The Best Portable Oscilloscopes in the Market Today

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When you think of an oscilloscope, the first picture that comes to mind is of a bulky device that you use on your bench for testing purposes. However, oscilloscopes also exist as hand-held, battery-powered versions.While the bench-type oscilloscopes do have more features model-for-model, their handheld counterparts have a number of benefits of their own.

For one, handheld oscilloscopes are portable devices which engineers can carry with them around a factory or out on the field. These portable oscilloscopes are well-sealed and well-protected, hence safer and less prone to damage from dropping. It is also much easier to charge and carry around as there are very few wires to clutter its operations.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of a portable oscilloscope is its fully isolated analog inputs. This adds an extra layer of safety to these devices as they become resistant to short circuits due to isolated analog inputs. There are a number of companies that offer portable oscilloscopes with a number of features. We bring to you, some of the most irresistible portable oscilloscopes in the market today:

Keysight U1620A Handheld Oscilloscope

Inputs by Gaurav Baliga, Marketing Manager, Keysight Technologies

Keysight U1620A Handheld Oscilloscope
Figure 1: Keysight U1620A Handheld Oscilloscope

What is your top of the line Portable Oscilloscope? Please give a brief account with features and technical specifications.

Girish Baliga
Girish Baliga, Marketing Manager, Keysight Technologies

Girish Baliga: We have the following series in the portable oscilloscope range.  1000 X-series, 2000 X-series, 3000T X-series, 4000 X-series, 6000 X-series scope, USB oscilloscopes (streamline series), U1600 series handheld scopes. The Keysight Technologies, Inc. U1610A/U1620A is the world’s first handheld oscilloscope with a VGA display. This 100/200 MHz handheld oscilloscope offers a loating measurement capability with two CAT III 600 V isolated channels. With up to 2 GSa/s sampling rate and 2 Mpts memory depth, it captures more waveforms from signals such as pulse width modulated circuit, in-rush, transient, and motor start up sequences.

Key Features and Functions of portable oscilloscope:

  • 100/200 MHz bandwidth with isolated channels
  • 7-inch VGA TFT LCD display with 3 selectable viewing modes (indoor, outdoor and night vision)
  • 2 Mpts memory depth and 2 GSa/s sampling rate allow detailed analysis of captured glitches
  • 10,000-count resolution on DMM display
  • Channel-to-channel isolation with CAT III 600 V safety ratings
  • Data logging capability and USB connectivity
  • Up to 10 selectable languages offered on the User Interface (UI) system

What all features you are planning to add to your future oscilloscopes, spectrum/signal and network analysers.

Girish Baliga: In oscilloscopes, we have advanced capabilities like Infiniiscan triggering/zone triggering, hardware protocol decode, Logic analysis capabilities on scope, function generation on scope etc. In Spectrum/signal analysers, we have capabilities like Real time spectrum analysis, higher wide analysis bandwidth, Digital demodulation etc. For Network analysis, we have Non-linear circuit& component characterization, temperature based characterization with calibration pods etc.

Why should an engineer opt for your company’s Oscilloscope rather than that of your competition?

Girish Baliga: Better performance, value for money, seamless support, in country calibration, repair & maintenance etc.

Which application in particular is this portable oscilloscope targeted at?

Girish Baliga: Application specific technologies depending on bandwidth, repair, maintenance, installation, general purpose debug & troubleshooting, Logic analysis

Where to buy: Keysight.com

Fluke 190 Series II ScopeMeters

190 Series II ScopeMeters
Figure 2: Fluke 190-102/S ScopeMeter

Inputs by Prashant Jain, Head – Marketing & Retail Business, Fluke

What is your top of the line Portable Oscilloscope? Please give a brief account with features and technical specifications.

Prashant Jain
Prashant Jain, Head – Marketing & Retail Business, Fluke

Prashant Jain: Fluke 190 Series II ScopeMeters are high performance hand-held oscilloscopes designed for troubleshooting industrial electrical or electronic systems. The series includes 60, 100, 200 or 500 MHz bandwidth in 2 channel and 4 channel versions. These hand-held instruments combine the performance of a bench oscilloscope with a multi-meter and paperless recorder for installing, commissioning and maintaining industrial and electronic equipment out in the field.

