Oscilloscope Basics Revisited

An Oscilloscope? What is it? For a basic starting point, it shows the heartbeat of electronic devices. Oscilloscopes give insights into electronic devices and whether or not they are operating correctly, providing a user the ability to check signal health.

The signals of devices could be voltage or current. And the goal is to make sure those voltages or currents are oscillating at the right pace or frequency. We all know electronic signal glitches are bad, and an oscilloscope can help us find them. Being able to view the signals of an electronic devices allows a user to validate it is operating as expected. If a device is not operating properly, an oscilloscope can help diagnose the problem and correct it. Most electrical engineers, either need or already use an oscilloscope. This also applies to test engineers, students, or users who work in manufacturing, repair, research, or development.

The Basics of Oscilloscopes

In its most elementary understanding, an oscilloscope displays voltage versus time, with voltage on the vertical axis and time on the horizontal axis. This allows a user to review that a device’s signal is as expected, both in magnitude and frequency. A feature oscilloscopes provide is a visual representation of the signal, so a user can view any anomalies or distortion which may be occurring. But before a user can just jump in and test, there are some things to consider.

Just like cars, there a multitude of choices when looking for an oscilloscope. A user needs to boil it down to the right bandwidth, signal integrity, sample rate, and channel inputs. Also, an oscilloscope choice needs to be compatible with any applications and accessories that may be tested. The following is a basic list of features to consider when deciding on an oscilloscope:

Bandwidth – The range of frequencies an oscilloscope can measure accurately. Oscilloscope bandwidths can range from 20 MHz to 200 GHz.

Sample Rate – The number of reading samples an oscilloscope can take per second. The more samples per second, the more clearly and accurately defined is the display of a waveform.

Signal Integrity – In a nutshell, the oscilloscope’s accuracy of showing a waveform correctly. With a device under test, a user wants an accurate reading to save from wasting time troubleshooting for a root cause problem in a device when there isn’t actually a problem.

Channels – The number of inputs to the oscilloscope. Inputs can be analog or digital. Typically oscilloscopes have either 2 to 4 channels.

Probe Compatibility – A probe is a tool used to connect an oscilloscope to the device under test. Probe types include passive and active probes, each designed for specific uses. Oscilloscope and probes need to be compatible with specific tests.

Multiple Applications – Signal analysis, protocol decode, and compliance test software can reduce the time it takes to identify and capture errors in designs. Analysis software can help a user find and evaluate jitter, create eye diagrams, perform Fourier transforms, and even diagnose crosstalk. Protocol decoding software identifies digital packets of information, trigger on different packet occurrences, and identify possible protocol errors. No one oscilloscope is compatible with all applications.

Portability – Is a portable or bench-top unit more suited for a user’s applications? Both options work the same, but if a user needs to move an oscilloscope around to many locations or from bench to bench in a lab, then a portable handheld oscilloscope would be ideal.

Oscilloscopes Are Used For Multiple Applications

Basic testing usually requires an oscilloscope that has 50 to 200 MHz of bandwidth, a passive probe, and ample sample rate, signal integrity, and 2 to 4 channels.

In using a basic oscilloscope set up, a user can spot-check printed circuit boards (PCBs), power lines for noise, shorts, and I/Os (inputs and outputs) that are not functioning properly. Also different trigger modes can be used to search for runts, glitches, and timing errors. Signals and data will need to be captured to prove the quality of designs and manufacturing. A few basic oscilloscopes can even perform Bode or frequency and phase response analysis.

The multitude of uses for which an oscilloscope can be used shows it is a versatile and widely used instrument. Oscilloscopes are used by automotive technicians to diagnose electrical problems in cars. Schools at all levels take advantage of oscilloscopes to teach students about electronics. Oscilloscopes are used in many other applications: research, cell phone signals, military and aviation testing of radar communication systems, R&D departments to design and confirm new technologies, and compliance testing.

In sum, choosing an oscilloscope is not as difficult as it is made out to be – a user needs to know what applications need to be tested, and then match up an oscilloscope’s capabilities to the application.

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Review of OWON SDS7102 Deep Storage Digital Oscilloscope

A good oscilloscope is a necessity when doing any sort of electrical work or troubleshooting. The OWON SDS7102 oscilloscope is designed to help deliver an easy-to-use oscilloscope that can be used by either professionals or people who are engaging in a do-it-yourself product at home.

The OWON SDS7102 oscilloscope is lightweight but durable, is rated highly for its accuracy, and has a number of extra functions that many users find to be quite useful.

Overview of the OWON SDS7102 oscilloscope

The OWON SDS7102 is a two-channel oscilloscope that can be used to qualify and test electrical currents, provide assistance with general electrical installations and to ensure signal stability. The SDS7102 model has a 100 MHz memory which allows it to store multiple readings for use later on. It comes with a LAN interface which allows a user to transfer files to a computer or network.

Additionally, a VGA interface option is available. It is an effective and efficient way to display readings on a larger screen if needed.

Regarding the size of the OWON SDS7102 oscilloscope, it is light enough to be portable, but rugged enough to survive a drop or two and still function properly. Also, the screen is glare-resistant and is easy to read due to its outstanding screen contrasts. Another feature is its LAN interface, as it offers more stability than a USB cable. This allows a user the freedom of not having to remember a specific cord or attachment configuration.

With a sample depth of 10M points memory per channel, along with the memory running at full speed, the performance of the OWON SDS7102 oscilloscope is comparable to more expensive models. With up to 20x more memory and 2x faster memory compared to similarly priced models is a big performance advantage for the OWON SDS7102 oscilloscope. In dual channel mode using the full memory capacity, the OWON SDS7102 oscilloscope can do 500Ms/sec while other models can only do 250Ms/sec. While taking readings over an extended period of time, the difference grows even larger. At 1ms/division, the OWON SDS7102 can still do 500Ms/sec. A user would not recognize this if only referring to the advertised bandwidth and sample rate figures from OWON.

In conclusion, the OWON SDS7102 is a good value at its price point. It may not have all the features a more expensive model may have, but it certainly has the speed and memory needed for a long reading of a signal.

CLICK HERE  For specifications or to purchase a OWON SDS7102 Deep Storage Digital Oscilloscope.

10 Features of The OWON XDS Series Oscilloscope Will Help You Build The Oscilloscope You Need

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The XDS Series of Oscilloscopes is the latest product release from OWON. With 12‐bit resolution, the XDS series offers the best solution for those who need to measure small signals or be able to read details from a large signal. Highly suitable for Medical, Automotive, Power Supply, and more.

Here are 10 Reasons Why The OWON XDS Series Oscilloscope Will Be Your Next Oscilloscope:

  1. Large Touch Screen

OWON XDS Oscilloscopes have a generous 8 inch, 800×600 pixels resolution capacitance multi-point touch screen. The operation patterns are the same as the mobile version. Most other oscilloscopes on the market are using a resistance screen, which isn’t as user-friendly in this era of touch screen gadgets and tools.

  1. Signal Generator Module

The XDS Series Oscilloscopes has the option of 25MHz arbitrary waveform signal generator – in a single or dual channel option. When using the dual channel option, each channel is totally isolated. With the 8-bit models (XDS3102/XDS3202) a user has the additional option of choosing 50MHz signal generator.

  1. Multimeter Module

With a 4000 count multimeter module option, the OWON XDS Oscilloscope is not like other oscilloscopes which have simple voltage measurement function multimeters. The XDS Oscilloscope employs a real multimeter module. It has the capabilities to measure the voltage, current, resistance, and capacitance of a signal(s).

  1. 12-bits vertical resolution

OWON XDS Oscilloscopes use 12-bit hardware ADC. When an 8-bit ADC oscilloscope extends its waveform to a more detailed shape, the shape will become distorted. This is caused by quantizing noise. When using a 12-bit unit, distortion does not occur. The XDS Oscilloscope with 12-bits ADC has 16 times the vertical resolution than an 8-bit oscilloscope. Thus, a smaller signal can be viewed more clearly.

  1. Communications Interface

XDS Series Oscilloscopes have USB, LAN, VGA, AV and Wi-Fi interfaces for communication.

OWON has introduced its Wi-Fi Module with the release of the XDS Series Oscilloscopes. The Wi-Fi Module has 2 modes: Wi-Fi AP and Wi-Fi STA. Wi-Fi AP is to make the oscilloscope act as a hot spot. A user can use a mobile device or computer to connect to the oscilloscope. This will allow a user to access and use the software inside a mobile device/computer to control and monitor the oscilloscope. When the oscilloscope is set to Wi-Fi STA, it allows the oscilloscope to connect with a router, making it accessible on the same local area network as a user’s computer. In this situation, one computer can control and have access to multiple oscilloscopes at the same time.

  1. Battery

The XDS has the option to purchase a battery to make it portable in use. It contains 13200mA power, which lasts about 4 hours. Easy to install and remove. The float measurement is possible continuously supported while the unit is being powered by the battery. It also prevents the channels from ground disturbance(s).

  1. Low Base Noise

The Base Noise of the OWON XDS is extremely low. When it is at 1mV/div position, the base noise is only 50μV or so. The lower the base noise, the better and more accurately a small signal is represented.

  1. Deep Record Length

With an extremely deep 40M record length, the XDS Oscilloscope can capture more data one time than most other oscilloscopes on the market.

  1. High Waveform Refresh Rate

With a fast 75,000 wfms/s high waveform refresh rate, the OWON XDS Oscilloscope easily captures abnormal signals or rare events.

  1. Data Logger

The XDS Oscilloscope comes with 1ppm frequency stability to make it more accurate in data logging. Other oscilloscopes on the market only come with a 50ppm or 100ppm capability reading.

OWON XDS Series Oscilloscopes come with the OWON 3rd generation technology platform ‐ Xvisual, which advances the performance of the XDS series oscilloscopes over other oscilloscopes available. The new Xvisual platform consists of 3 parts: Low Base Noise, 40M Record Length, 75,000 wfms/s Refresh Rate. One of the main benefits of Xvisual is ease at which the measurement of small signals can be read, and the ability to fully restore the true status of signals.

The XDS Series Oscilloscope software, provides advanced trigger and protocol decoding functions to help engineers analyze bus protocols and quick positioning. The embedded Wi‐Fi module ensures computers and cell phones can share the display screen to view and control the oscilloscope. Users can also check and save waveform data via App. By saving data via the App, data can be shared between other users.

The optional capacitance touch screen has been designed to look and act similar to a Smartphone – thus being intuitive and easy to start using right out of the box.

Additionally, the OWON XDS is a complete mobile test station. It has incorporated the ultra‐thin design of the OWON SDS series oscilloscope, and has a battery option for portable use in the field. Besides the oscilloscope function, the OWON XDS also has function modules such as: a 25 MHz/50MHz single/dual channel(s) arbitrary waveform generator, a digital multimeter and a high precision data logger.

Established in 2004, NorthTree Associates (Cologne, MN) is a North American distributor for OWON oscilloscopes, waveform generators, and programmable power supplies. NorthTree Associates provides unique Electronic Test & Measurement tools for design engineers, test engineers and production engineers. www.northtreeassociates.com

OWON XDS Series Oscilloscope Tech Review

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“Base Noise: The Oscilloscope Parameter Often Ignored.”

When it comes to the main parameters of oscilloscopes, bandwidth, sample rate, and recording length all come to mind. However, there is a parameter that is often ignored: Base Noise.

What is the Base Noise? Why it is so important? The following will explain what it is and why it shouldn’t be overlooked.

Base Noise refers to the “Baseline Noise”, which indicates the vertical noise in the transformation of a simulated front end and a digital end.

As an example, OWON looked at The Base Noise of an oscilloscope. In particular, we looked at the noise a waveform generated while the OWON oscilloscope was turning into its most sensitive vertical position. The range scale of Base Noise was determined by counting the SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio). The higher the value, the lower the interference. Thus, the lower Base Noise the signal contained.

How Base Noise influences measurement results:

With the rapid development and advancement of electronics technology, some processing chips are limited in their ability to generate mVs in power. The power ripple might be required at ±5% or even lower. If the Base Noise is very high, the real measured signal would be drowned in the Base Noise of the device, and engineers would then get a false reading. Therefore, Base Noise is very important when measuring small signals.

Since the Base Noise is so important. Why don’t oscilloscope manufacturers mention this?

The main reason: cost control. Most of middle to low end oscilloscopes in the market are designed for larger bandwidth or higher sample rate. Their processor chips are mostly used for overclock running, which causes the other components to overload while running. This then contributes to a large Base Noise effect. Oscilloscope manufacturers are not willing to expose their shortcoming, so a user is unable to learn of a particular oscilloscope brand’s Base Noise until put to use for their application.

OWON conducted a comparison of the Base Noise level of popular oscilloscope on market:

OWON - T

T Company’s oscilloscope on 1mV/div and 500us position.

(440uV Peak-Peak Voltage)

OWON - R

R brand popular oscilloscope on 1mV/div and 500us position.

(920uV Peak-Peak Voltage)

OWON - C

A Chinese brand 3000 series oscilloscope on 1mV/div and 500us position.

(467uV Peak-Peak Voltage)

OWON - O

Lilliput OWON XDS Series Oscilloscope on 1mV/div and 500us position. (380uV Peak-Peak Voltage)

Based on the oscilloscope comparison, most of middle end oscilloscopes had more than 500uV noise. The brand that consistently had the lowest Base Noise was the OWON XDS Series Oscilloscope. Their VPP value held on an average of 350uV. The OWON XDS Series Oscilloscope controlled Base Noise better than T Company’s most popular mid-range oscilloscope.

The OWON XDS Series Oscilloscope is the latest product release from OWON. With 12‐bit resolution, the XDS series offers the best solution for those who need to measure small signals or be able to read details from a large signal. Highly suitable for Medical, Automotive, Power Supply, and more.

OWON XDS series oscilloscopes come with the OWON 3rd generation technology platform ‐ Xvisual, which advances the performance of the XDS series oscilloscopes over other oscilloscopes available. The new Xvisual platform consists of 3 parts: Low Base Noise, 40M Record Length, 75,000 wfms/s Refresh Rate. One of the main benefits of Xvisual is ease at which the measurement of small signals can be read, and the ability to fully restore the true status of signals.

If you need an economical oscilloscope to measure small signals, the OWON XDS Series Oscilloscopes are your best choice.

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. www.northtreeassociates.com

9 Factors to Consider When Choosing an Oscilloscope

SDS Front

If you’re involved in electronics, you’ll probably have an oscilloscope on your bench. As electronics become more complex almost daily, sooner or later a new oscilloscope will be in order. How to choose the right one for your applications?

Factors to consider:

Remember that the bandwidth specification of an oscilloscope is the frequency of the “-3 dB point” of a sine-wave signal of a particular amplitude, e.g. 1 Vpp. As the frequency of your sinewave goes up (while keeping the amplitude constant), the measured amplitude goes down. The frequency at which this amplitude is -3 dB lower, is the instrument’s bandwidth. This means that an oscilloscope of 100MHz would measure a 1Vpp sinewave of 100MHz at only (approx.) 0.7Vpp. That is an error of about 30%! In order to measure more correctly, use this rule of thumb: BW/3 equals about 5% error; BW/5 equals about 3% error. In other words: if the highest frequency you want to measure is 100 MHz, choose an oscilloscope of at least 300MHz, a better bet would be 500MHz. Unfortunately, this has the most influence on the price…

Understand that today’s signals are no longer pure sine waves, but most of the time square waves. These are built by “adding” the odd harmonics of the fundamental sine wave together. So a 10 MHz square wave is “built” by adding a 10MHz sine wave + a 30MHz sine wave + a 50MHz sine wave and so on. Rule of thumb: get a scope that has a bandwidth of at least the 9th harmonic. So if you’re going for square waves, it’s better to get a scope with a bandwidth of at least 10x the frequency of your square wave. For 100MHz square waves, get a 1GHz scope… and a bigger budget…

Consider rise (fall) time. Square waves have steep rise and fall times. There’s an easy rule of thumb to get to know what bandwidth your scope needs to be if these times are important to you. For oscilloscopes with bandwidths below 2.5GHz, calculate the steepest rise (fall) time it can measure as 0.35/BW. So an oscilloscope of 100MHz can measure rise times up to 3.5ns. For oscilloscopes above 2.5GHz up to about 8GHz, use 0.40/BW, and for scopes above 8GHz use 0.42/BW. Is your risetime the starting point? Use the inverse: if you need to measure rise times of 100ps, you’ll need a scope of at least 0.4/100ps = 4 GHz.

Choose your sample speed. Today’s oscilloscopes are almost all digital. The above steps involved the analog part of the instrument, before it gets to the A/D converters to get “digitized”. Here the bandwidth-to-rise time calculation can help you out: an oscilloscope of 500MHz has a calculated rise time of 700ps. To reconstruct this, you need at least 2 sample points on this edge, so at least a sample each 350ps, or 2.8Gsa/s (gigasamples per second). Scopes don’t come in this flavor, so choose a model with a faster sampling speed, e.g. 5Gsa/s (resulting in 200ps “time resolution”).

Decide on the number of channels. This is easy: most scopes come with 2ch or 4ch configurations, so you can choose what you need. Fortunately prices don’t double from 2ch to 4ch, but it does have a big impact on the price of the instrument. High-end scopes (>=1GHz) have always 4ch.

Calculate how much memory you’ll need. Depending on how much of your signal you want to see in a “single shot acquisition”, get your math right: at 5Gsa/s, you have a sample each 200ps. A scope with a memory of 10.000 sample points, can store 2µs of your signal. A scope with 100M samples (they do exist!) can store 20 seconds! Looking at repetitive signals or “eye-diagrams”, memory is less important.

Think about repetition rate. A digital oscilloscope uses a lot of time calculating. Between the moment of triggering (see next step), having the captured signal on the display, and capturing the next triggered event, most digital scopes “consume” several milliseconds. This results in only a few “photos” of your signal each second (waveforms per second), typically about 100-500. One vendor solved this problem with so called “Digital Phosphor” (from about 4.000 wfms/s to >400.000 wfms/s for the top models), others followed with similar-like technologies (but not always sustained/continuous, rather in bursts). This repetition rate is important because those rare errors and faults in your signal might occur just then when the scope is not acquiring, but busy calculating the last taken acquisition. The higher the repetition rate (wfms/s rate), the higher your chances are of capturing that rare event.

Check what kind of errors you expect to be looking for. All digital scopes have some sort of intelligent triggers on board, meaning you can trigger on more than just the rising or falling edge of your signal. If your repetition rate is high enough, you’ve probably seen that rare glitch every other second. Then it’s nice to have a Glitch trigger.

Think about resolution of LCD display. Small screens with poor resolution can make your life miserable if you cannot see results easily. Buy the largest screen with the best definition your budget will allow.

