Saving Your Oscilloscope

A project log for Microhacks

A collection of small ideas

ted-yapoTed Yapo 12/22/2018 at 14:250 Comments

What good is a male-to-female BNC adapter?  At first, they don't make a whole lot of sense.  Then, you realize that you are switching probes on your expensive oscilloscope a few times with each visit to the lab, and the connectors have a limited number of mating cycles.

This is especially true if you purchase vintage equipment. The solution - throw on some BNC-BNC adapters and leave them there. When they wear out, they're a lot less expensive to replace than the scope's connectors. It's not an original idea - these things are called "connector savers" for a reason.

The biggest drawback is that you can't use fancy probes which use the other connections behind the BNC, but I can't afford those kinds of probes anyway (even a single new passive 1 GHz probe costs more than I paid for the scope). A second issue is that it's easy to knock into the connectors when moving the scope or working around it because they stick out a bit - you just need to be a little more careful.

This is not the place to use cheap ebay connectors. I sprang for genuine Amphenol parts - sure, they're $12.62 each at Digikey, but that's a lot less expensive than replacing the connectors on this scope.