The best oscilloscope to get

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Maintenance Man, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. Maintenance Man

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 12, 2010
    I have seen some oscilloscopes for reasonable prices on eBay, but I am not sure what is the best deal; dual trace 10 MHz, 20 MHz, 30 MHz, 60 MHz, 100 MHz or more. Also is it best to get a digital oscilloscope .I am going to assume the higher the MHz the better the oscilloscope is to test higher frequencies. Is there an average for the amount of MHz a person really needs to have quality test equipment. Thank you in advance for your help.
  2. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008
    Last scope I bought was $90. It came with two scope leads, and was a 60Mhz dual trace model.

    What is your application for the scope? Digital can use higher freq rates, so you can see those narrow pulses and sharp edges.
  3. tom66

    Senior Member

    May 9, 2009
    I spent £150 (about $200 at the time) on a digitising 100 MHz quad channel scope - a HP54501A, and haven't regretted it. If you've got some extra change lying around, consider getting a Rigol DS1052E - a digitising 50 MHz dual channel 1 GS/a scope, which can be hacked to work as a 100 MHz scope by talking to it over a serial cable. You can pick up one for around $400.
  4. JStitzlein


    Dec 6, 2010
    My first scope choice is going to be the DS1052E. Last I checked on the the EEVblog forums, the 100MHZ hack doesn't work for newer machines and may even brick your scope.
  5. nomurphy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 8, 2005
    Check on Tektronix 2440 or 2445, they also make A/B versions where the B has more options.
  6. tom66

    Senior Member

    May 9, 2009
    Yep - you need to downgrade the firmware and upgrade it again, but most people will be happy with 50 MHz bandwidth anyway.
  7. someonesdad

    Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
    Your question is a little like "what car is best?". That question doesn't have a good answer until you define what you mean by "best". Thus, you need to tell us what you want to use the scope for and what type of things you'll be measuring with it.

    Older analog scopes will be cheaper and may be entirely adequate for the things you want to do. I like the digital scopes that give me measurements and the ability to store waveforms to a flash stick for documentation purposes.
  8. jpentecost

    New Member

    Feb 25, 2011
    That's sort of what I was thinking .. for me the response was not so important as the size .. I could buy a large CRT scope that would do lots of things .. and I could buy it for coins due to it's age .. but I bought a "Vellemann" scope that I could hold in my hand and would run from 6 AA batteries because I needed to put it in my toolbox.
  9. bribri


    Feb 20, 2011
    get a DSA8200.
  10. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
    I've still got my DuMont 304A - shows my age though. :)

    Several Teks though.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2011
  11. K7GUH


    Jan 28, 2011
    The "best" scope is one that you can afford. I bought a Tektronix 465 for $40.00 at a tail gate swap meet. This is adequate to my current needs.
  12. bribri


    Feb 20, 2011
    i agree with that advice.
    oh, and i have a 465 as well and i think that it is a great piece of gear. $40 is a great deal.. must have spent €100 or so on mine.
    i also have a tek531a but that thing needs a bit of work. a nice sci-fi prop though.