Handheld oscilloscope evaluations

-May 14, 2007

For the past two weeks, I’ve been evaluating four handheld oscilloscopes. They are:


* AEMC OX 7104-C (Go to the review)
* Agilent U1604A (Go to the review)
* Fluke 199C (Go to the review)
* Protek 860 (Go to the review)

Tektronix also makes a handheld oscilloscope, the THS700 series, but the company chose not to participate in the evaluation. (As I post reviews for the four oscilloscopes, I’ll make their links live.)

Tomorrow, I’ll begin reporting my results, starting with AEMC. I hope to post one evaluation each day this week. I’m just waiting for a computer upgrade to complete the software evaluations. Fluke will follow AEMC. Agilent and Protek will come out together for reasons that will be made clear.

To perform the evaluations, I used an Agilent 33220A, a 20-MHz function generator that Agilent provided without my asking. After posting the oscilloscope reviews, I’ll post a review of the 33220A. I’ll also post a table of oscilloscope features that I consider important.

Often, what makes a difference in the purchase of an instrument isn’t the banner features, but rather the little things. For example, the ease of changing the battery or ease in viewing the screen outdoors can sway decision. Size and weight matter, too.

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