Buying Guide, Industrial & Scientific

Best Digital Oscilloscope For Hobbyist & Automotive Reviews of 2019 | BTRO

Are you thinking to buy the Best oscilloscope? We have tested 53 and selected the top 11 for you. You can easily track signal voltages, their changes, frequency by using- Siglent SDS1104X-E, Rigol DS1104Z Plus, Siglent sds1202x-e, Rigol ds1054z, Siglent sds1102cml+ as our top pick. On this page, we researched and found the best oscilloscope for hobbyists, beginners, engineers, doctors, Technicians, automotive on the market in direct comparison – with accurate tests and many new tips.

11 Best Oscilloscope Reviews

#1. Rigol DS1104Z Plus – Best Oscilloscope For Hobbyist (Power House)

Rigol DS1104Z Plus

Suitable for: Hobbyist and Laboratory users.

Rigol DS1104Z Plus is a 100 MHz high-quality four-channel analyzer. Its sampling rate is 1G Sa/s real-time. For easy viewing, it has a 7′ WVGA intensity graded color display. The waveform capture rate is up to 30,000 WFM/s. Its UltraVision technology offers a deeper memory depth of 12Mpts standard, which is upgradeable to 24 Mpts. You can call it a powerhouse. This is the advanced version of the previous DS1054Z model. In the second row, you will get a button to check item by item scrolling. If you buy this, you will not regret it. Guarantee !!!

 Strong Points

  • So powerful and gives a super-fast user experience.
  • Huge display that helps to watch the result without any problem.
  • The memory size is more than enough for me.
  • You can select your favorite item from the menu because it has an extra button for button per item interaction.
  • Its advanced triggering option is fantastic.
  • You will get a record/ playback option.
  • Low noise level.
  • You can easily carry it anywhere.

 Weak Points

  • Though it comes with lots of advanced new features, you may be getting tired of scrolling those.
  • It has no dedicated back button. So you will have to scroll the next menu to find the back button on the screen.

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#2. Siglent SHS806TCAL – Best Handheld Oscilloscope 

Siglent SHS806TCAL Handheld Oscilloscope

Suitable for: Home use, hobbyist and circuit analysis.

The Siglent SHS806 is a handheld 60MHz with two-channel. You can view electrical signals. It has a 6,000-count Multi meter mode to measure AC and DC voltage. It has a record length of 2Mpts and a real-time sample rate of 1GS/s and for acquiring detailed waveforms. Its four math functions plus fast Fourier transform system and automatic cursor measurements provide an in-depth analysis of waveforms. Video, Edge, Pulse, Alternative triggers, Slope, enable isolation of unique signals. Its automatic-triggering identifies signal exemplars and optimizes time base, triggering and amplitude settings. It has a recorder that takes up to 18 hours of waveforms.

Further specifications involve 5.7″ color TFT-LCD and a rise time of 5.8ns, a USB host port for collecting data on a 4GB-maximum flash drive, a USB device port for attaching to a compatible PC. The Operating menus and support display in Various Simplified languages. The unit runs on a rechargeable battery pack or a 100 to 240V AC, 50/60Hz charger. It also meets CAT safety standards.

 Strong Points

  • Easy to use and no need to read the manuals
  • Storing and analyzing signals are excellent.
  • You can save the wave as either a binary file or CSV for further use.
  • Easy to navigate.
  • It has a much larger memory to store data.
  • You can connect it to a PC and can view waveforms and control the scope remotely.
  • The ALT Trigger option helps to trigger on two unrelated signals and gives a stable picture of both waveforms.
  • The scope ‘boots up’ so quickly in a few seconds.
  • All the features are available in the menu system similar to the big brands.
  • Auto-locking features on signals
  • Perfect for troubleshooting low-end electronics and ham radio.
  • Accurate data shows on the right of the screen, which is easily readable.
  • Its high clock speed computer logic system makes it compatible with the giants
  • An essential level product at a reasonable price for you.
  • It meets all its stated specifications.
  • You can read the display without any problem because it’s abundant with higher resolution and bright.
  • It takes little space on the bench.
  • It’s probably the best choice for circuit analysis
  • Capturing using the USB connection to a computer, including software, is very handy.
  • Excellent warranty with fantastic customer service. Their customer service is too fast to response and solves problems.

