Author Topic: help with oscilloscope  (Read 9685 times)

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Offline noah_fakelastnamelike_bob

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help with oscilloscope
« on: February 16, 2014, 07:23:14 pm »
i cant "Save up" 500 $ for an oscilloscope all i have is 50$and its been the same for a year now and i have not spent a cent (of my own) what company could i contact to ask for some "trash"
i am 13 and does not have a job obviously
 

Offline Tac Eht Xilef

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2014, 05:18:26 am »
i cant "Save up" 500 $ for an oscilloscope all i have is 50$and its been the same for a year now and i have not spent a cent (of my own) what company could i contact to ask for some "trash"
i am 13 and does not have a job obviously

1) Do you need an oscilloscope? Sure, they're a nice to have and display pretty pictures, but they're hardly a 'must-have' for beginners - I'd put a good soldering iron, multimeter, PSU (and, depending on your particular interests, maybe a frequency counter or cheap logic analyser/buss sniffer) first.

(I admit I'm puzzled by the number of beginners here and elsewhere who jump straight to buying an oscilloscope, then wonder what to do with it...)

2) eBay. You don't have your location set in your profile, but assuming you're in the US you should be spoilt for choice. I just looked and found 4 currently under $50 here in Aus, including a quite useable 60MHz Kikusui and a "Powers Up, No Test done, Sold as is" 100MHz Tek 2235A that I'd bid on if I had more room for stuff.
 

Offline PedroDaGr8

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Re: Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2014, 06:13:13 am »
i cant "Save up" 500 $ for an oscilloscope all i have is 50$and its been the same for a year now and i have not spent a cent (of my own) what company could i contact to ask for some "trash"
i am 13 and does not have a job obviously

1) Do you need an oscilloscope? Sure, they're a nice to have and display pretty pictures, but they're hardly a 'must-have' for beginners - I'd put a good soldering iron, multimeter, PSU (and, depending on your particular interests, maybe a frequency counter or cheap logic analyser/buss sniffer) first.

(I admit I'm puzzled by the number of beginners here and elsewhere who jump straight to buying an oscilloscope, then wonder what to do with it...)

2) eBay. You don't have your location set in your profile, but assuming you're in the US you should be spoilt for choice. I just looked and found 4 currently under $50 here in Aus, including a quite useable 60MHz Kikusui and a "Powers Up, No Test done, Sold as is" 100MHz Tek 2235A that I'd bid on if I had more room for stuff.
Tac nailed it. For your first oscilloscope, you don't need anything powerful. 20MHz is enough for your first scope. It's very easy to find some old BK Precision, Tenma, Goldstar (now known as LG, which stands for Lucky Goldstar), etc for under $50. Providing you live in the USA.

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Offline electronics man

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2014, 11:25:48 am »
you dont realy need an osilloscope, I have been doing electronics for 10 years and have only just got one its the ds10074z, you can get away whith just a multimeter for testing your circuits. :-+
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Offline Psi

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2014, 11:31:38 am »
A crappy WW2 style 5mhz scope is still quite useful for playing with 555 times and audio stuff. You can usually get them really cheap.
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Offline electronics man

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2014, 11:35:59 am »
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Offline Psi

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2014, 11:47:56 am »
something like this http://proto-pic.co.uk/xmega-xprotolab/
lol, ok i know that's useless for doing any real testing but i totally want one.

Mike, you should review it. lol
At least being open source its possible to fix problems and add some proper external controls.

« Last Edit: February 18, 2014, 11:56:02 am by Psi »
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Offline electronics man

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2014, 12:09:30 pm »
a bad osilloscope is better than no osilloscope
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Offline lapm

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2014, 12:10:07 pm »
Reminds me when i got samples from Maxim of 12 bit ad converters.. had to hook that up to computer and make poor mans barely audio level computer scope :P Was bit suprised i got that much speed out of qbasic program bit-banging parallel port (It was spi connected ad-converter..)

