Do I need an oscillosocope?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Markza, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. Markza

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 19, 2012
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    I'm new to the hobby and just wanted to know what test equipment I need for a test I'm trying to do. Basically I want to find the time difference between two inputs. I have a 12V air control valve and a 5V pressure sensor. I want to engage the air valve and find the time it takes for the pressure sensor to trigger a certain voltage, according to the manufacturer it should be under 15ms, basically from the time of engagement to the sensor detects it. Can the newer digital oscilloscopes take screenshots/freeze frames or calculate the time of two different input triggers? I only have about $400 to spend too.
     
  2. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
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    After just reading your question I wanted to say "yes." A good scope will allow you to literally see things you could only imagine. An analog scope excels in periodic signals, those that happen over and over. Digital scopes can capture a single event and display it forever. The latest scopes have huge memories to store several seconds of information thus allowing you to see things that happen *before* the trigger fires.

    So yes, measuring a 15 mS interval is fallin' off a log simple for a digital scope. You may be able to see it on an analog scope too, but getting a precise measurement is troublesome.
     
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  3. BillO

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 24, 2008
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    Just to add to Ernie's reply, you can easily buy something like a 100MHz dual-trace digital storage scope for your $400. If you have it to spend, and you plan to be involved in electronics has a hobby or as a vocation, you will not regret the expenditure.
     
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  4. Dodgydave

    Distinguished Member

    Jun 22, 2012
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    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
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  5. Markza

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 19, 2012
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    I was thinking of getting the "Owon, SDS6062 60MHz 500MS/s 10Mpt 2-Ch Oscilloscope" plus it seems to have a lot of extras that I can use further down the road. Do you think this is a good oscilloscope for my current needs. I found it for $349 @ Saelig.com
     
  6. BillO

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 24, 2008
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    That Owon is based on the same internal hardware as dozens of scopes. There are many, many happy users around the world with such scopes and it's features and user-interface are pretty well standard, with only the firmware being much different from brand to brand. I'd say you can't go far wrong with it. I have a nearly identical 100MHz UNI-T scope that does what I needed a storage scope to do. It's not comparable to $5000 Tek, but then it did not cost $5000 either.
     
  7. Austin Clark

    Member

    Dec 28, 2011
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    I recently purchased my first scope from that same site. I got the 1 GS/s, 100 MHz dual channel model. Definitely worth the money. I actually measured, somewhat roughly, the speed of light with it. It's pretty incredible. It's a good bet for you I think. It was for me.
     
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