 Weak Points

  • The Probes work well but quite cheap to me in quality.
  • The given software should be run in “compatibility” mode while using Win 7-64
  • The user manual needs more improvement in English. But I didn’t need the manual because you can use it without reading the instructions.

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#3. Siglent SDS1104X-E – Best Oscilloscope for Automotive

Siglent SDS1104X-E

Suitable for: Computer Engineers, Automobile engineers & Doctors.

Siglent SDS1104X-E is a 100MHz Super Phosphor 4 channel device. The SPO (Super Phosphor) is a technology that provides super performance. The maximum sample rate is 1 GSA/s. On the other hand, the maximum record length is 14 Mpts. Its front panel design is user-friendly and can be accessed from the front panel. Its waveform capture rate of 400,000 frames/sec and a 256-level intensity grading display function with excellent color temperature display mode. It has all the available triggering modes that you need. Its History waveform helps to analyze the previous records. Its new 1 million points FFT math function gives it a very high-frequency resolution. It never slows down because of its hardware co-processor. As a result, it provides accurate measurements. It has a search bar, on-screen Bode Plot.

 Strong Points

  • Responsive and user-friendly interface.
  • The sample rate never drops.
  • The given cables are slim and flexible to use.
  • Remote access features via a web browser.
  • Allows watching signals at full screen in PC.
  • Built-in web server updates quickly.
  • It’s triggering works fine and has a button to make the mode auto or normal.
  • External storage capability.
  • It has FFT math functionality and captures logic.
  • Color Temperature display mode.
  • The digital trigger system is highly sensitive.
  • History waveform recording facility to analyze.
  • High-Frequency resolution.
  • Hardware co-processor delivers quick and accurate measurements.

 Weak Points

  • It has no dedicated vertical position control for every channel.
  • Mild noise level.

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#4. Rigol ds1054z – Best Oscilloscope for Audio

Rigol ds1054z

Suitable for: Electronic Technicians, Electrical Engineers Laboratory Users.

Rigol DS1054Z one of the best selling in the WORLD since its release. It Features 50 MHz Analog Bandwidth Entirety of 4 Analog Channels Maximum Waveform Acquisition Rate of up to 30,000 WFM/s. It has a large 7″ Display with 12 Mpts of memory. Its construction is as good as that of expensive top-brand items. With a resolution of 800 X, 480 pixels makes it possible to observe all channels on a single screen. This presents for better usability and more dynamic analysis. It is just the little brother of Rigol DS1104Z Plus and if you have a budget deficiency, then you can choose it instead of the big brother.

 Strong Points

  • Solid building quality
  • Fine software and automatic upgradable
  • Many adjustment control options
  • The software is easily installed able
  • Reliable because of an accurate result
  • It comes with all the advanced features includes triggers, storage, etc.
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • It can capture 30.000 WMF/sec and it means it too fast
  • Its memory is expandable
  • You can control it through the control buttons
  • Easy to read the screen
  • It can trigger too quickly
  • It has a USB port to connect with a PC.

 Weak Points

  • The fan is quite loud. So you can change it.

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#5. siglent sds1202x-e – Best Selling Oscilloscope

siglent sds1202x-e

Suitable for: House laboratory or a Repair workshop.

SIGLENT’s SDS1000X-E Series Super is 200 Mhz with one bandwidth. It has the highest sample rate of 1 GSA/s and a standard recording length of 1 Mpts. Its user-friendly frontal panel layout makes it easy to use. The SDS1000X-E series applies a new generation of SPO technology that gives exceptional signal accuracy and execution. It appears with a merest upward input area of 500 V/div. It has a new digital trigger mode with high responsiveness and faint jitter, and a waveform recovery rate of 400,000 frames/ sec. An extra sturdy extension is the latest 1 million duration FFT math capacity that provides the SDS1000X-E an extraordinary-frequency determination when adopting signal colors. The characteristics and execution of Siglent’s current SDS1000X-E are unique and better than other brands at this price.

