Well, the title makes the point. I like oscilloscopes, own them, sometimes repair them, and have been thrilled to use them in my work. 'Scopes are the ideal window to the fast-moving world of electrical signals. They are to engineers what the telescope is to the astronomer, the x-ray machine to a doctor, or the occasional spoonful to a chef, the tractor to a farmer, leaf blower to a gardener. They are just beautiful and useful instruments.
I even tried to make an oscilloscope. I obtained a revered Tektronix microchannel CRT (inside job) and started to make surrounding circuitry. My first section was a trigger circuit. After a year of weekend design and lab construction, I gave up. I could not make circuits that even came near the performance of the then champion 7000 series 'scope from whence the CRT came.
I then studied the manuals of the 7000 series and saw everything was stacked against me. It had custom ICs, not discretes as I was using, and that IC process was a 15GHz type. They even had a very fast high-voltage 50V process for driving the CRT deflection plates. The selector switches were actually connected to tiny cams and even tinier leaf switches assembled on the circuit board to minimize inductances.
The boards used microchannel striplines as interconnect and had stubs and matching sections to keep frequency response amazingly flat. The level of sophistication gave my ego a good spanking.
So, now I am a minor collector of oscilloscopes. Not modern ones — they disappoint. The transition to digital 'scopes has seen the loss of decent triggering, fat noisy waveforms, and yes, even analog purity less than the 2465 series. Of course, digital 'scopes are the thing to use to make numerical measurements, but they suck at being a general-purpose lab 'scope compared to the analog ones.
Our man Steve Wong got involved with a settling-time measurement project and discovered that the digital 'scopes in the lab had worse overload recovery and settling details than the 2465. Yes, the POS 1GHz 'scope (I won't tell you its name; I'll just say it makes me cross to use it) was beaten by the out-of-production 2465. The POS 'scope even had a lousy input SWR at the 50Ω setting compared to the 2465.
I'm not as bad as some though. Jim Williams had about 40 'scopes, most of them real antiques. Thirty years ago, I would have been impressed with them, but with today's standards, I reject the old stuff's inferior performance. I'm not nearly as promiscuous as Jim either; he had more than one of a couple of models.
No, I collect only a few historically important ones. I couldn't pass up the chance to get a 7104 4-bay mainframe. Hey, this is THE fastest analog 'scope ever with 1GHz bandwidth. It's got that cool microchannel plate CRT that allows really fast writing rates, and it can use various vertical plug-ins. We keep a couple of 7104s in the Milpitas labs, mainly for the high sensitivity vertical plug-in (10μV/div) and the fast-settling vertical plug-in (1mV settling from 10V step in 400ns.). And yes, I own those plug-ins.
I have a Tektronix 465 'scope, too. This was the first transistorized portable. Well, the input devices are miniature Nuvistor tubes for safety against overload, but the rest are discrete transistors. Pretty nice overall, with 100MHz bandwidth. I need to fix one input channel, though.
Naturally, I have a 2465B. I don't know why, but I passed up a 2465A with a bad channel at the local electronics flea market, for only $100. That would have been a great parts 'scope. I'll have to start acquiring beater 2465's for parts. Tektronix stopped making them in 2002, and they're all old now. Nothing lasts forever.
So, I'll get to the point of all this. When you see these analog 'scopes in the lab not being used, please turn them off. The CRT's don't last forever, and neither will the rest of them. These machines are superb and deserve a break. Please don't run the trace very bright. They'll do it, but you can burn features into the phosphors over time and use up the cathode's emission life.
I don't mind what you do with the digital 'scopes.
What 'scopes do you use and why do you like them?