Author Topic: How did kids in the old days learn without an oscilloscope?  (Read 11314 times)

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Offline Audioguru

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Re: How did kids in the old days learn without an oscilloscope?
« Reply #50 on: October 08, 2016, 12:23:25 pm »
Money is always an issue!
When I was a kid money grew on trees and was everywhere. Today there is also a lot of money around but I can't reach most of it.
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: How did kids in the old days learn without an oscilloscope?
« Reply #51 on: October 08, 2016, 02:06:13 pm »
I was given my first oscilloscope when I was too young.  It was an old Dumont 100KHz tube unit.   I experimented more with my first VTVM than I did the scope because I had some idea how to read the meter.  I had made up some sort of light bulb brightness control that was sensitive to sound.  Louder would make it brighter and I could sort of get that but that squiggly line just didn't make sense to me.  I was playing around some with digital gates and had a little probe with LEDs in it that I used rather than the scope.  :-DD   Later I bought a booklet from Radio shack (which I still have) that showed how to use the scope.   

I bet those $20 kits would far exceed what I started with! 
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Offline ebclr

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Re: How did kids in the old days learn without an oscilloscope?
« Reply #52 on: October 09, 2016, 05:06:11 pm »
We have oscilloscope in the old days


 

Offline G7PSK

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Re: How did kids in the old days learn without an oscilloscope?
« Reply #53 on: October 09, 2016, 08:17:43 pm »
Electronic were invented or discovered when oscilloscopes had not even been dreamt of.People used the best tool in the universe, yes that one right between your ears. Worked fine for centuries, now I am not saying a bit of help and nice toys are no good but they are not essential to start with.
 

Offline med6753

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Re: How did kids in the old days learn without an oscilloscope?
« Reply #54 on: October 09, 2016, 10:00:08 pm »
We have oscilloscope in the old days


That's the exact same one I had.....minus the colored inserts in the knobs and the additional BNC modification.
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Offline Alex Eisenhut

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Re: How did kids in the old days learn without an oscilloscope?
« Reply #55 on: October 10, 2016, 01:15:54 am »
I guess it goes hand in hand with what electronics and information access was back then. I grew up in the '80s (also the old days), but we had a set of youth encyclopedias from the '50s (even older days) lying around.

It was the Encyclop├ędie de la Jeunesse Grolier.

Each volume had some sort of practical project along the lines of arts and crafts, or something like a theodolite or periscope. I guess letting kids play with shards of mirror glass and wire didn't trigger a child protective services SWAT team in the old days.

Anyways, the electronics projects were all about radio. They would teach about inductors (which in french are called "selfs", which made clear the distinction between self and mutual inductance at an early age) and variable capacitors and triodes. Eventually you'd wind a coil, buy a capacitor and some headphones and build a radio.

That's the thing, when in a house the most electronics you had was a radio, a record player, and if you had money a TV, electronics was simple. Just having an explanation of what the parts looked like and did, how they were used together was already a lot. Money-wise a scope wasn't happening either, let alone how a parent would get one in the first place.
 

Offline rstofer

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Re: How did kids in the old days learn without an oscilloscope?
« Reply #56 on: October 10, 2016, 02:46:34 am »
Electronic were invented or discovered when oscilloscopes had not even been dreamt of.People used the best tool in the universe, yes that one right between your ears. Worked fine for centuries, now I am not saying a bit of help and nice toys are no good but they are not essential to start with.

You can make the same argument about indoor plumbing and electric lights.  Things come along when they do and there is always a way.  But that's also the reason that growth curves tend to be exponential.  There are limitations in the early days that are overcome and the growth rate increases.  For example the microcomputer (PC)...

The point is, you can learn faster if you have the tools to learn.  Different people learn in different ways and tools can vary.  Some people 'get it' by reading about it in a book.  Some people 'get it' by building a model and playing with it.  Simulation is better than nothing.  How do you explain singularities like, for example, Einstein.  He was so far ahead of everyone else on the planet, I wonder if he was really from 'around here'.

