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TDS-1002b Any good? Comments?

Discussion in 'Electronic Equipment' started by Anthony Fremont, Feb 27, 2007.

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  1. Anybody got one? Do they suck? Will it last thru 10 years of off-and-on
    hobby usage? Any horrible "features" that didn't make it to the marketing

    Since all my stuff is ancient and I'm tired of being publicaly embarassed
    (;-) I've decided to seriously consider some upgrades. My old Hitachi
    V650-F has been great, but it's sadly in need of a calibration and the
    controls/switches are a bit flakey at times. After talking with some local
    cal shops, I've decided that my $250 could be better spent somewhere else.

    I called Tucker about a used HP they had on their site, but alas they were
    all sold out. After yacking with Jerry for a couple of minutes he tossed
    out the idea of a TDS-1002b. I've looked at the specs and man I feel like
    I've been living under a rock. It looks like these things almost make
    thinking a thing of the past. I've never even used a DSO before, so I'm a
    bit shy about trying something new but they certainly look handy. Any
  2. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    I currently have the "pleasure" to work with similar (but older) scopes
    at a client. TDS220, one of the big TDSes, etc. Long story short I am
    not too enthused. The 220 even spits out noise that bothers us so has to
    be turned off at times. The bandwidth gets reduced at the lower input
    ranges. I've asked them to acquire a used 2465 and that's what I am now
    using most of the time. Worked great 20 years ago, still works great ;-)
  3. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    Go for color. It's absolutely worth it. TDS2002 or 2012 are very nice.
    My personal scope is a TDS2012 and it does 95% of what I need done.
    It's the size of a shoe box, and you can lift it with one finger.

    Once you play with a color digital scope for a while, an old analog
    scope will feel primitive. The variable persistance, single-shot
    capture, cursors, signal averaging, math, FFT spectrum analysis, and
    frequency measurement are great. The screen photographs great with a
    digital camera, too.

    Agilent has a (chinese-rebranded) color scope for $999, I think, and
    it looks OK. Anybody got comments?

  4. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    AFAIR Spehro had checked out Atten's stuff. A lot of times the innards
    are very similar among several brand names except that the Chinese
    originals often come with those bonbon colored buttons.

    I still prefer analog scopes. For noise and stuff nothing beats them.
    Then only downside are the regular requests to turn the lights off which
    doesn't exactly make me very popular at clients. But we find stuff where
    digital scopes don't stand a chance. The other downside is that you
    almost have to resort to EBay to obtain a really good scope because they
    don't make them no more.

    My favorite here in the lab: Ye olde 7000 series mainframe. It's like
    driving a tank. Love it. Documenting stuff is another matter. The
    digital camera results don't look too professional and the old Polaroid
    method might not be environmentally sensitive enough these days. Plus I
    always found that messy.
  5. That is the Agilent 3000 series, and Rigol are the designer and
    manufacturer, you can (usually) get the exact same scope a bit cheaper
    from Rigol, and other makers rebadged.

    I've got one of the Rigol's and it's pretty good for the price, it can
    hold it's own in the entry level DSO market. I like the mask
    triggering options and digital filtering. Sadly it cannot dump the
    screen to USB memory stick, that must be done on the PC via the
    Response time is on par with the other entry level scopes.

    Basicaly all the entry level DSO's are the same, Tek, Agilent, Rigol,
    Goodwill only a few features and a few $$$ seperate them, the
    choice is amazing.

    One thing with DSO's is the memory depth, that should be your #1
    requirement, you will never regret going for the scope with the
    deepest memory.

    However, recently there have been a couple of entry level mixed signal
    DSO come onto the market like the Rigol 1000 series:
    Also rebadged under "ApLab" and probably others.

    I have two mixed signal Agilents (6000 series, 54600 series) and I
    will never go back, mixed signal scopes are fantastic, especially if
    you are thinking about getting a logic analyser anyway. Certainly
    worth shelling out a few $$$ more for.
    In 10 years time every DSO on the market will have mixed signal

    Although one can also ague there are plenty of cheap and excellent PC
    based logic analysers on the market today, so its not needed in a

    Dave :)
  6. There is a big divide in "response time" between the low end DSO's and
    the proper "analog replacement" high end DSO's, but if that's all you
    can afford, you get used to it.
    The features available on todays entry levels DSO's are fantastic, and
    you won't go back.
    Just the simple ability to be able to single shot capture a waveform
    you will find invaluable, and wonder how you ever got along without
    BUT you will still need a nice analog scope in addition, so it's worth
    upgrading there too, plenty on eBay at good prices.

    My Tek TDS-210 has been going for almost a decade now, so they can
    last that long.

