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Old 8th September 2008, 05:18 AM   #1
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Default Buying a Used Oscilloscope Help

I have a chance to pick up some vintage electronic testing equipment from someone to play around with, testing mobile audio equipment, i.e. setting gain on amplifiers. They have no clue on if the stuff works or whatnot. I have not used an oscilloscope in a good number of years, since school and I am going to have to play around until it all comes back to me.

Besides the usual does it power on and whatnot... is there any way to check that the oscilloscope is working properly, i.e. calibration tests? Its an old EICO 460 oscilloscope and I will be going to look at it sometime this week. So if someone can help me out before then and tell me what to look for I will greatly appreciate it!


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Old 8th September 2008, 08:01 AM   #2
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
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For some very basic tests use a DC power supply and DVM to check the accuracy of the vertical amplifier. Everyone seems to forget 'scopes are really just a "real time voltmeter" If it has a 1 volt div setting apply say 4 volts and make sure trace shifts 4 divisions. Works well on the millivolt ranges too-use a battery and pot to get the voltages you want. If you do this remember to keep both the meter and scope connected together on the pot wiper for accuracy.
For the timebase a signal generator with frequency counter is ideal. Failing that, just touching the input will give you mains frequency which will show if it's accurate at low speeds. A CD player and test CD with spot frequencies to 20khz is more useful.

T=1/F so in the UK, 50 hz mains is 1/50 = 20milliseconds

Very basic tests you understand, which tell you nothing of the performance at HF but very useful non the less.
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