Education is not free despite attempts to lower costs.  In car racing, 'speed costs, how fast do you want to go?' is a popular truism.  It's pretty much the same with education.  Nobody would even consider doing all their work at a library when they can just boot up a PC and connect to the Internet.  But PCs and network connections cost money and they are not universal.  Many attempts are being made to bring those tools to every child in the US.  They have not been successful. Yet...

I would always advocate for having the proper tools but there a lot of electronics can be done with just a DMM and a V-O-M.  It probably takes longer to digest the information but there are so many tutorials on the Internet that it should still be possible to go a long ways with electronics.
 

Offline CraigHB

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Re: How did kids in the old days learn without an oscilloscope?
« Reply #57 on: October 10, 2016, 03:16:37 am »
I guess it goes hand in hand with what electronics and information access was back then.

The internet has made being an electronics hobbyist much more accessible.  When I first started with this stuff it was all about the books I could get and parts I could buy from the local electronics shop.  Online suppliers offering cheap parts and the wide availability of technical data and tools on the web has made a night and day difference.
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: How did kids in the old days learn without an oscilloscope?
« Reply #58 on: October 10, 2016, 03:54:55 am »
I guess it goes hand in hand with what electronics and information access was back then. I grew up in the '80s (also the old days), but we had a set of youth encyclopedias from the '50s (even older days) lying around.

It was the Encyclop├ędie de la Jeunesse Grolier.

Each volume had some sort of practical project along the lines of arts and crafts, or something like a theodolite or periscope. I guess letting kids play with shards of mirror glass and wire didn't trigger a child protective services SWAT team in the old days.

Pah! Snowflakes.

I have a couple of "Boy Electrician" books from the 30s, which have chapters on building and using X-ray machines. You had to buy the tube, and they did warn you that if your skin reddened you were probably using it too much.

And of course there is the "radioactive boy scout" (David Hahn) in the 90s.
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Offline zapta

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Re: How did kids in the old days learn without an oscilloscope?
« Reply #59 on: October 10, 2016, 05:20:57 am »


...And of course there is the "radioactive boy scout" (David Hahn) in the 90s.

Let me guess, he didn't survive to the 00s.
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: How did kids in the old days learn without an oscilloscope?
« Reply #60 on: October 11, 2016, 12:35:41 pm »


...And of course there is the "radioactive boy scout" (David Hahn) in the 90s.

Let me guess, he didn't survive to the 00s.

A little googling shows that he hasn't learned yet, but has survived so far.  There are some obvious signs that his health has been affected.
 

Online rdl

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Offline Syntax_Error

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Re: How did kids in the old days learn without an oscilloscope?
« Reply #62 on: October 13, 2016, 01:07:27 pm »
Alright, so I admit I read the first five posts then skimmed the rest of this thread, so if this has already been said, I apologize.

Although I do have a hobby oscilloscope, and love using it, to be honest at least 90% of the measurements I make with it are very basic, and could be handled by simpler equipment such as a frequency counter, power meter or peak detector.

I mean, think about it. The majority of (steady state) signals are going to be known to some degree, i.e. not completely random and unknown in characteristics. How do you characterize an *ideal* pure signal? By it's frequency and amplitude, and as a distant third, by it's phase offset from some reference signal of equal frequency, if this is relevant to the situation.

How do you characterize real (non-ideal) signals? With the same parameters, plus various measures of their "non-idealness" such as phase noise, spurs, % modulation, frequency deviation, etc. depending on the signal type and circumstance. While a spectrum analyzer may help tremendously in this type of characterization (and I'd love to have one myself), many of these measurements can be made with simpler equipment and some knowledge of the nature of your signal and system under test.

Honestly, while I love making measurements on my scope, I often don't really need to see a time domain image of the signal, more just use the scope for measuring various properties of the signal of interest, such as period or frequency, amplitude, number of cycles in a burst, DC offset, etc. Of course there's many things a modern scope is useful for, such as rise time measurements and close inspection of pulses and things of that nature, but the *majority* of signal viewing (for me) is just a side effect of trying to measure the basic properties.
It's perfectly acceptable to not know something in the short term. To continue to not know over the long term is just laziness.
 


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