Why do you need your oscilloscope? What can't you do without it?

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Eddy Current

Joined Jan 25, 2017
25
Hi,

I currently need to choose between getting an oscilloscope, getting a hydraulic press, or getting a thermal camera.

What I am asking is for people to convince me why I should get the oscilloscope. I do more in simulation than in practice, so I am having trouble envisaging what it will allow me to do. I know I want one, but not sure if I want it more than one of the other two at this point in time. The other two items I know exactly what I will use them for.

So, why can't you go without your oscilloscope?

In terms of circuits, I'm interesting in everything...

Cheers,

Ed
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
9,344
Scopes are a must for viewing analog or digital waveforms. If you're really into electronics, you'd already have one.
 

Kermit2

Joined Feb 5, 2010
4,163
Any AC work, think radio and audio amps, would be nearly Impossible to perform using just a multimeter.

Also helps to find oscillations in op amp circuits (don't ask me why I know that one :) )
 

Thread Starter

Eddy Current

Joined Jan 25, 2017
25
Scopes are a must for viewing analog or digital waveforms. If you're really into electronics, you'd already have one.
The question is why do I need to view it though? I use simulation scopes all the time, so yes, I know they are used for viewing waveforms.

But why do you personally need it in the real world.

And the attitude isn't needed. Electronics is just one area that I do stuff with.
 

Thread Starter

Eddy Current

Joined Jan 25, 2017
25
Any AC work, think radio and audio amps, would be nearly Impossible to perform using just a multimeter.

Also helps to find oscillations in op amp circuits (don't ask me why I know that one :) )
Ah yes tuning of course.

But now I want to know what I can't ask about :(
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
9,344
I use simulation scopes all the time, so yes, I know they are used for viewing waveforms.
Simulated circuits don't always work when you build them. I've designed circuits that wouldn't work in a simulator, but worked fine when built.

If you're repairing equipment, like a scope, you can't use a simulator...
 

Thread Starter

Eddy Current

Joined Jan 25, 2017
25
"If you're repairing equipment, like a scope, you can't use a simulator..."

It may seem like very basic stuff, but this is exactly what I am after in terms of info. My brain isn't working very well at the moment (prolonged lack of sleep) and I need to choose a birthday present. In the future, I will be making much more electronics. I have several projects in the pipeline, some of them will definitely need a scope. But at the moment, I am still doing calculus and sims, so I just can't think of the practical applications.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
9,344
I am still doing calculus and sims, so I just can't think of the practical applications.
If you simulate a circuit that doesn't work when you build it, a scope will help; particularly if the circuit is analog (e.g. switching regulator, amplifier, oscillator).

If you use scopes in your simulations, you can use scopes for the same purpose in actual designs.
 

Bernard

Joined Aug 7, 2008
5,337
A scope is a good tool to have if you are dealing with electronics, but a lot can be done with out. In 1970s I designed an industrial digital clock with bells & whistles with out a scope, & many other
minor projects, finally bought a war surplus HP- a good friend until it died of old age. Once you have had access to a scope , it is hard to do without so last year bought a well used 2215A.
Whatever item puts bread on the table gets my vote or $.
 

spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,837
It depends on what you are doing. If you are doing mostly digital, you could get by with a logic probe, logic analyzer or mulitmeter. That said since I got my scope, I almost always use it. I rarely use the logic analyzer anymore except maybe when I have a tough protocol problem to solve.
 

OBW0549

Joined Mar 2, 2015
3,105
An oscilloscope comes in handy when troubleshooting, and when something doesn't work quite the way the simulator says it should-- which is actually not uncommon.
 

GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
To extend on chip's comment... If you are asking someone to convince you, by definition, you don't "need" one. Want and need are two different things.
 

Thread Starter

Eddy Current

Joined Jan 25, 2017
25
Thank you everyone for helping jog my tired brain

In regards to the want/need question - I know it is a want for me at this point, as are all the items I am considering getting. Hence why I specifically asked why other people need theirs. Not to convince me why I need it.

In order to accomplish many things, I will need them all eventually. The question is, which one do I get for my birthday, before I start getting harassed for not making a choice yet. I just needed some input to help me remember what I might do with it. The other items have stalled projects that I would use them on immediately, as well as many other uses.

All in all, I have a pretty good problem to deal with :)
 
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