Linux-Friendly EE Lab I: Oscilloscopes and Logic Analyzers

This is the first blog post of a series about how I set up my lab as a fresh faculty member in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

I am buying instruments for my lab. The first two I need are an oscilloscope and a logic analyzer.
First of all, I am a fan of computer-based instrumentation, like NI's stuff. However, I want a cheap solution to save money to pay my grad students- NI's DAQ cards are expensive. I also need a Linux-friendly solution - of course lots of NI's DAQ cards have Linux drivers and LabVIEW itself has native Linux version. Since I deal with physiological signals and low-frequency digital circuits, I do not have high demand on sampling rate nor bandwidth.

After a couple of hours of google searching, I found two that can fall into my expectation. They provide native Linux software, including driver programs.
PicoTech also offers a mixed-signal (2 analog inputs + 16 digital channels) oscilloscope at $575.

I also found out that many cheap Windows-only USB oscilloscopes/logic analyzer are really poorly made. Their GUIs suck. The two above that support Linux apparently have more functional GUIs. Also, those Windows-only solutions do not have good warranty and support. I have no idea about their return/refund policy.

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