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Help me chose my first oscilloscope

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by NEoX, Aug 12, 2018 at 3:36 PM.

  1. NEoX

    NEoX New Member

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    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.
     
  2. rjenkinsgb

    rjenkinsgb Active Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018 at 3:18 AM
  3. Nigel Goodwin

    Nigel Goodwin Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    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 :D
     
  4. dave miyares

    Dave New Member

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  5. rjenkinsgb

    rjenkinsgb Active Member

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    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.
     
  6. Nigel Goodwin

    Nigel Goodwin Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    No, that's why I have a dual channel scope.
     
  7. NEoX

    NEoX New Member

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    for the ISP, 3 channel come handy.. And Rigol that I mention can be unlocked by software key to 100MHz
     
  8. dave miyares

    Dave New Member

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  9. JimB

    JimB Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    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.

    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
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. ronsimpson

    ronsimpson Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    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)
    [​IMG]
    In my case that is more box(s).
    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.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018 at 5:32 AM
  11. DerStrom8

    DerStrom8 Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    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.

    I actually just acquired a DS1102e (the 100MHz 2-channel version of the Rigol) and am trying to sell it for $275 + shipping (241€ + shipping) but it's used and only has one probe:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/263876336655
     

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