Electronic – Is a single channel oscilloscope enough for most purposes

logic analyzeroscilloscope

So I have spent the past two days going through various budget oscilloscopes and checking their specs VS price. Most of the information I have gathered has been from here and I am almost sold on an MSO-19. The only reason I haven't bought it already is that it's a single channel oscilloscope and before I spend £180 on it, I want to make sure it's going to cover 95% of my electronics needs. I think my major problem is that I don't know what area of electronics I will be going into in the future and so can't predict exactly what I am going to need.

Currently I work as a software engineer and so am already playing around with PICs, AVRs and MSP430s. I think, in the short term, I will be looking into making small intelligent robots (not bump and turn stuff you see on most hobbyist sites but something with 'character'). I have been in AI for a number of years and whilst I'm no Marvin Minsky, I do know a thing or two about what makes something seem intelligent.

The other thing I have been looking at is this 32-channel logic analyser (Open Workbench Logic Sniffer) which is only £30 and is a more powerful logic analyser than comes with the MSO-19. Would it be a better idea just to buy that?

I'm open to other suggestions too but I don't want to spend over £250 in total if I can help it.

Best Answer

I agree with the others that two-channels is very convenient at times. Particularly if there is a separate trigger input (almost like a third channel).

What are your minimum bandwidth requirements? Do you really need something as fast as the MSO-19? The DSO-2090 is a 100MS/s, 40 MHz dual channel (plus external trigger) PC-based scope for £139. You would then have money left over to buy the standalone £30 logic analyzer.