Playing with an oscilloscope you’ll (probably) never own

We’ll have to admit that we were really jealous when [Shahriar] sent us a video he made, in which he casually explains how a $500,000 160GS/s 62GHz oscilloscope works and then starts playing with it.

Even though you need to be quite familiar with electronics to fully understand the oscilloscope’s inner workings, [Shahriar]‘s step by step explanation is still approachable for those who only understand the basics.

In the first half of the video he uses the manufacturer’s documentation which contains the oscilloscope block diagrams, so you’ll also learn about:

  • timer interleaved Analog to Digital Converters (ADCs), which allows you to increase your input sampling rate by using several of them
  • phase-locked loops, which use a reference clock to generate a much faster clock signal
  • custom made dies and the materials used for high frequency electronic components

In the second half of the video [Shahriar] connects a pseudo random binary sequence generator and uses the oscilloscope to make several measurements that you’d typically want to know for high speed signals (jitters, eye quality factor…). He later performs a small experiment where he up-converts the frequency components of two random 3.12Gbit/s signals and tries to recall each original signal using the oscilloscope functions, making this part of the video a bit harder to keep up with.


  1. Massimo says:

    I will only buy one, if there is a flux compensator inside;)

  2. mate says:


  3. BiOzZ says:

    i ‘gasumed … would not be a very good every day scope but i can see the uses!!!
    trade for a kidney?

  4. andrewjhull says:

    I’ll wait till it turns up, broken, on ebay…. these fancy toys always do eventually. }:¬)

  5. bobfeg says:

    Teardown time!

  6. Bracken says:

    I sometimes use a 25GHz (90Gs/s) scope at work, it runs Windows Vista and has minesweeper.

  7. Will says:

    But will it blend?

  8. Tom says:

    Does it come in black ?

  9. lol says:

    Not enough buttons for that amount of money, touch-screen my ass(read in Dave accent/voice).

  10. static says:

    Probably *not* going to be one of those things I’m going to buy if I win one of those huge lotteries. I hear this would cost only 250,000 if they used Linux rather than MS Windows ;) On those torque collars no doubt there is going to be someone in the shop who keeps turning after it clicks to “make sure it’s tight”, like some car drivers who turn the gas cap forever after it’s a tight it going to get.

  11. Shahriar says:

    I would be curious to know what you guys thought about the second experiment.

    • multivac says:

      it was really interesting! though the open questions left me scratching my head! it was very cool to see the difference between the reconstruction of the sequence that was at a lower freq vs the one at high freq. you casually mention it was due to improper filtering but i didn’t really get why you had this problem. keep up the work, your vids are awesome, also lol, futurama!

    • Not so much on a comment on this specific experiment, but more general to your videos as a whole. I really like your approach to these, while I understand the concepts I am very very very far from your expertise. It is refreshing to see how you share this knowledge in a very approachable manner that also leaves room for us to explore on our own to get that last bit of practical knowledge in as we experiment. I for one am very thankful for your channel! Thanks Shahriar!

  12. myname says:

    Since the owners of hack a day changed most posts are not even hacks. Just content about high-end electronic stuff unrelated to DIY hacks from household / common stuff.

  13. daqq says:

    Dear Santa…

  14. abc says:

    0,5kk $ and windows ? this is a joke ? :D

  15. turd says:

    I still waiting for a lulzy video of someone accidentally oopsing an expensive scope/ spectrum/network analyzer and their face afterwards. Killing a 50Ohm input by overload is quite easy, especially with fancy chips with 33 GHz BW.

    I personally would never play with such an expensive, borrowed scope, because these things sometimes fail even without you doing anything wrong, especially the LeCroy scopes, and explaining to the owner, why his 500k$ scope doesn’t work any more after you had it, is certainly beyond embarrassing.

  16. Fabian says:

    “of course it runs Windows 7″ why “of course”?

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