Anyone have any oscilloscope recommendations?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Rayregula, Dec 22, 2016.

  1. Rayregula

    Rayregula

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    Anyone have any oscilloscope recommendations? I've been planning to getting on for a while. All I really need it for is comparing noise in voltage regulators.
     
    Rayregula, Dec 22, 2016
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  2. Rayregula

    davenn Moderator

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    what's your budget ?
     
    davenn, Dec 22, 2016
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  3. Rayregula

    Rayregula

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    $100-$200
     
    Rayregula, Dec 22, 2016
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  4. Rayregula

    Rayregula

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    I might be able to add a little more $ if need be
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
    Rayregula, Dec 22, 2016
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  5. Rayregula

    KiwiSteve

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    KiwiSteve, Dec 22, 2016
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  6. Rayregula

    hevans1944 Hop - AC8NS

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    I bought a Hantek DSO5202P earlier this year that I like a lot. It was on special sale with free delivery. You can check it out here. What you get depends on what you want to do and how much you are willing to pay. An inexpensive kit 'scope is available and that's what I would recommend as a "first" oscilloscope.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
    hevans1944, Dec 22, 2016
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  7. Rayregula

    cjdelphi

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    Even el cheapo can measure noise though...

    I thought the reason for a more expensive unit is for things like 2 or 3 inputs and handling higher frequencies

    In which case, el cheapo will do this job...
     
    cjdelphi, Dec 22, 2016
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  8. Rayregula

    hevans1944 Hop - AC8NS

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    That's why I recommended the JYE Tech kit oscilloscope. It is inexpensive (less than fifty bucks, even after you add a wall-wart power supply and shipping) and has adequate sensitivity and bandwidth for audio applications. It offers a really cheap entry point and allows the user to learn how to use an oscilloscope before spending big bux for multiple channels, wider bandwidth, deeper memory, and various other "nice to have" bells and whistles. This particular design is "open source" meaning anyone can make and sell it, but JYE Tech was the first to market and has now complained that others have copied their original circuit board design. Oh, well, it really is shark-filled waters when it comes to electronics products nowadays.

    You can spend tens of thousands of dollars on an oscilloscope if you need to, but most folks here on EP can get by with a lot less.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
    hevans1944, Dec 23, 2016
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  9. Rayregula

    Rayregula

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    Thanks, I was looking at that one and I think I might try it
     
    Rayregula, Dec 23, 2016
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  10. Rayregula

    hevans1944 Hop - AC8NS

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    If you do decide to purchase it, make sure you order the kit version that has the SMD components already soldered to the circuit board. It is a real PITA to place and solder those itsy bitsy teeny weeny parts. There is also a newer model available at a slightly higher cost that includes a plastic case and an optically encoded rotary knob to provide a better user interface. I haven't tried that one yet, but you might want to look it. Again, if you order it, make sure you order the 15001K version with pre-soldered SMD parts.
     
    hevans1944, Dec 23, 2016
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  11. Rayregula

    Rayregula

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    Ok
    Ok, Thanks
     
    Rayregula, Dec 23, 2016
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  12. Rayregula

    LordVader88

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    I got a Tekronix 2340A from ebay for just over CAD $200, its from the 80or 90s and has some issues, but I don't notice them. I'd say spend a little more and get a proper 1. Watch for 2nd hand ones, rather than a tiny 1 under 100. Although I wouldn't mind trying some too, for super basic stuff and their small size.
     
    LordVader88, Dec 24, 2016
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  13. Rayregula

    hevans1944 Hop - AC8NS

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    Since the 1960s, when I first built my EICO 460K oscilloscope, I have acquired several used Tektronix oscilloscopes. The EICO was "pretty good" for TV work, but it lacked a triggered sweep and had other shortcomings.

    [​IMG]

    So, as soon as I realized there were better alternatives, I went looking for them. The first one was a Tektronix 465B, purchased from a Ham attending the Dayton Hamvention many years ago. The second one, also a 465B, came from an eBay seller, and the third was a gift from a friend who no longer needed it. They all have served me well over the years, but all three lack one critical feature: digital storage of the oscilloscope trace.

