But when it comes to choosing the best oscilloscope, how do you know which oscilloscope is right for your application? There are 10 primary factors to consider when you buy an oscilloscope. For a quick overview of the top factors, watch the short video below. Otherwise, keep reading for the full details on how to choose an oscilloscope for your application.
For example, a 100 MHz oscilloscope is usually guaranteed to have less than 30% attenuation at 100 MHz. To ensure better than 2% amplitude accuracy, inputs should be lower than 20 MHz. For digital signals, measuring rise and fall time is key. Bandwidth, along with sample rate, determines the smallest rise-time that an oscilloscope can measure.
The probe and oscilloscope form a measurement system that has an overall bandwidth. Using a low-bandwidth probe will lower the overall bandwidth, so be sure to use probes that are matched to the scope.
Rise time describes the useful frequency range of an oscilloscope, and this is a critical measurement in the digital world. Rise time is often considered when measuring digital signals like pulses and steps.
In order to accurately capture the details of rapid transitions, an oscilloscope must have sufficient rise time. Fast rise time is also needed for accurate time measurements. To calculate the oscilloscope rise time required for your signal type, use this equation:
High-voltage differential probes: Differential probes allow a ground-referenced oscilloscope to take safe, accurate floating and differential measurements. Every lab should have at least one.
Oscilloscopes with high waveform capture rates provide significantly more visual insight into signal behavior, and dramatically increase the probability that the oscilloscope will quickly capture transient anomalies such as jitter, runt pulses, glitches and transition errors.
Digital storage oscilloscopes (DSO) employ a serial processing architecture to capture from 10 to 5,000 wfms/s. Some DSOs provide a special mode that bursts multiple captures into long memory, temporarily delivering higher waveform capture rates followed by long processing dead times that reduce the probability of capturing rare, intermittent events.
Most digital phosphor oscilloscopes (DPO) employ a parallel processing architecture to deliver vastly greater waveform capture rates. Some DPOs can acquire millions of waveforms in just seconds, significantly increasing the probability of capturing intermittent and elusive events and allowing you to see the problems in your signal more quickly.
Need help choosing an oscilloscope? Download our oscilloscope selector guide or contact the experts at Tektronix to request a demo. If you already have a sense of which oscilloscope to buy, shop Tektronix oscilloscopes today.
An oscilloscope, formerly known as an oscillograph, graphically displays electrical signals and showshow they change over time. Learn more about how an oscilloscopeworks, what they're used for andthe types of oscilloscopes.
An oscilloscope measuresvoltage waves by capturing physical phenomena such as vibrations or temperature, orelectrical phenomena such as current or power with a sensor.The oscilloscope then converts that signal into a waveform and graphically displays it where thehorizontal axis represents time and the vertical axis represents voltage.
There are two main types ofoscilloscopes: analog and digital. Most engineers today use digital oscilloscopes, whichfall into five categories: digital storage oscilloscopes, digital phosphor oscilloscopes,mixed signal oscilloscopes, mixed domain oscilloscopes, and digital sampling oscilloscopes.
Like a mixed signal oscilloscope, a mixed domainoscilloscope measures analog and digital signals, but has built-in spectrum analyzer,allowing engineers to make radio frequency (RF) measurementsas well.
Scientists, engineers, physicists, medical researchers, automotive mechanics, repair technicians andeducators use oscilloscopes to see signals change over time. There is no shortage of applicationsfor this powerful instrument.
Because our oscilloscopes are highly configurable, pricing can vary for each oscilloscope. For anexact oscilloscope price and to learn about any ongoing promotions, fill out the quote request formand a representative will reach out to determine the oscilloscope price based on your configurationand needs.
Analog oscilloscopes show waveforms immediately as they are. Digital oscilloscopes sample the original waveform first before converting it into digital numbers and then displaying it (and storing it).
The second thing to look for when asking yourself how do I buy an oscilloscope is the sampling rate. The sampling rate is what a digital oscilloscope uses to reconstruct the signal. Most scopes have two different sampling rates (also called modes):
You can read this article for an extensive explanation of the relationship between memory depth and sampling rate which will help you further in answering your question; how do you buy an oscilloscope?
Due to the high cost of an oscilloscope, we highly recommend knowing what you want from your oscilloscope. Cheaper is not always better, you can take a look at the Top 5 Budget Hobbyist Oscilloscopes 2021 if you are under a tight budget.
