Kudos offered, advice requested RE: Tektronics

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Cbntmkr, Mar 2, 2009.

  1. Cbntmkr

    Thread Starter Member

    Mar 2, 2009
    15
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    first of all what a fabulous site. I've been studying electronics via online resources for several months and i have been going through the chapters here without looking up to see the forum button. So here i am!! I'm an enthusiast, playing with microprocessors (mostly by way of arduino ) reading up, and watching open courseware lectures from MIT. I would like to get an oscilloscope and have been drawn to the Tektronics offerings that i see on ebay. I'm wondering if i could get some guidance on what to look for. Models 465 & 468 were suggested as good all around scopes.. agreee? no?
    messing around with microprocessors i guess would be my primary interest...
    with that in mind, what should i look for or avoid?
    Thanks,
    Peter
     
  2. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    15,815
    282
    Depends on the price and your interests. I can recall when the 465 was the absolute top of the line, but that was 40 years ago. More than enough bandwidth for uC's, though.

    Do not get drawn in to a 475, though - the one we had suffered from major switch problems. Really fine instrument in the years while it worked, though.
     
  3. leftyretro

    Active Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    394
    2
    Welcome to the hobby, it's wonderful isn't it? I have been playing with several Arduino modules lately and having a ball learning C.

    About the scope. I worked as a field service engineer on minicomputer systems in the 70s and used mostly a 465 scope. It use to bounce around the trunk of my VW in all kinds of temperatures. Once when having to fly to a different city on short notice I just checked the scope as luggage putting only a little masking tape over the lid. When we landed and waiting for luggage I saw the scope doing somersaults down the luggage ramp. Guess what, never a problem, that scope was gold and worth the thousands it cost new. So if you can find one in good shape with a bright trace and decent probes don't be afraid to be an owner of one of the greatest analog scopes ever made. There are guys that specialize in repairing and restoring them and I've seen forums on the net for tek scope info. Wished I had one today. I presently have a tek 2213 that works great but I'll never forget the 465. The 2213 is somewhat newer then the 465 and is only rated to 60mhz, but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it also, but I don't know if they go for less then a 465 or not.

    Lefty
     
  4. Cbntmkr

    Thread Starter Member

    Mar 2, 2009
    15
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    thanks guys, for the input.
    Lefty, your comment reminds me of another question I have about those scopes. The probes.
    I've read in places that the probes can cost hundreds of dollars, yet all the probes i see listed on ebay seem to be around the $20 range, what's up with that?
    Peter
     
  5. leftyretro

    Active Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    394
    2
    The quality of scope probes is all over the map and the name brand ones did cost hundreds when new. The better probes made by Tek or HP were precision instruments in their own right. The have internal compensation components often with an adjustable cap that you adjusted so that square waves would have nice straight corners, as the probe had to match the input impedance of the input amps in the scope. At lower frequencies it isn't as much an issue and most probes will work OK, but if say you want to see the real shape of a 45mhz square wave you better have something decent. Keep in mind most probes come in a X1 and X10 style, in that the X10 attenuates the signal by 10. This allows less loading on the circuit being probed by raising the input impedance of the scope by 10. Not as important for scoping logic circuits but high impedance RF circuits it's a bigger deal. Many people were pretty hard on their probes and it's not unusual to find used ones not functioning even thought they look fine externally.

    Lefty
     
  6. bigwelsh21

    New Member

    Mar 3, 2009
    6
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    is it possible to hire some one that is skilled in the electronic or circuit field to do a small project???any help would be great im rediculously lost right now......
     
  7. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
    22,182
    1,728
    I picked up a Tektronix 2215 60MHz for next to nothing in an auction; channel B was inop. Shipping cost much more than the sale price. (tip: be wary of shipping & handling costs on auction sites!) Wasn't worried about channel B being inop, as these older 'scopes are actually repairable, and you can still get the operators and service manuals - not to mention that you can actually repair them yourself.

    Not much you can do about a dim CRT. If you do get an old 'scope, a good preventative maintance item is to replace all of the electrolytic capacitors with new ones from a reputable supplier like Digikey, Mouser, or Allied. Old electrolytic caps tend to have high leakage currents, which leads to them blowing their tops, shorting out, and taking neighboring traces and components along with them. :eek:

    The newer scopes have really nice features (like digital storage scopes) but the guts are proprietary; forget about getting service manuals or fixing them yourself. Getting them repaired or calibrated isn't cheap, either.
     
  8. bjdobs

    New Member

    Mar 3, 2009
    3
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    All depends on what you are going to use the scope for; Digital/Analog? Frequency? ... I have used the 465 and recall always having had to fight over the only one we had in the factory because it blew away all the other scopes in it's day ... today I wouldn't want to use anything without digital storage, glitch detection and nothing less then 200MHz Bandwith ... just makes life simpler ... Tektronix still makes the best product for scopes IMHO ... when I was actively working on govt projects in the 80's/90's our preferences were Tek for scopes and HP for Spectrum Analyzers ... I haven't seen anything to change that opinion

    If you are going to work on Audio/Digital Medium/Low Frequency (< 10Mhz) then the 465 should work fine as long as the instrument is in good condition
     
  9. Cbntmkr

    Thread Starter Member

    Mar 2, 2009
    15
    0
    I was half heartedly bidding on a 465 yesterday that went for $181.00 (not to me).
    i like the notion of an older scope be repairable.
    as far as digital/analog/frequency... I guess i don't really know. My initial desire is to aid in the learning process with a visual/analytical component. I think the direction i will most likely go in would be microprocessor control of servo/stepper motors.
    One think i must fess up to is those older TEK scopes just look really cool!!! Being a tool guy all my life, i've come to the realization that "having another tool" is a force beyond my control...
    Peter
     
  10. bjdobs

    New Member

    Mar 3, 2009
    3
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    Tools are always great to have ... I found a Tek 2430 for myself ... the analog trigger cct is not working very well but as a digital storage scope it works great ... I haven't been working in the field for 12 years but still do hobby work with MicroChip PIC controllers 4-20Mhz ... this scope has been great for that type of work ... have also used it as a teaching aid for switching and linear Power supplies ... it is a great tool to augment automotive scan tools and diagnose automotive control modules. The 465 would have worked for any of this but without storage capabilities its tough to show/capture a lot of issues especially with respect to digital data streams.
     
  11. Cbntmkr

    Thread Starter Member

    Mar 2, 2009
    15
    0
    bjbods,
    this is good info. So if i understand you correctly, the 2430 scope does everything that the 465 would do except that with the 2430 unit you have the ability to capture, store, and then recall an event for closer inspection, as opposed to just watching it go by.
    Peter
     
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