 Strong Points

  • Provides Real-time sampling rate
  • Intelligent triggering to Pulse Width, Edge, Slope, Window, Pattern, Timeout, Runt, Interval
  • Low noise
  • One button shortcut to use quickly
  • The auto-setup helps the newbies
  • Security Erase mode will help to erase or save data
  • High-Speed hardware
  • The large screen will allow you to read clearly
  • It also supports remote control commands to control it from remote places
  • Its multiple languages for different countries people to use easily
  • The manufacturer also provides online support for any query
  • Overall excellent quality and performance at a low price.

 Weak Points

  • Not yet found after using five months.

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#6. Siglent sds1102cml+ – Best Oscilloscope for the Money

siglent sds1102cml+

Suitable for: Students or beginners or who have a budget deficiency.

If you are searching for an excellent for use in a broad purpose or different applications, then Siglent’s SDS1000CML+ series suits the job! This SDS1102CML+ has the second-highest bandwidth available in the market of 100MHz. It’s dual-channel to measure two waveforms side-by-side on display. It has an exceptional quality 7″ TFT-LCD display with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels, analyzing different waveforms is as manageable as possible. It has a memory depth of up to 2Mpts, with the whole memory of 40Kpts. The higher memory setting allows you to do a higher sample rate to take more of the signal as excellent as zoom in on the exclusive area of interest for more analysis. It also gives full support for a time, voltage and delay measurements, with a total of thirty-two different parameters accessible and the capability to display five results at once on the screen.

 Strong Points

  • Parameter measurement
  • Excellent user interface
  • Auto measurements
  • Mathematical use
  • You can zoom the result when necessary
  • Online support
  • Built-in frequency counter
  • Cursor indication
  • It comes with secure scope software to control the scope from your computer
  • Low cost
  • Lightweight
  • Data logging facility
  • The zero essential function allows engineers to work more efficiently
  • The open wave connection software will enable users to conduct waveform observation
  • Large screen and excellent graphics
  • Lots of knobs and menus that make the operation easy.

 Weak Points

  • The instruction may be complicated for the EasyScopeX software to you. So you can watch the youtube video to make it clear or contact with their online support if necessary.

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#7. Hantek dso5072p – Best Cheap Oscilloscope

Hantek dso5072p

Suitable for: Electronic Technicians or Automobile Engineers.

The Hantek DSO5072P which has 70 MHz Bandwidth, 7.0″ LCD Display. We found this is perfect for those you serious hobbyists. The large LCD of 7-inch, colored, WVGA(800×480) screen shows you the full waveform analysis. The product has the motion trigger mode features, which include slop, edge, line selectable, overtime, pulse width. It is suitable for simple Spectrum Analysis, assists in baseband work and many other primaries use with two channels and record length up to 40K. It also comes with four math functionalities that are suitable with FTT standards. It is more affordable compared to the other items in our test.

 Strong Points

  • An alternative to an expensive product
  • Easy to switch
  • Well designed
  • Well written easy manual
  • No need to control from PC
  • Smooth and solid control
  • Easy to use firmware
  • The bright screen helps to read the analysis properly
  • Good quality probes
  • It can store screen pictures on a USB flash drive
  • Lightweight

 Weak Points

  • Packaging needs to be improved
  • If it comes with a Euro power cord, then you might replace it

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#8. Makerfocus Nano DSO211 – Best USB Oscilloscope

Makerfocus DSO211 ARM Nano Digital Oscilloscope

Suitable for: Personal Use, Technicians or Students.

This is a very competent pocket device. However, I would like to call out that the triggering is reliable and I was able to even to lock on to an amplitude modulated wave from my signal generator. There is a stop function that enables you to take and hold a snapshot which you can save to storage. The menu system is quite easy and fast to navigate through the features. It has excellent digital storage which can provide a great set of measurements on display. Most of its features are set through a menu system that is connected to buttons on the front of the scope. The USB port on the front panel allows saving settings, the display image, or actual signal data in files on a USB drive.  It has 60 – 150 Mhz with the four-channel facility. Its display size is 5.7 inch that is perfect to use.

