storage type), this little Tek is great value for money.
It's a bit weak in the triggering (bells and whistles) dept.
Did they forget to mention that the RS232 module costs another few hundred
bucks ? :-)
The serial module does give you FFT though. That's pretty good value (if
you need it).
There's free software that will let you pull single waveforms off the scope
(with the RS232 i/f) but the fancy software costs more dollars again.
Steve Baldwin Electronic Product Design
TLA Microsystems Ltd Microcontroller Specialists
PO Box 15-680 email: kcbbs.gen.nzsteveb
New Lynn, Auckland ph +64 9 820-2221
New Zealand fax +64 9 820-1929
|You get what you pay for. The Velleman scope is pretty limited - there's
a good review in a recent issue of Electronics Australia which I know
you won't find easy to get up there, but I'll see if I can dig it up.
Tek make excellent gear - and yes, it would be nice to get a scope trace
into the PC. There are PC scope cards (National Instrument make one, for
instance) of varying capability, but a PC is a noisy environment and I
have doubts about this concept.
But if Santa were bringing me a scope (I have an old, but good, 50MHz
Philips dual-trace unit, so I guess I can get by), I'd settle for a good
used analogue scope. 50MHz nice, 100MHz wonderful, with good 10X probes
please. If you want to get a trace into your PC, I wonder if one of
those Quickcam thingies would capture a scope screen, placed nice and
close. Not exactly perfect but, y'know, most people don't *really*
measure pulse widths to the nearest nanosecond and so on. The graticule
calibrations will be close enough for most measuring - scopes aren't
voltmeters or frequency counters too (well, yes, the Tek unit *is*, of
course - but as you say, its 1,000 big ones).
A good used scope should be, I suppose, $400 or so - I believe some of
the older and larger but technically excellent Tektronix units can be
gotten for a song. Try searching the web and see what you find. You can
have it mailed to you for next to nothing.
> so how would I go about gettinga used one?
> there are no surplus stores around here (springfield mo, you know
> north of BRANSON), so I supose I'll have to order one.
I got all my used scopes in Columbia, Mo, North of Springfiled, North
of BRANSON. OK, Branson is a super hick town - but even out here in
the sticks there are TV repair people, hospitals with engineering
depts (That's where I think mine came from) and hackers. Also, I
alsways look up surplus stores whenever I travel. Kansas City, St
Louis, Chicago, Atlanta - surely you get out away from SPFD every
once in a while.
I bought my cheapest scope at a thrift shop for $10. It was in a
pile of CB's, turntables, 8088 PC parts, and steam irons. Ask around
and keep your eyes peeled.
|On Thu, 4 Dec 1997 17:02:43 +1300 Andrew Mayo <GEAC.CO.NZ> writes: andrew
>You get what you pay for. The Velleman scope is pretty limited -
>a good review in a recent issue of Electronics Australia which I know
>you won't find easy to get up there, but I'll see if I can dig it up.
>Tek make excellent gear - and yes, it would be nice to get a scope
>into the PC.
Various new Japanese or Korean 40 MHz analog scopes can be bought in the
$300 range. I don't know if they're any good though. When buying used,
you can't go to far wrong with anything Tektronix. The older "modular"
models are very inexpensive, but big and heavy. Make sure it has useful
general-purpose modules with it (i.e. not the strain gauge amplifier
one). You may luck into the novel spectrum analyzer or high-speed
sampler modules, but expect to pay more for them than the entire rest of
the rig. The "portable" versions of the mid-70s are also plentiful.
These are often in poorer operating condition; portable mis-handling
having taken its toll in the form of broken switches and intermittent
connections inside. Make sure to have at least 1 scope probe, you can
usually use a direct connection of the less-critical signal when using 2
I never found much need to transfer waveforms into a PC, unless
publishing results, doing automatic tests, or monitoring something for a
long time. I certainly wouldn't want a scope that requires a PC to work.
My PIC bench just has a really cheap 5 MHz single-channel scope on it.
For a while it was a Heathkit, then I upgraded to triggered sweep with a
"Bell and Howell Schools" one, which looks a lot like a Heathkit inside.
Either one is a lot better than no scope. By designing the test
carefully it's possible to not demand too much of the scope.
Martin R. Green
On Thu, 4 Dec 1997 00:50:21 -0500, Mike Keitz <JUNO.COM> wrote: mkeitz
>Various new Japanese or Korean 40 MHz analog scopes can be bought in the
>$300 range. I don't know if they're any good though. When buying used,
>you can't go to far wrong with anything Tektronix. <BIG SNIP>
The same goes for used HP scopes. Both these brands were built like
tanks for professional use. Those cheapie far eastern scopes work OK,
but they are made out of tinfoil ;-)
Seriously though, the big problem with "bargain" far eastern scopes is
that they are so flimsy that you can dent the case by putting the unit
down wrong. Also, Tek and HP have been around for donkey's years.
Who knows if you'll be able to get parts for a cheapie scope next
CIAO - Martin.
Martin R. Green
To reply, remove the NOSPAM from the return address.
Stamp out SPAM everywhere!!!
There's a low-cost Storage Scope available in the UK called the OsziFOX.
It's in a tiny hand-held probe case (size about 150 x 30 x 20mm), with a
tiny backlit LCD display on one side. It can be used on its own, or
connected to a PC serial port, giving a full-screen scope display in
Windows. It offers speeds up to 20 Msamples/sec, and also works as a
It costs UKP 80 ($128).
It's a very attractive device, but the spec is probably too low to
appeal to anyone who uses expensive oscilloscopes. Nevertheless, it's an
indication of what can be done, and a warning to manufacturers who are
trying to maintain the illusion that nothing useful can be sold for less
I phoned them; they were clean out of stock due to unexpected demand.
See it at http://www.picotech.com or http://www.picotech.co.uk/
South London UK.
Mike, I was brought up on, and trained in, Tektronix equipment as
their home base is here in Oregon (This was the late 60's...). I
recommend them without question due to their quality, performance, and
support. You do pay a price though. About three years ago, I went off
on my own again for the third time and I was lucky to find a 465B with
the DM44 for around $500. I got it from a former Tek engineer who now
sells used Tek scopes and manuals. I would have had to pay over a $1000
and this scope is nearly 20 years old... That's Tektronix quality. There
are other good scopes, especially HP. I've also used (and built) the old
Heathkit, Phillips, B&K, HP of course, LeCroy, Hitachi, and I'm sure
As far as capturing waveforms on a PC, it's almost impossible to do
logic-related hardware designs without using digital storage now days.
Timing analysis is crucial whether it relates to an IR remote control,
an SPI or I2C bus, parallel bus setup, etc, etc... Now days, the
difference between a scope and logic analyzer is fading. I both cases,
the ability to capture data and process it has become a valuable tool.
At 12:50 AM 12/4/97 -0500, you wrote:
Radio Shack had/has a similar device (if not the same one) here in the
US. Not sure if they still have it, was around $100 in the catalog but
no store that I'm aware of ever had it in stock.
john blackburn wrote:
Has anyone tried the Oszifox Scope by PICO Instruments (
http://www.picotech.com ?). It is a 20MHz digital storage scope and is
only the size of a logic probe. It has an LCD screen on the side and full
PC connection and software. It can accept inputs of up to a few hundred
volts. Anyway, it only costs £75 UKP.
Has anyone tried one? Is it going to make a useful piece of diagnostic
test equipment? I think I want one as being a student I cant afford a £600
Personally I would buy a fluke scopemeter. They look great.
Personal Web Pages: http://web.ukonline.co.uk/members/tim.kerby/
Gosh, I feel spoiled. We have an HP 54645D here at work, and I only have to
share it with 1 other guy. It's the "bee's knees" alright. You can do 2
channels of analog simultaneously with 16 logic analyzer channels. You can
name your signals and save the entire setup. It will trigger on damn near
any combination of logic inputs. Selectable logic voltage levels. It has a
glitch trigger mode that catches blips down to 8 ns. We have the
parallel/serial interface, too, and the BenchLink software for PC download
& analysis. A setup like this will run you $6000 easily. Eat your hearts
In answer to the original poster regarding "student" scope. Go to hamfests
and surplus places! You can get a used Tek 465 or HP 1742 (100MHz) in good
shape for less than $500. If you want cheap, you can usually find
run-of-the-mill 20-60MHz imports like Hitachi, Daewoo, etc. for a hundred
or two. In applications involving microcontrollers, a non-storage scope can
usually suffice--you write code to generate the trigger condition rapidly,
which gives you a nice bright readout on your good ol' analog scope.
At 16:27 12/4/97 -0600, you wrote:
>Haven't used one, but the HP mixed signal scope (54645D) looks like it
>would be a real winner for embedded design. It's a cool $5k though.
Tim Kerby wrote:
> Has anyone tried the Oszifox Scope? Is it going to make a useful piece of
> test equipment? I think I want one as being a student I cant afford a #600
If you are a SERIOUS student, don't buy one. You can usually find a NEW
dual-beam 20MHz 'scope for around UKP 200. It may not be wonderful but
you will learn a great deal and you will find it genuinely useful and
you need never be ashamed of having bought it.
As an example, CPC in Preston (Lancs, UK) are always discounting things.
Currently they have some dual-beam scopes in the 20-60 MHz range at
UKP200 and above. It's worth paying for extra bandwidth if you have the
money (eg, 40MHz is more useful than 20MHz). They may still have some.
You might look at http://www.cpc.co.uk
South London UK.
I got to use the most incredible scope today -- it's a tektronics
hand-held digital scope. It's a 100 MHz scope, 500 MS/s, dual trace. It
has a serial interface to a computer. It can generate *postscript* files
of waveforms. It has a large suite of built-in math functions. It has a
very wide range of programmable triggering options, including ones very
useful for logic analysis. It also costs about $1900.
"A book should be an axe for the frozen sea inside."
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Let's not forget the HP LogicDart if you're looking at small
hand-held scopes. It's quite a bit pricier (US$800) than what you've been
talking about, but so far I'm quite impressed. (I was fortunate enough to
win mine in the Microchip Designing for Dollars contest).
The LogicDart is a hand-held logic probe/voltmeter/frequency
counter/single channel logic level scope or else a three channel logic
level scope depending on how you configure it. I say logic level because it
basically is only able to show highs/lows - perfect for PICs. It has a
third 'intermediate' or as HP says tri-state level, but basically it's a
two state machine. Good to 33MHz... A real Swiss army knife in the one
package - pretty nice if you're only allowed one instrument on a desert
island...Check it out.
Andrew Russell Morris
>probably my dream scope which is the Tek 210, it comes in a slimline
>package which I thought was neat, and it also said it could be hooked up
>via rs-232. Will I need a separate program to get the data on my
>computer or does it export it in a picture format or what? the only
>problem with that is its around a 1000 smackaroos. if any one else has
>any suggestions/comments, likes/dislikes, etc. responde, s'il vous plait.
Yes. The software costs about $300 and you need a $260 communications
module as well. I have the TDS 220
which is identical to it, except 100MHz. The 210 or 220 are well worth the
money, if you can afford them.
Andrew Russell Morris
>There's free software that will let you pull single waveforms off the scope
>(with the RS232 i/f) but the fancy software costs more dollars again.
>Steve Baldwin Electronic Product Design
>TLA Microsystems Ltd Microcontroller Specialists
>PO Box 15-680 email: kcbbs.gen.nzsteveb
>New Lynn, Auckland ph +64 9 820-2221
>New Zealand fax +64 9 820-1929
Where do I get the free software?
With the communications module, you get a cut-down version of the software
for free. I've been using it for over a year now and I really haven't any
problems with it. You should note that the captured waveforms are at the
same resolution as the displayed waveforms.
With the full software, I believe that you can also control the action of
the 'scope as well as upload/download pictures (and import/export them).
The TDS-210 has been a great tool, which I highly recommend.
"I was well aware that the processes of puberty are often fatal to psychic
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
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