What all features you are planning to add to your future oscilloscopes, spectrum/signal and network analyzers.

Prashant Jain: We plan to add application centric products that addresses a specific application and help the user to perform necessary measurement at ease. We have recently added Fluke MDA-500 Series Motor Drive Analyzers to our portable oscilloscope product family that enables the user to perform a critical measurements to trouble shoot variable speed drives and the motor. The MDA-500 Series Motor Drive Analyzers are the ideal portable motor-drive analysis test tools and include step-by-step guided measurements that show you where to make connections as well as pre-set measurement profiles that help you get the critical data you need.

Why should an engineer opt for your company’s Oscilloscope rather than that of your competition?

Prashant Jain: Designed for plant maintenance engineers and technicians, these tough ScopeMeter go into harsh, dirty, and hazardous industrial conditions to test everything from microelectronics to power electronics applications. As the first two and four-channel portable scopes safety rated CAT III 1000V / CAT IV 600V, the Fluke ScopeMeter combines an unprecedented level of performance, ruggedness, and portability. Fluke Scopemeters are designed keeping users and their applications in mind. We conduct extensive customer interviews & market research before launching any new product in market.

Which application in particular is this portable oscilloscope targeted at? 

Prashant Jain:There are many applications including Inspect input signals, output feedback loops or safety interlocks simultaneously to find a range of problems including Circuit voltage/current overloading, Signal timing measurements and synchronization issues, Attenuation/input impedance mismatch, Signal fluctuation/drift, Three-phase testing for diagnosing VSD, power inverters, and converters… the list is endless.The Fluke ScopeMeter test tool is the one tool you can rely on to tackle just about any troubleshooting task. Fluke ScopeMeter test tool is an indispensable tool for engineers working on trouble shooting of variable speed drives, control system, converters, and Electric vehicles are few to mention.

What service/support/offering do you have on the device?

Prashant Jain: Fluke India offers end to end solution to its customers in India. We have a well-trained & experienced team of application engineers to understand customer’s applications and offer right product fit from our vast product range. We also offer post sales hand-on training to our customers at their site so that they can get maximum out of their investment in Fluke a test tools.

Where to buy: fluke.com

R&S Scope Rider (RTH Series)

R&S Scope Rider (RTH Series)
Figure 4: R&S Scope Rider (RTH Series)

Inputs by Appalla Srinivasa Rao, Sr. Manager Product Support &Applications (ADT, Auto & ICR), Rohde & Schwarz

What is your top of the line Portable Oscilloscope? Please give a brief account with features and technical specifications?

Appalla Srinivasa Rao
Appalla Srinivasa Rao, Sr. Manager Product Support &Applications (ADT, Auto & ICR), Rohde & Schwarz

Srinivasa Rao: Rohde & Schwarz has brought out the R&S Scope Rider, company’s first handheld oscilloscope, which combine the functionality and performance of Lab scope in handheld battery operated form factor.  The R&SScope Rider comes with and integrated 8-channel logic analyser and advanced functions like protocol decode, counters, FFT, logging; makes it a universal tool for debugging digital designs in the Lab as well as for analysing complex problems in the field.

With a base bandwidth of 60 MHz (upgradable to 500 MHz), the R&SScope Rider  offers sampling rate of 5 GS/s, matching the performance of benchtop oscilloscope, while complying to IP51 ratings makes it ideal for applications where both a portable, ruggedness and performance are needed. The 10-bit A/D converter ensures highest degree of precision in signal measurement and the vertical sensitivity range of 2 mV/div to 100 V/div with offset compensation up to 200 V is very important when analysing power electronics modules. The R&SScope Rider’s input channels are galvanically isolated with CAT IV ratings making it safer tool in high power measurement.

