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Help selecting my 1st DSO please.

Terry01

Jul 5, 2017
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I need some help selecting my first DSO. I only intend to use it for nothing more than hobby stuff and I am still very much new to electronics. I got a cheap analogue Tenma scope a couple months ago and had great fun learning how to use it. I probably still haven't learned most of what it can do but that's alright with me. I'm only looking so spend £200 or there about and like I say it'll be very much hobby orientated so just a learner scope. Some advice from the more knowledgable would be much appreciated. Thanks. :)
 

kellys_eye

Jun 25, 2010
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Or, as Penny(?) once asked... "who is the best super hero"......

(Stuart) "aaaarggg.... you can't say that out loud - do you want to cause a riot?"

Let the fun begin...... :D
 

kellys_eye

Jun 25, 2010
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Seriously.... it's not an easy choice. It's often difficult to assess unless you know 'where you are' and 'where you're going' with your electronics.

Some will argue (and count me as 'some) that ANY scope will do for the beginner as there's a lot to learn before getting to grips with what a 'scope can be used for 'properly'.

It doesn't have to be a DSO - the old analogue types work well to start with. £50 will get you started.

Then - 'what's your current need and what's your future (potential) use'? It might be ok for some to purchase 'scopes as they see them fit their requirement over a growing hobby but for many they like to make that one-off purchase, carefully, such that it suits their needs for a good number of years.

Will you be a 'low frequency' guy or an 'RF stooge'? Hi-speed digital circuitry perhaps? A 'scope that covers ALL those needs ain't cheap but getting one for a specific purpose then discovering you've changed tack and gone 'hf' could leave you disappointed.

So - tell us more about what you do, what you THINK you might WANT to do and what your limitations are. Then we might be able to narrow it down a bit.

....and the answer is Superman.
 

Terry01

Jul 5, 2017
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I've seen a hantek one, 5102b 100mhz £200 Looks decent enough to me but I've learned it's better to ask before I buy. o_O

To be honest I'll prob have a go at a few different things but I won't get into anything seriously. It will just be simple stuff. Nothing where I need exact scientific results that I can study the crap out of. I use electronics to keep my brain and dexterity turning over. Otherwise I'd sit and vegetate. I have an analogue scope now but I want a digital one.

I like electronics because I can mess about getting a few LEDs to light up or go back to a project I've been at for weeks depending how I feel that day.

I'm just looking for one that's not too complicated to work and will be easy to learn on.
 
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dorke

Jun 20, 2015
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Here is a learner's scope for just 15$US.
Should be fine up to 200KHz,small and very portable.
A hobbyist dream .:cool:
 

dorke

Jun 20, 2015
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No hurry,
they are well known and sell for a few years already.
You can watch reviews on YouTube as well.
 

Dimitri

Oct 29, 2017
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Get an old analog one that works, it will do most casual things you'd want to learn one.

I am glad I did, still use it regularly. Because I was looking at a DSO now I have realized an MSO is the logical step up, and those can be expensive with analyzer function options I would want.

Saves you from buying twice.
 

Terry01

Jul 5, 2017
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Cool. I think I'll get the hantek one. I like the look of it and no one has said "NO NO DON'T BUY THAT IT'S RUBISH"!! I have a very basic Tenma analogue scope just now and I've enjoyed learning on it so digital is next for me. :cool:
 

debe

Oct 15, 2011
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I have 2 of those cheap DSOs, they are perfect for a beginner & they will freeze the frame if you press hold. I mainly use them for automotive work.
 

hevans1944

Hop - AC8NS
Jun 21, 2012
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I've seen a hantek one, 5102b 100mhz £200 Looks decent enough to me but I've learned it's better to ask before I buy. o_O
Excellent choice IMHO! There is a 200 MHz bandwidth version available (5202B) that you should buy if you can afford it. I purchased the DSO 5202P last year and am very pleased with it. The Hantek 5000 series is a very nice DSO that has been extensively hacked to provide increased bandwidth (software and hardware mods), but I think a factory new version (with warranty) is preferable. Make sure yours comes with 1X/10X switchable probes included in the purchase price. I like the 1 MS memory storage capability. Read a nice review of this DSO here.
 
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Terry01

Jul 5, 2017
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That's it sorted then. The Hantek it is. Thanks for all the help and comments.
 

hevans1944

Hop - AC8NS
Jun 21, 2012
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I would also get one of the el-cheapo battery-operated DSO kits too. There are times when you will want the electrical isolation from the real world that only a battery can provide. That is the main reason I purchased a Mooshimeter last year... well,that, and the overall coolness factor. Works great with my iPhone 6+. I wish the same company would design and sell an inexpensive battery-operated DSO whose interface to me is a Bluetooth iPhone app.
 

dorke

Jun 20, 2015
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That Mooshimeter looks way cool.
Didn't know about it's existence ,
Thanks Hop.
 

Terry01

Jul 5, 2017
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I ended up getting the Hantek DSO5102p,was on offer and I liked the look of it and even better than that....a few people who's judgement I trust said its a decent scope for me :)

Excellent scope for my needs right now I feel. I got it with the thought that I could hack it to 200 MHz later if I wanted or needed to,turns out it came with the 200 MHz upgrade already done straight from the factory! Well chuffed with that!! :cool:
Since getting mine I've heard of a few other people getting the same thing! So I got a 200 MHz scope delivered to my door the very next day for £219!! Can't whack that.....not without a huge stick anyways!! :p

Thanks for the guidance guys!
 

Terry01

Jul 5, 2017
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Next on the list is a new signal generator. I'm only looking to spend around £50ish.

Any recommendations?

Just something easy to use and hobby orientated. The Chinese ones on Ebay seem to have most wave forms and a decent frequency range so maybe something along those lines?

I've been looking on Amazon and EBay but my brain hurts now,my ar53 has got a sore head too! o_O
 

Terry01

Jul 5, 2017
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One thing I can say is....."getting a cheap analogue scope first to learn on" is one of the best bits of advice I've had since taking up electronics. I'm soooo glad I did that!

My new digital one has "auto" everything so I'm glad I learned how to get a nice clean trace on the analogue scope first so I know what the digital one is doing when I hit "auto" now. The new digital one does all the calculating and everything else for you too,again im glad i learned how to work everything out on my analogue scope first with a calculator and notepad! It really is awesome just hooking the leads up and hit one button "auto" and you have everything all set up nice on the screen,then all you have to do is fine tune if needed.
If I come across something I'm not sure about or want to know more about,just tap "help"! Unbelievable!! Any function or numbers that are new to me...."help"!! The scope literally does everything for you. The hardest part so far has been setting the time and date!
I was thinking when I first got my analogue scope as soon as I upgrade to digital I'll sell the analogue one,no chance! The things I've been able to check both scopes doing the same thing my cheap Tenma analogue scope has been bob on with the digital one. :)
 

dorke

Jun 20, 2015
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Next on the list is a new signal generator. I'm only looking to spend around £50ish.

Any recommendations?

Just something easy to use and hobby orientated. The Chinese ones on Ebay seem to have most wave forms and a decent frequency range so maybe something along those lines?

I've been looking on Amazon and EBay but my brain hurts now,my ar53 has got a sore head too! o_O

Apart from "hobby orientated", what are your needs in frequency/level and type of waveforms?

In the audio range there are many excellent free of charge software driven Windows/Android waveform/signal generators with loads of possibilities.
They work through the Sound card, so most are dual ones and many can be in the same time generators/sweepers/scopes/spectrum analyzers/THD meters and more.

They are an excellent choice to start with!
Here is a place to start,there are many more.
 
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