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
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
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.