 Strong Points

  • Perfect for product design and debugging, servicing, electrical engineering education and repairing
  • Safety rated
  • Real-time measurement of display
  • Autoset button helps to save time
  • Well written user manual
  • The front USB port helps to display image, save settings, etc.
  • Excellent quality
  • Lower noise as cooling fab is not needed

 Weak Points

  • Lower memory per channel

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#9. Siglent sds1102x – Best Digital Oscilloscope

Siglent sds1102x

Suitable for: Electronic Technicians or Automobile Engineers.

I want to say something about the characteristics of ‘small users.’ What do you require for your daily tasks? Even the cheapest models from the manufacturers already have a sample rate of 500 MS/s or 1 GS/s, which is more than what the average electronics engineer requirements. More important is the input bandwidth. Which is evidence of the quality of the analog input stage? Most electronic engineers operate on circuits with frequencies up to a few MHz and then a simple USB scope with a sample rate of 100 MS/s. Siglent Sds1102x has 100 Mhz with a 7.3-inch display and two-channel which supports new generation SPO Technology. 

 Strong Points

  • Good Performance
  • Easy to use
  • Complete and easy manual
  • Large display
  • Perfect menu system
  • Quick booting
  • The fan is not noisy
  • Provide more statistical data
  • Easy to read the text.

 Weak Points

  • The serial decoding is in basic level

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#10. Sainsmart dso203 – Best Portable Oscilloscope

Sainsmart dso203

Suitable for: Physicists and Electric Technicians.

The  SainSmart Mini Nano DSO203 is a mini handheld, a pocket-sized digital storage device which is PC-based. It has 3″ 240 × 400 widescreen color TFT LCD screen. STM32 is the master MCU. The FPGA to implement the control and supervision of external ADC and data cache. It is a low-power, low-cost 8 MHz with four-channel.

 Strong Points

  • Low cost
  • Useful signal generator
  • Compact Design
  • Fast operation
  • Portable
  • Easy settings
  • Easy to use.

 Weak Points

  • Low power
  • Low storage capacity
  • The navigation takes some time

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#11. Signstek Nano ARM Ds202 – Best Oscilloscope for Beginners

Signstek Ds202 Oscilloscope

Suitable for: Students and beginners.

The Signstek Nano DSO202 Note II has 10 MHz pouch size with 2-channel. It is small and easy to transport. It holds a USB flash disk storage and USB. This is an amazingly compact device, at a high price. If you think the DSO202 may suit your needs, keep reading to find out if it will. All these features and pros made this perfect and still now it has no technical issue. So we took it on our recommendation list as the cheap. This is an excellent compact scope, which can be used as a primary piece of test equipment for essential hobby application. As a portable supplement, you can carry with you. Any traveling technicians will be hard-pressed to find a more useful piece of test equipment then this!!!

 Strong Points

  • Excellent design
  • Works great
  • Excellent measurement ways
  • Accurate measurements
  • Respond quickly
  • Multiple menus
  • Easy to operate
  • Well written manual

 Weak Points

  • The size is small, but if you are comfortable with a small mobile phone, then it will be ok for you.

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The main criteria we considered

If you want to buy, you always have a question about the planned use. This means for you: what do you need for it? What do you want to measure it? Is it stationary in a workplace or do you need it on the road? Some important factors should be considered like: the bandwidth, the sampling rate, the number of available channels, the measurement accuracy as well as the storage depth. But what exactly does this information mean? We will tell you what you should pay attention to:

1. Bandwidth

One of the most basic sizes you should look for. The bandwidth determines the maximum frequency of all components of an analog signal that can be detected by the device at maximum. Remember: The highest bandwidth is not always the best choice – where you have to decide from application to application (as with the selection of suitable probes). This is because too high bandwidths can also increase the noise level and the noise (because you also detect much more disturbing and falsifying signal components from outside) or reduce the accuracy and resolution. In principle, the bandwidth should be at least twice the maximum frequency of the transmitted signal. High bandwidth is particularly necessary for high-frequency signals,

Tip: With DSP, you can select different bandwidths and thus to adapt to your current circuit. This way, you suppress deliberately distracting secondary signals and noise.