Some Final Tips

  • Triggering, repetition rate and memory: once you found the rare event with a high wfms/s rate, having the right trigger available is more important than repetition rate, as your scope will trigger only on the (rare) event, which occurs… right: rarely. So you don’t need high rep-rate anymore. Memory can become more important, as to be able to analyze what happened before or after the event.
  • Remember: garbage in is garbage out, so get the bandwidth and rise time issue sorted out first!

Established in 2004, NorthTree Associates (Cologne, MN) is a North American distributor that specializes in providing unique Electronic Test & Measurement tools for design engineers, test engineers and production engineers. You can visit our website at http://www.northtreeassociates.com

Choosing the Right Diagnostic Automotive Oscilloscope for Your Auto Repair Shop

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Searching for Answers: Choosing Your Oscilloscope

Every shop will have different needs and uses for an oscilloscope, so it’s important to identify your facility’s specific needs from the equipment. Here are six steps to cover so your choice is the most correct one.

Step 1: What kind of vehicles are worked on? Take a look at the shop’s mix. What kind and type of vehicles are repaired the most? What makes, models and years are seen most often? “The more specific and ‘specialized’ the work that can be provided, the better off the shop will be. Choose the 10 most worked-on vehicles, and figure out the needs for those.

Step 2: Consider what isn’t worked on. Obviously, an oscilloscope should be able to help in bringing in additional business, jobs, revenue and, as is the overall goal – profitability. Will it be a tool that can help in bringing in vehicles in the area that the shop is missing out on? Are there any other shops working on a specific vehicles? If not, can the right oscilloscope help the shop take advantage of this opportunity?

Step 3: Research oscilloscopes. Here’s where shops often get off track or go the easy route. But if the proper approach is used and the correct observance of the shop’s work mix (Steps 1 and 2), then it narrows it down quite a bit. Here are six things to consider:

Coverage. What software does the tool come with? What updates? What vehicles does the software cover? Makes and model years? Because of changes in vehicle design and capabilities, how often is the software updated? It needs to be understood what each software package is capable of diagnosing.

Training/Ease of Use. Most oscilloscopes are “plug & play” aftermarket tools. Higher-end oscilloscopes often come with a steeper learning curve for first-time users. Try to get a feel for how long it will take shop technicians to master the equipment, and what training or support is offered.

Compatibility. Some oscilloscopes are Windows-based PC or laptop-based, and that often means one oscilloscope with powerful software can provide a wide range of coverage.

Technical Support. Got hotline? Some oscilloscope manufacturers provide hotlines of sorts to call for additional information or for support for difficult diagnoses. Understand how each oscilloscope is supported.

Upgrades/Updates. Oscilloscopes are constantly being upgraded and updated. Research the companies you’re considering and see what they offer in terms of upgrades. Not only for the purpose of the software but also for the oscilloscope.

Cost. An obvious point. Do you want a high-end do it all oscilloscope, then get ready to pay significantly. There’s going to be a large discrepancy in price between oscilloscope makers. This is why understanding the work mix of the shop is important to grasp the value of the tool.

Step 4: Analyze the return. There are a lot of ways to try to analyze how valuable a diagnostic oscilloscope is for a shop. One way to analyze the return is to low-ball the return and only compare the cost of the tool (including subscriptions and upgrades) to the amount of profit made on diagnostic charges. This will gave an absolute minimum that can serve to directly pay off the tool.

Step 5: Demo the tools. Be wary of any company that isn’t confident enough in its oscilloscope to let you have it for trial period. What is their return policy? If the oscilloscope doesn’t fit your needs, can you return it NQA? Using the oscilloscope on your own is important in making the right decision.

Step 6: Implement the tools. Although this step must come after you selected and purchased a tool, it will also help to confirm your decision. Don’t just simply buy diagnostic equipment and hand it off to the technician. Create processes and systems for your shop to use it correctly, Seyfer says, and make sure to market your capabilities.

