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Thread: I need a new O-Scope; what are you guys using for troubleshooting?

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    I need a new O-Scope; what are you guys using for troubleshooting?

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    Guys, I need to get a digital oscilloscope for my workbench. I have a Tek 2230 that I got for free from one of my clients a while back, and I 'guess' it works fine but I'd never really know because I have nothing else to compare it to, and it was left in storage for a number of years and is likely out of calibration. It also takes up a whole corner of my bench. I've been looking into getting something digital and smaller, and possibly not as old as the 2230. A couple of options I've looked into were either getting something like a Tektronix TDS210/220, or one of those new Rigol scopes which are about $400 new (or less). The Rigol is a Chinese scope and does get fairly good ratings and reviews as far as a hobby scope goes, and also spoke with one person who uses one for synth work and says it's plenty good for what he does. A used Tek would probably still run me close to $350-400 for something in fully working condition, although it would likely be 15 years old or more at that price. I'm torn between wanting brand-new test equipment, or used but quality-built. If I get the Rigol, I'm going to say "I should have gotten the Tek". If I get the Tek, I'm going to say "this is 15 years old, I hope it doesn't crap out on me". I'm used to the struggle of buying analog and vintage equipment but it's a lot like putting the $4000 Gibson in a gig bag instead of a hardshell case. I want reliable test equipment for when I am doing repairs on my gear so I'm doing them right the first time. I dunno, what are you guys using that do any DIY stuff or repairs?

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    Do you own a decent analogue display milli voltmeter? If so you can calibrate that against tones from a computer (Audacity does waves and coloured noise) . The LF levels can be checked on any good DMM but don't trust it past a few 100Hz. You CAN pretty much trust the level out of a PC or interface up to 20kHz to be level ref 100 and 1kHz.

    If you DON'T have a mV meter you can make one pretty easily with op amps and a movement. Not complicated for a "line level" meter with perhaps just 2 sensitivities.

    Cannot help you decide on a 'scope but the above means you can calibrate it! Don't want to be rude but tape etc does not need NPL accuracy?

    Dave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecc83 View Post
    Cannot help you decide on a 'scope but the above means you can calibrate it! Don't want to be rude but tape etc does not need NPL accuracy?
    Right, understood - I need it more so for other electronic work I do, such as synthesizer repair and I also build effects pedals and crap. I don't have an analog meter but I can easily get one. Have several DMM, one is a decent (but older) Fluke.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WhinyLittleRunt View Post
    Right, understood - I need it more so for other electronic work I do, such as synthesizer repair and I also build effects pedals and crap. I don't have an analog meter but I can easily get one. Have several DMM, one is a decent (but older) Fluke.
    I have a venerable Fluke ! The 83 model as a matter of fact it is the only DMM I have found that DOES have a flat response up to 20kHz most are 6 dB down by 2kHz or so and then get worse! This applies even to those meters that are "true rms" trust that ONLY for 50/60 Hz power readings, it will not give an accurate reading of say the pink noise output of a power amp.

    For tape alignment you could build a meter around a VU movement (biggest one you can find!) and have a +20dB switch for neg 20 cassette alignments.

    Shame you are so far away, otherwise I would be happy to donate my Wayne Kerr Radford microvolt meter to the cause!

    Dave.

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    I'm using a software program Visual Analyser 8, since I've not been able to fall into a nice old scope. You really have to be able to define your needs. I'd probably go import, unless you can find something nice locally. I'm only interested in the audio part and my old heathkit 5mhz could do that. You buy new with "good" lead sets, off the bat

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    I have my trusty old school Tek scope and also an HP1980B. They were built for a lifetime of use. No issues to date although I rat-holed away spares for both including new CRTs when I saw them for great prices. For voltmeter HP3400A true RMS voltmeter, probably still the gold standard if you like the analog interface. Chinese is always junk and regretted, IMHO. To me everything reeks of cheap. Again just my 2 cents.
    Why would you record music on a device designed to do word processing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mdainsd View Post
    Chinese is always junk and regretted, IMHO. To me everything reeks of cheap. Again just my 2 cents.
    Well that's exactly what I was feeling too... I hate spending money on new Chinese stuff; biggest reason I buy used, old, vintage etc... I'm going to go with a digital Tek scope.

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