Review Of OWON HDS Series 2-Channel Handheld Digital Storage Oscilloscope

If you’re looking for a cheap oscilloscope option, this isn’t really it (but, in reality, it is pretty affordable), considering the full set of features it boasts, the OWON HDS Series 2-Channel Handheld Digital Storage Oscilloscopes are great handheld oscilloscope options for both the professional and the hobbyist.

The HDS Series features a 20 MHz bandwidth, which provides a sample rate of 100 MS/s. The results are detailed waveforms on both channels, especially compared to less expensive handheld units with lower sample rates. If detail and power are important to you in a handheld product, this is the oscilloscope for you.

Another huge feature of the HDS Series oscilloscopes working in its favor is the fact that it has 2 digital channels, something many other handheld units just don’t have.

The OWON HDS Series oscilloscopes feature many of the same built-in functions that the OWON benchtop units have, such as automated measurements like peak-to-peak, period and frequency, as well as math formulae like FFT, subtract, multiply, etc. You can manually adjust the range or you can opt to use the handy auto-range feature.

The screen is a 3.7 inch across color LCD version which provides an easy to view readout. It has a rechargeable battery and charger, and it has USB plugin functionality, which allows a user to connect it to your PC and download and print stored waveform data. It even includes a durable carrying case.

Drawbacks? Only a few. Overall, the ‘fit and finish’ could be a bit better on the unit, as it’s mostly plastic. The readout screen isn’t bad, but it could be brighter and if it is used in a darker situation, it may require an auxiliary light source. Basically, the features are all there, but the unit might not be the most durable. Considering it has the features of products that are 3 times more expensive, it is a justifiable trade-off in terms of durability.

OWON HDS Series 2-Channel Digital Portable / Handheld Oscilloscopes: Perceived Trade Offs:

After review of this blog, no doubt the reader has noticed a strong correlation between the price tag of the OWON HDS Series oscilloscopes and the features.

Primarily, there is a strong correlation between the bandwidth / sample rate and the price, as well as the number of channels available.

To a lesser degree, the user interface and ease of use also play a role in price.

A user should always consider trying to get the higher bandwidth wherever possible. The lower the bandwidth, the less powerful and useful your device will become.

With OWON HDS Series Handheld oscilloscopes, there’s an even greater jump in price with additional features. That is the cost associated with miniaturization.

To summarize, think of it like this: If a user is a hobbyist, the need is where no more than a couple hundred dollars on your scope should be spent. If the user is a professional, it should be expected to have a standard budget range of anywhere between $250.00 and $5000.00.

In other words, the pricing is directly correlated to the strength and features of handheld and benchtop oscilloscopes.

Established in 1990, OWON is based in China, specializing in the manufacture of oscilloscopes, waveform generators, multimeters, and programmable DC power supplies. These capable instruments are distributed to customers in the aerospace, automotive, communication, defense, electrical, and education industries in more than 80 countries across the globe.

Established in 2004, NorthTree Associates (Cologne, MN) is a North American distributor that provides unique electronic test & measurement tools for design engineers, test engineers and production engineers. Visit our online store to review and purchase OWON HDS Series Handheld Oscilloscopes – www.northtreeassociates.com

 

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Multimeter: The Swiss Knife of Electronic Test & Measurement Tools

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Recently, there has been a move towards increasing the functionality of many Electronic Test & Measurement tools that engineers use. The supposition is if one tool can do multiple tasks, engineers will need fewer tools, which can mean fewer tools on the workbench and fewer tools to calibrate. However, it has been indicated additional functions may limit the effectiveness of a tool to complete its primary task and any secondary features may not perform as well as a single-purpose product.

A multimeter is a multipurpose tester that has been a commonly used test tool that has been around a long time. Although analog multimeters are still being used, most multimeters now are digital. For engineers, it is a must have portable tool.

The latest DMM models have increased capabilities along with wireless functionality, and virtually limitless options. A single multimeter can meet varying needs.
Engineers may be more interested in fast go/no-go (noncontact) testing for voltage presence, and low-impedance modes for preventing false readings caused by ghost voltage.

Instead of searching for a digital multimeter that has 20 or 30 dial positions to cover every possible measurement, engineers should look for a DMM with measurement capabilities that fit their most common tasks. Wireless communications is a common feature of digital multimeters. These units take a single, momentary measurement and stores it in a database. Having the capability to store readings can prove helpful when conducting a series of readings that need to be logged. Taking it a step further, advanced DMMs offer Bluetooth capabilities to stream readings to a mobile device which would display readings remotely. Using a smartphone or tablet for remote viewing can help improve safety and also make it easier to operate equipment not immediately adjacent to the point of measurement.

Current multimeters are more versatile beyond the scope of standard multiple measurement modes. For example, a low-pass filter can ensure precision readings even when signals are noisy. It would be useful for working on variable frequency drives [VFDs]. Low Z mode does not allow so-called ‘ghost voltage’ to affect readings. Point-and-shoot infrared surface temperature measurement is a popular option on multimeters.

Also, richer, higher quality color displays has increased the usability of multimeters. High-contrast, dot-matrix LCDs are easier to read and brings the multimeter display beyond numerical values and labels and to a more advanced graphical reading displays for better testing results. A side benefit of being able to incorporate mobile capabilities is connectivity with other tools like infrared cameras. A multimeter can transmit electrical readings to an infrared camera, which can imprint those readings on related thermal images for effective testing and documentation.

There are now two distinct types of multimeters: units with high display count and accuracy for electronics engineers and units with high CAT safety ratings (IEC 61010) with acceptable functions for the electrical engineer or field engineer. If portable durability is needed, a user should check to see durability specifications.

Established in 2004, NorthTree Associates (Cologne, MN) is a North American distributor that provides unique Electronic Test & Measurement tools for design engineers, test engineers and production engineers.wireless