2. Input channels

Buying means that the flexibility and accuracy of the channels are critical. There is the choice between analog or digital input (a digital input can only detect the state – a 0 or 1 is output via a predefined threshold value). With first insulated data, you can avoid short-circuits during power supply measurements. Of course, you should also consider beforehand how many signals you want to measure. They have one to four channels of the input signal so you can represent and compare up to four measurements at the same time.

3. Input impedance

This value corresponds to the resistance. It usually has the input impedance 1 M-Ohm or 50 Ohm, to load the measuring point (<< 1 MΩ) only slightly. By connecting a probe head, this input resistance can be increased to 10 M-Ohm or more. The input resistor should be tuned to your bandwidth and probes.

4. Sampling rate

The sampling rate is another important point when you want to buy this device. It determines the resolution and accuracy of the measurement decisively – because it determines how many details of the lines and waveforms can be recorded and stored by your analyzer. To do this, you must know that the waveform consists of individual sample points. The more points the wave has, the more accurate and finer it can be displayed. This is roughly comparable to the resolution of an image: the more pixels an image has, the more precise and sharper details are revealed. We recommend that the sampling rate is at least five times higher than the input frequency. Example: 1GHz bandwidth requires 5 Gigasamples of the scanning rate!

5. Saving depth

It stores the detected signals until its memory is filled. The storage depth defines exactly this space required for this. It, therefore, indicates the number of points which can be stored when a complete signal is recorded. The higher the memory depth, the larger the size and the duration of the signal recording.

6. Health navigation & Zoom

Accurate and comfortable navigation allows you to move along the saved graph, to scale your image section horizontally and vertically, and to select the appropriate section to analyze. And especially with great memory depths and very extensive waveforms, a zoom is indispensable for an accurate evaluation. You should pay attention to easy, controllable navigation and powerful zoom.

7. Automatic measurement functions

These are various convenience functions to analyze the graph – such as amplitude measurements, temporal measurements, rise times, period duration, etc. Select the appropriate analysis function and read the result.

8. Probes

Probe heads take the desired values, e.g., Voltage, current or optical signals. The scope of delivery usually has at least one probe, more preferably two. This way you get the probes directly you need and are appropriate for the device and do not have to look for suitable probes for your measurement intent.

  • When purchasing probes, be aware that they affect the measuring signals as little as possible (active probes will change the voltages, for example, less than passive costs, but usually also more)
  • Digital probes are to be used with the parallel bus (can scan several channels)
  • We advise you in general to compatible system heads, which are calibrated together with the system, can be directly recognized by it and allow special functions.
  • There are different types of probes: hand-held probes with manual holder, soldering probes (for soldering to the signal source), etc.

9. Triggering

Triggering means that you can start the signal acquisition at predefined times (e.g., for individual events). Of course, you need to know what you’re looking for and what circumstances it can trigger. The triggering itself takes place in real-time (analog) and causes the detection. 

There are hardware and software triggers as well as probe shapes such as “Visual Triggering”: In this variant, you can, for example, place self-defined areas over the graph and define them as a barrier or transition zone. The trigger jumps in this case only if the signal interacts with the fields you specify (it runs through or does not happen – depending on the settings). 

10. Application support

Some manufacturers like HP who manufacture virtually and also offer software packages that are specialized in specific applications, which make the process (measurements, analysis, report) quite simple.

For this, of course, you need to know what you want to measure and capture in what context.

