Any of those handheld oscilloscopes on Amazon actually useful?

AtomicRob

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Depends what you need it for? A handheld scope will have a lot of trade offs compared to a bench scope. If you don’t actually need it to be handheld, you can buy all kinds of used scopes like analog Tektronix scopes, for about the same cost. And those will be far superior in pretty much every way except size. Or a low-end Chinese brand DSO starts around $250 new, even that would likely be much better than a handheld if you needed digital.
 

Daniel55

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Good point. Thanks. Just looking for tools. I've been getting back into working on electronics, mostly amps.
 

Maggot Brain

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Most of my experience with scopes are in automotive repair. The cheap Chinese ones are ok for just a basic non precise analysis but I hear a second hand Tektronix bench scopes are good value. I'm sure there is other brands but Tektronix is pretty reputable in the electronic analysis field.
 

KraftyBob

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I looked into those but ended up buying an analog scope. The reviews weren’t bad but there were two main things that ultimately turned me off: the small screen size, and you have to go through menus all the time to change settings. For example, if the menu is on volts and you want to adjust the frequency, you had to go through the menu to get to that setting - at least on the units I looked at. I was also somewhat concerned about the max voltage capability. Sure, you can use 10x or 100x probes, but I still wasn't completely confident in those considering the voltages inside a tube amp.

If you really need a portable oscilloscope then go for it. If not, my first choice would be an analog scope and if you didn't want to go that route, get a new DSO. They have a much smaller footprint than analog scopes and they don't cost much more than the handhelds.
 
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