Measuring electronic signals is easier with the use of an oscilloscope (O-scope). It is used to measure electrical voltage when connected to a power grid.
The oscilloscope is made with components that consist of an electron beam or gun, a medium-sized fluorescent screen, and varied encompassing controls or knobs that allow an operator to adjust the scale of a horizontal and vertical graph line for key functions.
This well-made hobbyist electronic measuring device displays a steady stream of graphic waveform signals that looks like waves. It is very favorably used in the following industries: scientific labs, automotive industry, medical/healthcare fields, TV repair businesses, telecommunication industry and other types of engineering industries
Our 5 Favorite Oscilloscope for Hobbyist
Quick Buying Guides
Key features you 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 Oscilloscope devices:
#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 purchasing power. 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
- 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐟𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐃𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐠𝐧𝐞𝐝 : 2 channels, 100 MHz analog bandwidth @ 1 GSa/s Real-time sampling, 240kbit Sample memory depth.
- 𝐇𝐃 𝐒𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐧 : 7'' color TFT- LCD touch screen with 800 * 480 resolution.
- 𝐄𝐚𝐬𝐢𝐥𝐲 𝐌𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 :Auto/Normal/Single 3 Trigger modes,it is easy to capture instantaneous waveform.
- 𝐈𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐠𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐀𝐧𝐭𝐢-𝐛𝐮𝐫𝐧 : Built-in high-voltage protection module,can tolerate a continuous voltage of up to 400V.
- 𝐕𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐥𝐞 : ASD1013D is widely applicable in the academic experiment, electronic product design,debugging and maintenance, electronic engineering education, etc.
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 digital oscilloscope 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
- Intelligent anti-burn, 1 times withstand voltage up to 400V. Built-in 6000mAh high-performance lithium battery, can be used continuously for 4 hours after fully charged.(Note：Before use, please read the manual attached to the product. If you have any questions, you can contact us. )
- Fully matched 7-inch TFT LCD color display with a resolution of 800 * 480, bright colors and high contrast. The capacitive touch panel is similar to the touch mode of modern tablet computers.
- Equipped with efficient one-button automatic device. One-click waveform saving and screenshots. The built-in 1GB storage space can store up to 1000 screenshots 1000 sets of waveform data. The powerful waveform image Manager supports browsing, viewing, viewing detailed information, turning pages, deleting and zooming, zooming and navigating waveforms.
- High measurement voltage range, 1X can measure 0-40V, 10X can measure 0-400V, 100X can measure 0-4000V. Up to 12 parameter measurements: VPP, VP, Vmax, Vmin, Vavg, Vrms, Frequent, Duty , Duty-, Time , Time-, Period. This USB oscilloscope is equipped with a USB interface and can be connected to a computer to share its screenshots with the computer, which facilitates secondary analysis.
- Memory compression technology, waveform refresh screen does not flicker;Powerful waveform picture manager supports thumbnail browsing, viewing, detailed viewing, page turning, deletion and waveform zooming in, zooming out, moving, etc;FFT display function, can analyze the spectral characteristics of the signal.
Ultra-Thin Portable USB Oscilloscope comes with a 7″ LCD with 800* 480 resolutions. Interestingly, the USB 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
- DSO Shell is a budget-friendly, beautiful, portable oscilloscope with 2.4" color TFT LCD!
- Includes a 1x/10x BNC oscillscope probe and enclosure. FULLY ASSEMBLED! Just add a power supply and start testing!
- DSO150 has similar bandwidth as DSO138 but contains significant improvements in structure, mechanics, and operation
- DSO150 runs on 9V power supply (do not use voltage higher than 10V!) The power jack on the mainboard accepts standare 5.5mm/2.1mm DC plug. Alternative 2-pin connector (0.1" pitch) is also provided to connect to different power sources
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
- ❤❤【FASTER SAMPLING SPEED】◕‿◕Digital multimeter with 200K high-speed A/D sampling, 4000 counts auto-range, one-button switch of graphical waveform display during measurement. High reliability with panel calibration technology and memory calibration, sparing the need for adjustment with potentiometer.