11. Easy operation

Particularly with the intensive use of the device, you will appreciate the right user guidance and intuitive operation quickly. Since such qualities are not apparent from the technical description of the manufacturer, you can check out our detailed tests and product presentations here. Importantly it is among other things:

  • Inputs graphical menu guidance, convenient functions
  • Settings can be saved
  • Good cars
  • Straightforward and intuitive selection duties in the context menu via right-click
  • The dashboard is possible: this allows you to compile tasks and evaluations individually in a personalized interface
  • Interactive online help

12. Connectivity

Surely your product also needs appropriate connection possibilities. Again, the requirements depend on your application. The following things you should consider:

  • Slot for memory card
  • USB port
  • GPIB
  • Graphics card connector for connecting to an external monitor
  • Printer connection for direct printing
  • Programming interface
  • Data transfer to MS Excel or Word for evaluation
  • LabView for detailed analysis

13. Another scope of delivery

Also, the delivery of a connection cable (usually USB) and corresponding drivers are advantageous so that you can connect the device to your PC, if necessary – with mobile devices – recharge the battery and document the measurements on the PC. For this, of course, a similar PC software is recommended. Indeed, not but with some manufacturers an excellent Drinkable. Apart from this, a printed manual is hardly included in the scope of delivery. Meanwhile, some manufacturers are changing to PDF documents, so the instructions are always up-to-date, even if only in English. Especially in the case of technical and complex topics, laypeople should inform themselves in advance or read our tests.

It is also suitable for you if the manufacturer has a set of probes for each channel, which also corresponds to the analog bandwidth of the device. So you can get started right away.

In the case of battery-operated devices, you should ensure that accuracy or replacement pack accompany the delivery or if you have the appropriate batteries in stock. Useful is always an external charger.

14. Display

For the display, the requirements are based on what you prefer. Now they are available in the handy pocket format, while analog devices have a correspondingly large display due to the cathode ray tube used. In general, if you are looking for mobile devices and have no problem with smartphones. A screen, which can represent various signals in different colors (usually ~ 65 k), is in principle also advantageous. 

Necessary Accessories

As already said, it is used to represent an electrical voltage over time. The following paragraph explains which components are required. It is technically based on a Braun tube (also called a Brown tube or cathode ray tube). Some say the name is still a term from physics teaching. In this paragraph, we will clarify the essential components of this product. The Braun tube is an electron beam with a visible electron beam for the temporal depiction of the voltage profile. The structure is as follows:

The Brauner tube directs the electrons, due to electromagnetic fields, so that they fall on different light sources.

  • Cathode: A heated cathode (with voltages between -200 to -800 volts) emits the electrons. These migrate by attraction to the opposite anode.
  • Anode: The anode is opposite the cathode and controls the velocity of the electrons (with applied voltages of +100 to +200 volts). Their speed is so high that the electrons directly pass through the anode.
  • Electron optics / concentrating coils: The electron optics influences the deflection of the electrons in the electric field. So you can control the bundling of the electrons in it. More robust and focused electrons appear in the light-emitting layer as a clearer and sharper point.
  • Wehneltzylinder: Thanks to the Wehneltzylinder, you control the intensity and thus the brightness of the bright point on the front screen – the so-called light layer. The strength is influenced by the velocity and density of the electrons.
  • Luminous layer/screen: Here, the deflected electron beams meet and are readable and readable by the user for the measurement.
  • Baffle plates/deflection coils: It is essential to know that electrons are the lightest electrically charged elementary particles, but they have an (albeit minuscule) mass. This makes it possible to divert them in their orbit with electromagnetic fields or gravitational forces and to control them in a targeted manner. It is precisely this physical effect that makes use of it: two opposing deflection plates ultimately produce the original line image. As the name implies, they deflect the electron beam in several directions. The X-plates allow the time measurement with their horizontal deflection (left and right). With their vertical deflection (top and bottom), the Y-plates again visualize the voltage measurement.

Frequently Asked Questions

This device is an electronic measurement device, which reflects voltages and their course visible on a screen. They are differentiated into analog and digital. The analog devices use a cathode ray tube to display digital devices over time. It is one of the most critical measuring tools in electrical engineering. With such types of devices, you can measure high-frequency electric. Signals on radio, in televisions or even in computers.

1. What do oscilloscopes measure?

Oscilloscopes are instruments that are used to analyze electrical signals and provide information about properties such as amplitude, frequency, rise time, time interval, and distortion. They are vital pieces of equipment for those who work with electronics.

