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Old 6th January 2009, 10:25 PM   #1
percy is offline percy  United States
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: MN
Default Need advise shopping for a used oscilloscope

Hi,
I am looking at buying a used oscilloscope for basic audio, video and radio(sw/maybe vhf) hobby purposes.

What should I look for in a scope ? How much bandwidth is enough ? How many channels ? What features or capabilities specfically ?

The Tektronics and HP are the most common in the used market. Are they good ? Any particular model(s) that you'd suggest ?

Keep in mind I don't want to get the latest and greatest, just something enough to serve basic duty of what we mostly do around here.

Any guidance appreciated!
Thanks!
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Old 8th January 2009, 05:38 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Victoria, BC
Percy-
I've got a couple of scopes, but I'm not (AT ALL) expert in using them, so can't offer much specific advice.

What's your budget?

When I was 'shopping' for a scope, I found the Tek line to be so complex that I never really figured out how all the plug-in modules worked together, and what I needed. Hopefully, you will get some good advice here. They are/were the top of the line.

For audio, lower bandwidth (freq) will do the job, but it is nice to have a 100MHz scope when you are trying to track down parasitic oscillation problems, and the trace tends to be sharper as well, in my very limited experience. Obviously for VHF work you will need more.

I ended up with a eBay BK2522 20MHz scope that is easy to use, and fairly fool-proof. I also got a 100MHz Kikusui scope along the way (when you could still get really good bargains at online auctions) that is fun to play with.
I found that the more complex scope was tricky to learn to use- even for 'simple' stuff, you have to set a bunch of controls.
You may have found your way to
ToneLizard on Oscilloscopes already. There is some useful info about used scopes and some links there as well.

Scopes are fairly heavy and 'mistakes' from ebay can get expensive when you are paying the shipping costs. It might be better to pay the extra$$ and deal with a place that sells used test equipment (with a warranty), or somebody local if possible.

If the scope doesn't come with probes, add that into your budget calculation.

Cheers
John
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