Author Topic: How important is warranty for an oscolliscope?  (Read 595 times)

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Offline electronicsdude

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How important is warranty for an oscolliscope?
« on: December 04, 2017, 05:25:41 PM »
Hi All,

I've been dabbling in basic electronics (Raspberry Pi, Shift Registers, Audrinos), really simple stuff. Right now  I'm trying to make a relatively more complex robot and I want to take it to the next level. Therefore, I'm deciding to invest in an oscilloscope. Currently, I'm looking at the "Rigol DS1054Z", a second hand "Instek GDS-806S" @ 110 or a cheap analog one. All without warranty.

I have 2 questions
1)Which one should I go for?
2)How often do oscilloscopes die? Is the warranty very important?

Thanks,
Melvin

 

Online Paul Moir

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Re: How important is warranty for an oscolliscope?
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2017, 06:52:21 PM »
1)  A digital one.  An analog one is wholly unsuitable for what you like doing.
1a) 4 ch vs 2ch, 1GSample/s vs 100MSample/S, 12Mpts vs 0.125Mpts.  You don't say what the price difference is but that Rigol is 10x the machine.
 

Offline electronicsdude

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Re: How important is warranty for an oscolliscope?
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2017, 07:07:14 PM »
Hey, thanks for the clear comparison! I'll be getting the Rigol one then since the price about 4x to get 10x the performance. I actually asked for a quote from the local distributor, it's about $120 more for 3 years of warranty compared to TEquipment or Amazon. Do you think that's worth it?
Thanks again.
 

Offline abraxa

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Re: How important is warranty for an oscolliscope?
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2017, 09:17:27 AM »
As long as you don't touch any mains voltage or create earthing problems when probing a mains-powered device, you won't be able to kill the scope. I don't think paying for extended warranty is worth it.
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: How important is warranty for an oscolliscope?
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2017, 10:05:43 AM »
As long as you don't touch any mains voltage or create earthing problems when probing a mains-powered device, you won't be able to kill the scope. I don't think paying for extended warranty is worth it.
I think the OP means buying a gray market scope that usually doesn't have a valid warranty as it's outside of the distributor's authorized region per their distributor agreement vs. buying from one that is authorized for that particular region, which would have a valid warranty. Rigol may even turn out to go ahead and support a defective product regardless of whether or not it's gray market, but that's part of the gamble.

OP: there's been very few truly defective units reported, so it's up to you if you want to gamble on whether or not you could get landed with a unit that suffers infant mortality just outside of the vendor's return period (i.e. you could end up losing everything spent). Odds are, you'd probably be just fine (a number of other members have done this).
 

Offline james_s

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Re: How important is warranty for an oscolliscope?
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2017, 10:57:35 AM »
A warranty is pretty much worthless IMHO, I wouldn't pay extra to get one. Scopes are pretty reliable and if you do blow it up then it's probably something that wouldn't be covered by the warranty. Also if you know how to effectively use an oscilloscope you can usually fix one if it fails and that's easier than messing with sending it in for warranty work.
 

Offline DG41WV

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Re: How important is warranty for an oscolliscope?
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2017, 11:22:52 AM »
At least buy a one with a few weeks of warranty. The first one I got had a defect that occurred when using it for a while. It all depends on luck.  http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/new-rigol-ds1054z-oscilloscope/msg1135031/#msg1135031
http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/new-rigol-ds1054z-oscilloscope/msg1135704/#msg1135704
 

Offline jmelson

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Re: How important is warranty for an oscolliscope?
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2017, 01:43:36 PM »
As long as you don't touch any mains voltage or create earthing problems when probing a mains-powered device, you won't be able to kill the scope. I don't think paying for extended warranty is worth it.
And, if you ** DO ** something like that, it is HIGHLY unlikely the warranty would cover it.

Jon
 

Offline Old Printer

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Re: How important is warranty for an oscolliscope?
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2017, 02:13:41 AM »
If you are buying the Rigol 1054Z buy it new from a legit distributor with the factory warranty. Tequipment and others are selling with the free software upgrades and EEVblog discount now for about $330 with free shipping in the US. At that price no point in taking a chance on a piece of used equipment you likely cannot fix yourself.
 