    A digital storage oscilloscope or DSO allows you record "one shot" sweeps and then closely examine the results at your leisure. You can also print the stored digital trace image, along with other alpha-numeric information pertaining to vertical sensitivity and horizontal sweep speed (and other parameters) and also upload the image to forums such as this one.

    With conventional CROs (cathode ray oscilloscopes) the only way to record a one-shot sweep is to use a camera attachment. You open the shutter, trigger the 'scope, close the shutter and then develop the film. This was conventionally done using Polaroid film and was very expensive and messy (the prints had to be hand-coated with a saturated sponge containing a smelly "hardener" liquid). Yuck! Later technology created very expensive analog storage cathode ray tubes that allowed storing and photographing the CRT screen with a conventional camera, with or without "instant" results, but I never thought this "improvement" was worth the cost.

    The new DSOs take some getting used to if you grew up (as I did) with conventional CRT oscilloscopes, but now that I have two DSOs (one was a gift from a friend here on the forum) there is no way that I would go back to the old technology, except when I need the increased bandwidth my old 'scopes offer compared to what I can afford with the DSOs. This is not to say that DSOs don't exist with comparable or greater bandwidth than my 200 MHz Tektronix 'scopes... they certainly do! But I can't afford them any more than I can afford the CRT version.

    So for all you newbies out there longing to own an oscilloscope, if you can find a CRT version at a reasonable price on eBay you might want to start there for the learning experience. Problem is, you probably won't be able to afford to maintain it when it eventually fails. CRT 'scopes are getting a little long in the tooth, and those who can maintain them are dying or dead. IMHO, your money is better spent on an inexpensive DSO you can easily and affordably replace if you "brick" it. Your mileage (or kilometers) may vary.
     
    hevans1944, Dec 24, 2016
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  14. Rayregula

    phin

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    From above (hevans1944)
    ....there is no way that I would go back to the old technology, except when I need the increased bandwidth my old 'scopes offer compared to what I can afford with the DSOs. This is not to say that DSOs don't exist with comparable or greater bandwidth than my 200 MHz Tektronix 'scopes... they certainly do! But I can't afford them any more than I can afford the CRT version.

    As I plan (dream?) my equipment list, I have tripped on the speed issue. I have used both in my past lives. The thing I remember is that when you go to look at something fast ( address and data lines) the DSO could not cut it. You needed to use the "200 MHz Tektronix." With the current processors, I'm doubtful even the Tek can do a decent job. Your suggestion of possibly needing two separate scopes is (painfully) correct. As a result, I have TWO difficult picks to make! I am thinking a new (or refurb?) DSO at the upper limit of my piggybank, and later a used analog, hopefully storage, scope for those special times where speed is the only answer. Darn!
     
    phin, Dec 25, 2016
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  15. Rayregula

    elebish

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    I have a like new TEK 2465BDM with all the goodies (400MHZ) I picked up for $550. The books were still sealed in their plastic wrappers. This is a serious scope but not for beginners. I also have 2 Iwatsu's that are very high quality and great for T.S. They both are SS5711D's. You may be able to get an SS5710 for less than $200 which is a 60MHZ unit. These can't be beat for general purpose use and T.S., especially if you intend to do more electronics work in the future.
     
    elebish, Jan 4, 2017
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  16. Rayregula

    elebish

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    Wow! I built one of these back in 58 when going through radio and TV school in PA.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2017
    elebish, Jan 4, 2017
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  17. Rayregula

    hevans1944 Hop - AC8NS

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    Yeah, I was a self-taught youth and just beginning to acquire test equipment in the late fifties. My first real instrument was an RCA VoltOhmyst VTVM kit. It was many years later before I purchased a VOM with mirrored scale and 20,000 ohms per volt sensitivity.

