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How to spend ~$4500 for an MSO?

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Greetings all,

I rather hate to post and ask this, and I feel like I ought to read every post here before butting in with a question, but I've an unfortunately short timeline, so...

I need a decent, preferably 4-analog-channel MSO for the lab.  Sampling rate and memory depth is more important than absolute bandwidth.   Interesting on-board signal math, and/or the ability to drive the 'scope from an attached computer, would be a plus.

I'm partial to Tektronix, but I'll consider other options.  Older, but warranted/refurbished (ie TekSelect) is fine.

My budget goes up to just under $5K for the mainframe, though I'd be happier if it came in under $4K.  Probes/etc can be dealt with later and on a separate account.

I've a reasonable amount of analog scope experience, but DSOs are mostly foreign territory to me.  I have a couple, but if it gives you any idea of my level of ignorance, it took me forever to figure out why I couldn't usefully capture a transient in the memory on my Hitachi V-1565 DSO, when I could clearly see it on my ancient Tek scopes with analog storage CRTs.

The 'scope will primarily be instrumentation for my students, who are going to be building some prototype "interactive games" to assess the effectiveness of several new treatments for muscular dystrophy.  In general, I expect it to be complete overkill for the task, with the exception that I am hoping that it has sufficient memory to serve as an initial data-acquisition system for the assessments, as well as a testing platform for the hardware as it gets built.  I do want MSO capability, as we're going to have both digital and analog signals coming out of the hardware we're designing.  The more analog-like the 'scope behaves, the better I'll be able to help the students when they're trying to use it.

So - what should I be looking at to purchase?

Many thanks for your time,
William Ray
OSU Biophysics

Agilent MSO-X 2000/3000, whatever Rigol and possibly Hameg do for the same money.

Getting an educational discount might be a big factor.

Without a question Id get one of these:

The Agilent 7014B is a beast. 8M memory, 100K waves per second, 12.1" 1024x768 display, 16 digital channels, VGA and LAN built in. Its a $10K scope and they will sell them for $3500.

I have a counter offer right now at $3500. They are in brand new condition with all accessories and warranty directly from Agilent.

For good value, take a look at Agilent's Used Ebay store for a 6000/7000 series.

They occasionally list 2000x and 3000x, but the older ones are generally better value, and are in some respects better scopes, e.g. they have VGA out and network as standard, both of which would be useful in an educational environment.

And don't forget the 'Make Offer' button!

I'd buy multiple Rigol MSOs. It will help students much more to have a scope available when needed than having to wait for others to be done with it.


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