This article discusses how an oscilloscope works and gives recommendations for some models based on price points as well as features such as frequency range and bandwidth. Don’t forget to check out our other articles too!
Quick Buying Guides
Key features should also be considered and researched.
- EMI/EMC free reading parameters
- External triggering
- Minimum noise levels
- Remote control option
- Strong structure
- USB storing option
- User-friendly graphical interface
Let’s look at 12 Best Oscilloscope for Hobbyist
#1 Rigol DS1054Z Digital Oscilloscopes
- This device quickly and easily pinpoints certain sections of a recorded waveform.
- Containing a USB thumb drive capability its memory software feature can be upgraded to a waveform capture rate of 30,000 wfms per second which means that it offers higher accuracy for your signal and measure data.
- It is available in 50Mhz analog bandwidth with four analog channels with 12Mpt memory.
- Provides high resolution and signal detail up to 24Mpts that captures and holds any unforeseen problems from multiple digital wave stream
The Rigol DS1054Z digital Oscilloscope carries a bandwidth between 100MHz and 500MHz. If you need a powerful trigger function, the DS1054Z series is your best hobby oscilloscope. Rigol O-scope devices are best used by hobbyists in small and medium-size labs.
- Low noise floor
- Multi-Level grading waveform display
- Compact size, lightweight, easy-to-use
- Trial period for certain parts is not accurate
- User interface may be slow
#2 Siglent Technologies SDS1202X-E 200mhz Digital Oscilloscope
- Offers a great video “IRecord,” 14Mpts length and has a traditional serial bus triggering and decoding platforms that can support SPI, RS232, LIN, CAN, and more
- Has a digital trigger system that provides low jitters but high sensitivity with a wider vertical range (500 uV/Div) for clarity
- Triggered waveforms are stored in each frame that includes an accurate timestamp accordingly.
- Its scope offers 256-intensity grading display function
- Features multiple highlighted grade trace colors like red for more frequent events and blue signifies those points that take place less frequently.
The SDS1202X-E by Siglent Technologies contains one bandwidth with a 200 MHz with real-time sampling rate. It has a user-friendly colorful design screen and an innovative fluorescent technology for high performance and positive signal fidelity. The SDS1202X-E 200 MHz is a solid performing device for beginners with a real-time sampling rate up to 1 gsa/use.
- Low noise level
- Co-processor hardware for accurate and fast measurements
- 10 types of one-button shortcuts
- Shipping problems
- Some models may have a jumpy signal channel
#3 Hantek DSO5072P Digital Oscilloscope
- 200/100/70MHz bandwidths for better automatic measurement functions
- 1GSa/s precise sample rate time
- Memory length up to 40K for precise analysis and storage of your signal data
- Trigger types: edge/pulse width/video/slop/overtime and more
- Four math functions, including a traditional FFTs algorithm that provides a to and fro exchange of signals
- Safe 200 MHz grounded and insulated probes that prevent any unexpected hazards
The DS05072P is a 2 channel digital oscilloscope from Hantek. This hobbyist model easily tests and measures voltage or current signals in an electronic circuit or component to clearly display amplitude, frequency and rise times, etc. Applications include troubleshooting, production test, and design.
This digital oscilloscope has a very fast sample rate and extra memory for monitoring your waveform data. The Hantek DS05072P has a seven-inch TFT LCD screen that is easy to read. Its instinctual interfaces and easy-to-follow menus make this the perfect measurement tool to be used by all industries.
- Large (7.0-inch) color display
- USB host and device connectivity, standard
- Provides software for PC real-time analysis
- Shipping problems
- Memory may be slow
#4 Rigol DS1102E 100MHz Digital Oscilloscope
- Features an adjustable capture waveform rate
- Automatic 256 grading display for signals on its cathode ray tube
- Varied trigger types: Edge, Pulse Width, Video, Slope, Alternate, Pattern/Duration
- Dual analog channels and 16 channels logic analyzer
- 100MHz maximum bandwidth for better accurate wave measurements
- Higher real-time sample rates: 1GSz/s and 25GSa/s
The DS1102E oscilloscope series by Rigol are known for their high-performance. It is designed with dual channels and an external trigger channel. Users will enjoy its cursor mode feature that allows you to use 3 types of measurement levels that involve its ability to track in manual, and auto mode.