2. What is a digital oscilloscope?

A digital oscilloscope has a broader range of functions than its analog contemporary. It is not only able to measure waveforms, but it can also be used, among other things, to display them, store them, process and analyze them. The added advantage of these types of scopes is that they can take simultaneous readings of different devices.

3. Why should I use an oscilloscope?

An oscilloscope is an essential tool for anyone who designs, troubleshoots, or otherwise works with high-speed electronics.

The essential purpose of an oscilloscope is to display electronic signals. These images can be useful for determining whether or not a component of an electrical system is behaving correctly.

There are several different oscilloscopes available to suit both hobbyists and professionals alike.

4. What are the main types of oscilloscopes?

  • Cathode ray oscilloscope

The cathode ray oscilloscope is the most basic type of o-scope. It is referred to as an analog scope to differentiate it from later models. These models work in a slightly different way.

This particular model makes use of a cathode ray tube and photoluminescent phosphor, which illuminates every time an electron hits it. The more collisions, the higher the intensity of light at that spot and so a waveform can be detected. 

As the illuminated phosphor does not immediately disappear, it is possible to view several traces overlapping one another. This function is particularly useful for detecting glitches or irregularities in the signal.

However, this model of o-scope cannot capture waveforms, and so, once the phosphor delaminates, the information is lost.

Yet, these models still have their uses when it comes to troubleshooting. Most digital oscilloscopes merely sample the signal and so can miss some transient signals that can be responsible for erratic behavior. Analog scopes are also generally more affordable than their digital counterparts – making them an excellent option for hobbyists and beginners.

  • DSO oscilloscope

These days most digital oscilloscopes are of the DSO variety. This is due to the advanced features it provides in comparison to the analog model.

The digital storage oscilloscope was designed to overcome the issues of capturing and storing information about waveforms for later analysis. The way it does this is by sampling the analog signal and converting it into a digital record at each sample time of the amplitude of the signal. This information can then be converted back to an analog signal for display on a cathode ray tube or transferred to another device such as a computer for further analysis.

The limitations of this particular scope lie in its lack of ability to analyze very complex waveforms such as those found in TV systems or smartphones.

  • Mixed-signal oscilloscope

The mixed-signal oscilloscope was developed to meet the increasing need for an instrument able to monitor analog and digital signals simultaneously. This hybrid device has input channels for both types of signals; in this way, it eliminates the need for a logic analyzer.

The main benefit of this type of scope is that it allows the user to view multiple time-aligned digital and analog waveforms on a single display, while still being relatively simple to use. This function makes it an appropriate tool for debugging embedded designs.

In comparison to a logic analyzer, this instrument does lack a large number of the digital acquisition channels as well as the advanced digital measurement functions. Its capacity, though, is generally considered to be ‘just enough’ for most types of projects.

  • Dual-trace oscilloscope

A dual-trace oscilloscope can be used to produce two traces from a single electron beam. Two methods are used for this: alternate and chopped mode. The alternate mode allows for the connection between both channels alternately. In the chopped mode, the switch occurs freely and at a very high frequency. This allows for ease of comparison between input and output.

Dual trace scopes should never be confused with dual-beam scopes. The latter of which produces two separate electron beams on a single scope.

5. What is bandwidth?

The bandwidth of an oscilloscope is the range of frequencies that it can accurately measure. This is expressed in Hertz or MHz.

The bandwidth is often regarded as the single most important characteristic of an oscilloscope. Too little bandwidth can mean that the amplitude of your signal will be incorrect, and some details of your waveform might be lost. Too much bandwidth can mean that you capture excessive noise, and thus your measurements will be inaccurate.

Entry-level scopes will typically have a bandwidth of 100 MHz. They can accurately (within 2%) show the amplitude of sine-wave signals up to 20 MHz.

6. What oscilloscope bandwidth do I need?

When looking to purchase an oscilloscope, it’s vital to have an understanding of the types of signals that you are going to be measuring.

