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Looking To Buy Oscilloscope

  1. May 22, 2010 #1
    I am in need of an oscilloscope due to recent projects that i have been working on. I have used ones before, but now need my own. I know little about them, and am not looking to spend to much money. Is anyone selling one that is in good condition, or does anyone know of one that i could get for fairly cheap that works fairly well. Thanks
    ~Matt
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 22, 2010 #2

    berkeman

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    It will help us if we could know more about what you will use the 'scope for. What bandwidth do you need, what memory depth, how many channels, what kind of connectivity for pulling out waveforms (Ethernet, USB, floppy, etc.)?
     
  4. May 22, 2010 #3
  5. May 22, 2010 #4

    mgb_phys

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    If you don't need lots of clever triggering and relatively low (say 25MHz) bandwidth you can get USB scopes for <$100
     
  6. May 23, 2010 #5
    I would generally stay away from USB scopes. They are just too cheap, with small sampling rates, and are just not suitable for professional, and even most amateur work.
     
  7. May 23, 2010 #6

    mgb_phys

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    Depends what you need it for - great for on-site trouble shooting, wouldn't swap a modern bench scope for it though!
    My pico scope does a lot more (and at higher bandwidth) than the first HP DSO that we paid $10,000 for 20 years ago.
    It's also lot more convenient to have in the bag with my laptop than to always carry a Tek 475 everywhere just in case.

    But there are some very tempting <$400 LCD scopes though if you need a benchtop instrument.
     
  8. May 23, 2010 #7
    That's true, the OP didn't say what he needed the scope for.

    In general, the sampling rate is more important than the bandwidth. It allows you to catch more transients, which is absolutely necessary for observing and troubleshooting digital and analog signals. Where as a low sampling rate scope is only good for observing long steady state signals.

    Most general purpose USB scopes have very low sampling rates 10-50 MS/s, except maybe one of those high end ones that cost more than a regular scope.

    Here is one those better 2000 series picoscopes:

    and the Rigol in the link above has a 1 GS/s sampling at a same price. The difference between their performance is like comparing a black and white TV vs. a 1080P HDTV.
     
  9. May 23, 2010 #8
    i would like one that has fairly good sampling, i am an amateur so professional grade is not required, and as for bandwidth, i would need at least to 2-5MHz, as i am not measuring anything more. I would like two channels, however not required, i can use one for everything if needed. if possible a floppy for pulling waveforms, however not required. what else would need to be known before buying one? Thanks
    ~Matt
     
  10. May 25, 2010 #9
    All you want is any old analogue scope. It should cost next-to-nothing. Put a USB camera in front of it and you're away
     
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