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Used DSO Oscilloscope: The Ultimate Buying Guide for Electrical Engineers

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Ever found yourself troubleshooting an electronic circuit for hours, only to realize that the problem lies in a brief, sporadic signal that your multimeter just can't capture?

If you're an electrical engineer, a DSO (Digital Storage Oscilloscope) is your secret to diagnosing and resolving issues like these. But what if you could enjoy the benefits of a DSO without breaking the bank? Enter the world of used DSO oscilloscopes—where functionality meets affordability.

Discover Our Selection of Used DSO Oscilloscopes

  • Like-new Condition
  • Updated Firmware
  • Full Calibration
  • New Accessories
  • Like-new Warranty
  • Customization possible

Learn more

  • Savings of up to 90%
  • Working Condition
  • Calibrated or Tested
  • 30-Day Right-of-Return
  • No Customization
  • Shipping to limited countries

Learn more

What is a DSO Oscilloscope?

A digital storage oscilloscope (DSO) serves as the eyes of an electrical engineer, providing a visual representation of electronic signals. Unlike analog oscilloscopes, a DSO digitizes the incoming signal, allowing for storage, in-depth analysis, and easy sharing of data. 

This device can display voltage versus time, enabling you to study the behavior of electrical signals in circuits. Whether you're examining the rise time of a pulse or investigating signal integrity, a DSO equips you to do it all with precision and ease.

DSO oscilloscopes perform specific tasks vital to the engineering field, such as: 

  • They measure the frequency, amplitude, and other characteristics of electrical signals. 
  • They capture transient events, glitches, or spikes—those fleeting anomalies that other devices like multimeters miss. 
  • DSOs serve in the testing and debugging of digital circuits, allowing you to scrutinize the relationship between multiple signals in a system.

With modern DSO oscilloscopes, you can perform a Fourier transform on the acquired signals, exploring them in the frequency domain. Some advanced models offer protocol decoding that allows you to inspect digital communications directly. Simply put, the utility of a DSO isn't confined to just one task—it's an all-in-one platform for your various electrical engineering needs.

Importance in Electrical Engineering

In electrical engineering, the DSO oscilloscope is not a luxury but a necessity. Its importance spans various applications:

  1. Research and development: Engineers use DSO oscilloscopes for scrutinizing high-speed or complex signals, contributing to the optimization of new technologies and circuits.
  2. Quality assurance: In production lines, a DSO helps to maintain product reliability by identifying signal anomalies, thus preventing manufacturing errors or costly recalls.
  3. Troubleshooting: For maintenance engineers and technicians, the DSO aids in diagnosing malfunctions in electrical systems or machinery by pinpointing issues like voltage irregularities or signal degradation.
  4. Embedded systems: In this complex field, the DSO oscilloscope is invaluable for debugging. It allows engineers to compare and synchronize both analog and digital signals, offering a comprehensive view of system behavior.

Whether it's facilitating groundbreaking research or maintaining the daily grind of electrical systems, the DSO oscilloscope stands as an essential tool in the electrical engineering landscape. The wide range of applications makes it an essential part of almost every aspect of electrical engineering, from the initial stages of product development to the ongoing maintenance of existing systems.

New vs Used: A Comprehensive Comparison

When choosing a DSO oscilloscope, you have the option of buying new or used. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, but understanding the specifics can help you make an informed choice tailored to your needs and budget.

Features and Specifications

  • New DSO oscilloscopes: Latest models come with the latest technology, more features, higher bandwidth, and better software integration. They often include warranties and customer support.
  • Used DSO oscilloscopes: While they may lack the latest features, many used models still offer robust functionality and reliability. They're perfect for general tasks like signal monitoring and basic debugging.

Cost Differences

  • New: A new DSO oscilloscope can cost thousands of dollars, depending on the brand and specifications.
  • Used: You can buy a used DSOoscilloscope for half the price of a new model, or even less. The cost-saving can be substantial and allows for investment in other essential tools or resources.

Common Misconceptions

Many people think used DSO oscilloscopes are inferior to their new counterparts, which is far from the truth. Studies indicate that well-maintained, used oscilloscopes have a very similar operational life to new models.

