27.04.2011|Articles

DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope Review

This article deals with DSO Nano DSO201 pocket-sized digital oscilloscope, which you can find at ToolBoom online store. Its small dimensions have pleasantly surprised our technical specialists as they have never held such small oscilloscope in their hands before.

DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope
DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope
DSO Nano DS0201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope
DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope

DSO Nano DS0201 looks like an mp3 player with a large display. It even has the same buttons: "Play", "Menu", rewind, volume control, but in fact it is a single-channel oscilloscope.

DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope Package Content

Two measuring probes are included in DSO Nano 201 USB digital oscilloscope package. One probe has a resistive divider.

DSO Nano DSO201 Resistive Divider Probe
DSO Nano DSO201 Resistive Divider Probe

The second measuring probe is not equipped with a resistive divider.

DSO Nano DSO201 Measuring Probe without Resistive Divider
DSO Nano DSO201 Measuring Probe without Resistive Divider

This handheld digital oscilloscope is powered by rechargeable battery or by a computer via USB cable. After the battery is connected, the sealing tape should be removed and the back cover should be glued to the housing.

Rechargeable Battery for DSO Nano 201 Pocket-Sized Digital Storage Oscilloscope
Rechargeable Battery for DSO Nano 201 Pocket-Sized Digital Storage Oscilloscope
Installation of 
Rechargeable Battery in DSO Nano 201 Pocket-Sized Digital Storage Oscilloscope
Installation of Rechargeable Battery in DSO Nano 201 Pocket-Sized Digital Storage Oscilloscope

Lithium battery guarantees about three hours of continuous work. DSO Nano handheld oscilloscope can be used in almost any environment because of its small dimensions. A soft cover protects this device from damage and mud.

Soft Casing for DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket-Sized Digital Storage Oscilloscope
Soft Casing for DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket-Sized Digital Storage Oscilloscope

DSO Nano DSO201 arm USB digital oscilloscope package contains:

  • DSO Nano DSO201 pocket-sized oscilloscope
  • 700 mA lithium battery
  • Resistive divider probe
  • Probe without resistive divider
  • Coloured identification rings
  • Tips for safe connection to IC
  • USB cable
  • Casing

The first thing you have to get used to when working with DSO Nano 201 handheld oscilloscope is a control menu. After you boot the system oscilloscope will display the buttons combinations for activation of different modes. To activate the desired mode hold the corresponding button and turn on the power.

Boot Menu of DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket-Sized Digital Storage Oscilloscope
Boot Menu of DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket-Sized Digital Storage Oscilloscope
  • PLAY – switches the play function
  • M – activates USB connection
  • + – disables the user calibration settings
  • - – activates firmware upgrade Menu
    DSO Nano Firmware Upgrade
    DSO Nano Firmware Upgrade
  • LEFT – zero point calibration
  • RIGHT – strengthens the calibration factor

DSO Nano DSO201 USB Digital Oscilloscope Menu

DSO
DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket Oscilloscope Menu

Top Menu

  • AUTO, NORM, SING, NONE, SCAN – sweep mode
  • ΔU, ΔT – time and voltage differences
  • Freq, Cycle, Duty, Time-hi, Time-lo, Vavg, Vp-p, Vrms-DC, Vrms-AC, Vmax, Vmin, Dynamic – automatic measurements settings

Bottom Menu

  • V/Div, S/Div – amplitude scale and time sweep
  • Vt – trigger level
  • × 1, × 10 – probe attenuation scale
  • ↑s, ↓s – trigger type

Side Menu:

  • Se – time sweep, amplitude scale, trigger mode and automatic measurements display settings
  • Mo – choose trigger edge
  • Tr – trigger level and sensitivity adjustment
  • C1, C2 – vertical and horizontal cursors adjustment
  • Me – choose which automatic measurement parameters to display
  • Of – X and Y positions adjustment
  • Fo – built-in waveform generator settings
  • FL – save data to flash memory

You can choose menu options using the "M" button. Hold the "Play" button for a few seconds and oscilloscope will display automatic measurements.

Built-in generator output is located on the corner of the housingg. That's why it is easy to connect measuring probe to it.

This pocket-sized digital oscilloscope has a USB port for connection to PC, a microSD slot and a probe input.

DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope Technical Specifications

Display ST 7781 TFT LCD, 2.8" (7.1 cm)
Display Resolution 320 × 240 pixels
Display Colors 65 000
Analog Bandwidth 0 to 1 MHz
Sample Rate 1 MS/s
Memory Depth 4096 points
Horizontal Sensitivity 1 μs/Div - 10 s/Div (1-2-5 step)
Horizontal Position adjustable with indicator
Vertical Sensitivity 10 mV/Div to 10 V/Div (with × 1 probe)
0.5 V/Div to 10 V/Div (with ×10 probe)
Vertical Position adjustable with indicator
Input Impedance > 500 kΩ
Max Input Voltage 80 Vpp (by × 1 probe)
Coupling DC
Sweep Mode Auto, Normal, Single and Scan
Built-in Generator 10 Hz to 1 MHz (1-2-5 step)
Waveform Storage MiniSD card
PC Connection via USB as SD card reader
Firmware upgrade via USB cable
Power Source 3.7 V lithium battery
from PC via USB cable
Dimensions (H × W × D), mm 105 × 53 × 9
Functions Automatic measurements: Frequency, Cycle(signal period), Duty (duty cycle), Vpp, Vram, Vavg and DC.V (DC voltage)
Precise vertical measurement with markers
Precise horizontal measurement with markers
Trigger level adjustable with indicator
Run/Stop function

Main Features of DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket-Sized Digital Storage Oscilloscope

I have used RIGOL DG 2041A waveform function generator to test DSO Nano digital oscilloscope within 1 MHz bandwidth range.

Testing DSO Nano DS0201 USB Digital Storage Oscilloscope1
Testing DSO Nano DS0201 USB Digital Storage Oscilloscope

The received data shows the real specifications of DSO Nano DSO201 USB digital oscilloscope. It is not so easy to find such information on web. Let's take a look at resulted oscillograms.

Sine wave signal (generator output amplitude 10 V)

Signal frequency 50 kHz.

Display amplitude 9.4 V

DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 100 kHz

Display amplitude 10 V

DSO Nano DSO201 Arm USB Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 150 kHz

Display amplitude 10.6 V

DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 500 kHz

DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 1 MHz

DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope

Square wave signal (generator output amplitude 10 V)

Signal frequency 200 Hz

Display amplitude 10 V

DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket-Sized Digital Storage Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 500 Hz

Display amplitude 10 V

DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 10 kHz

Display amplitude 9.6 V

DSO Nano DS0201 Portable Digital Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 50 kHz

Display amplitude 9.6 V

DSO Nano DSO201 Handheld Digital Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 100 kHz

Signal waveform is greatly distorted

DSO Nano DSO201 Arm Digital Oscilloscope
Signal frequency 200 kHz
DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope

Sawtooth wave signal (generator output amplitude 10 V)

Signal frequency 1 kHz

Display amplitude 9.5 V

DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 50 kHz

Display amplitude 9.0 V

DSO Nano 201 Pocket-Sized USB Digital Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 100 kHz

Display amplitude 9.5 V

DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 200 kHz

Display amplitude 10.7 V

DSO Nano DSO201 USB Digital Oscilloscope

DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket Oscilloscope Software

You can find several firmware versions for DSO Nano 201 handheld oscilloscope. They differ in controls and menu. We tested and compared that comes with oscilloscope with other two software versions. Here's what we've got.

APP v2.5e Firmware for DSO Nano DSO201 Arm Digital Oscilloscope

Menu and functionality of this firmware version and several earlier versions are almost identical. Therefore, lets take a look at the latest one.

Menu of DSO Nano 201 Pocket-Sized Oscilloscope with APP v2.5e Firmware
Menu of DSO Nano 201 Pocket-Sized Oscilloscope with APP v2.5e Firmware

This version differs from the original one in menu and some functions. To select menu option use the "left" and "right" buttons. Use the "+"and "-" buttons to set parameter value.

Top Menu

  • AUTO, NORM, SING, NONE, SCAN, FIT – sweep mode
  • V/Div, S/Div – amplitude scale and time sweep
  • Y.POS – horizontal scale position adjustment
  • Freq, Cycle, Duty, Vp-p, Vrms, Vavg, DC.V – automatic measurements settings

Side menu allows you to

  • TR – choose trigger scope
  • ↑S, ↓S – adjust trigger type
  • × =1, ×10 – choose probe attenuation scale
  • SI – save screen picture
  • FS – save data files
  • FL – load data file
  • Fo – change built-in waveform generator settings
  • T2 – adjust time marker 2
  • T1 – adjust time marker 1
  • T0 – adjust vertical scale position

Bottom Menu

  • V1-V2 – adjustment of horizontal cursor position
  • Vt – trigger level settings
  • RUN, HOLD function

Main Functions of DSO Nano 201 Oscilloscope with APP v2.5e Software

We have used RIGOL DG 2041A waveform function generator to test APP v2.5e DSO Nano firmware.

Sine wave signal (generator output amplitude 10 V)
Signal frequency 60 kHz

Display amplitude 10 V

DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 100 kHz

Display amplitude 11.2 V

DSO Nano DS0201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 150 kHz

Display amplitude 11.2 V

DSO Nano 201 Portable Digital Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 300 kHz

Display amplitude 13.8 V

(signal waveform is greatly distorted and error occurs when measuring frequency)

DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope

Set 1 MHz shows

142 kHz frequency with 15 V amplitude

DSO Nano 201 Arm Digital Oscilloscope

Square wave signal (generator output amplitude 10 V)

Signal frequency 200 Hz

Display amplitude 10.6 V

DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 500 Hz

Display amplitude 10.6 V

The leading edge is slightly smoothed and we can see peaks.

