Author Topic: --ARE YOU HAPPY WITH RIGOL PRODUCTS?--  (Read 9474 times)

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Offline Gilbert

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--ARE YOU HAPPY WITH RIGOL PRODUCTS?--
« on: June 29, 2015, 02:29:05 AM »
Dear friends,

I see Dave testing a new Rigol Oscilloscope model that looks just fantastic also with its price, while unexpected problems are seen with a power supply he has reported. These equipment look just fine, but how about in general, the quality, performance, bugs, and the feel of them. Sure a trade-off in quality is normal but to what extent is this trade-off. There is a nice promotion here with an oscilloscope, dmm and a function generator, DS1052E - DG1022 - DM3058 (all around $1150), I could not decide to get one set or not. I recently ordered an Hp TBS1052B entry level oscilloscope, waiting for it.

Thanks in advance for your valuable comments,
Regards from Istanbul, Gilbert.
 

Offline 0xdeadbeef

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Re: --ARE YOU HAPPY WITH RIGOL PRODUCTS?--
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2015, 02:39:11 AM »
All Rigol devices are more or less bug ridden, firmware support is terrible, customer support is usually terrible, but largely depends on whether you have luck to find someone who has any kind of clue.
I didn't have that luck when I requested a firmware update for my DG2021A function generator which wouldn't work as NI-VISA device over USB interface. Customer support told me that there was no firmware update and that the device wouldn't even allow an update. Which both was wrong. Only by chance I found another user who was given a new firmware by a more competent support person.
Also seeing that Rigol messed up the PLL in the DS1000Z series and the power supplies had/have a couple or more or less serious issues as well makes you wonder how professional their developer really are.
And yeah, the typical Rigol device is usually also much too loud and you need to perform a fan modification to make the noise bearable.

All in all, if you know the issues and can't spend much money, the value for the money is still pretty good.
For professional use, I'd never consider any kind of Rigol product with their current level of quality and customer support.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2015, 02:40:44 AM by 0xdeadbeef »
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Online hans

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Re: --ARE YOU HAPPY WITH RIGOL PRODUCTS?--
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2015, 03:50:13 AM »
I'm happy with my Rigol DS1074Z DSO considering what I paid for it and what I got back. I think this is the same for many owners; partly due to the 100MHz hack or the software options unlock on other models. Thereby, conclude why Rigol is so popular in the maker/tinkerer community.

If any serious money is involved for pro use (like >1K euro) I would look at Agilent/Keysight or Tektronix first.
E.g. we have a Rigol DS815A at work. It makes a horrible beep from the internal PSU at likely >8kHz or so. It works fine though.

Personally I have not encountered many firmware bugs, atleast to show stopper extent.
The styling scheme of Rigol is questionable to say the least, but I'm fine with it.
The feel of rotary knobs on my unit is not that great, but I think it will last if you treat your equipment well.
Fan noise is OK-ish for me, but this is purely opinion.


Remember that the DS1052E is not comparable with the DS1000Z by a long shot. The memory extension, trigger options, intensity graded waveforms are incredibly useful. Comparing 1052E to TBS1052B it's probably equal games, although I haven't looked in depth.
I'm not sure about the value of the DM3058 really. I have read there is very hard competition in the price bracket, and the Rigol is not as outstanding as in other test gear.
Not sure about DG1022 at all.
 

Offline jaromir

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Re: --ARE YOU HAPPY WITH RIGOL PRODUCTS?--
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2015, 04:27:23 AM »
I'm using DS1052E at work for a 6 years or so. Generally I'm satisfied with it, especially for the price. I bought one to my home laboratory too, year ago.
I consider buying DS10xxZ - it has better specs, as hans suggested.
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Offline Armxnian

