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Re: [TenTec] more oscilloscope questions

To: Discussion of Ten-Tec Equipment <tentec@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [TenTec] more oscilloscope questions
From: "Charles P. Steinmetz" <charles_steinmetz@lavabit.com>
Reply-to: Discussion of Ten-Tec Equipment <tentec@contesting.com>
Date: Sun, 11 Jul 2010 14:49:01 -0400
List-post: <tentec@contesting.com">mailto:tentec@contesting.com>
Mike wrote:

>What about the more uncommon brands? Outside of Tek, B&K, Sencore are a
>number of more high end and less expensive scopes. I am sort of "Joe
>average" ham - build some, design a little, and want to design more and be
>able to troubleshoot deeper.

Outside of Tek and HP, there simply isn't much that passes as a 
useful scope.  Phillips and Hitachi both made some OK scopes, but 
B&K, Leader, and Sencore never did IMO.  The lesser scopes don't 
trigger properly, drift, don't hold calibration, have nonlinear 
sweeps, have peaky high-frequency responses, intermittent switch 
contacts, etc., etc., and are often unreliable and 
failure-prone.  IME, the Tek 22xx "value" series shares some of these 
attributes -- I'd stick with the 4xx or 24xx series if the price is > $75.

Can someone get by with less?  Sure -- just like Isaac Stern will 
sound good on any fiddle you hand him.  But the casual user is even 
more in need of decent equipment than the expert, because (s)he needs 
to be able to count on it without having to work around and take into 
account a host of irregularities.  And since good HP and Tek scopes 
are available for so little these days, there is just no need to 
consider others unless the budget is truly miniscule (< $100).

>I don't think I need a 200 MHz all-the-bells-and-whistles scope, but I'm not
>sure a 50 MHz is the best choice either - at least based on the information
>I received from some of the knowledgeable guys here.

There is a reason that the 100 MHz dual-trace delayed-sweep 
"portable" bench scope is, and has been for 40+ years, the workhorse 
of the industry.  Since you can get a good one for $100 or less if 
you shop carefully, why not, unless you're looking for something 
cheaper than $100.  As for the presence or absence of features, any 
HP 17xx or Tek 4xx or 24xx comes with a set of features that you will 
eventually be very glad you have, even if you do not yet know what they do.

Best regards,


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