# Digital Oscilloscope

1. ### sophiecentaur

13,292
I am totally fed up with not having had the use of an oscilloscope for many years. It has been very frustrating on so many occasions. I need one.
So, my options are (and I only want to spend minimal cash, of course): An ancient eBay analogue scope for something around £100, a PC based one or a small, hand-held digital scope. Anything more desirable will cost too much.
Before I bid on a dodgy old analogue scope, can anyone give me an opinion about the Portable pocket sized 'Arm' style scopes?
Alternatively, is there a sampler which will interface with my iMac? I couldn't find anything that I could use without invoking Parallels (the PC emulator).
I would really appreciate some well informed answers. I'm sure several of you guys have been there too.

2. ### phinds

8,121
I think a major consideration would be the relationship among these:
(1) what kind of response time do you need for what you do?
(2) what kind of response time is available on the analog scope ?
(3) what kind of response time is available on the digital scope ?

I suppose there are other considerations such as how high a voltage they can deal with but my concern was always with response times.

3. ### the_emi_guy

593
A couple years ago a fooled around with this:

http://www.zeitnitz.de/Christian/scope_en

Very nice GUI, drives just like real scope, free, but, of course, limited to bandwidth of soundcard.

4. ### sophiecentaur

13,292
Does it work on OS X? (As in my question.)

@phinds
I was after around 20MHz response as that seems to be the break point between cheap and not cheap. It also takes care of lots of home electronics stuff. I have no chance of working on GHz processor circuits - rather it would be audio / inverters / simple logic etc.
I really wanted to know about the downside of the little hand held jobs. Have you used one?

593

6. ### phinds

8,121
No, can't help you there. I only used big expensive lab ones. Never had one at home.

7. ### tfr000

127
FWIW - in 30+ years in electronics, maybe 95% of oscilloscope work has been done single channel. but, when you need it, you need it.

8. ### vk6kro

4,058
The workhorse of analog oscilloscopes has been the 20 MHz dual trace type.

You may not need dual trace, but it is an indication of a better type of device.

With the arrival of digital oscilloscopes, perfectly good analog types are available cheaply.

I have a 20 MHz oscilloscope which can give a stable sinewave from a 60 MHz input.