Comparison Table

AttributeNew DSO OscilloscopesUsed DSO Oscilloscopes
FeaturesCutting-edge, more featuresRobust, often comparable to new
CostHigh, varies by brand and specsSignificantly lower, great value for money
ReliabilityHigh, with warrantyHigh, with warranty
LifespanMedian of 12+ yearsMedian of 10+ years, close to new
SupportComprehensive customer supportComprehensive customer support


Don't dismiss used DSO's as a second-rate option. They offer substantial cost-saving opportunities, and when purchased from Keysight Used Equipment Store, are as reliable as new models. Whether you're an industry veteran or a student, opting for a used DSO oscilloscope is a smart, budget-friendly decision you won’t regret.

Benefits of Buying a Used DSO Oscilloscope

Choosing a used DSO oscilloscope offers various benefits, including substantial economic advantages and rigorous quality assurance processes. Far from being inferior choices, used models often match or closely approximate the performance of brand-new units.

Economic Benefits

The decision to opt for a used Keysight oscilloscope can greatly ease the financial burden, especially for smaller enterprises or individual engineers. The economic benefits include:

  • Significant cost savings: Used models cost 40-70% less than their brand-new counterparts.
  • Higher-end models: The cost savings allow you to invest in higher-end models with more features, which might otherwise be out of budget.
  • Budget for additional tools: The money saved can be reallocated to other essential tools or resources, making your overall toolkit more comprehensive.

Quality Assurance and the Refurbishment Process

When you choose Keysight Premium Used equipment, you're not just getting any used device; you're investing in a like-new instrument that has gone through a rigorous refurbishment process. Here’s what the refurbishment process entails:

Checks & Preparation

  1. Used unit arrives: Every used unit is delivered to Keysight’s largest manufacturing site in Penang, Malaysia.
  2. Condition check: On arrival, the unit undergoes an extensive initial inspection to assess its condition.
  3. Comprehensive Cleaning: The unit is deeply cleaned using vacuum-based technology. Anything that can't be cleaned gets replaced. 

Configure & Update

  1. Update to latest firmware and software: After verifying its performance, the unit gets updated to the latest compatible firmware and software.
  2. Customization process: The hardware, applications, and software options are added or removed based on customer requirements.
  3. Calibration and safety tests: Engineers calibrate the unit and perform safety tests to ensure it meets Keysight’s stringent standards.

Accessories and Final Check

  1. Original manuals and accessories: The unit receives brand-new accessories and manuals, identical to what you would get with a new Keysight instrument.
  2.  Final 101-point inspection: Before shipping, the unit goes through a thorough performance verification and a final 101-point quality check. You can even download the 101-point checklist for your reference.
  3. Standard like-new warranty: These refurbished units come with the same warranty as a new Keysight instrument, offering you complete peace of mind.

Shipped to Customer

  1. Unit packed and shipped to customer: Finally, the instrument and its accessories get carefully packed and shipped to you, the customer.

With this thorough refurbishment process and quality assurance checks, a Keysight Premium Used DSO oscilloscope offers you the same quality and reliability as a brand-new unit, but at a fraction of the price. It's an investment in quality, without the hefty price tag.

Quick Delivery and Availability

One of the additional benefits of opting for a used DSO oscilloscope is the speed of delivery and availability. Unlike new units, which may require time for manufacturing, customization, and often have longer lead times, used units are "ready to go." Here’s why quick delivery and availability can be particularly beneficial:

  • Expedited shipping: Because the units are ready and have already passed rigorous quality checks, they are available for immediate shipping. This allows you to get your hands on essential equipment quickly, often within days of placing an order.
  • Project timelines: The quick turnaround can be a project-saver. Whether you're in the middle of time-sensitive research or need to replace a failed unit asap, the fast delivery ensures that your project remains on schedule.
  • Client commitments: For consulting engineers or small firms with tight client deadlines, the speed of acquiring a used unit can make all the difference in meeting project commitments and maintaining client relationships.
  • Readiness for immediate use: Since the used units come calibrated, updated, and equipped with all necessary accessories, you can integrate them into your work environment as soon as they arrive, without any further setup or delays.

