# Oscilloscpe purchase

A

#### Abstract Dissonance

Jan 1, 1970
0
I'm looking to buy an oscilloscope and I don't really know where to start.
One thing I definately will not do is buy ones from an auction
house(specially from ebay).

I'm not sure if I should go with a new or used one. I'm maybe willing to
spend upwards of 1000$but rather spend the least amount I can(obviously). Since I'm not a professional I don't need the latest and greatest but I'd like to get something that I will grow out of in a few months(or even a few years). I'm thinking, for now atleast, I need a bandwidth of atleast 1MHz. Right now I'm looking on tektronix web site and the cheapest one I can find is about 850$. Its the TDS1000 and has a bandwidth of about 40MHz.

What I would really like to have is a logic analyzer and an oscilloscope(and
it would be nice even to get the other stuff like signal generators and
spectrum analyzers, etc...). I'd probably rather get used equipment but I'm
afraid that I cannot find something easily that is decent(i.e., won't die in
3 weeks of use) and isn't an antique that won't do me any good.

Can someone point me in the right direction so I can get a start into
finding something that will work? (Several people have mentioned getting
stuff but most of it has been from ebay.... I will not purchase from ebay
because I don't like the company for its business pratices. (so don't bitch
about it, ok? ). Also don't mention hamfests cause there are none around
me for several months(atleast according to some site I checked.) The closest
one is like 300 miles away and is in a month or so... unless, ofcourse, you
are sure the drive and wait is worth it(i.e., getting a good, cheap, and
working oscilloscope/other stuff)...

I've seen a few sites that are selling used oscilloscopes but they seem a
little shoddy. I'm just not sure where to look and, ofcourse, if I buy new
then I'll be paying out the but for something that I might not end up using
to its fullest along not having the budget for other things that I probably
need.

Thanks,
Jon

R

#### Rich Webb

Jan 1, 1970
0
I'm looking to buy an oscilloscope and I don't really know where to start.
One thing I definately will not do is buy ones from an auction
house(specially from ebay).

I'm not sure if I should go with a new or used one. I'm maybe willing to
spend upwards of 1000$but rather spend the least amount I can(obviously). Since I'm not a professional I don't need the latest and greatest but I'd like to get something that I will grow out of in a few months(or even a few years). I'm thinking, for now atleast, I need a bandwidth of atleast 1MHz. Right now I'm looking on tektronix web site and the cheapest one I can find is about 850$. Its the TDS1000 and has a bandwidth of about 40MHz.

An o'scope is an investment -- although you don't need to invest $20K in one -- and any one of the TDS scopes would be a good choice. I've had a TDS220 for years as a "home" scope and it's great. What I would really like to have is a logic analyzer PC-based o'scopes are no comparison to the little Tek scopes BUT you can do quite well for a PC-based logic analyzer. My favorite is a relative newcomer to the field, the LogicPort. Info (with demo software) at http://www.pctestinstruments.com/index.htm. R #### Rheilly Phoull Jan 1, 1970 0 Abstract Dissonance said: I'm looking to buy an oscilloscope and I don't really know where to start. One thing I definately will not do is buy ones from an auction house(specially from ebay). I'm not sure if I should go with a new or used one. I'm maybe willing to spend upwards of 1000$ but rather spend the least amount I can(obviously).
Since I'm not a professional I don't need the latest and greatest but I'd
like to get something that I will grow out of in a few months(or even a
few years). I'm thinking, for now atleast, I need a bandwidth of atleast
1MHz.

