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Old 23rd July 2014, 01:16 PM   #1
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Default USB oscillascope?

I've been thinking about getting an O-scope for a few years now...

The only 'feature' that I really want is something that's capable of real time analyzing for home theater EQ tuning.(I have a mic and preamp to input an analog signal)


Any suggestions?


This one seems ok..
Amazon.com: SainSmart DDS140 Portable Handheld PC-Based USB Digital Oscilloscope + Signal Generator, 40MHz Bandwidth 200MS/s: Home Improvement
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Old 23rd July 2014, 02:02 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitrzac View Post
I've been thinking about getting an O-scope for a few years now...

The only 'feature' that I really want is something that's capable of real time analyzing for home theater EQ tuning.(I have a mic and preamp to input an analog signal)


Any suggestions?


This one seems ok..
Amazon.com: SainSmart DDS140 Portable Handheld PC-Based USB Digital Oscilloscope + Signal Generator, 40MHz Bandwidth 200MS/s: Home Improvement
I don't usually do this but in this case you might be better served by using your sound card as an oscilloscope. The higher bit depth might be useful in these situations. If you were doing anything more electronic than this, then maybe the SaintSmart or the Hantek 6022 with the RichardK software.

Last edited by PedroDaGr8; 23rd July 2014 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 23rd July 2014, 02:14 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by PedroDaGr8 View Post
I don't usually do this but in this case you might be better served by using your sound card as an oscilloscope. The higher bit depth might be useful in these situations. If you were doing anything more electronic than this, then maybe the SaintSmart or the Hantek 6022 with the RichardK software.
That was the only special feature that I want, most benchtop ones I've used don't have RTA/FFT ability... I still want the basic oscilloscope parts for diagnosing/repairing amps

The tektronix TDS 210 that I use at work works well enough for me, but I want something for home use.
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Old 23rd July 2014, 03:15 PM   #4
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Hi you probably might be interesting to these instructables:

USB Oscilloscope with Signal generator
or
Make an Oscilloscope Using the SainSmart Mega2560 with the TFT LCD shield and the 3.5 "color touch screen

It probably will work very well for your needs, however there are some shortfalls on the sampling rates, etc...
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Old 23rd July 2014, 03:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitrzac View Post
That was the only special feature that I want, most benchtop ones I've used don't have RTA/FFT ability... I still want the basic oscilloscope parts for diagnosing/repairing amps

The tektronix TDS 210 that I use at work works well enough for me, but I want something for home use.
Frankly, the TDS210 is a dinosaur from DSO perspectives. It's old, monochromatic, has very limited storage ability (2kpts versus new Rigol's which have up to 54MPts) and the input stage is kind of noisy. Almost ALL modern benchtop DSOs from at least a semi-reputable vendor (Agilent, Tek, R&S, Rigol, Siglent, LeCroy whose budget stuff is rebadged Siglent, etc.) would have similar or better performance.

There are several different things to take note of. These USB devices have an input sensitivity is +/-5V. This gives only a 50V input range with 10x probes. Keep in mind this is DC input range, it tends to drop the higher the frequency. Additionally, they tend to have rather high noise floors due to taking power from the USB interface. They lack true trigger capability let alone the advanced triggers found on most modern devices. The PC software tends to be glitchy and limited in functionality. This is why I recommended the Open6022 software by RichardK on EEVBlog. He has been rewriting the Hantek software from scratch.

I could go into the benefits of modern benchtop scopes (which tend to be more pricey though) if you wish, it would require a longer post.

At the end of the day, your budget will determine what you end up going with.
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Old 23rd July 2014, 03:35 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by PedroDaGr8 View Post
Frankly, the TDS210 is a dinosaur from DSO perspectives. It's old, monochromatic, has very limited storage ability (2kpts versus new Rigol's which have up to 54MPts) and the input stage is kind of noisy. Almost ALL modern benchtop DSOs from at least a semi-reputable vendor (Agilent, Tek, R&S, Rigol, Siglent, LeCroy whose budget stuff is rebadged Siglent, etc.) would have similar or better performance.

There are several different things to take note of. These USB devices have an input sensitivity is +/-5V. This gives only a 50V input range with 10x probes. Keep in mind this is DC input range, it tends to drop the higher the frequency. Additionally, they tend to have rather high noise floors due to taking power from the USB interface. They lack true trigger capability let alone the advanced triggers found on most modern devices. The PC software tends to be glitchy and limited in functionality. This is why I recommended the Open6022 software by RichardK on EEVBlog. He has been rewriting the Hantek software from scratch.

I could go into the benefits of modern benchtop scopes (which tend to be more pricey though) if you wish, it would require a longer post.

At the end of the day, your budget will determine what you end up going with.

I've used the newer Agilent scopes, my school just updated 2 labs with them... There's even a few at work, but they are overkill for what I need, and my budget.

I'm looking for the best I can get for <$200.
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Old 23rd July 2014, 03:46 PM   #7
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Unfortunately, the small DSOs have really been holding their value well. I just sold a very nice LeCroy 9410A scope that had FFT function as well as all other options. It was an old school behemoth though. If space is not an issue you might have good luck finding one of these types (typically FFT was optional but its out there).

Otherwise you are left with either the USB scopes you mentioned or paying sub-$300 to get the entry level Rigol or Siglent. If it was me I would choose the latter because things like triggering and lower noise floors are essential to diagnosing issues but at the end of the day you know your finances and budget.

Last edited by PedroDaGr8; 23rd July 2014 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 23rd July 2014, 07:57 PM   #8
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Possibly it would be cheaper and more practical to get one used
Kenwood GE-7030 Graphic Equalizer.

By this item you will have graphical representation of what is happening, and you will not need any learning curve.
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Old 24th July 2014, 12:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Kiriakos View Post
Possibly it would be cheaper and more practical to get one used
Kenwood GE-7030 Graphic Equalizer.

By this item you will have graphical representation of what is happening, and you will not need any learning curve.
I would still need/want an oscilloscope...


And it's not a yamaha
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Old 24th July 2014, 09:23 PM   #10
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@PedroDaGr8 all ready mentioned your best possible options.. follow his advice.
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