Top 10 Criteria to Consider When Selecting an Oscilloscope (Part 2)

Last week, we outlined five of the top criteria to consider when choosing an oscilloscope for your electronics lab, be it analog, digital, mixed-signal or mixed-domain. This week, we look at 5 more criteria that you should consider when looking for an oscilloscope.

Triggering stabilizes the signals on your screen

This feature saves you from headaches (literally!) from viewing unstable signals. Triggering is the key reason your signals will appear stable on the screen. Look for oscilloscopes that provide versatile and wide ranges of triggering capabilities beyond the common edge and pulse width triggering. This is one feature that will be helpful to get as many varieties and flexibilities as you can, because you may not know what kind of signal anomalies you may be trying to catch. If you are working on digital or communication signals such as I2C, SPI, USB, CAN/LIN etc, ensure that there are special triggers for that, too.

Waveform navigation & analysis saves time by locating specific waveform errors

Searching for specific waveform errors can be pretty difficult, and you may end up getting lost or spend a very long time locating them. Having capabilities to search and mark user-specified waveform criteria can speed up the process. Some other related capabilities include zoom, pan, play and pause, which will come in handy at different times.

Automation can measure a large number of parameters

Most, if not all, modern oscilloscopes come with this feature. Three features to look out for:

·        How many parameters can be automatically measured,

·        How many parameters can be monitored simultaneously, and

·        How easy it is to make those measurements.

Advanced math functions offer further analysis of your signals

Basic math functions are a must, but it would be helpful to have advanced and nested math function as well to give you a different view or perspective of your signals. FFT, for example, will give you a frequency-domain view which can uncover problems not obvious in the time-domain view.

Upgrades can extend the life and future capabilities of your oscilloscope

In our current economic reality, budgets are tight, and it is more cost efficient to be able to just pay for what you need. Find oscilloscopes that match your current technical requirements and budget with the ability to upgrade its capabilities should you need them in the future. This will stretch your oscilloscope investment in the long run.

That sums up the Top 10 criteria to consider when choosing an oscilloscope. MAT carries a wide range of oscilloscopes to meet your needs. Talk to us to find out which one best suit both your technical and budget requirements.