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Older high-end vs new mid-range scopes.

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JoeyP:

--- Quote from: cyr on March 01, 2013, 08:16:48 am ---The series I've been looking at mostly is the Infiniium 5483xB/D. Seems early ones are 98 based and later ones are XP. I wonder if it's possible to upgrade the motherboard and O/S, it's just a micro-ATX board with a couple of PCI cards (acquisition interface, GPIB, display controller) as I understand...

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I saw someone selling these on ebay recently, who claimed to not only upgrade the OS, but also converted it to SSD.


--- Quote from: cyr on March 01, 2013, 08:16:48 am ---600MHz or 1GHz probably wouldn't make much difference for me, although 1G is a very nice round number.  :)

I was thinking I could get away without expensive active probes by using DIY resistive probes soldered into the circuit on the few occasions I need the bandwidth.

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I used the HP 10020A resistive divider probe for a long time before I finally got an active probe. Once I got the active probe I was kicking myself for not doing it a lot sooner. You can find them pretty reasonably priced on ebay. I think the 1152A 2.5GHz active probe is compatible with the 5483x series, and I just saw one of them sell for under $400 on ebay (with a 30-day warranty).

Wuerstchenhund:

--- Quote from: cyr on March 01, 2013, 08:16:48 am ---The series I've been looking at mostly is the Infiniium 5483xB/D. Seems early ones are 98 based
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Windows 95 (we had one of these), but they could be upgraded to Windows 98 easily. And shortly after launch of the Infiniiums the Win95 OS was replaced with Win98 anyways.


--- Quote ---and later ones are XP. I wonder if it's possible to upgrade the motherboard and O/S, it's just a micro-ATX board with a couple of PCI cards (acquisition interface, GPIB, display controller) as I understand...
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You may be able to upgrade the OS if you can get hold of the XP recovery media, and maybe a 548xxD mainboard. It's unlikely any other ATX mobo will work as if I remember right the recovery media checks for the BIOS signature. Considering the price you'll very likely pay because the mobo has an HP part number and a HP BIOS ID I don't think it's sensible unless you already have access to all the parts. And I won't even touch the legality of running an essentially unlicensed copy of XP.

In addition, while Agilent makes very good scopes, the 548xx Series was not known for their high reliability.


--- Quote ---600MHz or 1GHz probably wouldn't make much difference for me, although 1G is a very nice round number.  :)

I was thinking I could get away without expensive active probes by using DIY resistive probes soldered into the circuit on the few occasions I need the bandwidth.

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If you want 1GHz+ then have a look at the LeCroy LC Series (which are successors of the 93xx scopes). LT5xx have color CRTs, LT6xx have LCD screens. The same scopes were also sold with the Disk Drive Analyzer package as 'DDA'.

There are quite a few LT584 and LT684 (and DDA-120/125) on ebay sitting there for over a year, so with a bit of luck you may be able to get a 1+GHz scope with 8GSa/s for a low price.

And they are much more reliable than the Infiniiums.

nctnico:

--- Quote from: cyr on March 01, 2013, 08:16:48 am ---Thanks everyone.

The series I've been looking at mostly is the Infiniium 5483xB/D. Seems early ones are 98 based and later ones are XP. I wonder if it's possible to upgrade the motherboard and O/S, it's just a micro-ATX board with a couple of PCI cards (acquisition interface, GPIB, display controller) as I understand...

--- End quote ---
You probably can unless they use a specially crafted BIOS. Be carefull with the amount of power required and choose a high quality motherboard.

alm:

--- Quote from: AndyC_772 on February 28, 2013, 02:20:42 pm ---I agree with Dave on the bandwidth, 500 MHz is about the upper limit for a passive probe, and for that reason I'd regard it as a sensible upper limit for a general purpose bench scope. If you need anything faster then you'll already have a specific application in mind and you'll know how much bandwidth that application requires. Expect to pay a lot for active probes.

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I would say 500 MHz is already stretching it for high-Z passive probes. I know the manufacturers claim 500 MHz, but this is from a terminated 50 Ohm signal generator having a 25 Ohm output impedance, so the probe might be 50 Ohm or so at 500 MHz (check the input impedance graph in the datasheet). Is the circuit node you're probing that low impedance? The already mentioned resistive divider probe is much better in this regard.

Used active probes aren't that expensive. A passive 500 MHz probe will cost about $100 on eBay. A used active probe might cost $200-300 or so for the low bandwidth (<= 1 GHz) ones.

nctnico:
Most high-speed circuits don't like to be probed with the capacitance of any high impedance probe. My rule of thumb is to use a passive divider HF probe or an active probe for measuring anything over 100MHz.

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