What all features you are planning to add to your future oscilloscopes, spectrum/signal and network analysers?

Srinivasa Rao: To expand the new applications in Rohde & Schwarz High volume oscilloscope market, R&S is introducing Frequency Response Analysis option (Bode plot) on low and mid-range of oscilloscopes namely RTB 2000,RTM 3000 and RTA 4000 Series. This option allows simple frequency response analysis of filters and amplifiers using Oscilloscope starting at 10 Hz up to 25 MHz. It also enables measurement of control loop response and power supply rejection ratio of switched mode power supplies that is often performed by dedicated low frequency network analyser.

We also extended the frequency range of the FPH handheld spectrum analyser, R&SSpectrum Rider, up to 31 GHz. The R&SSpectrum Rider has four base models covering frequency range from 5 kHz to 2GHz, 6 GHz, 13.6 GHz and 26.5 GHz. It offers flexibility to upgrade the frequency range and pre amplifier option. These units also support pulse measurements with power sensor support.

Why should an engineer opt for your company’s Oscilloscope rather than that of your competition?

Srinivasa Rao: Rohde & Schwarz has more than 80 years of RF Test and measurement expertise. Leveraging our domain expertise with innovative design, we have brought excellent signal fidelity, high acquisition rate and unique digital trigger architecture in high performance oscilloscopes (RTE, RTO and RTP Series) of bandwidth up to 8 GHz.

With the input sensitivity down to 500 uV/div at full bandwidth, the low noise performance and hardware accelerated FFT processing; they enabled very fast spectrum analysis capabilities on digital storage oscilloscope that is responsive enough to debug EMI issue. The multiple and overlapping FFT features ensures spurious events are not filtered out due to windowing functions, allowing design engineers to use our FFT feature to confidently identify source of EMI emission quickly.

Which application in particular is this portable oscilloscope targeted at?

Srinivasa Rao: R&SScope Rider (RTH Series) is handheld, rugged and battery powered suitable for field and service assignments. Common application is checking and maintaining electrical drives, power electronics or electrical power supply to industrial installation. The isolated channels of R&SScope Rider means the signal and reference leads for each channel are completely isolated electrically and to the earth ground. Apart from the safety factor, it also allows differential measurements without use of expensive differential probes used with conventional oscilloscopes. The CAT IV rating of the R&SScope Rider makes it a safe instrument to operate in power installations or utility in substation transformer.

What service/support/offering do you have on the device?

Srinivasa Rao: R&SScope Rider (RTH Series) is available in two base models: 2-channel with DMM and 4-channel models. The Base models are available from 60 MHz Bandwidth. All other options are enabled via key code including Bandwidth upgrades.

The devices comes with 3 years standard warranty and additional warranty is available at extra cost.

Rohde & Schwarz, India has full-fledged repair and calibration facility in Bangalore.

Where to buy: rohde-schwarz.com

Owon HDS 1022M-NOwon HDS 1022M-N

Inputs by Manish Kwatra, CEO, Metro Q

What is your top of the line Portable Oscilloscope? Please give a brief account with features and technical specifications.

Manish Kwatra, CEO
Manish Kwatra, CEO, Metro Q

Manish Kwatra: We have a wide range of DSO /Spectrum Analysers. New models include built in Function generator / Multimeter /etc. For instance, the HDS series.

What all features you are planning to add to your future oscilloscopes, spectrum/signal and network analysers.

  • Latest features include Spectrum Analysers with TG
  • DSO with touchscreen and Onscreen Help Menus.
  • Bluetooth connectivity

Why should an engineer opt for your company’s Oscilloscope rather than that of your competition?

I’ve already talked about the features of our products and that is exactly why many engineers choose our products. I’ll however add, that those features are not available with our competition.  On top of that, we have products at very economical prices compared to others

Which application in particular is this portable oscilloscope targeted at?

Basic repair centre to R&D, Defence, and Educational among others.

What service/support/offering do you have on the device?

We provide full technical support / service with lifetime free upgrades of software to our customers.

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