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General => General Chat => Topic started by: @rt on September 27, 2016, 08:23:01 am

Title: Tektronix TDS 220 good scope?
Post by: @rt on September 27, 2016, 08:23:01 am
Hi Guys :)
I'm looking at one of these scopes,
100MHz, 2 Ch to buy secondhand.
Considering the above spec is ok for me,
what is a used one worth?
and are there any bugs or glitches to know about?
Cheers :)
Title: Re: Tektronix TDS 220 good scope?
Post by: Muttley Snickers on September 27, 2016, 08:54:40 am
They still get a pretty penny for them down here, anywhere from $200 - $400 from what I have seen and I do keep an eye out almost daily, some you see listed as brand new for around $600   :palm:

If you are determined to go with an older scope such as these then the TDS-1012B fetches around the same price but includes USB, I have the TDS-1002 with the TDS2MEM compact flash module which is handy for waveform export if the need arises, there are much better scopes around nowadays in this price bracket than these as others will confirm.
Title: Re: Tektronix TDS 220 good scope?
Post by: setq on September 27, 2016, 09:44:44 am
Warning: The screen on the TDS 220 is bloody awful.
Title: Re: Tektronix TDS 220 good scope?
Post by: plazma on September 27, 2016, 11:28:55 am
If you get it for 50$. Otherwise buy a new or second hand Rigol. I have used a TDS 220 at work when nothing else was available. Next day I brough my own Rigol to work.
Title: Re: Tektronix TDS 220 good scope?
Post by: nctnico on September 27, 2016, 11:45:14 am
I'd agree on not spending more than $50 on it. Everything more is a waste of money.
Title: Re: Tektronix TDS 220 good scope?
Post by: @rt on September 27, 2016, 02:01:00 pm
Ok, the going rate appears to be much more than $50!
If anyone has one for that price I’ll take it :D

Title: Re: Tektronix TDS 220 good scope?
Post by: Hydrawerk on September 27, 2016, 02:15:22 pm
TDS220 is just poor. See the specs. It has no USB, no FFT and no color LCD. It was released back in 1997 I think. Buy it only if it was cheap.
Title: Re: Tektronix TDS 220 good scope?
Post by: Muttley Snickers on September 27, 2016, 02:19:42 pm
Dave has a number of videos out on these and as mentioned watch out for screen issues in addition to bad BNC connectors and any errors in either the boot screen or systems menu, don't buy one that's full of mud either.

I didn't declare what I would pay for one because some here occasionally list them for sale, personally I wouldn't buy another unless it was super cheap and in exceptional condition as mine was.
Title: Re: Tektronix TDS 220 good scope?
Post by: hans on September 27, 2016, 08:15:59 pm
TDS200 series.. this video springs to mind that demonstrates and explains the crapiness perfectly well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBaMdVcKAWQ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBaMdVcKAWQ)

I used the TDS200 series at my previous college years ago and they were pretty much the most basic digital scope you can get. They perform very bad compared to anything more recent digital, or even analog scopes if you don't need much single-shot, FFT or onscreen measurements.. I'd rather spend that much money on a new DS1000Z, 2nd hand DS1052E or any new chinese scope that has intensity graded display and deep memory.

It seems like most if not all educational scopes from Tek are pretty overvalued on Ebay.
Title: Re: Tektronix TDS 220 good scope?
Post by: stj on September 27, 2016, 08:44:46 pm
actually, anything with the word "Tektronix" on it is overvalued - atleast in Europe.
the same goes for anything "HP" branded.
Title: Re: Tektronix TDS 220 good scope?
Post by: tautech on September 27, 2016, 09:23:39 pm
They're a very basic DSO, much outdated these days but still quite usable if that's all you need.

I was given a 210 (60 MHz) some time back with faults, the BNC connectors are fragile, they break the mounts to the PCB.
Quite fixable and worthy of a mod to fortify the mounting to the PCB.
Backlight on my one had failed and the timing cap for the free running bipolar backlight inverter had drifted to pF levels and the inverter wouldn't run. Easy fix.
Title: Re: Tektronix TDS 220 good scope?
Post by: G0HZU on September 27, 2016, 09:26:19 pm
The TDS2012 is a very similar scope and it has a colour display. I've had mine for about 12 years and I do still use it a lot. As long as you are aware of its limitations it can be a nice basic scope.

For me, the TDS2012 is at its best when doing simple MCU based work. It is totally silent, takes up very little room can be easily moved around and the user interface is fairly intuitive.

So if you like working/concentrating in a quiet workroom when programming/debugging something like a simple AVR/PIC project then this scope is a good choice. No distracting fan noise!  However, don't expect too much in terms of record length as it only offers 2.5K samples per channel here. This is OK for capturing short bursts of serial data but hopeless if you want to capture a long stream of data. I would use a PC and an external hardware decoder to capture/decode longer streams anyway.