    [​IMG]

    The EICO oscilloscope and several Heathkits (RF signal generator, RLC bridge with "magic eye") followed as finances allowed. Eventually I bought a sweep generator for TV IF alignment, but by the mid 60s the TV repair business was dying as TVs moved on to solid-state devices and became so cheap they weren't worth repairing. As a teenager I had a newspaper route with steady earnings, and found an occasional odd job here and there, like washing and waxing someone's car. As I entered adulthood, things looked grim with only a high school education. So I joined the Air Force.

    I remember the ads for tech schools in all the popular pulp magazines, some offering a color TV you built while learning how it worked. I knew my parents wouldn't spring for the cost of a mail-order school, but I finally got some formal electronics training courtesy of the U.S, Air Force. That's where I discovered triggered-sweep oscilloscopes, which opened a whole new world of measurement possibilities for me.

    At my permanent duty station after tech school, I was able to lash up a crude time-domain reflectometer (TDR) by driving a large spool of coaxial cable with narrow, fast-rising, pulses and looking for the reflection a few hundred nanoseconds later from the open (or shorted) end. We had top-of-the-line Tektronix 'scopes to "play" with.:D I attached a 100 ohm rheostat to the far end and adjusted it for no reflections. Then I measured the rheostat value to infer the cable impedance. Turned out to be fifty ohms... surprise! surprise!:eek:

    That spool of fancy, Teflon insulated, silver-plated conductor, coax eventually became my Novice amateur radio antenna feed, from my ground-floor barracks room, up inside a rain pipe, to the 80m dipole on the roof above the third story of the barracks. Far as I know it may still be there, but I sure would have liked to take it home with me after my enlistment was up. I haven't seen any coax like it since, and probably couldn't afford to buy it if I did. Very low losses. The center conductor was supported on three Teflon strands woven around it like a Chinese finger puzzle. This in turn was wrapped with two layers of Teflon tape followed by a two layers of silver-plated copper braid and an overall fiberglass outer jacket. Fugedaboutit if you wanted to attach a coaxial connector.
     
    hevans1944, Jan 4, 2017
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  18. Rayregula

    pgib8

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    Highly recommend OWON SDS series. It's not a Mercedes but a heck of a lot of bang for your buck. It's a little more than what you want to spend, I think $350ish but worth the investment. One of the features that I love about it that many other scopes don't have is the optional battery (which I would also recommend for $60ish). It will run for many hours on it, not only is this super convenient at times but also allows you to make isolated measurements (albeit not recommended for safety reasons), without having to spend another scope's worth of money on a differential probe.
     
    pgib8, Jan 4, 2017
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  19. Rayregula

    jimbo

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    Hi Rayregula Buy something basic as you could spend a lot on an Oscilloscope with many facilities that you will never use and do not need. Spend some time learning how to use it safely and how to make the most of its facilities. The main purchase parameters are its bandwidth (the higher the more cost) the number of channels( two should suffice) its storage capacity( digital is much better than analogue), I have used oscilloscopes for over 50 years and now have a Hantek DS05102B 100 MHz, 2 channel, digital storage oscilloscope which is a dream come true after years of lugging around analogue scopes with CRTs which had poor bandwidths and weighed a lot and cost a lot by modern standards. Take time to learn how to use it properly and it will open up a world of mystery to you.
     
    jimbo, Jan 5, 2017
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  20. Rayregula

    elebish

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    You sound just like me when I got started in Elect. I hated high school but ate up tech school and joined the Air Force and became a tech on the F105 in Germany after going through school at Chanute, Ill. I went to work at McDonnell in 66 and McDonnell merged with Boeing in 99. I worked in the labs most of my 38 years in Flight test. Did much work in radio--uhf/vhf/hf along with Telemetry. I have a complete shop with all the goodies including a TEK 2465 400 MHZ scope, TEK 494P spectrum analyzer, 61/2 digit meter, 3 gig HP counter and 3 gig Marconi 2031 RF generator and misc other stuff. Working on equipment keeps me going in my old age. I enjoy reading your articles when imparting your vast experience and knowledge to the younger folks. I think we are a dying breed with all the Chinese smt stuff being made that can't be fixed. Only the boards can be changed which to me is not TS and repair.
    Happy New Year and take care! Ed.
     
    elebish, Jan 5, 2017
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