Best Oscilloscopes for Beginners 2020

(Last Updated On: November 7, 2020)

An oscilloscope, also known as o-scope, is an instrument that monitors changes in electrical signals which are used to study the performance of a system within its bandwidth limits. An o-scope aids you to observe various signal voltages in 2D-plane and can change the functionality and display the minor most details of the signal i.e. the signal shape, its amplitude, time, frequency, and distortion. It is an important device to enhance the signal strength of electronics. So in this matter, we have compiled some of the best oscilloscopes for beginners in the article. We suggest you have a look at them.

This device can easily be connected with your PC or laptops to help you analyze the resulting output waveforms on a screen. It also boosts the performance of external devices and helps limit any sort of distortion.

However, choosing an o-scope for beginners can get challenging sometimes as there are many factors that a user, especially a newbie, needs to consider before investing. At the present time, you can with no trouble buying an excellent oscilloscope with a lot of features within a limited budget. So, in this publication, you are going to check some recommendations of the entry-level o-scopes and their technicalities to help you choose the best one to cater to your personal needs as a beginner.

Now let’s discuss some necessary and key points that you need to keep in mind while selecting an Oscilloscope particularly when you are a beginner:-

Price: Generally, price is always an important parameter for whenever you invest in anything. For beginners, it is recommended to first buy an oscilloscope that is friendly to their budget and start with a basic user-friendly basic scope and later with experience buy a professional one.

Analog versus Digital: People are still confused between buying an analog or a digital oscilloscope. However, these days analog o-scopes tend to be more of a collector’s item with limited functions whereas digital one has more advanced functions. it is not recommended to invest in an analog o-scope just because it seems cheap. Its initial cost might be pocket friendly however, their spare part and repair cost will probably end up being more expensive than its original cost itself, which is the fact.

Resolution and Accuracy: A high-resolution oscilloscope is required for monitoring and detecting small signal changes. An 8-bit resolution can easily be a good option if working with digital signals. However, whilst monitoring and analyzing analog signals like audio, vibration, noise, and monitor sensors such as temperature and pressure, that is when you require higher resolutions o-scope to provide higher accuracy. The higher resolution o-scopes have 12-bit or 16-bit resolution.

Probes: probes are not a part of the oscilloscope itself but these are the external factors. Therefore, another important factor is to ensure that your probes must match the bandwidth of your o-scope.

So, after these essential key points let’s jump into some of the best and highly recommended o-scopes for the users that have an excellent reputation in the market. So, without further ado, let’s find out some of these amazing products down below:-

Best Oscilloscopes for Beginners (Comparison)

NameDimensionsWeight 
Rigol MSO510421.4 x 14.2 x 11 inches (Package)12.23 poundsCheck Price
S.T SDS1202X-E10 x 15 x 17 inches5.51 PoundsCheck Price
S.T SDS1202X15.5 x 10.5 x 9.3 inches7.19 PoundsCheck Price

 

Rigol MSO5104 Mixed Signal Oscilloscope

Rigol MSO5104 offers high-performance as it is designed upon Ultra Vision II technology. This instrument incorporates the features of 7 other devices within itself to deliver an excellent sample bandwidth with Up to 8 GSa/s real-time sample rate and provides very high memory depth. When we talk about the memory depth, it already has 100 Mpts memory depth that a user can easily upgrade maximum to 200 Mpts which is possible on through a specific software key code.

The Rigol MSO5104 has a rugged and portable design and comes with a vertical control panel which supports many channels. It also provides the analog bandwidths of about 100MHz along with 4 upgradable analog channels and the standard 16 digital channels. This oscilloscope has an excellent recording and playback waveform capture rate with over 500,000 wfm/s and auto measurement of about 41 wave-form parameters along with full memory hardware measurement operations.

The innovative design of this o-scope is simply amazing and decent, which makes it very easy to operate. Its complete black body along with black knobs and front panel buttons with red markings on them, blue, yellow and other color combination enhances the overall looks of this instrument. The o-scope has a wide and large screen that is convenient for the users and they can easily monitor the parameters without any hassle. The 5000 series models offer better performance as compared to other similar brands.

This instrument provides a digital oscilloscope, a logic analyzer, a spectrum analyzer, an arbitrary wave-form generator, a digital voltmeter, a frequency counter & totalizer, and a protocol analyzer all in one compact device. So, users from different fields can use this based on their needs.

When we talk about the engineer’s and technicians’ needs, there are two main technical key specs that they consider most, i.e., sample bandwidth and radio bandwidth. Through these bandwidths, you can see the maximum frequencies. So, with Rigol MSO5104 you can monitor the required frequencies with ease that makes this one of the best portable and super performer o-scope in the market.

