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  • EEVblog #143 – Agilent 2000 X Series Infiniivision Oscilloscope Review

    Posted on February 15th, 2011 EEVblog 33 comments

    Dave gets a WORLD EXCLUSIVE, a look at the new Agilent 2000 series oscilloscope being released TODAY.
    Is it going to change the world like Agilent claim?

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    • http://e-motion.lt elektrinis

      Two please.

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    • robert

      Looks fantastic.

      About a year ago I got myself one of the lower end Lecroy WaveAce ones (4CH, 200MHz). It cost me about 2k€ – and that was an introductory offer. But it seems that compared to the USA, in Germany we just don’t get good deals on high end hardware (and cars) anyway. Now I almost wish I hadn’t spent the money.

      A few months ago we (at work) bought a “new” Agilent 7000 series scope for I think about 15k€. The main pro was the segmented memory. A sales guy payed us a visit and compared it to a TEK (which had a much better look and feel IMHO), but it was plain obvious he desperately wanted to sell the Agilent. Now I know why… getting rid of the old stuff. The menu system and look and feel of the new Agilent scopes is a significant improvement. The old style looks like shit and stuff is buried in various menus.

      When the scope arrived, it turned out they had erroneously sent us the fully unlocked MSO version. Unfortunately they found out about that later and we had to return it ;-(

      The unlock-upgrade policy is nice for companies, but on a personal level I just hate having the full hardware sitting on my desk and not being able to use it. That’s quite painful.

      • http://AmecNuclear chris

        is there any way to hack the scope so we have full functionality?

    • Chris Jones

      It would be interesting to repeat that test for aliasing, but instead of just using 20MHz, slowly sweep the input frequency, to see if 20MHz was just a lucky choice for that particular scope’s reduced sample rate on the long time/division setting.

    • Chris Jones

      Also, in the spirit of the Rigol hack, I was hoping for you to review the 70MHz unit by showing us how to hack it to 200MHz… though maybe it’s best to wait until there are a lot of them out in the field as upgrade candidates incase it prompts them to improve the security ;-)

    • jeremy

      I would just like to point out that the 70mhz model is approximately US$1200, not the 200mhz. My jaw nearly hit the floor when you mentioned the price!

      great review, do you know of any aussie suppliers who stock them yet?

    • Stephen

      Wow! That’s an awesome scope, especially at that price point.

      Great review. Your review is going to cost me a lot of money :)

    • V

      Hi! Where did you get that Negative Feedback t-shirt? I want one!

      • http://www.linearaudio.nl Jan

        Yeah, I want the shirt AND the scope! Was just looking at other models, a timely job Dave, thanks!

    • Strube09

      Okay… When is the EEVBlog Give away :)

    • firewalker

      As I can understand the wave gen and the 2 extra channel are hardware present. Right?

      I can already imagine “weird” guys trying to find a software exploit in order to enable them. I am sure they (probably Agilent will leak it) will succeed.

    • tinman

      > Chris Jones
      > February 15th, 2011 at 22:55
      >
      > Also, in the spirit of the Rigol hack,
      > I was hoping for you to review the 70MHz >
      > unit by showing us how to hack it to 200MHz

      Agilent is not stupid, to get a bw upgrade you have to send it to Agilent – they will then replace the mainboard (thats confirmed).
      All you could hack (if you can) are soft modules, like the function generator.
      I’m bit wondering where the information is coming from that even the 2ch models have
      4ch “installed”, in the portfolio there are definitelly models with halft of the BNCs visible. So the 4ch upgrade will be probably the same as bw upgrade – you will get new mianboard.

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        Agilent is not stupid, to get a bw upgrade you have to send it to Agilent – they will then replace the mainboard (thats confirmed).

        Were is this “confirmed”?
        Agilent have told me this is NOT true. The bandwidth upgrade is a software key.
        Of course you can’t turn a 2000 series into a 3000 series though.

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        I’m bit wondering where the information is coming from that even the 2ch models have
        4ch “installed”,

        I was lead to believe that.
        I did not have info to the contrary that has just been revealed today, which I am seeing for the first time as well.

    • FreeThinker

      Think that this could of been 2 or 3 1hour vids and still only scratched the surface!Really far to capable for my needs but the geek factor is undeniable.If this starts to push down the cost of rigols et al then so much the better.Look out on Ebay for lots of old scopes coming on the market as people upgrade. Love it!

