Measuring electronic signals is easier with the use of an oscilloscope (O-scope). It is used to measure electrical voltage when connected to a power grid. The oscilloscope is made with components that consist of an electron beam or gun, a medium-sized fluorescent screen, and varied encompassing controls or knobs that allow an operator to adjust the scale of a horizontal and vertical graph line for key functions.
This well-made hobbyist electronic measuring device displays a steady stream of graphic waveform signals that looks like waves. It is very favorably used in the following industries: scientific labs, automotive industry, medical/healthcare fields, TV repair businesses, telecommunication industry and other types of engineering industries.
Quick Buying Guides
For the best in hobbyist oscilloscope measurement devices, they are the top buying guide with key features when you are looking for a dependable and high-quality O-scope. Other key features should also be considered and researched. These include:
o EMI/EMC free reading parameters
o External triggering
o Minimum noise levels
o Remote control option
o Strong structure
o USB storing option
o User-friendly graphical interface
Let’s look at 6 Oscilloscope devices:
The Rigol DS1054Z digital Oscilloscope series is one of the newest and most innovative measurement devices on the market. It features 16 channels with succinct analysis capabilities. It is very versatile and has a high performing mixed-signal technology for processing data.
The Rigol DS1054Z digital Oscilloscope carries a bandwidth between 100MHz and 500MHz. If you need a powerful trigger function, the DS1054Z series is your best purchasing power. Rigol O-scope devices are best used by hobbyists in small and medium-size labs.
Additional features include:
o this device quickly and easily pinpoints certain sections of a recorded waveform.
o contains a USB thumb drive capability
o its memory software feature can be upgraded to a waveform capture rate of 30,000 wfms per second which means that it offers higher accuracy for your signal and measure data
o it is available in 50Mhz analog bandwidth with four analog channels with 12Mpt memory
o provides high resolution and signal detail up to 24Mpts that captures and holds any unforeseen problems from multiple digital wave streams
Low noise floor
Multi-Level grading waveform display
Compact size, lightweight, easy-to-use
Trial period for certain parts is not accurate
User interface may be slow
The SDS1202X-E by Siglent Technologies contains one bandwidth with a 200 MHz with real-time sampling rate. It has a user-friendly colorful design screen and an innovative fluorescent technology for high performance and positive signal fidelity. The SDS1202X-E 200 MHz is a solid performing device with a real-time sampling rate up to 1 gsa/use. Additional list features include the following:
o offers a great video “IRecord,” 14Mpts length and has a traditional serial bus triggering and decoding platforms that can support SPI, RS232, LIN, CAN, and more
o has a digital trigger system that provides low jitters but high sensitivity with a wider vertical range (500 uV/Div) for clarity
o triggered waveforms are stored in each frame that includes an accurate timestamp accordingly.
o its scope offers 256-intensity grading display function
o features multiple highlighted grade trace colors like red for more frequent events and blue signifies those points that take place less frequently.
Low noise level
Co-processor hardware for accurate and fast measurements
10 types of one-button shortcuts
Some models may have a jumpy signal channel
The DS05072P is a 2 channel digital oscilloscope from Hantek. This hobbyist model easily tests and measures voltage or current signals in an electronic circuit or component to clearly display amplitude, frequency and rise times, etc. Applications include troubleshooting, production test, and design.
This digital oscilloscope has a very fast sample rate and extra memory for monitoring your waveform data. The Hantek DS05072P has a seven-inch TFT LCD screen that is easy to read. Its instinctual interfaces and easy-to-follow menus make this the perfect measurement tool to be used by all industries.
Additional features that you will love working with includes the following:
o 200/100/70MHz bandwidths for better automatic measurement functions
o 1GSa/s precise sample rate time
o Memory length up to 40K for precise analysis and storage of your signal data
o Trigger types: edge/pulse width/video/slop/overtime and more
o Four math functions, including a traditional FFTs algorithm that provides a to and fro exchange of signals
o safe 200 MHz grounded and insulated probes that prevent any unexpected hazards
Large (7.0-inch) color display
USB host and device connectivity, standard
Provides software for PC real-time analysis
Memory may be slow
The DS1102E oscilloscope series by Rigol are known for their high-performance. It is designed with dual channels and an external trigger channel. Users will enjoy its cursor mode feature that allows you to use 3 types of measurement levels that involve its ability to track in manual, and auto mode.
Its menu options are user-friendly and convenient with multiple language interface features. The DS1102E 100MHz digital series has a unique waveform record and replay function. Its math operations have multiple waves and the innovative “ultra-scope” software application.
The DS1102E can be used for industrial production environments due to its 20 different wave parameters for automatic measuring. Additional list features that make this series a must-have electrical measurement device that include the following:
o features an adjustable capture waveform rate
o Automatic 256 grading display for signals on its cathode ray tube
o Varied trigger types: Edge, Pulse Width, Video, Slope, Alternate, Pattern/Duration
o Dual analog channels and 16 channels logic analyzer
o 100MHz maximum bandwidth for better accurate wave measurements
o Higher real-time sample rates: 1GSz/s and 25GSa/s
Remote command control
Math operations available to multiple waves
Multiple Language User Interface, support Chinese & English input
Minimal noisy motor
The LIUMY hand-held oscilloscope is great in the field for its sturdy and mobile accuracy. It features a new high-tech chip that gives users a waveform signal of 10KHZ. This hand-held oscilloscope is a great value for the money and operative measurement data.
