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Beginner's ocilliscope recommendations please

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  • Beginner's ocilliscope recommendations please

    I've never owned or used a scope before but want to learn how to do basic signal tracing on amplifiers. Any recommendations for a used scope, older model or series? Can I get one for basic use under $200? I'm not sure what I'm looking for when browsing. I work on my own stuff and friends pa heads and guitar amps mainly. While following these threads and trying to learn I feel like I'm ready to start learning how to use one.

    Looking for something that will get me started with the most useful functions needed. If I outgrow this after I've learned to use it I have no problem spending money on tools, but I would like to get my feet wet with something solid with good bang for the buck.

    Looking for a solid Squier Strat of used scopes I guess!

    I appreciate any help.

    Chris

  • #2
    Get a Tektronix 465 for $100 and never look back

    or this may be helpful

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    • #3
      clinkous,
      So that you can take advantage of the past discussions about oscilloscopes I offer the links shown at https://www.google.com/search?as_q=o...pe=&as_rights= There is lots of advice from the members here at MEF. Since you have never used an oscilloscope I also recommend that you check out O-Scope tutorials on YouTube.
      Cheers,
      Tom

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      • #4
        Thanks guys! I will check out the video as well as the past discussions and the tutorials.

        Chris

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        • #5
          Note that Tektronix 465, 465B and 465M are not the same scope. Go for the 465B if you have a choice. Lots of broken ones out there, get one that works. "Unable to test" means it's broken. You can find the service manual on a CD. I got a broken 465B for $5. It had a broken trim pot that I fixed. It worked for a couple of years, then it needed a filter cap. Replaced that and it's still working. Some have the optional DM44 mounted on top. It's a Digital Meter with an LED display.

          You'll need one or two scope probes. A 10X is the most useful. A Tek probe can be hard to get parts for if it's broken. Go with the cheap import probes and just replace it if it breaks. Beware that most probes have a Voltage limit. If you exceed it, the probe could die.
          WARNING! Musical Instrument amplifiers contain lethal voltages and can retain them even when unplugged. Refer service to qualified personnel.
          REMEMBER: Everybody knows that smokin' ain't allowed in school !

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          • #6
            Originally posted by loudthud View Post
            I got a broken 465B for $5. It had a broken trim pot that I fixed. Some have the optional DM44 mounted on top. It's a Digital Meter with an LED display.
            Wow! I have two 465B's, one with DM44 and one without. Great deal you got, I thought $100 each was a bargain!

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            • #7
              Also check craigslist in your area for free or cheap scopes. If you are unsure just show us the listing

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              • #8
                I have two scopes. The first is an Owan digital. My workhorse is a Tektronix 2205 dual trace. I believe I paid around $100. It does the job!
                Attached Files

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                • #9
                  Squire Strat is a good analogy. there are many mush nicer or "better" guitars out there, but it is certainly good enough to learn on. Then once you have some mastery, you will be better equipped to shop for something with more capability. Almost any scope you can find will work for basic audio bench work. They are all "triggered" these days, which is preferable, but even the old simple recurrent sweep will make useful pictures. bandwidth goes up to gigahertz these days, but audio doesn't go much past 20 KILO hertz. I have seen scopes with bandwidth of only 500kHz, but they are old, and frankly fancy scopes. Once you get an idea of what things look like on a screen, you can decide when it is time to look to upgrade. On the other hand, that 465, is like a Les Paul. You can learn on that too, and stop looking.

                  Sources other than Craigs list and ebay might be local amateur radio "ham fests". Also if there is a university nearby, I bet it has a surplus outlet or salvage yard, where they dispose of things no longer wanted. The one here at Michigan State often has scopes and other test gear.
                  Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

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                  • #10
                    HP (Agilent and now Keysight) 54xxx series scopes are an excellent buy - though they are more like an ES335 than a squire.

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                    • #11
                      Appreciate the advice. Will check with the local ham guys as well. I just need some heads up as to where to start.

                      P.S. My Squier has been my main guitar for gigs since '92! Three re-frets and multiple hardware replacements, three thefts (with extremely weird return stories), one motorcycle mishap, and lots of mojo!

                      It's the archer not the arrow with most gear I've seen.

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                      • #12
                        Nothing wrong with a Squier. I have a Squier Wayne's World Strat myself.
                        Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

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                        • #13
                          Well, mines not THAT cool! Plays like I like and takes huge neck bends and just magically stays in tune better than any guitar I own. Easy to fall in love with that.

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                          • #14
                            As far as I can tell, the bolt plate on the neck has a WW logo engraved into it, otherwise it is just a plain old white Strat.
                            Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

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                            • #15
                              Those WW Strats, especially the Japanese ones are quite good with a pickup change. I have two 1983- 1985 Squier Strats. One I completely wore out and had planed and refretted.

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