Finding the right oscilloscope

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Hey, just a question. I am in college (poor college student), but as an AVR hobbiest I need to find a cheap oscilloscope and I think I found one that I can use for my AVR projects:
http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot...
will this work for my fun projects? Just need some advice and maybe advice on going some other direction.

I really don't like that it has only one input, but then again, I am poor :) and it just means work.

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I just got an old analog scope as my first 'scope: the TDS485, for $500 CAD. Four channels and decent frequency response (250MHz). Maybe you can find a two channel device with 50MHz+ for <$100? Digital is nice for captures and simple measurements, however (RMS, peak-to-peak, freq., etc.).

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Hi Twist,

You can use the SEARCH function on the forum and find lots of prior threads discussing various scopes. Search for oscilloscope, scope, O'scope, etc.

There is a big difference between working without a scope, and having a scope, and a big difference between having one channel and having two channels. It seems that many times one wishes to compare two signals...

Don't forget to check out eBay. I'm not generally in favor of buying used scopes on eBay, but some low cost scopes are sometimes available, and even if it only last a few years it will get you through college...

Good luck in your studies!

JC

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You get what you pay for. I only use one channel 99% of the time, but when I do use the second you could not have done it any other way.
Do you own a logic probe? I use a logic probe more often than I use an oscilloscope. It has to be a real curly problem before the CRO comes out. So get one of those first!

I have had experience with the PoScope (I own one) and it is about what you wanted to pay, but it also does audio spectrum analysis, logic analyzer & protocol analyzer,pattern generator etc. The protocol analyzer supports USART,I2C, SPI & 1 wire. It has helped out lots of times.
It would make a fine system for a student especially for digital development!
http://www.poscope.com/product.php?pid=1
You can down load the code & have a play!

Charles Darwin, Lord Kelvin & Murphy are always lurking about!
Lee -.-
Riddle me this...How did the serpent move around before the fall?

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twist2b wrote:
... I need to find a cheap oscilloscope and I think I found one that I can use for my AVR projects:
http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot...
will this work for my fun projects?
Cheap? Well. But IMHO useless for your task:
Quote:

Analog bandwidth 0 - 1MHz
I'd say, save your money.

Stealing Proteus doesn't make you an engineer.

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Quote:
Do you own a logic probe? I use a logic probe more often than I use an oscilloscope.

I do not own a scope yet. I do not own a (proper) logic analyzer either. But the number of times I have felt I needed an LA vastly outnumbers the times I felt I needed a scope.

I own a logic probe. Wherever I go with my AVR stuff the probe comes along also. Simple to use. Weight a few grammes. Helps you rule out a lot of Really Stupid Mistakes [tm]. Priceless. (Well actually maybe $30, but that is money very well spent).

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That $89 scope has a 1mhz bandwidth so don't expect to see your average crystal oscillations captured... may be ok for audio analog work perhaps.

If you are strictly doing digital stuff... I would just use a jtagice box programming and debugging over pdi interface maybe or jtag. You can use a communications port to output diagnostic information to help you troubleshoot. So, a scope is need for certain types of projects I think.... otherwise it is just a convenience.

Analog work would definitely be nice to have a scope.

Jeff

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twist2b wrote:
Hey, just a question. I am in college (poor college student), but as an AVR hobbiest I need to find a cheap oscilloscope and I think I found one that I can use for my AVR projects:
http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot...
will this work for my fun projects? Just need some advice and maybe advice on going some other direction.

I really don't like that it has only one input, but then again, I am poor :) and it just means work.

DSO2090, Hantek, buy direct from China. $140

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Quote:
DSO2090, Hantek, buy direct from China. $140

I have evaluated that unit as well and it is pretty good. From the perspective of use for analog it is probably better that the PoScope. However, the digital support sold me on the PoScope.
The cost of probes for the PoScope have to be vectored into the equation too.
Both have the ability to capture waveforms which is nice for student reports.

Charles Darwin, Lord Kelvin & Murphy are always lurking about!
Lee -.-
Riddle me this...How did the serpent move around before the fall?

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I Have a DSO Nano, used it once and now I cant adjust the virtical position of the display, so I think it is dead. The user interface is a bit tricky, as the U/D/LR and center controls are ambiguous and intermittant/interactive at best. I am now trying to find out how to get a warranty claim to get this device fixed.

