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New guy just getting started need advice on tools

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Billy Simmons, Nov 22, 2015.

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  1. Billy Simmons

    Billy Simmons

    9
    0
    Nov 22, 2015
    Hi guys,

    I need to buy my first scope to do mostly tube guitar amp repair and solid state amp repair. I don't have a lot of budget to spend, perhaps $300. I have been working on my own stuff for many years without a scope and now I am working on other peoples stuff.

    Old tube amp stuff does not require much of a scope to be useful and some have recommended a used Iwatsu SS-5702 or a Leader. All these scopes sell from 50 bucks to 300 used on ebay.

    What would you buy and where would you buy it. Many on ebay but how do I go about getting a good one. Also I have no idea of the issue of probes for such a scope.

    I want to use the scope to look at clipping, jitter and things like that to help identify issues.

    Thanks,

    Billy

    PS: I am trying to set up a proper work bench on a fairly low budget ($1500 to $2000) so there are some other things I need to buy also. I am a disabled vet and don't have a lot of income. The whole idea is to have some way to make a few bucks working from home. Other questions to follow I am sure...lol
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2015
  2. Minder

    Minder

    2,984
    633
    Apr 24, 2015
    Many decry them but if just doing simple and nothing really high speed, and you own a laptop then these can be very useful, also the storage feature is handy.
    http://www.syscompdesign.com/
    M.
     
  3. Billy Simmons

    Billy Simmons

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    Nov 22, 2015
    Thanks Minder for the link.

    I am also looking at Tektronix scopes as there are a ton of them for sale well within the 300 dollar or so budget. I want a analog scope at the moment and may buy a digital one some time in the future.

    Anyone know of a good electronics supply company in the United States where I can get this kind of used stuff so I do not have to buy off ebay?

    Thanks,

    Billy
     
  4. Martaine2005

    Martaine2005

    2,911
    796
    May 12, 2015
    Hi Billy,
    You could ask some universities or colleges. They might even donate one to you!
    "Disabled vet" can have it's advantages...
    Also check craigslist. I don't know if the states have "Freecycle". But there are some great freebies to be had.
    Old scopes are usually very heavy and the postage often out weighs the cost.

    Martin
     
  5. Billy Simmons

    Billy Simmons

    9
    0
    Nov 22, 2015
    Hi guys,

    I decided to buy a digital scope. It will be here tomorrow. It is a owon 100mhz oscilloscope sds7102v. A buddy of mine gave me one of his old Tektronix scopes and it will arrive in a few days. I have a Fluke 177 and two or three other meters plus I ordered a Simpson 260-8 to replace one that is just worn out. I been wanting to replace the Simpson for a while. I guess I have used it for more years than I can remember. I also got a new 20 amp 0-130V Variac.

    I have a good 25 Mhz 2 ch waveform generator made by Owon also that I got used and new in the box last year from a guy for 100 bucks. I guess that is what put me on the Owon scope. I also got a LCR bridge from the same guy for cheap.

    I have several speakers and dummy loads and a small supply of tubes and pots and caps and such.

    About the only thing I don't have is a power supply and a tube tester. The tube tester is a bit of a issue because I don't see good ones for sale at any price. One will turn up at some point perhaps. I have a bit of work coming my way so all is good. Just finished a Fender Twin clean up for a guy and replaced some caps. I love Fender Twins and I hate Fender Twins when I have to pick them up...lol

    I even downloaded a resistor color chart to my iphone.....gone all modern on you guys...lol

    Of the things I have lost, I miss my mind the most!!!

    Cheers,

    Billy

    PS: Thanks for all the feed back
     
  6. bigone5500

    bigone5500

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    120
    Apr 9, 2014
    As far as scopes go, You can get a Rigol DS1054Z from Saelig pretty cheap. I know you already bought one but here's a link for you anyway...

    http://www.saelig.com/product/ds1054z.htm - $400 USD

    I bought a DS2072A from them and they have great service.
     
  7. Billy Simmons

    Billy Simmons

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    0
    Nov 22, 2015
    Hi bigone5500,

    I also bought the Owon from Saelig, Around $450 with a batt. A bit more than I wanted to spend but.... I may wish I had got a Rigol as there is much more info on the web for that scope. We will see. I been reading the manual for a few hours. There is a good bit I don't understand yet. I am sure it will take some time to learn.

    Any ideas for a good general electronics parts store?


    Thanks,

    Billy
     
  8. bigone5500

    bigone5500

    712
    120
    Apr 9, 2014
  9. Billy Simmons

    Billy Simmons

    9
    0
    Nov 22, 2015
    Thanks 5500,

    I have been using Mouser and Digi-Key. Digi-Key has better prices and Mouser has better stuff in some cases.

    I will check out the other places listed in the link.

    Thanks for the info.