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Re: --ARE YOU HAPPY WITH RIGOL PRODUCTS?--
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2015, 04:57:47 AM »
As you've already mentioned, you can build an entire lab consisting of Rigol products that cost as much as a single piece of test equipment from the bigger brands. They are built better than the other Chinese stuff but are still plauged with fairly crap software like the others. If you are a beginner looking to become a professional I would recommend buying entry level Rigol compared to spending money on quality gear. By the time you learn how to use all the features and advance your knowledge something new will come out. Plus with increased knowledge you will better know what you require. As for hobbyists, most don't want to spend many thousands of dollars. Rigol is fine for that purpose. If you outgrow the gear and still have interest in electronics then you can buy better gear.
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: --ARE YOU HAPPY WITH RIGOL PRODUCTS?--
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2015, 05:25:00 AM »
I have only two Rigol products, the DS1052E and the DS1054Z. Both have been useful and without the bugs affecting me very much but I don't use all their features extensively. The quality is OK but I am not sure I would have purchased them without the possibility of the freely available upgrades. Without that, I would be looking at Siglent right now. They are fairly responsive and seem to be more customer oriented than Rigol.

I would not get the DS1052E now unless it was for more like $150 in used good condition. It is less than half the scope that the DS1054Z is. Just because it is bundled with those other instruments does not make it a good buy. I would also argue that the multimeter is a OK, but if you need it to be calibrated and adjusted then you need to send it to Rigol as it appears they have not released the procedure to any third party. I find it a bit suspicious that they haven't released any of these procedures, that I am aware of.

Perhaps it is better to think of Rigol as being a basically something you buy and use for a few years and then buy again. Don't count on all bugs being fixed, and don't count on being able to repair or calibrate.

Perhaps I am wrong about their procedures not being available, but it was asked of them by someone here and they were told to send their instrument back to Rigol for adjustment.
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Offline mazurov

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Re: --ARE YOU HAPPY WITH RIGOL PRODUCTS?--
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2015, 12:17:19 PM »
When I was shopping for a DSO I picked Hantek, for the reasons already given by other members. Rigol is OK but so are many other Chinese instruments; you really don't pick it by a brand name or advertised features or even price. Instead, you look at issues ppl are having with the gizmo and ways to overcome them. Take a look at @tinhead 's Hantek thread, for one such example.

I also tend to favor instruments for which the majority of the content doesn't come from the manufacturer.  This approach works very well for me with old gear; seems to work even better for Chinese products - I'm yet to buy one that won't perform as expected.
 

Offline Muxr

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Re: --ARE YOU HAPPY WITH RIGOL PRODUCTS?--
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2015, 05:32:29 PM »
Capabilities for the price are off the chart. Especially when you consider the relatively easy unlock to the top tier of the line.

I have a DS2072A. It's a nice scope, with the unlock it's 300Mhz 2Gs/s, with 56M of sample memory and quite a bit of features. You just can't get that anywhere else for $800. (unless perhaps getting 2nd hand). Agilent's comparable scope at 200Mhz and 2Gs/s the DSOX2022A is $2250, Tektronix's TDS3032C is $8065.

Granted Rigol's waveforms per second are pretty weak, but that's a secondary stat to analog and digital bandwidth for most. So all in all I am happy with the bargain.

Out of the box I wasn't happy, because the firmware it came with was locking up all the time. Current version I am on, seems to work fine.

Generally speaking. The controls aren't the best but they are manageable. The UI can feel sluggish at times as well. The build quality is adequate. But bang per buck is there and that holds true today as it did when I was shopping for a scope.

Would I buy it all over again if I was in the same position? Most likely. I would perhaps go for an MSO in the future. I think the convenience is worth the premium.

I have 2 other scopes. A Hameg HM605 and an HP 54610B, and they are both more fun to use than the Rigol. In fact I kind of actually admire the job HP did on theirs (Hameg is full Analog and it's great). The HP is running the same factory firmware with zero bugs. The firmware is just so well written, it even has an easter egg Tetris clone game. It has much less features than the Rigol so perhaps not a fair comparison, but the UI just feels so much more intuitive and responsive, even with way less buttons. Often times on the Rigol it feels like a certain setting I am looking to disable is hidden behind too many menus. It just doesn't feel logically laid out.

A simple fact that the smallest encoder knob on the scope (the intensity knob) is the one you use the most, while the biggest one the one called the navigation knob is rarely ever used for anything speaks volumes of Rigol's knowledge of user interface.

Although I think the UI is a common problem with newer scopes. Since now days the scopes are designed by software engineers (I am one of them). They often times don't really understand the electronic engineer's workflow. This is why old analog scopes feel so much better to use.

It is sad because I think the ergonomics are really an important part of a scope. When you're using a scope your mind is usually occupied with debugging a problem. And the last thing you want is to be distracted by quirkiness of the tool you're using.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2015, 05:35:12 PM by Muxr »
 

Online Hero999

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Re: --ARE YOU HAPPY WITH RIGOL PRODUCTS?--
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2015, 06:13:36 PM »
I've recently got the DS1054Z for just £248 (352 Euro, $377)  including shipping and taxes.

I've unlocked all the features and haven't had any issues with it yet. The controls could be better but it's overall good value.
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: --ARE YOU HAPPY WITH RIGOL PRODUCTS?--
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2015, 06:36:46 PM »
DS2072 here and still happy with it, haven't outgrow it yet.

I do have 3 analog ones, all Teks (5110, 7603 & 7613) and I do use the 76xx every now and then because I have a ton of plug-ins. But the Rigol is my main scope.

That's the only Rigol product I own and had it for a year and a half, I couldn't be happier with it.
 

Offline tautech

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Re: --ARE YOU HAPPY WITH RIGOL PRODUCTS?--
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2015, 07:11:08 PM »
I have only two Rigol products, the DS1052E and the DS1054Z. Both have been useful and without the bugs affecting me very much but I don't use all their features extensively. The quality is OK but I am not sure I would have purchased them without the possibility of the freely available upgrades. Without that, I would be looking at Siglent right now. They are fairly responsive and seem to be more customer oriented than Rigol.
Yep, one wonders about build quality, support and their bugware, but for me it's specs.
I often ask myself who would buy a scope with only 300V inputs and 250ms/s in this day and age.  :-//
How can one also use a scope with a common vertical attenuator for up to 4 channels, it would drive me nuts, real nuts.

So you think I'm taking the opportunity to chuck some mud, not at all, just sharing some valid thoughts.

Some years ago when looking very carefully at DSO's to import, the above spec criteria were non_negotiable for my needs. Essentially there where no more brands available then as is now but specs are vastly different across brands.

Now I'm a Siglent distributor little has changed, specs still dictate my selections and patience with Siglent to produce more competitive products. I can't share much, but I can say their new DSO will challenge the 1054 on several fronts.
 
« Last Edit: June 29, 2015, 07:14:44 PM by tautech »
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Offline Jeroen3

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Re: --ARE YOU HAPPY WITH RIGOL PRODUCTS?--
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2015, 08:07:10 PM »
You buy a Rigol if the budget is the limiting factor. Otherwise you buy a fancy tektronix or agilent.
For the same price as a Rigol, you get a rubbish piece of tektronix. So it's either rubbish or feature packed with a few (complicated) bugs.

To be honest, the bugs found in the rigol ds1000z are not "simple" ones. You have to match a series of specific settings to reproduce them.
With a TBS1152b, the thing just crashes if you insert a USB drive. Or when you press two buttons fast enough.

So overall, yes happy. I even take it to work sometimes because even the more expensive tektronix devices lack the trigger features available in rigol.
 

Online Hero999

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Re: --ARE YOU HAPPY WITH RIGOL PRODUCTS?--
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2015, 06:10:11 AM »
Oh, I forgot to raise my one major gripe with the DS1054Z: the colour scheme. For some silly reason they chose a similar colour blue for the math trace as that used for channel 4. They should've used something completely different such as green, red, orange etc. It has a 16-bit colour display for goodness sake, they're hardly short of choice!
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: --ARE YOU HAPPY WITH RIGOL PRODUCTS?--
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2015, 07:23:09 AM »
From Rigol I have both MSO1074Z-S and DS1074Z-S oscilloscopes, a DP832 power supply and a DSA815-TG spec an.

