Re: Getting calibration equipment calibrated


Hi Dave,
Ok that changes a LOT of things. If you have access to that lecroy you should be set to do the calibrations on all the plugins. A 6.5 Digit DMM is plenty for the PG 506 did mine on a keithly 6500. What is important is you know that when you set the controls of the plugins they are outputting that you think they are and have confidence in them. Especially If the LeCroy has FFT functions you can actually get rid of the spec an requirements cause the LeCroy can check the spectral purity of the 503 and the 504. During the cal process that is really just to make sure the harmonics and spurious signals are at an acceptable level. Even if you can get all the way there you will have them checked to the limits of the LeCroy which means you will be good to go for a 400 and even 7000 series scope. Vertical accuracy of a 465 Is only +/- 3% when the PG is checked with a DMM at DC and adjusted, You run at 0.0025% but then you know you are good to tune 3%. If that makes sense. I can take a look at the spec sheet of the LeCroy if you would like but I will need to model number. I expect you will be perfect for the calibrations the only question is can it FFT this might be a "software option" and not base functionality. The fastest a PG506 needs for calibration is to check a 1ns rise time so only 350Mhz I would imagine the LeCroy is 1Ghz+ so doing a final check on the 3 plugins should be well in it wheel house.


-----Original Message-----
From: <> On Behalf Of Dave Peterson via
Sent: Monday, May 24, 2021 1:18 AM
Subject: Re: [TekScopes] Getting calibration equipment calibrated

I might be a bit of an odd bird: I quite enjoy twiddling the variety of pots vs. pure automation. I work in the IC industry, so I get my fill of high level integration, and have spent many hours in the lab with high-end scopes. I could quite easily, and may yet, take in some equipment to check in out at high speed. I'll have to talk to the lab manager. This habby came up after the COVID lock-down. Haven't been in the lab since.

Here's a video of our lab showing our first HBM DDR. I did timing closure on the HBM Phy.

It would be worth seeing, for example, the actual edges coming out of the PG506 as captured on a LeCroy.

After so many years stuck on Si die I quite enjoy the tactile nature of the old scopes. I enjoy tearing them down, giving a good cleaning, fixing their little problems, and making them live again. I'm sure my interests will evolve as I progress.

Thanks for the inputs.

On Sunday, May 23, 2021, 09:38:51 PM PDT, Mark Goldberg <> wrote:

Keysight and Tektronix will calibrate anything for anyone that brings money. They are pretty expensive though. There are good third party calibration labs, and bad ones. Search for ones with NVLAP or A2LA accreditation or maybe ANAB accreditation. Compare their uncertainties (which they should be able to provide) to the desired accuracy for what you want to calibrate.

I keep a subset of my test equipment calibrated and compare the rest. I get one Scope / Spectrum Analyzer and one Fluke multimeter done. For frequency, GPSDOs are so good I don't see any reason to pay for a frequency calibration of anything, at least for my level of usage. I'm set up to measure frequency very accurately based on a GPSDO and use one as a reference for all my test equipment.

New equipment with computer control have automated calibration routines and are way cheaper to do. Older equipment with lots of pots to turn take a lot of labor and you will pay more. My MDO3024 Scope / Spectrum Analyzer cost about $140 to calibrate and my Fluke multimeter about $40 at a third party lab. The quote for my HP 8642A signal generator was about $300 (lots of pots to turn). Tektronix wanted about $500 for the scope calibration. I think they provide big discounts to good customers, but not to me.



On Sun, May 23, 2021 at 9:16 PM Sean Turner <> wrote:


Time standards are easier than ever now, as there are a plethora of
GPSDO products around. That will be orders of magnitude better than
needed for aligning cathode ray o-scopes. I adjusted the (admittedly
crude) Bulova branded OCXO in my Type 184 to many more decimal places
than needed for scope calibration. I do leave the 184 plugged in at
all times so the oven stays hot.

For DC voltages, you can find things like this:

With a few things like that on hand, you can easily know that a CRO is
in good shape. Probably not sufficient for more accurate instruments
that require incredibly good calibration accuracy (>=6.5 digit meters,
spectrum analyzers, etc), but will serve you fine for oscilloscopes.

As for professional cal services, I do know Keysight will work on
personally owned stuff (and a lot more old HP stuff than you might
think, a lot of that is still in service in pro labs), but get ready
to open your wallet. Especially if you want NIST traceable.


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