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Tektronix TDS3014 Colour Oscilloscope

It fits in a shoebox yet boasts an impressive range of featues including a colour LCD, an inbuilt disk drive and a printer port

By Leo Simpson

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For a number of years now we have been using a Tektronix TDS 360 1GS/s 200MHz digital scope for most of our measurements.

You would have seen the scope traces published regularly in the pages of SILICON CHIP. We have really liked that scope for its combination of performance and features and at the time of purchase, we considered it the best overall value for our application.

Tektronix have moved on quite a way since producing the TDS 320/340/360 series and their low-end scopes are now compact instruments featuring liquid crystal displays. In view of this, we decided to have a look at what is perhaps their benchmark instrument in the TDS 3000 colour range, the model TDS 3014. This is a four-channel scope with a 100MHz bandwidth and a maximum sampling rate of 1.25 Gigasamples/second.

Our review sample was also fitted with the TDS 3TRG advanced trigger module and the TDS 3FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) module to give measurements in the frequency domain (ie, spectrum analysis). So all up, this is a high performance combination in a pretty compact package.

In fact, if you are familiar with the typical digital oscilloscope of just a few years ago, you will know that they are fairly bulky instruments. For example, the TDS 360 model referred to above has an overall depth of about 470mm, not including the handle. By contrast, the model TDS 3014 has roughly the same width and height (just a little more) but its depth is only 145mm. In other words, it is about the size of a shoebox (albeit a pretty expensive one!)

In regard to weight, the model TDS 360 tips the scales at about 7kg while the TDS 3014 is half that, at about 3.5kg, making it highly portable.

So not only is the new model half the weight, it takes up only a fraction of the bench space required for the old model. In most applications, that is a very important advantage.

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