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From: Roger Johansson
Subject: Re: New low bandwidth scope or used high band scope?
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2002 22:20:37 +0200
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firstname.lastname@example.org (The little lost angel) wrote:
>Still looking for a scope
>I could pay like $300 bucks to buy a 60~100Mhz old scope from ebay
>plus shipping to my place.
Sounds very risky to buy a used scope in unknown condition from an
unknown person and pay a lot of money to have it "shipped" halfway
across the globe.
Even if it was okay to begin with it could get damaged in transport,
especially if the sender is not aware of how the post office handles
A package needs to be able to take at least a 3 meter drop on a hard
floor, several times during such a transport.
That needs expert packaging and lots of damping material of exactly
the right type of materials.
>Or I could spend $400 bucks to buy a new 20Mhz Taiwanese basic scope
>that doesn't even have cursor readouts (I assume it's those lines you
>get to shift up and down and tells you exactly what voltage it is
>without having to use a ruler)
If you can afford it, yes. But it is a bit expensive.
There must be radio amateurs where you live, and a used market for
such equipment. Finding a used scope locally is the best alternative.
I think you should try the solution Bob Masta mentions now and then in
this newsgroup, a very simple to build addon circuit for the printer
port which is good for at least 100kHz and maybe more, depending on
the quality of the printer port.
You can do a lot more even with that limited bandwidth than you might
think, if you learn to use it efficiently.
(If you want to know about higher frequency components of a signal you
can use an RF probe, which is easy to build, and combine it with
This would be a good solution, giving you valuable hands-on experience
while you are waiting for a good deal on a real oscilloscope.
You can do a lot with a simple scope, and it is more important to get
one as fast as possible and start using it than to have high level
specifications. The knowledge you can gather by using a simple scope,
such as a printer port scope is very valuable, both in general and to
guide you when you buy a real scope later.
Knowledge is always more important than equipment.
Another good idea could be to find some friendly engineer through this
newsgroup, anywhere in the world, who wants to help you and who can
find a good bargain, buy it and send it to you after you have
transferred the money to him.
That way you know a lot more about the quality of the scope and the
integrity and competence of the sender.
There is probably a newsgroup for radio amateurs worldwide and you
could try to find friends there too.
Another idea: Build a more advanced ADC for your printer port, 20 MHz
should not be too hard or too expensive. Or buy a ready made ADC card.
If you start with a printer port scope you have time to wait for a
good opportunity and time to explore other possibilities while you are
learning to use that one to begin with.
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