Electronic Design

Low-Cost Oscilloscope Offers High-Priced Features

The WaveAce oscilloscopes from LeCroy makes the competition in the low-cost scope market look so “yesteryear” (see the figure). These devices bring high-end scope features like color and long sample memory storage to the value scope market. If you’re looking for a digital scope in the 100- to 300-MHz bandwidth range, they give you some options that weren’t there before.

The series includes six models, each with two channels. Versions are available with bandwidths of 60, 100, 200, and 300 MHz. The sampling rate for the low-end 60- and 100-MHz versions is 250 Msamples/s for each channel or 500 Msamples/s interleaved on one channel. The memory in these low-end models is 4 kpts/channel. For the four high-end models with bandwidths of 60, 100, 200, and 300 MHz, the sample rate is 1 Gsample/s (2 Gsamples/s interleaved), and the memory is 8 kpts/channel. The sample point memory is two to three times what the competition generally offers.

But that’s not all. The 5.7-in. screen is full-color, something not available in other scopes in this price range. And, many of LeCroy’s high-end scope functions have been included. Besides the basic add, subtract, multiply, and divide functions, a full fast Fourier transform (FFT) is included. In addition, the scope includes 32 automated measurements at your fingertips. Other scopes in this category include 11 to 20 measurements max.

A front-panel USB port is available for storing waveform data, and a USB on the rear supports a printer or laptop. An RS-232 port is also available. LeCroy includes its EasyScope software, which lets users remotely control the scope or download data and/or screenshots to the PC display. Its boot time is less than 10 seconds, and its user interface is easier than ever to learn and master. The scope is only 5 in. deep and weighs only 5 lb. The design is clearly dramatic with its unique black and silver look.

The low-end 60-MHz model 102 costs $950, while the upper-end 300-MHz model 232 sells for $2290. Those prices include two probes. If you’re searching for a good, high-value scope, this one is certainly worth a look.

LeCroy Corp.


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