Back in the 1980 time period, we were funded by our lab sponsors to
upgrade our test equipment. At that time we bought 7 Philips scopes of
various models, including storage. Those were the equal of any
Tektronix scope we had previously had and were the best value for the
cost at the time. They are still in use today! One of the fond
memories was of sending them to an outside cal lab traceable to NIST,
and having them send us a minimum charge and test report saying they
could not find anything needing recalibration. And thiis was after a
couple of years of portable scope use around the lab and on field trips.
There are high end and low end models in most any scope line. I have
seen perfectly stable Leader scops, and other import brands. In the
same breath, I remember the HP scopes of the 70's had the reputation of
not having easy to trigger front ends and trigger circuits. In fact, it
was the high cost of Tektronix and the problematical triggers of HP
portables that sent us looking at Philips line of scopes. They were
well made in the Netherlands, and later sold and represented in North
America by Fluke, who have a long reputation of excellent test equipment
in DVM and other meters. In fact to broaden their instrument line they
picked Philips as
a qualtity scope they could stand behind.
Another lesser known scope that had good value for the money was the
Gould line of portables. We have one of those still working from the 80's.
I saw Philips scopes sell at ham swaps for $125 in good working
condition. Like the older 3 digit Tek models, you will not find spare
parts like transformers, and custom delay lines, and if your older scope
fails, likely you will have to replace the whole instrument. But, hams
now have the ability to have better high end instrumentation than at any
time in the history of amateur radio. A complete work bench can be
equipped for under $500, and much less in many cases.
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