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Scope question

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Yoda, Apr 9, 2005.

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  1. Yoda

    Yoda Guest

    Hi All,

    I'm getting ready to buy an oscilloscope for my own use. I had decided to
    buy an older refurbished HP 54600A DSO. Mainly because it's what I use at
    work and I'm comfortable with it and like the automatic measurements. But
    after pricing them ($800 and up), I feel like I'd probably be better off
    going with one of the new low-end Tek scopes like the TDS 1000 or TDS 2000
    series. I'm not building spaceships and just need a good general purpose DSO
    for everyday signal and measurement use. I don't want to take my chances on

    My question is, how do the newer Tek scopes compare to this old HP I've been
    getting ready to buy? Max budget is about $1500 which puts the TDS 2012 in
    reach. And secondly, please recommend any good places to buy online, good
    service and support etc. Thanks for any comments.

  2. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    I have, um, about 50 oscilloscopes, and the 2012 is the one I use
    regularly [1]. It's small, light, works great, has a nice color
    display, and is easy to drive.


    [1] and an 11801 for the fast stuff.
  3. Bob

    Bob Guest

    Yep. I concur.

    I've used, and own, a bunch of scopes. I just bought a TDS2024. It's a
    fabulous piece of equipment for its cost.

    Get the 2012. You won't regret it.

  4. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    I have one of its older siblings, a TDS 220, and find it to be a great
    "home" scope.

    Isn't there a thumb-rule that goes: Buy Tek scopes and HP analyzers?
  5. John Fields

    John Fields Guest

  6. Yoda

    Yoda Guest

    Thanks all for the comments. It seems that duty cycle is not one of the
    automatic measurements. Not a huge deal considering this would be easy to
    get with everything else it does but it would be nice if it was auto. Did I
    miss something?


  7. Bill Bowden

    Bill Bowden Guest

    I have an old scope I'll give away for the cost of shipping if you are
    interested. It's a single trace "Lab-volt AA792D" 15MHz I bought at a
    swap meet for $10. Worked well for a couple years, but now has an
    attenuator problem. I tried tuner cleaner and WD-40
    with no success. Probably need to bend the switch contacts
    to fix it. But getting inside is a problem and requires disconnecting
    20 or so connections from a circuit board that covers the attenuator

    Looks like a lot of effort, and it may never work again when I get
    done, so I'll just send it off to a good home if I can find one.
    Or, I could just put it in the trash can.

    Contact me at this address if interested:

  8. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Sorry, but if you got WD-40 in the contacts, it's all over. It's
    landfill, or maybe you could part it out.

    WD-40 is for door hinges and car front end squeaks. It's about the
    worst possible crap you can inflict on electronics. (other than,
    say, battery acid, of course.) When it dries, it turns to Cosmolene.

    The WD-40 can be cleaned out with acetone or MEK, but they're
    awfully hard on plastic parts, so that would just break something
    else. I don't know if it's possible to get TCE (trichlorethylene)
    or TCA (trichlorethane) - they're pretty benign solvents that will
    clean up WD-40. Maybe even isopropyl alcohol - but use 75% or
    better so that it dries properly.

  9. Bill Bowden

    Bill Bowden Guest

    Well, I think I used WD-40 on another scope attenuator last year and
    it's still working well. I'm running a WD-40 experiment now on a old
    intermittent 2500 ohm circuit board pot. I soaked the pot with WD-40
    which eliminated the bad spots and the resistance changes very smoothly
    now. The mechanical movement is also much easier. I'll check the
    condition in 10 days and report the results.

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