Keysight offers a broad range of voltage, current, and optical probing solutions for InfiniiVision and Infiniium Series oscilloscopes. Check out this guide to see which probe is right for your testing needs.
Understanding common probing mistakes is crucial to making accurate measurements. Probes can introduce loading, noise, and jitter into your system. The electrical behavior of your probes greatly affects your measurement results and potentially even the operation of your device. Learn how to avoid common oscilloscope probing pitfalls in this eBook.
All modern oscilloscopes are digital storage oscilloscopes (DSOs), which use digital signal processing to capture and display the analog signal. If the scope has the ability to accept digital signals, it is a mixed-signal oscilloscope (MSO). If the scope has a spectrum analyzer feature built into it, it is a mixed-domain oscilloscope (MDO), though this terminology is less common.
Oscilloscopes play a key role across all industries for a variety of applications (troubleshooting, validation, characterization, manufacturing test) and technologies (high-speed digital electronics, optical communication, RF, power electronics). An oscilloscope is a critical test instrument to observe, analyze, or record, the behavior of an electrical signal.
An oscilloscope uses a probe to connect to a test point in a circuit and amplifies or attenuates the voltage at that point. . The signal path after that depends on the scope, but in general analog circuitry conditions the signal and an analog-to-digital converter digitizes it for further evaluation, processing, and analysis.
An oscilloscope captures and displays a signal in the time domain, while a spectrum analyze captures and displays a signal in the frequency domain. Sometimes an oscilloscope will have a spectrum analyzer feature built into it for convenience of analyzing the signal in the time and frequency domain.
Keysight offers a wide range of free technical resources for engineers to learn about essential oscilloscope functions and specifications. Get started with the How to Use an Oscilloscope Keysight University Course, and continue your learning with free Oscilloscope Technical Resources.
The difference between PC-based USB oscilloscopes (referred to as a USB oscilloscope) and stand-alone oscilloscopes is that a USB oscilloscope does not have buttons or a screen and is connected to a computer through a USB. The device is then controlled by the computer, and results are displayed on the computer screen. The following picture is an illustration of a USB oscilloscope in use:
Compared with stand-alone oscilloscope, PC-Based USB Oscilloscopes have the following advantages: 1. Small size, easy to carry. 2. PC screen is larger so the waveforms can be seen more clearly. 3. No screen component so the price is lower. 4. PC interface makes it easy to process and edit files. 5. Users can design their own programs to control the oscilloscope.
Many USB oscilloscope software use a conventional window design because it is the easiest to design. However, such a design does not comply with the actual use of oscilloscopes and causes difficulties and inconvenience for users.
*The hardware trigger is an important part of an oscilloscope. Some low-priced oscilloscopes do not include this feature because it increases the cost, however, absence of this feature leads to numerous problems. Please view the following video to understand the importance of hardware triggers:
We have new and used oscilloscopes for sale from Tektronix, Keysight Agilent HP, LeCroy, Instek, and several other top brands. Science, engineering, telecommunications, medical, and automotive industries use oscilloscopes to observe constantly varying signal voltages. This piece of test equipment records the change of an electrical signal over a period of time.
Oscilloscopes continuously graph the voltage of a piece of equipment against a calibrated scale, creating a waveform you can analyze for rise time, time interval, amplitude, frequency, and more. Maintain your electronic equipment with general-purpose or special-purpose oscilloscopes. We buy and sell analog, digital, mixed domain, mixed signal, and other oscilloscopes for a variety of needs.
Not all test labs need oscilloscopes sporting 1 GHz bandwidths and multi-million-point digital waveform recording. When the needs lean more toward the basic side, used scopes can sometimes fit the bill and do so economically. Here are a few points to consider before ponying up for a used scope.
Another bit of advice: It is easy to over-pay for old scopes. Psychologists say people often value goods they own higher than they would if they were to buy the same goods on the open market. That seems to also be true for oscilloscopes. To take just one example, consider a listing we found for a BK Precision 2120 20-MHz scope. The seller was asking $295 for this old two-channel analog scope. A little searching turned up the same model scope going for $120 from a different seller. Both instruments were advertised as being in working condition. Revealingly, a quick search on Amazon revealed 100 MHz two-channel digital scopes with a built-in signal generator and 1 GS/sec sampling going for $185. Which of these do you think is the better deal? 041b061a72