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Oscilloscope Features Answered

I would like to buy an Oscilloscope but don't knowing what features are essential to have and what are not.  There is so many different way to buy one, 60Hz  100Hz  200Hz   400Hz. I see digital and analog scopes. 2 trace   4 trace among many other options.

What would be the key things i would want to try and look for in a scope? 


What do you want to do with it?

Thanks Kiteman

Unless you're working at a very high standard, and making say nanosecond pulses, whilst looking at pico-second rise times, you don't need a lot.

Scopes are usually "sized" if you like by the maximum sweep frequency, which is usually in the 1...20Mhz for an amateur (beyond 1Ghz for the state of the art)

Other factors: 2 traces are very useful, one trace though is infinitely better than none....

Go for a digital scope, 2 channels 20 Mhz for a nice spec.

There are some neat front-ends which convert your laptop into a passable little scope. I always travel with my "Picoscope" in my toolkit, though there are cheaper ones on Ebay and the like.

Thanks Steve

That's the sort of input i was looking for.


5 years ago

I have some rotary encoders i have put into small gear motors and i want to check them for the signal output. Also electronics projects such as in my Instructables.

So, compare 'scope specifications to the expected outputs, and see if they match within your budget.