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Help me choose between 2 'scopes

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Hi all, I have been offered the chance to get either a Tek 754A or 540C for a good price. They are both 4 Ch, 500Mhz, 2 Gs/s scopes with InstaVu. The 754 has a color screen, and the 540 is a mono. Similar options, which would you choose and why?

The 754 also has more sample memory (500kp vs 50kp), and apparently a properly color-graded display. If the prices are similar, I see no reason to prefer the 540, unless somebody else knows something surprising about their reliability or something.

I was under the impression that the scopes were both the same in that respect, since both have the extended memory option. This datasheet comparison shows the 754C, but i think the 754A is the same. (Comparison is on the Specifications tab).

Be careful, TDS754A and TDS754C are not the same! The last letter shows the generation of that model, and newer generations will usually have different specs than their predecessors.

Here's the spec for the TDS754A:

and here for the TDS540C:

The TDS754A does 2GSa/s in 2 Ch config and 1GSa/s in 3/4ch config while the TDS540C only does 1GSa/s with two channels and 500MSa/s with three or four channels.

Having a color display is nice but I never liked the color displays on the TDS500/600/700 series scopes. They use a monochrome CRT and a shutter to make the colors. If you move your head you can see the traces move a bit. An LCD replacement is a very good idea. OTOH the monochrome scopes have a neat feature the color ones don't have: they show the previous trace in grey. This is nice for some measurements.


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