In a field where time is of the essence, the quick delivery and immediate availability of used DSO’s offer an unparalleled advantage. These factors, combined with the significant cost savings and quality assurance, make used oscilloscopes an appealing choice for professionals in the electrical engineering sector.

Sustainability and Environmental Impact

Selecting a used DSO oscilloscope doesn't just make good economic sense; it's also an environmentally responsible choice. The electronics industry is notorious for generating electronic waste (e-waste), much of which ends up in landfills, causing soil and water pollution. By opting for a used DSO, you contribute to a more sustainable and eco-friendly approach in the following ways:

  • Energy savings: The energy required to produce a new unit, from extraction of raw materials to the manufacturing process, is quite high. By reusing an existing unit, you save on the energy that would have otherwise gone into making a new one.
  • Reduced e-waste: Electronic waste is a growing environmental issue. When you purchase a used DSO, you prolong the lifespan of that device, preventing it from becoming e-waste and reducing the overall volume of discarded electronics.
  • Lower carbon footprint: The refurbishment process usually consumes less energy compared to manufacturing a new unit, thereby reducing your carbon footprint.

By choosing a used DSO oscilloscope, you're not just making a wise economic decision; you're also doing your part to protect the planet. It's a win-win situation that allows you to be both cost-effective and environmentally conscious.

Transparency and Trust

When you're considering a used DSO oscilloscope, we at Keysight understand that transparency and trust are crucial. We're committed to making sure you're confident in your investment, and here's how:

  1. Clear sourcing: Our used units often come from trade-ins, lease returns, or demo units. We're transparent about where we source our units and will provide you with the equipment’s history so that you can make an informed decision before you buy.  
  2. Aesthetic excellence: Concerned about the look of used equipment? We've got you covered. Each of our used units undergoes cosmetic restoration, including a thorough cleaning and sometimes even repainting. The result is an instrument that looks almost brand new.
  3. Trust in our brand: As a well-established name in the industry, our used units go through the same rigorous testing and calibration processes as our new ones.
  4. Transparent procedures: We believe in full transparency, that's why we offer a 101-point quality check for each unit. You'll know exactly what you're getting when you choose our premium used equipment.
  5. Warranty and customer support: We're so confident in the quality of our refurbished products that we offer the same warranty as our new units. This gives you an extra layer of security and peace of mind.

When you choose a used DSO oscilloscope from Keysight, you're not just acquiring a piece of equipment; you're making an investment in quality, reliability, and a brand that stands by its products. We're committed to providing you with a transparent and trustworthy buying experience, every step of the way.

Empower Your Projects With a Used DSO Oscilloscope

  • Like-new Condition
  • Updated Firmware
  • Full Calibration
  • New Accessories
  • Like-new Warranty
  • Customization possible

Learn more

  • Savings of up to 90%
  • Working Condition
  • Calibrated or Tested
  • 30-Day Right-of-Return
  • No Customization
  • Shipping to limited countries

Learn more

How to Choose the Right Used DSO Oscilloscope

Selecting the right used DSO oscilloscope can be a daunting task, given the range of models available and the technical jargon involved. However, with a few key strategies, you can make a well-informed decision that meets both your needs and budget.

Recognizing Trusted Sellers

When buying used equipment, you have plenty of options to choose from. However, if you prioritize quality and reliability, there's no better choice than Keysight's Used Store. Here's why:

  1. Quality assurance: We refurbish all our used units at our own manufacturing facilities, ensuring they meet the same stringent quality standards as our new units.
  2. Warranty coverage: We stand by the quality of our used equipment by offering the same standard warranty as our new products.
  3. Brand trust: With Keysight, you're not just buying equipment; you're investing in a brand known for innovation, quality, and reliability.

