# I bought an HP 54110D Oscilloscope and I need help before I smoke it.

#### Consul89

Joined Feb 5, 2020
4
Hello, everyone I am new to this field, and I am trying to learn the ropes. I recently bought an O'scope an HP 54110D 2 channel, and I need to buy probes for it and I am trying to figure out how I should go about it:

Questions:
1. The input Pods have specs that are confusing to me. One of them say (50ohm dc, 5Vrms MAX) What does that mean? The other one says (1:1,1Mohm,+/- 2v max). Does this mean that if I put a signal that is greater than 5Vrms, or 2p-p, Will I smoke the scope?

2. Are these specs common for an oscilloscope? In other words is 5Vrms enough to do a lot of interesting work for someone who is starting out?

3. Are O'scope probes universal, meaning I can buy any passive probe and use it, and it will not be a problem?

4. The scopes I have used in the past have a little tab that allows for calibration before you use it. This one does not have it, it has in the back these BNC connectors that seem to imply that are for that function? How is that used?

I have the manual for this scope but It has been no help, I am thinking that there is a lot of knowledge I do not have to be able to interpret the manual in an useful manner.

#### MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
23,520
Welcome to AAC!

Most oscilloscopes have 1MΩ input resistance.
Buy two 10:1 scope probes and these will increase the input resistance to 10MΩ. Buy probes with the highest bandwidth that you can afford while aiming to take advantage of the 1GHz bandwidth of the oscilloscope.

#### nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
8,382
That's sort of a specialty scope I've not seen for a while. https://www.hpl.hp.com/hpjournal/pdfs/IssuePDFs/1986-04.pdf

Sound like you have this: https://www.keysight.com/en/pd-54002A:epsgro-pn-54002A/50-ohm-bnc-input-for-hp-54100a-d-scopes?cc=US&lc=eng

It couples properly terminated usually RF signals directly to the o-scope display inputs. A 50 Ohm fixed attenuator or terminator is recommended on these types of POD inputs.

and this: https://www.keysight.com/en/pd-54003A:epsgro-pn-54003A/1-megohm-bnc-input-for-54100a-d-scopes?cc=US&lc=eng&lsrch=true&searchT=54003A

This was part of a active probe kit so the voltage input limits are low.

A regular 10:1 scope probe should work with that POD for 20V signals.
Although the HP 54100A/D is a 1-GHz oscilloscope with
50 internal signal paths, its digital architecture, HP-IB con
trol, and automatic measurement capabilities make it use
ful at much lower frequencies. To take advantage of this,
the HP 54003A 1-MÃ1 Probe was designed. It is a unity-gain,
general-purpose, 300-MHz input buffer amplifier with a
1-Mfi, 10-pF input. It requires an external HP oscilloscope
probe. Probes for it include the HP 10017A 1-Mfi, 8-pF
miniprobe, the HP 10014A 10-MÃÃ, 10-pF standard probe,
and the HP 10032A 100:1 Probe. Its bandwidth of 300 MHz
and its rise time of 1.2 ns are specified both at the BNC
input and at the probe tip. It is useful for circuits ranging
from high-impedance operational amplifiers to ECL logic
circuits to power supplies up to 200V.

#### Consul89

Joined Feb 5, 2020
4
That's sort of a specialty scope I've not seen for a while. https://www.hpl.hp.com/hpjournal/pdfs/IssuePDFs/1986-04.pdf

Sound like you have this: https://www.keysight.com/en/pd-54002A:epsgro-pn-54002A/50-ohm-bnc-input-for-hp-54100a-d-scopes?cc=US&lc=eng

It couples properly terminated usually RF signals directly to the o-scope display inputs. A 50 Ohm fixed attenuator or terminator is recommended on these types of POD inputs.

and this: https://www.keysight.com/en/pd-54003A:epsgro-pn-54003A/1-megohm-bnc-input-for-54100a-d-scopes?cc=US&lc=eng&lsrch=true&searchT=54003A

This was part of a active probe kit so the voltage input limits are low.
View attachment 229715

A regular 10:1 scope probe should work with that POD for 20V signals.
Thanks this information has been very helpful.

