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How to chose an oscilloscope...

Old 12-16-2003, 01:10 PM
500 Watt CAFz'r
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 679

Hey guys, I'm looking at buying one of these as a tool to basically test my amps to see if there clipping. Before learning how to use one I gotta learn how to pick one out. I'm looking for the cheapest one possible, what exactly do I look for in one? This is all new to me, thanks...
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Old 12-16-2003, 06:19 PM
1000 Watt CAFz'r
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I got one of these for 150 cdn off ebay
(50us +20us + 40cdn duty and brokerage)

I need probs though.
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Old 12-17-2003, 08:55 AM
50 Watt CAFz'r
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If you don't care about physical size older Tektronix or HP scopes are hard to beat (until they need service). I have used a couple of PC based scopes and they worked well for testing audio, telephony and other low frequency stuff, the Handy scope and can't remember the name of the other one.
Key things to look for are </font>
  • Bandwidth - 20MHz as stated is perfect</font>
  • Triggering - should be stable so the waveform will always appear to start at the same place on the display.</font>
  • Sensitivity - This is the range of input signals the internal amplifier/attenuator can use without overloading (clipping) the signal to be displayed. Using 10:1 or 100:1 probes can extend this range greatly. Most scopes have 5mV/div to 5V/div range. You would need a 10:1 probe to test the output of an amp since they are generally over 50Vpp.</font>
  • Channels - scopes are available from 1 to 32 (could be higher), 2 channel is mimimum I recommend but 4 never hurts. An external triggering input is also very handy for referencing.</font>
Since you don't have much experience don't buy a really fancy one, it will just confuse you. I learned on a REALLY old Tektronix 502A (tube based). It has all of the basic controls and a good triggering section, only problem is size and weight
I have had good success with Kenwood, Hitachi, Tektronix, Fluke, HP and Instek scopes. It is really a personal preferance. You may find one locally for $50-$400.
Good luck J
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Old 12-18-2003, 05:07 PM
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Old 12-20-2003, 05:31 PM
500 Watt CAFz'r
Join Date: Dec 2001
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My dad has a Fluke 95 - 50 MHz Scopemeter... Never used it but wondering if it would be adequate for setting up a system?
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Old 12-21-2003, 12:34 PM
2000 Watt CAFz'r
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 3,354

In class all we use is B+K Precision. These scopes are nice, I enjoy working on them. Dual channel etc...

Theres a few stores that sell them in the TO area, if your around mississauga, theres a couple stores on Matheson and Dixie that sell used electronic scopes and other pieces for decent prices.
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Old 12-21-2003, 12:54 PM
500 Watt CAFz'r
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Thanks guys, I'm around the Ottawa area so Toronto's a good 4 hours too far. I'm liking those small handheld portable ones. I'm looking into those, do they work just a well as the bigger ones?
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