We still have dozens and dozens of of the TDS20xx scope at work and they are ideal for simple tasks where you just need a scope for a few basic checks. So I still see them being used on a lot of benches in preference to bigger, more capable scopes.
Title: Re: Tektronix TDS 220 good scope?
Post by: tautech on September 27, 2016, 09:33:11 pm
The TDS2012 is a very similar scope and it has a colour display. I've had mine for about 12 years and I do still use it a lot. As long as you are aware of its limitations it can be a nice basic scope.

For me, the TDS2012 is at its best when doing simple MCU based work. It is totally silent, takes up very little room can be easily moved around and the user interface is fairly intuitive.

So if you like working/concentrating in a quiet workroom when programming/debugging something like a simple AVR/PIC project then this scope is a good choice. No distracting fan noise!  However, don't expect too much in terms of record length as it only offers 2.5K samples per channel here. This is OK for capturing short bursts of serial data but hopeless if you want to capture a long stream of data. I would use a PC and an external hardware decoder to capture/decode longer streams anyway.

We still have dozens and dozens of of the TDS20xx scope at work and they are ideal for simple tasks where you just need a scope for a few basic checks. So I still see them being used on a lot of benches in preference to bigger, more capable scopes.
TDS2k DSO's are a quite different beast to TDS200 series scopes.
TDS1k is more comparable to TDS2k.
Title: Re: Tektronix TDS 220 good scope?
Post by: G0HZU on September 27, 2016, 10:22:28 pm
I've never bothered to study the differences too deeply. I always assumed they were similar scopes. The TDS10xx looks (to me) like a facelifted TDS220 with a few extra features added.
The TDS20xx has a colour display.

It's not a significant issue really (especially in 2016), but is there more to it than this?
Title: Re: Tektronix TDS 220 good scope?
Post by: edavid on September 27, 2016, 10:40:22 pm
It's a crappy scope, but I use mine regularly just because it's fanless.
Title: Re: Tektronix TDS 220 good scope?
Post by: tautech on September 27, 2016, 10:46:01 pm
I've never bothered to study the differences too deeply. I always assumed they were similar scopes. The TDS10xx looks (to me) like a facelifted TDS220 with a few extra features added.
The TDS20xx has a colour display.

It's not a significant issue really (especially in 2016), but is there more to it than this?
No USB in the TDS200 series would be the loser for me.  :--

Sure, they're an old DSO now but still any scope is better than none.  :)
Title: Re: Tektronix TDS 220 good scope?
Post by: G0HZU on September 27, 2016, 11:01:34 pm
I've got the original version of the TDS2012 here and it doesn't have USB. I think this model was produced for several years without USB. I think the later B versions have USB. I always assumed the changeover from TDS220 to TDS10xx was mainly the facelift plus a few functions were added.

I could never live with the mono screen of the TDS220 or the TDS10xx so I would always try for the colour display. It's still a crappy display (even in colour) as it's only 1/4VGA but the colour display is much nicer to work with.
Title: Re: Tektronix TDS 220 good scope?
Post by: tautech on September 27, 2016, 11:09:52 pm
I've got the original version of the TDS2012 here and it doesn't have USB. I think this model was produced for several years without USB. I think the later B versions have USB. I always assumed the changeover from TDS220 to TDS10xx was mainly the facelift plus a few functions were added.

I could never live with the mono screen of the TDS220 or the TDS10xx so I would always try for the colour display. It's still a crappy display (even in colour) as it's only 1/4VGA but the colour display is much nicer to work with.
Yep, I've got a 2012B with USB and bypassed the earlier ones to have a USB model.  :)
Shame it's busted.  :-BROKE
Title: Re: Tektronix TDS 220 good scope?
Post by: vk6zgo on September 27, 2016, 11:32:08 pm
Warning: The screen on the TDS 220 is bloody awful.

Yeah,it looks like the trace was drawn with a leaky ball point pen! ;D

I was toying with the idea of buying a "tedious"220 to check if early DSOs were as crap as I remembered them being,or if my "curmudgeon-ness" was making them seem worse in retrospect.
Dave had one on eBay that skyrocketed from 99 cents to $300 plus in the blink of an eye,so I gave up that idea fast!
Title: Re: Tektronix TDS 220 good scope?
Post by: Muttley Snickers on September 28, 2016, 12:44:28 am
For some reason I had it in my head that I only paid around $350 for the TDS-1002, as it turns out the $350 was for a Tektronix TDR and I actually paid $610 + $30 postage for the scope back in 2009, now I just need to verify what medication I was on at the time.   ::) :P

Back on the TDS-220, as mentioned above you may have to watch out for an earthing related problem on some models as Tektronix did issue a recall notice at one point.
Title: Re: Tektronix TDS 220 good scope?
Post by: tautech on September 28, 2016, 12:59:23 am
Good point Muttley, I'd forgotten about that.  :palm:
Yep, if you made a mistake connecting the probe reference (Gnd) lead to a low impedance source a trace on the PCB would/could fuses open and disconnect the BNC outers from mains earth.  :scared:

It can be repaired with an internal jumper wire and that might be the only recourse to repair as it would be surprising if Tek can still honour the recall with replacement parts.
The 210 I had was after the recall and this can be checked by the SN# on the Tek website.
IIRC Tek logged all SN#'s that were recalled and fixed too.