Handheld Oscilloscope?

I’m thinking to get a small Oscilloscope. It has to be small and portable because I do all soldering and building on a table in the living room and don’t have to much space for it.
I know people don’t recommend the small 8 bit ones but I wonder if it will be good enough to trace some stuff in analog electronics and calibrate oscillators and stuff.
Can anyone recommend one? What about this one?
The one from velleman maybe?

8-bit ones?

Like the DSO201?

Edit: DSO201 is 12-bit. Surely that is enough? that would affect the vertical resolution. They measure up to 1Mhz which would be enough for audio uses, just not for digital uses.

I’m quite happy with DSO203 and custom firmware.

DSO201 is crap!


“You want the DSO Nano 201, version 2. It sends the input signal to the 12 bit ADC built into the ARM chip.”…

“The DSO 203 uses an 8 bit external ADC, not good enough resolution for our use. It is also over twice as expensive.”


In many cases resolution is not so important as bandwidth and sampling rate.

@mmarsh had suggested this one to me:


8 bit but it sure is inexpensive. Looks like a Shruthi oscilloscope.

What about XMiniLab Portable ?

Can experts comment on this ?

I use velleman HPS5

I can second @piscione as I have one of those and its worked out fairly well for me so far. All surface mount stuff comes already soldered, you just have to do the through hole stuff. Can’t really use it to look at digital signals due to bandwidth limitations, but for audio it works well. It also has an FFT function that can be useful for looking at the frequency content of audio signals.

As a useful note if you get one, I’d recommend getting the BNC connector and probe to go with it as making your own probe can be … problematic (or you may be totally comfortable with it). Check out:

I have a 201 and it is crude but does all the basic duties well enough, check gate pulses, VCO waveforms etc. The small size is nice, $60 price tag is too. I dont know about spending $180 on a 203 when an entry level Owon PDS5022T is $230 and that is a proper scope

Would the DSO nano v3 be something?
The kit from sparkfun also looks ok…

Or maybe a USB scope? (that works on a mac)

the DSO203 look really nice but is a bit on the expensive side…

This price is quite ok…

I quite like the DSO203 so far, but haven’t tested it sufficiently well still … not on synths anyway.

EUR 120 is a good price: it is open hardware/software, and uses the Cortex M3 :slight_smile:

Ok, 201 is good for its price but mainly for audio frequencies. 203 is much less crappier especially after custom firmware installed (i’m using this, not free, but it worths it, and there’s free one from Gabonator) Plus you get 2analog/2digital chanels, signal generator, usefull apps like i2C/SPI/Serial/CAN bus analyser, frequency response plotter etc.
Got mine for $149 and you can still found this offer @ evilbay…