Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by curry87, Apr 23, 2011.
At what level does a hobbyist need a oscilloscope ?
When I was a teenager my first project was a stereo amplifier from a kit.
My second project was an FM stereo tuner from a kit.
My third project was an oscilloscope from a kit. Today it is about 45 years old. I still have it and use it.
I would say: When you start to deal with circuits which involve non-audible (<10hz, >20khz) and non-visual signals, or signals that need watching carefully (I.E. "That led looks suspiciously dim… Oh, its's flashing 2000 times a second, with a duty cycle of 20%. Thanks Mr. Oscilloscope!).
I am at this stage now. Currently, no oscilloscope. Not even a multimeter with frequency mode :|
Or, as soon as you can afford one. I expect it will be a lot easier to understand the behaviour of your circuits with an oscilloscope — e.g. seeing+timing switch bounce, seeing the shape of waves, etc.
There was a thread recently about getting inexpensive oscilloscopes. Hunt it down and have a read through, there's some good advice in there.
As soon as you can afford one as they also serve as a primitive voltmeter and frequency counter.
Keep your eyes out for a Tektronix 22xx series model, best analog scope ever made and an analog scope shows you everything whereas digital or "computer" scopes have limitations unlesss you get the real expensive ones.