Author Topic: Heathkit 5Mhz Oscilloscope  (Read 6685 times)

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Offline bveenema

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Heathkit 5Mhz Oscilloscope
« on: July 15, 2011, 01:13:34 am »
Someone made me an offer to sell me this oscilloscope. http://www.testelectronics.com/used/heathkitiod4540.htm  It's a 5 MHz deal.  I've never heard of Heathkit and 5 MHz seems low to me.  Is it even worth anything?  This would be my first and probably only oscilloscope.

Thanks
 

Offline joelby

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Re: Heathkit 5Mhz Oscilloscope
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2011, 02:02:04 am »
How much are they selling it for? Heathkit is pretty well known, but this model is an antique. I wouldn't pay very much for it if you want it as a tool rather than a museum piece. Depending on where you live, you should be able to pick up a decent dual trace 20 MHz scope for less than $50 and it'll be considerably better.
 

Offline Psi

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Re: Heathkit 5Mhz Oscilloscope
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2011, 02:12:43 am »
5mhz will severely limit what you can use it for.
It's only going to be able to show you waveforms up to around 500khz

People give away oscilloscopes better than that :)
So i would say no, not worth buying unless you like antiques.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 02:16:13 am by Psi »
Greek letter 'Psi' (not Pounds per Square Inch)
 

Offline vtl

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Re: Heathkit 5Mhz Oscilloscope
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2011, 06:07:51 am »
What kind of work would you be doing with it? 5Mhz is pretty much useless even if you were just probing microcontroller digital logic.
 

Online ejeffrey

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Re: Heathkit 5Mhz Oscilloscope
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2011, 07:14:27 am »
5mhz will severely limit what you can use it for.
It's only going to be able to show you waveforms up to around 500khz

People give away oscilloscopes better than that :)
So i would say no, not worth buying unless you like antiques.

5 MHz is slow, but this is a real analog 5 MHz scope, and it will show a 5 MHz waveform mostly fine.  This is not a crappy DSO with a 5 MS/s ADC that calls it 5 MHz of bandwidth.

Still, I agree.  I would only get this for a museum, not for everyday use.  It might be OK for analog only audio and AM radio, but it isn't going to do much for digital electronics.
 

Offline Excavatoree

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Re: Heathkit 5Mhz Oscilloscope
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2011, 03:15:42 pm »
Ancient???? Museum piece????  Wow.  What a way to make me feel old.  I put one of these* together for Electronics class my senior year of HighSchool.  I put about 90-95 percent of it together, but graduating seniors got to skip the last few days of class, so someone else got to do the last bit and fire it up.   He told me it worked fine. 



* - close enough
 

Offline slburris

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Re: Heathkit 5Mhz Oscilloscope
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2011, 04:12:38 pm »
Heathkit is actually quite famous for the electronic kits they
produced until the mid 90's I think.  For some background, see:

http://www.heathkit-museum.com/

I built about 40 kits, and still have nearly all of them.  There
is a Heathkit collectors community, especially for the ham radio
side of things.

On to the scope.  I actually have this scope too, it was my first
scope that I built as a boy.  It probably has value as a Heathkit
collectors item, but as a test instrument I wouldn't pay more
than $10 for it.

Does it work?  Well, yes, but it's not a great scope.  Mine at
least doesn't always trigger well.  It's hard to get the trace
aligned on the screen as you do that with the chassis outside
of the enclosure.  When you put it back in the enclosure, the CRT
gets slightly tweaked and the trace is no longer level.

Is it useful?  For audio frequencies, sure.  For today's digital logic?
Well, maybe not.  But the biggest problem is that it's a single trace
scope.  Without two traces you can't see the relationship of one
signal to another, and that's a significant loss.

On the other hand, if you really want to learn about how scopes work
and be able to tinker with the internals of one, this can't be beat.

Heathkit made a converter box to turn a single trace scope into
a dual trace -- I have this box somewhere, but can't remember what
it's called.  Yeah, that sort of worked.

Keep in mind that you can often find top notch Tektronix scopes
with 100Mhz bandwidth for <$200 on Ebay and they are far far
more capable than this scope.

Scott
 

Offline Zero999

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Re: Heathkit 5Mhz Oscilloscope
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2011, 06:03:44 pm »
What kind of work would you be doing with it? 5Mhz is pretty much useless even if you were just probing microcontroller digital logic.
It does annoy me when people say that sort of thing, because it gives nubes the wrong idea. In reality, a 5MHz 'scope is fine for audio and to some extent even some switch mode power supplies and MCU circuits. A 5MHz 'scope will still show you a 4MHz clock signal, it' just won't show you the rise/fall times: it'll tell you, you've got 4MHz there, which is all you need most of the time.
 

Offline bveenema

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Re: Heathkit 5Mhz Oscilloscope
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2011, 06:06:26 pm »
Thanks for all the replies.  I was really only considering it because I'm working on a motor controller project and need something quick.  Not much has turned up in my area but I think I'll wait for at least a 20 MHz scope to surface.  Not having dual trace is really a killer for me too.
 

Offline Psi

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Re: Heathkit 5Mhz Oscilloscope
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2011, 11:11:56 pm »
5mhz will severely limit what you can use it for.
It's only going to be able to show you waveforms up to around 500khz

People give away oscilloscopes better than that :)
So i would say no, not worth buying unless you like antiques.

5 MHz is slow, but this is a real analog 5 MHz scope, and it will show a 5 MHz waveform mostly fine.  This is not a crappy DSO with a 5 MS/s ADC that calls it 5 MHz of bandwidth.

Still, I agree.  I would only get this for a museum, not for everyday use.  It might be OK for analog only audio and AM radio, but it isn't going to do much for digital electronics.

ok yeah, if it actually has 5mhz of real bandwidth then it's not as bad as i was thinking.

but i still question if it's worth paying money for when, for any price (even $1), he could probably find something better.
Greek letter 'Psi' (not Pounds per Square Inch)
 

alm

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Re: Heathkit 5Mhz Oscilloscope
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2011, 11:47:51 pm »
5MHz is certainly much better than no scope, but it should be extremely cheap based on the limited specs, feature set and quality. Something like a Tek 465, which cost something like an order of magnitude more at the time, is also readily available for fairly affordable prices. These are much better quality (best in their class at the time, as opposed to hobbyist level) and have much more features (bandwidth, dual channel, excellent triggering).

If you can get it for something like $5-10 it may be OK, at least for a while. Don't spend any serious amount of money on it though, unless you're really desperate, save that for a better scope.
 


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