    • Mio Taalas

      That’s one long review you got there :)
      But it’s very good and I think its spot on all the way. But should you try to put something like links to the video so one could jump to a specific part of the review easily? I think YouTube supports “time links” or something like that and captions inside the video itself. One hour review ought to have them for nice viewing :)

      You could have spent more time about what kind of oscilloscopes are available in this family and what are the different options (most important ones at least?) and possibly how much they cost.

      Other than that, wonderful work Dave. Keep it up. I wish I had one of these at my desk surely.

    • George Graves

      What keeps this from getting hacked? I don’t know much about windows CE, but it doesn’t sound that secure to me!

      I can’t wait to see some street prices poping up. Do you think wanting a 100Mhz, 4-ch, no-frills version for under $2k is too greedy?

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        Only thing stopping a hack is the security measures they have built in (unknown).
        No, I think under $2K would have been a nice target price for that configuration.
        I was hoping for lower price points on the upper models.

        • Wartex

          It’s a matter of paying Tarnovsky/Flylogic a certain amount of money.

    • http://helmpcb.com Amr

      How long do you think it will be before piracy takes root on these software upgradable scopes and you can find cracks online that unlock all the upgradeable features?

      If that does happen, I wonder if we’d end up with the same piracy/DRM wars that we have on PCs…*shudder*

    • Frak

      It’ll be hard to say if this will really get hacked any time soon imo. Rigol units were relatively cheap and easier to get ahold of, but the Agilent starts off at $1.2k which makes the risks of bricking it a lot higher.

      Then again the guys who do buy it might be more hardware savy and/or financially capable (I assume). The run of the mill hacker/tinkerer probably wouldn’t spend 1k+ on a device just to hack it.

      I do hope I’m wrong though. =D

    • Jope

      Hi,

      just some additional info. To control the scope from your PC (via USB), you can download the Agilent IO Libraries for free here:

      http://aaa.product.agilent.com/IOLibraries/Download_IO_Libraries.aspx

      You don’t even have to register to download them. And it’s legal to use them with their scopes and measurement cards. Of course you can also use them to control instruments from other manufacturers (Tek, etc.).

    • Julian

      Not sure as it went past really quick but I thought that it looked like you get the 2GHz sampling rate with channels 1 and 3 enabled.

      freeze frame showed two traces and the display saying 2GHz samples.

      That would make sense if it were two modules each capable of 2GHz and splittable to 2 x 1GHz.

      which is further confirmed with news that there
      is 2 channel version.

      • Nick

        Yes, that seems very right. It happens two times.

    • ElPolloLoco

      One minor detail worth pointing out: in high-resolution mode, you may have much less protection against aliasing, if this generation of scope uses similar firmware to the previous DSO6000 models. I don’t usually run my MSO6054A in high res mode for that reason.

    • Bill

      Excellent review. Told me almost everything I needed to know about the scope. Explained the special features, the nice to haves, and some of the ‘nice if it did haves’ too. And, yes, I got to agree – Excellent value for money.

      Now, where’s my order book….

    • Ernie

      Does anybody know how fast the I can measure signals with the logic analyzer? The logic analyzer function is specked at 1Gsample/sec. How fast of a clock signal could I feed into this thing and actually see a square wave with a 50 percent duty cycle and correct frequency?

      • Leo Bodnar

        The datasheet says “Minimum detectable pulse width” is 5nsec. So I guess the answer to your question is 100MHz.

    • Leo Bodnar

      Quoting Dave from EEVblog #13 Part 2 of 2 speaking about features of DSOs…

      “In my opinion Arbitrary Waveform Genarators are highly over-rated. You really ever need to use them in practice.”

      LOL

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        For the average hobbyist 9and many professional too), yes. But like similar exotic type features in test gear, when you need it, you need it.
        And when you pay $500 for the function gen option, one might expect arb gen capability when a standalone gen with arb can be had for $500?

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    • http://AmecNuclear chris

      I’ve recently purchased a 3000 series for work. Its fab and your video here is better than weeding through the tedious manual. If any body borrows it I’ll just send a link to this video rather than print out a 400 page manual that they will not read