Budget Oscilloscope under £200.

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#1
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Hello everyone

 

I am just starting to learn micro controllers and electronics in general. I now find myself in need of a good oscilloscope for a budget of about £200. I believe that I need a minimum bandwidth of around 20 MHz. I have looked at various models, some standalone others USB but I'm not really sure what I should buy.

 

I would like to monitor the efficiency of my voltage regulators, check serial buses and clock signals etc. Can anybody recommend a model which would suit my requirements and budget?

 

Many thanks

Amanda

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Rigol DS1054Z is a bit over your budget, but is a very good scope and a de facto standard for "my first scope". I would definitely save up and get a real scope, not a toy you will have to replace in a month.

NOTE: I no longer actively read this forum. Please ask your question on www.eevblog.com/forum if you want my answer.

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Thank you. I have looked at that scope, looks very nice. However, my budget is not really a financial issue but more of how much I can justify (to the household) spending on this new "hobby"...

 

EDIT:

 

I should have stated that space is an issue as well as price. I have therefore been looking at USB scopes. Does anybody have any feelings about the PicoScope 2205A? The specifications state that it is a 25MHz scope for circa £149.  

 

Amanda

 

Last Edited: Mon. Jul 6, 2015 - 09:46 PM
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Then let me make a predication. You will buy a piece of junk (probably USB scope) for cheap. You will not like it, and abandon the "hobby" altogether. Good USB scopes (PicoScope) will cost you much more than this Rigol.

 

I would also look at used scopes, but they do hold their value very well, so it is hard to find good stuff for cheap. But this also plays to your advantage - you will always be able to sell it later.

 

Last year's to go model (Rigol DS1052E) is still being sold for basically the same price. And I don't really get why, DS1054Z is better in every respect.

NOTE: I no longer actively read this forum. Please ask your question on www.eevblog.com/forum if you want my answer.

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100 MS/s is not great at all.

 

Also, software scopes are bad, especially if you have not used a real one for any length of time. It is like wanting to play a piano and starting on a Casio synth. People who can play piano can make that Casio sound well, but if you've learned on Casio, there is no way you will be playing piano well.

 

 

Also, timebase accuracy of ±100 ppm? How is this even a measurement equipment? It is a toy, to get you sucked into buying their higher end models, which are quite good, actually. They are especially good if you need to get all that data into PC anyway, not so much for daily use.

NOTE: I no longer actively read this forum. Please ask your question on www.eevblog.com/forum if you want my answer.

Last Edited: Mon. Jul 6, 2015 - 10:00 PM
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To measure 20MHz with some reasonable fidelity, you need more than 25MHz bandwidth. Having purchased a ds1054z for the office and used it a lot, i would buy one personally. Along with a salae logic and a good multimeter, you'll be equipped to tackle most tasks.

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http://www.ebay.com/itm/B-K-Prec...

 

Here's a working 100Mhz analog scope off ebay in the US for $100 out the door.

 

EDIT*** woops, just saw you wrote 200 euros :/

~William

Last Edited: Tue. Jul 7, 2015 - 03:41 AM
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actually £200 (GBP).

 

Amanda, the other issue with USB scopes is that you have to have a screen available to view the results, whereas a self contained scope does not have that limitation. If you want to inspect the waveform of some piece of equipment that you have installed in your garden, you won't want to drag your PC out there also.

 

I would also agree with Kartman's suggestion about a logic analyser. They can be had for "pennies" via eBay.

 

Cheers,

 

Ross

 

Ross McKenzie, Melbourne Australia

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AmandaM wrote:

I am just starting to learn micro controllers and electronics in general. I now find myself in need of a good oscilloscope for a budget of about £200. I believe that I need a minimum bandwidth of around 20 MHz. I have looked at various models, some standalone others USB but I'm not really sure what I should buy.

 

How much room on your bench, and how portable does it need to be ?

eBay has some good ones, & a good way to filter the lower-end, is to enter Oscilloscope 800x480 - that gets decent LCD ones,with 7" displays. Cheapest is ~£163 (incl shipping), giving 1GSps, and 70MHz BW

The next step is to add more storage memory.

Better scopes have good frequency counter & voltmeter displays, which can save a lot of bench clutter, so be sure to check the details.

There is no excuse to NOT have a 6+ digit Freq readout in a FPGA based Scope in 2015

For better technical data than eBay go to vendor websites like

 

http://uni-trend.com/

 

Then, there is also something like the screen-less approach  of

http://redpitaya.com/

Last Edited: Tue. Jul 7, 2015 - 06:26 AM
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alexru wrote:
Rigol DS1054Z is a bit over your budget

£288 (inc VAT) here: http://www.rigol-uk.co.uk/Rigol-...

is a very good scope and a de facto standard for "my first scope". 

I have a Rigol and no complaints.

 

They are compact & easily portable.

 

Last year's to go model (Rigol DS1052E) is still being sold for basically the same price.

£209 ex VAT (so £250 inc) here: http://www.telonic.co.uk/product...

