Basic Oscilloscope

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tomorrowstops
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Basic Oscilloscope

Post by tomorrowstops » Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:43 pm

I probably ought to have one of these. Recommendations? I'd prefer not to spend an arm and a leg.

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meatballfulton
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Re: Basic Oscilloscope

Post by meatballfulton » Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:42 pm

Whatever turns up cheap on Craigslist, for audio stuff almost anything will do.

I have no idea what today's going rate is but my scope (an ancient all-tube Tektronix that was $$$$$$$$$ when new) was only $20 including 3 probes.

You should be able to find something for $50 or less.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Re: Basic Oscilloscope

Post by tomorrowstops » Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:53 pm

Cool, that's good to know. Anything I need to watch out for/not get? I've never used one...obviously :?

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Re: Basic Oscilloscope

Post by synthparts » Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:16 am

I would go for a solid state scope from the 80s or later, 20Mhz or better, Leader, HP, Tektronix, B&K, Hitachi... Stay away from those ancient tube ones unless you really want a boat anchor...
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Re: Basic Oscilloscope

Post by meatballfulton » Fri Apr 04, 2014 2:19 pm

synthparts makes a good point.

I love my tube Tek (was what I used to see in labs at college and my first few engineering jobs) but it is huge, the size of a large suitcase. Makes a good space heater, too ;)
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Re: Basic Oscilloscope

Post by pflosi » Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:35 pm

If you wanna display CV, you probably want one that has storage... Or a digital one.

Having more than one channel is always useful.

And XY-mode is funky as well :mrgreen:

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Re: Basic Oscilloscope

Post by meatballfulton » Fri Apr 04, 2014 4:24 pm

pflosi wrote:If you wanna display CV, you probably want one that has storage
Depends on the CV...pitch is stepwise (doesn't change again until you play a new key...all you need is a voltmeter!)...same with gate...and LFOs are periodic. If you want to watch EGs yes storage is helpful but more $$$$ Personally I have never missed it.

Of course you can make EGs periodic by triggering with a sequenced loop...there's always a way :headbang:
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Re: Basic Oscilloscope

Post by synthroom » Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:40 pm

I bought one of these last year:

http://www.rigolna.com/products/digital ... e/ds1102e/

For $400, it seems like a pretty good deal. I don't expect it will last as long as a Tek or HP unit, but for the price, it looks pretty good. The display is a lot nicer than the old tube displays, and it can do fun stuff like FFT and storage, and it can connect to a PC (which I have not tried yet). And it's small and light.
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Re: Basic Oscilloscope

Post by Audity » Sat Apr 05, 2014 3:39 am

Used Tek or Agilent off eBay would be just fine. Tek 465s are a dime a dozen and built like a tank. I use a Tek 2245A at work and really like it. There is a certain appeal to the analog display for looking at analog and continuously variable voltages. Some (like the 2245) will have basic cursors or measurement options too. But BEWARE, the used o-scope market is a dangerous place. Don't even bother looking at a listing unless the seller has pics of the scope powered on AND displaying a waveform of some sort (preferably the scope's own calibration waveform). Too many things that can go wrong, and you want to make sure you aren't getting a lemon!
As far as bandwidth, 20MHz is plenty for audio work, but for the little extra money it's almost worth getting a 100MHz scope just to have it.

Now, if you're end goal is serious design and analysis work, I'd HIGHLY reccomend a digital scope. You can get a basic one for the same price as a used Tektronix. I just got a Siglent SDS1102CNL for my bench at home and I LOVE it. The LCD screen and its realitively slow (compared to a CRT) refresh rate does take some getting used to. But a digital scope like this will allow you to take very precise measurements, as well as save data for future analysis or sharing. The Rigols look nice too. Apples and oranges I spose.

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Re: Basic Oscilloscope

Post by HideawayStudio » Sun Apr 06, 2014 3:00 pm

I simply cannot recommend more strongly the Rigol DS1052E 50MHz Dual Channel Digital Scope - it is truly amazing value for money considering what it is.

The on screen display supports a whole heap of useful measurements including RMS voltages, duty cycle, period, frequency etc - perfect for working on synths and analysing audio.

The duty cycle function has been a godsend whilst calibrating the Rhodes Chroma.

It even supports basic spectrum analysis and has two USB sockets - one for printing to and one for saving screen shots to a memory stick.

Really clear colour display and decent build quality too.

http://www.rigol-uk.co.uk/Rigol-Digital ... 0Fd-3lOWzk

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Re: Basic Oscilloscope

Post by Synthetech » Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:03 pm

I recently picked up a Tektronix 466 analog storage 100MHz scope(late model) with the dm44 DMM built into the top of it for $150 shipped.

Image

I was shooting for a 465B, but this is even better since it has storage and a meter.

Be very careful buying used on eBay. Only buy if they guarantee it to function properly.
There's way too many obscure listings like, "Powers On".

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Re: Basic Oscilloscope

Post by tomorrowstops » Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:47 pm

Awesome guys, thanks for the advice. I'm liking the looks of that Rigol unit for sure. I'd love to spend closer to that $150 mark though. If I could find a deal like you did, synthetech, I'd be all over it.

Hmm...

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Re: Basic Oscilloscope

Post by Dr. Phibes » Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:20 am

I've just got one of the old hamegs that populated many a UK physics department in the 80s although (fortunately) I don't think mine ever experienced classroom life - it's in far too good a condition.

Size of two breezeblocks though and about the same weight come to think of it.

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Re: Basic Oscilloscope

Post by Synthetech » Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:28 am

That 466 was actually my 2nd attempt at procuring a scope.

First time I tried to get one was a smaller Hitachi scope that was eBay listed without pics of it working.. ended up the seller did not pack it worth a sh!t and by the time it made it to my front porch, the CRT had metal/glass clinking around in it and the raster scan was deformed.
EBay sided with me and gave me a full refund for the $77 I spent on it. Returned the bad scope at the PO or sellers cost. He insured it, but the PO denied his claim due to poor packing.

I think I scoped the bay for 2 months, including time spent on that 1st one, before I landed a decent one that I felt confident enough with the listing and seller.
There's deals to be had. I was dead set to get a decent scope for $150. Or the best scope possible for $150.
The 466 retailed at around $6,700 back in the mid 80's. Think I did OK.
The storage feature on it is not the best capture unit out there, but it gets me by for now.

Stay clear of the early digital CRT units. I've not heard much good about them. Something about CCD's in them go bad and are not cheap to replace.

Search often, try to find a good listing with a decent BIN price. Thats how I ended up with the 466. When a good scope like a 465B or 466 is auctioned, they typically end going for just under $200.
If you can get one local, even better so you can see it working before you buy.

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Re: Basic Oscilloscope

Post by Audity » Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:08 pm

Awesome guys, thanks for the advice. I'm liking the looks of that Rigol unit for sure. I'd love to spend closer to that $150 mark though.
Have you looked at any of the Owon or Hantek digital oscilloscopes? Not quite as well specd or sturdily built as the Rigol, but they are a bit more affordable, and would probably be fine for a first unit. Check out YouTube, there are very detailed video reviews for all of these brands and will help you find the best one for you.
I started out looking at these two brands, with about $150 in mind too. Eventually the video reviews convinced me to just bite the bullet and save up for that Siglent lol.

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