DSO Nano 201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 1 kHz

Display amplitude 10.6 V

DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 10 kHz

Peak amplitude is under 18 V

DSO Nano 201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 50 kHz

Peak amplitude is under 20 V

DSO Nano 201 Pocket USB Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 100 kHz

Peak amplitude is under 20 V

DSO Nano 201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope

Sawtooth wafe signal (generator output amplitude10 V)

Signal frequency 1 kHz

Display amplitude 10.2 V

DSO Nano 201 Pocket-Sized Digital Storage Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 50 kHz

Display amplitude 10.2 V

DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket USB Digital Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 80 kHz

Display amplitude 10.6 V

DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket-Sized USB Digital Storage Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 100 kHz

Display amplitude 10.8 V

DSO Nano DS0201 USB Digital Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 200 kHz

Display amplitude 11.8 V

DSO Nano DSO201 USB Digital Oscilloscope

LIB V2.2 Firmware Version for DSO Nano DSO201 USB Digital Oscilloscope

We have also found another firmware – LIB V2.2. It differs from previously tested firmwares in control and menu.

Upper Menu

  • MODE (AUTO, NORM, SING, NONE, SCAN, FIT) – sweep mode
  • CH_A (V/Div), TBASE (S/Div) – amplitude scale and time sweep
  • TRIG (Sens, Trig, Edge) – trigger mode

Bottom menu allows you to

  • X-Y.pos – adjust horizontal and vertical scale position
  • Curs (T1, T2, V1, V2) – adjust horizontal and vertical markers position
  • Freq.R, Duty Out – change built-in generator settings (frequency and duty cycle of square wave signals)
  • M.Conf – change automatic measurements parameters display settings
  • S.Conf – choose trigger sensitivity
  • FL.S, FL.L, FL.T – work with files
Menu of DSO Nano DSO201 LIB V2.2 Firmware
Menu of DSO Nano 201 Pocket-Sized Oscilloscope with LIB V2.2 Firmware

Automatic measurements are shown on the right side of the display window. Six measurement parameters can be shown on the screen simultaneously. There are seven of them in total: frequency, period, duty cycle, Vp-p, Vrms, Vavg, DC voltage. The M.Conf menu allows you to set the order of these parameters or disable any of them.

DSO Nano 201 Digital Storage Oscilloscope with LIB V2.2 Firmware

Sine wave signal (generator output amplitude10 V)

Signal frequency 50 kHz

Display amplitude 10 V

DSO Nano DSO201 Portable Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 100 kHz

Display amplitude 10.6 V

The waveform is slighlty distorted

DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 150 kHz

Display amplitude 11.2 V

DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket Digital Oscilloscope

Square wave signal (generator output amplitude 10 V)

Signal frequency 200 Hz

Display amplitude 10.6 V

DSO Nano DS0201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 500 Hz

Display amplitude 10.6 V

The waveform is similar to previous one

DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 2 kHz

Display amplitude 10.6 V

DSO Nano DS0201 Handheld Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 10 kHz

Display amplitude 9.2 V

DSO Nano DS0201 Arm Digital Storage Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 50 kHz

Display amplitude 9.2 V

Peak is under 20 V

DSO Nano DS0201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 100 kHz

Display amplitude 9.6 V

Peak is under 20 V

DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope

Sawtooth wave signal (generator output amplitude 10 V)

Signal frequency 1 kHz

Display amplitude 10.2 V

DSO Nano DSO201 Handheld Digital Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 50 kHz

Display amplitude 10.2 V

DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket-Sized Digital Storage Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 80 kHz

Display amplitude 10.6 V

DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket Digital Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 100 kHz

Display amplitude 10.8 V

DSO Nano DSO201 Arm Digital Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 120 kHz

Display amplitude 11 V

DSO Nano DSO201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope

Signal frequency 200 kHz

Display amplitude 12 V

DSO Nano DS0201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope

Although the stated bandwidth of DSO Nano DSO201 is 1 MHz, this digital storage oscilloscope works with sine and square-wave signals which frequency is up to 100 kHz. At higher frequencies the signal shape gets distorted. Tested versions of the firmware didn't affect the quality of display signals. Therefore the choice of software is mainly based on the easiness of its menu management. We recommend either native or LIB V2.2 oscilloscope firmwares as they allow displaying all automatically measured values in one window. Native firmware has the largest choice of options. It is easy to flash DSO Nano DSO201 pocket oscilloscope. You can try all possible software versions and choose the most convenient.

This handheld oscilloscope has a built-in square wave signal generator which allows you to choose frequency from 10 Hz to 1 MHz.

The resistive divider probe, which comes with DSO portable digital oscilloscope, allows testing not only electronic devices, but also electric power circuits and other systems.

You can buy DSO Nano DS0201 pocket-sized digital oscilloscope at ToolBoom online store.

Sergiy Safonyuk
ToolBoom technical specialist

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