I am looking for an handheld oscilloscope which can save some single frozen waveforms on memory and transfer it later to a computer. The saved waveform should have a lot of points so that I can process it on the computer with FFT for spectrum. I want it to be a handheld oscilloscope instead of a USB oscilloscope are numerous: More lightweight, less boot time,...

I wonder why I have found none with this capability, some difficulties with this approach?

  • \$\begingroup\$ You're probably just looking in too low a price range. Are you looking at real oscilloscopes? \$\endgroup\$
    – DKNguyen
    Commented Mar 23, 2020 at 22:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ This question reads an awful lot like a shopping question. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 23, 2020 at 22:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelKaras Nah, the question is plain and is not asking for a recommendation, they want to know why they have not seen the capability. \$\endgroup\$
    – GB - AE7OO
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 1:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok. Note I did not vote to close. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 1:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, I interpret this as my approach being valid, thanks! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 7:13

1 Answer 1


Like DKNguyen said in comments, your looking at equipment that is too cheap and/or low end.

All the big names make one or more handheld scopes.
Almost all of them use 8bit ADCs, and can capture 3K to 30K samples. The cheapest starts around $250(100Msps/20Mhz) and they skyrocket from there.

On the other hand, the cheapy(less than $100) scopes are most likely using a STM32, PSOC3/5 or some Arduino core that is being pushed to it's limit and just could not do it.

Not enough RAM, not enough CPU and lack of a storage device are all possible problems at this level.

If a real time display is not needed, maybe a data logger might work? I've done that in the past when I was doing RFI reports. The logger grabbed 5 different bands at about 100Msps for up to 2 mins and wrote them to a USB dongle. Then we would take the dongles back to the lab, and let the PC software do the hard work. Don't know the cost, and that was the only time I've used something like that.

  • \$\begingroup\$ $250 is a really good price for a handheld scope like that; which one are you thinking of? \$\endgroup\$
    – Hearth
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 2:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually $269. Owon HDS 20Mhz/500Msps/single channel \$\endgroup\$
    – GB - AE7OO
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 3:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have found the Owon HDS before asking but not how many points there are saved in waveform format. Do you know this? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 7:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Owon HDS1022M-N has 6,000. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 7:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ And like I said, that $269 scope is at the bottom end of the good scopes. If your budget can handle $1500+, that would get you a Fluke or a (what the hell are they calling HP now???) or a decent data logger. \$\endgroup\$
    – GB - AE7OO
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 13:55

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