Oscilloscopes also have the ability to trigger on a signal
or some external event. Modern scopes have even more
capabilities that let you see and troubleshoot many types
of signals, as well as store and analyze data. One such
scope is the MDO3000 series from Tektronix (Figure 4).
See their website for more details on this robust unit.
The MDO3000 series is actually six instruments in
one tool: an oscilloscope; spectrum analyzer; logic
analyzer; arbitrary/function generator; protocol analyzer;
and digital voltmeter. So, having this tool on your bench
can replace several pieces of equipment.
This device is also ideal in a manufacturing or
production environment for anyone who designs products
that might require the tools included in this scope. I
realize that the average experimenter or hobbyist cannot
necessarily afford a full-featured scope like this, however
Tektronix has other options.
A decent entry-level scope from Tektronix is the
TBS1022 (Figure 5) which provides two channels and a lot
of features at a very nice price. I would recommend this
as a starter scope if you’re looking. I have found Tektronix
instruments to be solid, reliable, and accurate.
If you happen to fall somewhere in between these
two scopes, I have also owned and used the TDS2024B
and the MSO2024 which are both solid scopes and have
a great price-point for their features (Figure 6).
Another oscilloscope I have not personally used but
wanted to mention is the WaveSurfer 3000 from Teledyne
LeCroy (Figure 7). The thing that caught my attention
about this scope series was the interface. I’m a geek and
I tend to like scopes that have a lot of knobs and buttons
— especially if they’re well placed and functional.
However, some people find instruments with a lot of
controls to be intimidating and even confusing. So, for
those people, Teledyne LeCroy offers an advanced
interface called MAUI. All the important oscilloscope
controls are accessed through an intuitive touch screen.
Other Test Tools
Many of you probably won’t recognize the tools in
Figure 8. This is a Micronta logic probe and pulser set.
Every once in awhile, I find myself working with discrete
CMOS and/or TTL logic, so it is at these particular times
I break them out.
These tools aren’t very popular anymore and I don’t
use them very often, but I wanted to mention them
48 November 2014