Siglent Or Hantek Oscilloscope
@arrowj , Indeed.. The choice of what instrument you may want to use largely depends upon what you are trying to analyze.. there are subtle differences in logic analyzers and oscilloscopes, and you need to be aware of what they are..
here's a snippet from the following link http://www.differencebetween.net/technology/difference-between-oscilloscope-and-logic-analyzer/
Function of Oscilloscope Vs. Logic Analyzer
An oscilloscope can be simply used as a scope for basic timing issues and can perform most of the functions of a logic analyzer.
However, a logic analyzer is better suited to operating in a digital environment for tracking down functional and timing problems.
The primary value of an oscilloscope is the scope, but a logic analyzer specializes in digital channels. In fact, it captures and displays a sequence of digital events by providing multiple channels of data as well as long data display times which becomes a problem in case of oscilloscopes."
As one can see, there more to it than meets the eye..
Although I have used oscilloscopes and logic analyzers for many years in my professional life.. I only have a less than $100 Oscilloscope, and a $30 signal generator for my hobby work.. less money spent on equipment meant more I could spend on parts for projects I might want to experiment on...
hope this helps you with your understanding of what you might , or might not need.
Happy project building, and your right the learning cure is quite steep...but doable.
I agree with what @inq says above in his piece starting "Well, I think you're selling yourself short. "
Logic analysers have some functionality overlap with 'scopes, but in general they are designed to do different jobs, and your tasks/ambitions may fit one or the other, and sometimes both. If you have perceive a need for either of them, that is the point to consider a purchase ... until that time, they are equally good at collecting dust in a disused corner, but a 'scope will probably be more expensive.
If you are looking to analyse the content of digital data streams, assuming/knowing/hoping that all of the waveforms are electrically robust ... that is when a binary '1' is sent, it is aways received as '1' and so on ... then a scope may be able to show you what is going on, but it is likely to make hard work of it, which will only get harder if the data consists of bytes or long packets of bits. This is the type of task a logic analyser is likely to feel at home, and as Inq points out, low-ish end ones are available are low cost.
However, if you are building your own electronics 'gizmo', particularly from individual parts rather than as pretested module, it may be a mixture of analogue and digital, and perhaps even the digital stuff maybe along electrically 'difficult' paths and is liable to corruption, and so on, then the flexibility of a 'scope begins to come apparent.
(Of course, the 'scope has to be high enough spec to deal with the frequencies, etc. involved - which can be financially very painful if you thinking watching something like the memory bus transactions for a processor with a clock speed of several GHz --- but much of the stuff we look at is much more amenable than these cases.)
And to broaden the discussion slightly, it is possible a logic analyser and a scope can work in a cooperative manner ... e.g. the logic analyser may be set to look for some (usually unwanted) event, and its output can be used to trigger the 'scope to capture the waveforms at and around that moment, giving you some chance of finding out why your gizmo crashes after about 5 minutes .... Of course, just capturing the event on the logic analyser might be enough to enable you to figure out the problem, but the 'scope gives that extra perspective for the tricky cases.
Please don't think I am trying to persuade anyone to part with any money ... I am only trying to convey some of the possibilities to consider. Millions of software engineers spend their entire lives fruitfully making stuff happen, without considering the use of a 'scope or logic analyser, and in all probability, most of the are no poorer for it.
So think before you reach for the payment card .... and make the right decision.
Best wishes and good luck, Dave
As always, some excellent advice and info. I would just add "pick the right tool for the job". If that means you need buy a new toy, I mean tool.... 😉