# Hand Held DSO, useful?

#### Travm

Joined Aug 16, 2016
324
I'm looking at picking up an Oscilloscope, hobby purposes only.
I haven't yet identified an actual need. But when i get there I dont want to not have the tool (also I'm pretty good at finding reasons to use new tools).
Are the cheap sub$100 DSO's totally useless? All I see myself using it for is measuring things on smaller micro-controller or sensor boards I might design and build. Or should i get one of the budget scopes from Rigol or Hantek or something like that? They seem about twice as expensive. Also since i'm not sure what I need it for exactly. I may get into trying to measure RF radiation on power supplies and class D amps, etc. But I havent researched that enough to know exactly what I would need either, and that is probably 1-2 years in the future. Any thoughts? Am I throwing my money away today if i buy a cheap DSO? #### andrewmm Joined Feb 25, 2011 1,127 a few things define what a scope is capable off Bandwidth ( you cant really see a signal of more than the bandwidth, remember a square wave like a clock needs 3 and 5th harmonic, so even a 10 MHz clock, you need a 50 plus MHz scope to see it, and remember the probes need as good if not better bandwidth Sampling speed if digital, as a first assumption needs to be 5 times, preferable 10 or more times the bandwidth. Screen size / memory depth , A small 2 inch screen with 120 pixels is not going to allow you to see much The main cost of a digital scope is the ADC, just look at sites like Ti, costs of fast ADCs with more than a few bits. If you have a laptop, people like picotech.com amongst others do scopes that save the processing and display cost and use the PC, so you get more bang per buck. Thread Starter #### Travm Joined Aug 16, 2016 324 Wow, those are several thousand each. Sweet idea, but orders of magnitude outside my budget. Edit, ok I found the cheaper ones, but they are only 10 or 25mhz. Is not all bandwidth created equal? #### andrewmm Joined Feb 25, 2011 1,127 give us a link to what your thinking of ? #### Delta prime Joined Nov 15, 2019 809 For digital scopes, sampling rate and memory depth are equally important. The Nyquist criterion states that the sampling rate must be at least twice the maximum frequency that you want to measure. For a spectrum analyzer, this may be true, but for a scope you require at least five samples to accurately reconstruct a waveform #### KeepItSimpleStupid Joined Mar 4, 2014 4,550 You can't go wrong with the DSO150 Shell. It's a single channel, low bandwidth scope that's like$20.00 assembled.
There's no place for a battery. I have a 9V battery strapped to the back.

#### tautech

Joined Oct 8, 2019
195
To the subject of this thread.....only to a point....and very limited at that.
Disclosure, I sell scopes.
As your knowledge and needs grow an insufficient initial investment will limit your growth and I recommend you dig further into your pocket for a scope with a better feature set. But where of course do you stop....inbuilt AWG, MSO capability, active probe support and so on are not something many of us ever need but good BW and memory depth permit a DSO to do what it does best, capture and deeper analysis.
If you'd be happy with just 2 channels the SDS1202X-E is hard to beat.

#### SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,179
Many of my clients seek advice on models that will best fit their needs as such is the experience here of some other members too. It's your $50 to write off as you please but personally I'd rather blow it on a nice night out than suffer the experience of a cheap tool unfit for future self development. Don't get me wrong, the brand I sell also has HH scopes but their capabilities are somewhat limited so I chose not to stock them and point buyers to a scope I know will not let them down. YMMV. #### MrChips Joined Oct 2, 2009 23,054 Here is something to think about. Say you're a hobbyist and you have$350 to spend.
Which would you rather have, a good DSO or a 3D printer? They are about the same price right now.

In my areas of interest, if I did not already have both (and I do have both), it would be a very difficult decision to have to make.

#### tautech

Joined Oct 8, 2019
195