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Thread: Which scope??

  1. #1
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    Default Which scope??

    I figured it was about time to look into getting some form of scope. My budget is really tight. I will probably hardly use the scope but reckon it is worth having so I can fault find.

    I saw this one on Fleabay:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Pocket-Oscillosc...#ht_2042wt_913

    Does anyone have experience with it?

    How effective are the USB PC modules? and how many channels are recommended? I've seen them with 2 and 5 channels.
    The last time I used a scope was in A level physics back in 95.

    Any help/suggestions would be greatly received.

    Thanks in advance
    Rich

  2. #2
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    For a budget oscilloscope I'd say Rigol DS1052E. It might be a bit more expensive than you were considering, but I don't think cheaper new scopes are very useful. As a cheaper alternative, consider buying an old analog scope instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tocket View Post
    ...consider buying an old analog scope instead.
    I completely agree. If your on a budget, you just can't beat an old analog scope for accuracy on a hobbyist level and you'll learn more. That thing on ebay is not much more than a fun toy. You'd be amazed what kind of quality you can find on ebay for $50 for a decent analog scope.

    If you can afford the Rigol DS1052E, that's a great way to go but it still is a little pricey. My desk scope just recently died and the Rigol is what I'm going for.

  4. #4
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    While analog CRT always wins, for a beginner who does lasers, especially if it has X-Y mode, we should first ask what do you want to look at?

    Just laser signals or do you do ham radio or hobby electronics, or are you a EE or ET student?

    Those two questions factor into what you should choose.

    I prefer CRT for most things, and you can get a decent one for 50-200$, above 200$, go just digital.

    If you want USB, Pico rules, folloed by parallax's 136$ USB scope.

    Steve
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    I am still haappy with my 40 year old analogue scope I picked up at college for £30.
    It even has valves (tubes) in it.

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    I own a Rigol DS1102E and am very happy with it. Nowadays there’s also a softmod floating around to turn the 50MHz (DS1052E) to the 100MHz (DS1102E) model.

    I would recommend to get a scope with a display so you can use it standalone and not some USB model.

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    I have two owon pdf6062t and like them a lot. I also have a 20mhz instek gos-620 for when I want to look at things with an analog scope. For laser stuff a analog is great. If you want to do a bunch digital work a digital scope is really nice for measuring things.

    .02c

    chad


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  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the suggestions guys. The Rigol looks great but a little more than I really wanted to spend.
    I'm only really going to be using it for lasers. Although I did do some HAM stuff it was years ago. I want to be able to check the output of DACs etc. Having read other posts saying that a DMM is useless for measuring the outputs. I can't think of anything else I would really use it for at the moment.
    I am also short on space. I am managing a Dive Resort in the Caribbean had have very limited space. If I was to ever leave I would be screwed in getting all my stuff shipped!!! It is amazing how quickly you accumulate things. So something small and simple would be best.
    Would I need a 2 channel scope to measure X and Y then? Would this allow me to see the output of what the scanners should be doing without having a laser connected?

    Thanks again
    Rich

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by neutrino View Post
    I am managing a Dive Resort in the Caribbean had have very limited space.
    Nice day job! Still, I can see how the lack of space could be a problem.

    Nevertheless, I think an inexpensive analog 'scope off E-bay is probably your best bet. Shipping is going to be more to get it to you, but in the end I think you'll be happier with a CRT 'scope. Besides, you can find deals on used 'scopes on E-bay all the time. I paid ~ $50 for my first one. (An old 20 Mhz Tektronix that was beat to hell but still worked.)
    So something small and simple would be best.
    Unfortunately, small usually = more expensive, which is why you might want to consider a full-size unit. And really, if it's going to cost you more than you paid for it to get it back home when you leave, then just leave it in the Caribbean for the next guy. They're cheap enough that you could buy another one when you get home and still end up ahead of the game.
    Would I need a 2 channel scope to measure X and Y then? Would this allow me to see the output of what the scanners should be doing without having a laser connected?
    A 2-channel unit with X/Y plotting ability is preferable, yes, because it will allow you to see what the scanners will be drawing. However, you won't have blanking, so the resulting picture will be messy. It's not something you'd want to use as a "preview" window, but rather something you'd use as a diagnostic tool when adjusting your controller. (This assumes that you've got a sound card DAC, or some other home-brew solution that would require such adjustment. Very few commercial controllers allow any sort of output adjustment, so in that case an oscilloscope is probably superfluous.)

    Adam

  10. #10
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    Regarding the Rigol DS1052E, I just picked up one of them myself. Very happy with the price I got - paid $320 for it, brand new. I think that's pretty hard to beat. It costs twice as much in Sweden!

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