Its menu options are user-friendly and convenient with multiple language interface features. The DS1102E 100MHz digital series has a unique waveform record and replay function. Its math operations have multiple waves and the innovative “ultra-scope” software application.
The DS1102E can be used for industrial production environments due to its 20 different wave parameters for automatic measuring. Additional list features that make this series a must-have electrical measurement device that include the following:
- Remote command control
- Math operations available to multiple waves
- Multiple Language User Interface, support Chinese & English input
- Minimal noisy motor
- Small screen
#5 LIUMY Professional LED Handheld Oscilloscope
- 200ksps A/D automatic waveform capture function
- DC/AC Voltage for a more precise testing of currents. Can be used in residential dwellings, educational institutions, and power plants with maximum performance
- High-definition display with high contrast LCD backlight
- Analog broadband range
- Storage capacity readout for up to 5 waveform record grouping
The LIUMY hand-held oscilloscope is great for the budget in the field for its sturdy and mobile accuracy. It features a new high-tech chip that gives users a waveform signal of 10KHZ. This hand-held oscilloscope is a great value for the money and operative measurement data.
The LIUMY Professional LED Handheld Oscilloscope has a powerful detection range, a great memory calibration, and measures with great accuracy. It features a 5 waveform readout and 100 sets of high contrast measurement data. You are in safe hands with the LIUMY hand-held O-scope because it is explosion proof.
- Stores 100 sets of data
- A button silent mode
- Scope capture function lasts a long time
- Low resolution
- Instructional manual difficult to follow
#6 Owon PDS5022T Portable Digital Storage Oscilloscope
- 2 grounded probe channel portability features for safety
- Memory length of 5kpts per channel
- Support USB for data transmission to PC
- 20 automatic measurements to display the best frequencies, parameters, and signal
- Hobbyists will like its Edge and video triggers gives you a picture of stabilizing repetitive and single-shot waveforms
- Up to four waveforms that capture and regularly shows waveform data while in a scan mode
- CD-ROM PC software
- Can accurately add and subtract wave math functions
The Owon PDS5022T is a Portable Digital Oscilloscope/Multimeter can easily measure currents, voltage waves, and complicated resistance data. The multimeter option for applications involving electronics, circuit testing, electrical engineering, education, and manufacturing. The PDS5022T features a 20 to 40 MHz bandwidth, an 8-inch color TFT LCD screen, a vast digital storage feature, and a 100Ms/S real sample rate.
- USB connectivity
- Remove control
- Compatible software with Microsoft Windows
- Instructional manual is hard to follow
#7 YEAPOOK Handheld Digital Tablet Oscilloscope
YEAPOOK Handheld Digital Tablet Oscilloscope is designed with 2 channels, 100MHz analog bandwidth, and 240kbit sample memory depth. With resolution in mind, the handheld oscilloscope comes with a 7-inch super size LCD for excellent vision. The oscilloscope for hobbyist is ideal for electronic engineering education, academic experiments, electronic device design, debugging, and maintenance.
Thanks to the intelligent anti-burn design, which can tolerate a continuous voltage of up to 400V. The YEAPOOK tablet oscilloscope features a built-in 1 GB storage space that can hold up to 1000 screenshots and 1000 sets of waveform data and supports USB export. It is equipped with 3 trigger modes; auto, normal and single to capture an instantaneous waveform.
Moreover, the Lissajous figure display determines the amplitude, frequency, and phase contract of 2 groups of signals while the FFT analysis function analyses the harmonic parts of the signals. Plus, the built-in 6000mah high-quality lithium battery can last for 4 hours.
