The Best Oscilloscope Under $500
An oscilloscope is a sort of electronic equipment that enables the measurement and recording of an electrical signal’s evolution. Electrical and electronic engineers require oscilloscopes. They enable engineers to view the waveform of a signal in detail, including its shape, amplitude, and frequency. We’ve got you covered if you’re in the market for a new oscilloscope! We’ll be examining the top oscilloscopes under $500 in this article.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Oscilloscope
Analog vs. Digital
Today, the most affordable oscilloscopes are digital. They are cheaper and have more features than analog scopes. Today’s digital oscilloscopes are extremely accurate and may provide additional features such as portability (analog scopes are generally bigger and heavier). Colored digital display, single-shot capability, and increased average bandwidth, among other features.
The bandwidth of an oscilloscope system determines the highest frequency the instrument can correctly measure. The more bandwidth an oscilloscope has, the more expensive it is.
- An oscilloscope with bandwidth at least three times that of the highest frequency wave is required to measure a high-frequency wave.
- Select a bandwidth at least five times the system’s highest clock rate using a digital oscilloscope.
The sampling rate of an oscilloscope determines how detailed the waveform can be displayed on a digital oscilloscope. This is frequently expressed as MS/sec or GS/sec. MS denotes a mega (1,000) sample, while GS denotes a Giga (1,000,000) sample. You should aim for a sampling rate that is twice as fast as the maximum frequency being measured.
The amount of memory on an oscilloscope is determined by multiplying the sample rate with time. This will show you how long the oscilloscope can store a signal before it must be deleted or dumped.
Type of Probes
There are two parts to an oscilloscope: the scope and the probe. People focus on the scope but don’t think about the probe most of the time. Because different scopes may be compatible with only particular types of probes, it’s critical to consider the following before purchasing a new oscilloscope:
- Passive probes are included with most oscilloscopes. They are good for making measurements that are grounded.
- High-voltage differential probes can take accurate, safe measurements of voltage differences and voltages that are not grounded.
- Logic probes are devices that send digital signals to oscilloscopes.
- Current probes measure how much current is flowing in a circuit. They can also help the oscilloscope measure changes in power.
Ease of Use
Several things may influence how simple it is to operate an oscilloscope:
- The built-in help menu means we don’t need to read a separate manual.
- The larger display and the ability to zoom in on the waveform means that we can view waveforms and measurement data simultaneously.
- The oscilloscope is easy to control, including larger knobs and voice control features.
Top 5 Best Oscilloscopes Under $500
In this section, I have reviewed some of the top oscilloscopes. They all have great functionality and features, and they are all available on Amazon.com at a great price.
1. Rigol DS1054Z Digital Oscilloscopes
The Rigol DS1054Z is a great choice for users of all levels. The oscilloscope’s technologies and components have been engineered to meet the current industry standards, making it ideal for novice and experienced users. Additionally, the Rigol DS1054Z has some great features. One of these is the ability to do a variety of tests. Additionally, it features different colors on each channel, so you don’t use the wrong one.
The Rigol DS1054Z oscilloscope is one of the greatest oscilloscopes for folks who want to learn how waves behave. It has a good display that makes it easy for people to see what is happening.
This product also offers several features, including the ability to do different math functions, capture waveforms quickly, and store a lot of information. Additionally, it has a large dynamic range and may be checked to ensure good operation.
The minor downsides of this low-end oscilloscope—such as the high noise and low count of FFTs—are to be expected. However, the clear display and various triggering functions make up these drawbacks. This is a great choice for an oscilloscope under $500.
- This product features four channels and is ideal for automobile analysis.
- The rate of waveform capturing is 30,000 wfms/sec.
- It has a bandwidth of 50MHz.
- It has a math function called FFT (Fast-Fourier transform).
- In actual time, the sample rate is 1 GSa/sec.
- Memory depth is 12 Mpts; memory can be upgraded to 24 Mpts using a software key. The display resolution is 800 x 480 pixels.
2. Tektronix TBS1052B
The Tektronix TBS1052B is one of the best oscilloscopes for less than $500. It has a 7″ color screen, 50MHz bandwidth, and a clear display resolution of 800 by 480. It also doesn’t have a cooling fan, but you get a 5-year warranty to offset any potential overheating issues.
The Tektronix TBS1052B has great features, like small magnifying areas on the display, delay triggering, etc. However, it only has 2.5K memory per channel (it has 2 channels), which is quite small compared to other models today.
- The bandwidth of 50 MHz (other variants are available featuring 30 to 200 MHz bandwidth)
- Real-time sampling rate up to 2GSa/2ec 2 channels
- Courseware characteristics
- 24 parameters can be measured automatically
- 7-inch WVGA color display with a resolution of 800 x 480
3. Keysight 1000 X-Series Oscilloscope
The Keysight 1000 X-Series digital oscilloscope is ideal for professional or high-end use while remaining cheap. This makes it one of the best oscilloscopes for people who don’t want to spend money.
One of the best features of this 1000 X-Series oscilloscope is its waveform update rate of 50,000 wfms/sec. This allows you to see more details of the waveforms to better analyze them. Another great feature is that it supports more than 10 different languages. If English isn’t your native language, this is an important consideration while looking for an oscilloscope.
Keysight 1000 X-Series has advanced features, including FFT, math functions, analog bus, and protocol decoding/triggering. It also has a built-in frequency response analysis.
The Keysight 1000 X-Series is one of the best oscilloscopes under $500. It has advanced features like a built-in wave-generator and frequency response analysis. Even though it has professional features, it is still easy to use because of its great interface. Choosing an oscilloscope based on language compatibility is especially important if English isn’t your first language.
The Keysight 1000 X-Series is a great machine. It has a good reputation and few downsides. One downside is that the display is small. Another downside is that the machine doesn’t have a zoom/amplify feature, so it can be difficult to see the signals.
- The bandwidth of 50 to 100 MHz
- The update rate of 50,000 wfms/sec enables the generation of extremely precise waveform signals
- Custom technology developed by Keysight based on over 60 years of oscilloscope expertise, extremely precise
- Easy-to-use user interface with built-in instructional and training signals.
- Analysis software that is industry-leading and integrates six instruments in one, high-end professional-level analysis
4. Hantek DS05102P
If you’re looking for a cheap oscilloscope, the Hantek DS05102P is a decent alternative. This oscilloscope is one of our top picks for the finest oscilloscopes under $500.
The Hantek oscilloscope features a 7-inch display for convenient viewing and analysis. Additionally, the DS05102P operates in the 100 MHz band, making it extremely versatile. Additionally, it features a USB port, which expands your possibilities.
The Hantek DS05102P features a large and clear display. This makes it simple to see what is happening. Additionally, the display may accommodate up to 40,000 records. This enables you to keep track of a large amount of data. Additionally, the device features two distinct channels, which lends versatility.
- Contains two channels
- Range of 100MHz bandwidth
- Features Four distinct mathematical functions
- Display resolutions of 800 x 480 pixels
- It has a variety of automatic measurements.
- Up to 1GSa/s sampling rate in real-time
- Numerous trigger modes
- Excellent display, with a record range of up to 40K
5. Saint Smart Mini DSO213
The Saint Smart Mini DSO213 is a great device for fieldwork. It is very compact, making it easy to take wherever you need to go. It is very affordable, making it a great option for people on a budget.
Despite its compact size, the Saint Smart Mini still has great functionality. It has 4 channels and a clear color display that can show sine, square, triangle, and saw-tooth waveforms.
The Saint Smart Mini DSO213’s primary selling point is its extremely tiny size. If you’re looking for a handheld oscilloscope for around $500, this is one of the better options. Despite its diminutive size, it offers a respectable 400240 display with 8MB flash storage. This oscilloscope’s compact size makes it very simple and convenient to use.
Minor disadvantages include having only one probe and the interface, which might be difficult to use due to the small buttons.
- Displays with a resolution of 400 × 240 pixels
- Real-time sample rate of up to 100 MSa/s 15 MHz analog bandwidth
- There are numerous trigger modes and math functions offered.
- It features a color TFT-LCD display.
Visit this link to learn more information about the Oscilloscopes.
Frequently Asked Questions About Best Oscilloscope Under $500
This oscilloscope is a good choice for beginners. It has a user interface and menus that are easy to understand. Plus, it’s a great value because it offers many features for a low price.
A few hundred dollars will get you an oscilloscope with a narrow bandwidth of 200 MHz. However, an oscilloscope with a measurement bandwidth of 1 GHz can go for almost $30,000!
This bandwidth range is good for many different research and development applications and trouble-shooting. Many models of 50 MHz scopes are available for less than USD 250.
To figure out what you need, use the “five times rule.” This rule says that for every increase of five times the frequency of a signal, you will lose only 30% of the signal’s power. So if you need to measure a signal at 100 MHz, make sure that your oscilloscope has an input of at least 20 MHz or less. This will ensure an accurate reading of the signal’s amplitude.
A Tektronix or Hewlett-Packard oscilloscope in good condition and still works can be sold for between $250 and $500 on the used market today.
Keysight is a company that makes test equipment. Recently, they made a $1.3 million oscilloscope. It is extremely powerful and can be used to test electronic equipment’s performance. It is so expensive that most people will never get the chance to use it, let alone take it apart!
To measure a 50 MHz signal, you will want an oscilloscope with a minimum bandwidth of 200 MHz. This will ensure that you can see your signal clearly without distortion by attenuation or filters. However, it’s important to note that too-high bandwidth can introduce noise into your measurement.
Lab scope design engineers recommend that the bandwidth of a lab scope should be five times the fastest signal speed. This means that a lab scope with a bandwidth of 5 MHz can test modern automotive engine management systems.
You want your probes to be three to five times faster than the fastest signal you want to see. This will assist you in ensuring that no signals are missed. Probes have different (sometimes switchable) attenuation ratios that change how the signals are fed into your oscilloscope.
Select an oscilloscope with a wide bandwidth to accurately capture the highest frequency of your signals. Remember the ‘five times rule’—choose an oscilloscope and probe that provide at least five times the maximum signal bandwidth for more accurate measurements with fewer errors.