Can anyone recommend me a scope? i was borrowing a friends one for my DIY, but i’m getting more and more into it and i’d like to have one and don’t spend a fortune, would this make any sense??
Should i go the used way, any good software one?

I know nothing about software ones, but having a hardware oscillo is both handy and looks really cool, so if I was you, I’d buy used.

I really like the Saleae products. They don’t work as a real-time oscilloscope, but the capability to record all your logic signals along with analog signals has been invaluable to me. If you are doing more digital than analog, but also need to occasionally look at an analog signal I think they are good.

For an oscilloscope I use the more expensive (but really reasonably priced for the capabilities!) Rigol DS1052e.

Thank you guys, i’ll go the used way, ffound a 40mhz Hameg for 120€ that seems pretty ok and portable for what i need…

bah - realised I duplicated this thread a couple of months back… Anyway it needs reviving - still haven’t bought a 'scope, and just stumbled on this cheapy:

looks kind of neat and host-side seems to be free software, which would be a huge bonus for me, however looks like it may be a little slow for i2s bus work…

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Since this I bought a Hameg that is amazing, not digital, but one of the last analogs they made, it works wonders for me and I paid 140€

Can recommend the JYE DSO138 for starters btw, Its a cheap small DIY digital oscilloscope round 25 euro and good enough to see/analyse your music :smile: Good alternative to those expensive o’tool modules.

I got this one a while ago: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00BB4ETJW/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1490800148&sr=8-3&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=oscilloscope+dso

Clearly not comparable to the real deal but it does serve my very limited and occasional needs well enough.

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The v1 o Tool goes for really cheap on the 2nd hand market. I picked one up (£110) for my 6U case, fully expecting to replace it after a short while with something more interesting/useful but the thing is invaluable and is a permanent feature for sure.

bumping this, as i’m looking for a cheap tool to probe around on a prophet 5 cpu and see why it’s locking up on boot.

any tips? digital should be fine for me.

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I would go second hand.
BK precision, Rigol, those are quality cheap options


A friend/fellow electronics person uses a DSO Nano V3 from Seeed and he has lots of good things to say about it. He’s recommended it to me many times and while I haven’t bought one yet, he’s used his on many projects we’ve done together and it’s really handy.
EDIT - just realized this was already linked above…oops! But that’s two endorsements for it now, haha


We use Rigol at my place of work. They’re very affordable for what they are and their products are well made and industrial quality.

I personally have a cheap Chinese DSO130 off eBay. Its not very good (1 channel and 50kHz is about the max it will realistically sample and that’s with some noticeable rolloff), but its dirt cheap ($25 or so) and for audio rate signals it is far better than nothing at all.

For dirt cheap and still useful, a friend has a SainSmart (their DSO 213 looked interesting to me) but I’m pretty sure I’ll spend the few extra bucks and get a 4 channel Rigol with logic probes instead.


I’ve been looking at the Rigol DS1054Z – is that the one you’re referring to? In the market for a scope and in researching, this one seems to be one of the better entry level models (under $400). Also looks like all the features are enabled now rather than trial with upgrade purchase.

I like the look of some of the older scopes I’ve seen but concerned about reliability and accuracy.

Any of the DS1xx4Z (the xx is the bandwidth: 05 = 50MHz, 07 = 70, 10 = 100) series are really great basic scopes at an insane value. The plus models allow you to buy a modestly-priced 16 channel digital add-on later too, so if you expect to be working with multi-channel mixed signals (e.g. debugging the SPI or I2C chatter while also watching analogue waveforms) that’s a nice possibility.

Yes, all the features are now enabled permanently when purchasing the entry level scopes, making them an even better deal.

50MHz is really good bandwidth for an entry level scope and even nicer is the 1GSa/s specification - with 4 channels this means you still have 250MSa/s sample rate. These are excellent figures at that price, you’ll be able to do pretty much anything you need with standard embedded chips at all reasonable peripheral speeds (50MHz SPI might be a bit tight on that particular model but since the rolloff is only 3db at 50MHz and it’s sufficiently oversampled, it could probably get a lock even on that).

In short, if that’s all you can afford, it’s a great scope and a very good value for the money. If you can afford the DS1074Z-Plus, though, you’ll also be getting yourself some nice upgradeability in the future if you decide you need a whackload of extra digital channels.


I nabbed one, but (cough) Amazon (cough) has another Tektronix TDS2004C 4-channel 70MHz 1GS/s scope going for $643.88. Pretty awesome deal.


EDIT: Nevermind! I refreshed the page and the price is back up to $2,470.00 :confused:

I really value silence when working with audio, so my recommendation is a used analog scope off of craigslist or equivalent. I’m sure there are high power analog scopes with loud fans out there, so just test it out first.

Then if you need to be able to capture a bunch of channels or decode logic, I like the Saleae mentioned earlier. These have 10 or 12-bit converters, so you can capture analog waveforms, not just digital. The software has been very easy to use. Supposedly the newer version (maybe beta?) allows for a live scope view.

The “sale” price for those is higher than the normal price for a 4-channel Rigol DS1104Z-Plus which has 100MHz bandwidth, 1GSa/sec, and can easily (and cheaply) be expanded to 16 more digital channels too (and is already unlocked, including all the protocol decode options and waveform recording)! Honestly I think the Rigol is the better deal!

Brand new Tek scopes (as in, you’re the original owner) come with a limited lifetime warranty which is years better than Rigol’s 3-year warranty. That was a good deal but I’ve since updated the post. I also have a Tektronix TDS640A 500MHz 2GS/s 4-channel from 1995 that still (basically) works which speaks to the device’s longevity. But yeah–if short term upfront cost is one’s largest concern go with Rigol like you said.

Just wondering if anyone here is familiar with the OGA. Got a friend building some and I’m trying to figure the proper affordable oscilloscope and cables to go out from OGA to the oscilloscope…or, even better, to bypass the scope and just go straight into CRT or LCD. Sorry for the basic questions, this one is new for me, and not much info on Oscilloscope Graphic Artist at hand! Thanks for any feedback as always! :slight_smile: