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 Post subject: NLS MS-15 Miniscope
PostPosted: Feb Sun 12, 2012 9:06 pm 
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Anyone else here have one of these to play with? I got this last week, and happy to say I'm still fascinated by it, just can't seem to put the tiny little bugger down. Quite a marvel of engineering for 1980. Thought it wouldn't be much more than a toy, but not the case at all. It triggers easily, and is very stable even with the circuitry as simple as it is. It turns on instantly too. Mine was converted to use a single lead-acid battery rather than the original 3. If someone were limited for space and wanted a good hobby scope for radio work, this thing would be great.

Does anyone here know what these cost when they were new or have any advertising info for it? Can't seem to find that little bit of info, but found everything else.

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 Post subject: Re: NLS MS-15 Miniscope
PostPosted: Feb Sun 12, 2012 11:30 pm 
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I don't have any info on it, but your post 'made' me snag one from eBay. Is it 1 or 2 channel? I haven't been able to locate an instruction manual as of yet.

I remember one of our techs used the same model when I was in Saudi Arabia in the early 80's.

Updated:

The seller let me know that the MS-15 is a single channel o'scope. He's sending me a refurbed and calibrated MS-215 for an additional $15. He also sent a better copy of the manual in PDF then is on Bama. If anyone needs a copy, PM me with your email address.

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 Post subject: Re: NLS MS-15 Miniscope
PostPosted: Feb Mon 13, 2012 2:15 am 
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As a subscriber I recall these scopes appeared in advertisements in Radio Electronics and Popular Electronics magazines in the late '70s/early '80s. I suspect that they were expensive then since I couldn't aford one at that time.


JP


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 Post subject: Re: NLS MS-15 Miniscope
PostPosted: Feb Mon 13, 2012 2:27 am 
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Let us know how the dual trace MS-215 works. I had to dig around quite a bit online to find a manual for the MS-15 to download, but eventually found it somewhere. It seems like info for the later 215 and 230 models is more readily available, despite the huge number of MS-15's that NLS sold. I had seen these scopes mentioned before, but found it hard to imagine they could have any sort of respectable performance. I just bought mine out on a whim due to curiosity more than anything else. It's excellent for its size, even a colleague at work was impressed by what he saw and how well it worked.

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 Post subject: Re: NLS MS-15 Miniscope
PostPosted: Feb Mon 13, 2012 3:39 am 
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That looks like the one that they had at a biomed company where I used to work. I had the manual for it, but not owning the scope and having no use for it, I sold it or traded it to that guy called Manualman at a hamfest. If he made repros he may be able to supply a duplicate of it. ......... I just checked his listings under non-linear systems and it appears he has the manual for $16.50, so I guess he did dupl. it. www.manualman.com


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 Post subject: Re: NLS MS-15 Miniscope
PostPosted: Feb Mon 13, 2012 1:07 pm 
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I came across a legible scan of the MS-15 manual at: http://www.mods.dk/manual.php?brand=_other

A friend of mine thinks the MS-15 cost somewhere in the $600/700.00 range when new.

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 Post subject: Re: NLS MS-15 Miniscope
PostPosted: Feb Tue 14, 2012 2:45 am 
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To answer the question:
MS-15 is single trace 15Mhz
MS-215 is dual trace 15Mhz
MS-230 is dual trace 30Mhz

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 Post subject: Re: NLS MS-15 Miniscope
PostPosted: Feb Tue 14, 2012 3:11 am 
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Location: Harviell MO USA 63945 (12 miles S of Poplar Bluff)
However, the Tektronix 200-series and Sony/Tek 300-series predated the NLS miniscopes (intro ca. 1975). The 200-series had single- and dual-trace models, up to 5 MHz bandwidth, one with bistable storage and one with an incredibly accurate and versatile DMM with on-screen display. All had 6 x 10 division graticle rather than the weird 4 x 5 graticlue of the NLS scope. All had internal batteries, 120 v charging system and were full isolated from the line, especially when on battery operation and unplugged from the line. A beautiful little constellation of mini-scopes. Prices new around 1976 ranged from around $1200 to $2500. Pricier than the NLS scopes.

