# Help me chose my first oscilloscope

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#### NEoX

##### New Member
Hi! I'm new here on forum!

So, I'm a student of electrical engineering and I want to buy an oscilloscope to learn more about stuff and have in mind some projects to do. At the moment I'm working on project "supervision of pellet furnace" with ESP8266 and automatic refilling. For that project I build my own schematic and board, but it has some problems and I want to debug it.
So I need an oscilloscope, and also in next semester I have a course about oscilloscope and measure.

My budget is 450€ max!

1. I was looking at some models like Rigol ds1054z but i don't know if this scope is best buy for that money in 2018. (I will unlock to 100MHz if still can and all other things like I2C,RS232...)

2. My main interest is digital electronic/microcontrollers/serial comunications (I2C,UART,RS232....)

3. I want to buy a product that I can use for long, long time as a student and to do hobby stuff with it and maybe one day for work

Please suggest me some oscilloscopes that will last.

Thanks!

Sorry if this topic doesn't belong here.

#### rjenkinsgb

##### Well-Known Member
With that type of budget I'd go for a proper bench scope rather than any kind of USB/PC connected device.

The Siglent ones seem pretty good and you can get one from Siglent in Europe cheaper than they sell for on ebay.
eg. a dual channel 200MHz for 339 Euro.
https://www.siglenteu.com/digital-o...MI7ofkjeTp3AIVRbvtCh20NQWoEAAYASAAEgJ8LvD_BwE

You may be able to find cheaper than that from another European distributor.

Make sure you get some decent x10 scope probes rated for at least the scope input frequency, if it does not come with them.

Proper scope probes are absolutely vital for high frequency signals; in x10 mode they have a resistive divider in the probe itself that isolates the circuit from most capacitive loading.
Without that, waveforms will be affected and things can just stop working while a probe is connected.

Edit - just looked at the Rigol one you mention; it's not bad but personally, I'd go for higher frequency over number of channels - a lot of stuff runs at over 50MHz, even when just working with small MCUs etc.

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#### Nigel Goodwin

##### Super Moderator
Edit - just looked at the Rigol one you mention; it's not bad but personally, I'd go for higher frequency over number of channels - a lot of stuff runs at over 50MHz, even when just working with small MCUs etc.
I would disagree, it would be rare to require massive speed for micro-controllers, while speeds over 50MHz are common that's only the clock speed - anything you might want to scope approaches anything near that.

I've got a dual channel 50MHz Rigol, and it does everything I need or want, I've never even considered the risk of trying to upgrade it to 100MHz - as there's always a chance you could 'brick' it

#### rjenkinsgb

##### Well-Known Member
Horses for courses; I do a lot of embedded and industrial stuff and a 200MHz scope comes in handy at times. PICs are up to 200MHz internal clock and I've done PLA-based designs running at 160MHz.

The question related to a future-proof investment as well as current needs, which to me means probably faster with time - that is the major trend.

Also, part of my point was not paying extra for a four-channel over a two-channel.

Once you have a stable, locked display you can have one channel for reference and move the other around multiple points to compare things; you don't generally have to see all signals simultaneously to see what's happening.

#### Nigel Goodwin

##### Super Moderator
Once you have a stable, locked display you can have one channel for reference and move the other around multiple points to compare things; you don't generally have to see all signals simultaneously to see what's happening.
No, that's why I have a dual channel scope.

#### NEoX

##### New Member
for the ISP, 3 channel come handy.. And Rigol that I mention can be unlocked by software key to 100MHz

#### JimB

##### Super Moderator
And Rigol that I mention can be unlocked by software key to 100MHz
A piece of equipment which has been deliberately crippled by a (marketing department inspired?) software patch, does not inspire confidence as a tool to have around for the future.

Also, part of my point was not paying extra for a four-channel over a two-channel.

Once you have a stable, locked display you can have one channel for reference and move the other around multiple points to compare things; you don't generally have to see all signals simultaneously to see what's happening.
Only very rarely have I wished that I had more than two channels on the scope.

Another trick is to set up to use the external trigger on the scope and then the two available channels can be used to display other signals.

JimB

#### ronsimpson

##### Well-Known Member
I have too much junk........
I have one box that tracks 64 digital signals at one time. (1 or 0 only) It can not measure voltages.
I have many scopes that only measure analog. 2,3,4 channels
I have a scope that does 2 analog and 16 digital channels. (I think 8 is just fine)
The point is that each box does some jobs and not other jobs. The analog + digital box is a compromise.

My slowest scope is 100mhz. That is good for many things. (50mhz might work for you)
I also have a 200mhz and 500mhz.
Scope companies often use the same PCB on many projects. It is some what common to have a 500mhz scope that can remember 100,000 samples. OR 100mhz scope that can remember 500,000 samples. OR a 2/4 channel scope that has 500,000/250,000 samples. They use the same memory board. Memory = Money

Some scopes can do math! I want a scope that can do this: (FFT)

In my case that is more box(s).
in next semester I have a course about oscilloscope and measure.
Go to the measurement lab at school and play with the scopes. Ask questions. Really use them.
---edited---
I used to work for a scope company. Some times they have a educational discount. Ask your school.

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#### DerStrom8

##### Super Moderator
I have had the 2-channel Rigol (DS1052e) for several years now and it does most of what I need it to do. Granted I don't really deal with RF but it sounds like you probably aren't either.

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#### dknguyen

##### Well-Known Member
Also, coupled with my first post on this thread, that the need for a 160MHz microcontroller is extremely rare and, in the case of the OPs first project, humorous.

PS, I started with a 15MHz analog scope. I upgraded to a 100MHz Hitachi Analog scope (2Ch) because it was being sold for \$50 with two NOS probes at a swap meet. My old 15MHz scope is still good enough for most things I do.
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uggghhhhhhh 15MHz so low lol. That said, I would rather have a 15MHz, 4-channel, channel isolated scope over a regular 60MHz one. Bandwidth is real low on my list of scope priorities for MCU work.