oscilloscope recomendations

kind of in the market for an affordable oscilloscope. preferably not above $250usd
I could maybe do $300

just looking for opinions and possibly links to particular models. etc.

I think I’d look at second hand ones

For what uses?

@MarkT, nothing to major. if you refer to my topic about two wire frequency, its for that.

this is one I was looking at, would it be suitable?

That's a pretty handy device. The other low cost options would mainly be USB 'scopes, you can
get pretty decent performance (although you have to always have computer/laptop available).

More serious uses tend to benefit from higher bandwidth, dual (or more) inputs, and 10x 'scope

Do you really want a scope or a logic analyser?

Suggest you stay away from the all in one wonder.

If you are going to stay with the hobby get a DST.
This one looks reasonable but cannot say for sure.

I am making the assumption it comes with X10 probes.


If not, here are probes:


@MarkT, nothing to major. if you refer to my topic about two wire frequency, its for that.
this is one I was looking at, would it be suitable?

No experience of that one.

I did pick up a second hand Fluke 99 recently, which is similar, and whilst a portable scope is handy sometimes its not the same as a bench scope.

My trusted scope is a Rigol DS1052E, money very well spent, so much functionality at a relativly low price.

I have 3 inexpensive oscilloscopes, relatively. I have a used tecktronixs analog scope, a Rigol DS1054, and a portable DS203 chinese thing.

All are good for their intended purposes. The DS203 might not be a leading edge scope, but it is very portable, as easy to charge as a cellphone, and will show you the general signal on multiple channels.

I’ve used top end Tek, Lecroy , HP etc scopes at work - serious money, but recently bought a RIGOL DS1054Z for about £400 to replace my ancient Philips PM3217 for home use.

Minor niggles, but great for the price.

I think the PM3217 was about £700 back in the early 80’s.


USB-based scopes can work but most of them are severely limited compared to a bench unit. The cheapest BitScope can't even take 12V on its inputs, so it's useless for questions like "what's the ripple on the power supply?"

With logic analyzers, USB may be better. You certainly get more options to decode I2C and other serial protocols. Those options used to be extra-cost addons to bench scopes so most of the used ones don't have the options.

USB-based scopes also tie up your PC screen, which you were probably using to program the Arduino or at least read the Serial Monitor.

But even the cheapest bench scope will have reasonable voltage ranges and all the other features you actually need. It seems like the last few years have seen the price drop on brand-new units from thousands of dollars into hundreds, so even if you were considering to buy used, a new one may be an option.

I would heartly recommend the picoscope line of scopes (assuming you have a computer to use with it).

The cheapest one is ~ $150 (Picoscope link)

I've used several of their higher end scopes and they were Great! All their systems use the same software which had received industry acclaim.

I may sound like a fanboy but I've used many scopes during my career and for what you want this is the best in my opinion. Keep in mind these are not super fast scopes but they are rock solid, and the company stands behind their product. They are out of the UK.

So you might ask....what does fast mean?

Take a square wave for example. As a rule of thumb, the bandwidth of the scope needed to show the edges properly is ~ 0.35/Bandwidth. So if the bandwidth of the scope is 10 MegaHz the max risetime you will be able to resolve is. ~ 35 nano seconds. Not too bad.

BTW: I do not work for or have anything to do with Picoscope or any other scope mfg.

Good luck