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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Storage probably means the image stays on the tube after the signal was gone already? No need for that if the signal keeps repeating, like a (steady) pwm.


Correct. Twice. But it might not be a tube. It might be a LCD or a TFT... I would get a storage scope anyway. There really good for spotting occasional glitches. The non-storage ones are great for glitches with regularity!!

Hi Rik, 

Funny I remember asking myself the same questions ... unfortunately I only had myself (at that time I  just spoke to myself, and didn't have many answers).

If your interested in FREE you might want to try out XOScope.. I started with this a long time ago.  It uses the sound card for an input device - although looking at the site recently I noticed they have support for comedi drivers (this really intrests me ... it offers extensions to a huge range of DAC and DIO cards)  also they have DIY instructions on how to make 100 Mhz digital analyzer on the cheap.

I found an old HP from a salvage company for $10,  I'm a good scrounger.  Its old and I think it got dredged up from the bottom of a river at one point.  The scan line occasionally disappears - i unplug the thing and plug it again later it.. and sometimes I get lucky and it appears..

All my experience has been hacking stuff together and trial and error with no professional input.  BOA and maybe JIP does this stuff at work.

I'm thinking of going back to XOScope ...  I think it has alot of bang for the buck $0 .