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Old 11th April 2007, 02:02 AM   #11
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Get a late model Tek scope, two channels, 100 Mhz, guaranteed working. Watch out for the earlier solid state models like the 465B. They're nice to work with when they work, but are old enough to be unreliable, and are difficult to service. Though I have one of those, I actually still use a "boat anchor" Tek 545B that uses tubes and is only 40 Mhz. You don't want one of those unless you know how to service it, have spare tubes, and need extra heat in the winter. On the upside, they practically give them away at hamfests- around here they often get left behind for the dumpster. On the further upside, with a 1A7A plug-in, I can make measurements down to microvolts per centimeter, albeit only to 1 Mhz. Very useful for sorting out ground and noise issues. The long tubes can also be focused much more sharply than the later better protected scopes. I recommend against the low end HP scopes (dim fuzzy traces), and Phillips scopes (unless you can get docs), and any of the non-name brands. Leader actually made some decent scopes, but parts are often needed, and impossible to get. I've used several Leaders and didn't dislike them, but stick with Tek. Digital scopes do some things very well, but aren't well suited to audio. I'd only pick up a digital scope if I already had an analog scope to fall back on. OTOH, for mostly digital and high level analog work at work, I wouldn't use anything else- they can help your productivity and documentation tremendously.
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Old 11th April 2007, 07:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by sansbury

-- Agilent / Hewlett Packard / 16500A Logic analyzer mainframe:
Consisting of 2 built-in 3.5 inch floppy disk drive, built-in RS-232 and GP-IB interfaces, Color touch screen.
I would avoid this like a case of multi-drug resistant TB. I had some logic analyzers back when I used to deal in surplus electronic stuff and found that even a working logic analyzer is junk if you don't have a complete set of probes for it, and that is how they normally end up on the surplus market- missing probes. A set of probes will cost you a couple thousand dollars if you can find them.

Logic analyzer development and obsolescense are similar to that of PCs. They should be cheap, but since the probes and the analyzers are normally stored in two different cases, they are normally not found together on the surplus market. If you want to make some money, start hunting and reselling logic analyzer probes. There are a million surplus boxes out there that need probes to become functional.

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Old 11th April 2007, 07:41 AM   #13
OzMikeH is offline OzMikeH  Australia
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Once CROS get over about 15 years old you not only need to know how to use them, but how to repair them. switches get grotty, capacitors dry out. all sorts of issues. stay well away from anything made by Velleman too.

Getting one with a CRT is cheaper but bulkier so it will cost you a LOT more in freight, some digitals are only 2 inches thick.

dual channel is very useful for fault finding, I use two probes, one connected to the test signal source and fiddle the cal so I can exactly overlay the two traces to look for distortion. (this is where a nice sharp focus is important.

20MHz at least, 40Mhz better (go for a quality 20Mhz before a cheap 40MHz)
Good brand: Philips, tektronix, HP, have a look inside if you get a chance, the circuit board materials, screen printing etc will give you a good idea of quality.

my next project is restoring this old beast.
a 30kHz single channel Philips CRO. That's right, kilohertz... next to useless but how quaint!
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Old 11th April 2007, 07:51 AM   #14
OzMikeH is offline OzMikeH  Australia
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If you see anything like this avoid it, a great bit of gear if it's working correctly but it has 2 handles for a reason - they are extremely heavy. There are about 30 tubes in these, they only last for so long too.
that screen is about 5 or 6 inches across.

Looks like a great buy but you need a real smart old-timer tube freak to fix it. - any volunteers??
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Old 11th April 2007, 07:56 AM   #15
EC8010 is offline EC8010  United Kingdom
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Quaint indeed.

One other possibility (if you're offered one for free, and no postage) is a 20MHz dual channel Gould. They used to be very popular in university labs and they're almost bomb proof (they need to be, when dealing with students). The great advantage of these Goulds is that they use almost entirely discrete components so they're maintainable almost indefinitely. I'd concur with the advice to stay away from Tek 465 etc; you want the final generation analogue Teks.
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Old 11th April 2007, 08:04 AM   #16
EC8010 is offline EC8010  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally posted by OzMikeH
Looks like a great buy but you need a real smart old-timer tube freak to fix it. - any volunteers??
Let's see, postage to UK and back...

