Electronics > Beginners

Worth buying a mixed scope?

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dt:
Hi all,

Buying my first scope and trying to decide whether choosing an MOS is worth the investment. There seems to be a huge price premium on mixed signal devices, while the logic analyzer features are very poor compared to much cheaper pc-based stand alone logic analyzers (especially in regards to triggering and protocol analysis). My question is the following:

I get the impression that the benefit of a mixed device (as opposed to independent scope and logic analyzer) is the synchronized triggering and display, is that right? How important is that in practice, that is, in what applications or circumstances exactly, would this feature be required?

I'm a software engineer working on robotics and mechatronics projects during my spare time, i.e., it's a hobby thing, I'm not looking to do this professionally - however I will probably buy a scope only once so I don't want to select something inadequate for the future.

Many thanks for your help!

IanB:
Dave often says that a standalone USB logic analyzer is more useful and flexible than the one built into an MSO. So it's probably worth saving the money on that feature and getting an ordinary DSO.

It's also often said that for some jobs an analog scope can't be bettered, so a well stocked bench should have both analog and digital scopes.

IMHO the aspiration to only buy one scope is unrealistic. Buy what you need now, use it for a while, and upgrade when/if you find the need.

Lightages:
Seeing the analog output or analog triggering event of a digital/analog circuit is mainly the benefit of having a MSO. Unless you intend to make or trouble shoot circuits where it is necessary to see these mixed signals and their interaction in real time, then don't spend the money on a DSO IMHO. I do not have nor have I ever used an MSO so take what I say with a grain of salt. As IvanB has said, get a DSO, and analog scope, and a USB logic analyzer. Much cheaper and more versatile.

Short Circuit:
If the option comes for cheap, than I would probably go for it, otherwise don't bother.
I have a 'serious' Agilent on my desk for some 6-7 years now, which can be upgraded to MSO, yet I never even remotely considered doing that. And I make a living of these things, so the bucks are no problem if there's a problem that might be solved with such feature. Must add that's it's a 4-channel scope. With a 2-channel, some logic inputs might be more usefull.

dt:

--- Quote from: Lightages on January 06, 2012, 09:34:16 pm ---Seeing the analog output or analog triggering event of a digital/analog circuit is mainly the benefit of having a MSO. Unless you intend to make or trouble shoot circuits where it is necessary to see these mixed signals and their interaction in real time, then don't spend the money on a DSO IMHO.

--- End quote ---

Ok, but in what applications or circumstances exactly would such a need arise? Examples please?

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