Online JPortici

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Re: How important is warranty for an oscolliscope?
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2017, 02:32:34 AM »
the truth is: at this price level the oscilloscope is a consumable. if you have to work and gain money from it it will cost you less to buy a new one than to enforce your warranty rights (unless it's an immediate substitution from broken to working one)
if however the instrument is in an higher class and expecially if extended warranty also comes with calibration routines, grab the extended warranty.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: How important is warranty for an oscolliscope?
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2017, 07:16:21 AM »
Sure if you're spending $40K on a high end instrument then absolutely get the warranty, but for a <$400 scope? Unless it's defective out of the box then it's probably going to cost more in shipping, time and hassle than it would to just buy another and toss the defective one on ebay as a parts/repair unit.
 
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Offline xani

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Re: How important is warranty for an oscolliscope?
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2017, 12:14:48 PM »
As others mentioned go with Rigol. You can hack it to unlock to full model and you will get a lot of use out of that

Also obligatory Dave's video about not blowing it up right away   ;D


Sure if you're spending $40K on a high end instrument then absolutely get the warranty, but for a <$400 scope? Unless it's defective out of the box then it's probably going to cost more in shipping, time and hassle than it would to just buy another and toss the defective one on ebay as a parts/repair unit.
That really depends on what your budget is. For someone having good stable job, sure, but for poor student that also wont have a clue how to fix even simple defect having some sensible (as in "do not have to ship to china") warranty can be worth it, even if it is just 30-90 days from ebay seller
 

Offline james_s

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Re: How important is warranty for an oscolliscope?
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2017, 05:54:36 PM »
Well a warranty doesn't hurt, but I still don't see much value in it. Generally even without any sort of warranty a unit can be exchanged if it's defective right out of the box. How often do they fail between day 2 and day 90 of ownership? I'd wager not very often at all. That is, if you exclude damage caused by misuse, which is not going to be covered by a warranty anyway. Then figure a broken one in great cosmetic condition would probably fetch $150-$250 on ebay and shipping it back to the vendor for warranty service could easily be $35-$45 domestic or $100+ to China plus time and hassle.
 

Online blueskull

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Re: How important is warranty for an oscolliscope?
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2017, 06:49:09 PM »
My MSOX3104A died once for corrupted flash, and had to be sent back to Keysight to be repaired.
My MSOX6004A died for the same reason once, and was returned for service once. It then died again for the same reason, but only intermittently. A firmware update took care of it.
So I guess yes, should I didn't have the warranty, it would have costed me $10k+ on repairing.
SIGSEGV is inevitable if you try to talk more than you know. If I say gibberish, keep in mind that my license plate is SIGSEGV.
 

Online sstepane

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Re: How important is warranty for an oscolliscope?
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2017, 07:48:23 PM »
Hi,

I think it is simple - warranty is not needed until the moment the device dies.
On the other hand - I would go Rigol for the reasons - it is a well known model and there is a huge amount on info on how to repair it and many third-party services will take it for repair since it is extremely popular.
 

Online bd139

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Re: How important is warranty for an oscolliscope?
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2017, 09:07:47 PM »
A warranty is important as it might not work properly from the moment you get it.

That is unless you like fixing scopes. I do so no problems there :)
 

Online blueskull

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Re: How important is warranty for an oscolliscope?
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2017, 09:18:52 PM »
That is unless you like fixing scopes. I do so no problems there :)

Except that you will need extremely good luck to fix a modern mid-high end digital scope with bunches of unobtainable custom jobs.
SIGSEGV is inevitable if you try to talk more than you know. If I say gibberish, keep in mind that my license plate is SIGSEGV.
 

Online bd139

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Re: How important is warranty for an oscolliscope?
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2017, 09:52:45 PM »
Yes. Which is why I only fix old analogue ones :)
 

Offline iainwhite

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Re: How important is warranty for an oscolliscope?
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2017, 02:32:35 AM »
Bear in mind that if you purchase the scope using a credit card, you get some protection from the credit card issuer - if the item is 'dead-on-arrival' or fails shortly after purchase and the seller won't help you, you can dispute the charge and hopefully get a refund from the credit card issuer.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: How important is warranty for an oscolliscope?
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2017, 03:20:47 AM »
My MSOX3104A died once for corrupted flash, and had to be sent back to Keysight to be repaired.
My MSOX6004A died for the same reason once, and was returned for service once. It then died again for the same reason, but only intermittently. A firmware update took care of it.
So I guess yes, should I didn't have the warranty, it would have costed me $10k+ on repairing.

That sounds like a serious design flaw that should be taken care of whether the warranty is valid or not. Just hearing about that would make me think twice about ever buying a Keysight scope. With the low cost of memory devices these days there's no excuse for not having a recovery ROM that cannot be altered or corrupted.
 


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