Beginner. What should I look for on a oscylloscope?

tautech

Joined Oct 8, 2019
327
To get the best from a DSO you need understand what the S represents which is Storage of a waveform capture.
IME you are best to focus on DSO's with much higher storage memory, 2 Mpts or more will serve you much better as your skills and requirements develop. There are several Asian brands offering better specs than that DSO and don't be scared to take a little more time to build a larger budget.
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
28,469
There are a number of approaches to consider and no single "best" one -- a lot depends on your goals, desires, budget, and both the short-term and long-term path you intend to travel.

At one extreme, you might go with whatever scope you can afford right now so that you can start using it right now. Since this is not likely to be the scope you will want in the long-term, don't worry too much about what it's specs are and generally opt for the cheaper scope over the more expensive one so that you can put the difference toward a better scope and get it sooner rather than later. Once you have that cheap scope, you can start learning to use it in order to make all kinds of measurements, recognizing that you are limited to circuits that are within it's capabilities (primarily bandwidth). Nearly all of the things you learn will translate, more or less directly, to working with a better scope and more complex circuits down the road. This also has the advantage that, if you screw up and damage/destroy the scope, you aren't out a lot of money for the valuable lessons learned regarding how not to damage/destroy scopes. Furthermore, learning how to make measurements with a not-so-capable scope will put you in a position to gain a lot more understanding and skill than working with a much-more-capable scope where the primary skill you learn might be how to hit "Auto Set".

At the other extreme, you might figure out what your eventual goal is as far as what you will need a scope to be capable of and put off purchasing a scope until you have saved enough to get it. You need to consider how long that will take and what you will do in the meantime. Also, what your goals are and what you will eventually need are almost certainly going to change over time.

Somewhat in the middle would be to find the most capable scope that you can afford right now (or in a reasonably short time frame) and if it is "good enough" for your immediate and near-term needs, then get it and get to using it. This will put you in a position to put off getting the next-level scope for a longer while, which will not only allow you more time to save up for it, but also give you more time and experience with the scope you do have in order to be in a much better position to evaluate what capabilities you do and don't need -- to distinguish between the must-have and the nice-to-have features.

Another point to keep in mind is that it's always nice to have more than one scope available on your bench. It's often handy to be able to look at more signals than your most capable scope can display and some of those signals are often within the capabilities of your lower-end scope.
 

panic mode

Joined Oct 10, 2011
2,448

tautech

Joined Oct 8, 2019
327
go for it... any oscilloscope is better than no oscilloscope.
Really, how can you offer such advice when some have such downright pitiful specs ?
Granted the one the OP linked is better than many WRT max sensitivity however it's an order of magnitude less than some entry level DSO's in the marketplace. 5mV/div is pretty ordinary and just pitiful when used with a 10x probe that we most commonly use.
When the newbie uses a scope for repair to check PSU levels this 5mV/div max sensitivity even with a 1x probe can at best only display 1 division on devices that specify 5mV ripple max on a power rail.
One must be very careful recommending equipment without any context of what it might be used for.
 

Thread Starter

Rufinus

Joined Apr 29, 2020
161

Thank you for your answer


And what about these models of HANTEK? I would put the links but in Spain I only have the link to the spanish versión, so I can put the features in english
DSO2C15
DSO2D10
DSO2D15

All of them are 4Mpts/ch
 

panic mode

Joined Oct 10, 2011
2,448
Really, how can you offer such advice when some have such downright pitiful specs ?
because the only requirement specs are that it needs to be low cost and used for learning. and one can learn even with products that cost 10x less.

Granted the one the OP linked is better than many ...
exactly

sensitivity however it's an order of magnitude less than some entry level DSO's in the marketplace. 5mV/div is pretty ordinary and just pitiful when used with a 10x probe that we most commonly use.
and so is the price. btw. don't see sensitivity in the specs. do you? and why do you pick sensitivity as criteria? i would not care about sensitivity if displayed image is garbage. accuracy is far more important. and being able to see waveform is more valuable than guessing what it may be. there are many other things that one could consider important, language, support, trigger, decoding, etc. yet you pick one thing and choose to ignore everything else. what makes you pick one over the others when you do not know what the requirements are? sounds like you have bias.

When the newbie uses a scope for repair to check PSU levels...
One must be very careful recommending equipment without any context of what it might be used for.
you assume way too much... very careful would only apply when listed requirements were also very detailed. and they are not. this is general purpose, learning tool, on a budget.
 

Juhahoo

Joined Jun 3, 2019
300
I'd go with the very basic 2 channel 50-100MHz oscilloscope for >200$
Owon SDS1022 and 4ch version SDS1104, for example.
Buy from reliable source.
You will be very happy with any kind of oscilloscope, even with a used one.
 

bidrohini

Joined Jul 29, 2022
183

rsjsouza

Joined Apr 21, 2014
374
At this price level (more than $100, less than $200), the Hanmatek and the Fnirsi are reasonable - especially if you do not have an oscilloscope, your budget can't be increased or the equipment is not available in your country/region.

If you can save more money (from 50% to 150% more), the low cost models of more reputable (and much better built) equipment from Instek, Rigol and Siglent, would make your money purchase a significantly better product.

If you go below $100 and has at your disposal a laptop, my preference is for the USB oscilloscope Owon VDS1022I (the isolated version, so you don't risk damaging your laptop). I personally don't find the super small portable DSOs (DSO138, 5012H, etc.) very attractive.

Good luck in your purchase!
 

Thread Starter

Rufinus

Joined Apr 29, 2020
161
Thank you. Hanmatek and other brands you ay are difficult to get in Spain. The only one that it has reasonable prices is
HANTEK and these models
DSO2C15
DSO2D10
DSO2D15
 
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