Right now I'm looking on tektronix web site and the cheapest one I can
find is about 850$. Its the TDS1000 and has a bandwidth of about 40MHz. What I would really like to have is a logic analyzer and an oscilloscope(and it would be nice even to get the other stuff like signal generators and spectrum analyzers, etc...). I'd probably rather get used equipment but I'm afraid that I cannot find something easily that is decent(i.e., won't die in 3 weeks of use) and isn't an antique that won't do me any good. Can someone point me in the right direction so I can get a start into finding something that will work? (Several people have mentioned getting stuff but most of it has been from ebay.... I will not purchase from ebay because I don't like the company for its business pratices. (so don't bitch about it, ok? ). Also don't mention hamfests cause there are none around me for several months(atleast according to some site I checked.) The closest one is like 300 miles away and is in a month or so... unless, ofcourse, you are sure the drive and wait is worth it(i.e., getting a good, cheap, and working oscilloscope/other stuff)... I've seen a few sites that are selling used oscilloscopes but they seem a little shoddy. I'm just not sure where to look and, ofcourse, if I buy new then I'll be paying out the but for something that I might not end up using to its fullest along not having the budget for other things that I probably need. Thanks, Jon Go buy one at DSE or Jaycar, since you say you want to grow out of it in a few months . For a starter one of such would serve you quite a while while you save up for the logic analyser which would be a serious outlay !! C #### Chris Jan 1, 1970 0 Abstract said: I'm looking to buy an oscilloscope and I don't really know where to start. One thing I definately will not do is buy ones from an auction house(specially from ebay). I'm not sure if I should go with a new or used one. I'm maybe willing to spend upwards of 1000$ but rather spend the least amount I can(obviously).
Since I'm not a professional I don't need the latest and greatest but I'd
like to get something that I will grow out of in a few months(or even a few
years). I'm thinking, for now atleast, I need a bandwidth of atleast 1MHz.

Right now I'm looking on tektronix web site and the cheapest one I can find
is about 850$. Its the TDS1000 and has a bandwidth of about 40MHz. What I would really like to have is a logic analyzer and an oscilloscope(and it would be nice even to get the other stuff like signal generators and spectrum analyzers, etc...). I'd probably rather get used equipment but I'm afraid that I cannot find something easily that is decent(i.e., won't die in 3 weeks of use) and isn't an antique that won't do me any good. Can someone point me in the right direction so I can get a start into finding something that will work? (Several people have mentioned getting stuff but most of it has been from ebay.... I will not purchase from ebay because I don't like the company for its business pratices. (so don't bitch about it, ok? ). Also don't mention hamfests cause there are none around me for several months(atleast according to some site I checked.) The closest one is like 300 miles away and is in a month or so... unless, ofcourse, you are sure the drive and wait is worth it(i.e., getting a good, cheap, and working oscilloscope/other stuff)... I've seen a few sites that are selling used oscilloscopes but they seem a little shoddy. I'm just not sure where to look and, ofcourse, if I buy new then I'll be paying out the but for something that I might not end up using to its fullest along not having the budget for other things that I probably need. Thanks, Jon Hi, Jon. I'm hearing you say you want to buy a new scope. I'd try to beg or buy a used one first -- you should ask around. There's probably a good working scope sitting idle in someone's basement in your neighborhood. Ask around, particularly for older TV/Radio repair guys. But it might be best for you to buy new at this point, because it sounds like you'd be more comfortable with something new, and also you don't have the electronics background to be repairing things just yet. About 20 years ago, my scope got lost in baggage, and I just needed something to do a service call on a machine. I bought a low-end 40MHz dual trace Gold Star (now known as EZ Digital) analog scope. I've still got it as a spare (it's a little big for service calls), and it still works fine. I've had to repair it once (my fault). EZ Digital makes a number of good, reliable analog dual trace starter scopes. I would be looking at the OS5XXX, with the choice depending on your price range. Any of them would be a good first scope, but the more you spend, the more capabilities you have. The OS5030 is a 30 MHz dual trace analog that's available for less than$400 new from at least
one source. If you're feeling a little more free with the bucks, the
OS5040 is a 40MHz scope with delay (you can usually cobble together a
delayed external trigger circuit if you really have to on the OS5030),
and is available for less than $600. Either one would be a good choice. I'd pick the OS5030 myself. If you've got a budget of$1000, you can buy either of these scopes,
buy a couple of linear power supplies for your bench and a good DMM,
along with a good soldering iron and a protoboard, and spend the rest
on whatever you can find at the hamfests that are coming along. You'll
be "good to go".

If you spend a lot of time in electronics, you'll probably eventually
need another scope. But you'd be amazed at how seldom you actually
have to have a digital storage scope. A 30 MHz scope will show
something on the CRT at frequencies far above that, and "something" is
frequently all you need.

