Table of Contents
- 1 How to Choose the Best Portable and Handheld Oscilloscope
- 2 List of the Top 5 Best Portable and Handheld Oscilloscope
- 3 Conclusion
A Portable and handheld oscilloscope comes with built-in batteries compared to a traditional oscilloscope. This makes it handy for field applications as you don’t need an external power source to work with it. This device is important for technicians and engineers who do testing in close-fitting spaces or required to do a lot of field work.
Oscilloscopes are used on a wide array of electronic and scientific tasks, as well as automotive work. As the digital age progress further, we are finding more and more new uses for these multi-faceted gadgets. If you think dragging around a massive old oscilloscope that you have had for 20 years or more to be getting tiresome, you may want to consider upgrading to a portable cheap oscilloscope.
In this article, we have compiled 5 of the top portable and handheld oscilloscopes on the market today, to help you find the best oscilloscope to suit your needs
Sample Rate: 72MSa/s
Memory Depth: 4K
Screen Size : 3"
|Bandwidth: 20 MHz|
Sample rate: 100MS/s
|Bandwidth: 50MHz |
Channel : 1
Sample Rate: 200MSa/s
Sample Rate 150MS/s
How to Choose the Best Portable and Handheld Oscilloscope
Most modern oscilloscopes are now designed to be more compact, lighter and more portable for easy safe keeping and transport. Apart from troubleshooting process to characterizing microelectronics, automotive-service industry, facility maintenance and multi-industrial automation, the best handheld oscilloscope can also provide the performance of a bench oscilloscope in a rough and portable form factor.
Typically, test tools designed specifically for field use where circumstances are hazardous, demanding and risky are incorporated to a handheld oscilloscope. However, always keep in mind that portable oscilloscopes are not created equally. Thus, it is helpful for a user to first compare several of its essential specifications like memory depth, bandwidth and sample rate before determining on which handheld oscilloscope to buy. In addition, users should also consider its safety ratings, channel isolation capability and number of channels.
Many users of oscilloscopes mistakenly believe that the highest frequency that a scope can capture is determined by bandwidth. But, an oscilloscope’s bandwidth denotes that the frequency that its input signal is weakened by 3dB which interprets to about -30% amplitude error. This suggests that can’t be captured accurately near the bandwidth of the oscilloscope. When looking for a portable handheld oscilloscope, it is recommended to choose a unit with a bandwidth that’s 5 times more than the maximum frequency to be captured.
Users also assume that oscilloscopes with higher sample rates are better than those with lower sample rates. But actually, an oscilloscope that has a higher sample rate doesn’t automatically offer any additional advantage compared to those with lower sample rates. According to the sampling theorem of Nyquist, the sample rate of an oscilloscope should actually be more than twice the highest frequency of a signal. So if a user will capture a 40MHz signal, the oscilloscope’s sample rate should at least be about 80 MSa/s.
Another aspect worth looking at is the memory depth. Users can store a higher sample rate in an oscilloscope with a deep memory for a longer period. In terms of channels, these devices come in either two channels or four channels. Every channel lets users measure and record one signal at a time. When selecting a portable oscilloscope, a buyer should know the number of signals they want to display on the device.
List of the Top 5 Best Portable and Handheld Oscilloscope
1. SainSmart Mini DSO203 Handheld Oscilloscope
The SainsSmart Mini DSO203 comes with 4 channels; 2 72 MHz analog channels and 2 digital channels. It features 8 MHz analog bandwidth with a real-time sampling rate of 71 MSa/S. This relatively lightweight PC-based handheld pocket-sized digital oscilloscope has a trendy design and one of the best out there for its price point. It has a full color 400 x 240 pixels nano touchscreen and an integrated Square/Sine/Triangle/Sawtooth signal generator.
Furthermore, it comes equipped with a USB port, a 2MB internal storage, rechargeable battery powered by USB connection as well as a wide array of trigger measurement and types. Although it only has one probe, but with these fantastic capabilities and features, the SainSmart Mini DS0203 is perfect for minimal engineering and educational applications.
- A low cost useful signal generator.
- It comes with a compact and portable design.
- Easy to use settings with fast operation.
- Low power and storage capacity.
- You have to be patient as navigation can take some time.
2. Owon HDS1022M-N Handheld Oscilloscope
The Owon HDS1022M-N features auto-scaling and 20 automatic measurements. Moreover, it comes with a two-in-one digital storage scope and multimeter, boasts a bandwidth of 20 MHz and even supports USB for data transmission to a PC. Its display is a TFT true-color display and comes equipped with a replaceable lithium-ion battery backup that will power the unit for up to 6 hours.
