Got some new equipment, Is it decent?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by drbenne, May 17, 2015.

  1. drbenne

    Thread Starter Member

    Jul 30, 2013
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    Hi guys,

    So today I answered an ad about some equipment once owned by an electrical engineer that recently passed away. Looking at the pictures I spotted an O-scope which I had been looking to get for the longest time (not this particular one, but just one in general).

    The family was asking $300 which I didn't think was too bad (ebay had it listed for $1000, give or take a few hundred)

    After returning from withdrawing the money, the family asked if there was anything else that I wanted. I expressed interest in the function generator and multimeter but wouldn't be able to afford anything else until next payday.

    They were adament about ensuring that the equipment go to good use rather than them having to scrap it. They tried donating it but no one would accept it. So they said go ahead and just take the meter, the function generator and another o-scope that was sitting in the shed collecting dust. (they didn't know that it was another o-scope until I explained it to them and told them how much they could probably get for it).

    After reading some reviews it seems that the portable Tektronix TDS 2014 isn't all that great and the Tektronix 485 is a bit dated. So I'm wondering what some of you think about the quality of these scopes and if this was a good deal or should I start looking for something better.

    Items that I received:
    Tektronix TDS 2014
    Tektronix 485
    HP 3435A Digital Multimeter
    Circuitmate Function Generator FG2
    A whole bookshelf of books on Electronics Engineering

    some pics: 20150517_202929[1].jpg 20150517_202729[1].jpg
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
  2. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    TDS2014 for $300!
    I'll take it.
     
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  3. drbenne

    Thread Starter Member

    Jul 30, 2013
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    The TDS 2014 is in great condition. I found all the books and software for it and the probes that came with it still in it's wrapping. The 485 was a bit dusty and the front screen is cracked. It seems to be working fine on initial inspection but I'll have to fiddle with it more to ensure it's working properly.
     
  4. AnalogKid

    Distinguished Member

    Aug 1, 2013
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    I'm not a big fan of Tek's early digital scopes, too much attitude between the input and the display. But their later ones are ok once you learn how to interpret their images. The 485, OTOH, is a gem. It is the successor to the 465, one of the greatest scopes in Tek's history. The HP meter is excellent. You got a great deal.

    ak
     
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  5. drbenne

    Thread Starter Member

    Jul 30, 2013
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    Thanks AK, good to know about the 485. It even came with a nifty stand! :cool:
     
  6. dl324

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 30, 2015
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    Congrats on your Tek scope deal; like the phosphor color on the 485. I use my 100 and 200 MHz analog Tek scopes more than I do my 1GS/S HP digital. When I want to use a digital scope, I put a 7d20 plug-in in one of my 7000 series mainframes. But I still prefer analog and they're easier to work on...

    It doesn't seem to be a good time to buy Tek scopes on eBay. It goes in cycles and sellers seem to be asking unreasonable prices now. Asking several hundred for parts scopes...
     
  7. Hypatia's Protege

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 1, 2015
    2,800
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    That'll be a gold star for @drbenne!!! :D:D:D

    And, it seems, you've verified 'Karma' to wit: IMNSHO a TDS2014 in good condition is a "snip" at twice the price! :)

    Best regards
    HP
     
  8. AnalogKid

    Distinguished Member

    Aug 1, 2013
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    You paid for the stand and stole everything else.

    ak
     
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  9. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    Sure, some of the equipment may be a bit dated, but as long as it's still in spec you got a heck of a deal! I paid $300 for a Rigol 2-channel scope, so you practically stole the rest! Great work! Make sure you thank the people who "sold" you the goods! They just gave up $1500+ (maybe even $2000+) worth of equipment for $300!
     
  10. Roderick Young

    Member

    Feb 22, 2015
    408
    168
    Indeed, you got a great deal, and so did the seller, who wanted to honor the departed's legacy by having the equipment put to good use!

    But I should also say, that making a purchase, then asking whether you got a good deal, is a bit like asking friends whether your wife is pretty.
     
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  11. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    DerStrom8 means figuratively speaking. You don't actually want want to thank them because they will feel like fools letting you have that equipment for a fraction of what they could have gotten otherwise.
     
  12. dl324

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 30, 2015
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    It has been my experience that Tek equipment doesn't require calibration anywhere near as much as recommended. I was just checking some of my scopes that were last calibrated 10-15 years ago and they were well within specs. Many calibration items are only within 4%. I tweaked them to be much tighter; just for fun...;)
     
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  13. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    I would thank them for their generosity. No need to tell them how generous they were :D:p
     
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  14. drbenne

    Thread Starter Member

    Jul 30, 2013
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    I did thank them generously so no worries there. Plus they said they wanted all the stuff gone last week so there was an urgency to get the equipment to someone that would use it, otherwise it was going to scrap. Trust me, there was a ton of other stuff that I couldn't take just because of the amount of space it would take up in my small apt. Most of it was pretty old, desktops, boards, chips, components. It was pretty disheartening to see this person's life work just sitting there with no where to go.

    And Roderick, I'll send you a pic of my wife ;)
     
  15. ian field

    Distinguished Member

    Oct 27, 2012
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    Years ago I won a Tek 465 because it was dead, I patted it on the side and the trace came up - its worked fine ever since.

    A manual came with it, but how to get inside still remains a mystery!
     
  16. ian field

    Distinguished Member

    Oct 27, 2012
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    [putting on stripy jumper and face mask while reaching for flashlight and jemmy bar].
     
  17. AnalogKid

    Distinguished Member

    Aug 1, 2013
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    I've been into a lot of gear over the years, and as a class of of designs, *nothing* can approach the obtuse complexity of Tek power supplies. Scopes, signal generators, broadcast sync gear - whatever; the internal supplies are a wonder and a bear.

    ak
     
  18. drbenne

    Thread Starter Member

    Jul 30, 2013
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    After messing around a bit in testing the functions of each piece of equipment it appears that the multimeter isn't functioning correctly and the 485 is out of calibration among other things which is probably why it was just sitting in the shed collecting dust.

    Anyone have any experience in repairing these particular pieces? Obviously the first thing is to hunt down the service manuals.

    For the 485, the calibration is the obvious problem. It's reading a bit high, about +1.5 V. Also, in viewing signals from the generator, a second signal appears that is out of phase and inverted from the original signal. I tested the generator on the TDS 2014 and it looked fine so I'm pretty sure it's not the generator.

    The second signal is dimmer and pulses with the same amplitude and frequency. I thought it was just an inversion function that went wonky but the inversion switch is on channel 2. When I adjust the trigger level toward either peak the signals converge toward the same phase. It does it on both rising and falling slopes and on both Ch. 1 and 2.. that is until ch. 2 stopped working today altogether.

    For the multimeter, it turns on but it's not giving me any readings in any range for both voltage and resistance. Haven't tested the ammeter function.


    Here's a picture of the 485 with the inverted signal:
    20150519_183742[1].jpg
     
  19. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    Don't panic. All fixable.

    1) The second faint trace is a trigger issue. Easily remedied.
    2) The multimeter needs a new fuse.

    In future, please ask one question at a time.
     
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  20. ian field

    Distinguished Member

    Oct 27, 2012
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    Scopes are usually out of calibration - unless it has a recent calibration sticker, its best to verify frequency and amplitude with better suited instruments.

    In my workshop, the scopes are just for examining what waveforms look like.
     
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