Where to buy a cheap oscilloscope in Ontario?
Hi, I'm looking for a cheap oscilloscope, I don't mind if it's used if I can see it work before I buy it, and I'm very wary of eBay. There are no stores that have any in Ottawa, where I live. I don't know if Active Surplus still exists in Toronto, they would have had them. Maybe there's a place in Montreal that has used stuff?
I agonized over this a year ago. I ended up with a Siglent Technologies SDS1052DL+ 50 MHz Digital Storage Oscilloscope. I got it from Amazon, and I see they list them at about $ 363 CDN. I realize that's not cheap, but it's been working A1 almost daily for 12 months.
If you are doing anything that you can't see with a flashing LED (i.e. faster than 3-4 Hz or thereabouts), I think they are a must. Also, the waveform information is invaluable in debugging, etc.
I haven't been to Toronto in about three years, but one of my friends was there last summer, and he said Active Surplus is still going. They might have a used scope for a lot less. I have spent a lot of time in the Ottawa area and I concur that you are unlikely to find anything there in used equipment stores. That said, a fellow gave me a used HP scope that did pretty much what this one did -- it was about 20 years old and worked fine for a week, and then it let the magic smoke out of it.
I don't know your budget, but if you can afford a new one similar to what I listed above, you won't regret it. Buying used, surplus electronic gear is a gamble. You might get lucky and end up with a deal . . . or a boat anchor. I always by new unless I know from where it came. Anyhow, that's my 2-cents worth.
Glad I could help, Michael. I did some digging on Active Surplus in Toronto. Gone since 2015! Whoever told me it was still going a year or so ago was misinformed.
You might have some luck on some of the Amateur radio swap shops and flea markets, but they mostly want to sell to other licensed operators, and they are typically not selling scopes. Just old radios, antennas, etc. In years past, I have seen test gear such as you seek available, but it's seldom.
Not sure exactly what cheap means but, when it comes to 'scopes, I'd warn away from being too frugal. I've tried Kijiji, but never came across anything (within my price target at the time) that I felt comfortable buying. For a while I used a BitScope ($150). This is a large USB dongle that displays on your PC's screen. It was functional, but barely. I finally tossed in the towel this xmas and bought a Rigol. While a low end scope, it is versatile and does everything I need it to do. I bought it through the Canadian distributor (www.rigolcanada.com), as it was the same cost as buying through Amazon. I found that eBay was selling the same 'scope for almost twice the price.
There DS1052E 'scope sells for $335 Canadian + HST + ~8 shipping. For $51 more you can get the 100MHz version (DS1102E).
Thanks, that looks like my best option so far.
I purchased my UNI-T UTD 2102 CEX, 100mhz, twin channel from Sainsmart. About $250 American.
It works well and provides me with everything I need except pulse train decoding. It does have a simple math function though.
I thought it was perfect to assist working in the Arduino world.
Did you find anything in Ottawa, @damaru? I don't know of anywhere local (I'm also in Ottawa).
@yurkshirelad No, I decided I don't really need one yet, I'm still doing very simple stuff. If I do get one I'll buy a new one.
@ve1dx I also will vouch for the SDS scopes. I have the 2 channel 200 MHz version. I got mine a couple of years ago. Before I was using an old tektronix analog scope which was big, heavy and could not do the neat stuff these can do like waveform storage and one shot capture and all the fancy triggering. Very easy to use. I wouldn't say they are cheap but I will not have to upgrade any time soon.