And of course i had massive mains pickup... several lsb worth... but was fun...
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Offline SoundTech-LG

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2014, 05:50:37 pm »
For signal tracing, a scope is pretty handy. When you use a multimeter, how can you be sure the signal you are tracing is really the right one, or the correct waveform? Seeing is believing.
 

Offline noah_fakelastnamelike_bob

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2014, 09:46:14 pm »

(I admit I'm puzzled by the number of beginners here and elsewhere who jump straight to buying an oscilloscope, then wonder what to do with it...)



 i am just doing what Dave said to have a decent lab you need  an oscilloscope guess i am just getting over my head.
 

Offline electronics man

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2014, 10:10:22 pm »
just have a look on ebay for one
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Offline noah_fakelastnamelike_bob

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2014, 10:13:30 pm »
alrighty i guess i will have to. :-+
 

Offline electronics man

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2014, 10:15:30 pm »
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Offline noah_fakelastnamelike_bob

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2014, 10:18:06 pm »
damn even if it is broken great tear down i will totally "try" to buy it
 

Offline vk6zgo

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2014, 12:48:23 am »
A crappy WW2 style 5mhz scope is still quite useful for playing with 555 times and audio stuff. You can usually get them really cheap.

Sorry to be a "know-all" Old Fart,but typical WW2 Oscilloscopes were battling to reach 250kHz!
They made a lot of them,so they weren't state of the art.

Tektronix & the like in the early '50s could do 5MHz,& more,but they are seriously huge!

The reasonably affordable 'scopes in the late 1950s/early '60s,like the Telequipment Serviscope went to abour 3-5MHz,& by that time WW2 "style" untriggered timebases were long gone!


 

Offline ethhanners

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2014, 03:00:35 am »
ebay usually has them the shipping can be expensive I have a hitachi v 152b I got from ebay oit is a good beginner scope
 

Offline Psi

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2014, 03:53:59 am »
yeah, when i said "style" i was more referring to scopes that look like they came from the war rather than scopes that were actually in it.


Another thing to look for is scopes with a dead channel.

A 1 channel scope is still very useful for a beginner
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 04:18:44 am by Psi »
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Offline Tac Eht Xilef

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2014, 05:04:50 am »
(I admit I'm puzzled by the number of beginners here and elsewhere who jump straight to buying an oscilloscope, then wonder what to do with it...)

 i am just doing what Dave said to have a decent lab you need  an oscilloscope guess i am just getting over my head.

Sorry, that wasn't aimed at you or anyone in particular - I just get puzzled as to why people would drop that sort of money on something when they don't even know what they'll use it for...

(On the other hand, I expect in a few years you'll be able to pick up a used Chinese DSO nice and cheap as people either drift way from the hobby or upgrade to the next 'latest & greatest, must have' scope ;))

And I think you'd be surprised just how many people here and in industry have labs that aren't 'decent' by Dave's criteria there...

My overall point was that you should have some idea of where your interests lie, what you want to do, and whether a particular bit of kit is necessary / desirable / handy / pointless for those things before you spend all your money on it.

To get an idea of where your interests lie & what sort of test gear you might need and use (rather than want), I skimmed over your previous posts/comments. There's not much to go on; I get that you don't yet really know what sort of things you want to build (apart from "Everything! Anything cool!") or even what's practical at your experience level. That'll change; that's what experience is. But there's basics that'll get you started, and you can take it from there without having to jump straight to things you can't afford anyway:

PSU (preferably with regulated fixed +5v & adjustable ±30v rails); temperature controlled soldering iron (with 2-3 tips of different sizes), multimeter (CAT-II/III rating is optional - just don't go sticking it anywhere near high voltages or currents - but accuracy/stability/repeatability is a must), and breadboard (cheap is OK, but more expensive is generally better). Vero/matrix/perfboard for more permanent projects. Handfuls of basic components (resistors, capacitors, transistors, LEDs, etc) - you soon figure out what you tend to use. Learn at least the basics of using a linear circuit simulator (e.g. LTspice or similar) - you'd be surprised at how far you can get without breadboarding/prototyping, and your designs will be the better for it. Some sort of uC dev board e.g. Arduino, even if it's just for dicking around. If you go the uC route and graduate beyond reading buttons and flashing LEDs, then a cheap $10 logic analyser. If you don't go the uC route, then a simple PC-based sound card audio frequency 'scope can go a long way for a beginner (and even further, into the 20kHz-1MHz range, if you get clever enough & can accept some limitations...).