Just don't get one of those multi-function scopes with all kinds of
other gadgets built in. They're a pain to fix.

Good luck
Chris

E

#### ehsjr

Jan 1, 1970
0
Abstract said:
I'm looking to buy an oscilloscope and I don't really know where to start.
One thing I definately will not do is buy ones from an auction
house(specially from ebay).

I'm not sure if I should go with a new or used one. I'm maybe willing to
spend upwards of 1000$but rather spend the least amount I can(obviously). Since I'm not a professional I don't need the latest and greatest but I'd like to get something that I will grow out of in a few months(or even a few years). I'm thinking, for now atleast, I need a bandwidth of atleast 1MHz. Right now I'm looking on tektronix web site and the cheapest one I can find is about 850$. Its the TDS1000 and has a bandwidth of about 40MHz.

What I would really like to have is a logic analyzer and an oscilloscope(and
it would be nice even to get the other stuff like signal generators and
spectrum analyzers, etc...). I'd probably rather get used equipment but I'm
afraid that I cannot find something easily that is decent(i.e., won't die in
3 weeks of use) and isn't an antique that won't do me any good.

Can someone point me in the right direction so I can get a start into
finding something that will work? (Several people have mentioned getting
stuff but most of it has been from ebay.... I will not purchase from ebay
because I don't like the company for its business pratices. (so don't bitch
about it, ok? ). Also don't mention hamfests cause there are none around
me for several months(atleast according to some site I checked.) The closest
one is like 300 miles away and is in a month or so... unless, ofcourse, you
are sure the drive and wait is worth it(i.e., getting a good, cheap, and
working oscilloscope/other stuff)...

I've seen a few sites that are selling used oscilloscopes but they seem a
little shoddy. I'm just not sure where to look and, ofcourse, if I buy new
then I'll be paying out the but for something that I might not end up using
to its fullest along not having the budget for other things that I probably
need.

Thanks,
Jon

They seem to be a decent outfit, and carry a number of
Tek 'scopes like the 465.

Ed

C

#### [email protected]

Jan 1, 1970
0
Abstract said:
I'm looking to buy an oscilloscope and I don't really know where to start.
One thing I definately will not do is buy ones from an auction
house(specially from ebay).

Too bad, ebay is a great place to buy. There is no reason why you cant
bid for a scope thats local to your location then you can go round and
inspect it yourself.
I'm not sure if I should go with a new or used one. I'm maybe willing to
spend upwards of 1000$but rather spend the least amount I can(obviously). Since I'm not a professional I don't need the latest and greatest but I'd like to get something that I will grow out of in a few months(or even a few years). I'm thinking, for now atleast, I need a bandwidth of atleast 1MHz. You'll need a lot more than 1Mhz, I wouldn't look at anything less than 60Mhz. What I would really like to have is a logic analyzer and an oscilloscope(and it would be nice even to get the other stuff like signal generators and spectrum analyzers, etc...). I'd probably rather get used equipment but I'm afraid that I cannot find something easily that is decent(i.e., won't die in 3 weeks of use) and isn't an antique that won't do me any good. Agilent (HP) do a mixed signal scope, 2 analoge channels plus 16 digital, don't get the earlier version if you do alot of slow speed work. P #### Phil Allison Jan 1, 1970 0 "Abstract Dissonance" I'm looking to buy an oscilloscope and I don't really know where to start. One thing I definately will not do is buy ones from an auction house(specially from ebay). I'm not sure if I should go with a new or used one. I'm maybe willing to spend upwards of 1000$ but rather spend the least amount I can(obviously).
Since I'm not a professional I don't need the latest and greatest but I'd
like to get something that I will grow out of in a few months(or even a
few years). I'm thinking, for now atleast, I need a bandwidth of atleast
1MHz.

** One like this will give you a lot of test equipment mileage for very few
dollars.

http://www.dse.com.au/cgi-bin/dse.storefront/43fd5edb058c47cc2740c0a87f9c071f/Product/View/Q1803

........ Phil

D

#### David L. Jones

Jan 1, 1970
0
Abstract said:
I'm looking to buy an oscilloscope and I don't really know where to start.
One thing I definately will not do is buy ones from an auction
house(specially from ebay).