The LIUMY Professional LED Handheld Oscilloscope has a powerful detection range, a great memory calibration, and measures with great accuracy. It features a 5 waveform readout and 100 sets of high contrast measurement data. You are in safe hands with the LIUMY hand-held O-scope because it is explosion proof. Additional list features include:
o 200ksps A/D automatic waveform capture function
o DC/AC Voltage for a more precise testing of currents. Can be used in residential dwellings, educational institutions, and power plants with maximum performance
o High-definition display with high contrast LCD backlight
o Analog broadband range
o storage capacity readout for up to 5 waveform record grouping
Stores 100 sets of data
A button silent mode
Scope capture function lasts a long time
Instructional manual difficult to follow
The Owon PDS5022T is a Portable Digital Oscilloscope/Multimeter can easily measure currents, voltage waves, and complicated resistance data. The multimeter option for applications involving electronics, circuit testing, electrical engineering, education, and manufacturing. The PDS5022T features a 20 to 40 MHz bandwidth, an 8-inch color TFT LCD screen, a vast digital storage feature, and a 100Ms/S real sample rate.
Additional list product features includes the following:
o 2 grounded probe channel portability features for safety
o Memory length of 5kpts per channel
o Support USB for data transmission to PC
o 20 automatic measurements to display the best frequencies, parameters, and signals
o hobbyists will like its Edge and video triggers gives you a picture of stabilizing repetitive and single-shot waveforms
o Up to four waveforms that capture and regularly shows waveform data while in a scan mode
o CD-ROM PC software
o Can accurately add and subtract wave math functions
Compatible software with Microsoft Windows
Instructional manual is hard to follow
Measuring With An Oscilloscope
O-scopes are manufactured in two types – analog and digital. Analog scopes use an electron beam to map the input voltage. The digital scope incorporates microcontrollers, which sample the input signal with an analog-to-digital converter for mapping.
The basic use of an oscilloscope begins with taking the probe and connecting it to the right channel on the scope. The screen will then show a flat cursor line. By using the necessary controls for its industrial use, you should soon see the waveform signal.
Once your signal appears on the display screen, you can begin adjusting the horizontal and vertical scales of your signal. Oscilloscope devices can support several automatic measurement tools that display relevant frequency data output.
Your frequency generated output may have two separate conductors where one is used as a signal and the other one is for ground. You then connect your probe’s ground clip to the ground, and the probe tip to the signal output. Then you can finagle your channels or scale knobs to locate your identifier waveform.
The O-scopes for a hobbyist can also calculate amplitude, shows pulsed signals, “mean” voltage, and various wave calibers. When you have measured the quantity signals that you need, you can make adjustments to your circuit. Advanced O-scopes can also save your data, print-out your data, and keep your waveform data in memory.
How to Choose an Oscilloscope
To invest in a good oscilloscope, there are key features that make all the difference in measurements: These include the following:
Bandwidth shows the frequency range that the oscilloscope can accurately measure. The more bandwidth you have describes how much power your O-scope has. Professionals in various industries believe that a good bandwidth should be 5 times greater than the main frequency or the measuring signal.
ii. Sampling/Waveform rate
The sample rate of an oscilloscope measures how fast it can provide the waveform information. The greater the sample rate, the better your resolution will be. The more samples you have the more signal data you will be able to capture. A waveform rate enables an O-scope to quickly update the screen without losing important signals.
iii. Memory depth
The more memory depth you have in an O-scope, the higher your sample rate will be.
The traditional channels of an oscilloscope are 2 or 4, but you can purchase an oscilloscope with greater channels for logic timing, thus eliminating any special software to isolate channel energy.
It is vital that probes match or exceed the bandwidth of the scope. Fast signals are best received with a FET-amplifier probe and for high voltage measurements, a differential isolated probe is best used.
Many industries must work in outdoor environments. With modern oscilloscopes, you can take handheld scopes with you because they are very durable and sturdy. The O-Scope can be plugged into your laptop computer. Handheld oscilloscopes work just like their big brothers. Granted, they have their limitations, such as limited battery life and a smaller display screen, but their measurement features are invaluable.
The above-mentioned oscilloscopes for hobbyist vary in price range and top capabilities. They are used in many different industries. They are commonly used to diagnose electronic equipment malfunctions, to look at how the voltage performs consistently, to see the shape and time signals of a signal, all of which allow proficient users to check each component independently and from there determine which component is failing.
Oscilloscopes are also used widely in the medical field where doctors can observe brain waves. Technology is rapidly advancing but their parts still require succinct circuitry monitoring and testing. The oscilloscope features have evolved, becoming more of a developmental tool no matter in what price range they fall.