An oscilloscope is a basic piece of equipment for most DIY guys and girls. Older models were bulky, heavy and expensive. Modern scopes are digital, lightweight and packed with options we never dreamed of. They also became a lot cheaper.
My bench scope is an Atten ADS-1102CAL. It’s a typical 2-channel 100 MHz DSO (Digital Storage Oscilloscope) which sells for around $260 on eBay. I must confess that I haven’t used all the state-of-the-art options the Atten offers, such as computer connectivity. In the end most measurements involve looking at waveforms, measuring voltages in circuits and (occasionally) making use of FFT (Fast Fourier Transform).
Fast Fourier Transform
Yes, many of today’s digital oscilloscopes include FFT capability for frequency-domain analysis. This feature is especially valuable for oscilloscope users who have limited or no access to a spectrum analyzer, yet occasionally require frequency-domain analysis capability. Although a spectrum analyzer offers a much wider frequency range, exhibits better dynamic range and less distortion, the digital oscilloscope FFT provides a cost-effective, space-saving alternative.
Small, smaller, smallest
Then I ran into an ad for the ARM DSO203 Nano V2 / Quad Portable, a pocket Digital Storage Oscilloscope. What? a 4-channel 72 MHz DSO for $165? Includes a waveform generator too? Can’t be right. Can’t work. Yet it does according to owners, and it’s based on open source.
Analog channel x 2 : [CH_A] [CH_B];
Digital channel x 2 : [CH_C] [CH_D];
Vertical Scale: 20mV-10V/div (x1 probe);
Vertical solution: 8 bit ;
Input coupling: AC/DC ;
Max input voltage: 80Vpp (x1 probe);
Storage: 4K per channel
Software trigger type: edge, pulse, level (to be added)
Hardware trigger type: edge
Trigger source: CH1/CH2/EXT
Test Signal generator: 10Hz to 1Mhz
Storage: internal 2MB USB disk
Auto measure: Vmax, Vmin, Vpp, Vavr, Vrms, Freq, Period, Pulse, Duty
Cursor measurement: Level, Voltage
Display mode: CH1, CH2, EXT, CH1+CH2, CH1-CH2, CH1*CH2
Sampling mode: real time
Sampling rate: 1kSa/s – 72MSa/S
Power: Li battery
The color: Black
Dimension: 98 * 60 * 14.5
Weight: 80g (without battery)
Included accessories: 2 x Mueller mcx oscilloscope probe
OK, this gadget can’t match the bench scopes, there’s no FFT, but who knows what future firmware upgrades will bring us? Still, this DSO could be a nice addition to my ‘on the road’ kit, or be someone else’s first scope. Seen on eBay (link)