My old faithfull ARRON BS-625 (~1979) is slowly dying, One channel is now intermittant. But the best things with this 45MHz/60MHz-3Db/guaranteed trigerable to 80Mhz is its delay line, superbright display at any sweep time, and did I mention it before ..... its triggering.

Some CRO's loose intensity at high sweep rates, many do not trigger well, the delayed trigger facility is one of the best features I have ever used in a CRO.

Localy available CRO's such as the Digitech 20Mhz dual trace are barely visible in total darkness, and are a piece of S--T, The Digitech 100Mhz DSO retailing for $1,149.00 is worth about $0.50 in my opinion (I wouldn't pay more than that for one) after having to use one recently. At 52yo, using CRO's since 17, I have never seen a worse CRO. !!!!!!

The DSO Nano If I can get it to work again is a great little tool, but give me an analog CRO with delayed trigger, and I'll be happy.

We Have two Hameg CRO's at work, one 60MHz analog with delayed trigger and one 100MHz analog CRO with digital storage.

Which one would you choose???

I'll pick the 60MHz CRO with a delayed trigger over the 100MHz one without any day.

Ron.

 

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I worked at BWD instruments in early eighties.

Built up a BWD 830 scope from the bits in the junk bin.
Tweaked it to 42 MHz. Has all the nice features including an external battery pack option ( no battery).

Sufficient for the current requirements.

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twist2b wrote:
Hey, just a question. I am in college (poor college student), but as an AVR hobbiest I need to find a cheap oscilloscope and I think I found one that I can use for my AVR projects:
http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot...
will this work for my fun projects? Just need some advice and maybe advice on going some other direction.

I really don't like that it has only one input, but then again, I am poor :) and it just means work.

That small scope doesn't have many buttons on it and you may get tired of browsing the menu (?) to get the result from measurements you are doing.

1MHz analog bandwidth -> maybe can show a 100kHz square wave but it will not look like a square wave!

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So what are your thoughts now, twist2b?

Charles Darwin, Lord Kelvin & Murphy are always lurking about!
Lee -.-
Riddle me this...How did the serpent move around before the fall?

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Sorry, I have been working alot recently. Thank you all for your replies. For what I do, I love the DSO2090, Hantek, $140 is not bad at all! I will have to slowly put money to the side of my paychecks, but it looks worth the price!

Any other ideas/suggestions?

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I recently purchased one of these-
http://www.alliedelec.com/search...

('Educational Use Only', whatever that means- they were happy to take my money and its quite a bit cheaper than the 'real' version).

I wanted to try a pc based scope, and settled on this one. The software seems pretty good, and it has an output waveform generator which is handy.

What I like about the pc based scope, is the 'box' takes up little space, is portable (use with laptop, take home/to work), and it seems I can 're-learn' the software faster than I can 're-learn' the menus/buttons of a regular scope when I haven't used them for a while. I think we get pretty good at running software (mouse/keyboard), and our (my) button/menu ability is deteriorating with time.

Price is always going to be a factor, otherwise we all would have a nice $10K+ scope and we would never have to discuss this, but saving your $ for something more useful than an $90 scope would be wise (and pretty much anything else will be much better).

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http://www.picotech.com/educatio...

wow, didn't know they had that available... but only this model apparently. 25MHz bandwidth... which is plenty for what you have to do around the home hobbiest shop... typically.

Did you have to prove you were a student?

Jeff

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I made a list of oscilloscopes for hobbyists:
http://www.gabotronics.com/resources/hobbyists-oscilloscopes.htm

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ganzziani wrote:
I made a list of oscilloscopes for hobbyists:
http://www.gabotronics.com/resources/hobbyists-oscilloscopes.htm

Nice list! I see it is scopes under $500 or so. There is also the agilent U2701A, and cleverscope USB scopes too. I've used the cleverscope and thought it was fairly good. I'd go for picoscope... they have a good rep.

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I've got an Instek GDS-1102A. The A suffixed models have a 2M/channel capture depth when triggered in Single mode, which is nice to decode long I2C or SPI trains.

However, the on-board math function leave much to be desired. BUT! GDS2000tools works nicely, so I can simply offload captures from the scope and apply octave to it.