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Old 23rd March 2012, 08:36 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Aarhus, Denmark
Default Seek oscilloscope recommendation ...

Hello

I'm currently considering buying an oscilloscope that combines:

- being small
- has a ~40 MHz range and also
- includes a software package that allows me to make e.g. FFT, bandwidth, and distortion analyses on the PC.
- Furthermore it must be able to track low frequency signals down to 1 Hz reliably.
- I will be using high voltages (up to 700 volts) so it's preferred that it can work with these voltages.

The oscilloscope & software should be rugged and work reliably - and I have a preference for second hand devices due to price.

Any of you know if it's realistic to find such a scope below ~ USD 200?

I'd appreciate any insights from you here at Diyaudio on good oscilloscopes for audio.

Greetings,

Jesper
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Old 27th March 2012, 11:57 PM   #2
Lo_Tse is offline Lo_Tse  Canada
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I would suggest checking out the eevblog forum on equipment review. There are many good/thorough reviews on entry level scopes.
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Old 29th March 2012, 04:33 AM   #3
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Hi Lo-Tse,

I have checked it out and it looks interesting.

Thanks for the suggestion!

Jesper
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Old 29th March 2012, 12:09 PM   #4
Lo_Tse is offline Lo_Tse  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlevoice View Post
Hi Lo-Tse,

I have checked it out and it looks interesting.

Thanks for the suggestion!

Jesper
You are welcome. Please post which/what scope you decide to get. I am in the same boat. Too many choices.

Regards,
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Old 29th March 2012, 12:12 PM   #5
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Are you guys also looking at Owon's new range of scopes also ? I see lots of people have commented about them. The SDS range.
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Old 29th March 2012, 03:04 PM   #6
PChi is offline PChi  United Kingdom
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Thanks for pointing out the OWON +SDS series. They look useful. I only have an analogue Oscilloscope and low frequency traces don't look good. It's difficult to see the waveform on it as the dot traces slowly across the screen.

I don't think that FFT plots on most Oscilloscopes are useful for audio because the vertical resolution is limited to typically 8 bits (48 dB). So it can't detect distortion at a reasonable level. Some of the PicoScopes have 12 bit or even 16 bit resolution so should give a better FFT plot. Though I don't have experience of using them.
It might be best to use a PC and a sound card though the sampling rate is a limitation. Unfortunately nothing beats having the dedicated test equipment.
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Old 30th March 2012, 02:06 AM   #7
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PChi, you could download a free copy of ARTA to get good FFT plots in the audio range. With 96Khz sampling cards you can get up to just over 40 Khz. I'm not sure if the software works at 192 Khz also. That way you get close to 96Khz ! Not enough ? You also have Audiotester to check out.
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Old 30th March 2012, 03:20 PM   #8
PChi is offline PChi  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashok View Post
PChi, you could download a free copy of ARTA to get good FFT plots in the audio range. With 96Khz sampling cards you can get up to just over 40 Khz. I'm not sure if the software works at 192 Khz also. That way you get close to 96Khz ! Not enough ? You also have Audiotester to check out.
Hello AM,
Thanks for the information. I have ordered an E-MU 0204 which has a 192 kHz sampling rate and will try the ARTA software. The ADC used has a - 6.0 dB frequency of 96 kHz which I will check when the correct unit is delivered (2 wrong so far). I think that it is still a limitation because only up to the 4 th harmonic of a 20 kHz signal can be seen (to be verified).
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Old 31st March 2012, 11:56 AM   #9
tvrgeek is offline tvrgeek  United States
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I use Zelscope on my PC ( I have an e-mu 1616 for acquisition) as it works like a storage scope ( single shot, delayed sweep) and I can send the output to an analyzer. I use TrueRta. SoundEasy also has a scope function. When I am working on the bench, it is an old Tek analog 100M scope. If doing any real electronic work, you need to be able to see parasitic oscillations. A truly suitable scope that does everything we want is still several thousand. Used. Heck, just a set of P6106 probes will set you back. Then you will want a current probe......
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Old 31st March 2012, 12:02 PM   #10
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If you like analogue 'scopes then there are absolutely thousands out there for pennies.

Most big corporations buy them new for new projects and then throw them out instead of having them calibrated.

TBPO in the DIY world they dont need calibrating, most of them will remain accurate enough for our use throughout their service life. Some will disagree I know, some guys need to know their voltages and frequencies down to the nth degree. Fair enough. For most DIY work you are only looking to see that there is a signal there and at the right magnitude.

I recently bought a Tektronics 475 'scope for 50 because it was 5% out at 200MHz.
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