Why not?
Some excellent deals are to be had on eBay, and many companies selling
them on there are legitiment test equipment refurbishers and will
provide a warranty and guarantee it's performance etc.
I'm not sure if I should go with a new or used one. I'm maybe willing to
spend upwards of 1000$but rather spend the least amount I can(obviously). Since I'm not a professional I don't need the latest and greatest but I'd like to get something that I will grow out of in a few months(or even a few years). I'm thinking, for now atleast, I need a bandwidth of atleast 1MHz. Start out small and work your way up. Only then will you know what your true requirements are. Right now I'm looking on tektronix web site and the cheapest one I can find is about 850$. Its the TDS1000 and has a bandwidth of about 40MHz.

That is OK for the money, but read my notes below. You'll want a real
analog scope too.
What I would really like to have is a logic analyzer and an oscilloscope(and
it would be nice even to get the other stuff like signal generators and
spectrum analyzers, etc...).

Agilent do the only decent "mixed-signal" (scope+logic analyser) scope
on the market, but it's well out of your price range.
I'd probably rather get used equipment but I'm
afraid that I cannot find something easily that is decent(i.e., won't die in
3 weeks of use) and isn't an antique that won't do me any good.

Get a used one, you'll save real $$and get a higher performance unit for the price. Can someone point me in the right direction so I can get a start into finding something that will work? (Several people have mentioned getting stuff but most of it has been from ebay.... I will not purchase from ebay because I don't like the company for its business pratices. (so don't bitch about it, ok? ). Seriously, get over it :-> There are plenty of 2nd hand test equipment suppliers around, and many of them now sell on eBay as well. If you are US based then you are spoiled for choice. Even here in Australia we have a cople of 2nd hand scope dealers, the US seemingly has hundreds. I have heard people in the US buying scopes by the pallet load! Also don't mention hamfests cause there are none around me for several months(atleast according to some site I checked.) The closest one is like 300 miles away and is in a month or so... unless, ofcourse, you are sure the drive and wait is worth it(i.e., getting a good, cheap, and working oscilloscope/other stuff)... I've seen a few sites that are selling used oscilloscopes but they seem a little shoddy. I'm just not sure where to look and, ofcourse, if I buy new then I'll be paying out the but for something that I might not end up using to its fullest along not having the budget for other things that I probably need. Thanks, Jon Here is what you need to do: 1) *essential* - Buy a cheap 2nd hand analog oscilloscope (20MHz will do for starters, but a 100MHz one would be nice). New analog scopes of any decent bandwidth offer poor value for money to someone in your position. 2) Buy a new PC based USB logic analyser/scope. BitScope is one such example, but there are plenty around now, just check the ads in magazines like Circuit Cellar. They cost several hundred dollars upwards. It will give you a logic analyser as well as a digital storage scope and spectum analyser. The sample memory it has the better. A few KB sucks, 32KB is useful, several hundred KB to a MB is great. More memory allow you to zoom in to see packets of digital data etc - very handy. Dave D #### David L. Jones Jan 1, 1970 0 David said: Why not? Some excellent deals are to be had on eBay, and many companies selling them on there are legitiment test equipment refurbishers and will provide a warranty and guarantee it's performance etc. Start out small and work your way up. Only then will you know what your true requirements are. That is OK for the money, but read my notes below. You'll want a real analog scope too. Agilent do the only decent "mixed-signal" (scope+logic analyser) scope on the market, but it's well out of your price range. Get a used one, you'll save real$$$and get a higher performance unit for the price. Seriously, get over it :-> There are plenty of 2nd hand test equipment suppliers around, and many of them now sell on eBay as well. If you are US based then you are spoiled for choice. Even here in Australia we have a cople of 2nd hand scope dealers, the US seemingly has hundreds. I have heard people in the US buying scopes by the pallet load! Here is what you need to do: 1) *essential* - Buy a cheap 2nd hand analog oscilloscope (20MHz will do for starters, but a 100MHz one would be nice). New analog scopes of any decent bandwidth offer poor value for money to someone in your position. 