9 Replies Latest reply on Jan 22, 2019 9:04 AM by colporteur

    Mini scope recommendations


      Can you provide a recommendation and/or share your experience with mini oscilloscopes?


      I am looking to purchase a scope for bench testing. My budget is $500 Canadian. I just reviewed an ad for Mini DS213. The price to features ratio seemed reasonable. I did some reading a while back on the Bitscope Micro for the Pi. I dabble in the Pi's so that had some appeal.


      I hoping to top the experience and insight from the group could better improve my purchase focus. Any suggestions?



        • Re: Mini scope recommendations

          Hi Sean,


          I find the basic picoscope to be very useful for testing small projects.

          Granted it has limited bandwidth and voltage range, but for my hobby work it works just fine.



          8 of 8 people found this helpful
            • Re: Mini scope recommendations

              I would agree with DAB , picoscope offers very good value, though many different price points.  As an example the 2000 series runs from $139 (US) and up.  At $449 (US) you could chose between a 2 channel with MSO (2205A MSO with 16 digital channels) or a 4 channel (2405A), both with 25 Mhz bandwidth.



              6 of 6 people found this helpful
            • Re: Mini scope recommendations

              I have an older version (DS203) of the scope you found. I like it a lot for portable use and I also use it when making videos of circuits in action because it is small enough to fit in a video which is zoomed in on a small circuit. Here is an example where I am using it as a signal generator as well as an oscilloscope to demonstrate a meter:

              Keysight Technologies U1282A Digital Multimeter - Waveform Measurements

              It is a bit washed out only because I have some very bright video lights shining on the area.

              I have some USB scopes as well, but I never use them because they are cumbersome to connect and boot up and I have bench scopes which I find much more convenient.

              You need to examine the specs to see which scope will be adequate for your needs. One feature I look for in a low cost scope is lots of memory. They may not have fancy triggering schemes so you may need to capture everything and look through it to find the area of interest.

              5 of 5 people found this helpful
              • Re: Mini scope recommendations

                When I look to invest in new test apparatus, I am quite guilty of building up a spreadsheet that lists my requirements and then I add in the different items I have found and see how they match up to my requirements for me to make a more informed decision. What test equipment you buy is really based upon what you needs are and to some extent what they may be in the future.


                I do like USB based scopes, a great advantage of them is that you have the benefits of a large screen and can very easily save data to other programs for analysis / reports, if that is something you may need to do.


                Another one you may consider if you want good portability would be a table scope such as the Micsig Mini Tablet Scope, although this may be at the top of your budget.


                Kind regards

                4 of 4 people found this helpful
                • Re: Mini scope recommendations

                  Can you give us an idea of the kind of things you would use the scope for.


                  In your price range you could get a Rigol DS1054Z, which is a complete 50MHz 2 channel scope and very popular

                  You could just about get a Pico 2045A which will give you 4 channels at 25Mhz bandwidth.

                  The MicSig TO1000 series look OK but the manufacturer is new (to UK at least) so make sure to get some reviews you trust before considering.


                  I would advise you to stick with something popular from a well known scope manufacturer - more likely to work properly, some resale value if needed.


                  I can't narrow down at all without knowing what you will do with it.



                  3 of 3 people found this helpful
                  • Re: Mini scope recommendations

                    The deal is done. I threw down some money for a mini DS213 Digital Storage Oscilloscope from banggood.com . After reviewing the recommendations I found no motivation to look at something other than the DS213.


                    I owned an oscilloscope once before. I ended up trading it for a 500Meg hard drive. (Yeah, 500Meg I am just that old.)  It begs the question, If I owned a scope before and got rid of it, why am I buying another scope now? I can best describe it using the lyrics from the Sam Cook song Another Saturday Night, "I got some money cause I just got paid."


                    Since retiring, I consider working on the side that provides a financial return, getting paid. I can recall the feeling of buying my first stereo, while still sleeping on the floor of my apartment. You think a bed would have been a higher priority. It is a great feeling being able to spend your pay cheque on something you want and not something you need.


                    Speaking of need, one of the commentaries spoke to purpose. I dabble in Raspberry Pi's. I have the suspicion Pi's breed like Tupperware in the kitchen cupboard. There is approximately 20 Pi's around the house now. All makes and models. Speaking of models, I use the Pi's in electronic projects to support animation on model railroad layouts. Drive-in movie theatres with full motion video, billboard signs for the sides of building and thunder and lighting simulation are a few of my contributions.


                    Banggood sent me notice of a sale on the DS213. Under the $200 Canadian price point all in. Even got a set of probes and a case as accessories. Not having a clear understanding of the purpose for buying another oscilloscope made the price point appealing.


                    I seem to recall when I was working being overwhelmed when the newest Techtronic digital oscilloscope came into the shop. All the knobs, switches and buttons on the new unit took away the familiar. The DS213 doesn't sport those options. Should be interesting to see if this old dog can learn some new tricks.


                    My thanks to all those that responded.



                    3 of 3 people found this helpful