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Cost to calibrate an oscilloscope
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Cost to calibrate an oscilloscope

by balefrost on Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:01 pm

I am looking at buying a used oscilloscope (HP 54602B), but it's not in calibration. Does anybody have a ballpark estimate for how much it would cost to calibrate it, and whether it's even worth it to calibrate for small hobbyist projects?
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Re: Cost to calibrate an oscilloscope

by zener on Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:20 pm

I wouldn't worry about calibration. Just make sure it is working!

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Re: Cost to calibrate an oscilloscope

by hinermad on Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:42 pm

Agreed, for hobby purposes a professional calibration isn't necessary. (It'll cost you $100 and up, plus shipping unless there's a shop nearby that'll do it.) If you think the vertical gain may be off you can check it with a battery or other DC source and a voltmeter; if you think the timebase is off you can check it with a known frequency signal like a crystal oscillator.

Where I work we had a number of test instruments marked "comparison measurements only" because they no longer received periodic calibration. At the hobby level that's what you'll mostly be doing is comparison measurements.

Dave

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Re: Cost to calibrate an oscilloscope

by balefrost on Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:13 pm

Thanks for the opinions.
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Re: Cost to calibrate an oscilloscope

by evilroot on Sun Sep 27, 2009 1:41 am

Generally speaking, you can usually get hold of the service manual and calibrate a scope yourself . . . . if you have a good signal generator. Its actually not that hard. That model is a mostly digital scope though, so you're probably good either way.

Also, be sure to try this out when you get it:
http://www.eeggs.com/items/4142.html

Its why I love HP scopes . . . . my physics professor in college nearly had a heart attack when he found me playing Tetris on the lab scope (and couldn't figure out how it was even remotely possible).
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