Looking for first Oscilloscope

Discussion in 'Electronics Resources' started by constant collisions, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. constant collisions

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 15, 2012
    First off I have to say I am a functional beginner with electronics. I piddle with mechanical things, but have recently developed electrical interests..

    I have about 4 multi meters and have fixed a few things over the years. I self studied electronics in high school which was less than a year ago. I am currently at college to obtain a degree in Industrial systems technology and wouldn't you know it, I am taking an electronics class.

    The class has a huge array of equipment that has me memorized all the time. Most of it dating back to the 1980's.

    I am, however. mostly interested in the oscilloscopes. I am looking to either buy one or find one that someone doesn't want.

    I heard that they were not too expensive on ebay and that I could snatch a 100mhz 2 channel for $50. Average price for such a scope was about 300 dollars :eek:. Someone was lying. :rolleyes:

    Anyway, I was wondering if anybody here could recommend some good analog scopes.

    I'm not looking to spend a boatload here, maximum of about 175-200 big ones.

    I know it sounds frugal for such a groundbreaking piece of equipment, but with the market being terrible and scopes being plentiful, They have to be out there for little money.

    Thanks for your help.
  2. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    I wouldn't pay more than $50 for a used scope when you can get a new digital scope for $400.
  3. w2aew

    Active Member

    Jan 3, 2012
    You may want to look at your local Craigslist, if that applies where you are located. Also, check with local ham radio clubs. Even check with other schools, many of which are getting rid of their older analog scopes now. You should be able to find a decent analog scope for $100 or less.

    When you are ready, you may want to take a look at the video of a class that I taught a while back called 'Scopes for Dopes'. It s long, but a very comprehensive look at analog oscilloscopes. It was taught to a local antique radio club in NJ. If you Google "scopes for dopes", it'll be the first YouTube link. Included in the notes below the video is a timeline based table of contents, so you can advance to a particular topic if you like.

    If you prefer your videos in shorter chunks, you might be interested in my YouTube channel. It is mainly geared towards hobbyist electronics, test and measurement and ham radio. Most of the videos are short topic tutorials. My YouTube channel is http://www.youtube.com/w2aew

    Note that the Scopes For Dopes video isn't on MY channel, but it is listed under my favorites.
  4. constant collisions

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 15, 2012
    I have been searching around and still no luck. I found a pretty decent 20mhz model for about 32 bucks shipped. The problem is that it is an auction.

    I swear people are getting greedier and greedier. Everyone thinks they have a pile of gold in their hands.

  5. keithostertag


    Oct 4, 2012
    When looking for an older (first) scope, here's a few things to keep in mind:

    Size and weight (on the bench/table, moving around, etc)
    Scope are often damaged in transit (i.e. eBay)
    Noise (older analog scopes with fans can get bothersome to some people)
    Be sure documentation is easily and cheaply available (http://bama.edebris.com/manuals/ an dothers)

    I have half a dozen scopes now, only one I paid more than $50 for. BUT all of them needed work to make them useable. Having a scope is great fun and provides lots of learning opportunities. Consider buying two scopes so that you can use one to work on the other.

    Craig's List is great, if watching it for a few weeks doesn't produce anything of interest for your area consider posting a WTB ad there- you might be surprised what that will attract. Sorry I didn't see your post two weeks ago- I sold a nice working one for only $40.

    I'm a big fan of Tektronix scopes, you might consider checking out the Tekscopes Yahoo forum. Also, be sure to view W2AEW's YouTube videos.

    Keith Ostertag