Evaluating Listings and Terms

Understanding listings and common terms is crucial for making an informed purchase. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you:

  1. Model number: Ensure the model number matches your specific needs, whether for basic troubleshooting or more advanced applications.
  2. Configuration: Look for details on hardware options, software features, and any customizations that have been made.
  3. Condition: Many listings use terms like 'refurbished,' 'like new,' or 'lightly used.' Know what each means for that specific seller.
  4. Accessories: Check what's included in the sale—probes, cables, manuals, and so on—and what might need to be purchased separately.
  5. Warranty: Always read the warranty terms. This can be a significant factor in assessing the deal's value.
  6. Shipping and returns: Be clear on shipping costs, delivery timelines, and the seller's return policy.

Assessing Physical Condition and Functionality

When considering a used DSO oscilloscope, understanding its physical condition and functionality is crucial. At Keysight, we provide a comprehensive 101-Point Final Inspection Checklist, covering a broad spectrum of checks. 

This rigorous process ensures that you get a product meeting the highest quality standards. Let's delve into a few key points from our checklist that specifically address physical condition and functionality.

  • Keys and knobs: We ensure that all keys and knobs are in good condition and function smoothly.
  • RF connector labeling: The labeling of the RF connector on the front overlay is verified for accuracy.
  • General appearance: Scratches, stains, and any traces of dust or dirt are removed to ensure the unit looks like new.
  • Feet/Foot stand & assembly: We check that the unit balances correctly on its feet or foot stand.
  • Connectors: All the side connectors like LAN ports, USB ports, and others are inspected for good condition.
  • Fuse condition: The condition and value of the fuse are verified for safety.
  • Ground connector: We make sure that the ground connector is in top condition.
  • Unit turn-on: We confirm the unit powers up correctly and does not display any error messages.
  • Instrument noise: The noise level of any internal fans or moving parts meets specified requirements.
  • Pixel integrity: We ensure that all pixels in the display are functioning, and the screen is free from scratches and stains.

By performing these and other checks we can confidently say that our used DSO oscilloscopes are in excellent condition and function as good as new. You can make your purchase with peace of mind, knowing that you are investing in a high-quality, reliable product.

Additional Considerations

In the quest to find the right used DSO oscilloscope, several factors often go beyond the immediate cost savings and quality assurances. One such crucial aspect is the compatibility and integration of the used equipment with the existing infrastructure in your lab or workspace.

Compatibility and Integration

When integrating a used DSO into your existing setup, you want the process to be seamless. To ensure a seamless integration, there are various elements you need to consider:

Software Compatibility

  • Firmware version: Always check the firmware version of the used DSO. Outdated firmware might lack features or be incompatible with newer equipment.
  • Driver support: Make sure that the drivers for the used oscilloscope are available and compatible with your existing computer systems.
  • Data formats: Ensure that the data formats supported by the used oscilloscope are compatible with other tools in your lab for effective data transfer and analysis.

Connection Interfaces

  • Port types: Check the types of ports available (USB, LAN, GPIB, etc.) and ensure they match with your current systems.
  • Cable compatibility: Verify that the cables required to connect the used oscilloscope to other devices are readily available and in good condition.
  • Multi-device setup: If you plan to integrate the oscilloscope into a multi-device setup, check the synchronizing capabilities of the device.

Accessory Compatibility

  • Probes and adapters: If you already have probes and adapters, check to see if they can be used with the new DSO oscilloscope.
  • Mounting options: Ensure that the used oscilloscope fits into the existing mounting systems or workspace available in your lab.

Software Licenses

  • Embedded software: Check if any software comes embedded in the oscilloscope, if licenses are transferable or if new licenses need to be purchased.
  • Third-party software: If the device is used in conjunction with third-party software, verify compatibility and licensing requirements.

Compatibility and integration involve more than just ensuring that the components fit. They also require that the components function together in a smooth and efficient manner. Paying attention to these factors will ensure that your used oscilloscope doesn't just become another piece of equipment in the lab, but an integrated part of your workflow and processes. 

Maintenance and Longevity

Maintaining a used DSO oscilloscope for long-term use involves a mix of regular check-ups, cleaning, and firmware updates.

