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Recommended USB oscilloscopes?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by [email protected], Sep 10, 2007.

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  1. Guest

    Yes I've done the google thing, but I was wondering what USB scopes
    you use / recommend / absolutely hate.


  2. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    When I looked around a couple months ago I found that the really good
    ones cost more than a real DSO. So I bought a GW-Instek DSO via Newark,
    for less. Has full USB connectivity but can be used standalone (where
    you can still store tons of pics onto a USB stick). Plus there are times
    when a laptop just spews to much EMI around for a nice analog measurement.
  3. Guest

    Thanks for the input.

  4. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    And also stay away from standalone DSOs that use a Windows type OS. I
    had the "pleasure" to use one at a client and it drove me nuts. Those
    can be sloooow. I might carry my Instek down there next time. That's why
    I didn't buy my dream scope, the Hameg 2008, because nothing much
    besides it would fit into a pilot's case and you don't want to check in
    a scope.
  5. Jamie

    Jamie Guest

    DO your self a favor, Buy a real one and use the USB connector
    to monitor and log data to a PC>

    You can get good USB PC scopes how ever, the price you'll pay
    won't be worth the inconvenience of having a digital stand alone
    that you won't need the PC for.
  6. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Rigol or Instek? I just bought Instek's top of the line, a GDS-2204.
    Very nice. The screen resolution ain't that great either but its TFT is
    so bright you can read it clear across the lab. The only bone I still
    have to pick with them is that they took the delayed trigger out despite
    advertising that it has it. The weirdest thing: The cheaper 2-ch model
    has it! And via some hyperterminal poking I found the firmware fragments
    of it still floating around in there. So I wonder whether it's just
    throttled down for whatever reason.
  7. That's one thing I really like about the Rigol I bought, it's only about 6"
    deep and weighs just a few pounds. Not sure how the airlines would feel
    about me bringing it on board though. I've wondered what would happen if I
    took my PIC stuff (breadboard, a few ICs, LEDs and discrete parts,
    programmer, LCD display, etc) along some time. I wonder if they'd mind me
    tinkering around with it during flight. ;-)
  8. Jamie

    Jamie Guest

    I bought a chinese knock off that looks a lot like a Tek, It's only 25
    Mhz but that is sufficient for portable toss around stuff. It has a 320
    x256 color screen and a DMM in it, all isolated inputs with high quality
    scope probes, metal carry case etc. $499. the interface for the PC has
    both USB or Serial and the software works excellent for the price of it.
  9. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Delay really doesn't work, I tried. All you can do is use the memory as
    delay. Ok, 25K is already ten times more than the paltry 2.5K on the
    TDS2xxx series but still, when sampling at full blast of 1GS/sec that
    ends at 25usec, not enough for many pulse-echo measurements. Using two
    channels you only net 12.5usec and for three or all four channels it's
    half that again.
    Mine's got several USB ports and RS232 which is nice when connecting to
    legacy lab PCs. Really practical is the USB up front, avoids having to
    climb onto the lab desk to plug in a memory stick.

    I guess some day we'll see the first ones with a WLAN antenna. That
    would be cool.
  10. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Or when the pilot comes on and says "We've got a wee problem up here.
    Does any of the passengers happen to have a soldering iron?"
  11. Jamie

    Jamie Guest

    Hmm, no it's not a Rogol or Instek, and are you sure you didn't miss
    On mine, if memory serves, You use lets say channel B as the trigger
    source. You move the cursor to the place you want. and on A channel you
    can then expand it. That is one example. there are others .

    Hmm, after looking at it there, I guess it's a 20mhz, and for some
    reason this one only has a USB, the one have has both. Oh well.
    Maybe it's been down graded it a bit.
  12. Genome

    Genome Guest

  13. Guest

    So funny... my kids were staring at me as if I'd just gone insane, I
    was laughing so hard.

    So, after the techs install Knoppix and the plane's nose pitches
    downwards, they discover that the engine control code is written
    in .NET. "Say, how quickly can you re-write the code in g++?" the PFY
    asks, as yells and screams from the passenger compartment filter
    through the cabin door. The pilot interjects, "Uh, guys, you have two
    minutes before we slam into the ground."

    So what is this PFY? Is it anything like a PHB?

    Thanks for the laughs

  14. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    :) Reminds me of the time I packed a carryon full of electronic parts
    and wires on a flight from BC to Arkansas. (Pre 9/11)
    I saw the X-ray and got nervous.
    Yup...I had to open my case after the xray.. :p
    Luckily I didn't have bottles of liquid or bricks of putty. That would
    have make inspectors really suspicious.

    I think you'd freak out everybody on a plane if you took out a design
    kit. :)
    The worst thing you could probably do is test out a PIC based count
    down timer with a really big LED display... and it beeps too.. :p

    D from BC
  15. All DSO's are not created equal, what are the specs you need? i.e.
    sample rate, bandwidth, sample memory, resolution, mixed signal
    capability etc
    What is good for one person can be useless for someone else.

    This is one of the better ones in terms of performance and specs:

  16. Guest

    Good idea... specs. Actually, I was asking because I was thinking of
    getting a scope for my dad for his birthday. He doesn't have one
    yet. He typically fixes up miscellaneous electronics for fun: TVs,
    radios, VCRs, amplifiers, stuff like that.

    I'd imagine he'd need something that would let him see the output from
    an amplifier, to look for noise... ?


  17. In that case, forget a PC based USB scope, totally ill-suited to the
    What he needs is a traditional analog oscilloscope, dual channel 20MHz
    is the usual entry point.
    Depends entirely on your budget though. $100 will get you a new tiny
    10MHz single channel job:

    About triple the $$$ will get you a bigger and more versatile new
    20MHz dual channel job.

    If you want higher bandwidth than that then a 2nd hand unit (eBay or a
    surplus dealer) is much better value for money. You can get a top
    brand 100MHz unit for the price of a new 20MHz cheapie. But 2nd hand
    for a present is a bit iffy I suppose...

    I'm surprised he doesn't have one already.

  18. I had to hand carry a few dozen very expensive and fragile oscillator
    modules from Sydney to Singapore last year. The Sydney people didn't
    give a toss, but the Singaporean authorities really wanted to know
    what these little metal cans were, and they wanted me to crack the
    cases open to show them what
    was inside. I said I could open one if they wanted to pay $1000 for
    it. Helps to have the documentation for them, but still took a lot of
    talking to various people with progressively bigger and bigger guns to
    let me carry them on the plane. Fun stuff.

  19. .... as long as there is a switch to turn it off, in particular for RF
    measurements ;+)

  20. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Yes, certainly. That's what I love on my latest laptop. It has a metal
    enclosure and a large and brightly lit WLAN switch. Not some sub-menu
    but a real switch.
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