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need help with finding/buying an oscilloscope Answered

i am about ready to start working on electronic projects on my own soon. i am in the middle of a physics class that is teaching me alot about wiring and such and i want to jump right on it after its over.

the problem is i dont know what im looking for. i mean i just need one to do the cool electronic projects on here and other things. i dont know what types there are really and what specs i need to consider. i mean i dont want to get a $1000 oscilloscope and i only use 10% of its features.

so can anyone help me. i reall would appreciate it. thanks.

p.s.

i saw something called a PC oscilloscope and wondering if anyone knows about this one specifically. it looks like something i could use. thanks

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leader1

9 years ago

hey thanks for the reply.

i will delete the other ones. sorry for that.

i have another question for you: what is considered "high speed signal processing stuff"? i mean what kinda of stuff can you make or do with the cheap oscilloscope and what stuff can you do with the expensive one?

like which one can be used ot build a robot? check a circuit board? and so forth. know what i mean?

if you can answer that then i think i may have all i need.

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kelseymhleader1

Reply 9 years ago

We consider "high speed" around a gigahertz at work (I'm a particle physicist) -- that's a gigabit per second going through the board.  For a simple robot or circuit boards you're likely to build yourself, you can easily get by with an inexpensive model. 

You may want to spring for a megahertz capacity, just so you get smoother sampled waveforms, but even those are under $200.

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kelseymh

9 years ago

For relatively simple electronics projects (e.g., stuff with transistors, 555 timers, and so on) you could probably get by easily with a ~$200 PC-based scope.  I saw a five-channel version, with a maximum rate of 150 kHz, for $65.

If you ever want to get into high speed (GHz) signal processing stuff, then you'll need an expensive scope and a logic analyzer -- along with the advanced training to know how to use them.

What you need to know is what sort of signal rates you expect to see, and how many you want to study simultaneously, in order to know what kind of scope you need.  If you're taking a physics-electronics course, your instructor should be able to provide good recommendations.

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kelseymh

9 years ago

This is the right forum (Resources) for this posting.  Could you please delete the other two?  We could flag them as spam, but this is a legitimate posting.