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New Contributor

Oscilloscopes

This is not precisely an Aruba or even a Wireless question; at least not directly.
I have come to the realization that an Oscilloscope can be a handy tool, especially when trying to determine the best placement for Antennas; not to mention aiming issues regarding semi or highly directional antennas.
However, I know precisely one thing about Oscilloscopes: They can be insanely expensive.
I figure that my ignorance can be broken down into these categories:
1) How to operate an Oscilloscope.
2) What secondary devices, sometimes called probes; are needed for an Oscilloscope that is being used to do anything from a new site-survey to fine tuning an existing WLAN.
3) How to hook them up and properly use them.
4) What to buy and how to buy it.
I figure the first item and part of the third can be handled by a good owner's manual. However, numbers two and four are where the real danger lies for me. Especially in regards to four. While I COULD spend a years salary or more on a really nice one, considering that my needs are fairly limited; I am hoping that I can get one for just a hundred or two.
Does anyone here either know enough about Oscilloscope to point me in the right direction; or failing that; suggest some reading for me? Perhaps a website?
Occasional Contributor II

You might want a radio spectrum analyser

A general purpose oscilloscope is probably not what you want for antenna work. It shows waveforms over time. What you probably need is a radio spectrum analyser, which can show you energy in a particular radio frequency band.

Low end ones for b-channel wifi work are pretty cheap, ie the Wi-Spy, which you can get for around $100.

High end ones, especially for 5GHz a-channel frequencies, will cost you big bucks. For example, a used ADVANTEST R3265 goes for $6k on ebay. You're also going to need some electrical engineering theory and practical experience to interpret it's readings.
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