ProsCons
It has independent search, navigation keys, and event tableMight be pricey for beginners
It has many different serial protocol triggers and decodesMenu can be little confusing for some
Web Control and remote command
The 256-level intensity grading display

Conclusion: 

This digital oscilloscope is a great choice for beginners due to its versatile functions of 7 in 1 instrument, therefore helping newbies to save their budget in a long run whilst fulfilling their needs and requirements and also providing them with amazingly high-performance and a portable design, supporting numerous channels, a great bandwidth, and the upgrade of the analysis software, this digital oscilloscope is ideal and highly recommended.

 

 

 

Siglent Technologies SDS1202X-E Digital Oscilloscope

This impressive oscilloscope delivers a bandwidth of 200 MHz along with a great sample rate of 1 GSa/s and a memory depth of 14 Mpts all within a reasonable budget. It captures the better signal and identifies complex problems that other devices may not detect. For more accurate results it helps you to focus the desired portion by letting you zoom out.

The Siglent SDS1202X-E comes in grey color and has a 7-inch color display and has a built-in user interface with knobs and buttons on its front panel. This wide display enable users to see their parameters easily. This new generation oscilloscope with SPO technology offers outstanding signal precision and high performance. This o-scope proves to be an excellent choice for users seeking units with higher bandwidths.

This digital o-scope has a 256-intensity grading and color temperature display along with the SPO technology which delivers fast refresh rates and also has a 1M points FFT math function with a very less noise production. The SDS1202X-E has two and four-channel design features and is very user-friendly and simple to operate.

Additionally, this o-scope uses a universal energy source and has USB and LAN ports options to make it easier for all sorts of users.

This Siglent Technologies SDS1202X-E has an automated computation function for 38 parameters and also has a vertical input range of 500 UV/div, along with a digital trigger operation with amazing sensitivity and mean jitter. This device provides an amazing waveform capture rate of 400,000 frames/sec and also contains sequential bus triggering. This oscilloscope has serial triggering that lets long waveform recording and analysis, therefore the maximum range of recorded waveform is 80,000 frames.

ProsCons
Decent 2 channels scope performanceOnly has 2 channels
Record length maximum up to 14 MptsDoes not have an HDMI port to connect with larger screen
Has standard serial bus Triggering and Decode
Has 256-level intensity grading and color display

Conclusion:

This amazingly high-performance Digital Oscilloscope can deliver fast and accurate results every time. Therefore, it is safe to say that with its intuitive interface it is one of the best entry-level oscilloscopes providing a wide range of functions with a low-price tag. It is one of the best and most reliable tools for engineers and technicians.

 

 

Siglent Technologies SDS1202X Digital Oscilloscope

Siglent’s SDS1202X is the 200 MHz version of its famous older model SDS1102x. This new model delivers high-level features and amazing performance within this specific price range. Due to its 200 MHz bandwidth, it is a great choice for hobbyists and beginners.

This o-scope contains numerous 1-button shortcuts to make things easier for complex operations. Furthermore, this latest version of Siglent’s mid-priced oscilloscope supports different intelligent triggering modes with serial bus triggering and decoding and HDTV. This device provides remarkable memory and history recording with about 80,000 frames of recorded frames.

Additionally, the Siglent’s SDS1202Xhas the new Generation SPO technology with improved sensitivity of up to 500 UV /div and has various color temperature modes and 256-level intensity grading, therefore, delivering accurate results with very low background noise. All of this also comes with Siglent’s remarkable range of computing and mathematics capabilities. This entry-level digital oscilloscope with all its features and performance gives its higher-end precedents a tough competition.

Furthermore, its C.S.F (Comprehensive statistical feature) can display up to 5 parameters easily that includes, standard deviation, average and current plus maximum and minimum value respectively, where measurement count can also be seen. The Siglent SDS1202X is capable of recording the length up to 14 Mpts. Excellent customer service adds more worth to this product. It is also one of the highly recommended instruments.

ProsCons
Decent 2 channels scope performanceSuitable for logic analysis
14 Mpts record length
Comes with standard serial bus triggering and Decode
Best choice for new users

Conclusion:

Considering this oscilloscope, it is sure that the modern digital storage oscilloscopes are unbeatable. As they deliver clear views along with the onscreen measurements for time and amplitude produces much more accuracy. With its compact design, user-friendly interface, and a remarkable bandwidth, this oscilloscope comes with an amazing price tag and fulfills all the basic needs of a hobbyist or an entry-level user. Its shortcut keys also enable the newbies to operate the instrument easily without any expert’s help.

 

 

Final Conclusion:

The above-discussed oscilloscopes are some of the best-recommended oscilloscopes for beginners, to help you choose an o-scope before you pay. All of these are amazing choices for beginners and totally worth every penny. In addition to their affordability, these oscilloscopes provide advanced functions that are present in more expensive oscilloscopes.

However, all the models discussed are wonderful oscilloscopes, and you will not be disappointed no matter which one you end up choosing. It is to note that all users must bear in mind their specific needs, and select an oscilloscope with the right specifications that better suit their requirements.

Furtherly, with these recommendations, you are free to choose the best beginner oscilloscopes for you in the market. Consider all the pros and cons before investing as they are important and will tell how well the oscilloscope does its work.

 

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