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Old 3rd January 2002, 06:33 AM   #1
Kilowatt is offline Kilowatt  United States
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Harlowton, MT, USA
Unhappy oscilloscope

I don't own or have access to an oscilloscope, but I will desperately need one, especially when it comes time to make my big amp. I don't have the money for a new one. There are several ADCs that can be used with a computer and software to form a DSO. Does anyone know of such a thing for less than $300? Maybe even less than $200? By the way, I'm looking for one that can read signals up to almost 200V because I will be dealing with peak signal voltages up to almost 170V. Many such peices of hardware don't go that high. I don't want something with a crappy bandwidth either, and I want at least two channels. I'm sure many of you know what else to look for in a good scope better than I. Another option would be to build my own scope. I have several good CRTs laying around, and I might as well use one. They're all quite big though, and would make for a very cumbersome piece of equipment. Is there anywhere I can find all the information to do this? I have no idea what that would involve. It might be way too hard and/or too expensive.

Any recomendations?
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Old 3rd January 2002, 09:30 AM   #2
Freddie is offline Freddie  Sweden
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Why don't buy a used oscilloscope? I don't think it will be that hard to find a good but old oscilloscope cheap. I have a really old Phillips PM-3207 oscilloscope.

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Old 3rd January 2002, 12:57 PM   #3
tiroth is offline tiroth  United States
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My oscilliscope cost less than my multimeter. Ok, it's old, only has 10MHz of bandwidth, and has some drift. But seriously, you should be able to find (or fix) something from Ebay for the price of the ADC/computer solution, and this has the benefit of being a dedicated tool with robust inputs which is unlikely to blow up your computer.

I may be very wrong, but I think you will need to use a shunt to measure voltages up to 200V with any inexpensive equipment, ADC, scope, or otherwise.
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Old 4th January 2002, 03:53 PM   #4
johan is offline johan
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www.velleman.be has good oscilloscope DIY kits. The handheld variant costs about 250.
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Old 4th January 2002, 04:53 PM   #5
yeti is offline yeti  Germany
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Location: Ewersbach
Lightbulb Scope

Hi,i think the voltage is not the problem.
You can use probes with a scaling factor of 1:10 or even 1:100.
The last one gives you a range up to over 1000 Volts!

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Old 5th January 2002, 05:13 AM   #6
hifiZen is offline hifiZen  Canada
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When looking for a scope, the first thing I did was eliminate anything non-Tektronix. Definitely a biased choice, but I've used Tek equipment for many years, so I'm accustomed to it and quite familiar with their products. I've also found that Tektronix equipment is all very reliable and easy to use. Given my relative lack of experience with other brands, I cannot say the same about any other equipment.

I managed to find my current scope on eBay at an excellent price ($425 for a Tek 2445 4 Channel 150MHz scope in great condition!). So, I think for $300 you can buy an excellent scope. Here are some useful websites to help you get started:

Tek scope prices on eBay (a very handy compilation of eBay stats):

This website has useful descriptions of most Tek scopes:

A nice Tek scope reference page:

A very popular and inexpensive scope is the 465. While a little older than other models, it still has 100MHz bandwidth, dual trace, and it has probably one of the sharpest traces of any scope Tek ever made.

Anyway, good luck with it.
- Chad.
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Old 5th January 2002, 02:24 PM   #7
paulb is offline paulb  Canada
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I bought my Tek 465 on eBay for $300 US (I think). I had to buy probes separately; see http://www.probemaster.com for them.
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Old 5th January 2002, 05:14 PM   #8
GRollins is offline GRollins  United States
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I use a Tektronix 502-A that I bought for $77.77 years ago. A wonderful piece of equipment.

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Old 17th January 2002, 04:52 AM   #9
dlharmon is offline dlharmon  United States
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I just got a hp 1715a 200mhz scope off ebay for $73, so there is hope of getting a good used scope for cheap. It should be even easier for you since you don't really need the high freqency. I originally lhought about a ADC, but after looking at ebay I decided to get a real scope. It took a few weeks of watching ebay until I found what I wanted in my price range. There are divide by 100 probes that will make 1.7v out of you 170v.
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Old 17th January 2002, 05:52 AM   #10
DieterD is offline DieterD
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Location: Howick South Africa
Hi all,
Talk about the forum answering questions before being asked, I was about to start a new thread on scopes as I have been offered a Tektronic 5111 storage scope, 5A22n Diff amp, and 5B10N Time base amp.
I have no idea how good it is, or if its good enough for basic audio work. Can anyone help on suitability or advise if I should buy it.
Just for laughs, it has been offered to me for South African Rand, R400.00, about 35 odd American Dollars. For once it seems that our very weak currency is working my way!

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