Connect with us

Oscilloscope? $110 budget

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by tuk, Jun 23, 2011.

Scroll to continue with content
  1. tuk

    tuk

    16
    0
    Jun 17, 2011
    already have a decent volt meter but I'm thinking of buying a cheap Oscilloscope as part of learning about design/build small circuits, micro-controllers(arduino), RC filters, small amplifiers, relay drivers...that kind of thing. ..I can't see into the future or know enough atm to choose..so that's where you guys come in...

    my absolute max budget is $125 ..another option would be to buy something used..it might be 30 yrs old, but will have 2 channels and some nice spec ..been looking at hamegs, tektronics, gould, lg etc ..eg Tektronix 2215 60 Mhz Dual Ch Dual Timebase Oscilloscope...but I doubt I could make repairs if it goes down or is delivered faulty and also wonder if they are toxic somehow?

    ....so new but crap or old but good? ...here are some examples I found within my budget

    Poor Man's Oscilloscope
    not sure how much use this will be and would really prefer something separate from the pc but I'l include as it's the cheapest and has 2 channels....and some might think there's no point paying more
    DSO Nano v2
    spec could be better and uses battery ....but nice screen
    DSO 082
    good spec/features for the money but the screen looks small...some video in the link
    HPS140 Handheld Pocket Oscilloscope
    seems easy to use but overpriced for what you get ..uses battery
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011
  2. davenn

    davenn Moderator

    13,647
    1,884
    Sep 5, 2009
    those last 2 are particularly respectable low price units. and you would get a lot of use out of them before u finally needed to upgrade to something that had a wider bandwidth. 10MHz is all you need for audio and low speed digital stuff.
    Just remember tho..... a decent probe will cost you almost as much
    top quality probes can go for $500. very respectable ones for ~ $100

    look around for a good quality used one maybe. maybe you already have something useable :)

    cheers
    Dave
     
  3. daddles

    daddles

    443
    3
    Jun 10, 2011
    Those small oscilloscopes may fit your needs just fine. Personally, I would never want one because I like modern scope sizes and, most importantly, I want the buttons and knobs on the front panel.

    One of the most difficult thing for a person thinking about buying a scope is to have the ability to try out different scopes. This isn't too hard for an engineer working in industry, but for a hobbyist learning things on his own, it can be a real challenge. Thus, if you're going to do it, you need to figure out some creative ways to get your hands on a variety of scopes for a while. There's really no substitute for hands-on experience.

    Some thoughts: advertise locally for like-minded hobbyists. Tell them that you want to get some time on their scopes; offer something that will interest them in trade (you may not need to trade anything, but you catch more fish with bait than an empty hook). Check out local ham get-togethers; they apparently are good places to find things (I've never been to one, so my data are second-hand). Go to a local college and ask the engineering or physics departments if you could do some volunteer work for them in exchange for some time on their scopes. Similarly, contact some local businesses that would be likely to have scopes and try to figure out some creative way for mutual back scratching. Also contact a local business and tell them that you're looking for an older used scope and do they have one they might be interested in selling so they could upgrade.

    davenn is quite correct about the probes -- don't neglect them. You also may want a differential amplifier for your scope and they can go for $300-$1000 US or more. Oh, then you'll want a current probe -- and that can be even more money... Oh, wait, now you'll need a function generator for stimulus. Oops, now you need some fancy RF coax cables and adapters (looked at any Pomona stuff lately?)... It never ends...:p
     
  4. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,411
    2,779
    Jan 21, 2010
    The soundcard option is rubbish. You can demonstrate some concepts and you can do some *very* basic measurements, but erk.

    The DSO Nano is interesting, but I wouldn't recommend it as a first scope. I have one and its portability is great, but you have to compare signals on this and a real scope to see what you're missing. In any case a cheap second hand scope will have wider bandwidth, better controls, and a larger screen.

    The same arguments go against the others too. Perhaps they have better bandwidth.

    I've recently compared my steam powered analog 60MHz dual trace scope against a 100MHz digital scope (a Rigol). I was less than impressed with the Rigol. And that's a real shame because I was prepared to buy one before I saw one in action. Honestly, I would compare it to mt DSO Nano rather than my steam powered Philips CRO.

    My advice... Try to get an analog scope.

    edit: Oh yeah, the probes. I paid more for my probes than for the scope. Then again, they are very nice HP probes. You can get cheap probes from China and one day I might get some just to compare them to mine.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2011
  5. tuk

    tuk

    16
    0
    Jun 17, 2011
    thanks for the replies all; very helpful, I think I will monitor ebay for a week or 2 to see what I can pickup for less than $125 ...do you guys have any recommendations for particular brands of old scopes ..I have been looking at the HAMEG HM203, Gould OS300 and Tektronix 2215

    if nothing catches my eye on the bay, I might leave buying an analogue until further down the line when I know more about what I'm doing, have played with a few other scopes and have more money to spend....and in the meantime buy a cheap digital to get me started...

    ...on that note I would probably go with the DSO 082, as I think the spec slightly edges it over the others(unless I hear different), and has some other interesting features according to the manual ..plus it comes with a 20 mhz 1x,10x BNC probe photo ..I know it will be a cheapo but still

     
  6. tuk

    tuk

    16
    0
    Jun 17, 2011
    bit of an update & hopefully get some quick advice on probes ...plz

    I'm now the proud owner of a Tektronix 2215A for $112 ...see pic below
    had to dip into next months rent to cover shipping..but I think/hope it's worthwhile in the long run, I need 2 probes fit to test the scope is working when it arrives and also some tinkering with simple MC projects(see OP)...but have no idea what kind of probes I require?

    do both probes need to have the same values?...I'm already broke so has to be cheap and cheerful until such times I can buy something better ..BUT making sure the scope is functioning properly when it arrives is my main concern

    what about something like this?
    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  7. tuk

    tuk

    16
    0
    Jun 17, 2011
    ....or

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  8. daddles

    daddles

    443
    3
    Jun 10, 2011
    If you live in the CONUS, I have some older HP probes. I'd be willing to sell you a couple of them cheap, as they're missing the thingy that slides over the barrel so that you can clip them on to things (some are missing the ground clip too). I'd check them out on my HP scope to make sure they're working OK first. If you're interested, PM me and tell me the bandwidth of your scope. The model numbers I have are: 10081A, 10017A, 10041A, 10018A, and 10006D (they're all 10X probes).
     

    Attached Files:

  9. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,411
    2,779
    Jan 21, 2010
    The ones I use are HP10042A which look very similar to these and cost more than my scope :)
     
  10. poor mystic

    poor mystic

    1,066
    31
    Apr 8, 2011
    I think that this thread could be marked as special for the benefit of posterity.
     
  11. tuk

    tuk

    16
    0
    Jun 17, 2011
    cant pm you for some reason daddles..it says you may have pm disabled..I live in the UK

    I made a table of some affordable contenders, I have been reading up on scopes/probes with my limited knowledge ..keep me right here....if my scopes capacitance is 20pF then I should be looking for a probe with a compensation range which includes 20 right? ..so out of the probes in the table...10-50pF*is best as it covers 20 and has the widest compensation range ...also lowest input capacitance/resistance and rise time... this probe is better in all areas when compared to the others?

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
Ask a Question
Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?
You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.
Electronics Point Logo
Continue to site
Quote of the day

-