Electronics > Beginners

buying a oscilloscoop

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hi iam looking to buy a oscilloscoop but i have no idea what to buy i dont want to go over 250 euros
iam not shure if i need only 2 channels or 4 ?
i only work on c64 computers spectrums  videogame consoles and crt monitors some tube radios /old amps and retro computers like 286/486 etc
thanks for helping ,oh and i never used one so i dont know anything about it

wanted to add. i got a free ibm crt monitor from a friend , he found it in the trash got it working almost perfect
psu is acting wierd sometimes it wont start up and when it does the first 3 min it turns off and on by it self
it has been fully recapped and cleaned and reflowed

I in my opinion:
2 Channels is good enough for repairing stuff, but the moment you want to do some more serious design work, you are gonna need 4 channels. A simple comparator can take up 3 channels if you drive the two inputs and want to see what's on the output. For your budget, however I thing you can only get a simple 2 channel USB scope with some limited features:
If you are willing to spend some more money however you cant go wrong with the king of entry-level scopes:
That, of course are brand new ones. If you have some patience and luck you may find something second hand.

Wallace Gasiewicz:
Look at the o scope tutorial at the top of this forum, when you get through it you will know what you need.   

drdm is correct. For most repairs 2 channels is plenty. I very seldom even use two in repairing radios and audio stuff.   
I used to be a fan of old CRT scopes but they are getting old and usually require repair.  The older digital scopes are not great, newer ones are much better.  When you have done more research, perhaps others can help with their experience with newer digital scopes. There are a lot of reviews in the Test Equip Forum. 

When you need to analyze many channels it is frequently when you are looking at logic circuits.

Some scopes have logic analyzers built in but...If you need to analyze logic outputs there are relatively inexpensive logic analyzers available, these can show you many more channels.

You can look at the Hantek DSO2C15, it is a good entry level scope, there is also a version with built in signal generator if you don't have one. There are plenty reviews on Youtube and topics here on the forum.

When the computers and video games that you are talking about were designed, 2 channel scopes were the norm in design labs. 4 channel scopes were very expensive (eg. Tek mainframes). People also knew how to use the external trigger input on 2 channel scopes when necessary. That's not to say that a 4 channel scope isn't highly desireable, but it's not an essential. This might make your limited budget stretch further.

Another item that was very expensive back then was the Logic Analyser. These day, you can get a basic Saleae USB logic analyser clone (which works with open source Sigrok) for <$10 for the 8 bit version. Back when everything was external to the microprocessor, wider LAs were used, typically 24 bits or so. 16 bit Saleae clones or even 32 bit USB models are also pretty cheap now. The work methodology was scope to look at signal integrity/quality, setup and hold timings etc, and the LA for decoding busses and decodes. SPI, I2C etc, weren't a thing back then, so protocol decoding is less useful.

I would factor both into your budget, that might mean spending a little less on the scope, but I think you will find the combination helpful.


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