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Thread: 'Scope probes

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    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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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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    . botto's Avatar
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    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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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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    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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    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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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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    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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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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    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Coaxially shielded...

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    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Anything beyond a basic clamp on ampmeter or a volt/ohm meter and ya lost me...
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    Abby Normal I am The Edge's Avatar
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    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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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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    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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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...

  13. #13
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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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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    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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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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    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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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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    . botto's Avatar
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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.

  17. #17
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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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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