PC Oscilloscope

PicoScope is one of the best pc o-scopes on the market!

PicoScope is one of the best pc o-scopes on the market!

Welcome to http://www.pcoscilloscope.net. Let us tell you everything we know about pc oscilloscopes and help you find a great deal on your next purchase. We’ll help you figure out which type of oscilloscope is best for you and the best places on the internet to get a great deal. Let’s start with the basics – what is a pc oscilloscope.

What is a PC Oscilloscope?

Take a standard oscilloscope and strip out the screen, memory, power supply, and likely a couple of input channels, and what you have left is a pc oscilloscope. It is a small unit, about the size of your hand, that is directly connected to your laptop or desktop computer and displays signal information through the PC.

Benefits of PC Oscilloscopes

  1. Compact & Portable: Easily slip these into your laptop back or drawer.
  2. Low cost: Removing the monitor and memory reduces the cost significantly.
  3. Unlimited Memory: A PC scope is only limited by the memory on your PC.
  4. Added Functionality: Most PC o-scopes come with additional features like data logging.

Who needs a PC oscilloscope?
The pc oscilloscope is one of the cheapest o-scopes on the market for a few reasons. The first is no display is needed to display the signals. That’s all handled by your laptop or desktop pc. The other reasons for lower cost is reduced data capture capabilities. With that said you can get extremely high bandwidth oscilloscopes but you obviously are going to pay a premium for these models. If you have a PC handy, which most of us do these days, a PC oscilloscope may be a good choice.

For those of you who plan to conduct some serious signal analysis using specialized software like Matlab a PC oscilloscope is a great option. A PC oscilloscope makes it extremely simple to grab large amounts of data and dump it directly into software packages like Matlab.

Drawbacks to PC O-Scopes
Lastly, PC oscilloscopes may be somewhat limited in terms of inputs. These types of oscilloscopes are generally a small form factor and with that comes a limited number of inputs. A single or dual input o-scope is the most common however a four channel pc oscilloscope is not unheard of.

Different Types of PC Scopes
PC oscilloscopes are handy and affordable for the hobbyist, student, and field technicians. Generally speaking there are two types of pc oscilloscopes for buyers to choose from. The most popular type the USB Oscilloscope is an o-scope that connects to the PC via USB. The other type for extreme data transfer is the PCI PC oscilloscope. These o-scopes must be plugged into the computers motherboard. While not as flexible as the USB oscilloscope they do have their place in the industry.

With the tablets take a major share of the computing industry in the last few years, a new breed of PC oscilloscope has been developed. The “tablet oscilloscope”. Take an ipad and add a data capture module and you have a tablet oscilloscope. Pretty neat! Check out our review (coming soon).

PC Oscilloscope Brands
Let’s discuss for a second the different companies providing these pc scopes. The Picoscope brand is the industry standard when it comes to handheld low cost pc oscilloscopes. If you would like more information about this company and their products take a look at the Picoscope PC Oscilloscopes page.

The other big player is Hantec. These are definitely worth considering as they provide an even lower cost and pretty decent performance. We’ve done our best to provide objective reviews of these companies and their products.

PC Oscilloscope
Channels
Bandwidth
Sampling
Resolution
Buffer Memory
Price
PicoScope 2100 Series125 MHz100 MS/s8 bits24 kS$206
PicoScope 2204210 MHz100 MS/s8 bits8 kS$262
PicoScope 2205225 MHz200 MS/s8 bits16 kS$411
PicoScope 2205 MSO2
16 Digital
25 MHz200 MS/s8 bits16 kS$574
PicoScope 2206250 MHz500 MS/s8 bits24 kS$621
PicoScope 22072100 MHz1 GS/s8 bits32 kS$738
PicoScope 22082200 MHz1 GS/s8 bits40 kS$918
PicoScope 3204A260 MHz500 MS/s8 bits4 MS$610
PicoScope 3205A MSO2
16 Digital
100 MHz500 MS/s8 bits16 MS$1,302
PicoScope 3207A2250 MHz1 GS/s8 bits256 MS$1,554
PicoScope 3207B2250 MHz1 GS/s8 bits512 MS$1,554
PicoScope 3404A460 MHz1 GS/s8 bits4 MS$995
PicoScope 3404B460 MHz1 GS/s8 bits8 MS$1,148
PicoScope 3405A4100 MHz1 GS/s8 bits16 MS$1,378
PicoScope 3405B4100 MHz1 GS/s8 bits32 MS$1,608
PicoScope 3406B4200 MHz1 GS/s8 bits64 MS$1,695
PicoScope 3406B4200 MHz1 GS/s8 bits128 MS$1,907
PicoScope 4424420 MHz80 MS/s12 bits32 MS$1,318
PicoScope 426225 MHz10 MS/s16 bits16 MS$1,236
PicoScope 5242A260 MHz1 GS/s8-16 bits16 MS$1,072
PicoScope 5242B260 MHz1 GS/s8-16 bits32 MS$1,225
PicoScope 5442A460 MHz1 GS/s8-16 bits16 MS$1,455
PicoScope 5442B460 MHz1 GS/s8-16 bits32 MS$1,554
PicoScope 5243B2100 MHz1 GS/s8-16 bits64 MS$1,532
PicoScope 5443A4100 MHz1 GS/s8-16 bits64 MS$1,776
PicoScope 5444A4200 MHz1 GS/s8-16 bits256 MS$2,190
PicoScope 5444B4200 MHz1 GS/s8-16 bits512 MS$2,402
PicoScope 6402B4250 MHz1.25 GS/s12 bits256 MS$4,115
PicoScope 6404B4500 MHz1.25 GS/s12 bits1 GS$7,414
Agilent U27012100 MHz1 GS/s8 bits32 MS$1,452
Agilent U27022200 MHz1 GS/s8 bits32 MS$1,789
Hantek 2090240 MHz100 MS/s8 bits10 kS$180
Hantek 5200A2200 MHz250 MS/s9 bits1 MS$371
Hantek 6022E220 MHz48 MS/s8 bits64 kS$75
Hantek 6052BE250 MHz150 MS/s8 bits64 kS$200
Hantek 2150260 MHz150 MS/s8 bits32 kS$235
Hantek 3062AL260 MHz200 MS/s12 bits16 MS$479
Velleman PCS100AU112 MHz32 MS/s8 bits4 kS$160
Velleman PCSU100260 MHz50 MS/s8 bitsN/A$290
USB Instr DS1M122250 KHz20 MS/s12 bits32 kS$192

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions, comments, or even want to provide you reviews of these products.