Author Topic: Best oscilloscopes of the era ?  (Read 3084 times)

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Offline MathWizard

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Re: Best oscilloscopes of the era ?
« Reply #25 on: April 03, 2020, 05:16:54 pm »
54645D  2+16 AND DEEP MEMORY. Even today , 30 years after introduction this thing is a workhorse and perfectly usable.
This should definitely be on the list. AFAIK this is the grandfather of the MSO.

Quote
MSO7104  4+16 and deep memory. 1Ghz 4Gs/s and 8Mpoints/channel includes all kind of protocol decoders + large screen.
Are you sure? The UI is horrible, the signal noise is horrible and the memory tiny. I used to own one myself.
54645D  , that's actually affordable on ebay
Some day I want to get a great 1980's scope. Just for fun.
 

Offline alpher

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Re: Best oscilloscopes of the era ?
« Reply #26 on: April 03, 2020, 06:00:30 pm »
In the analog "CRO' era Textronix was a king, bar none. You car argue what was the best scope back then but 3 memorable models came to mind:
First an all tube 585 A "tour the force" of tube technology as someone wrote,
The extremely popular 465 and it's siblings, and finally 2465 family of scopes (including here 2467).
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Best oscilloscopes of the era ?
« Reply #27 on: April 03, 2020, 06:07:41 pm »
Another one worth to mention is this Handykit 202E (and probably sold under many other brands and model numbers) 20MHz analog scope from the 80's:

AFAIK this one sold in large numbers to hobbyists.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Best oscilloscopes of the era ?
« Reply #28 on: April 03, 2020, 06:44:49 pm »
I haven't heard of this brand before, but perhaps it depends on the region of the world you live.

In Brasil, Hitachi and Philips were quite prevalent with the V-212 and the PM3226 taking the lead. There were some national companies as well (LabO and perhaps Minipa) - for the hobbyist/university
« Last Edit: April 03, 2020, 07:59:53 pm by rsjsouza »
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Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 

Online james_s

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Re: Best oscilloscopes of the era ?
« Reply #29 on: April 03, 2020, 07:10:45 pm »
Tektronix was pretty much the undisputed king of analog scopes, I like some of their DSOs as well but they were never dramatically better than the competition as their analog offerings were back in the day.

These days it's harder than ever to define "best", you need to narrow down what you're looking for. Do you mean best general purpose scope? Highest bandwidth? Easiest to use? Best value? There is such a wide range and it's hard to say what's best. Even in the analog era there were some amazing mainframes like the Tek 7000 series but if you needed something portable those would not be the best, despite the exemplary performance and versatility.
 

Offline SilverSolder

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Re: Best oscilloscopes of the era ?
« Reply #30 on: April 06, 2020, 03:16:26 am »

In photography, there's a saying:  "What's the best camera in the world?  The one you've got with you!"

Perhaps something similar applies in the oscilloscope world?
 

Offline 0culus

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Re: Best oscilloscopes of the era ?
« Reply #31 on: April 06, 2020, 03:25:17 am »
There was a joke back in the days of analog cathode-ray scopes that there were three names in oscilloscopes: Tektronix, Tektronix, and Tektronix. Tektronix owned the market in those days. They utterly upended the oscilloscope business of Dumont (which was dominant beforehand). They literally could not make enough 511s to keep up with the demand from labs after trade show demos.

 I'd think it'd be pretty hard to specify one particular oscilloscope that is truly the best of an era, as there are tons of different use cases and tons of different scopes (or plugins for scopes) to satisfy those.

However, if I had to venture one for the "old days", I'd say take your pick of the Tektronix 400 series portables. The 453, for instance, was born because IBM wanted a scope that their field engineers could bring with them on business trips as an airline carry on. The 465, etc are excellent machines as well. Combining a high quality scope with the ability to carry it easily is pretty damn awesome. Compared to the size of the contemporary 500 series stalwarts (some of which, such as the 555 and 556 dual beam instruments basically had to be kept on a scope-mobile cart).

« Last Edit: April 06, 2020, 03:28:42 am by 0culus »
 

Offline Electro Detective

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Re: Best oscilloscopes of the era ?
« Reply #32 on: April 06, 2020, 05:10:17 am »
Any scope CRT or DSO from any era, that works and keeps working reliably is the best scope!  :-+

When they play up, or what's on the screen isn't the real deal due to wonky controls or half baked firmware/software,
you will appreciate this comment more

That said I could only afford unloved MIJ Trio and Kikusui crt dual trace oscilloscopes as Tektonix were way beyond my budget, new or used, 

but when I did get on to the Tek and Phillips/Fluke scopes I realized that while they were good scopes, I didn't miss out on too much with the Japan made scopes,
which are still kicking btw and loads easier to access service and repair if the need ever arises

Comparing actual real DSO performance is a bit hit and miss compared to comparing CRTs which was/is pretty straightforward.