If I was a beginner again, I'd grab/do all of those things - and maybe more - before a scope (unless I could grab one really cheap! A lot of people suffer from upgrade-itis - you can either suffer too, or profit from it ;))

Oh, and another tip: sign up to vendor and manufacturer's websites, forums, & mailing lists. You'll get a lot of junk mail, see a lot of stuff that grabs your interest but you can't afford - and, very occasionally, deals and freebies. For example, TI had a $25 coupon late last year - not enough for test gear, but enough to get some stuff to make test gear.
 

Offline vk6zgo

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2014, 06:32:46 am »
yeah, when i said "style" i was more referring to scopes that look like they came from the war rather than scopes that were actually in it.


Another thing to look for is scopes with a dead channel.

A 1 channel scope is still very useful for a beginner

Sorry,I took it too literally.
I second your comment about scopes with a dead channel.
I've used ones like that at work many times,& been glad to have them! ;D

Even the cruddy little single channel 10MHz "One Hung Low" 'scopes Jaycar used to sell are quite useful.
I've got one just sitting around,but the OP is too far away.

To the OP:

Because of your youth,involve a Parent in any negotiations about getting a "scope,either as a gift or a purchase.
People tend to "back away" a bit when they deal with a young person,for various reasons--unfair,but it is what it is! ;D

 

Offline electronics man

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2014, 10:35:54 am »
Yeah that is a good point I got my parents to by me an arbitrary waveform gen for my birthday
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Offline electronics man

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2014, 08:49:25 pm »
But it's not worth getting if it damages your finances
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Offline Luciano2572

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2014, 11:13:21 pm »
:)
 

Offline edy

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2014, 02:36:50 am »
Wanted to chime in on the priority gear list.... And to let you know I have the Xprotolab and also bought myself 2 used but awesome oscillocopes off ebay for $50 (20 Mhz) and $85 (100 Mhz) in USA. Of course I have a bunch of soldering irons, Digital multimeter, an arduino, raspberry pi, and a pile of beginner electronics kits containing breadboards, components, some ICs like timers, shift registers, plenty of LEDs and transistors. All of which were fairly cheap (unlike other hobbies, so my wife can't complain too much except for the time spent on it).

The Xprotolab is a fun tool but mostly for wave generation, some protocol sniffing and audio range oscilloscope sampling. You can hook it up to your pc and show waves up there not just on the tiny display. But it wouldn't be the first place I drop down cash. Arduino and Raspberry Pi are much more bang for the learning buck, but you'll need a computer to run them or at least screen, keyboard, mouse. Also they are more about learning programming with some I/O... Still very fun.

Another cheap way to start off learning would be with some components kits and project books, a DMM to read values and breadboard it all initially. The soldering comes in handy for kits to learn to assemble or scavenge parts. You could buy PCB boards and assemble your project kits. An old CR oscilloscope will come in handy if you are doing any frequency stuff but likely not going to help much with logic, as the cheapest ebay CROs are not going to store or have any more sophisticated functions.

So I suggest to look for the opportunity on ebay for a CRO that is cheap, and when it comes around to grab it. But do not be tempted by the bidding to go over that initial low price. You can search craigslist or kijiji in your area too. Be patient and wait... The CROs come and go all the time and eventually you will get a great deal, but don't be too disappointed if you lose a bid.

