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Old 17th November 2003, 08:32 PM   #1
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Default TDS340 Scope

Does anyone have experience of this pl? Performance? Durability?
Usability?
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Old 21st November 2003, 08:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: TDS340 Scope

Quote:
Originally posted by fmak
Does anyone have experience of this pl? Performance? Durability?
Usability?
Never used one personally, but I have a lot of time with a TDS460A. Very similar scope, Very nice. The 340 looks like a stripped down version of the 460. I would not be afraid to buy one, if the price were right.

If you are shopping, I'd urge you to check out the TDS1000, and TDS2000 scopes. These new low end scopes are very nice, and the price is very reasonable. They offer many of the same features as their more expensive "big brothers". They are, however much much smaller, with higher sampling rates and longer record lengths. (100Mhz, blk/wht LDC for $995 last I checked)

Just shopping, or do you have one in mind?

-Dan
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Old 21st November 2003, 08:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: Re: TDS340 Scope

If you are shopping, I'd urge you to check out the TDS1000, and TDS2000 scopes. These new low end scopes are very nice, and the price is very reasonable. They offer many of the same features as their more expensive "big brothers". They are, however much much smaller, with higher sampling rates and longer record lengths. (100Mhz, blk/wht LDC for $995 last I checked)

Just shopping, or do you have one in mind?

---------------------------------------------------------------

I am dithering between the TDS340A, the 150MHz HP54602B and a Tek 2456B 400 MHz scope which are being auctioned. I guess it will depend on price. A 400MHz scope would be really nice for digital work but then the TDS340 is more automatic and practical for the bench.

Any advice?
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Old 22nd November 2003, 03:20 AM   #4
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Default Re: Re: Re: TDS340 Scope

Quote:
Originally posted by fmak
I am dithering between the TDS340A, the 150MHz HP54602B and a Tek 2456B 400 MHz scope which are being auctioned. I guess it will depend on price. A 400MHz scope would be really nice for digital work but then the TDS340 is more automatic and practical for the bench.

Any advice?
The TDS1000/2000 series are very comparable to the TDS300,400 series. I've only found a few times I've ever really needed the extra options (debugging logic, for example). If you're buying new, the TDS1000/2000 are the way to go for a home shop or small buisness.

I swear by the tek digitals. I've owned a couple, and have used several others. I've also purchased several for companies that I have worked for. I've settled on a TDS3032B for my own shop. Ultimatley, tax reasons caused me to spend the extra cash. Otherwise I'd still be using a TDS200 series. The TDS3000's have Good speed, plenty fast sampling, and lots of analog bandwidth. More than what I usually use. It also has a built in ethernet... ....very nice for remote monitoring.

The one thing I would suggest it to get a scope with a sample rate close to or better than 10 times the rated bandwidth. It's supposed to keep ailising issues from becoming a problem.

what sort of price ranges are the scopes you're looking at?

-Dan
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Old 22nd November 2003, 10:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: Re: Re: TDS340 Scope

Quote:
Originally posted by fmak
If you are shopping, I'd urge you to check out the TDS1000, and TDS2000 scopes. ...

---------------------------------------------------------------

I am dithering between the TDS340A, the 150MHz HP54602B and a Tek 2456B 400 MHz scope which are being auctioned. I guess it will depend on price. A 400MHz scope would be really nice for digital work but then the TDS340 is more automatic and practical for the bench.

Any advice?
Hi fmak,

I have used all the scopes mentioned on this thread in the past few years. I own a TDS360 and have use the newer TDS1000/2000/3000 scopes at work daily.

First question - do you need digital storage? If so then the otherwise fine Tek2465B (typo above?) will not do, it's analogue only. Four channels can be useful.

I would strongly recommend against the HP54602B. HP say it's a 150MHz b/w scope. However, it uses a technique called repetitive interleaved sampling. Look at the single shot b/w figure - it's a miserable 2MHz. So if the signal you're trying to capture is perfectly regular then this scope will give you a good picture of it. If it's time varying then the scope probably won't be able to capture it. In practice when using this scope the display breaks up into a mess of dots every time you change something. Avoid this and most of HP's other low end scopes. The high end ones are however very good but at a steep price even second hand. However if you are want to spend a lot then Teks high end scopes are equally good or better.

TDS1000 is the modern equivalent of TDS3xx series. It's low cost but reasonably new. The slighly older TDS220/220/224 may be cheaper. TDS2000 adds colour and a few more features. TDS3000 has digital phosphor - makes it look and feel slightly more like an analogue scope.

Go for either of the Teks. Decide if you need storage and then go by price. The TDS340 will fit a lot of your needs - I reach for my TDS360 most of the time at home even though there is a much better scope sitting above it.

Good luck,

James
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Old 22nd November 2003, 03:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: TDS340 Scope

Quote:
Originally posted by nemestra

Go for either of the Teks. Decide if you need storage and then go by price.
Agreed!

