When I first researched buying an oscilloscope, I tried EBAY. I found a
nice 50-MHz Tektronix's and bought it. Unfortunately, it must have fallen
off the truck because it was pretty much beat-up too badly to work. My next
stop was the local instrument rental shop. They had o-scopes of every make and
model. I bought a Tektronix 2335, 100Mhz scope that looks like it just came
out of the box for $200. It works like a charm. A trip to the local
electronics shop and I had a couple Probemaster 1x/10x probes for $37 each. Is it the
best product? I doubt it but it does beat using a DMM alone. Try your local
instrument rental shop...you might be pleasantly surprised. They regularly
sell off gear as they get newer gear in.
The o-scope allowed me to troubleshoot my not-yet completed K2 and find a
miss-wired toroidal transformer by allowing me to "see" problems with my
waveform. Each day I learn a little more about the scope...mostly from reading
messages on the Elecraft Reflector...Better than going back to school.
73's de Terry Southern - KC0QZX
In a message dated 6/23/2004 2:10:23 AM Mountain Standard Time,
[hidden email] writes:
Thanks Ron for your clear answer. I understand, I think this is will be fine
for me for now. You know higher they can take, higher will be the price
also. This scope is actually around 500$ CDN.... That the maximum I can
affort for a scope for now... But maybe in the futur, I could get a hand on
a better scope (maybe a used one) for a good price.
Anyway, for now, I think it will be very handy, at least for my
understanding of a scope and for basic readings I need.
The real key to using an oscilloscope for debug is that bit of knowledge
that comes from study of the circuit that you are trying to troubleshoot.
If one does not know what the signal should look like in the first place,
the only thing an oscilloscope will show is a bunch of 'pretty pictures'.
A complete service manual with typical displays shown would go a long way,
but even that needs to be coupled with some generalized study so the user
will have a good grasp of the tolerances to be expected and the specific
settings on the K2 which will produce those typical displays. That kind of
information becomes second nature to the experienced technician/engineer,
but I know from experience that it can befuddle the newcomer (example - the
number of questions on this reflector wondering about not finding exactly
the voltage reading stated in the K2 manual) who does not have a grasp of
the permissible tolerances.
One way to gain some of that experience is by building something for your
Build up some oscillator circuits (see the theory section of the ARRL
Handbook - every ham should have one), and probe around with both the 'scope
and a DVM while asking yourself "Do I understand what I am observing and
why?". After a bit of that and similar learning experiences, you will find
yourself an 'old hand' at doing troubleshooting on most any equipment.
Life is what happens when you are making other plans