The Owon HDS1022-M N Series has multiple menus such as measurement mode and various functions like digital storage memory, a time mode and a zoom window which enables you to zoom in or define a window. It also has an acquisition mode for point or vector acquisition. This digital storage oscilloscope and multimeter provides a high-quality and reliable measurement technology combined with a fairly good price point. Its LCD panel with a 640 x 480 resolution offers an excellent wave readability, especially when it comes to high data volume.
A great option for its price range that generates precise results on its high contrast and bright screen. One of the downsides though is its manual, as it may have been written by someone with English as his second language, but it does cover all the important details of how to operate adequately operate the unit’s functions.
- It’s a digital oscilloscope that you can use to observe electrical signals as well as a multimeter you can use for measuring, capacitance, resistance, and current.
- A solid option with good functionality and quality.
- The display is very easy to read with clear and large fonts.
- Simple interface with menus that allows plenty of manipulation.
- Poor quality software.
- Instead of using real BNC socket, it uses a plastic one.
- Comes with poor instructions.
- Sub-par USB connection.
3. All-Sun 3 in 1 Multifunction Digital Oscilloscope
Designed with production, debugging, repair and research requirements of numerous electronic engineer in mind, the All-Sun 3 in 1 Multifunction Digital Oscilloscope is very useful for performing several basic scope measurements. It features a 200 MSa/s sampling rate, a 50 MHz bandwidth and comes with a 320 x 240 high-resolution colored screen. This portable handheld oscilloscope also has the NPX intelligent collection chipset and a high-precision 6,000 count high-precision multimeter chip, combining oscilloscope, signal generator and multimeter functionalities all in one unit.
However, the downside of this device is that it lacks some essential features like rescaling and FFT as well as having only one channel. On the plus side, it is very portable and its rechargeable battery is of quality, so you can take it anywhere with you and charge it easily while on the go. Its multimeter function can measure capacitance, continuity, resistance, and voltage as well as can perform diode tests.
- Very convenient and portable for field applications.
- It comes with a menu system that’s highly intuitive.
- It has the ability to save and lock waveforms of non-periodical signals, a function that most traditional oscilloscopes don’t have.
- Comes with three trigger modes.
- Manual needs to be improved.
- Some users may find the USB covering inconvenient.
4. Siglent SHS806 Handheld Oscilloscope
The Siglent SHS806 Handheld Oscilloscope is more than just your ordinary digital handheld scope. It’s an oscilloscope, recorder, and multimeter in one that can document waveforms. This device is ideal for a wide array outdoor applications such as wind power, automotive electron, circuit measurements, electrical power systems, electrical debug system as well as scientific research, quality control, and education.
The Siglent SHS806 can measure both single and double channel with a bandwidth of 60 MHz and comes with an overall memory depth of about 3Mpts. Its full-colored screen measures at 5.7in, which makes viewing and tracking waveforms easy. Its built-in multimeter can measure resistance, DC/AC current, capacitance, continuity, diode and DC/AC voltage. Other notable features include a 1 GSa/s real-time sampling rate and a USB port which lets you record up to 3,000 hours.
It’s a superb portable and handheld oscilloscope that offers a high-level accuracy and packs in numerous features. Although its screen could be higher in resolution, it has intuitive menus that are easy to understand with systematic functionality.
- Jam-packed with features combined with a robust design.
- It has an automatic trigger capable of recognizing signal patterns.
- Ideal for power lines, data, and other general electronic tasks.
- It is not capable of performing 2M ham band analysis.
5. Hantek DSO 8060 Handheld Portable Oscilloscope
The Hantek DSO 8060 Handheld Portable Oscilloscope is an affordable digital multimeter device and a waveform generator as well. It’s highly durable and yet lightweight two-channel scope that features a scopemeter, a high-precision 6,000 count digital multimeter and a 25MHz signal generator. Furthermore, the unit comes with both the multimeter and oscilloscope probes plus a coaxial cable as an output for the generator. In addition, you can also connect this portable scope to your desktop computer using the USB that comes with the software included in its package.
The Hantek DSO8060 Portable Oscilloscope is a very practical multi-functional equipment. But since it falls under the portable category, there are some requirements that need to pave way to some of the more important technical aspects. However, it does pack in all the basic functionalities of a digital scope which includes data recording, waveform storage, signal parameter measuring, image storage, match functions and more.
- Apprehensible and intuitive menu.
- Full-featured with a standard set of essential functions.
- Performs fast troubleshooting and testing.
- Shockproof framework.
- It can be hard to determine between pixilation of the actual image on its display and noise in the signal.
Portable and handheld oscilloscopes are reliable and despite their small frames, offer numerous functionalities. These pocket-sized devices can estimate voltage and are designed to test an electrical signal generator’s performance. And the best thing about them is that you can conveniently work without the need for any external power supply. If you’re still looking for the best oscilloscope out there, look no further, as we have already listed here the top models on the market today to help you narrow down your choices.