One thing that I really like about the TDS200,1000,2000,3000 series are their size. Very short. I have mine sitting on my desk, with my projects right in frot of it. It's so short, that often times I find myself pulling the scope closer to me. I hated using the longer scopes. There was never enough room on the bench. You'd always be trying to push them farther away!

I've only used the HP scopes a few times (low end units) and was never impressed with them. They just didn't "feel" right.

Just wondering what are the TDS300's going for nowadays. Seems to me I saw on on ebay for around $1100.
You guys finding the same thing?

-Dan
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Old 28th November 2003, 02:01 AM   #7
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Howdy,

I am your friendly neighborhood Tektronix Sales Engineer. I sell for Tektronix in Long Island, New York. I highly recommend a TDS3000 series scope with the battery option if you can find one on the cheap. I say this because of the ability to float the scope and make measurements without an expensive differential probe. The TDS300 scope was obsoleted about 5 years ago and is just about at the end of it's support life. After it goes out of support life there is no guarranty you will be able to find parts for repairs if it becomes necessary. Don't get me wrong the TDS300 is a fine low cost scope, but if I were spending my hard earned cash I would go for the TDS3000. The TDS200 (just went obsolete but still supported) and it's replacements the TDS1000 and TDS2000 series are great DSO's also but unfortunately they do not have the battery option. Another nice feature of the TDS3000 is DPO (Digital Phospher Technology) which gets you as close to an analog oscilloscope as posible by intensity modulating the Z axis. It also comes in handy when troubleshooting and finding a glitch. Well I could go on and on, but if you have any questions just give me a shout.
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Old 28th November 2003, 02:13 AM   #8
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nemestra,

Excellent advice! There are quite alot of 2465B's out there that can be had for a heartbeat. They can be found inexpensively enough that a second could be purchased for parts if a repair was needed. I have one on my bench and will never part with it (that is even with access to any Tek scope I want). I will take my Tektronix hat off now (I used to sell for HP also) and agree with you that the HP54602B would be a bad choice because it just does not have enough sample rate. If I am not mistaken it is only 20 megasamples so it is really a repetitive scope and not good for one-shot type of measurements that digital troubleshooting may require.
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Old 28th November 2003, 03:33 AM   #9
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The problem with the TDS340 is that it has only 1,000 points of acquisition memory. And that's what determines your sample rate. The 1,000 points are spread across the whole screen. So if you're looking at 1ms onscreen, you're sampling at 1,000 samples per millisecond. Which is 1 megasample per second. Which is WAY lower than the 500 megasamples per second you paid for.

This is a common problem with Digital Scopes. The sample rate is determined by the combination of Timebase and Memory, NOT by the Maximum Sample Rate Spec. This doesn't matter for fast pulse work like digital design. But it can be a killer in audio applications. Sampling too slow means you miss spikes, noise, glitches, and other things that degrade audio quality.

The only way to avoid this trap is to buy a scope with longer memory. Like the TDS3000 the Salesman wanted to sell you. Or another manufacturer's scope with longer memory.

BTW, the Tek DPO scopes have the same problem in spades. Their onscreen memory is limited to 500 points, which is even worse. The signals look pretty - clean and all - but it's the stuff you don't see that kills you.

Cheers, BC
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Old 28th November 2003, 07:11 AM   #10
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BC,

First point; I couldn't sell him any of the scopes we discussed because they are sold through distribution channels.

Second point; what you have stated is true in general about digital scopes in general but during aquisition whatever is captured is stored in memory and even though only 500 points is displayed on the screen, if the scope had say 10K memory, one could scroll through the whole 15K of memory.

Third point; here is a very short explanation of how DPO works: Suppose we are looking for a transient (glitch or spike). An analog scope is unable to display a transient with sufficient brightness, and is prone to flickering; the (much brighter) main waveform obscures it. Moreover, the analog oscilloscope provides no means of storing and analyzing the waveform. A Digital Phospher Scope (DPO) would be a better choice for transient capture because, firstly, its waveform capture rate is 50 times faster (>100K waveforms/second IIRC) than that of a DSO with comparable performance. This provides advantages when looking for transients. Its acquisition system is active much more of the time, so the DPO has hundreds of times more opportunities to capture glitches and infrequent events. Secondly, the DPO real-time intensity grading exposes the details about the “history” of a signal’s activity as they accumulate. The digital phosphor display makes it easier to understand the characteristics of the transients you’ve captured. It intensifies the areas where the signal trace crosses more frequently, much like an analog oscilloscope. An infrequent transient is dimmer than the main waveform that repeats continuously, yet it’s still very visible and distinguishable. Changes are seen as they occur. If you are interested in DPO beyond my short explanation here is the URL to the DPO white paper pdf file. http://www.tek.com/Measurement/scope...5W_14546_0.pdf.

Lastly, thanks for the soapbox but I swore to my wife I would try not to think about work for the next few days and have already broken my promise.
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