From what I gather, real time PC connectivity simply isn’t coming to the DSO Nano or Quad anytime soon.
That’s a shame, because the Nano and Quad have some very appealing aspects: the advantages of portability, openness, and price. They have less bandwidth than USB equipped oscilloscopes, but that’s a reasonable trade-off considering many use cases don’t need highly specific data, and there is no need to lug around a laptop when simply checking for the presence of signals.
The problem arrives when signals need to be monitored over a period of time and the user needs to interact with the device producing the signal, and analyze the data in detail simultaneously. These situations are simply cumbersome on any dedicated oscilloscope device, and better suited for a high resolution, mouse or touchscreen desktop interface. Unfortunately, only the cumbersome USB interface counterparts offer the convenience.
Essentially, oscilloscopes having two basic use cases:
- check to make sure there is a signal of certain general characteristics
- analyze a signal in detail.
For 1, the DSO Nano & Quad are sufficient and can only get better. The interface doesn’t have to be perfect, as long as the signal is on screen so you can watch it while you fidget with the target &/|| probes as necessary.
For 2, the DSO products will never cut it without real-time PC connectivity. It’s not just a issue with the products, its a problem with oscilloscopes in general. Using knobs and buttons to adjust a viewport and measurement intervals is simply a hassle that disappears when you introduce a mouse/touchscreen, high display resolution, and radically superior calculation ability.
I know there is the option to log the data and load it on a PC, but that simply trades the problem of poor usability for the problem of having to stop what your doing and change gears every time you need to check a single aspect in detail. It doesn’t allow to do detailed analysis in parallel with device interaction.
With that in mind, I made the decision to buy a dedicated USB interface of comparable price to a DSO Quad. I would much rather have gotten the DSO quad, because I don’t need the bandwidth, and it would have freed me from lugging around a laptop in many situations, but I chose to buy a digital oscilloscope to make working with electronics easier, and I only foresaw the Quad being a hassle because of its interface limitations in the long run.
I know it’s somewhat poor form to gripe as such on a forum for a product which I didn’t buy or own, but if the real-time PC connectivity is added I’d be more than willing to invest in one in addition to the higher resolution USB interface I am getting now.
As such, I hope to maybe spark some discussion and analysis about the direction of focus for the development team and the community, about whether the device is capable of handling it reasonably, and about how well it would serve the current user base and/or help expand it. I know it would attract me, but I’m not necessarily representative, just vocal.