Re: 7K series - Conceptual question - What's the 3rd most useful plugin
Wow! I didn't expect **that much** emotional response in just two days.
I won`t be able to properly answer to all the suggestions, quoting every of your remarks, so I`ll make an overall wrapup of what grasped more my attention.
7A22: I knew of this one before I even have an 7k scope, so it was on my list already. But it doesn't come by often (I only see once on ebay in the last few months and IIRC it was selling for something like 170 bucks).
7A13: The number of you guys who mentioned it surprised me! I never gave any serious thought to it, maybe because of its name... Comparator.
I never thought that it could be used as a normal vertical amplifier with its fancy offset features et all.
I thought it worked more like a... go figure, comparator! (i.e. like in OpAmps vs Comparators) and that it would display a kind of digital output of the signal, a "zero" for anything below a threshold and a "one" for anything above... where you could set the threshold as an internal voltage or use the differential input.
Now that I know it works like an amplifier, it's a whole different issue!
Given the number of times it was mentioned, and given that there's one RIGHT NOW, at offer on a local auction site in Brazil (Mercadolivre), I think it will definitely become my next plugin (the one at offer is pf the digital kind so, no worries about the rotary DC offset encoder).
7A12: It was mentioned once, and I never given too much thought about it... it always seemed to me just as a "different" approach to the settings, with push buttons instead of the rotary and lever switches...
But the comment from John grabbed my attention that, it has one nice feature that the other mainstream dual preamps doesn't have... it has a variable dual DC offset voltage that gives it the ability to "cancel out" the DC offsets of signals being measured without sacrificing the DC response.
Sort of like the 7A13 and the 7A22, but maybe not so powerful and/or precise exact DC offset or improved CMRR on those particalr two plugins... but... with a big advantage though... it's a dual channel, with dual DC offset cancellation, that still can be used like a differential (granted... I know the CMRR is not great).
It seriuosly grabbed my attention and - at least - I won't dismiss it right away if I ever see an offer (they don't seem to come by often too).
7A42: This one was mentioned once as well and it never catched my eyes either but, after your comment I do see some value in it...
For instance, it would have been perfect to troubleshoot the defect of the TG501 that Kerry brought up to the group recently...(https://groups.io/g/TekScopes/message/150488).
For small ECL glue logic it looks really handy.
Still, I don't think it would rank as the immediate choice for a 3rd plugin (as my original proposal)... I would be more like a "good to have" to anyone who already have the essentials covered.
7D12: I think it was mentioned once and I had already given thoughts to it... With either an M1, M2 or M3 modules, it really has a multitude of uses... But it's broken down into 3 different - additional - modules... and I think it would be, Like Lop Pol said:'Crap! one more plugin to my wish list!"... but not my immediate 3rd one.
7D14, 7D15: I think I would rather go with the latter... for its ability to do on screen delta time measurements (which kinda replace what the DM44 could do), although I admit that, on my 3 bay 7623A, it would mean an annoying cable permanently routed from the back to the front of the scope.
7D20: That one also catched my eyes a couple of times... But specially because I have an storage 7K MF, it falls down on my wishlist rank...
Besides, it's an expensive gig and never seen one at offer.
7LXXs: I`m not much into RF so, the only SA that I ever considered was the 7L5, mostly for audio measurements.
Still, I don't know if the dynamic range of the 7L5 qualifies for really low distortion measurements (< 0.01%). Have any of you used it for this purpose? How does it do in that area?
7CT1(N): This one has always been on my watch as well, but firstly, they're EXPENSIVE! and secondly... From all plugins, I think this is one that I could manage to make one DIY... Because it's essentially LF, and because a microcontroller + soft buttons / rotary encoders + relays can make up quite nicely for the - unobtainable to the DIYers - multi position / multi contact / coaxial selectors.
Not that I ever designed one... but I think it would not be that difficult to do... and could be done on a "evolving" aproach... strating from something simple and adding more and more functionality.
Thank you for the links to the DIY blogs... it inspired me and I may very well pursue that
Thanks a lot for all of your inputs.
I`m happy that it triggered interesting discussions among you all and I`ll keep reading.