15 March 2006

Hot oscilloscope action

I can't believe how compact the latest models of oscilloscopes are, particularly compared to the clunkers we have in our labs at school. So trim, so streamlined, and yet they observe 4 traces at once AND are in color.

Man, I gotta get me a piece of that.

(Yes, I went to Fry's yesterday. I wonder if the employees thought I was weird for ogling the oscilloscopes and sighing regretfully over their four-digit price tags...)


Anonymous Michael said...

Man, I gotta get me a piece of that.

Y'know, I've heard that phrase a thousand times, and not once was an oscilloscope under consideration.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Peel said...

Obviously, you've been hanging out with the wrong people.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous geoff said...

I remember my undergrad days, when the Tektronix 465 was turning all the boys' heads. Ah, analog.

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

Obviously, you've been hanging out with the wrong people.

My friends all like pie. What's wrong with that?

*innocent look on face*

1:36 PM  
Blogger Man Mountain said...

You kids have it easy these days.

Out in my garage:
Tektronix 555 dual beam scope. Biggest scope they ever made. In 2 modules, a huge scope mainframe, bigger than a 545, and a separate, huge power supply.

Currently on my bench:
Tek SCD1000 transient digitizer. Rackmount x 7" high x 2 feet. 58 pounds.
What you had to use if you wanted 1GHz single shot bandwidth ca. 1992.

Tek 2247A. 100MHz, with some built in measurement capability. About the size of a 465.

In the next room:
Tek 485. 350 MHz bandwidth. With the matching scopemobile. Pretty nifty collector's item.

6:06 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Peel said...

Ooh, nifty.

I can't think of the model number of our 'scopes at school off the top of my head, but they are quite old. Probably '90s vintage.

As for work, the guys do have one nice 'scope, a huge one with four traces that rides around on its own little cart and requires special probes, but I had to use an old one that I think was even older than the ones at school. Then some random blond guy appropriated my 'scope and I had to use a stupid scope meter. Damn, that thing pissed me off.

8:01 PM  
Anonymous Shawn, but not lowercased shawn said...

I'm almost ashamed to ask, but what in the world do you use a oscilloscope for, anyway?

12:02 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Peel said...

Well, last year at work, I was using it to probe my low-pass filters and see if the cutoff frequency really was what I expected. In that particular instance, I had one probe on the input, from the function generator, and the other on the output, from the circuit, and was varying the frequency on the function generator and measuring the gain (output/input; in this case, signal amplitude) at these varied frequencies.

In general, I've used 'scopes to compare the input and output of circuits, including amplifiers and integrators as well as filters.

8:34 AM  
Anonymous geoff said...


If Mrs. Peel's explanation was impenetrable, maybe this will help: you use an oscilloscope to look at time-varying voltages.

1:47 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Peel said...

Look, it was 8:30 in the morning. You're lucky you got English from me, much less a clear, concise explanation.


5:55 PM  
Anonymous Shawn, but not lowercased shawn said...

Thanks for the explanation. I feel smarter for have had asked. I wouldn't pass a test on it, but I know more than I did.

10:26 PM  

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