Re: Cool cheap oscilloscope for troubleshooting

Doug Hall

Jack's point is well made. I'm all for saving money, but of all the places to cut corners test equipment is not one of them. The biggest flaw in the $25-$50 'scopes is not their lack of features or low bandwidth, it is their lack of measurement accuracy. And when you think about it, measurement accuracy is the reason we buy test equipment in the first place. 

You can buy a new Rigol DS1102E for $300. That's a dual channel 1 gigasample per second, 100 MHz bandwidth 'scope with two decent X10 probes and a host of features such as FFT (use it as a spectrum analyzer), PC connectivity, USB, on-screen help, and math features. Talk your club or a few of your buddies into going in with you if you can't justify $300. But a decent oscilloscope is worth what you pay for it. 

Speaking of Rigol equipment, several years ago I saved my toy money and bought a Rigol DSA-815 spectrum analyzer with a tracking generator. For the money you can't beat it. Besides measuring stuff like spectral purity and TX IMD3 you can also measure filters and tune duplexers, check coaxial cable loss, and a host of other things. 

Doug K4DSP

On Wed, Jul 31, 2019 at 08:03 AM, Jack Purdum wrote:
I guess my point is: Instead of spending $25-$50 on a device and may or may not be sufficient to get the job done, consider acquiring a scope for the club. A new scope good to 100MHz is about $250, but hamfest, Craigs List, and other places have good used scopes at reasonable cost. Depending upon the size and makeup of your club, it might be a viable solution.
Jack, W8TEE

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