Let's Make Robots!

scope, CRO, oscilloscope: what to look for?

oscilloscope: I'm in the market for one in my robotlab. What should I be looking for and what should I look out for? Any dos and don'ts?

"depends on what you need and how much you want to spend Rik"

Alrighty: No more than 300 Euro for a new one, I suppose. And I want to use it for analysis of PWM signals up to, say, 100 kHz and of electrical noises in circuitry. I'm guessing two channels or better. Does a trigger make the scope much more expensive?

Does a brand make any difference? Any makers I should avoid? How about second hand scopes? Any tell tale signs the box is near death? What about accessories?

The USB connectable little ones (PC scopes, software scopes) seem like a cheap deal, but I think I'd prefer to have a stand alone box on my bench.Any thoughts to persuede me otherwise?


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trawling through the adverts

Did not yet find The Find, but I'll lurk around a bit longer. Turns out that most sellers offer "vintage" or "look what I found in the shed" CRT scope. Often without probes or even power cable.

Local offers (i.e. in the Netherlands) seem very rare on ebay. So I am looking at German or British offers. Which means I cannot test the merchandise myself. Although on the dutch marktplaats.nl I do find some locals. Some of the sellers are polite enough to categorize their boxen as antiques.

It would also seem that for storage or memory, I need to go digital. Not much 2nd hand stuff there. Found an Aberdeen seller selling new stuff (brand OWON?), starting at  EUR 280.


Definitely choose carefully. THIS scope is identical to mine. That's about 150 Euro. I've seen them sell for half of that.

I am equally cautious of buying expensive eBay items from HK / China.

Must be a popular item. I ran across it this morning, from a different seller. Googled it, found loads of very useful howto's and illustrated instructions for class room lab situations. No history/memory, but I'm starting to feel that (for the prices asked) I am no longer so eager to have memory.
I can find manuals and service guides and instructions for certain types of measureent. Did you find anything more entratraining? Hacks, for example? How to convert it to colour, or give it a memory...?...!
not yet, just you wait until I own one....

You have to try this. It's a laugh if nothing else.


I'm tempted to hook it to THIS and see what happens...


Neat hack to use dxc files as input. Saves a lot of programming I imagine.
Whatever scope you buy, it's very important that it be able to do this.

Well, there's no point in saying it. One thing I will inject: I find myself debugging communications lines a lot. For this you simply MUST have a storage scope. My Hameg is a CRT. I was lucky enough to find it in a skip! No kidding. Perfectly good 20MHz dual channel scope. It's not a storage scope, but what do you want for free? (Apparently, I'm a godo scrounger, too!) I think you can get them second hand for under 100 Euro.

You could just about get a 2 channel 20MHz DS scope on eBay for 300 Euro. Spend all the money you can afford. It's money well spent. I don't think there are "bad" scopes.

If I had the money, I really like my scope in work. It's a 4-channel 100MHz Tektronix storage scope with ethernet. So I can upload screenshots and take remote control of it from my PC. That's remarkably handy for triggering remotely. BUT, they're 3,000 Euro!

Now, if you want value for money, my colleague SWEARS by THIS. You need a PC, but it's a 2 channel storage scope for under 200 Euro.I've not used them, but I'd put it on the Christmas list.

conrad sells those (under their own brand Voltcraft) for EUR 209 (40 MHz) and EUR 365 (60 MHz).

GBP 90 seems a lot more attractive. Hmmm. Hongkong. VAT, customs, shipping. No rush decisions tody.