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Handheld Oscilloscopes - Are they worth it??

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Pugwash
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Banggood is offering a handheld oscilloscope for US$70, reduced from US105. Before you smash your piggy bank to pieces, you should consider a few things.

www.banggood.com/DANIU-ADS501

1. Do I work in the field? If yes, it may be a useful tool to have in your working bag. And in this case, if you don't own a bench digital oscilloscope, why not?

2. If a real oscilloscope is completely out of your reach, it is certainly better than nothing.

3. If you are saving up for a real bench oscilloscope with real functionality, don't kill the pig! At some point, you will get that good oscilloscope and the handheld will end up gathering dust somewhere. That would be a complete waste of money and you will regret it in the long term.

All of us have bought some piece of kit prematurely only to find it residing in our workshops, never to be used again.

After getting a tax rebate, I bought an OWON XDS2102 for US$300, and have never regretted it. But digital bench oscilloscopes start at about US$200 and have more functions than most of will use in a lifetime.

If only the manual wasn't in Chinglish. ? ? ? ? 


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triform
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@pugwash that scope does look nice!

I know what you mean about bench scopes. If you are in the hobby long term, I would recommend getting one, even a used one. I have a Hantek DSO102P that I got a year back. I have had several small scopes, that were from bad to good.

JDS2012A Handheld digital 20MHz - Very good. Took a bit to get used to the menu structure, but worked great and was a good bench and field scope. I used it many weekends on outdoor laser installation I helped with. The screen was easy to read and was a joy to use most of the time. Took one 18650, but had room for two. I moded it to use the two batteries in parallel. I had it for two years and sold it regretfully. Real usable digital signal speed - 5MHz. It worked fine with AC signals as well.

DSO201 - Total crap. Was a waste of resources to make it. Nothing else to say about it.  

JYTech DSO 096 - Not bad for the money. Got it new for @40$ USD. Added a LIPO cell phone battery and it had a charging circuit built-in. Real digital read was @400-500khz. 


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Recycled Roadkill
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Many years ago I came across a Heathkit Oscilloscope that I had absolutely no accessories for. The one thing I could do with it was hook it up to a wall outlet and view a 60hz sine wave. It was fun but big and bulky.

Space is still a problem. I'd have plenty if it wasn't for 3 pinball machines. For all that if I really have use for one, I'm pretty sure a cheapy will do it for me.

This message was approved by Recycled.Roadkill. May it find you in good health and humor.


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Pugwash
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Say hello to Emily!

Don't ask, it has something to do with "See Emily Play!" from Pink Floyd, a Floydian slip, you could call it! ? 

IMG 3986 copy

Sadly, we divorced when OWON arrived!


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ZeFerby
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I could not resist ! I just killed piggy !

https://www.amazon.fr/SainSmart-Mini-oscilloscope-digital-DS212/dp/B074QBQNB7?ref_=ast_bbp_dp

DSO212 2

Eric


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Robo Pi
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Posted by: @zeferby

I could not resist ! I just killed piggy !

Ooooooooooo!  ? 

You're going to  have lots of fun with that baby!

It even has a USB connector.  I'm guessing this will allow you to import data into your computer?

I was going to read the reviews but they all look French to me. ? 

 Not that I have anything against French.  I just can't read it.

 

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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Pugwash
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Posted by: @zeferby

I could not resist ! I just killed piggy !

https://www.amazon.fr/SainSmart-Mini-oscilloscope-digital-DS212/dp/B074QBQNB7?ref_=ast_bbp_dp

DSO212 2

Don't forget to give us a review!


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ZeFerby
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Well, last time I even saw an oscilloscope was 30+ years ago when I was a student, and it was an old analog one weighing more than 10kg, so I guess you'll find much more relevant info on this little guy in these YT reviews than i could ever give you :

I'm like a child 2 days before christmas ! Can't wait for it to be delivered !

Eric


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Robo Pi
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I found two of these in my attic:

Well, I got this picture from Google, but it's the same scope.  IO-104 Heathkit.   15MHz  single trace.

But I also have two of these:

This is an "Electronic Switch" that converts a single trace scope into a dual trace.

The reason this stuff was in the attic is because it's so big and clumsy.  The scope weighs a ton and requires a bench that's at the very least 20 inches deep.  And that puts the face of the scope right at the front edge of the bench.

So yeah, it's a fairly nice scope, but a real monster to have around.

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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triform
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@robo-pi

An oldie but a goodie!


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Pugwash
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@zeferby

so I guess you'll find much more relevant info on this little guy in these YT reviews than I could ever give you :

How about just an opinion after the adolescent euphoria has died down ? or Xmas has passed?

I am very suspicious of the star ratings and forged comments on eBay or AliExpress when scrolling down the page to the so-called customer reviews.


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ZeFerby
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@pugwash Yes I agree about the comments in general.

On the french Amazon site, the comments, written in french, all seem to be genuine (most are about the previous version, DS0-202, also available and slightly cheaper) and all are more or less agreeing on something like :

"(very) good for the size and price, but do not hope to get the same performance as your full blown professionnal Osc like Fluke or Tektronix models"

Eric


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Robo Pi
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Posted by: @zeferby

"(very) good for the size and price, but do not hope to get the same performance as your full blown professionnal Osc like Fluke or Tektronix models"

The main difference I see right off the bat is that this little scope only has 1Mhz bandwidth.  This will be quite good for most data signals on an Arduino or Raspberry Pi.   The more professional scopes have bandwidths anywhere from 10Mhz to 100Mhz or more.

The old-fashioned Heathkit scope I posted has a bandwidth of 15Mhz.   This basically means that it can display signals up to 15Mhz before they begin to distort.

The 1Mhz bandwidth means that you'll be able to display signals up to 1Mhz before they begin to distort.   So if you needed to look at something much higher than 1Mhz you may not be able to see it very well.

But like I say, for most data work with microcontrollers you'll be just fine with the 1Mhz limit.   I imagine there are other parameters that would be better on the professional scopes as well.   But the bandwidth is probably going to be the major difference.

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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ZeFerby
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Posted by: @robo-pi

The main difference I see right off the bat is that this little scope only has 1Mhz bandwidth.  This will be quite good for most data signals on an Arduino or Raspberry Pi.   The more professional scopes have bandwidths anywhere from 10Mhz to 100Mhz or more.

He he I managed to "quote"...

Yes I'm aware of the lower bandwidth compared to other products, but I'm not sure I understand correctly the specs I found on the manufacturer's website :

Max. 10 Msamples /second vs. 1MHz analog bandwidth

(from : http://www.miniware.com.cn/product/ds212-mini-oscilloscope-digital-oscilloscope/ )

Does that mean you usually only need 10 samples to have a sine/other waveform single period correctly sampled ?

Eric


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triform
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@zeferby

I do hope that it works great for you!

I had a DS201 and it was not a good scope at all, mine anyway. Yours is years off from when I had it, so I would expect it to be better.

Now, bandwidth...

Advertized BW is usually not what they say it is. You will probably get @75-80 percent (hopefully) of the listed analog BW. As for digital BW, the rule of thumb is Analog-BW / 6. This scope will probably track a square wave @ 125khz. Past that, it will get sinusoidal and then just plain old noise on even higher frequencies. 

It should give you some good use though!

Scott 


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