Differences Between Digital Oscilloscopes and Analog Oscilloscopes


About Digital Oscilloscopes

One of the most common types of oscilloscopes we see today is digital oscilloscope. The digital oscilloscope is a complex electronic device consisting of various software and electronic hardware modules that work together to capture, process, view and store data representing the relevant signals of an operator. They operate with a fast and high resolution analog-digital converter (ADC) circuit and a microcontroller that controls the display functions with the button. Convenient features such as automatic measurement, frequency analysis and FFT, image memory are made possible by digital oscilloscopes.

Digital oscilloscopes are often referred to as digital storage oscilloscopes (DSO) or digital sampling oscilloscopes (DSO).

A digital oscilloscope generally has six elements:

  1. Analog Vertical Input Amplifiers,
  2. Analog-Digital Converter And A Digital Waveform Memory
  3. A Time Base with a Trigger And Clock Drive
  4. Circuits for Waveform Displaying and Restructuring
  5. LED or LCD screen
  6. Power source

Digital oscilloscope is ideal for displaying complex signal waveforms that require calculations and measurements on specific parts of waveforms to provide numerical and waveform output screens that reflect selected parameters of waveforms.



Generally, digital oscilloscope has two categories;

  • Single-shot oscilloscopes
  • Random-spaced or equivalent time sampling oscilloscopes.

The single-shot oscilloscope starts real-time sampling of an event after a trigger condition has been met. The speed of the analog to digital converter determines the limits of the sampling rate of single-shot oscilloscopes. The size of the purchasing memory, which takes the output of the device from the converter, limits the amount of time that a single event can be sampled.

By the way, the random interspersed oscilloscope or equivalent time sampling oscilloscope is based on sampling events that repeat at different points at certain time intervals.


About Analog Oscilloscopes

Although analog oscilloscopes are not preferred today, they work just like old tube televisions. These devices, working on the principle of the deflection of the electron beam in a cathode ray tube on the screen by the input signal applied to the vertical and horizontal deflector coils, form the oldest type oscilloscopes known.




Parts in an analog oscilloscope:

  • Cathode ray tube
  • Vertical deflector system
  • Time base generator,
  • Timing circuit,
  • Horizontal deflector system,
  • External intensity overlay
  • High and low voltage power supplies.

Differences Between Digital Oscilloscopes and Analog Oscilloscopes

Oscilloscopes can be classified into two main categories: Analog oscilloscopes and digital oscilloscopes types.

Unlike an analog oscilloscope, a digital oscilloscope uses an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) to convert the measured voltage into digital information. It takes a series of waveforms as examples and stores them until they collect enough samples to identify a waveform. The digital oscilloscope then reassembles the waveform for display on the screen.

In the past years, analog oscilloscopes were used frequently. With the development of technology, digital oscilloscopes were widely used in the new period. With the digital oscilloscopes, the period of the analog cycle was closed and the measurement was easily presented to us. While reading the signal in analog oscilloscopes depends entirely on calculations, opening the “display” tab with digital oscilloscopes is sufficient to reach the necessary information.

Although there is no theoretical limit in analog oscilloscopes, due to its technology, it usually appears as 50 / 60Hz. However, the maximum frequency of the signal you can measure in digital oscilloscopes varies depending on the sampling rate of the device you will buy.




If you are looking for a small and portable oscilloscope, you are in the right place. Minis gives precision with its high technology hardware, top quality material and simple design. It puts user experience over anything else to give you a better measurement experience. While working on measurements, with its pocket size Minis will always be there to help you. Just download the Minis application to your preferred device and connect it to Minis with the Usb cable provided with your order. It has 2 channels, 2MHz bandwidth and 10 MSPS sample rate per channel and it has updatable firmware.  

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