There is no doubt that had it not been for the potential post-purchase optimisation at least three of those four purchases would never have been made.

I do also have a reasonable selection of other oscilloscopes up to 20GHz sampling scopes, but my favourite go to scope is a 15yo HP 54642D 2+16Ch 500MHz 2GSa/s due to its almost instant on and awesomely easy to use UI. The MSO1074Z-S is my field scope and the DS1074Z-S is lent out.

On the PSU, I have a couple of other simple cheap single channel units that I've had for some years that I still use at least as much as the DP832. The DP832 is good for slightly more esoteric features like OCP and paired supplies, as well as having single digit mA and mV plus W readout.

The Rigol spec an does get used quite a lot more than the other two spec ans I have as it has the best feature set, although the worst frequency range, I have an old HP YIG boat anchor that goes up to 22GHz.

Regarding the OP's Tek TBS1052B, I still have my TDS2024B 4ch 200MHz 2GSa/s scope that has done me well for many years, but there's no doubt the Rigol beats the pants off it in every way except bandwidth and channel specific controls. The Tek's been in its bag almost permanently for a year or so, but it has a good deal of sentimental value to me, it's paid for itself many many times over during the past decade or so I've had it, several very successful products were developed with it.

I bought the Tek because, well, it was Tektronix, and a decade ago while it might not have been the best value for money the far eastern alternatives had little track record or reliable reviews. It was about US$2,500 too... ouch, I remember that hurting.

Rigol gets its fair share of criticism in the bug department, much of it warranted, but bang for buck, even with those oft reported bugs, it really can't be beat. If you think Rigol is bad you just need to look at some of the other brands from the same neck of the woods. Also keep in mind that Rigol is extremely popular, and with that popularity it means the chances of finding a bug and publicising it is far greater. Some of the apparently show stopper bugs have taken months if not years to come to light and be generally acknowledged. While by no means perfect, some of them are extreme or rare use cases: after all, they have taken a long time to come to light, so they can't be that frequently observed. Again, I am not excusing it, I'm just putting it into perspective.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2015, 07:26:01 AM by Howardlong »
 

Offline alsetalokin4017

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Re: --ARE YOU HAPPY WITH RIGOL PRODUCTS?--
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2015, 09:56:31 AM »
I love my DS1054Z, I _actually use_ it every day. But come ON, give me a break....
« Last Edit: June 30, 2015, 10:02:33 AM by alsetalokin4017 »
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Offline LektroiD

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Re: --ARE YOU HAPPY WITH RIGOL PRODUCTS?--
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2015, 10:47:03 AM »
I have the DS1054z... I see the main gripes on Rigol products tend to be the lack of firmware support and the colour scheme (I have to agree on both counts). But you get a hell of a lot of scope for very little money!

It wouldn't surprise me if the DS1054z is the biggest selling scope of all time.
 

Offline Muxr

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Re: --ARE YOU HAPPY WITH RIGOL PRODUCTS?--
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2015, 11:12:27 AM »
It wouldn't surprise me if the DS1054z is the biggest selling scope of all time.
That would be difficult with the rate of change today vs. back when Tek made 465s, 465s sold for a long time, also Radio TV repair business is mostly dead now days, and those scopes were sold to everyone, from techs to governments. But there are way more people that can afford the DS1054z and the user base of scopes has probably grown. So I think you might be right.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2015, 11:15:10 AM by Muxr »
 

Offline xrunner

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Re: --ARE YOU HAPPY WITH RIGOL PRODUCTS?--
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2015, 11:32:36 AM »
Bought a DM3058E a year ago and have no complaints at all. I installed one firmware upgrade in that time.

I ordered a DG1022 last week and should be here this Wed., I'll let you know about that one in due course.  :)
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: --ARE YOU HAPPY WITH RIGOL PRODUCTS?--
« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2015, 11:38:49 AM »
Rigol's firmware support leaves a lot to be desired, but they do listen and do fix things, both hardware and software.
Bottom line is they are compelling bang-per-buck, and if it was my own money setting up a lab, I'd almost certainly buy a lot of Rigol gear.
 

