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Old 03-20-07, 04:44 AM   #1
phantomcow2
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'Scope probes

So I am getting an oscilloscope Thursday in the mail, from a generous donor. He had a list of scopes he had, and told me it was "a really nice 4 channel". That would either be the 7834, or the 7854, both 400mhz scopes. I doubt probes are included in this deal though. My question is, is there anything special about an oscilloscope probe that separates it from say, a multimeter probe? Also, as you get higher in the frequency range, do I need special probes?
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Old 03-20-07, 04:51 AM   #2
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Old 03-20-07, 06:43 AM   #3
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Old 03-20-07, 06:46 AM   #4
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scope probes:



multimeter leads:


Two different animals.
Scope probes are typically 1:1, 10:1, or 100:1 (not as common).

Look at frys.com for more info.
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Old 03-20-07, 07:14 AM   #5
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RonH has it covered.....scope probes don't plug in by banana jack, they have a special connector. I think they are "special", yes.
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Old 03-20-07, 07:25 AM   #6
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The probes on my 1940's-era O-scope are banana-plugs. Modern scopes? Yah. Wayyyy different.
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Old 03-20-07, 10:17 AM   #7
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Yes they are.

Scope probes are built to far more exacting tolerances than a meter probe.

They can also get quite pricey. http://www.tequipment.net/TektronixProbes.html
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Old 03-20-07, 12:32 PM   #8
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Coaxially shielded...
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Old 03-20-07, 12:57 PM   #9
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Anything beyond a basic clamp on ampmeter or a volt/ohm meter and ya lost me...
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Old 03-20-07, 01:11 PM   #10
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Old 03-20-07, 01:23 PM   #11
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Jeez, theres so many options out there. Some are pretty expensive, but I suspect these have things I don't need. My immediate needs for for testing step motor drive circuits, voltages will never exceed 200v and frequencies never exceed 1mhz. In actuality, the norm will never exceed 300khz. As I find myself moving more and more toward circuit work through, the frequencies will most certainly go into the RF range.
Would something like this suffice, at least to get a decent start?
http://cgi.ebay.com/Four-New-100MHZ-...QQcmdZViewItem


These ones look a little different:
http://cgi.ebay.com/100MHz-PROBE-KIT...QQcmdZViewItem

But then I see stuff where they have knobs and what look like power supplies, such as this:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Tektronix-P6136-...QQcmdZViewItem

Is it worth spending more on some of these sophisticated probes?
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Old 03-20-07, 02:53 PM   #12
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Gotta work backwards from your end-results. What kind of signals will you be measuring? Freq. range? That will determine what kind of probes you need. Don't buy stuff with specs way beyond your needs...
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Old 03-20-07, 03:05 PM   #13
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Frequency is the most important thing for me to know, for what I want to do. Given the cost of these things, I definitely will not be buying more than I need!
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Old 03-20-07, 03:27 PM   #14
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Oh, is it possible to watch current waveforms as well? Will I need a special probe for this?
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Old 03-20-07, 03:30 PM   #15
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I guess I should add as well that the most common thing I will be looking at will be square waves
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Old 03-20-07, 03:53 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomcow2
I guess I should add as well that the most common thing I will be looking at will be square waves
obviously.
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Old 03-21-07, 07:06 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomcow2
Jeez, theres so many options out there. Some are pretty expensive, but I suspect these have things I don't need. My immediate needs for for testing step motor drive circuits, voltages will never exceed 200v and frequencies never exceed 1mhz. In actuality, the norm will never exceed 300khz. As I find myself moving more and more toward circuit work through, the frequencies will most certainly go into the RF range.
Would something like this suffice, at least to get a decent start?
http://cgi.ebay.com/Four-New-100MHZ-...QQcmdZViewItem
Go with these probes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomcow2
Is it worth spending more on some of these sophisticated probes?
Yes.



Current probes:
http://www.tek.com/products/accessor...s/current.html

Current probes are usually more expensive that regular voltage-type probes. Look around and see if you can find a used one at a decent price.


Do you subscribe to Nuts and Volts magazine or have you seen it at Borders, B&N, etc? Good read for electronics techies.
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