How Do I Choose the Best Multimeter with Oscilloscope?

Jeremy Laukkonen

There are a number of different factors you can look at when trying to find the best multimeter with oscilloscope. Characteristics such as bandwidth, memory depth, and sample rate are all important to consider, since they can affect the usefulness of your new scope. It is important to choose a multimeter with oscilloscope that has a bandwidth somewhat wider than the frequency range you expect to encounter so as to make sure you will be able to take proper measurements. You may also be presented with a choice of either analog or digital models, and you will need to select a digital unit if you want the option of connecting it to your personal computer (PC) for data retrieval. It is also important to consider the specific way you plan on using the oscilloscope, as a unit designed for automotive use will tend to have different functions from one meant for laboratory or other applications.

For people who need to download the information into a computer file, a digital multimeter with oscilloscope is the best choice.
For people who need to download the information into a computer file, a digital multimeter with oscilloscope is the best choice.

A multimeter with oscilloscope is a device that can be used to take various measurements of circuits, such as voltage, amperage, and resistance. In addition to basic multimeter functions, some of these devices are also capable of displaying the value of a reading over time. The oscillations of of a signal voltage, or other reading, can be displayed on a graph and used for diagnostic and troubleshooting purposes.

In order to choose the best multimeter with oscilloscope, one of the first factors to consider is whether to select an analog or digital unit. The best choice will depend on how you plan on using the scope, your budget, and other factors. If you want to be able to plug your multimeter into a PC, then a digital model will be necessary. Some of these multimeters have universal serial bus (USB) or local area network (LAN) connections that allow data retrieval so that you can analyze or organize the information on a computer.

Bandwidth, memory depth, and sample rate are three of the other characteristics you may want to consider when trying to choose the right multimeter with oscilloscope. The bandwidth of a scope is important, since it refers to the maximum signal frequency that the unit is capable of handling. When the frequency of a signal input approaches this bandwidth limit, it is typically attenuated to the point where the reading is no longer accurate. This makes it important to choose a unit with a somewhat higher bandwidth limit than you expect to encounter.

If you select an analog multimeter with oscilloscope, you will not need to worry about either sample rate or memory depth. Digital units are largely defined by these two characteristics, though, so if you want a digital scope you will need to find one that has a fast enough sample rate and enough buffer memory to meet your needs. The sample rate is essentially the number of times each second that the signal is checked, so a higher number typically results in more accurate readings. Memory depth refers to the amount of buffer memory that the scope is equipped with, which can affect the accuracy of results in small time frames.

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