  • Schedule routine inspections: Conduct regular checks to assess the device's functionality.
  • Perform periodic calibrations: Calibrate the device at set intervals to ensure accuracy and reliability.
  • Clean regularly: Use compressed air for input ports and fans, and wipe down the screen and external body.
  • Update firmware and software: Stay current with the latest versions to enhance performance and fix bugs.
  • Consult the user manual: Follow model-specific guidelines for routine care, troubleshooting, and customer support.

By adhering to these maintenance steps, you'll extend the longevity and reliability of your used DSO oscilloscope. 

Customization and Upgradability

If you would like to tailor your DSO oscilloscope to specific needs, customization and upgradability are often available. Various software upgrades and hardware modules can enhance your oscilloscope's performance, expand its capabilities, and make it compatible with your evolving projects.

But how do you know what customization options are right for you? Speak to one of our account managers to find out what your options are. Our specialists have a broad understanding of oscilloscope capabilities and can guide you through the range of upgrades that can optimize your device for your specific needs.

Don't miss out on this valuable resource. Sign up for an account today to discuss all available upgrade options and make your used DSO as efficient as possible for your projects.

Compliance with Industry Standards

Meeting industry standards and regulations is critical in any field, and this is no exception for used DSO’s. At Keysight, we take compliance very seriously and have implemented rigorous testing and certification processes to ensure that our used equipment meets or exceeds current industry standards.

Firstly, the precision of our calibrations is top-notch. We calibrate every specification and every option, to ensure that your test system performs to the highest specification. This commitment to detail sets the standard for reliability and ensures that your used oscilloscope operates as expected.

We offer Standards Lab Calibration services for the highest level of accuracy. Your device or instrument is compared to a primary or reference standard, ensuring the utmost in measurement precision. Our Antenna Calibration Services also guarantee standards-compliant measurements with SI-traceable results, whether for radios, radar, or EMI/EMC testing.

Last but not least, our ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation assures global compliance. We meet both global and local requirements through a variety of local accreditation bodies such as JCSS, CNAS, UKAS, ANAB, and Poverka.

Best-Performing Used DSO Oscilloscopes

Feature/SpecificationInfiniiVision Real-Time OscilloscopesInfiniium Real-Time OscilloscopesDCA Equivalent-Time (Sampling) OscilloscopesHandheld, Modular, and USB Oscilloscopes
Bandwidth50 MHz to 6 GHz500 MHz to 110 GHz10 GHz to >100 GHz100 MHz to 1 GHz
Sample Rate1 -20G Sa/s16-160 GSa/s250 KSa/s1-5 GSA/s
Channels2-4 Analog2-8 AnalogUp to 42 Analog
Memory Depth200 Kpts-800 Mpts100 Mpts-2GptsN/A120 Kpts-2 Mpts
Display Size/Type7.0-15”15.4-15.6” Touch10.4”5.7”
Connectivity OptionsUSB/Ethernet/USB/VideoLAN/USBSFP+,QSFP+,fibre channel,PCIeUSB/DC

Conclusion: The Wise Decision to Buy Used

Choosing a used DSO oscilloscope doesn't mean compromising on quality, reliability, or innovation. In fact, it's a savvy move that offers robust functionality at a fraction of the price. You're not just saving money; you're also contributing to a more sustainable future by opting for refurbished equipment. This is more than a purchase—it's a strategic advantage that can supercharge your projects and accelerate your workflow. 

So, go ahead and experience the Keysight difference today. You're making a wise investment in both your career and the planet. With a used DSO oscilloscope, you're poised for engineering excellence, financial savvy, and environmental responsibility.

Final Key Takeaway: Unlocking Success with Used Equipment

Why settle for less when you can have it all? Imagine a world where quality, affordability, and innovation intersect. That's exactly what you're getting from the wide range of used digital storage oscilloscopes from the Keysight Used Equipment Store. You're not just making a purchase; you're making a statement that excellence doesn't have to break the bank.

This isn't just a purchase; it's an investment in reliable technology that propels your projects forward while also respecting the planet. As an engineer, you can take pride in owning a used DSO oscilloscope that meets all the benchmarks for high-quality performance. With this decision, you're not just buying equipment; you're securing a gateway to innovation and efficiency. Check out our comprehensive range of premium oscilloscopes today!

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