Author Topic: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?  (Read 20657 times)

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Offline pcprogrammer

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #25 on: November 05, 2021, 05:39:31 pm »
I myself have a Rigol MSO5074 with the logic analyzer probe which is a good scope for the things I do. A friend of mine whom is more into RF is thinking about buying a Rigol DSA815-TG.

Also own a couple of the cheaper scopes like FNIRSI 1013D and 1014D, which are just toys and a Hantek DSO2D10, which is nice for quick measurements, but also bought as a hobby project.

For a power supply I don't have advise since the one I have is an old HAMEG 4 channel one, 30V/3A per channel. Usable in series or parallel, so good for 30V/12A or 120V/3A. A double or triple output power supply is good to have for analog or motor projects.

For soldering a hot air gun 858D is also good to have. Handy for de-soldering smd ic's or shrinking heat shrink sleeve.

Offline knudch

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2021, 05:40:31 pm »
Current probes for your solar project ;)
Remember option for spectrum/network analyzer (Even if I don't know what kind of RF work you have in mind)
I would suggest a RF signal-generator but I think some of the SA/NA can be used for simple RF signal generation

It would be nice to get more specific brands/model numbers so I can look from there.  If you were to start fresh, what would you have liked to start with?  What do you use daily?

Tell a little about your expected RF works and your solar/green energy project

Then it would easier to give adequate advise
 

Offline brabus

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #27 on: November 05, 2021, 06:12:21 pm »
I have an used HP 54621A, an absolutely wonderful scope, that I may let go for that kind of money. Details via PM.
 

Offline rvalente

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #28 on: November 05, 2021, 06:14:05 pm »
Id say you have too much money and no place to expend, because you do not have a clue of what you need but want the best, imho your approach is just wrong. Go on baby steps and save up. Get a used 1054z for 250 on ebay and play with it. No ofense
 
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Offline Trader

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #29 on: November 05, 2021, 06:31:29 pm »
Ok so a good scope and a good spectrum analyzer.  What other accessories should I focus on?  I have seen a High voltage differential probe, so what should I look for there?

Maybe you can start by this one:   https://www.keysight.com/us/en/cmp/2021/keysight-smart-bench-essentials-test-instruments.html

 
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Offline PaulAm

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #30 on: November 05, 2021, 06:55:17 pm »
You're getting some good advice, you can populate a pretty decent lab for $30K.  Buying the "last scope you'll ever need" really isn't possible.  Most products are built with a 5-10 year lifetime and, once out of warranty, are more or less economically unjustifiable to repair.  At that point you just buy a new one.  New features and capabilities come out all of the time.  Today's top of the line scope will not look like one in 5-10 years.  The stuff also tends to depreciate quickly once no longer current.  Businesses can depreciate that $30K scope so when it dies they can just throw it out, that's a bit harder for an individual to deal with.

On the other hand, most basic functions of a scope don't really change, so you can afford to look around for something you like and be confident that it will do everything (or nearly everything if you're on the bleeding edge) that you would want it to.  You can get a lot of scope for $1-3K and even more used, if you want to be budget conscious.  Once you run into the limits of what you have, then you will know enough to make a good choice going forward.

If you end up doing RF work, think about a VNA.  You can do a lot with a SA and TG, but a VNA will do that and much much more. One warning: if you think test equipment is a black hole (see TEA thread), RF equipment is a super massive black hole as far as your budget is concerned.

Try to get an idea of where you want to go with this.  It will help you spend the money in the most useful areas.  You really don't want to buy a Ferrari to go down your driveway to pick up the mail when a golf cart would be a much more useful tool
 

Offline KE5FX

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #31 on: November 05, 2021, 06:55:51 pm »
I came into an inheritance and would like to get a good scope.  So yeah, go ahead and dream as big as you want.  I will be using this thread to base my purchasing decision on.  So if you were to start fresh, what would you have liked to get?

Snarky answer: Imagine if this were a musicians' forum, or maybe a customer forum for a music retailer.  Someone shows up and asks, "I'm interested in learning to play the guitar.  I have a budget of $30,000, which should certainly be enough for a killer axe.  What do you guys recommend?"  What responses would he or she be likely to receive from experienced musicians?