The Sony/Tek models were somewhat larger and on the high end, also featured bistable storage and 35 MHz bandwidth with delayed sweep.

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 Post subject: Re: NLS MS-15 Miniscope
PostPosted: Feb Tue 14, 2012 2:49 pm 
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The good part about the NLS miniscopes is they are available on the market today at what I think are very reasonable prices, ($80-125 range) even in fully restored/working condition. Non-working examples usually require little more than a replacement battery to bring back to life. The comparable size/weight Tek 200's are likely better and more accurate all around as far as a true small oscilloscope goes, but aren't easy to come across today at reasonable prices as most of them are already in the hands of collectors who want a fortune for a restored example. The Sony/Tek 300's are about double the size/weight of the MS-15, so they don't really compare as a "toolbox" sized scope, they are a small portable.

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 Post subject: Re: NLS MS-15 Miniscope
PostPosted: Feb Tue 14, 2012 4:02 pm 
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I find that I use my MS-230 fairly often. It comes in handy to do some quick checks when I need a scope and my bench is already crowded with stuff. I bought it for $25 at an estate sale but it did need new batteries. It uses battery power whether or not the charger is connected and won't work unless good batteries are installed and charged. I easily found an open mica cap in an IF transformer in this Silvertone 800 that was peaking at the LO frequency instead of 455 kHz. The radio had me stumped until I flipped on the mini-scope.

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 Post subject: Re: NLS MS-15 Miniscope
PostPosted: Feb Thu 16, 2012 6:31 pm 
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Location: germany
That`s so nice 8)

I need one of this non linear Systems in my collection !
The CRT of them is a D5-100g. (g = green phosphor)
D5-100w is the full compatible white phosphor, it was used in a ugly expensive pocket TV from Sinclair.

this is my little road scope, the 323. It`s made like a classic, no IC, all Transistors in sockets, metal front, 1967.
Attachment:
1-323 008.jpg
1-323 008.jpg [ 67.02 KiB | Viewed 2823 times ]

greetings
Martin


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 Post subject: Re: NLS MS-15 Miniscope
PostPosted: Feb Thu 16, 2012 9:34 pm 
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My NLS MS-215 arrived yesterday. It's got new batteries and a certification of calibration. I'm amazed on how small and light it is.

Anyway, here's a couple of pictures with it hooked up to my clock board for oscilloscopes which has GPS time keeping. It's a little big for my wrist. :D

Image

Image

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 Post subject: Re: NLS MS-15 Miniscope
PostPosted: Feb Thu 16, 2012 10:09 pm 
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Neat! NLS was a company that had a history almost identical to United Systems/Digitec. Started out building electromechanical meters, moved on to digital meters and some other test gear, then got in on the personal computer craze of the early 80's (NLS was highly successful with Kaypro, Digitec built printers and other peripherals), then they kind of faded away- although both companies are still around today, and are both building digital panel meters.

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 Post subject: Re: NLS MS-15 Miniscope
PostPosted: Apr Fri 13, 2012 6:42 pm 
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Greetings;

This is my first submission to your site, or to any blog or web-site (ever....) since I've been too busy working all of my life to enjoy "chatting". I am in Texas (USA). I found your site by searching for info and availability of the s,NLS MS-215. Last November I was offered one, new in the box, never hooked up, never used. I bought it for $45, and spent $35 on a new battery pack from NLS. It works wonderful, but at my age with my old eyes, it isn't too great. I have three other scopes on my benches, one TEK, one B&K, and one TENMA DSO. But I wanted one for on-site work (I am a company engineer in the AV [comericial and home] systems field) for which I build much of my own test equipment. I thought this would be good for x-y analysis on a Dist Audio load analyzer.
Now I'm not too sure. I'm thinking of selling it and going to a p/c based scope and spectrum analyzer but have not used any yet and I'm not sure what I should be looking at. Any suggestions?


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 Post subject: Re: NLS MS-15 Miniscope
PostPosted: Apr Fri 13, 2012 8:28 pm 
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Maybe something more portable than a CRT scope but with a big display. Perhaps one of the newer Tektronix with the flat screen display, or maybe a Rigol scope, presumably of Asian origin. They are advertising a 100 MHz. flat coler screen scope for 399$. www.rigolna.com I saw the ad in QST. Click the 360 view window and the image will rotate so you can see how deep it is. Maybe has storage inside for probes like the Teks?


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 Post subject: Re: NLS MS-15 Miniscope
PostPosted: Apr Fri 13, 2012 9:04 pm 
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Thank you, WAZZ (I assume that is a radio station, with the mic I think to be radio. I was eng for an NBC outfit for several years[TV]). I'm not real happy with DSO. My own fault. When I was MUCH younger, I used and taught The HP analog storage scopes and spectrum analyzer system (141 series). After running into some problems with a design of an ozone generator where I needed screen shots I bought myself a new DSO. After two years of trying to wrap my analog brain around digital sampling I've all but given up. I was hoping I could find some good book on doing just that, but so far even the distributor techs I've dealt with don't have any good suggestions. Perhaps those using this forum have come across something that will help. I really like the TEK units, I have an older battery one, 3", dual trace, but I've had it buried with all my other antiques. I'm open to suggestion though.


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 Post subject: Re: NLS MS-15 Miniscope
PostPosted: Apr Sat 14, 2012 4:22 am 
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OK, well the WAZZ is not a commercial station callsign, but is radio related. The mic is my V-2 EV which was not apparently used in broadcasting very much as compared to the RCA types. More maybe PA uses? Well, how about maybe getting a square or rectangular magnifier and mounting that in front of the NLS screen? They did similiar in early television to compensate for the small CRT's. Or go with the idea of the laptop PC based scope. That works but most of them I have seen have sort of limited sampling rates and bandwidths. But I think they are OK for audio, etc. And then there are the handheld scopemeters with the monochrome LCD but most of those are also limited features and specs, and expensive.


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 Post subject: Re: NLS MS-15 Miniscope
PostPosted: Apr Tue 17, 2012 8:21 pm 
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I just ran into a problem. I hope someone can shed some light here...... I bought new batteries for my NLS ms-215 about a month ago, charged up, tested, and then set aside. I went to use it night before last, and it wouldn't go. I figured the batteries may have run down, so I plugged it in to the power adaptor, let it charge for about 15 minutes and then turned it on.
worked OK (no specific tests, just flipped switches) and then left it to charge over night. Came back to it last night, and found the charger (ac adaptor very warm (to hot...) and the case of the scope hot on top, turned on, tests ok, removed the adaptor, and it died immediately. It will work with the adaptor, not without, and runs hot. Any sugesstions?


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 Post subject: Re: NLS MS-15 Miniscope
PostPosted: Apr Tue 17, 2012 9:04 pm 
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Right off the top, it sounds like one or more of your replacement batteries might be shorted. There could also be something shorted in the charging circuit but I would suspect the batteries first. My MS-15 single trace has the single battery conversion, and neither the batt or charger get hot when charging, only the charger gets slightly warm.

-Mark-

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 Post subject: NLS MS-15 miniscope
PostPosted: Apr Tue 17, 2012 9:23 pm 
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Thanks, Mark,

I haven't opened it up yet, I was hoping someone else may have experienced this. The unit is brand new, never used for anything except to test it to see if it works. The original batteries were dead, of course.......... I bought new ones in Feb Or Mar this year, put them in about a month ago, charged two days, and then set aside. I didn't know if this scope should have dischardged the batteries just setting. Maybe?

I think I read somewhere that if the batteries went all the way down they could be damaged.

I'm going to do an install on an old B&O (Beomaster) system this evening, if I have time after getting all of the components to talk to each other, I'll try to get out to my shop and discombubulate the scope and see what gives. Any idea on what particular component could fail and do this?

Thanks,

Ed


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