    Dave :)
  7. Lionel

    Lionel Guest

    I still love my trusty, 20+ year old Tek 2235 dual trace 100MHz CRO.
    The only problem I've ever had with it was bad focus, due to degraded
    carbon comp resistors in the focus chain. Replacing them with modern
    metal film parts brought it back to normal.
  8. Oh man, here we go. ;-) The cheapest color one is $250 more (25%). I know
    I'd really like the color better, but I was hoping that the PC interface
    might provide that for free. I now see that Tek has a 10 year/lifetime
    warranty, so spending the extra cash now wouldn't seem so bad in the long
    run. After all it's only another $2/month when taken over time. ;-) I
    fall into the "for a few dollars more" trap every time. It's not like I
    have money to throw around, but I learned a long time ago that cheap tools
    cost you allot more in the long run.
    That's a pretty good sell. :) I like the USB interfaces allot. Thanks
    for your input, I appreciate it. :)
    Hmm, that sounds interesting if it's good.
  9. Ok, I just had a look on eBay, and you won't believe what you can get
    a new no-name asian DSO for these days:
    Seller looks a bit dodgy though.

    Anyone know where else you can buy these?
    They also go under the "Lilliput" name.

    Probably complete garbage, but would be interesting to see what you
    get for the price.

    Dave :)
  10. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    Dinasaur! I find that digital scopes are a lot more likely to find
    infrequent events, and *save* then for you. Then you set the cursors,
    walk down the hall, get your digital camera, and snap the
    I-told-you-so masterpiece.

    I sometimes use a 7000-series for tricky stuff. The 7A22 plugin
    (differential, switchable bandwidth down to 100 Hz, 10 uV/cm) is
    magical for low-level stuff. And the 7104 (1 GHz, microchannel plate)
    can be handy. But for most stuff, a color DSO is light-years ahead of
    some old analog beast.

    And I get confused when all the traces are green.

    Last week, we saw a bunch of "wideband" noise on a power rail. So we
    hit the FFT button, and, lo, we see a big frequency line every 200
    KHz, all in the neighborhood of 100 MHz. Try that on an analog scope!

  11. Joerg wrote:

    Do you mean like down the probe cable, out the probe tip and into your
    circuit, or do you mean accoustical noise?
  12. That just can't be right. Even the Chinese can't make them that cheap, can
    Somebody bought it, I wonder if they'll admit it? ;-)
  13. I recon it's Joerg!

    I don't know what price the Rigol goes for in the US, but here in Oz
    it's AU$995 for the base model 60MHz Mono unit. That's about US$750.
    I was about to say that was cheap, but I just checked the TDS1002 and
    that can be had for US$750 too!:

    Dave :)
  14. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Nope, it look like EMI from a switcher or something like that in there.
    It was pretty loud and messing up some analog circuitry on a breadboard.
    The good old Tektronix 2465 did not do that at all.
  15. It's the LCD screen, the TDS series scopes are famous for this.
    Put the probe near the screen and you'll see it.

    Dave :)
  16. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    True, for once-in-a-blue moon glitches they really work well. But that's
    a rare case here in the lab.

    The 7000 series is usually more blueish than green ;-)

    T'is what spectrum analyzers are for. I often just use a communications
    receiver. It has a 300Hz crystal filter that drops to -60dB at 600Hz or
    so and has (so far) fished out just about any polluting carrier. The
    only issue with that is that I have now worn down the rotary encoder
    bearings and I am not looking forward to this repair. Maybe after a
    couple of really good top shelf margaritas but the weather ain't right
    for that yet.

    I always get a kick out of it when I find a bus contention for the
    digital guys that way.
  17. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Could be. I even had that on an expensive Agilent EMI (!) analyzer.
    Couldn't believe it. Anyhow, ye olde analog scope simply does not do
    that. There I have peace of mind that it won't mess with my prototypes.
    After all, lab equipment is supposed to maintain radio silence since you
    can shield a prototype while probing around.
  18. For a refurb with almost no warranty. :-( Looks like Agilent will give you
    color for $1100, but Tek wants about $1270 for theirs. If you want data out
    of the Agilent that will be more money too. It appears that the feature set
    of the Tek is richer than the 3000 series Agilent, but the Agilent claims 4K
    "points" vs. 2.5K on the Tek. Spiffy stuff for sure. :)
  19. The Goodwill GDS series are sold in the US under the Instek brand:
    US$755 RRP
    US$659 on Froogle:

    125K sample memory is excellent and blows the Tek away. 320x200
    display is not excellent these days, same as my old TDS-210, however
    the new Tek1002b is no better with it's 1/4 VGA screen.
    USB is optional though, but RS232 and PC software is free.
    You can get the 100MHz colour model Instek for a similar price to the
    Tek1002b 60MHz mono.

    For home use those I wouldn't spend the extra on colour, I'd spend it
    on bandwidth instead.

    Full Goodwill/Instek range is here:

    Dave :)
  20. What's all this about a camera? You should be able to do a "screen
    print" directly to a PNG graphics file.
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