- ❤❤【MORE ACCURACY】◕‿◕Storing 100 sets of data and 10 waveforms independently. Capable of holding waveform and data during measurement, easy to view and analyze. Displaying historical data and real-time measurement on the same screen with particular record reading mode for easy comparison.
- ❤❤【MORE POWERFUL DETECTION RANGE】◕‿◕DC voltage 0 ~ 1000V, AC voltage 0 ~ 750V, DC/AC Current 0 ~ 20A, Resistance 0 ~ 20MΩ, Capacitance 0 ~ 20μf, Frequency 0 ~ 200KHZ, Diode / Continuity Test, Remote control test。 AC voltage bandwidth up to 20KHz. Innovative design for the one-key silent mode, quiet in mastery. Extending battery life with automatic shutdown function.
- ❤❤【LED BACKLIGHT & STORAGE / READOUT 】- ◕‿◕Analog broadband range up to: D AC ~ 10kHz, Display hold, storage / readout up to 5 waveforms and 100 sets of measurement values. 128X64 high contrast LCD with LED backlighting. Suitable for working at night. DETECTION ALSO Protect safety.convenient for small capacitors to measure quickly.
- ❤❤【FUSE PROTECTION & MULTI-PURPOSE 】- Built-in 500V/20A explosion proof fuse, 20A AC and DC test.◕‿◕10mf gear position: high capacitance and high accuracy are guaranteed. Realizing one-button automatic waveform capture, operator-friendly to learn and operate. Effectively eliminating lead resistance, distributed capacitance or interference signals with relative value measurement (clearing).
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
- The sensitivity has been extended in both directions and is higher and wider. It reaches 5mV/div -- 20V/div. Also, this updated version can be handheld.
- Display and MCU are mounted on the same board (mainboard) to avoid using inter-board pin-headers. Analog channel is placed on a separate board which contains most users install parts, so the analog and digital circuits can be better separated.
- It has been added the rotary encoder, makes parameter adjustment quicker and easier.
- Quimat oscilloscope is an Assembled finished Machine. NOT DIY PART, it can be used directly to avoid assembling welding process problems and greatly saves the assembly time.
- Note: The power supply is not included. Detailed Operation instructions, troubleshooting guide and schematic are provided.
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
- 5 MHz Bandwidth: The oscilloscope's real-time sampling rate is up to 20MS / s and the analog bandwidth is 5MHz. Aperiodic digital signaling can be used freely.
- Storage and Deletion Function: It is with 16M storage space, and very convenient and fast to store waveform. Support for thumbnail browsing, detailed information viewing, page turning, delete waveform functions etc. .
- 2. 4 Inch Color Display: A high-definition LCD screen with 2. 4-inch 320 * 240 resolution. It also support day mode and night mode display. And when Waveform refresh, the screen doesn't flash.
- Portable: The Mini oscilloscope is built-in 1200mAh rechargeable lithium battery, it can be used continuously for 3 hours when fully charged. Equipped with an efficient one-button, the measurement waveform can be displayed without complicated adjustments.
- High measurement voltage range: 1X can measure 0~40 V, 10X can measure 40~800V. Up to 11 parameters measured: VPP Vmax, Vmin, Vavg, Vrms frequent, Duty +, Duty-, Time +, Time-, Time.
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 for a hobbyist 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
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.
The above-mentioned oscilloscopes for hobbyist 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.
Oscilloscopes are also used widely in the medical field where doctors can observe brain waves. Technology is rapidly advancing but their parts still require succinct circuitry monitoring and testing. The oscilloscope features have evolved, becoming more of a developmental tool no matter in what price range they fall.
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.
An oscilloscope is an electronic measuring device that analyzes the signal’s waveform. The technicians and engineers need to use the best oscilloscope for various purposes. The tool draws a graph of signal waveforms with a short time. There are different types of scopes, but they all function by displaying the waveform on the LCD.
But finding the best scope can be a bit challenging with many brands available in the market. You need to consider factors such as brand, purpose, specifications price, among others, to ensure you get an oscilloscope that performs incredibly. Here are the 6 top oscilloscopes that you can purchase for various purposes.