At this age and stage in your electronics learning, you have many options to sink $50 into and so consider whether arduino, raspberry pi or many other learning kits will offer along with a soldering iron and some example tutorials. There are books for example on 100 things to do that start with simple circuits and code for arduino and go up in complexity. None of which need an oscilloscope. In fact you can make a crude oscilloscope using your arduino.

Have fun, no matter what gear you buy, and stay safe!
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Offline Robertmaks

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2014, 03:01:36 am »
I am also 13 and i have my own oscilloscope but you really have to think about what you are building/fixing, and if it needs to be measured with an oscilloscope to figure out whats happening or the problem. I have one because i do high frequency projects with 555 timers, op amps/audio stuff and pulse/pwm charging technology and tons of other things in my lab. If you really need one find a used one on eBay, but make sure you have all the other basic things first like a soldering iron, power supply, multimeters and other tools.   
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2014, 03:07:07 am »
 

Offline noah_fakelastnamelike_bob

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2014, 03:20:22 am »
i was like oh my god  Dave posted on my forum post but then i just said to my self "spammers"
sorry for this worthless comment

but yea i am going to look at dig key tomorrow and buy a whole bunch of beginner crap to start off now. i know a lot of theory per say but not to good on the physical accept
\


post what i and all beginners should also get please refain from using any thing but

digi - key
mouser
unless it is an amazing offer

never post anything from eBay seeing as it could be token down faster due to bidding or selling out 


i am going to buy a bunch of these to show my finished projects off that are not  worth permit building

http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/700-00012/700-00012-ND/1774444 to me its just convent
 

Offline echen1024

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #27 on: February 20, 2014, 03:20:31 am »
While an oscilloscope is an indespensible tool to have around the lab, I would recommend a decent DMM, power supply, and soldering iron. First, spend about $100, and buy a decent, Chinese clone soldering station (http://www.ebay.com/itm/MD-936-Lead-Free-ESD-Soldering-Station-907-Soldering-Handle-digital-control-/221377168688?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item338b1b8530), a Uni-T UT136 multimeter for $17 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/UNI-T-UT136B-Auto-Range-Digital-Multimeter-AC-DC-Frequency-Resistance-Tester-gi-/281264237873?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item417ca7ad31), and a cheap arse power supply (http://www.ebay.com/itm/15V-1A-Precision-Variable-DC-Power-Supply-Clip-Cable-Digital-Adjustable-Lab-Grad-/390681828322?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5af6739be2).

These will help you get started, and also sign up for an account at TI for some free samples, but PLEASE do not abuse the privilege of free samples. Only take what you need and SPARINGLY! After this, save up for some more time for $200, and go get a good quality, analog Tektronix oscilloscope that will last you many, many years.
I'm not saying we should kill all stupid people. I'm just saying that we should remove all product safety labels and let natural selection do its work.

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Offline echen1024

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #28 on: February 20, 2014, 03:22:58 am »
i was like oh my god  Dave posted on my forum post but then i just said to my self "spammers"
sorry for this worthless comment

but yea i am going to look at dig key tomorrow and buy a whole bunch of beginner crap to start off now. i know a lot of theory per say but not to good on the physical accept
\


post what i and all beginners should also get please refain from using any thing but

digi - key
mouser
unless it is an amazing offer

never post anything from eBay seeing as it could be token down faster due to bidding or selling out 


i am going to buy a bunch of these to show my finished projects off that are not  worth permit building

http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/700-00012/700-00012-ND/1774444 to me its just convent
Tequipment has a whole bunch of cheap ass little bread boards for 0.45 each. http://www.tequipment.net/IWHBB350.html?v=54585
I'm not saying we should kill all stupid people. I'm just saying that we should remove all product safety labels and let natural selection do its work.

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Offline PedroDaGr8

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2014, 03:26:51 am »
TaydaElectronics.com had some great stuff, at great prices and everything I have received so far has been real. They ship from Thailand but I'm general it takes about a week.