Any DSO I'd consider to buy would be from members and Youtubers usage reports, tests and conclusions etc,

Actually that's why I didn't roll with the Rigol 1054z 2/4 channel with shared controls
I wanted 4 obvious channels and controls side by side, with a non shared separate Trigger,
CHEAP and not too fussed with other features, bandwidth hacks and whatever, just a reasonable performing straight up four channel scope.

FWIW +YMMV: Shared controls don't work well with me, and the Rigol 1054z would have needed a parachute accessory pack had I bought it  :D

 

Online BravoV

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Re: Best oscilloscopes of the era ?
« Reply #33 on: April 06, 2020, 05:36:41 am »
Imo, for the current era, I mean nowadays, for hobbyist only.  :P

The "value" and the "beast".     ... duck & run ...  :scared:

The "value" for money part should be 1054Z, not the one pictured.


Online james_s

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Re: Best oscilloscopes of the era ?
« Reply #34 on: April 06, 2020, 05:59:48 am »
I'd consider Kikusui to be an A-list brand, maybe they weren't quite on par with Tek's glory days but like most Japanese equipment of the 70s-90s they were well made and reliable.
 
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Offline coppice

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Re: Best oscilloscopes of the era ?
« Reply #35 on: April 06, 2020, 11:02:36 am »
I'd consider Kikusui to be an A-list brand, maybe they weren't quite on par with Tek's glory days but like most Japanese equipment of the 70s-90s they were well made and reliable.
Kikusui is an A-list brand at A-list prices. I don't know why anyone would question that one. They used to be quite a broad manufacturer, but seem to have greatly narrowed their focus these days. If you aren't involved in power work you probably wouldn't notice them.
 

Offline duak

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Re: Best oscilloscopes of the era ?
« Reply #36 on: April 06, 2020, 04:37:30 pm »
I used various tube Heathkit and Eico scopes in high school.  AC coupled, single trace and recurrent, uncalibrated sweep.  The man with one eye is King in the country of the blind.  The Electronics lab had a Telequipment D54 solid state scope.  Manna from heaven!  The school library also had the Tektronix Circuit Concepts series books.  More manna!  I never did use any of Tek's earlier tube scopes.  I did use the Tek mainframe scopes like the 7904, 7104 and one of the storage units.  Somewhere I've got a Polaroid film scope camera, the cheap one.

I think the Tek 2465B was the best portable scope ever made with the 465/475 in 2nd place.  I've used each  but don't own any of them.

I have a 2245 and one of the early 2215s; the first scope I ever bought.  You make the measurements with the equipment you have, not the ones you want.

I used and really liked the TDS3014 (I think it was)  I haven't used anything newer than that.

I used hp analog scopes a few times and never found their triggering to be a good as Tek's.  I used one of early hp digital scopes with a 6 bit A/D for a while but it kept losing its calibration data, probably something wrong with its NVRAM.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2020, 07:24:00 pm by duak »
 

Offline GreyWoolfe

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Re: Best oscilloscopes of the era ?
« Reply #37 on: April 06, 2020, 05:08:25 pm »
At ITT in the late 90's we had BK Precision 2120 20 MHz scopes.  I thought of getting one for nostalgia, but the numpties want too much coin for a decent condition example.  I did manage to cash in on the sell off, getting a GW-Instek GPC 3020, GOS-6112 and GDM-8251A cheap.  All fine for my needs.
"Heaven has been described as the place that once you get there all the dogs you ever loved run up to greet you."
 

Offline David Hess

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Re: Best oscilloscopes of the era ?
« Reply #38 on: April 06, 2020, 05:46:16 pm »
Tektronix 535/545 (1954/1955) - Earliest dual delayed sweep oscilloscope with "modern" controls.  The 545 was cloned twice; I have one of the clones.
Tektronix 2230/2232 (1986/1990) - Earliest DSO with peak detection.  The 2232 has a "modern" user interface compared to the 2230.
 

Online fourfathom

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Re: Best oscilloscopes of the era ?
« Reply #39 on: April 06, 2020, 05:59:57 pm »
If you go a bit further back you have to include the Tektronix 465, 468 4 channel analog scopes.  Made starting in the 70's and there are many still in use today.  Certainly a classic if not of iconic status.
Don't know about the best, but the Tek 465 is the first pro-quality scope I used, and it will always have a place in my heart.  Loved that delayed sweep!  And of course the Heathkit IO-102, which I built when I was about 15 years old.
 

Offline jh15

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Re: Best oscilloscopes of the era ?
« Reply #40 on: April 06, 2020, 06:20:10 pm »
I have a Hickok Tektronix clone. Has no tubes except the CRT. Need to dump it or de- part it.
Will be digging it out for parting out. I thought it was a 545 clone, but I remember something about finding there are tunnel diodes in it. I do remember the distributed vertical amp tube strip.

I do have a 535 and 575 curve tracer
Tek 575 curve trcr top shape, Tek 535, Tek 465. Tek 545 Hickok clone, Tesla Model S,  Ohio Scientific c24P SBC, c-64's from club days, Giant electric bicycle, Rigol stuff, Heathkit AR-15's. Heathkit ET- 3400a trainer&interface. Starlink pizza.
 


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