Using this information, a way to quickly determine your bandwidth needs is to look at the maximum frequency of the digital signals involved. A good rule of thumb is to select a scope with a bandwidth five times higher than this.

Consider also that the higher the bandwidth capabilities of the o-scope, the higher the price. So, while you want one that can handle the signals you are measuring, you don’t want to go over the top with this.

7. What is an oscilloscope used for?

Not only the magnitude of a DC or AC voltage can be measured and determined with it, but also its temporal progression. The voltages required for measuring are connected via so-called BNC sockets on the front side using a probe.

It can measure the following variables:

  • The frequency of a Signal or measuring sounds wave
  • The electrical current -> this can be determined, for example, using a current clamp Frequency response of electronic circuits
  • Graphs of pulses on digital microprocessors and circuits
  • The phase shift of a signal with a Lissajous figure

8. Which components are involved in the measurement?

  • It consists of a cathode, which is responsible for the delivery of the electrons.
  • Also, it contains a Wheel cylinder, which influences the brightness of the screen.
  • Also, an electron optic is installed. It is responsible for the deflection of the electrons into an electric field.
  • There is also an anode. Their task is to control the speed of the electrons.
  • Also, baffle plates are present which creates an image instead of a bright spot.
  • Another component is the light-emitting layer and the light-emitting point. 

9. How does an oscilloscope work?

In the following list, we explain the most common user functions using the above graphic. Indeed, the controls and knobs can vary slightly or be arranged differently on your particular device – but this overview should explain a large part of the controls.

Note: In the following, the term “div” is often mentioned. The abbreviation Div comes from “Dive,” which means “part.” Divis thus in the case for a raster unit.

10. What are the functions of an oscilloscope?

The functions are divided into three areas. The users should be careful while using this product.

11. What is triggering an oscilloscope?

To obtain a standing image when measuring, the signal to be measured must be appropriately triggered. Here you can select the channel on how the triggering should take place using a switch. This device has an external trigging input. After running the display, the time-delay generator waits until the measuring signal has the same direction and at the same level. Only then it can be triggered again.

12. How to choose an oscilloscope?

I already discussed the considerations areas to choose the best, but for technical issues, you should also focus reasons you know the technical issues to be considered.

Review Date
Reviewed Item
Digital Oscilloscope
Author Rating


  1. David Martindale

    The Siglent SDG-1025 (item #6) is a signal generator, not an oscilloscope! It does not belong in this review at all.

  2. GW Instek Announces New 50Ω Impedance Adapter (GAK-003) Option for the GDS-2000A Series Digital Storage Oscilloscopes… Do you think GDS-1000B is better than GDS-2000A?

    • Thanks, cooper. This it should be offered as a standard option with every new Oscilloscope. similar third-party solutions retail at 40 – 50 USD. The GDS-1000B is better in some cases like its providing 100 MHz, 70 MHz, 50MHz compared to GDS-2000A it’s providing 70 MHz. But the price of GDS-2000A is quite similar.
      On the other hand, GDS-2000A is providing some facilities like- 80,000 wfm/s Waveform Update Rate and VPO Technique, Function Generator Option, Upgrade to Mixed Signal Oscilloscope (MSO), Design for Plugged-in Options, Segmented Memory, Zoom Window, Mixed Signal Oscilloscope(MSO), Complete Trigger Functions, 36 Automatic Measurement, Data Log, CAN/LIN Bus trigger and analysis, Advanced Logic,Various Interfaces Support, Option of DDS Signal Generators.

  3. Thanks Alex.

  4. Alex you are really great and thanks again for your help and after your review I bought it and its really working like a pro 🙂

  5. What probes would I be able to use with this degree that will enable me to take a gander at 50 microvolt motions between 500 Hz and 30 MHz in Siglent Technologies SDS1052DL?

    • If you have a known pickup intensifier that will work at 50 UV and in any event appear on your most reduced vert. Input setting it should work OK for you. I’ve utilized this procedure. You would utilize an x-1 test. An unpleasant estimation on an adjusted beneficiary would be an S-9 perusing on its S-meter.

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