Oscilloscope Purchase ?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by FLfan, May 4, 2016.

  1. FLfan

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 21, 2016
    3
    0
    Just starting to dig deeper into electronics, what would be an economical, decent scope to learn from, that I could carry over, the fundamentals, to the more precision, lab level scopes.
    I.e. Cheap but reliable scope to learn on
    Thanks in advance for you input

    Drew
     
  2. Veracohr

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 3, 2011
    552
    76
    What's cheap for you? B&K Precision has a $400 one. I have a discontinued low-end model of theirs that serves me well for the low frequency stuff I do.
     
  3. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
    5,699
    905
    Check our Rigol DS1000 series. Their entry level scope is hard to beat. Even a used Tektronics TDS210, which is a couple of generations out of date, will cost you about the same, and with comparable features to the Rigol will cost considerably more.

    John
     
  4. BR-549

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2013
    2,004
    394
    I agree with John. For the money, you can't beat it. I want to buy one real bad, but I'm waiting on les to buy one. If he says it's good, I think I'll get one myself.
     
  5. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
    5,699
    905
    My reference for comparison is the Tek 2235 (2 operational + one parts), Tek TDS210 (got new), and Rigol DS105z (got new). As for the Rigol , I prefer black on light background (like the TDS210), but that seems to be something one has to accept with 4 channel, color scopes.

    One thing that I do not like is the lag between sweeps, particularly at slow sweep rates (e.g., 500 ms). One can adjust a little of that away, but it is quite a bit longer than with the TDS210.

    The other objection, which is just minor, is there are too few buttons. I prefer fewer multi-functional buttons. For example, the cursors use just one multi-functional button, which also serves for the intensity adjustment and most other menu selections. On the TDS210, two knobs are used for the cursors when in cursor mode. One is always cursor 1 and the other cursor 2. On the Rigol, the multi-functional control is cursor 1, then press it to get cursor 2, press it again to get 1+2, and yet again to get back to cursor 1. That does not affect operation so much as being just a minor inconvenience.

    On the positive side, there are a lot of pluses. The selection of triggers is one (e.g, Set one cursor to a rising edge of trace #1 and the other to a rising edge of trace #2. It will then automatically measure the difference on successive occurences.). For attenuation, you have a selection of fine as well as the usual coarse. The scope comes standard with a USB port and you can save any screen shot. And it has a very wide screen.

    All in all, I plan to keep all of my scopes. But if I had to choose just one of them today, it would be the Rigol. I has so much functionality just built into it.

    John
     
  6. BR-549

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2013
    2,004
    394
    Can that Rigol generate?
     
    bwilliams60 likes this.
  7. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
    2,910
    2,173
    [​IMG]
    Three at the work-shop today on a little uC project for controlling MFC gas flows in a pyrotechnics device.

    I love my older scopes (the TDS2x0 series was a masterpiece of simplicity and usability) but if I had to chose a higher budget beginner scope the newer Rigol Mixed Signal Oscilloscopes models are hard to beat if you deal with complex systems.

     
    JohnInTX likes this.
  8. Dr.killjoy

    Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2013
    1,190
    156
    IMO I would suggest getting a used analog or digital scope off ebay that are calibrated from a repair center and ready for use .. The Rigol DS1054Z is the best scope for the money but just be careful not to destroy your scope and hence why I said to get a used unit cause if you manage to destroy it then no real harm...


     
    FLfan likes this.
  9. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
    5,699
    905
    It cannot generate a signal per se that I know of. However, there has been discussion on EEVBlog about using the output (CSV file?) from a Rigol directly to an arbitrary waveform generator such as the Siglent or Rigol. I have not wanted to do that and have not followed that discussion closely. It is kind of a neat concept, though.

    John
     
  10. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
    3,394
    497
    It is all about budget.
    You can get used 2xxx series Tek from the 90s for less than 100 USD. The 24xx was the top of the line from that family.

    I recently got Tek 11403 (digital)(300 MHz bandwidth with the plugins I got) for less than 400 USD, and last weekend at estate sale I got HP 1740A (analog)(100 MHz bandwidth) for 30 USD.
     
  11. Dr.killjoy

    Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2013
    1,190
    156
    I bought 2 scopes for pretty cheap and they can be head for really cheap if you have patients..
    I got my BK precision 20mhz for around for $27 shipped and I had to fix it.. I picked up a Tek 2215 for around $25 shipped and the I still working on the rebuild ... Alot of quality scopes can be had for good prices but with Tek scopes just watch cause there are several model's that used custom parts that can't be replaced ..
     
  12. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
    3,394
    497
    Once I get one or two 1 GHz plugins for my 11403, I will be all set.
     
  13. BR-549

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2013
    2,004
    394
    I built my first scope, a heathkit. Used it for decades. Lost it in a wind storm.

    Found an elenco 35 mhz in a dumpster about 10 years ago. Had 1 missing knob. Works fine.

    Found 500 ft. spool of coax with it.

    But I am tempted for the digital.
     
  14. JohnInTX

    Moderator

    Jun 26, 2012
    2,347
    1,029
    That in-the-dark of TEK blue-green brought back lots of memories. Many's the long night I stared at just such screens - on 465s and even 555s - sometimes in a scope hood over a Polaroid scope camera waiting to arm the trigger... That said, I do appreciate my newish Keysight MSO3024T that is without a doubt smarter than I will ever be. I like the fact that I can imply what I want to see then jab a button on it and send screen shots to clients (and me!) without thinking. Thanks for the flashback and why is that one on its side?

    And FWIW, its hard to beat the Rigol 1000's for a good, entry level unit. Rigol makes the entry level Keysight (formerly Agilent formerly HP) stuff.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2016
  15. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
    2,910
    2,173
    That's an old Japanese DSS5020A (digital but really limited) storage scope looking at a LCD timing signal from this mess on the desk. The well used and abused 2465A (the king of analog) is displaying the SPI clock, data and two debug pulse signals to check for instruction timing in a ISR state machine.
    [​IMG]

    Delay trigger on the clock ch1


    I've got the TEK MSO at work that's pretty cool, really nice when decoding serial bus signals.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2016
  16. FLfan

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 21, 2016
    3
    0
    Thanks for the advice and recommendations. Just can across this site ... one stop education. no doubt this will be my go to reference. Look forward to picking your brain.

    Drew
     
  17. FLfan

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 21, 2016
    3
    0
    Thanks doc. After the video, I am reconsidering used vs new. I've ''blown'' enuff money over time
     
Loading...