Anyway, I've been trying to figure out how to connect it to my 6700 to see transmitted signals and stuff (where stuff == i dont know what I'm talking about). I've seen some examples online where people connected their oscope to an unused antenna port on their amp to get the coupling signal without blowing up their oscope. And I saw on ham nation where Bob built a thingy to output the signal to a rca/bnc port or something like that.
So, I'm curious what the experts on here have to say? What is the best way to learn and experiment with oscopes and ham radio and connect them together without blowing up anything? :-)
What do you hope to see on the screen? You will see the trace of the hf signal, not
more. You can't even monitor a SSB or AM signal without using a special demodulation
To monitor my signals I use either my spectrum analyzer, which has special programs
for the measurement of hf modulation signals, or I hook up my IC-756PRO as my
signal monitor with attenuation at -18dB of course :-). As all my TRX have their output
routed through the same AlphaDelta switch, this works fine.
73, Alex DH2ID
Two easy methods to snatch a sample output signal are: (1) The Wave Node power/SWR sensors have an "RF View" option. This provides a low level signal that can be viewed on an oscilloscope. Also, the Wave Node software provides some interesting views of the RF signal data. (2) CleanRF.com offers a Variable RF Sampler model RF-S5K AND a RF Demodulator Model RF-D. I have the Wave Node AND CleanRF products and they work fine with my oscilloscope and my spectrum analyzer.
For experimentation, one can simply make an inductive coupling loop by wrapping a half-dozen turns of an alligator test lead around a coaxial transmission line. A BNC-to-banana adapter works well for this application. Within limits, the level can be adjusted into the scope or spectrum analyzer (S/A) by adding or subtracting turns. I normally use commercial Bird and Narda couplers, but in a pinch, I'll just do the above.
I wouldn't dismiss the value of a scope when it comes to making RF measurements. There are some neat things you can do in the time domain that can't be done in the frequency domain. A scope is also essential when trying to ensure proper system timing. For example, I often use a 4-channel scope to monitor the CW key line, RF output after the rig, RF output after the amp, and receive audio coupled to the last channel. That kind of testing can't be done with a S/A.
There are some exceptionally good values on used test equipment. With some due diligence, one can find Tektronix and HP gear that won't break the bank.
Anyone interested in a new digital storage oscilloscope (DSO) should carefully evaluate competing models. I strongly recommend that any new DSO have variable intensity gradient shading. This is a trick that some DSO manufacturers use to mimic the effect of a phosphor display. The Rigol Z series are such DSOs. If you're making complex measurements (e.g., an AM waveform), you'll want to see variable brightness along the trace. Common DSOs use one intensity. My first DSO experience was kinda' disappointing - until I purchased a variable gradient model. As accurate and maintenance-free as the high end DSOs are, none of them look as good as an analog phosphor display. That will probably get better over time.