Realistic answer: At the $30,000-and-up level you'll find a lot of specialized instruments that are great at specialized tasks, but not very good general-purpose instruments.  They may have fast ADCs and massive acquisition memories that are sluggish to work with.  Little or no attention may be paid to user experience and UI design, having been devoted to performance instead.  Common general-purposes tasks like bus decoding will be no better-implemented than they are in much cheaper instruments, assuming they're present at all.  And they are less likely to have standard 1-megohm inputs, which means that specialized active probes will be needed for common tasks.  Using such a scope as a daily driver will be an exercise in frustration.

Finally, if you have questions, fewer people here and elsewhere will be able to help with them.

You can spend a million dollars on a 100 GHz+ oscilloscope if you want... so what's stopping you from doing that?  Whatever that reason may be, it almost certainly applies at the $30,000 level as well.   The amount of money in question can be put to far better use in your lab.  It only makes sense to spend this much on a scope if you have a specific need for what it can do.
 
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Online tautech

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #32 on: November 05, 2021, 08:54:40 pm »
Current probes for your solar project ;)
Remember option for spectrum/network analyzer (Even if I don't know what kind of RF work you have in mind)
I would suggest a RF signal-generator but I think some of the SA/NA can be used for simple RF signal generation

It would be nice to get more specific brands/model numbers so I can look from there.  If you were to start fresh, what would you have liked to start with?  What do you use daily?
Lots of excellent advice here that you shouldn't overlook.  ;)

If you came knocking on our door with such wishes I too would be steering you into the lower value mid-range equipment so to get best bang for your buck and a small selection of gear that would best cover your current and future needs.

As reply #1 suggested SDS2104X Plus and SVA1032X would be good choices due to their capabilities and it would be some years before you'd outgrow their capability. SDS2104X Plus hacked (everybody does) gives you 500 MHz capability and SVA1032X offers SA, TG and VNA capability to 3.2 GHz which unless you needed to cover 5 GHz wireless should well cover basic RF needs for a while as you slowly fall into that black hole.

However it sounds like the lab is just getting started and there could be much more to buy so as others have wisely advised take a step back and have a good hard look at the big picture.
PSU's ?
E loads ?
Bench meter ?
Standalone AWG ?
Cabling, adaptors, Cal kits ?
And so on......

Differential probes are chump change compared to the big ticket items.
Current probes not so much but their are some cost effective choices available.

Good luck with your choices.
Avid Rabid Hobbyist.
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Offline nctnico

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #33 on: November 05, 2021, 09:42:13 pm »
I know that "best" is relative and needs to be narrowed down quite a bit.  I'm a newbie and I know that.  I have no real idea what I to look for in a scope.  If there is some sort of if/then flowchart or program that can help guide me to what features to look for in a scope that would be great.  I also know that budget for a scope is a key factor in recommendations.  My budget is $30,000.  I want a VERY feature rich scope, and I figure with that kind of budget, I can accomplish that.  I also am aware that going with a 4 channel scope is best.  I have been reviewing the other threads on this topic, but most of the scopes come in way under my budget.  The goal is to buy 1 scope and have it be the last scope that I will ever need.  Some of the plans that I have involve decoding software installed into micro controllers such as Arduino, PIC, etc.  I do also mess with RF from time to time.  I am also looking to monitor the sine wave from my 110V outlets because I plan on going somewhat off grid in the future.  I've watched a few YouTube videos and saw suggestions that I should go for as many samples per sec as possible.

Looking for tips and advice.
With that budget I'd look at the 8 channel scopes from Tektronix or Yokogawa.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Trader

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #34 on: November 05, 2021, 09:42:37 pm »
The goal is to buy 1 scope and have it be the last scope that I will ever need.

Check this:  https://www.eevblog.com/forum/buysellwanted/fs-rs-rta4004-(fully-loaded)-unused/
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #35 on: November 05, 2021, 09:45:32 pm »
My suggestion would be:
- BUY THIS FIRST: An isolation transformer, so the following scope is not actually "the last thing" you buy...
No, buy CAT rated differential probes. Isolation transformers are death traps in untrained hands.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline Trader

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #36 on: November 05, 2021, 10:06:48 pm »
My suggestion would be:
- BUY THIS FIRST: An isolation transformer, so the following scope is not actually "the last thing" you buy...
No, buy CAT rated differential probes. Isolation transformers are death traps in untrained hands.

Isolation Transform for the DUT and Differential Probes for the Scope.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #37 on: November 05, 2021, 10:10:17 pm »
My suggestion would be:
- BUY THIS FIRST: An isolation transformer, so the following scope is not actually "the last thing" you buy...
No, buy CAT rated differential probes. Isolation transformers are death traps in untrained hands.

