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Old 2nd November 2005, 09:24 AM   #1
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Default Tweaking Old Analog Oscilloscope

Hi,

I have had an idea for some time that I would like to change some components and upgrade the powersupply inside my scope to gain better performance of it, it's today 40 MHz and I would like to double the speed of the scope and get sharper and stronger wave trace ray on the CRT.

Have anyone done something similar and have anything to share, it would be fun to hear your story!

I have thought about to change especially esential transistors to faster ones with perhaps a bit lower noise too, changing vital capacitors and old dry el-lytes.
The CRT would need a better PSU as the mains frequency can be seen on the screen and have a bit too thick trace on the CRT, and changing the horisontal deflection transistor to faster ones with low Cob and so on.
I believe it to be posible to get better performance on a bit over 15 years old scope as component technology have also developed.

Comments?

Cheers Michael
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Old 12th November 2005, 03:16 PM   #2
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I guess this is not a hot topic but bump this post up after zero replies over a week...
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Old 12th November 2005, 04:11 PM   #3
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Designing amplifiers/sweep circuits for oscopes is not a trivial task. This is one instance where the commercial product is almost always better than what you could do yourself.

It sounds like what you are talking about is completely rebuilding your scope. While it is possible, it is not practical. By the time you're done, it will have been cheaper to get another scope that has the specs you want. I suggest selling the old scope and applying the money plus a little more to get one that meets your requirements.

Surplus scopes can be pretty cheap if you know where to look. Go to ham radio swap-meets. You'll find what you want pretty quickly. I have a military surplus 100 MHz HP scope that I picked up for $75 a few years ago. That is not atypical.

TD
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Old 16th November 2005, 03:04 PM   #4
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Wow, $75 is good. I was thinking more like several hundred. Is yours analog or digital?
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Old 16th November 2005, 10:22 PM   #5
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Analog.

I think I spent another $150 for a set of new probes for it. Scope probes are interesting devices, and selecting them is not nearly as simple as you might think. Tektronix's web site has at least one app note about how to properly match probes to a scope. You might check it out. Maybe the performance limitation you are experiencing is due to mismatch between your probes and scope.

Improving scope performance is unfortunately not as simple as putting in "faster" transistors.

I_F
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Old 16th November 2005, 10:44 PM   #6
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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That's true. The standing current in the deflection drivers will have to go up for one. The rest of the problems I don't want to think about.

Fix up the older 'scope. There is a lot you can do with it. Buy a better one if you need it.

-Chris
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Old 17th November 2005, 07:23 AM   #7
dnsey is offline dnsey  United Kingdom
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I've been thinking about almost the opposite idea!
A scope has low noise, low distortion, sensitive amlifiers. How well would they work as audio pre-amps? One of these days, I'll tap into my old scope, and try it.
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Old 17th November 2005, 12:10 PM   #8
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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Hi dnsey,
Quote:
A scope has low noise, low distortion, sensitive amlifiers. How well would they work as audio pre-amps? One of these days, I'll tap into my old scope, and try it.
Some of the new preamp designs are based on osilloscope circuitry, probably some older ones too. Let us know when you try this.

-Chris
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