I once bought a 555 for 10. Two handles for the oscilloscope, plus separate power supply (only one handle). Excellent source of useful bits.
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Old 11th April 2007, 08:10 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by OzMikeH
If you see anything like this avoid it, a great bit of gear if it's working correctly but it has 2 handles for a reason - they are extremely heavy. There are about 30 tubes in these, they only last for so long too.
that screen is about 5 or 6 inches across.

Looks like a great buy but you need a real smart old-timer tube freak to fix it. - any volunteers??
I had three of those fresh from government surplus a couple of decades back and I referred to them as a 500 watt fan forced space heater with an o-scope screen to monitor their performance.


I wish I still had them today as a source for tube amp parts!
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Old 11th April 2007, 08:24 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by EC8010
Quaint indeed.

One other possibility (if you're offered one for free, and no postage) is a 20MHz dual channel Gould. They used to be very popular in university labs and they're almost bomb proof (they need to be, when dealing with students). The great advantage of these Goulds is that they use almost entirely discrete components so they're maintainable almost indefinitely. I'd concur with the advice to stay away from Tek 465 etc; you want the final generation analogue Teks.

EC,

I have one of those Gould`s, a dual channel unit with a pretty much permanent position on my audio bench and that is what I primarily use there. Great scope for this purpose. I paid about $60 for mine a decade ago and have had no problems with it. Good suggestion!

For more demanding measurements associated with RF or fast stuff
I have a 120 MHz Delay timebase dual trace Philips (since almost new) that travels to where I need it on the property only. It has developed a flaky delay line which I fixed with a rubber elastic band instead of a $1000 repair. I agree with the other poster not to get a Philips. I also shuffle around here most often with my Tektronix 1740A dual trace delayed timebase (100 MHz?). I bought two of those for $40 each at the Rochester Hamfest and made one good one from both. I have a spare CRT and everything else for it as a result. Nice scope but the triggering is poor. That may be an actual circuit fault and not a characteristic of the model. I do not expect to own a digital scope.

I have a Tek 564 dual channel storage scope that sits on the equipment shelf in the lab. I haven`t used it in many years since it served for a decade as part of a real time Hydrogen line spectral line microwave receiver display. I also have the same scope without storage. What was that one, the 562 or something? There is also this old HP scope that I bought because it had a good 141T storage mainframe to use in my microwave spectrum analyzer. That one gets fired up occasionally.

I found a mint 5 inch, `Precision` brand TV service man`s scope from the 1950`s at a hamfest for $5 and bought it because it looks great in my collection of 1940`s vintage TV receivers in my home. That one works but needs a recap. Beautiful black wrinkle steel cabinet finish and black face highlighted with aluminum raised etched printing and border. Pointy black knobs. I would have given my eye teeth for that scope when I was a kid and it was almost new! Much better than the cheap Eico`s and Heathkit scopes of the same era. It actually has two accelerator sections on the scope tube bell IIRC and the detail to shielding inside is very good for the era. I`ll bet it was expensive.

Then there is this old 1960`s, 3 inch Telequipment rack mount scope .......
Gee I have accumulated a lot of stuff.
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Old 11th April 2007, 12:41 PM   #19
SY is offline SY  United States
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That old Tek is not only a fine parts source, it's a source for the best terminal strips on the planet Earth.
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Old 11th April 2007, 03:13 PM   #20
Apex Jr is offline Apex Jr  United States
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The older 500 series scopes are great sources for tubes
and as Sy stated those terminal strips, CERAMIC.
THere also good for movie props for period films from the
60's and are rentable or saleable too.

I agree with the above statments on the Tek 465 scopes
but wouldn't dismiss the update version 465B's
These are great scopes and now priced right just make
sure you get one that has there dual display.

The MIT Flea market sounds like fun, to bad it's so far
for me...

Steve @ Apex Jr.
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