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Questions relating to designing PCBs
By mikessut
I need an oscilloscope for various different projects. I figure the following are my minimum requirements:

2 analog inputs
Relatively fast sampling (>~ 10 MHz?)
Digital capture
> 8 bits
It would be nice if it were smaller and lighter than some of the old scope out there

I really like the Textronix digital scopes but really don't want to spend a few thousand bucks.

I found a few good options for the USB style scopes -- ones that make your PC into a scope. The bitscope looks nice at $475
And I see some references to a DSO-2090 that looks ok. (around $150 I think?)

Do people have any suggestions?

Am I better off finding a $100-200 old scope on eBay or trying one of the USB jobs?

I've never used the USB style -- what do people think of them?

By lukemalpass
PicoScope 2205 I have and its fab. 2 inputs and a sig generator. 25Mhz and its USB. £340 all inclusive.

Take a look here for a lot of my scopes viewtopic.php?t=18817&start=0
By mac
USB scope are quite ok, but are always expensive compared to cheap chinese scope (rigol, owon).

I have a DSO5200, quite nice but suffers from inferior software and customer service, and also a nasty timebase bug (one timebase is false: 320ns/div instead of 400ns).

The rigol scope (DS1052) is pretty small (its screen also).
By TheDirty
Unfortunately all the Chinese E-Bay resellers of Rigol have been cut off. I guess Rigol has tried to cut off the grey market to appease their local resellers. You used to be able to get the DS1052 at $375 shipped from China.
By theatrus
The cheaper PicoScopes have a very nice computer interface and great resolution, their only downside is their limited sampling speed. Great for low speed analog circuits, but suffers for many modern digital designs.

The Rigol series of bench scopes are the next best thing on the price scale. Agilent rebrands them as their own low end scope (and doubles the price in the process).

Once you get into the $1k+ area, the Tek scopes are a great deal - more polished than the Rigol.
By Raptor85
Go to a ham radio swap meet, you can get a Tek for < $100, or wait for a local business to buy new equipment and ask if you can take the eWaste pallet :) (which is probably where most of them at the ham radio swap meets come from anyways)
By lukemalpass
I started with a 2MHz analogue bandwidth handheld scope and that didn't become limiting until SPI and a few other things. Now I have the 25Mhz pico I don't find any limits yet, but I always see people mentioning their "low" bandwidth and I always wonder, what exactly do you guys use the scopes for that require much faster bandwidth? I guess I'm not that far ahead yet as I'm relatively new to electronics and would be interesting to see the common use of say 100Mhz bandwidth on a scope and for what purpose.
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By EmbeddedMan

I need to measure a 40MHz square wave coming off of a bit-banged I/O pin on a UBW32 (80Mhz PIC32 CPU). I need to see if there is ringing on the square wave. I need at least a 100Mhz if not faster scope. Stuff like that.

Or how about the SPI ports on micros nowdays - they talk at up to 40MHz to SD cards and such.

And that's just the digital stuff. :-)

By lukemalpass
Ah ye I suppose. I have yet to find any need for a fast PIC chip, 4 and 8Mhz 8-bit have done me so far for anything from motors, wireless cameras, sensors, USB etc... I keep wanting to play with some 32-bit 80Mhz chips but can't think of anything useful to do with their speed.
By mikessut
Thanks for the input everyone. Those Owon and Rigol scopes look pretty promising for the price.

I was originally pretty tempted by the DSO-2090 just because it seemed so inexpensive, but to get an actual scope for now much more might make more sense.
By TheDirty
You can still get the Rigol from dealextreme. There are a few other places, but with shipping I think this is the best deal now for DS1052 50Mhz.
By rpcelectronics
I have the 25 MHz Owon:

I have to admit, the non-TFT LCD is not a big deal for me. Just adjust the contrast and its fine (any one who had a laptop in the early-mid 90's knows what that is like). The scope works just fine for me on my bench. I routinely grab images from it via USB and these are in color as well, which is nice.

I was dead set on a Rigol for a long time and was saving my pennies for it, until I saw this Owon and read a few good reviews. I decided at that price, it was worth the try and it was.
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By EmbeddedMan
Yah, I got the Rigol DS1052 when they were selling them for $375. It's awesome -way more scope than I expected for that price. Yes, I wish it were faster. But the whole usb interface to the PC thing is really, really nice. Lots of great measurements, easy to use controls. Even at the $500 price I would recommend it as a first scope.

By mac
For pure digital work, I prefer to use my zeroplus logic analyser. Great for decoding purpose and 100MHz internal clock with 32k trace for the lower end. That's also the reason why I use an usb scope, I already have a dedicated laptop* for the logic analyser.

* this solve also the sharing ground problem btw.