DSO Quad vs DSO Nano V2

For a low-end “hobbyist” grade handheld portable scope which is better (as of today) the DSO Nano or DSO Quad?

I have a 100 MHz dual channel scope already and have access to a 1GHz scope at work, but I am looking for a portable scope to play with and do some hobby Arduino and audio frequency level analog stuff. I really like the DSO Quads specs and the Dual channel would be nice. The frequency sweeper application written by jpa looks great and would be a neat feature to have with some of my audio filter projects.

My concerns are based on the feedback on this forum not a lot of people are happy with the DSO Quad (as of today) and would I be better off buying the DSO Nano v2 and running the BENF firmware? Any thoughts? Is anyone happy with the DSO Quad?

Hello Eric

The nano with the BenF firmware is a perfect piece of equipment. Unfortunately the bandwidth is not sufficient for any sort of digital work. That along with the failure of my crt oscilloscope was one of the reasons that made me buy my first nano. Realizing that it was good only for audio frequencies, I decided to buy the quad which looked fantastic on the website.

Now, I realize that it is not a perfect piece of hardware. There are issues on many fronts.

The front end (input circuit) has a lot to be desired.
The triggering FPGA code leaves a lot to be desired
The calibration is not easy
Developer support is dead !

Still, after all this, I use it as a tool for visualization. If you need to use it for serious measurements in place of a traditional scope, don’t bother; the money is better spent elsewhere.

However, the fact that the device is open source gives you an excellent opportunity to learn ARM coding and FPGA along the way. That is one of my goals. Marcos Sinatti (marcosin) has just released a newer mod to his firmware. I am currently using his version 1.7 and it is any day a better choice than what shipped originally.

I hope you are able to make a suitable choice after my experience.


Jerson - Thanks for your response. I am looking for more of a visualization tool and already have access to higher end gear at home and work if I get into a pinch. My computer I do most of my programming on is in a different room from my lab bench and having a cool little scope sitting next to my computer would be handy.

You mention that the calibration is complicated. Once calibration is completed is the accuracy ok to say 1-2%. For example if I was measuring a 5V DC pulse could I measure that to 5V +/-0.1V with the DSO quad? In the forum I noticed that a few people commented on how the accuracy varies depending on the voltage per division settings and time per division settings. Does following the calibration routine correct this error?

One attraction to the DSO Quad is the ability to boot to multiple applications, but if the community isn’t kicking out applications… it is not really a feature. I do have some interest to write some applications to do specific tasks, but my coding skills are a bit rough.

Thanks for your insight. Right now the DSO Quad in the Aluminum case is out of stock and I am guessing it won’t be in stock until mid to late Feb due to Chinese New Year… I guess I have a little bit of time to think about it and see if it is worth the $220.


No idea about how good it is once calibrated, since I never got down to calibrating it. I think there is a thread here about someone who tried the calibration process and wasn’t too happy. Anyhow, the calibration is bad on the voltage scale(Y axis). I think the X(time) is better.