Oscilloscopes

An Oscilloscope, also known as O-scope, is a complex electronic laboratory instrument commonly used to capture, process, display and analyse the waveform and bandwidth of electronic signals. The device draws a graph of the instantaneous signal voltage as a function of time. O-scopes is an analyzer of a signal that comes from a signal generator. Digital oscilloscopes are often referred to as digital storage oscilloscope (DSO) or digital sampling oscilloscopes (DSO). You can learn more in our complete guide to oscilloscopes.

Different types of Oscilloscopes

Oscilloscopes fall into various categories. The biggest distinction is whether they are digital or analogue oscilloscopes. Within the digital oscilloscopes area, there are several different types.

  • Digital oscilloscopes: Basic type of oscilloscope used. Has several capabilities from a processing of the basic waveform to advance triggering.
  • Storage Oscilloscope (DSO): Has a memory to sore waveforms and display them for a period of time.
  • Phosphor oscilloscopes (DPO): use a parallel processing architecture to enable it to capture and display signals.
  • Digital sampling oscilloscopes: Used for analysing high-frequency signals for example up to 50 GHz.
  • Mixed Domain Oscilloscope, MDO: Can operate in more than one domain, i.e. in time to display waveforms and in frequency to display signal spectra.
  • Mixed Signal Oscilloscope, MSO: Combines an oscilloscope function with that of a logic analyser.

How does a digital oscilloscope work?

The oscilloscope is a graph-displaying instrument. It draws a graph of an electrical signal. In most applications the graph shows how signals change over time, the vertical (Y) axis represents voltage and the horizontal (X) axis represents time. Some of the oscilloscopes featuring additional user-friendly elements such as USB ports for downloading measurement data.

In its simplest form, a digital oscilloscope features six elements:

  • Analogue vertical input amplifiers
  • Analogue-to-digital converter and a digital waveform memory
  • Time base which features a triggering and clock drive
  • Circuits for waveform display and reconstruction
  • LED or LCD display
  • Power supply

How to choose the best oscilloscopes?

Oscilloscopes are widely used in industry and are being increasingly used as they now offer better performance levels than ever before.

There are many different types of oscilloscope each having their own characteristics. For example, the small, lightweight handheld digital oscilloscopes are ideal for use by technicians working in service, maintenance and installation applications. This means that different oscilloscopes types are applicable for different applications and choosing the correct type enables it to perform to its best and therefore gain the most from it.


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Description Price Number of Channels Bandwidth Digital/Analogue Oscilloscope Form Oscilloscope Type Series Interface Power Source Display Type Memory Depth Minimum Vertical Sensitivity Waveform Refresh Rate Maximum Vertical Sensitivity Minimum Time Base
RS Stock No. 793-3654
Mfr. Part No.PICOSCOPE 2204A
$325.72
Each
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2 10MHz Analogue - PC Based PicoScope 2000 - USB - - 10mV/div - 4V/div 10ns/div
RS Stock No. 919-5047
Mfr. Part No.FLUKE-123B/INT
BrandFluke
$2,507.00
Each
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2 20MHz Digital - Handheld 123 - Battery - - 5mV/div - 200V/div 20ns
RS Stock No. 811-1243
Mfr. Part No.FLUKE 190-504/UN
BrandFluke
$9,077.00
Each
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4 500MHz Digital - Handheld 190 - Battery LCD - 2mV/div - 100V/div 4ms/div
RS Stock No. 919-5069
Mfr. Part No.FLUKE-125B/INT
BrandFluke
$4,129.00
Each
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2 40MHz Digital - Handheld 125 - Battery - - 5mV/div - 200V/div 10ns
RS Stock No. 789-3733
Mfr. Part No.FLUKE-190-204/AU
BrandFluke
$7,983.00
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4 200MHz Digital - Handheld 190 II - Battery, Mains LCD - 2mV/div - 100V/div 2ns/div
RS Stock No. 111-6771
Mfr. Part No.PicoScope 2206B
$597.16
Each
units
2 50MHz Analogue - PC Based PicoScope 2000 - USB - - 4mV/div - 4V/div 2ns/div
RS Stock No. 827-2764
Mfr. Part No.Red Pitaya Starter Kit
BrandRed Pitaya
$655.52
Each
units
2 50MHz Analogue - PC Based Red Pitaya v 1.0 - Micro USB - - - - - 4ns/div
RS Stock No. 919-5093
Mfr. Part No.SP120B
BrandFluke
$72.00
Each
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- - - - - 120B - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 123-4512
Mfr. Part No.FLUKE-125B/AU/S
BrandFluke
$4,649.00
Each
units
2 40MHz Digital - Handheld 120B - Battery, Mains TFT Colour - 5mV/div - 200V/div 10ns/div
RS Stock No. 797-3312
Mfr. Part No.MDO3104
BrandTektronix
$26,296.00
Each
units
4 1GHz Digital Mixed Domain Portable MDO3000 - Mains TFT LCD - 1mV/div - 10V/div 400ps/div
RS Stock No. 123-4510
Mfr. Part No.FLUKE-123B/AU/S
BrandFluke
$3,027.00
Each
units
2 20MHz Digital - Handheld 120B - Battery, Mains TFT Colour - 5mV/div - 200V/div 20ns/div
RS Stock No. 793-3657
Mfr. Part No.PICOSCOPE 2205A
$475.23
Each
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2 25MHz Analogue - PC Based PicoScope 2000 - USB - - 10mV/div - 4V/div 5ns/div
RS Stock No. 919-5053
Mfr. Part No.FLUKE-124B/INT
BrandFluke
$3,420.00
Each
units
2 40MHz Digital - Handheld 124 - Battery - - 5mV/div - 200V/div 10ns
RS Stock No. 734-5004
Mfr. Part No.TPS2024B
BrandTektronix
$10,016.80
Each
units
4 200MHz Digital Digital Storage Bench TPS2000 USB Battery, Mains TFT LCD - 2mV/div - 5V/div 2.5ns/div
RS Stock No. 797-3337
Mfr. Part No.MDO3034
BrandTektronix
$15,656.00
Each
units
4 350MHz Digital Mixed Domain Portable MDO3000 - Mains TFT LCD - 1mV/div - 10V/div 1ns/div
RS Stock No. 111-6767
Mfr. Part No.PicoScope 2205A MSO
$751.65
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2, 16 25MHz Digital Mixed Signal PC Based 2000 - USB - - 4mV/div - 4V/div 2ns/div
RS Stock No. 797-3321
Mfr. Part No.MDO3102
BrandTektronix
$19,760.00
Each
units
2 1GHz Digital Mixed Domain Portable MDO3000 - Mains TFT LCD - 1mV/div - 10V/div 400ps/div
RS Stock No. 741-8629
Mfr. Part No.PicoScope 4262
$1,852.27
Each
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2 5MHz Analogue - PC Based PicoScope 4000 - Mains - - 2mV/div - 4V/div 1ns/div
RS Stock No. 797-3334
Mfr. Part No.MDO3024
BrandTektronix
$8,451.20
Each
units
4 200MHz Digital Mixed Domain Portable MDO3000 - Mains TFT LCD - 1mV/div - 10V/div 1ns/div
RS Stock No. 728-0701
Mfr. Part No.FLUKE-190-204/AU/S
BrandFluke
$9,077.00
Each
units
4 200MHz - - Handheld 190 II - Battery, Mains Colour - 2mV/div - 100V/div 2ns/div