#8 Ultra-Thin Portable USB Oscilloscope
Ultra-Thin Portable USB Oscilloscope comes with a 7″ LCD with 800* 480 resolutions. Interestingly, the hobbyist oscilloscope features a one-button automatic device, which ensures one-click waveform saving and screenshots. With its ultra-thin design, it is easy to carry.
Additionally, the in-built 1 GB storage space can hold up to 1000 screenshots and 1000 sets of waveform data. Plus, a powerful waveform picture manager is ideal for thumbnail browsing, detailed viewing, page-turning, and waveform zooming in and out. Also, the intelligent anti-burn design helps withstand voltage up to 400 V.
Thanks to the Lissajous figure graphic display function, which determines the frequency, amplitude, and phase contrast of 2 signal groups. It is equipped with an in-built 6000mAh lithium battery that lasts for 4 hours after fully charged. Ultra-thin oscilloscope comes with a USB interface and can be connected to a computer to share the screenshot.
#9 JYETech DSOShell Fully Assembled Portable Oscilloscope
JYETech DSOShell is an affordable, fantastic, and portable oscilloscope with a 2.4″display. This JYETech DSOShell comes with similar bandwidth as DSO138 but has great mechanics, structure, and operational improvements. The oscilloscope is fully assembled with a probe and enclosure.
The Portable Oscilloscope is easy to use since it comes with an off and the switch at the bottom. It is recommended to run on a 9V power supply. The power jack on the mainboard allows a 5.5mm/2.1mm DC plug. Also, a 2-pin 1″ connector is provided to connect to various sources. Furthermore, the oscilloscope has a rotary encoder to make parameter adjustment much quicker and more comfortable.
#10 KKmoon Oscilloscope Multimeter 2.0 Update
With sampling speed in mind, the KKmoon oscilloscope multimeter 2.0 update has a 200K high speed that can sample up to 4000 counts. In terms of reliability, the panel calibration technology, and memory calibration ensure no need to use a potentiometer for adjustment. It is ideal for working at night as it has a 126*64 high contrast LCD with LED backlighting.
Digital scope meter multimeter can store 100 sets of data and 10 waveforms. It ensures easy to view and analyze waveforms and data during measurements. Plus, the oscilloscope can display historical data and real-time data on the same screen for easy comparison. The KKmoon Oscilloscope is equipped with AC voltage bandwidth up to 20 kHz.
Amazingly, the one-key silent mode allows silent will operating the scope. The battery life can be extended with an automatic shutdown function. It features a one-button making it operator-friendly to capture data and measure. A Digital multimeter is convenient for measuring small capacitors.
#11 AUKUYEE Updated 2.4″ TFT Digital Oscilloscope Kit
AUKUYEE Updated 2.4″ TFT Digital Oscilloscope Kit is sensitive on both sides for higher and more comprehensive to hold up to 20 voltages. The digital oscilloscope can be handheld. The display and MCU are mounted on the mainboard to prevent inter-board pins, unlike analog ones mounted on separate boards.
The Quimat oscilloscope features a rotary encoder, which makes parameter adjustment easy and quick. Interestingly, the oscilloscope comes fully assembled to save the installing time and prevent constructing welding process problems. The kit includes detailed operation instructions, a troubleshooting guide, and a schematic. No power supply included.
#12 Kuman Handheld Digital Oscilloscope
Kuman Handheld Digital Oscilloscope is designed with a 2.4 inch LCD and a high resolution 320 x 240. The oscilloscope features a full-screen viewing supported in browse mode. It is easy and efficient to view the measurement parameters by pressing an OK button.
It comes equipped with a built-in 16M storage space that stores up to 500 waveform data, and the storing process is fast and straightforward. In terms of efficiency, press the auto key to adjust the waveform data to appear at the center of the screen and quickly.
The day mode is clean, bright, and eye-protecting, while the night mode has high contrast, making the waveform be seen clearly. Finally, the digital oscilloscope is equipped with a built-in 1200mAh rechargeable lithium battery, which takes up to 3 hours.
Measuring With An Oscilloscope
O-scopes are manufactured in two types – analog and digital. Analog scopes use an electron beam to map the input voltage. The digital scope incorporates microcontrollers, which sample the input signal with an analog-to-digital converter for mapping.
The basic use of an oscilloscope begins with taking the probe and connecting it to the right channel on the scope. The screen will then show a flat cursor line. By using the necessary controls for its industrial use, you should soon see the waveform signal.
Once your signal appears on the display screen, you can begin adjusting the horizontal and vertical scales of your signal. Oscilloscope devices can support several automatic measurement tools that display relevant frequency data output.
Your frequency generated output may have two separate conductors where one is used as a signal and the other one is for ground. You then connect your probe’s ground clip to the ground, and the probe tip to the signal output. Then you can finagle your channels or scale knobs to locate your identifier waveform.
The O-scopes hobby oscilloscope can also calculate amplitude, shows pulsed signals, “mean” voltage, and various wave calibers. When you have measured the quantity signals that you need, you can make adjustments to your circuit. Advanced O-scopes can also save your data, print-out your data, and keep your waveform data in memory.
How to Choose an Oscilloscope for Hobbyist
To invest in a good oscilloscope, there are key features that make all the difference in measurements: These include the following:
Bandwidth shows the frequency range that the oscilloscope can accurately measure. The more bandwidth you have describes how much power your O-scope has. Professionals in various industries believe that a good bandwidth should be 5 times greater than the main frequency or the measuring signal.
ii. Sampling/Waveform rate
The sample rate of an oscilloscope measures how fast it can provide the waveform information. The greater the sample rate, the better your resolution will be. The more samples you have the more signal data you will be able to capture. A waveform rate enables an O-scope to quickly update the screen without losing important signals.
iii. Memory depth
The more memory depth you have in an O-scope, the higher your sample rate will be.
The traditional channels of an oscilloscope are 2 or 4, but you can purchase an oscilloscope with greater channels for logic timing, thus eliminating any special software to isolate channel energy.
It is vital that probes match or exceed the bandwidth of the scope. Fast signals are best received with a FET-amplifier probe and for high voltage measurements, a differential isolated probe is best used.
Many industries must work in outdoor environments. With modern oscilloscopes, you can take handheld scopes with you because they are very durable and sturdy. The O-Scope can be plugged into your laptop computer. Handheld oscilloscopes work just like their big brothers. Granted, they have their limitations, such as limited battery life and a smaller display screen, but their measurement features are invaluable.
Do I need an oscilloscope?
You need an oscilloscope to help you measure a single number of voltages of a circuit. When using the multimeter, you can view the voltage of a circuit as signals in the screen. The signals are in the form of waves that are displayed in the form of a graph. This will help you analyze the signals better.
You can also troubleshoot the circuit to identify the failing connections. It will convert the signals like vibrations and sound into voltage and display the waves hence smoothing the troubleshooting process.
Why are oscilloscopes expensive?
There are various factors that influence the oscilloscopes price. They include hardware parts that make the scope expensive. Also, the chips speed used in the multimeter and the measurement bandwidth.
Who would use an oscilloscope?
An oscilloscope is a great tool for engineers and electric technicians. It is an observational tool that helps technicians to view signal voltages.
Can I use my computer as an oscilloscope?
Yes, you can. You need to connect oscilloscope circuits to your computer through the USB port. Plus, install a program to get the data and display it on the screen. You can also use a computer sound card to view audio frequency signals using software from the web.
The above-mentioned oscilloscopes for hobbyists vary in price range and top capabilities. They are used in many different industries. They are commonly used to diagnose electronic equipment malfunctions, to look at how the voltage performs consistently, to see the shape and time signals of a signal, all of which allow proficient users to check each component independently and from there determine which component is failing.