Anyone have any oscilloscope recommendations?

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

  1. Rayregula

    hevans1944 Hop - AC8NS

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    Yes, it sounds like we trod similar paths. I found high school very boring... except for my junior year at a school in Smyrna, TN, where I had an "old school" chemistry teacher. She believed in a "hands-on, taste, sniff, and smell" kind of chemistry that is verboten today. She encouraged me to submit a science project in the school's annual Science Fair, where I won Grand Prize (still have the nifty plaque somewhere) for a method of chemical titration that involved exciting a solution with RF on external screen mesh electrodes and measuring the resulting RF conductivity as the solution slowly changed pH during the titration. There was a distinct minimum when the pH reached 7 (neutral solution) and continued on from there. I don't remember whether the solution went from acidic to basic, or vice versa, but the dip in RF conductivity was clearly evident. And oh so much cooler than messy Litmus paper.:D

    That won me and some fellow students a trip to Nashville's Peabody College for a State Science Fair, We loaded up our exhibits in the back of our chemistry teacher's beater station wagon and headed off for a day trip to Nashville, where I was terribly outclassed by other students and their "professional looking" exhibits. IIRC, the winner there was a guy who was able to separate "heavy water" or D2O from ordinary water by using electrolysis. It took multiple passes to show any positive results, akin to isotope separation in a centrifuge, but the theory was sound. Kudos to him, but I didn't even garner an "Honorable Mention" from that trip. That same summer I also won (after taking competitive tests) a summer session at an all-expenses-paid physics colloquium held at (then) Western Kentucky State College in Bowling Green, KY. I did well enough that they invited me to enroll as a freshman that fall. It took some convincing of my parents to allow me to skip my senior year of high school to do that.

    My dad wanted me to finish high school in Dayton, OH (where he was going into business with his brother-in-law after retiring from the Air Force that same year) and then apply for admission to MIT. I had no idea what MIT was, but if I did, I probably would have opted for Stanford or Cal Tech instead. I used to like California until it became too crowded and too liberal... lived there twice as an Air Force brat. But at eighteen I knew diddly about higher education. Long story short, I flunked out, but had a wonderful time hanging around a college theater group pretending to know something about stage lighting. Probably should have attended classes instead. Dad was furious, but he let me come "home" to Dayton where I finished high school and got a HS Diploma in 1963. The business was doing great, so I suppose he didn't miss (too much) wasting room, board, and tuition at WKSC instead of at MIT. Certainly less expensive, and I didn't acquire a Boston accent in my speech. I can still speak Kentucky though.

    I have seen and heard tales of what happens to those who "retire" and then vegetate on the front porch in their rocking chair. Dead, usually, a few years later. So I try to remain active both here and at the hobby bench. I will soon have a new electronics lab set up in our Venice, FL home. Maybe I can get a few consulting jobs after that, maybe build some "one off" projects for a paying customer. You gotta keep busy, keep learning, and keep up with the younger generation to stay alive in the 21st Century. Plus, I have access to a nearby beach (one mile from my home) with private parking and a private ferry that runs back and forth to the beach every day except Wednesday and Holidays.

    The beach is technically a public beach on the Gulf side of Manisota Key, separated from my house by the Intracoastal Waterway and two bridges a few miles apart. Hence the need for the ferry, but the nearest roads from either direction end more than a mile away from "my" beach. Some people do park at either end and walk it, because the last ferry departs at sundown every day, and I guess they enjoy the isolation or night fishing or whatever it is people do on the beach after the sun sets.. It's never crowded like the other public beaches on the Gulf Coast, such as Siesta Key in Sarasota. I didn't think I would like Florida after a terrifying experience as a child swimming in the Gulf at St. Petersburg in the 1950s and encountering hundreds of jellyfish on the incoming tide. I managed to get back to shore without getting stung, but vowed to never swim in the ocean (or the Gulf) ever again. Silly, huh? I might venture forth into the Gulf this summer, after the water gets a lot warmer than the 70F it's currently at.o_O
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
    hevans1944, Jan 6, 2017
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  2. Rayregula

    elebish

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    Great story of your start in this field of electronics! I was raised in Pa but lived in MO since 64 and worked at McDonnell since 66. I like the Midwest so much better than PA. Every time I go back to PA to see the folks, I get sick in the stomach to see how the place is falling apart and the businesses are closed. My dad worked at Bethlehem steel and it closed down and so did all the clothing factories and cement mills. Half the people there are on welfare and live in government housing in the converted buildings that used to be factories! Crime is really bad and many of my in-laws there are in law enforcement! This country needs a political revival if we are to survive. Too many politicians only care about themselves and their cushy jobs.
    Got to hit the sack. Must get up in the morning to wire my son-in-laws house. It will be 4 degrees I hear. Not much fun working in a cold house with no insulation and no heat! Take care, Stealth.
     
    elebish, Jan 6, 2017
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  3. Rayregula

    hevans1944 Hop - AC8NS

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    I spent a year in Phoenixville, PA while Dad was recovering from tuberculosis at nearby Valley Forge Army Medical center. After he recovered, his last duty assignment was to an Air Force base near Smyrna, TN. I really liked Pennsylvania when I was there at the end of the 1950s. Had a nice Sunday paper route that provided my first real income, and I was able to salvage electronic parts, including a huge neon sign transformer, from the garbage dump on base. I was literally crushed when we had to move. Years later, while visiting Aydin Controls on business in Fort Washington, I re-visited our rental house in Phoenixville and the high school I briefly attended there. Everything had changed. Very depressing. I left quickly and stopped by Valley Forge National Historic Park (which I had never visited) to cheer me up before driving back home to Dayton. Good bye Pennsylvania. Good bye Ohio. Good bye West (by God) Virginia where I was born amidst the coal fields around Welch. Maybe a politician who is not a professional politician can resurrect their past glory... one can only wish and hope. I will continue to do my small part to help make America great again, just not in the Rust Belt.
     
    hevans1944, Jan 6, 2017
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  4. Rayregula

    elebish

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    You mentioned salvaging parts from a dump on base. We had a huge dump near my home town that many companies dumped their old and unneeded parts including Bell Telephone, Western Electric and some of the local radio stations. I found lots of useful stuff there as long as the night guard didn't chase me away. Nowadays, I do much work for charity and for folks that have little income. I very seldom ever charge for the work I do. I consider myself blessed with a bit of intellect and years of experience and that I can use that to help others. I've installed PA systems in many churches in the area and have not charged them. I also wire homes for people as long as they purchase all the parts. I'm luckier than most. My career has done well for us. I guess I am one of those deplorables and glad I am! We have 8 children, all very successful. Three have their own business, two school teachers in private schools, one just started working for a German laser medical company and will leave tomorrow for Germany to attend their school (80k a year) and will be working as a field service engineer in the St Louis area. One boy is a civil service engineer and one girl is a graphics designer. We all attend church every Sunday and every Holy day. I think that helps to hold a family together. I'm so proud of all of them!
    Judging by all you told me, you will help in leaving this world a better place someday. What else could one ask for? Take care hevans1944! Ed.
     
    elebish, Jan 7, 2017
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  5. Rayregula

    darren adcock

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    Just to add, being a bit of an oscilloscopephobe the JYE really helped me learn. Easy and straight forward. Doesn't like battery power too much though.
     
    darren adcock, Jan 10, 2017
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