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OT: New to me oscilloscope... not bad

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  • OT: New to me oscilloscope... not bad

    I have been lusting after a Tektronix THS series 'scope for a while.... They are quite nice, 100mHz or better, isolated inputs, lots of triggering modes, storage (digital 'scope), battery power, internal DMM etc. We have several at work, and they are very nice to use.

    Looking for other stuff (Fluke 41b) , I found on Craig's list, a Fluke "Scopemeter". I almost passed by it, since I recall those as being somewhat clumsy 10 mHz basic digital 'scopes.

    Not any more. This model (196b) is 100 MHz, has isolated inputs, has almost as much triggering and other digital goodies as the tek units, built-in DMM, lots MORE waveform storage, basically 85% + of the Tek features, everything needed, for in this case, at or less than half the price used. The Tek ones go for $750 to $1100 easily.

    So I nabbed it. No need to wait for the Tek unit now.


    Last edited by J Tiers; 12-07-2014, 07:04 PM.
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

  • #2
    Congratulations. In my experience Fluke is good stuff!

    Comment


    • #3
      I am not a big fan of Tektronix, and prefer HP (now Agilent - and maybe not as good), but the newer Fluke scope-meters are pretty good. The older ones were heavy and bulky, the screen was hard to read, and the batteries didn't seem to hold a charge very well. The place where I work (ETI) calibrates and services multimeters and other instruments, and they have a fairly new Fluke scope-meter, but I couldn't figure out how to set up the cursors and perform waveform measurements. I discovered that it was a lesser model that didn't have these features, and it was very likely just a case of disabling that portion of the firmware (and omitting a few buttons), and not a costly difference in hardware. The manual was the same for both versions, but after looking closely it was apparent that the cursors and associated measurement functions applied only to the better model, which was distinguishable only by a different letter or number and of course the additional keys.
      http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
      Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
      USA Maryland 21030

      Comment


      • #4
        I've never liked the HP triggering from their analog stuff. No experience with the digital. The Tek THS are good portable 'scopes.

        The guy threw in an isolated variable AC power supply (Tenma, but acceptable) with the deal as a sweetener. Also nice to have, although I had a workaround already.

        Oh, yeah, forgot to mention this model has all the cursors etc, T and 1/T measurements, trigger on pulse widths over/under "X", pretty much all the stuff I use on the Tek units. And for half the price, with Cat III isolation, I'm pretty happy.

        There is another model which is more the same size as an 87V meter, that one has fewer functions.

        Might need to replace the battery sometime, it seems like it hasn't been given the "refresh" treatment for a while (it is NimH), and may be reduced in capacity.
        Last edited by J Tiers; 12-07-2014, 10:58 PM.
        1601

        Keep eye on ball.
        Hashim Khan

        Comment


        • #5
          I've wanted a portable scope for some time, but haven't done much in electronics lately. I can see the time coming where I'll need a working scope again, and a portable sure would be nice. The old B+K still works, sort of- but it's only 15 meg, and the old Hickok 1805- yikes! Fire that up and wait while 102 tubes warm up, then try to find the trace-

          Winter's coming, so maybe I should fire that thing up and see what it can do.
          I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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          • #6
            I like the older CRT based Tek digial scopes. I have a TDS-340A (100mhz) and it is pretty nice, especially since they sell for about $100 to $150 used. Cant beat that. At work I use one of the color versions with the crt and lcd shutter, something like a TDS 560. A friend picked up a TDS prototype from the Tek store, goes to 3ghz, for a couple hundred. Self test says they is something wrong but is seems to work right.

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            • #7
              Nice, I always end up with a very non portable scope I have balanced on something when I need one round the shop, good find!
              Noticed this, fluke meters seem very hacked on, maybe its because the featuresets are locked off in firmware, or maybe its the usual audience for people who buy them. There are other pieces of test kit which do the same which the firmwares have been broken on to let you reflash them to the full feature set and get the topline functions for baseline money. Noticed this, handy if you need to do the same :-
              http://areciv.com/blog/2013/11/fluke...cal-interface/

              Comment


              • #8
                My workhorse scope is a Hitachi VC-6035 storage scope I bought around 1989 in preference to the Tek scopes of that era which I could have purchased at cost from the company I had worked for (EIL). The Tek equivalents had a very klunky user interface and the Hitachi performed well on a comparison test jig that the Tek rep had. I paid around $2000 for it. It has served me well for the past 25 years. Recently I accidentally knocked a full can of beer on it and it didn't do it much good, but I took it apart as far as possible without major surgery and cleaned it up, and it is back to working well, although some of the selector switches seem a bit "sticky".