I am also trying to understand how an O'scope works. For example the 54003A has a 2V MAX. What does that mean exactly? If I connected to a 4V AC from a power supply I will smoke it?
or since you said the following:
"A regular 10:1 scope probe should work with that POD for 20V signals." does that mean that if I use a 10:1 probe, this increases my capability to connect the scope to up to 20V power source and I will be ok?

When I first saw this I was disappointed because I thought I might smoke it with a 9V battery or with a 24V power supply. But I think that maybe I do not understand what determines the limits in what signals I can read safely.

How are the limits determined in what you can analyze safely?

#### MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
23,520
I am going to assume that you acquired this HP54110D for a song.
As far as I can tell, this is a digital scope intended to analyze digital signals. If you were planning on viewing analog signals then this is not the scope for you.

#### Consul89

Joined Feb 5, 2020
4
I am going to assume that you acquired this HP54110D for a song.
As far as I can tell, this is a digital scope intended to analyze digital signals. If you were planning on viewing analog signals then this is not the scope for you.
I was just buying a scope since I am an new electrical engineering student and I wanted to have a scope to experiment with and learn with, since with COVID all of my labs are Multisim simulations, and I wanted to replicate the labs with something physical. To tell you the truth I did not know there was a difference. I got it for about $280 in an auction, and I saw 1GHZ capability so I thought it was a good buy. I did not even know it was going to be this big(about 60Lbs). Is this thing worth keeping for what I am trying to do. In the electronics lab we use a tektronics scope for all of the labs, they never made a distinction about needing a particular scope for some signals, and another type for other signals. #### nsaspook Joined Aug 27, 2009 8,382 I was just buying a scope since I am an new electrical engineering student and I wanted to have a scope to experiment with and learn with, since with COVID all of my labs are Multisim simulations, and I wanted to replicate the labs with something physical. To tell you the truth I did not know there was a difference. I got it for about$280 in an auction, and I saw 1GHZ capability so I thought it was a good buy. I did not even know it was going to be this big(about 60Lbs).

Is this thing worth keeping for what I am trying to do. In the electronics lab we use a tektronics scope for all of the labs, they never made a distinction about needing a particular scope for some signals, and another type for other signals.
Sorry to say you really didn't get a scope designed for general use. As you progress in your studies you will see what it's most useful for but with a 10X and 100X probe on the 54003A POD it's a lot more capable than my first personal scope. http://www.navy-radio.com/manuals/os8b-man-91707-5207.pdf

Read, study and follow the manual, it's a required skill for a EE.
https://doc.xdevs.com/doc/HP_Agilent_Keysight/HP 54110D Operating & Programming.pdf

#### Consul89

Joined Feb 5, 2020
4
Sorry to say you really didn't get a scope designed for general use. As you progress in your studies you will see what it's most useful for but with a 10X and 100X probe on the 54003A POD it's a lot more capable than my first personal scope. http://www.navy-radio.com/manuals/os8b-man-91707-5207.pdf

Read, study and follow the manual, it's a required skill for a EE.
https://doc.xdevs.com/doc/HP_Agilent_Keysight/HP 54110D Operating & Programming.pdf
Thanks. I will probably keep it then if it is going to become useful later on. What would be a general purpose Oscilloscope? I would hate to spend more money on something that I will not be able to use effectively.

#### nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
8,382
Something like this entry level unit.

#### MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
23,520
There are two suggestions:

Siglent SDS1202X-E 2-channel 200MHz oscilloscope
Siglent SDS1104X-E 4-channel 100MHz oscilloscope

#### tautech

Joined Oct 8, 2019
204
There are two suggestions:

Siglent SDS1202X-E 2-channel 200MHz oscilloscope
Siglent SDS1104X-E 4-channel 100MHz oscilloscope

The 200 MHz 2ch SDS1202X-E is a good and certainly better than basic DSO while its 4ch 100 MHz cousin SDS1104X-E is another level in capability and certainly a scope that has a feature set for you to grow into while its new cousin the 4ch 100 MHz SDS1104X-U has a lesser feature set more similar to SDS1202X-E.
Any of those 3 are proving popular however the X-U is the new kid on the block and still acquiring a following.
Barring the feature differences all 3 operate in the same way and their UI's are almost indistinguishable.
YouTuber Defpom has recently had a 25 minute play with the X-U:

#### bob91343

Joined May 29, 2019
16
Hello, everyone I am new to this field, and I am trying to learn the ropes. I recently bought an O'scope an HP 54110D 2 channel, and I need to buy probes for it and I am trying to figure out how I should go about it:

Questions:
1. The input Pods have specs that are confusing to me. One of them say (50ohm dc, 5Vrms MAX) What does that mean? The other one says (1:1,1Mohm,+/- 2v max). Does this mean that if I put a signal that is greater than 5Vrms, or 2p-p, Will I smoke the scope?

2. Are these specs common for an oscilloscope? In other words is 5Vrms enough to do a lot of interesting work for someone who is starting out?

3. Are O'scope probes universal, meaning I can buy any passive probe and use it, and it will not be a problem?

4. The scopes I have used in the past have a little tab that allows for calibration before you use it. This one does not have it, it has in the back these BNC connectors that seem to imply that are for that function? How is that used?

I have the manual for this scope but It has been no help, I am thinking that there is a lot of knowledge I do not have to be able to interpret the manual in an useful manner.
There are two basic modes here. When dealing with low frequency signals it's generally set up with 1 Meg input impedance and, with a 10:1 probe, that becomes 10 Megohm at the expense of some sensitivity. For high frequency work, a problem arises in that the cable to the scope is long enough that one gets reflections. The solution to that is to make that cable a transmission line. But there will still be reflections unless that transmission line is terminated in its characteristic impedance, usually 50 Ohms. And yes you will smoke the scope if you exceed the maxima indicated.

The +2/-2 v spec is for dc level, not to be exceeded. Probes are sort of universal. They come in a few varieties but generic ones are cheap enough and work okay. For the aforementioned high frequency work you don't use a probe, but connect the signal with a transmission line, often RG-58 50 Ohm, and select that termination on the panel.

I can't answer about the rear connectors unless you tell the labels. But a calibration signal should be available somewhere.

#### mcardoso

Joined May 19, 2020
192
I just bought a Siglent SDS-1104X-E and find it to be a very capable unit for my home hobby use (e.g. industrial automation, robotics, digital PCBs (low freq stuff ~8MHz). The 200MHz BW and sample rate should cover a wide range of general use cases. If you end up needing 1GHz BW for something you are working on, then you are also going to shell out some serious money for good probes, bench power supplies, etc..

This scope really comes with some good software features right out of the box and has all of the modern interfaces (USB, Ethernet, Wifi). I think it is really one of the best scopes for the price point.

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#### tautech

Joined Oct 8, 2019
204
I just bought a Siglent SDS-1104X-E and find it to be a very capable unit for my home hobby use (e.g. industrial automation, robotics, digital PCBs (low freq stuff ~8MHz). The 200MHz BW and sample rate should cover a wide range of general use cases. If you end up needing 1GHz BW for something you are working on, then you are also going to shell out some serious money for good probes, bench power supplies, etc..

This scope really comes with some good software features right out of the box and has all of the modern interfaces (USB, Ethernet, Wifi). I think it is really one of the best scopes for the price point.
Hacked only gives 200 MHz on the 100 MHz SDS1104X-E.

#### mcardoso

Joined May 19, 2020
192