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Old 02-12-2010, 05:49 PM   #1
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Default Electronic guru advice needed

So it recently came to my attention that if I'm going to be doing any sort of circuit design, I'm really going to need some sort of basic oscilloscope. This guess and try **** is really starting to get old and while I've had reasonable success so far, I've kind of hit a wall with my detcan project that pretty much requires that I see what is going on. I'm also thinking of going back to school here pretty soon which kind of makes cost an issue, so I've come up with two basic plans and I want some help deciding.

Plan 1:
$90
Buy a DSO nano. Looks nice and seems like a quality piece, has onboard data storage via SD card and is easily update-able via USB.

-or-

Plan 2:
$66
Buy two of the original DIY DSO kits to be assembled into a ghetto two channel scope which I think will come in handy in some upcoming projects I'm going to tackle on my megasquirt.

Having to assemble them doesn't bother me, I guess what is holding me up is the storage thing. The DIY scopes only have the ability to save 6 frames which can then be exported in BMP format. But when I think about it, I'm just not sure I need to be able to save 4 gigs worth of scope data at a time, but then again, its always the **** you don't think you need that bites you in the *** later.

Thoughts?
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Old 02-12-2010, 05:53 PM   #2
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You should just give up and come be my valentine. Lol.
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Old 02-12-2010, 05:56 PM   #3
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You should just give up and come be my valentine. Lol.
Says the guy with the **** drawn on his downpipe.


Just kidding, your the only man for me
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Old 02-12-2010, 05:59 PM   #4
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Im gonna saaaay
neither

I dont know about the first one but Ive heard bad stuff about the DIY one, its more of a toy than anything.

Your best bet is to go on ebay and find a used tektronix osciliscope for like 100-300 bucks
get one with at least 2 channels and over 100 Ms and you will be very happy with its capabilities
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Old 02-12-2010, 06:28 PM   #5
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Im gonna saaaay
neither

I dont know about the first one but Ive heard bad stuff about the DIY one, its more of a toy than anything.

Your best bet is to go on ebay and find a used tektronix osciliscope for like 100-300 bucks
get one with at least 2 channels and over 100 Ms and you will be very happy with its capabilities

Hmm, noted. I dont want to just waste money. I've read a few reviews about the first scope that all pretty much say that its a great "hobby" scope, which might suit me for now, but we'll see.

I was just kicking around craigslist and found this: tektronix 454

I just need to figure out how to get my wife onboard with this idea....
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Old 02-12-2010, 06:42 PM   #6
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Also neither.

The DSO Nano is cute, but it's still only a single channel scope. Yes, I know the picture on the website shows two waveforms- one of them is a stored waveform. With this device, you cannot see the relationship between two signals in realtime (such as an input trigger and an output), nor does it support external triggering. It's just a regular DSO with a prettier screen.

The pair of DSOs also isn't much good, as there's no way to synchronize them. So while you'd be able to see two signals at once, you would not be able to look at the relationship between them.

I'm very much with FTB here. I would do one of three things:

1: Buy a used two-channel DSO on eBay. (Tek, Philips, HP, etc)

2: Buy a new Chinese scope from one of the many places that sells such things. Protek, BK Precision, etc

3: Buy a PC-based scope. This is what I currently have, and it has plusses and minuses. It's nice to be able to take screen captures directly, and it has all kinds of cools DSP functions, but the controls are harder to use than those of a real scope, and it can be rather flaky in operation sometimes.


When looking for a cheap scope, bear in mind that $400 is astoundingly cheap for a good DSO. An entry-level scope used to cost >$2,000.
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Old 02-12-2010, 06:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jeff_Ciesielski View Post
I just need to figure out how to get my wife onboard with this idea....
Tell her you cannot start selling Det Cans until you get one. So once you have one you can start bringing home the Bacon.
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Old 02-12-2010, 06:48 PM   #8
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Tell her you cannot start selling Det Cans until you get one. So once you have one you can start bringing home the Bacon.
Hah, except that we both know that what little bacon I make on these will get dumped right back into my little side projects...or my car
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Old 02-12-2010, 06:53 PM   #9
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Also neither.

The DSO Nano is cute, but it's still only a single channel scope. Yes, I know the picture on the website shows two waveforms- one of them is a stored waveform. With this device, you cannot see the relationship between two signals in realtime (such as an input trigger and an output), nor does it support external triggering. It's just a regular DSO with a prettier screen.

The pair of DSOs also isn't much good, as there's no way to synchronize them. So while you'd be able to see two signals at once, you would not be able to look at the relationship between them.

I'm very much with FTB here. I would do one of three things:

1: Buy a used two-channel DSO on eBay. (Tek, Philips, HP, etc)

2: Buy a new Chinese scope from one of the many places that sells such things. Protek, BK Precision, etc

3: Buy a PC-based scope. This is what I currently have, and it has plusses and minuses. It's nice to be able to take screen captures directly, and it has all kinds of cools DSP functions, but the controls are harder to use than those of a real scope, and it can be rather flaky in operation sometimes.


When looking for a cheap scope, bear in mind that $400 is astoundingly cheap for a good DSO. An entry-level scope used to cost >$2,000.
Well, you know what they say about too good to be true. Since it has been suggested and has the Joe Perez stamp of truth on it, I'll probably just bide my time and look for a good used scope. Hopefully I can talk the wife into the one I posted above...That would save me some headache.
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Old 02-12-2010, 07:00 PM   #10
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"Joe Perez: Cause marital tension since 2005."
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Old 02-12-2010, 07:38 PM   #11
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3: Buy a PC-based scope. This is what I currently have, and it has plusses and minuses. It's nice to be able to take screen captures directly, and it has all kinds of cools DSP functions, but the controls are harder to use than those of a real scope, and it can be rather flaky in operation sometimes.
Just out of curiosity, what PC-based scope do you use? Parallax looks like it might offer one to suit my low level needs. There are others ranging up to the damn near $10k range :/. Please forgive my ness.
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