Isolation Transform for the DUT and Differential Probes for the Scope.
No isolation transformer but get a low current GFI and keep the DUT grounded. There are a gazillion ways in which the DUT can become grounded again when using an isolation transformer. In order to use an isolation transformer you need to have proper training AND a workbench which is setup for measuring floating DUTs. But in the end an isolation transformer is a crutch from times when differential probes where horribly expensive and the entire chassis of a device could be connected to mains directly.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2021, 10:12:16 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline FlexibleMammoth

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #38 on: November 05, 2021, 11:39:31 pm »
Edit: I thought about this post and it does not really do a good job to convey the necessary information. I've put a new one here:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/what-is-the-best-oscilliscope-that-i-can-get-for-$30-000/msg3799394/#msg3799394

An Isolation transformer is no substitute for training, attention to what you are doing or careful setup of your workspace, nor is having CAT rated differential probes. Working with mains can get you killed.

Can the DUT become grounded again? Yes, absolutely, especially if you do not know what you are doing. Which is why you should not start out with mains voltage circuits.

Can not having Isolation get you seriously hurt? Also yes.

There is a whole lot of nasty surprises you can come across when working with mains voltage. Reaching across the bench and brushing against the DUT, poking your fingers where you shouldn’t have because you were sure your DUT is off, slipping with your probes, making a dumb mistake because you’re tired etc.

It is not a fix all, but neither is it a dumb relic from the past.

EDIT: we also don’t know which period the devices are from he is working on… I’ve come across quite some horrors in 70s electronics.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2021, 02:14:07 pm by FlexibleMammoth »
 
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Offline BrokenYugo

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #39 on: November 06, 2021, 12:25:17 am »
By hobbyist standards $30k USD will buy you like 5 fully equipped dream labs, each with a more than adequate oscilloscope that can be had for under 1000. Depending on exactly what you intend to decode at what speed and what frequency band of RF interests you may get by with half that or less.
 

Online Fungus

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #40 on: November 06, 2021, 08:49:23 am »
I know that "best" is relative and needs to be narrowed down quite a bit.  I'm a newbie and I know that.  I have no real idea what I to look for in a scope.  If there is some sort of if/then flowchart or program that can help guide me to what features to look for in a scope that would be great.  I also know that budget for a scope is a key factor in recommendations.  My budget is $30,000.  I want a VERY feature rich scope, and I figure with that kind of budget, I can accomplish that.  Some of the plans that I have involve decoding software installed into micro controllers such as Arduino, PIC, etc.  I do also mess with RF from time to time.  I am also looking to monitor the sine wave from my 110V outlets because I plan on going somewhat off grid in the future.  I've watched a few YouTube videos and saw suggestions that I should go for as many samples per sec as possible.

Looking for tips and advice.

A $500 can do all that.

I also am aware that going with a 4 channel scope is best.

For that budget you can get an 8-channel 'scope. You know they make 8-channel 'scopes, right?

I have been reviewing the other threads on this topic, but most of the scopes come in way under my budget.

They can do the jobs that even the experts here need them to do, so...  :-//

Out of curiosity, what else is in your lab (or planned for it)?
 

Offline TERRA Operative

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #41 on: November 06, 2021, 11:46:04 am »
Adam Savage of Mythbusters has something to say abut this scenario.

Buy the cheaper option and if you use it enough to wear it out or outgrow it, then go buy the expensive thing.
That way if you never outgrow or wear the cheap one out, you haven't wasted your money.

I'd be looking at a cheaper well rounded scope, couple hundred MHz like a Rigol or Siglent, or if you want a bit better, Tek or Keysight etc.
Then go buy a decent dual or triple rail power supply, a bench multimeter (Keysight have some good ones, a 34465A or 34470A will set you right), a function gen and frequency counter.
There's a good lab that will have you going for a long time.
Anything you outgrow can be sold easily enough to make way for the newer better gear.

