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tvrgeek 8th August 2012 10:36 PM

Scope too big
I love my old Tek scope. 2 channel, 100M, delayed sweep. The only problem is my workbench is in a closet and it takes half the bench. I am really tempted at some of these new LCD jobs. New or used, under about $350, are there any scopes that could actually replace my trusty 2235? Being able to run a USB over to my PC so it was a storage scope would be really nifty.
I don't have room to just get a pod and use the PC. It's bigger than the scope! I am hoping they are getting old enough to be coming down in price used. I have not bought test equipment in 30 years, so it is like starting over.

dchisholm 9th August 2012 12:25 AM

I use a Tek TDS-1002B and love it for run-of-the-mill applications. Keep in mind that I do small microcontroller projects, where the inherent single-shot capture abilities of a digital 'scope are pretty much the foremost requirement - so it might not have quite the attraction to somebody who primarily does serious audio work. (I also have a couple of older Tek pure analog instruments.) There are times I wish the '1002B could be battery powered . . .

Have no idea what the going price might be on the used equipment market but when the updated "C" model was released I vaguely recall a promotional price around $1000 so I might guess around $500 as the low end for a used "B" in good shape.

Agilent has a line of more recently designed instruments, somewhat geared toward the education and training market, that looks interesting.

And speaking as a gray-haired old man who has been using 'scopes for about half a century, the main difference between an excellent 'scope and a mediocre one isn't something you can find on a spec sheet, no matter how well you read between the lines. It's the ability to reliably and repeatedly trigger on "difficult" waveforms. The guys at Tek seem to have figured that out decades ago and never forgot it; a few others have figured it out more recently; and many don't understand that they still don't make the grade.


Enzo 9th August 2012 03:41 AM

If your scope is sitting on the bench top, consider putting a riser over the bench - a shelf basically. My scope has been at eye level in my shops the last 25 years at least. With the scope, signal genny, and other stuff up on the riser, the whole bench top becomes available. though on mine my computer monitor sucks up some square footage. I want the screen down on the bench because that is where all my schematics are seen.

Google bench riser. Here is one as an example, but you can easily make one. A riser mounts to the bench, a shelf mounts to the wall - take your pick.
Bench Tops & Components | Risers/Back & End Stops | Work Bench Riser 60" | 254742 -

That one is only 12" tall, I have mine at 18", depends on your needs. Most of them are 6 foot long. If you bench is other length, then make something.

Just a thought.

KSTR 9th August 2012 11:22 AM

Most people I know, including myself, dislike the display/visual properties of the small LCD portable cheapies. For audio work it often feels like seeing the world through a grainy noisy slow sea of pixels, edge rates, dynamic changes, small HF oscillation and the like tend to be much less visible than on a good analog one. On top of that comes Dale's point about triggering. You might want to check that for any specific model you are considering.

Of course a good DSO has its merits too, I use an older one myself (a Fluke/Philips dual domain "combiscope", with CRT and as big as your Tek). Math&display functions, averaging, storage and plotting to a PC is really nice to have, but not something essentially needed IMHO. Synchronous averaging to filter out uncorrelated noise, and the occasional single shot, are my main uses of the digital sampling mode.

I'd keep the Tek if I were you and try rebuild the closet so that it looks alike an airplane cockpit. :D

tvrgeek 9th August 2012 11:59 AM

"I'd keep the Tek if I were you and try rebuild the closet so that it looks alike an airplane cockpit"

It already does, that's the problem. Parts, generators, counters, meters, supplies, tools on one door, cables hang from the other. My total space if 4 feet wide and two deep.

Being another gray haired old man, I really hear your comment about trace quality. I learned on old 500 series tube jobs, ( 564? 60 M dual gun, trace like a knife edge!) then spent my tech years with 7900/7800 series and good old 465's. Every generation they get worse. But that single shot or even static screen capture would be really nice. I do need delayed trigger. I make do with Zalscope for single shot, but it is limited to 44.1K sample, even though I have a 128K interface. Even at that, useless for amp stability or what little digital I still do.

Maybe my best bet is to go ahead and move everything to my back workshop. I haven't as I do some metal fab and metal dust, welding, and spray paint are not exactly good environments for a test bench. Not sure a curtain would be enough. Maybe. At least I moved my wood shop to the back of the garage when I sold my TVR and Mog. Do I have too many hobbies?

audiohead 9th August 2012 04:04 PM

Have you considered buying a tek scope cart?


macboy 9th August 2012 06:01 PM

Another option is to store it under the bench, and slide it out and use it vertically when needed. You could put it on a little step stool if you want it closer to benchtop level.
I have a digital scope and an analog one (a Tek 2236). I wouldn't give up either one; they are each very useful in different ways.

Enzo 9th August 2012 08:25 PM

I do that out in the warehouse. If I take the scope out there to work on something, I sit in my rollaround desk chair with the scope on the floor beside me looking up. Glanging from the work unit on the benchtop to the scope beside my thigh is easy.

tvrgeek 10th August 2012 11:37 AM

In my many years in the factory and in field support, I have used scopes in many creative locations. I am VERY space limited. I was just probing to see if the new compact LCD jobs have advanced enough and are cheap enough to switch. Besides the space, storage would be really sweet. It sounds like I can't have everything for peanuts just yet. My best bet may be to cut a pocket in the back wall to gain 3 inches.

Samuel Groner 10th August 2012 05:36 PM

Perhaps a Tek SC504 would be a solution? Particularly if you have/plan for other 500 series plugins.


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