menu to show the robust list of units that can be used in
addition to the raw eight-channel digital display.
I’ve also activated the “Panorama” feature at the top
of the screen, which shows the sampled waveform and
allows you to zoom in on specific regions of interest. The
Panorama feature is available in both analog scope and
digital logic analyzer modes.
To finish out my review, I tried to run the
SmartScope app on the other platforms I had laying
around my office, with mixed results due to my
platforms. SmartScope loaded and ran fine on Ubuntu
14.04 LTS running on an old (circa 2005) HP dv4000
laptop that I use intermittently.
It would not load in my ancient Windows XP desktop
(the same one that runs my Stingray scope app); I
suspect there’s a conflict with some special FTDI drivers I
have installed on that machine.
LabNation did quickly suggest alternative drivers and
provided specific instructions for
the installation, but I didn’t want to
perturb my known XP baseline for
My final platform attempt was
the ASUS Windows 8.1 laptop that
I recently inherited from my
grandson, and which I found
would no longer boot when I tried
to load the SmartScope (probably
the reason he was so generous).
So, for this review, I ran the
SmartScope on an Android tablet,
a Mac desktop, and a Ubuntu
laptop. The user interface was a bit
different for each of these, but
once I learned my way around the
SmartScope controls, everything
was intuitive and easy to use — no
matter what the platform.
I found the SmartScope does
what LabNation says it will, and it
provides a full complement of
features that should keep most
hobbyists and makers and even
professional engineers happy.
The online manual is clear and
well organized, and the learning
curve for the functions that I
explored was surprisingly easy.
A check of the LabNation
Change Log (online in their wiki)
confirms that they are serious
about listening closely to their
customers and quickly responding
with bug fixes and upgrades.
Bottom line: At $229, the
SmartScope from LabNation is in
my opinion one of the best USB
oscilloscope deals around. It is
packed with powerful features that
you will likely find helpful, and I
think you will enjoy its more
modern user interface.
If you’re in the market for a
new scope and you don’t usually
40 May 2017
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