Author Topic: Getting my oscilloscope off the bench  (Read 462 times)

Offline Joules

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Getting my oscilloscope off the bench
« on: September 06, 2023, 11:37:53 AM »
Been putting this job off for a while, partly as the scope was still under warranty, however as it was bought from Germany before brexit, any remaining warranty is likely to cost more in carriage than the scope if I needed to return it for service.

Anyhow, the office workbench for electronics has got more than a bit out of hand and the scope is kicking about on the top taking up space, especially when I am swinging a soldering iron and tossing molten metal about !!!

The monitor stand I fitted a while back is a dual support, so has a spare VESA mount on the second arm.  The scope however doesn't have any VESA fixings, my attempt at using 3M tape didn't go as planned during testing, so I need a mechanical solution.  Drill holes in the scope case...   Rigol are pretty good, they leave next to no space between the internal shield and case rear.  However the back of the shield has the M3 mounting studs welded into the shield and they are only half filled by the PSU bolts.

Take a deep breath and some careful-ish measurements and drill holes in the case (removed from the scope at the time) Got the first and second hole on the left, the two on the right turned out to not be symmetrical to the others, by about 1mm.  Little bit of needle file action and no one will be any the wiser.  Next make the plate out of aluminium sheet and fit M4 countersunk screws  ???  (Two Hours Later) Where the ef.. are my M4 countersunks ?  Now fitted with M5's and more drilling.

Those eagle-eyed amongst you may be suffering double vision with those bottom holes.  Thats what happens when you forget to subtract the screw diameter off one axis, ho-hum a 3mm end mill rescued that one.

VESA assembly attached to back of scope and all secured nicely, don't crank down on the screws as the scope has a little space between the shield and case.  The VESA mount needed to be offset to remain central on the rear of the scope.

The scope now lives on the second arm for supporting the monitor, meaning I have fresh space for more desktop clutter.   Shame RIGOL don't allow for VESA mounting from the start.


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Offline Joules

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Re: Getting my oscilloscope off the bench
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2023, 04:12:21 PM »
 :lol: Having just watched EEVBLOG on the new RIGOL 12bit entry scope, it has a VESA mount on the back
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Offline AdeV

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Re: Getting my oscilloscope off the bench
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2023, 03:31:03 AM »
Hmm. neat idea! I bought a "Hanmatek" (well known Chinese brand :scratch:) of similar form factor, as the budget didn't stretch to a Rigol - and all of my old 'scopes (an HP, a Golding, and one that I can't remember that isn't even digital) are all faulty in some way or another. Which reminds me, I need to dig out the HP & get an ebay search going for the replacement card it needs...
Cheers!
Ade.
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Location: Wallasey, Merseyside. A long way from anywhere.
Occasionally: Zhengzhou, China. An even longer way from anywhere...

Offline Muzzerboy

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Re: Getting my oscilloscope off the bench
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2023, 08:05:20 AM »
Nice idea. I have a Siglent (like Rigol etc) and although these are much smaller than traditional CRO machines, they still get in the way on the bench top so a VESA mount on an arm is a neat touch.

I also have one of those MiniDSO pocket scopes https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32295903192.html?pdp_npi=2%40dis%21GBP%21%EF%BF%A1126.33%21%EF%BF%A163.17%21%21%21%21%21%402103254116941745936618623e31f3%2112000020630761033%21btf&_t=pvid:5e3eb464-aef7-40ce-af04-6b4aafcb573e&spm=a2g0o.ppclist.product.mainProduct and there are various DVMs now with half usable scope functions built in. Not quite in the same league as the bench scopes but much more portable and less unwieldy for some situations.

Offline Joules

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Re: Getting my oscilloscope off the bench
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2023, 02:09:47 PM »
Hi Muzzerboy, I started out with digital scopes around 15yrs back with a Uni-T 81b handheld, supposedly 8-10Mhz range. That soon got replaced by a Picoscope unit, and had good experience with that.  The Rigol came next to really replace the 81b and support SCPI with other test gear.  Then to add insult to injury, another Picoscope this time 4 channel as I needed to monitor current in different areas as it progresses through a solar installation.

I ended up with way too many scopes  :)  I have an old (reference to you  AdeV) Hameg analogue CRT scope on a wardrobe that gets pulled out if working on mains as it will tolerate the high voltages.  Pico's max out at 20V and die above 100V.   Differential scope probe on the wish list, got a cheap dodgy (x100) 2KV probe, but as yet unused as I don't want to risk the digital scope front ends.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2023, 05:44:01 PM by Joules »
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Offline Muzzerboy

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Re: Getting my oscilloscope off the bench
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2023, 09:20:58 AM »
It's amazing how scopes have evolved over the years, to the point where you can get a half reasonable example for 100 or less. A modern 4 or 6 channel 1GHz scope from Tektronix these days is still the price of a car (up to or over 30k depending on the options, plus annual "maintenance") and you can fork out over 25k for one single optically isolated (high common mode) probe.

I don't know if you've seen the spectrum analysers that are available these days. I have a TinySA Ultra (6GHz)https://www.tinysa.org/wiki/, which cost me 150 from Mirfield Electronics. https://www.mirfield-electronics.co.uk/tinysa-ultra-spectrum-an-new/ - Something like this would have cost as much as a house when I started out and although it's not traceably calibrated or instrumentation grade, it's not far off.

And then there's the IR cameras - https://www.xinfrared.com/products/infiray_p2_pro_thermal_camera....

Offline Joules

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Re: Getting my oscilloscope off the bench
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2023, 04:27:36 PM »
All similar lines here, yep got the TinySA Ultra and older version.   Bought the first TinySA to see if it was worth me getting the RIGOL 1.5Ghz SA+tracking generator.  It's a nice bit of kit and had looked at making the down converter so I could look at 2.4Ghz.  Still use the TinySA to check what I am connecting too as it's cheaper to blow up its front end.  Then the Ultra came out and pushed the range to 10Ghz, so got one.   What a bit of kit, with hindsight I wouldn't have bothered with the RIGOL, but it does all link into my LXI test setup.  Also got a NanoVNA F V2 as it was a fraction of the cost of a return loss bridge for the RIGOL.   The kit available for the amateurs is just amazing these days, all this gear can be used for pre compliance testing  saving orders of magnitude the value of sending to a testing house and having a fail and rework for compliance.   The hard part is learning to use it all.

Yep, thermal camera here is a TOPDON TC001  used in PCB repair, watching bearings and general servicing where you are looking for a hot or cold (leaks) spot.  The above is gear I only used to see in university labs 30yrs ago.

Muzzerboy, you mind me asking what you do ?
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Offline Muzzerboy

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Re: Getting my oscilloscope off the bench
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2023, 11:30:00 AM »
Almost 40 years in power electronics, the last 28 mostly in BEV/HEV systems and components - this combined my love of cars, bikes, engines etc with electronics and it's been a very interesting career. Did a fair bit of RF work when I was younger but that mostly stopped once I got my licence G8XCN when I was in my late teens. I think making it legal took away some of the excitement!

Recently have been seeing more work in aero, marine, off highway and even defence.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/murray-edington/