Cheap Oscilloscopes

Sometimes it's just not worth buying used, especially when you can buy a new oscilloscope this cheap. However, when I say cheap, I don't mean cheap quality. These are exceptionally great quality oscilloscopes at an amazing price - therefore cheap oscilloscopes. Think oscilloscopes for those on a budget. These are great beginner oscilloscopes but are entry level scopes. If you're looking for something more feature rich than you may end up needing a used oscilloscope.

I'll present the different options, specs, and pricing. Then let you decide if you still want to buy a used oscilloscope. Granted most of these oscilloscopes won't be as feature rich as the brand new $6000 Tektronix o-scopes, but in nearly all cases they are good enough for most small businesses and hobby engineers. With that said, most of these have every feature scopes had 5-10 years ago which makes them an invaluable (yet cheap) tool for debugging your microprocessor or analog circuits.

Here is a quick reference guide for the cheapest yet quality oscilloscopes around the net. Many of these links will push you to Amazon or Ebay so you can trust the delivery and reviews provided on these sites. Don't just take my word for it ๐Ÿ˜‰

Rigol DS1052E$380250MHz, 1GS/s60+ Reviews5.7"
Rigol DS1102E$3992100MHz, 1GS/s9+ Reviews5.7"
Owon PDS5022T$279225MHz, 100MS/s26+ Reviews8"
Owon SDS5032$290230MHz, 250MS/s2+ Reviews8"
Owon SDS6062$379260Mhz, .5GS/s5+ Reviews8"
Owon SDS7102$4492100MHz, 1GS/s13+ Reviews8"
Atten ADS1062CAL$330260MHz, 1GS/s12+ Reviews7"
Atten ADS1102CA$4392100MHz, 1GS/s7+ Reviews7"
Seeedstudio DSO Nano V2$991200kHz24+ Reviews2.8"
Seeedstudio DSO Nano V3$991200kHz9+ Reviews2.8"

Top 3 Cheap Oscilloscope Recommendations

  1. Owon PDS5022T:
    PDS5022TThis 20MHz oscilloscope is one of the least expensive options on the market.

    It provides two channels plus an external trigger and can record 6000 data points per channel. One convenient function provided is the autoscale function. The large 7.8" lcd screen is a pleasure to use.

    If you need to transfer data to your computer for further data analysis this scope provides that functionality through a USB port. There are several advanced trigger options available to include the Edge Trigger, Video Trigger, and Alternate Trigger. A new feature for this line of scopes is the Trigger Holdoff.

    This is our top pick for a "cheap oscilloscope" as it is the cheapest full featured dual channel oscilloscope. It also has more than 20 positive reviews on Amazon. Pretty impressive feature set for under $300.

  2. Rigol DS1052E:
    DS1052E Entry Level Oscope
    This is a 100MHz dual channel oscilloscope obviously made by Rigol. For the price its an extremely high quality piece of test equipment. The buttons are well done and the screen is extremely nice, especially with the very bright backlight. It provides a USB interface for wave captures should you need to do some post processing. However this unit does have quite a bit of the standard math functions including FFT.

    When this scope was first released it could be had for about $500. As you can see they've come down quite a bit in price since their release.

  3. Seeedstudio DSO Nano V3:
    SEEED DSO v3
    Who would have thought for less than $100 you could have your very own oscilloscope? Granted it only has a 320x240px screen but still you get the ability to scope all kind of signals with this little guy.

    It's only a single channel but provides 2MB of onboard memory instead of the mirco SD slot which you could have found on earlier versions of this scope. It's biggest limiting factor is its 200kHz analog bandwidth but if you're in a pinch this little guy provides a lot of capability. This is a great beginner oscilloscope or a great addition to the toolbox. There is no telling where you'll find the opportunity to use this flexible piece of test equipment.