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.
- Oscilloscope: PicoTech PicoScope Starting at $262. (UK-based. Find your local distributor if you are in other places, like US.)
- Logic analyzer: Saleae Logic Starting at $149 (FREE for professors! 35% educational discount! US-based with warehouse in UK.)
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.