Electronics > RF, Microwave, Ham Radio

New lab: Oscilloscope bandwidth

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I go along with the communications test set as an essential for RF work. For the money you get several pieces of test gear, some of them even have built in basic spectrum analyzers such as ones made by HP and IFR.
An RF millivolt meter is also a must especially if you can get one with all the accessories such as a 10X divider, a 50 ohm head for the probe and whatnot.
As far as scopes go, I have gotten along just fine with a 100MHZ scope (Tek 466)

I'll second or third the recommendation of a communications analyzer, or "service monitor" to the old timers. I find one very useful for Amateur Radio and electronics hobby purposes. Among other functions, you get a spectrum analyzer with tracking generator. Not as wideband as a standalone S.A., but still very useful by itself (even more so if you add a return loss bridge).

Contact Amtronix and see if he has any HP E8285A units available. They are a bit large, but will do all the usual stuff that other C.A.'s do. He was selling them for just under $1000. I had one until recently, when I upgraded to the HP 8920B.

If you go the E8285A route, make sure to get one from Amtronix. Only early serial numbered units can cover HF. These also require a particular firmware. Amtronix also does a calibration. It's a good deal.

You might also consider the E6380A, which Amtronix also sells. See here for a comparison: http://www.amtronix.com/diff.htm

One additional comment: For radio and antenna work, I very seldom use an oscilloscope. I use the 'scope more for non-radio purposes.


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