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Offline noah_fakelastnamelike_bob

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #30 on: February 20, 2014, 03:27:44 am »
while i agree i cant i have to buy the best i can right now what i am doing currently is finding the thing i can sell the fastest and get away with and make a cheap buck even
blink led panel
throwey blink led
firefly led (blinks but fade away)
man my school needs to get smarter

+ oh hot jam i am going to buy them all
http://www.tequipment.net/IWHBB350.html?v=54585
 

Offline echen1024

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #31 on: February 20, 2014, 03:31:51 am »
while i agree i cant i have to buy the best i can right now what i am doing currently is finding the thing i can sell the fastest and get away with and make a cheap buck even
blink led panel
throwey blink led
firefly led (blinks but fade away)
man my school needs to get smarter

+ oh hot jam i am going to buy them all
http://www.tequipment.net/IWHBB350.html?v=54585
Oh tell me about it. 90% don't know what a resistor is.
I'm not saying we should kill all stupid people. I'm just saying that we should remove all product safety labels and let natural selection do its work.

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Offline noah_fakelastnamelike_bob

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #32 on: February 20, 2014, 03:39:04 am »
more like 98% including teachers. i am literally making a 555 circuit and putting hot glue all over it making plexiglass cubes gluing THAT all together putting a battery in ( i mean it is kinda cool i have it so it fits 10 led and they all fit pretty tight and you can put new ones in) and selling it for 10$ its shit this education system ( not yelling at teachers you do your job terrific). off topic we should make a new link if we wanna talk about it

lets go back on topic what should every beginner get ( put thousand of links like this guys)


breadboard :  www.breadboard.com

 i did not know that it was real but it is pretty tight you should check the site out guys
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 03:40:38 am by noah_fakelastnamelike_bob »
 

Offline electronics man

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #33 on: February 20, 2014, 11:51:03 am »
more like 98% including teachers. i am literally making a 555 circuit and putting hot glue all over it making plexiglass cubes gluing THAT all together putting a battery in ( i mean it is kinda cool i have it so it fits 10 led and they all fit pretty tight and you can put new ones in) and selling it for 10$ its shit this education system ( not yelling at teachers you do your job terrific). off topic we should make a new link if we wanna talk about it

lets go back on topic what should every beginner get ( put thousand of links like this guys)


breadboard :  www.breadboard.com

 i did not know that it was real but it is pretty tight you should check the site out guys

That reminds me of a project I did at school in year 9 (9th grade) we made a 555timer based led thing for timing tooth brushing. They didn't explain to us how it works they just gave us components and tell us where to solder them in, everyone else was buisy making little solder balls, I was the only one who could actually solder properly because I had a soldering iron at home.
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Offline 6E5

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #34 on: February 20, 2014, 04:56:42 pm »
Hi,

I'm new here so if I'm not supposed to do this, sorry!

I have a Heathkit IO-18, which is a 1968 vacuum tube oscilloscope, 5 mHz bandwidth, non -triggered. It's not something you'd want to make measurements with, but with playing around and just getting a start on electronics, it'd be ok. It's a single channel, un-triggered.

I've fully restored it, replaced all the caps and checked all tubes. It is safe to use and is clean. I have around $50 in parts, plus about 10 hours of work into this thing.

I also have a hp 54200 digital oscilloscope, 50 mHz. I'm not sure if this works. It's missing the cover but is clean. I tested the CRT, the most expensive part, with a Sencore CRT tester and it test good. When working, it's a duel channel. I have to warn you, it might be a challenge to fix this, or it might be stupidly simple.

If you have no other options, these might be ok. How about $40 plus shipping for the Heathkit and $25 plus shipping for the hp? I live in Connecticut, 06033.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 05:00:32 pm by 6E5 »
 

Offline noah_fakelastnamelike_bob

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Re: help with oscilloscope
« Reply #35 on: February 21, 2014, 12:37:48 am »
no man its more than ok. i do not know if i can maybe for the heath kit let me look into it a little.
 


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