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).

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 Oscilloscope Type Series Interface Power Source Display Type Minimum Vertical Sensitivity Waveform Refresh Rate Maximum Vertical Sensitivity Minimum Time Base Maximum Time Base Screen Size Sample Rate Random
RS Stock No. 751-2248
Mfr. Part No.U1620A
2 200MHz Handheld U1600 - Battery, Mains LCD 2mV/div - 50V/div 2ns/div - 5.7in 1 Gsps, 2 Gsps
RS Stock No. 686-2081
Mfr. Part No.U2702A
2 200MHz PC Based U1600 - Mains None 2mV/div - 5V/div 1ns/div - - 1 Gsps
RS Stock No. 751-2257
Mfr. Part No.U1610A
2 100MHz Handheld U1600 - Battery, Mains LCD 2mV/div - 50V/div 5ns/div - 5.7in 1 Gsps, 500 Msps
RS Stock No. 200-5274
Mfr. Part No.DSOX1202A
2 70MHz Bench DSOX - - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 200-5275
Mfr. Part No.DSOX1202G
2 70MHz Bench DSOX - - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 200-5280
Mfr. Part No.EDUX1052G
2 50MHz Bench EDUX - - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 134-6147
Mfr. Part No.EDUX1002G
2 50MHz Bench 1000 X - Mains TFT LCD - - 10V/div 5ns/div - 7in 1 Gsps
RS Stock No. 182-8412
Mfr. Part No.DSOX1204G
4 70MHz Digital Storage 1000 X - Mains LCD, TFT, WVGA - - 10V/div 5ns/div - 7in 1 (per Channel) Gsps, 2 (Half-Channel Interleaved) Gsps
RS Stock No. 200-5279
Mfr. Part No.EDUX1052A
2 50MHz Bench EDUX - - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 182-8410
Mfr. Part No.DSOX1204A
4 70MHz Digital Storage 1000 X - Mains LCD, TFT, WVGA - - 10V/div 5ns/div - 7in 1 (per Channel) Gsps, 2 (Half-Channel Interleaved) Gsps