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Old 31st July 2010, 01:47 PM   #1
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Default oscilloscopes and Ebay??

Looking for a decent used 'scope for hobby use. I have access to scopes where I work but it is a pain to drag stuff in and use them during lunch hours or after hours.

My issue is buying off Ebay. I have not used the 'bay much and not sure I trust sellers of such equipment. Any recommendations out there ... stories from 'scope buyers off of the 'bay?
Am I being too cautious?

Scopes rarely show up on my local CL so, I think I'll have to buy before trying.

Thx,
Rob
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Old 31st July 2010, 02:01 PM   #2
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I purchased a 60mhz tek 2213 from one of the electronic surplus stores on bay . It has been over three years and I have not had any problems.
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Old 31st July 2010, 02:17 PM   #3
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I love the low cost Sencore SC61 series. lots of advanced features and typically $100-150. Built in meter for DC volts, Freq and V P-P the only down side is the associated scope probes are expensive so try and fine one that has at least one of the sencore scope probes with it. you can use any scope probe but the DC Volts function doesn't work. Mine has been running strong for 10 years now.

Buying any scope off eBay, make sure the seller knows how to properly pack the scope before shipping. foam peanuts should NEVER be used for anything large and heavy and far too often an eBay seller will just toss a large heavy item in a thin single wall box and fill it with peanuts and think its good.

Foam in place packaging is expensive but well well worth it! if a seller doesn't have access to that. Home Depot sells 1.5" thick 14" wide, 8' long sheets of Styrofoam for $3 each and it works wonderfully to line boxes with. you can cut it to fit around knobs and fragile bits.

Make sure the seller can pack the item well. also make sure the item is shipped fedex or UPS with a tracking number. I recommend Fedex as they seem to be faster, cheaper and gentler with the packages...ups shows up and a once square box looks like a round mashed ball!

If you ask to require a direct signature. this avoids the item just being left on the doorstep and allows you the opportunity to refuse shipment should the box show up and have obvious signs of damage.

just my .02 cents
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Old 31st July 2010, 02:59 PM   #4
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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I purchased a very nice Tek 2245 (100MHz MPU controlled analog 4 CH scope) on eBay something like 5yrs ago, and no problems to date.

The key I think is to look very closely at the feedback rating (and read some of the more recent comments at least) and length of time in business. Buying from a very highly rated broker (power seller) should be pretty safe. Look at terms and shipping details as well.
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Old 31st July 2010, 03:03 PM   #5
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that SC61 looks interesting ... hmmm. thx for the tips guys.

I'd be happy with a basic 2-ch scope, BW of 50MHz or greater. I am just concerned over shipping damage and reliability of Ebay sellers. My one electronics Ebay experience was buying a stereo amp from someone, advertised as 100% working, no issues.

It arrived with panel bulbs all burned out and one channel dead. I was able to fix it without issue but, it shows that some people just plain lie. I don't want to deal with this with a scope ... too many things to go wrong.
Rob
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Old 31st July 2010, 03:57 PM   #6
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Look, it's a crap shoot. First, do your research on various scope models. There are some scopes that are very nice when working, but you discover they have proprietary modules and ICs that are unobtainable if they fail. Don't pay a lot for those scopes, not matter how wonderful they seem on the surface. Remember that a lot of what we look at is several decades old and age does take its toll. Plastics harden and crack. High voltage insulation breaks down. Lubricants turn into epoxy. Some scopes just have a reputation for problems. Any scope has a bunch of stuff that can go wrong and you can safely assume that a large percentage of what's on eBay is defective in some way. Maybe minor and fixable, but often not. The trick is to find decent sellers that can do more than turn on the power switch and can guarantee condition. There are a fair number of those out there and you can often discern who's who by reading their text. Contact them, ask questions and don't jump on any "once in a lifetime" deal, because they'll be more of those next week or next month.

FWIW I started buying equipment for my home lab because I didn't want to drag things into work, plus I don't think it makes a good impression. It's the first step in an equipment addiction that risks filling every nook and cranny of your house with boat anchors, antiques and projects waiting to be fixed!
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Old 31st July 2010, 08:52 PM   #7
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Check out Wolfgang's DPScope (DPScope - A Low-Cost PC-Based Oscilloscope). For $100 you get a well working 8-bit storage scope for you PC. E
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Old 31st July 2010, 10:23 PM   #8
nikcho is offline nikcho  United States
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Default cheap chinese scopes

What do you guys think about these cheap Hong Kong scopes:

2 Channel PC Computer USB Digital Storage Oscilloscope - eBay (item 180538140405 end time Aug-01-10 23:10:49 PDT)

Has anyone had experience with them?

-Nikolay
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Old 31st July 2010, 10:57 PM   #9
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We have bought two originally VERY expensive scopes off eBay recently. An HP182 in unused condition for $150 and a big 5000 series TEK with 50uV pluhgins (no typo) for $100. Both arrived looking like new and have worked perfectly ever since.

They came from professional labs who had them as backups, never used them, and now they have switched to digital scopes. Our win.

Regards, Allen
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Old 31st July 2010, 11:00 PM   #10
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thx but, not wild about PC scopes. I'd rather get a standalone scope.
pc scope is good for single event capture though.
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