2) Buy a new PC based USB logic analyser/scope. BitScope is one such example, but there are plenty around now, just check the ads in magazines like Circuit Cellar. They cost several hundred dollars upwards. It will give you a logic analyser as well as a digital storage scope and spectum analyser. The sample memory it has the better. A few KB sucks, 32KB is useful, several hundred KB to a MB is great. More memory allow you to zoom in to see packets of digital data etc - very handy. Dave I forgot to add *why* you need a higher bandwidth analog scope like 100MHz+... If you are viewing digital signals (or anything other than a sinusoidal wave), a 20MHz scope *won't* display any detail in a 20MHz signal, so it can become quite limiting for anything but "seeing if a signal is there or not" at those sorts of frequencies. Dave B #### blah Jan 1, 1970 0 Here is what you need to do: I forgot to add *why* you need a higher bandwidth analog scope like 100MHz+... If you are viewing digital signals (or anything other than a sinusoidal wave), a 20MHz scope *won't* display any detail in a 20MHz signal, so it can become quite limiting for anything but "seeing if a signal is there or not" at those sorts of frequencies. Blah, blah, blah... Analog scopes suck. If analog scopes were so good, why don't Agilent, Tektronix, LeCroy, or any of the real scope manufacturers still make them? You, like many, are confusing sampling rate and bandwidth. First, you are making the mistaken assertion that sampling rate is twice the bandwidth, and hence if you are using a 20MHz scope, you will not see more than 2 points per period. This simply isn't true. Many scopes that can't achieve very high sample rates, will use equivalent time sampling to sample the same signal repeatedly with slight time offsets achieving quite good resolution. Second, if you have a 20MHz scope that means the bandwidth of the scope is 20MHz. Signals that are greater than 20MHz will be rolled off, so a 20MHz square wave will look like a sine wave or closer to it than square to begin with and this applies to both analog and digital scopes. Digital scopes and analog scopes each have respective advantages. However, analog scopes advantages are only advantages when compared against crappy low-end or ancient digital scopes. Modern (good quality) digital scopes will readily outperform any 100MHz analog scope, let alone a 20MHz scope at virtually all applications. In some cases, where you are concerned about glitches, complicated triggering patterns, and one shots, there simply is no substitute for a digital scope. Digital scopes can also provide better persistence features, FFTs, frequency measurements, etc. P #### Phil Allison Jan 1, 1970 0 "blah" = another Yank compewter geek fuckwit Blah, blah, blah... Analog scopes suck. ** Digital scopes suck big time - for nearly all analogue work. If analog scopes were so good, why don't Agilent, Tektronix, LeCroy, or any of the real scope manufacturers still make them? ** For the bloody obvious reason Asian scope makers beat them hollow on price. Digital scopes and analog scopes each have respective advantages. However, analog scopes advantages are only advantages when compared against crappy low-end or ancient digital scopes. ** Absolute BULLSHIT. ......... Phil D #### David L. Jones Jan 1, 1970 0 blah said: Blah, blah, blah... Analog scopes suck. If analog scopes were so good, why don't Agilent, Tektronix, LeCroy, or any of the real scope manufacturers still make them? It is because the asian manufactuers can make them at a lower price. There probably isn't enough margin in it for the big names any more. You, like many, are confusing sampling rate and bandwidth. I am not confusing anything. I know all about sample rate, bandwidth, equivalent time sampling etc. I have designed several DSOs over the years thank you very much. First, you are making the mistaken assertion that sampling rate is twice the bandwidth, and hence if you are using a 20MHz scope, you will not see more than 2 points per period. This simply isn't true. Many scopes that can't achieve very high sample rates, will use equivalent time sampling to sample the same signal repeatedly with slight time offsets achieving quite good resolution. I know this, and I said nothing about about DSO's and