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What Oscilloscope, Power Supply, Signal Generator, Logic Analyzer to get for home lab

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Advanced Member level 2
Apr 17, 2011
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I wish to know what I should get for the following items to set up a decent home lab.

1. Bench Power Supply.
2. Signal Generator.
3. Oscilloscope.
4. Logic Analyzer.

If you have some personal preferences or advice, I am very interested in reading it.
One thing I am thinking about is the plethora of "digital" equipment nowdays. So we have digital oscilloscopes, digital signal generators, digital bench power supplies e.t.c I wonder if their complexity makes them more likely to break down.

If any of these equipment break down or malfunction, what would the options available to me in case I bought them online?

My homemade DC power supply is about the most useful project I ever did.
12V transformer. 3A. I vary the volt level by turning up the bias through a 2N3055 power transistor.
I installed a meter and a switch to show volts or amps.
It's got dual adjustable outputs. I put a 200 ohm resistor on the second supply to provide current limiting.

I made a signal generator using an XR2206 waveform generator IC.
Provides sine, triangle, pulse.
Goes from 1 Hz to 300 kHz in four ranges.
I combined it in the same housing with a 6-digit frequency counter. Found the schematic in Forrest Mims Engineer's Notebook.

My oscilloscope is an old Tektronix tube type. It can only go up to 1 MHz.

I have had to do repairs on the above equipment. When one of my projects has needed fixing it helps that I know how it's made. However it might not need fixing if it had been store-bought.

At the bottom of this page is a list of threads with related titles. If you click on them it may lead you to other threads with discussions about electronics equipment.

The best logic analyzer I've found, and I have several, is this one:

It's USB so it needs a PC to drive it but it works on Linux, Windoze and OSx. I have the 8-channel version and can thoroughly recommend it.

I'm a fan of the TDS3054 digital phosphor 'scopes. They
are not all the way to bottomed in price yet, though.
500MHz bandwidth, nice long record, some come with
stuff like FFT modules.

You can find older 3-digit Tek digital 'scopes for a lot
less. Some had really cool triggering options (620?)
but tended to have much less record length and an
inferior bandwidth. I've seen these going for as low
as $500 on eBay.

I have an older "big blue box" with variable persistence
too, but there's nothing like being able to pull
measurements and save stuff to a (oooh!) floppy if you
intend to make use of the data.

Power supplies, I've got half a dozen. Couple of
repurposed PC ATX ones that I put banana jacks
on, for standard +/-5 and +12; a tracking B&K
with a 5V and two variable outputs; a busted
up little HP 40V one, a 30A 0 - 20V unit made for
car stereos and such with a cig lighter plug, and
a few Variacs. All of these are junk, yard sale or
eBay used.

Don't make much use of logic analyzers really.

I just bought an OWON SDS6062 as a "travel" oscilloscope to avoid taking my expensive one away and also for battery operation and it seems pretty good for the price. Not perfect and a few software bugs but overall it seems a good, deep memory oscilloscope for general purpose use. There are faster versions (at higher cost).


PS Rapidonline sell it for £295.
The best logic analyzer I've found, and I have several, is this one:

It's USB so it needs a PC to drive it but it works on Linux, Windoze and OSx. I have the 8-channel version and can thoroughly recommend it.
i am using the logiport of pctestinstruments
it is more expensive but also more versatile

You can buy oscilloscope and function generator of SCIENTIFIC. These will be very good in terms of performance n realibility..and power supply. U can make it by urself..12 v . 5v and3.3v using smps ...


Thanks for all the replies guys, I have thought about it.
What I would like to mention here is that, I am thinking of making a home lab. Therefore, I need some serious equipment which is not too expensive. I have a budget of 1000£ since I shall only buy these things once and use them for many years to come. In the 1000£ I do have the things I mentioned in the question, but also a few more. What I mentioned are the very essential ones that is.

maybe you can think about some Chinese company. Their products is cheap and useful if you didn't have some special request.
I bought an arbitrary generator and a digital oscilloscope from siglent,total 600USD which is really cheap. I have use them for months, no problem.
They also launched power supply, I am think whether to buy one.

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