    The Owon SDS7102V arrived today and I have spent the evening learning how use the new scope. I have never had my hands on a digital scope before so this is a new adventure. Basic stuff is more less pretty easy. I guess I have read about 75 pages of the 100 page manual and tried some of the functions with my function generator. I am trying to take it easy and get on solid ground before I go sticking the probe in some 500 volt analog circuit.

    The PC software that came with it would not work so I found the latest version on a German web site. The VGA output from the scope is kind of cool for a old blind guy...lol

    Not much info on the web for Owon that I have found. Guess I will do a video at some point so the next "old guy" or young guy for that matter, will have less of a learning curve.

    Onward through the fog....lol

    Thanks again,


    Billy
     
  10. Martaine2005

    Martaine2005

    2,911
    796
    May 12, 2015
    Hi Billy,
    Have a listen to these two videos. The first being the most important scope safety.
    Second is a review of your scope.





    Martin
     
    KJ6EAD likes this.
  11. Billy Simmons

    Billy Simmons

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    0
    Nov 22, 2015
    Hi Martaine,

    Thanks, I listen to both videos again. The first thing in the Owon manual is General Safety Requirements which makes it clear the issues of earth ground, USB, ect, and the fact that there is a earth ground point on the back of the case that can be used when running on batt power. Failure to understand these issues can result in three possible conditions. One, you damage a devise, two, you get a nasty shock, three, you kill yourself.

    As far as the review....some things he said have either been fixed on my scope or were just a defect on the scope he tested. The way to get to things on the Owon takes a bit of getting use to but I don't find it a issue so far. It is not a $10,000 dollar scope.....lol

    Thanks for posting the videos!!

    Cheers,

    Billy
     
  12. bsco

    bsco

    33
    2
    May 8, 2011

    Just a note....try some colleges as I just picked up two used tube testers that check trans-conductance and other stuff for nothing....they were going to throw them out....one is a Band K 747 and the other is a Triplett 3444...they only neede to be cleaned up.....outside of that, there are some good deals on ebay but you do have to be careful..
    also you could try Kijiji or surplus stores......the latter we don't have where i am....also pawn stores.....
    Cheers,
    Bernie
    P.S. Like that guitar....is that yours? Sounds like you .are a musician....I have a 74 Les Paul and a 76 Marshall amp....plus a ton of other music gear......all from the 70's and 80's
     
  13. lawmann

    lawmann

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    Sep 30, 2010
    Hi Billy,

    I have had outstanding luck with using eBay, but as stated, the shipping can be a tad expensive for the older scopes and Variacs. I have paid as little as $1.00 for a scope (Tek 468) and only $5.00 a while back for a Precision 10-12 tube tester. The small DSO scope is nice, those are available for as little as $45.00, but I got mine more as a toy than for serious work. You are correct, getting a really good one is a task, but with the schematics available on the web repairing them is easy enough as long as the tube tester is relatively complete. I was also fortunate to find a Tek 575 Curve Tracer for under $100.00, so the deals are there, you just have to be patient.

    There are a few Heath and Lambda power supplies that show up as well that are a steal, so look for those.

    Have a great day!
    Shaun
     
  14. elebish

    elebish

    177
    12
    Aug 16, 2013
    Try ebay for an Iwatsu SS5711 or SS5710. I have the SS5711D. The D has the multimeter on top. I have had one for years and have used just about every scope made while working in the labs at Boeing for 38 years. You'll also need an isolation transformer to protect your equipment and items you will be working on. Since tube amps have higher B plus voltages, you will want an analog scope as I called out with a times 10 probe. Since some equipment will have chassis potentials above ground, you will need the Iso transformer that will handle at least 10 amps at 120 ac out and a transformer that has variable voltage output so you can isolate intermittent problems.
    An audio generator, a cap checker and a good multimeter will be needed. A curve tracer will be of little use to a beginner. I use an ohmmeter with a diode checker for most semiconductor tests but do have a curve tracer which needs a dual trace scope for showing the curves. Nothing will beat a curve tracer if one learns how to use it.
    The loads you use should be non inductive, especially when going into the higher frequencies. I work on tube amps occasionally and do have a tube checker but substitution is the best method to check tubes. When checking caps, the best instrument is an old fashion checker that can feed caps their rated voltage. Caps don't always short or open, they can leak or break down at a specific voltage. There are also many different kinds of caps that have different allowable leakage at their rated voltage. I wish you the best in your endeavors as a technician. Not many good techs out there, mostly "black box changers"!
    Ed.
     
  15. pgib8

    pgib8

    106
    23
    Jul 26, 2015
    That's funny, I also bought mine from saelig and it's also an owen scope (SDS7072V). I'm pretty happy with it although I have run into a few minor shortcomings already.
    Since you're working with audio, you might really enjoy the FFT feature. I also like to hook mine up to the PC via USB to take some screenshots and I ended up buying a battery for it as well.
     
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