their sample rates! Most scope manufactuers are going away from equivalent time sampling becuase it sucks, they are all going real-time with deep memories, with the sample rate at 10+ times the bandwidth. Only the crap very low end digital scopes and the extremely high end bandwidth scopes use equivalent time sampling these days. The crap ones do it because it's cheap, and the high end ones do it because they have no choice. You'd be silly to buy say a 100MHz DSO with 20MS/s sample rate working in equivalent time. Real-time is the way to go for a general purpose low to medium bandwidth DSO. Equivalent time scopes are of course next to useless for single shot work. Second, if you have a 20MHz scope that means the bandwidth of the scope is 20MHz. Signals that are greater than 20MHz will be rolled off, so a 20MHz square wave will look like a sine wave or closer to it than square to begin with and this applies to both analog and digital scopes. Of course it does, I did not say anything to the contrary. Digital scopes and analog scopes each have respective advantages. However, analog scopes advantages are only advantages when compared against crappy low-end or ancient digital scopes. Exactly!, and that is what we are talking about. The OP can't afford anyting but the crappiest low end DSO with a few KB of memory and the response time of a snail. Modern (good quality) digital scopes will readily outperform any 100MHz analog scope, let alone a 20MHz scope at virtually all applications. Yes, modern DSOs like the Agilent 6000 series are brilliant. Can the OP afford one? - No. In some cases, where you are concerned about glitches, complicated triggering patterns, and one shots, there simply is no substitute for a digital scope. Digital scopes can also provide better persistence features, FFTs, frequency measurements, etc. Of course. But the OP has a total budget of$1000 and wants a logic analyser too,
you recon he should blow it on the crapiest low end DSO he can get?
He would be *much* better served by a nice 100MHz analog scope for
repetative work and a PC based DSO/logic anlyser for single shot work.
He'd likely still have change from his $1000 too. Dave J #### John Fields Jan 1, 1970 0 "blah" = another Yank compewter geek fuckwit --- Like you've got someone in Oz who's building world class scopes? --- ** Digital scopes suck big time - for nearly all analogue work. --- Hmmm... Really??? I've got an HP54602 which can run rings around my Tek 2465 when it comes to displaying an FFT. P #### Phil Allison Jan 1, 1970 0 "John Fields" " John Fields Professional Bullshit Artist " ** The psycho Texas jerk off is not even good at that. ......... Phil J #### John Fields Jan 1, 1970 0 "John Fields" " John Fields Professional Bullshit Artist " ** The psycho Texas jerk off is not even good at that. P #### Phil Allison Jan 1, 1970 0 John Fields" " John Fields Professional Bullshit Artist " ** The fuckwit, psychotic Texas jerk off is not even good at that. ......... Phil M #### Michael A. Terrell Jan 1, 1970 0 Phil said: John Fields" " John Fields Professional Bullshit Artist " ** The fuckwit, psychotic Texas jerk off is not even good at that. ........ Phil It looks like that Austrailian parrot is stuck again. Will someone down under please rattle his cage? ;-) -- Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to prove it. Member of DAV #85. Michael A. Terrell Central Florida A #### Abstract Dissonance Jan 1, 1970 0 I'm still not quite sure what to do. looking on ebay I see many logic analyzers for under$100 such as

HP 1650A Logic Analyzer(40$) HP 5000A Logic Analyzer Bitscope USB 100MHz oscilloscope, logic analyzer, & AWG(100$)
Tektronix 3001GPX Logic Analyzer w/opt 1M & P6490 Probe
HP(HEWLETT PACKARD) 1672E LOGIC ANALYZER 68 CHANNELS(229$) and some oscilliscopes such as Tektronix 465 2Ch 100MHz Oscilloscope !!!(50$)
TEKTRONIX 465/OSCILLOSCOPE
TEKTRONIX 2236 OSCILLOSCOPE
Agilent / HP 54112D 100 MHz Digitizing Oscilloscope(100$) TEKTRONIX MODEL 2235 100 MHZ DUAL TRACE OSCILLOSCOPE(160$)

Tektronix 2465 Oscilloscope 300MHz(200$) (the prices are in ascending order) Are any of these good deals?(i.e., good equipment for the money and will get me on my way?) My main concern with ebay is not getting ripped off and not getting something that is broken. I've heard way to many horror stories about ebay and thats the main reason I'm trying to avoid them. HP 8165A Programmable Signal Generator, 1 mHz-10MHz(75$)

Jon

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