If you're looking for low-cost approaches to frequency- or time-domain analysis, you might be able to take advantage of recent product introductions from Agilent Technologies or Tektronix. The latter has introduced an entry-level oscilloscope, while Agilent has introduced a basic spectrum analyzer.
The new Tektronix offering, the TBS1000 Series (“TBS” stand for “Tektronix Basic Scope”), gives electrical engineers, educators, and hobbyist an affordable tool for a variety of general-purpose electronics test applications. The series includes 25-MHz and 150-MHz models. The Agilent N9322C basic spectrum analyzer serves budget-constrained applications including those found in R&D, manufacturing, maintenance, education, spectrum management, and bench repair. It operates from operates from 9 kHz to 7 GHz.
Also read our recent special reports on oscilloscopes and spectrum analyzers: