Andy Fletcher Equipment

I use the following commercial test gear:

  • Rigol DS1104Z digital oscilloscope which has 100MHz bandwidth and four channels. This is usually used when I want to measure something, or for higher frequency work. I quite like this ’scope and it’s great value for money. The fan noise is annoying and it suffers from the usual problems of digital scopes taking time to boot up. It is particularly laggy when using a delayed sweep. The FFT is a joke even with the update which uses the memory trace rather than the screen trace. so much so that I usually capture the channels into MATLAB to display there. The XY mode is poor in that it is tiny and very laggy. However, it is a decent workhorse and does most of what I need from a ’scope.
  • GW Instek GOS–620FG 20 MHz two channel analogue oscilloscope and audio function generator. My first choice for low frequency work. I prefer using this to the Rigol, but it has its limits and is a basic ’scope.
  • Aim/TTi TG120 20MHz Function Generator. All knobs and no display or keypad. It has a TTL output as well as its main output. I like this generator as you can set up what you want with a few twiddles of some knobs and of course it doesn’t forget these settings on its very speedy power up. As it doesn’t have a display I usually have its TTL output connected to a frequency counter. It drifts a bit especially at higher frequencies which can be annoying.
  • Racal Dana 9916 Frequency Counter. Counts from 10 Hz to 520 MHz. 8 digits. This has a bright red LED display which is great for those of us with aging eyes. It is very easy to use and seems to be accurate.
  • Aim/TTi 1604 Bench Multimeter. This is my first choice of multimeter as it has a clear, bright display and is always in the same place. Oddly it takes up no bench space as it has my Rigol ’scope sitting on top of it. In auto-range it settles quickly enough for me. It seems to be accurate in that it usually agrees with my Agilent meter. It’s certainly accurate enough for all the measurements I need to take. I like the touch-hold feature although it needs to be used in a manual range.
  • Agilent U1233A Multimeter – I bought this out of nostalgia as I used to work for Agilent in South Queensferry. Of course it’s a good bit of kit, but I find the display difficult to use as there are reflections on the screen, the display is quite low contrast and the backlight isn’t even.
  • MFJ–949E Tuner– used as a dummy load and as a very imprecise RF power meter.
  • Wavetek 1062 Sweep Generator. I use this mostly as a VHF signal generator. It’s as old as the hills which means its sweep capability works well with the analogue ’scope, so frequency responses well into VHF can be seen, if not measured precisely.
  • Aim/TTi EL302RT PSU. I like this PSU a lot. As a linear PSU it doesn’t spray RF into the shack. It’s quite big, but I like that I can use two of the outputs to power an op-amp and still have the third to e.g. power a TTL circuit. It’s quiet too as it is cooled by convection. The two main outputs can switched on and off separately. You may have noticed I like large, red displays and this bit of kit has these too. The only thing missing is the smoke as you can limit the current easily.