Keep It Simple

Choosing an oscilloscope for the shop can be a difficult task. The most important thing to remember, is to find the best fit for your shop. Get as much information as possible. Speak with other shops, talk with vendors, ask about it in association gatherings, and on message boards—anywhere you can. There’s plenty of information out there about each tool.

In the end, try to make the process as simple as you can.

Should you have any questions, you can contact us directly by filling out the form below.

10 Reasons Why You Need A PC Oscilloscope

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PC Oscilloscopes (PCOs) are rapidly replacing traditional digital storage oscilloscopes (DSOs) as the essential item for your test equipment arsenal. Here are 10 reasons why:

  1. Compact and portable units
  2. Uses your PC monitor to provide a large and detailed color display
  3. Signal storage is limited only by your PC’s storage capability
  4. Captured waveforms and instrument settings can easily be shared with others
  5. New functionality through free software updates
  6. Can be used with desktop or laptop PCs
  7. High-speed USB 3.0 connection (parallel port oscilloscopes are also available)
  8. Hardware and software in one package
  9. Use your PC Oscilloscope for data acquisition
  10. A complete test and measurement lab in one unit

1.  Compact and portable units

By integrating several instruments into one small unit, PC Oscilloscopes (PCOs) are lighter and more portable than traditional test equipment. When used with a laptop computer, you can carry a complete electronics lab in the same bag as your PC.

2.  Uses your PC monitor to provide a large and detailed color display

The display of a traditional oscilloscope is limited by the physical size of the oscilloscope, and may only be a single color. With a PC Oscilloscope your computer controls the display, so not only do you get a full color display, but the display can be the size of your monitor, projector or plasma display.

3.  Signal storage is limited only by your PC’s storage capability

PC Oscilloscopes store the signals that you are measuring directly on your PC. With the power of today’s modern PCs this gives you vast storage capabilities. Along with allowing you to record lengthy signals this also lets you save signals for reviewing at a later date.

4.  Captured waveforms and instrument settings can easily be shared with others

Need to show your customer or colleague the signal you have captured? Just save the waveform and email them a copy. They don’t have a copy of the oscilloscope software? No problem – just export it as text, an image or in a binary format for use with third-party software. (If they want to set up their equipment to run the same test, simply send them the oscilloscope settings too.)

5.  New functionality through free software updates

If you’re lucky you can return a traditional DSO to the supplier for a firmware upgrade and maybe get improved functionality. With a PC-based oscilloscope new features and improved functionality can be added at any time with a simple software update. Free software updates means that a PC Oscilloscope is one of the few things that can actually become more powerful and useful with age.

6.  Can be used with desktop or laptop PCs

PC Oscilloscopes are external devices that are connected to your PC using the ubiquitous Universal Serial Bus (USB). Virtually every laptop or desktop PC sold comes with multiple USB ports so there’s no problem using your PC Oscilloscope with either a desktop or a laptop PC.

7.  High-speed USB 3.0 connection

USB 3.0 can transfer data at speeds of up to 1 GS/s. Using powerful PC Oscilloscope software it give you incredible performance with fast screen updates and the ability to stream data.

8.  Hardware and software in one package

Choose PC Oscilloscopes that come complete with the hardware and software in one package.

9.  Use your PC Oscilloscope for data acquisition

Using the sw, you can transform your PC Oscilloscope into a data logger that can log data over extended periods of time.

10.  A complete test and measurement lab in one unit

When you buy a PC-based oscilloscope make sure you don’t just get an oscilloscope: make sure you also get a spectrum analyzer, meter and data logger rolled into your PC-Oscilloscope choice. Some models even include a built–in signal generator or arbitrary waveform generator. So with a PC Oscilloscope you really do get a complete test and measurement lab in one cost–effective unit.

NorthTree Associates is a distributor and supplier of Electronic Test & Measurement Equipment. Companies represented include ITIC USB 2.0 Protocol Analyzers, LabNation SmartScopes, Micsig Oscilloscopes, Oscium iOS Test Tools, OWON Oscilloscopes.