[time-nuts] A little quick advice, please

William H. Fite omniryx at gmail.com
Sun Oct 31 15:12:22 UTC 2010

Stan said:
Spectrum Lab, Spectran, etc. are also free and on a windows PC will show the
frequency spectrum to the frequency limits of the soundcard.

Yes, I use Spectrum Lab already but trying to make a bench scope out of it
is more trouble than it is worth.

Magnus said:
Can you lock up a computer at the lab-bench? Do you have the screen-space to
get all your data up alongside the scope?

As I think about it, the answer to both those questions is probably no.


On Sun, Oct 31, 2010 at 10:38 AM, Magnus Danielson <
magnus at rubidium.dyndns.org> wrote:

> On 10/31/2010 02:35 PM, William H. Fite wrote:
>> 'morning, folks,
>> I was just on a verge of purchasing a Tek TDS1012 scope when a friend
>> suggested that I could save a chunk of change by buying a BitScope.
>> Although
>> I've been aware of PC scopes, I never really looked into them.  The specs
>> look pretty good (the fact that I was looking at an entry-level Tek will
>> give you some idea of my needs).
>> Anyone have any experience with BitScope or other of the low-end PC
>> scopes?
> Earlier experience with PC based boards is that their life-span is limited
> due to software and hardware support reasons. Not all software has survived
> from Win95 for instance. How many computers still have ISA-bus? You run into
> all kinds of configuration hazzle rather than measuring things.
> So my personal experience is that it isn't as good as a free-standing box,
> ready-to-go.
> However, looking at BitScope they have a number of things done differently
> which counteracts my comment. They have support for various Windows AND
> various Linuxes. They also have the source-code, so you can recompile it.
> With some effort it can be maintained, but without reverse-engineering it.
> Also, the hardware interface is USB which seems to be a fairly long-term
> interface. It looks like it will be around another 10 years at least.
> For many uses, I would still prefer the old oscilloscope interface if I
> have one oscilloscope (I have several, ranging from 70thies up to the
> 90thies) but do value the possibility to interact with the scope in various
> ways and more direct means to control it isn't a bad feature.
> So my advice is that you need to figure out how you want to work, what will
> be the best way of working. Can you lock up a computer at the lab-bench? Do
> you have the screen-space to get all your data up alongside the scope?
> I would end up with both... eventually.
> Cheers,
> Magnus
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