                My previous scope was an HP 130A, and I still have it, although it has not worked since about 1983. I got it from my father when it was declared BER after his place of business was flooded during Hurricane Agnes, and I was able to clean out the mud and restore it to operation. It has a special high speed blue phosphor designed for photography. It's only about 300 kHz bandwidth but is a good high sensitivity lab grade scope, and of historical significance: http://www.hpmemory.org/wa_pages/wall_a_page_12.htm



                Before that, my father gave me a vintage 1943 Triumph Oscilloscope (with optional "Wobbulator"): http://www.antiqueradio.org/trium01.htm



                I totally took it apart, cleaned it, and rewired it, and also replaced the old capacitors. I gave it away because my father didn't like "old junk" lying around. Now I keep everything and am inundated with piles of old "junk", but I like having it around.
                Last edited by PStechPaul; 12-08-2014, 04:31 AM.
                http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
                Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
                USA Maryland 21030

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hah!

                  I had a 130A a LOOONG time ago. If it's the same one I think it is. It was 300kHz, high sensitivity differential input capability, good for audio and biological work. Had an Eico once, also, still have kicking around an AN-105A huge tube-based unit with delay sweep plug-in. And a couple 453, a Tek/Telequipment, etc.

                  This one will be a big improvement. After using the portable THS 720 and 730 units, I am totally spoiled and hate having to use analog scopes, although I fully intend to keep at least one.
                  1601

                  Keep eye on ball.
                  Hashim Khan

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Very nice acquisition, J Tiers.

                    I am impressed how the ratio of display-size/case-size
                    for your oscilloscope approaches 1:1. Mind, I looked
                    up one of Fluke's booklets on the 196B and noticed it
                    is ©2002. No doubt, the 2015 models have even
                    bigger displays in more compact cases.

                    I have a pair of 2-Ch dual-trace 50MHz analog lugables
                    I purchased some years ago (Tek 2225).

                    .

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I did find the downfall relative to the Tek. The way the trace expansion/zoom is handled is not as nice. It may be a sampling issue, but while there is a selectable expansion zoom, it is quite a bit cruder than the fixed (and larger) expansion/zoom of the Tek.

                      To be fair, it is a lot more like some of the other Tek scopes, just not like the THS720/730 units.

                      EDIT:

                      This turns out NOT TO BE TRUE, actually. It is settable, and I fixed it. Much better now.

                      Turns out that "glitch detect" mode instead of giving more detail, actually seems to give less, producing an "envelope display" which does not zoom well. When set to have glitch detect "off", it actually gives MORE details than the Tek units. And, there is the capability to give a lot of different DMM type readings simultaneously with the 'scope display.

                      Pics later.
                      Last edited by J Tiers; 12-09-2014, 06:27 PM.
                      1601

                      Keep eye on ball.
                      Hashim Khan

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ancient scopes, eh? I just sold an Eico and a Dumont that I finally admitted I was never going to have the time to fix up. I'm happy to have a tiny bit more space. The guy who bought them has an amazing collection. The Dumont is currently featured prominently.
                        "A machinist's (WHAP!) best friend (WHAP! WHAP!) is his hammer. (WHAP!)" - Fred Tanner, foreman, Lunenburg Foundry and Engineering machine shop, circa 1979

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                        • #13
                          I'm pretty happy with my Tek 7623, 7854, 7603, 7904, SC502, SC503, SC504 and HP something or other 100 MHz storage scope.

                          I don't think I have enough scopes yet though.

                          Mark

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                          • #14
                            Thats a real nice find, I have a Tek PS-222, power scout. Really like it, just 10mhz, portable CRT with vector graphics and storage. It still works with the wall wart. Really wish I knew where I could get a battery for it.

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                            • #15
                              So, the bad zoom function turns out to be just a non-intuitive way the controls operate. Turning OFF "glitch detection" gives a much finer grained and more detailed view.

                              So here are two similar traces, showing the difference.

                              This is what you get with the detection "on". I don't know what it does besides mess up the display, possibly it will show you a better contrast of "average" waveform and any anomalous waveform exceeding the envelope. I'll check it out just to be sure I am not missing anything. Might even read the manual (Fluke puts manuals and service info, including schematics on-line).


                              This is what the 'scope gives if you do NOT have the "glitch detection" on


                              And, I discovered a large amount of measurements which can be made on the displayed waveform, two at a time. The duty and PWM volts functions look particularly useful for many SMPS and VFD, class-D etc purposes. Any headings with "..." after them have sub-menus.


                              I am giving this 'scope a definite "recommended" rating for anyone wanting a nice digital 'scope.

                              The newer 196C version has a color display, FFT capability, and other useful things as well. But they charge a *LOT* for it, and a used 196b is quite acceptable at a few hundred bucks as opposed to the new price.
                              Last edited by J Tiers; 12-09-2014, 10:20 PM.
                              1601

                              Keep eye on ball.
                              Hashim Khan

                              Comment

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