Offline coppice

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Re: --ARE YOU HAPPY WITH RIGOL PRODUCTS?--
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2015, 11:40:07 AM »
Vendors on Taobao were saying the DS1000Z series had sold 20k units a few weeks ago. Now they say 30k. That's well below some famous historic scopes, but they achieved their sales over many years. If the DS1000Z series stays competitive for a while it may well become the biggest seller.
 

Offline Circlotron

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Re: --ARE YOU HAPPY WITH RIGOL PRODUCTS?--
« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2015, 01:32:25 PM »
I've had my DS2072 with 56M memory for almost 2 years now.  The deep memory with segmented facility means I can have an engine on a dynamometer, do a power run and then scroll through every single one of several thousand ignition events one at a time. I love it! We had a new project that was misbehaving and we were getting somewhat into deep doggy-do. Bought the scope and sorted it out in about a week. Scope paid for itself many times over in that one job.

The bit where you have to make a menu selection then push the button and it jumps to the wrong selection as the button is pushed is a bit annoying. Also sometimes the frequency counter displays <15Hz until you wind the trigger level up and down a bit. 800x480 screen resolution is better than some similar scopes. The math equation writer is great - no getting stuck with only several presets. I often use int(ch1*ch2) for measuring ignition spark energy in my test jig. A small thing perhaps, but majorly useful for me. I'd buy another one in a heartbeat.

*** It is my first and only DSO so maybe my opinion is somewhat subjective.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2015, 08:16:11 PM by Circlotron »
 

Offline bitwelder

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Re: --ARE YOU HAPPY WITH RIGOL PRODUCTS?--
« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2015, 03:23:42 PM »
Oh, I forgot to raise my one major gripe with the DS1054Z: the colour scheme. For some silly reason they chose a similar colour blue for the math trace as that used for channel 4. They should've used something completely different such as green, red, orange etc. It has a 16-bit colour display for goodness sake, they're hardly short of choice!
Even before looking at the math trace, why using two types of blue for channel 2 and 4 ?
 

Offline 0xdeadbeef

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Re: --ARE YOU HAPPY WITH RIGOL PRODUCTS?--
« Reply #22 on: June 30, 2015, 06:27:16 PM »
Rigol's firmware support leaves a lot to be desired, but they do listen and do fix things, both hardware and software.
They might listen to you when there's enough attention, but that's not really the idea of good customer support.
A normal customer gets confronted with some support guy/gal with a fake English first name who doesn't even know the products and fobs you off with some empty phrases and you know your question/report will never reach the engineering department.
The most annoying thing about Rigol and the likes is that they tend to release a new product before fixing the old one. E.g. the DS2000 was already replaced by the DS2000A.
Admittedly, that's the same for other Chinese vendors. But they usually have a proper firmware download possibility at least. With Rigol, you need to beg to get an update and if your support person is stubborn or stupid, you get an old version or are told that there are no updates.
Trying is the first step towards failure - Homer J. Simpson
 

Offline Jeroen3

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Re: --ARE YOU HAPPY WITH RIGOL PRODUCTS?--
« Reply #23 on: June 30, 2015, 09:30:42 PM »
I'd expect things to change if they establish a large customer base on the new 1000Z model.
 

Online rdl

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Re: --ARE YOU HAPPY WITH RIGOL PRODUCTS?--
« Reply #24 on: July 01, 2015, 12:48:41 PM »
Rigol is okay I guess. I've had a 1052E for a few years now. It works fine and I requested the newest firmware (for the first time) about 6 months ago. They e-mailed it to me in less than 12 hours and it installed with no problems. However, I really dislike the styling of their latest stuff. I consider it bad enough to avoid them in the future.

I'd probably already have a few of the DP832 power supplies if it wasn't for the stupid looking telephone dial buttons, and the front panel of the DS1054Z is an aesthetic mess. I realize a lot of people (maybe most) would disagree with me about the importance of the appearance of the product, but I prefer something I use all the time to at least not annoy me because of how bad it looks.
 


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