My main scope is an old Tektronix TDS210, a 60MHz scope I got for free over 10 years ago. It "just works" and in usual day to day stuff it does what I need 90% of the time. I've only just needed more (usually for calibrating and adjusting other equipment) and got myself a 1GHz Tektronix TDS784A.
Where does all this test equipment keep coming from?!?

https://www.youtube.com/NearFarMedia/
 
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Offline GerryR

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #42 on: November 06, 2021, 11:54:36 am »
I'm in my 70's and am a mostly retired engineer.  Some of the best engineers I know have very modest equipment and get along much better than those with far better equipment and really don't know how to use it or need the capabilities of the equipment they possess.  It may be impressive to have such equipment, at least to the uninformed, but it won't make you a better hobbiest or engineer.
It sounds like you need to do a lot more homework to determine your needs before you start spending (wasting ) money on equipment that have capabilities you will never use or need.  It also sounds like you need to get better educated so you don't hurt yourself once you get using the equipment you buy.  Best of luck with your endeavor.  ;)
Still learning; good judgment comes from experience, which comes from bad judgment!!
 

Offline Sighound36

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #43 on: November 06, 2021, 12:56:11 pm »
Look at investing the funds more productively. For this money you can put togther a really nice lab set up as a few of the posters have suggested.
This will server you far better than having a mid range scope with a few apps and a couple of basic probes.

Sig/function gennys, DVM's quality power supplies, maybe a dc load? Quality sodlering irons, bench set up also conside a dedicate power analyser for a/c measurments better than an  pretty much any scope even my Lecroy HD wave pro 0.5% gain accuracy V's 0.05%.

Quality tools, cutters/pliers etc, maybe a microscope? For RF work a VNA Siglant make so very repsetcable models with good features. Alos SA'sare really useful I find for many purposes degugging emi and complience issues. Yes most scopes come with a basic FFT function but for real indepth work a big scope (if space s tight) or a god scope and SA/VNA would make more sense imho

Lots to consdier Symax, just to give you an idea we have three scopes in excess of your budget, however I could not complete my tasks with out everything and more I have listed. Look at the bigger picture not just the main focus.

Gerry R also made a very valid point about cost and what you exactly wish to use this for? I still use an old Tek 2541 analogue quite reguarly a Rigol Fuction gen, Keithely DVM and Kikusui load, far more than I use my scopes.

For that outlay you could put a quaity well equiped lab togther that many EE would be pleased to have at their disposal


Seeking quality measurement equipment at realistic cost with proper service backup. If you pay peanuts you employ monkeys.
 

Offline SymaxTopic starter

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #44 on: November 06, 2021, 01:53:50 pm »
Okay so where do I start... for $30k you can get a very decent lab, or an overpowered oscilloscope that is very sensitive to any kind of abuse as well as cheap trash for the rest of your tools.

It's your money and I really get the enthusiasm, but maybe save a bit to cover expenses for future projects... Also you may want to look into used gear, as it gives you higher "leverage" per $ spent.

My suggestion would be:
- EDIT: apparently there is some controversy on the topic of isolation transformers, so do some research into the pros and cons of using one vs. having your DUT grounded with a low current RCD in front (your wiring must be up to code then!)
I am not letting my ego get the best of me and have someone get hurt. I still think that isolation transformers are a good thing, but there are other opinions, e.g. by ntnico later in this thread.
Safety is definitely an important thing.  110V+ needs lots of safety.  Amps can kill.  I don't expect to work on anything with vacuum tubes.  Most of my electronics would involve transistors and newer electronics.

- A nice, but not overkill scope. Maybe a Siglent SDS5000X, which is really good value, or a Rigol MSO7000. If you insist on spending a possibly overkill amount of your budget, there is the Rohde&Schwarz RTM3000 as well as the Keysight 3000X and 4000X series (the latter is basically the same with a larger screen).

EDIT: depending on your skill level, there is also the Siglent SDS2000X Plus and the Rigol MSO5000, which cost maybe 60% of those above and are mostly similar minus the support for active probes and limited in frequency to 350MHz (if I remember correctly).
What's beneficial about active vs passive probes?  So far from the recommendations I'm reading in here, I'm leaning towards the SDS2104X Plus via Amazon.com.

- A high voltage differential probe with at least 700V differential input range so you don't blow up your new scope (e.g. from Micsig or Pico)
I'm considering messing with 15kV pole transformers too.  I know that it is important to wear thick rubber when messing with them.

- A good power supply. I like the three channel Keysight E3631 (+/- 25V, 6V), which gives you symmetric rails e.g. for ADCs and another high power rail e.g. for the main 5V rail. If you want to spend more, there is a successor with graphical display, and of course there are those from Rigol and Siglent at a cheaper price.

- An ESD mat, so you don't accidentally zap your boards.
Already have an ESD Mat in storage from years ago.

- An ESD safe soldering stations that . Weller makes nice ones to choose from.
Could a TS100 be considered ESD Safe?

