What you should know when you shop for the best low cost oscilloscope
Did you ever wonder, how electrons flow? What is the shape of the signals/voltages around us? One of the marvelous achievements of human history is to control the signals which are not visible to naked eye. All the development in signaling was made easy after the invention of oscilloscope in which we can observe the signals and their properties like time period, frequency, amplitude etc. Recently, there are many inexpensive oscilloscopes showing up in the market. Today, we will review some of the cheap oscilloscopes. This post, New Best Low Cost Oscilloscope Reviews, is by whichsolderingstation.com.
What is Oscilloscope
Oscilloscope is an electronic instrument by which we can observe and calculate different parameters of variable signals. It draws the traces of one or more electronic signals as a function of time on a screen by the use of beam of electrons. Two types of oscilloscope are being used nowadays: i) Analog Oscilloscope ii) Digital Oscilloscope. The purpose of writing this article is to give a brief overview of digital oscilloscope, its uses and the factors to be considered when you look for your best low cost oscilloscopes.
Digital Oscilloscopes are often referred to as Digital storage oscilloscope (DSO) or Digital Sampling Oscilloscope. Unlike analog oscilloscope, DSO has storage capability which allows us to calculate or estimate the signal’s parameters (Amplitude, Frequency, Time period and Offset etc.) even after the signaling source is removed. DSO periodically samples the analog signal and stores in the waveform memory in correlation with time so we can save it for later viewing, upload to the computer or to generate the hard copies. Apart from above mentioned features, It provides the flexibility of vast storage array, processing and display options (graphics, screen display) and multiple step processing programs.
Rigol DS1054Z Oscilloscope
This is a four channel oscilloscope. At this price range, very few oscilloscopes have four channels. If you are interested in it, here is the link to its review.
SIGLENT SDS1052DL Oscilloscope
A two channel oscilloscope by Siglent. It works up to 50MHz with a maximum sample rate of 500MS/s.
RIGOL DS1102E Oscilloscope
Tektronix Digital Oscilloscope
Tektronix is a big name in lab test requirements. This is an scope has 50 MHz bandwitdth, 2 channel and 1 GS/s sampling rate.
Features to consider when look for inexpensive oscilloscopes
There are certain important factors which should be kept in mind before buying a DSO otherwise it might not fulfill all your needs. DSO must be able to display the third and fifth harmonics, so the bandwidth should be five times the max. Signal bandwidth. Faster rise time results in more accurate transitions so rise time of DSO should be <1/5 x fastest rise time of the signal. Probes can introduce inductive, capacitive and resistive loading which may alter the measurement. For mid-range DSOs, choose probes with capacitive loading of < 10pf. DSO samples analog channels to display them, selection of channels depends on your application, two or four channels will allow you to compare signals while to debug a digital system, eight, sixteen or more digital channels are needed. Sample rate is how often DSO samples the input analog signal, use a sample rate of 5x times higher than the highest frequency component in the circuit. Connecting the DSO directly to other systems or computer via USB or GPIB allows you to do advanced analysis. For this, you should be able to add more memory to save longer lengths records. There should be a software to control DSO from your PC, take automated measurements and export live waveforms. Other important factors like versatile triggering, automated waveform measurements and easy response operation can offer some more benefits to your working.
DSO has revolutionized the oscilloscopic technique by adding lots of automated features, smaller size and interface plug-ins options that makes it more reliable and flexible with wide range of valuable results. Not long ago, oscilloscopes can easily cost several thousand dollars. Nowadays, there are many cheap or inexpensive oscilloscopes in the market. Above, we review a few of best low cost oscilloscopes we find. Hope it help you.