I don't really get why, DS1054Z is better in every respect.

+1

 

I would definitely save up and get a real scope, not a toy you will have to replace in a month.

Agreed!

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Last Edited: Tue. Jul 7, 2015 - 06:58 AM
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awneil wrote:
They are compact & easily portable.

Maybe you can see from this photo on a rather crowded desk!

 

Embedded image permalink

(that's a SAM D21 Xplained Pro and RF233 board in the corner)

Top Tips:

  1. How to properly post source code - see: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment... - also how to properly include images/pictures
  2. "Garbage" characters on a serial terminal are (almost?) invariably due to wrong baud rate - see: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/serial-communication
  3. Wrong baud rate is usually due to not running at the speed you thought; check by blinking a LED to see if you get the speed you expected
  4. Difference between a crystal, and a crystal oscillatorhttps://www.avrfreaks.net/comment...
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Suggestion about this site: http://www.batronix.com/shop/ind...

 

I see good prices inside EU

Wireless remote car device using hand movements:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uerWyUwLLBo

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Thanks very much everyone for great advice. I have decided that a USB scope is probably not the best option even though it would be much more space efficient. 

 

I do like the Rigol but to be honest it is out of my price range, after all, this is just a little hobby of mine. I have taken Who-Me's advice and used the search string Oscilloscope 800x480 on eBay and found lots of scopes that might be right for me. Anybody have any feelings about this model?

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Hantek...

 

If the link goes dead it is a Hantek DSO5102P Digital Oscilloscope 100MHz 1Gs 2CH 7" TFT

 

To the untrained eye it sounds good. I suspect that I will be hit with customs and VAT fees but at £186 it would still be only a little over £220.

 

Once again, thanks for all responses, they have been most helpful.

 

Kind Regards

Amanda

 

 

 

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awneil wrote:

 

 

Embedded image permalink

(that's a SAM D21 Xplained Pro and RF233 board in the corner)

 

Looks just like my desk only that is full of computers yes

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AmandaM wrote:

Anybody have any feelings about this model?

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Hantek...

 

 

Amanda,

 

That is the model I bought a couple of years ago.. https://www.avrfreaks.net/forum/m...

 

I don't have any complaints about it.

 

Cheers,

 

Ross

 

Ross McKenzie, Melbourne Australia

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Once again, thanks everyone. I think I might buy the Hantek DS05102P as it is within my budget and that Ross has one. 

 

I have borrowed a very old Velleman HPS5 which has a bandwidth of only 1MHz so I think the Hantek will be infinitely better.  

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Who-me wrote:
How much room on your bench, and how portable does it need to be ?
Or, room on your wrist and ultra-portable?

Oscilloscope Watch

Gabotronics Forum::Oscilloscope Watch::Reset?

http://www.gabotronics.com/component/option,com_ccboard/Itemid,12/forum,14/topic,286/view,postlist/

...

by ganzziani

2015-06-23

The software is still in development, you can see more information on GitHub.

...

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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I've used both self-contained 'scopes and USB scopes.

I prefer the USB 'scope for the kind of work/hobby things I do. Not RF. Not super high speed logic.

Like 25-50MHz signals and a 'scope with a 4x or better sampling rate vs. signal.

 

I also have a USB logic analyzer. (Salea 8 channel). I use it a LOT more than the 'scope. Sometimes I use both at once.

 

The USB basis lets me keep it all on one screen, along with my IDE for code, and debugging screens.

 

I can also toss the USB scope and logic analyzer in a small bag and travel.

 

If I buy another higher speed 'scope, it'll have to be $500 or more to really make a difference. Maybe there will be a USB scope like this soon.

 

My USB scope is a Hantek I bought direct from a small seller in China. Came in as "tatoo supplies" on customs declaration.

I've had it for several years. Use it a lot. It's a DS2090. The DS5200 is what I might get someday. Or wait for better.

It's all about sampling rate with all these DSOs. Gotta be 4X or better of the signal rate-of-change.

Most DSOs divide the sampling rate among 2,4,8 channels. So disabling channel 2 speeds up channel 1.

 

Many people poo-poo USB 'scopes. Again, I've used 'scopes all of my working life (decades).

 

 

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stevech wrote:
The USB basis lets me keep it all on one screen, along with my IDE for code, and debugging screens.

That, of course, is both the advantage & the disadvantage of USB instruments!

 

(although most digital scopes these days can display on a PC)

Top Tips:

  1. How to properly post source code - see: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment... - also how to properly include images/pictures
  2. "Garbage" characters on a serial terminal are (almost?) invariably due to wrong baud rate - see: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/serial-communication
  3. Wrong baud rate is usually due to not running at the speed you thought; check by blinking a LED to see if you get the speed you expected
  4. Difference between a crystal, and a crystal oscillatorhttps://www.avrfreaks.net/comment...
  5. When your question is resolved, mark the solution: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment...
  6. Beginner's "Getting Started" tips: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment...