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Oscilloscope Probes with Mismatched bandwidths

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Proschuno, Jul 5, 2013.

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  1. Proschuno


    Aug 1, 2011
    So reading the manual to my Tektronix 465M whose bandwidth is 100Mhz, it mentions using the P6101, a 1x probe whose bandwidth goes to about 35 Mhz (at 1foot cable length, of which I saw that there was a selection, up to 3 ft), and the P6104 whose bandwidth is 100Mhz. The manual didn't just say 'you have to use these probes' obviously, but it just mentions them on a page so I figure the scope originally came with them when it was originally made.

    Now I've read that your probe's bandwidth should be greater than your scope's to make the most of your scope's bandwidth. I'm using entirely different probes which share the same bandwidth as the scope, but I'm doing mostly audio work so I don't find this to much a problem, but I'm just curious why the manual would go against such advice.
  2. eKretz


    Apr 8, 2013
    Back when these scopes were made there weren't a bunch of Chinese companies making aftermarket probes. You pretty much had to use whatever they provided. As long as the probe is rated for the bandwidth you want to measure at, i should think you should be fine to use it as long as it is properly compensated.
  3. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    Further to what eKretz has said, obviously Tektronix have a vested interest in persuading you to buy probes from them...

    Are you in the market for oscilloscope probes?

    I was some time ago. I purchased some quite nice HP probes (that cost more than my scope!) because I didn't want to risk cheap probes leading me astray.

    (Relax, the scope cost me hardly anything, and the probes set me back $60 each I think).

    I did look at some of the cheap probes available from China, and now, if I were in the market for some I might possibly get some.

    BUT, I would do so on the basis that I have some good probes and the equipment to be able to do a side-by-side comparison of the signals on the scope.

    You can get some amazing bargains out of China, but you can also get some less amazing rubbish. It pays to be able to tell which is which.
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