EDIT: you may want a solder smoke filter (not sure what they are called in English), your lungs will thank you. There are cheap ones that basically are just a fan and a sheet of activated carbon, and nice ones with multi-step filters e.g. made by Weller.
Fume Extractor

- Hand tools at  your need: side cutters, pliers, screwdrivers (Wera and Whia make nice ones), tweezers, hammers, cordless drill, step drill bit, wrenches, nuts,........

=== OPTIONAL - nice to have ===

- EDIT: I forgot the RF part - others have put it well, get a nice Spectrum Analyzer e.g.  Siglent SSA3000X Plus, depending on the frequency range you need. Only get a vector network analyzer if you actually need it and understand what makes it different from a spectrum analyzer with a tracking generator.

- A signal generator. Most scopes have a simple generator built in, this may be enough in the beginning. If you know for sure it is not enough, there are nice ones from siglent, and nicer (and waaaaay more expensive ones) from keysight. Look out for max frequency, max amplitude, modulation capabilities......
The built-in signal generator will probably suffice for most of what I do, but at least I can always look back on this thread if I need something more advanced.

- A professional bench multimeter. Personally, I like those made by Keithley, as they have great specs and are really really fast. You can get a Keithley 2000 used for ~$500. Again, if you want to splurge, there is the new Keithley DMM6500 with graphical display.

- An LCR meter. I have the keysight U1733C, which is nice, but you may have higher/lower requirements.

=== ONLY IF YOU KNOW YOU NEED THEM ===
- A current probe. The exact type strongly depends on your application. Buy this last, when you know what you need.

- A hot air station. Again, Weller or chinese brands which I forgot (-> see YT channel of louis rossmann).
And yeah, for Hot air station, I'd go with what Rossmann has.  At the moment, I'm just using a heat gun that allows me to set an exact temperature.
 

Offline pcprogrammer

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #45 on: November 06, 2021, 02:18:38 pm »
Safety is definitely an important thing.  110V+ needs lots of safety.  Amps can kill.  I don't expect to work on anything with vacuum tubes.  Most of my electronics would involve transistors and newer electronics.

I'm considering messing with 15kV pole transformers too.  I know that it is important to wear thick rubber when messing with them.

Could a TS100 be considered ESD Safe?

It is indeed the Amps that can kill, but a high voltage even with low Amps hurts. :-DD Safety is easily overlooked, I can tell from own experience. Still alive though 8)

I would keep my scope, and other equipment far clear from 15KV, unless there is a very good reason to do measurements on it, and then only with the right high voltage probes.

If the TS100 tip is grounded it will be safe.

Online Fungus

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #46 on: November 06, 2021, 02:42:50 pm »
It is indeed the Amps that can kill

But amps need volts to make them flow.
 

Offline pcprogrammer

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #47 on: November 06, 2021, 02:56:09 pm »
It is indeed the Amps that can kill

But amps need volts to make them flow.

And resistance reduces them. When sitting on a wooden floor touching the live wire (240V over here) you feel nothing or just a slight buzz. Also touch the neutral and you go ouch >:D or worse.

Offline Per Hansson

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #48 on: November 06, 2021, 03:00:39 pm »
Some of the plans that I have involve decoding software installed into micro controllers such as Arduino, PIC, etc.
I'm considering messing with 15kV pole transformers too.
You just need a 100:1 probe, preferably switchable between 10:1 and 100:1 so you don't have to switch probes when you switch between scoping your Arduino and the 15kV pole transformer.

I know that it is important to wear thick rubber when messing with them.
Yes absolutely, you wouldn't want to get pregnant when working with that pole transformer, safety first!

Already have an ESD Mat in storage from years ago.
Great, you wouldn't want to waste several dollars buying a new one!
 
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Offline pcprogrammer

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #49 on: November 06, 2021, 03:08:18 pm »
You just need a 100:1 probe, preferably switchable between 10:1 and 100:1 so you don't have to switch probes when you switch between scoping your Arduino and the 15kV pole transformer.

To me not good advice. Even as it is a transformer I would use a suited differential probe and only use that for the 15KV as a good safety practice. Always switch between them when going to another (low) voltage project.

When left in 10:1 position 1500V will easily blow out the input of the scope. An oversight easily made :palm:

Edit: Even 150V is too high for most scopes :-DD
« Last Edit: November 06, 2021, 03:33:56 pm by pcprogrammer »
 
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