Author Topic: Is the Rigol DS1054Z still the best entry level digital scope for the price?  (Read 12652 times)

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Offline radcom123

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Hi there i'm more of less a beginner/novice  (I think) I have being messing about with electronics since I was little (now 25) and I currently have a old scopex 14D-15 I bought from a radio rally a some time ago. I currently mainly do stuff with arduinos & raspberry pis but I hope to do more in the future, and at the moment i'm trying to debug an cheap SPI TFT touchscreen module connected to a wemos mini (the screen I have got working but no matter what the touch screen refuses to work and i'm trying to look at the SPI bus to try to see whats going on and my old scope can't do it).

I'm have been looking at getting a Rigol DS1054Z for some time now as it has the 4 channels and can be unlocked to 100Mhz with SPI, i2c, and serial decode options using the riglol unlock thing. as I will mainly be using it for digital electronics i.e. Arduino, Raspberry Pi. The SPI, i2c, and serial decoders seem very useful to me . I know it doesn't have a logic analyser built in (which is a same, but you can't have it all) but I figure the 4 channels will probably be more useful to me and if I need a logic analyser I can always buy one later when I need more than 4 channels

Before I buy one I would like to know a few things:
1. My budget really can't stretch much more than £350ish inc vat+p&p (~$450) so is the DS1054Z still the best value (as of April 2017) assuming it can still be unlocked to 100Mhz with the protocol decoders? Or is there something better for a similar price with similar features i.e 4 channels, decoders, etc  ?

2. The DS1054Z scope I'm looking at ordering has the 00.04.04.SP3 firmware preloaded from what I can tell (https://www.rigol-uk.co.uk/productdetails_popup.asp?productcode=FIRMTEST)  does the option unlock exploit still work (from my research some sources say it does but would be nice to see clearly confirmed for me)? - yes it does still work

3. If the hack still works is the 500µV thing still a thing or does it work in the 00.04.04.SP3 firmware? - this doesn't work and never will

4. I'm currently looking at buying this https://www.rigol-uk.co.uk/Rigol-DS1054Z-Digital-Oscilloscope-p/ds1054z.htm as it seems to be the offical UK reseller and they seem to be as cheap as anyone else I can find(but I am open to buying 2nd hand locally I just missed one on here earlier in the month :'( ) does anyone know of a better price?

5. Is this the best board for this post or should it be in test gear or buy/sell?

Many Thanks
« Last Edit: May 02, 2017, 02:47:48 AM by radcom123 »
 

Offline stj

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the answer to the title is *maybe*

it all depends on how this performs!!
http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/new-siglent-sds1000x-e-oscilloscope-based-on-xilinx-zynq-7000-soc-architecture/

btw, i was about to order a ds1054z myself till i saw this new scope.
only 2 channels, but 200Mhz and serial decoding inc CANBUS without any hacks!
 

Offline rstofer

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Quote from: radcom123 link=topic=87599.msg1197632#msg1197632 date=1493582500
Before I buy one I would like to know a few things:
1. My budget really can't stretch much more than £350ish inc vat+p&p (~$450) so is the DS1054Z still the best value (as of April 2017) assuming it can still be unlocked to 100Mhz with the protocol decoders? Or is there something better for a similar price with similar features i.e 4 channels, decoders, etc  ?

Maybe not...  It might be the best 4 channel scope but the new Siglent 200 MHz 2 Channel SDS1000X-E is going to give it a run.  The Siglent JUST started shipping so there aren't any reviews yet.  If you can wait a few weeks there should be some comparisons.  All of the decoding features are free so there is no reason to hack anything.

Quote

2. The DS1054Z scope I'm looking at ordering has the 00.04.04.SP3 firmware preloaded from what I can tell (https://www.rigol-uk.co.uk/productdetails_popup.asp?productcode=FIRMTEST)  does the option unlock exploit still work (from my research some sources say it does but would be nice to see clearly confirmed for me)?


Yes

Quote

3. If the hack still works is the 500µV thing still a thing or does it work in the 00.04.04.SP3 firmware?

Doesn't work and never will.

Quote

4. I'm currently looking at buying this https://www.rigol-uk.co.uk/Rigol-DS1054Z-Digital-Oscilloscope-p/ds1054z.htm as it seems to be the offical UK reseller and they seem to be as cheap as anyone else I can find(but I am open to buying 2nd hand locally I just missed one on here earlier in the month :'( ) does anyone know of a better price?

No comment on this, I live in the US

Quote
5. Is this the best board for this post or should it be in test gear or buy/sell?

Many Thanks

Test Equipment is probably the best place but this question comes up in the Beginners forum just about once a week.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2017, 06:29:41 AM by rstofer »
 

Offline rstofer

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I bought the DS1054Z specifically because it had 4 channels.  I wanted to see all of the SPI signals.  For years I had been using an analog scope so a 4 channel DSO was quite a change.

Now, what about the tradeoff between 4 channels (not always necessary) and increased bandwidth?  I don't know where I come out on that.  Would I spend ANOTHER $379 to get more bandwidth when my analog scope goes to 350 MHz?  I haven't done it yet but I haven't ruled it out.

Bandwidth is a big deal when you consider that you should display at least the 7th harmonic to see a decent square wave.  So, 14 MHz for the DS1054Z and nearly 30 MHz for the SDS1000X-E.  The difference in the range of application is huge.

 

Online tautech

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Quote from: radcom123 link=topic=87599.msg1197632#msg1197632 date=1493582500
Before I buy one I would like to know a few things:
1. My budget really can't stretch much more than £350ish inc vat+p&p (~$450) so is the DS1054Z still the best value (as of April 2017) assuming it can still be unlocked to 100Mhz with the protocol decoders? Or is there something better for a similar price with similar features i.e 4 channels, decoders, etc  ?

Maybe not...  It might be the best 4 channel scope but the new Siglent 200 MHz 2 Channel SDS1000X-E is going to give it a run.  The Siglent JUST started shipping so there aren't any reviews yet.  If you can wait a few weeks there should be some comparisons.  All of the decoding features are free so there is no reason to hack anything.
They're coming.
First look here:
http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/siglent-sds-1202x-e-review-on-youtube/msg1197411/#msg1197411
Avid Rabid Hobbyist & NZ Siglent Distributor
 

Offline daveyk

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the answer to the title is *maybe*

it all depends on how this performs!!
http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/new-siglent-sds1000x-e-oscilloscope-based-on-xilinx-zynq-7000-soc-architecture/

btw, i was about to order a ds1054z myself till i saw this new scope.
only 2 channels, but 200Mhz and serial decoding inc CANBUS without any hacks!

Yea, but 1ghz sample rate is not good for 200MHz BW is it? I would think them minimum sample rate is 1GHz for every 100MHz in BW and then I'm told that is marginal is trying to monitor fast risetime signals?

Dave


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Offline ebclr

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Still the king

4 channels

Easily hackable to full version 100 Mhz

Works even with 120 Mhz

Nothing even near, they are some 2 channels that my get you like the Siglent SDS1202X 200MHz but same sample rate as Ds1054Z, is more expensive, only 2 channels, much bigger screen ( that is the point for ths scope ).

Also is available several cheaper ones like the hantek but isn't decent have a lot of problems, and also the expensive ones like the keisight but does not justify the huge price difference especially if you consider price/performance. Keysight is the triple price for 20% better usability . Is like a Ferrari everybody wants's but very few have. The concept of low cost for Keysigth, Tektronics and R&S are a joke, all 3 have good quality performance but at ridiculous high price.
 

Offline rstofer

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Yea, but 1ghz sample rate is not good for 200MHz BW is it? I would think them minimum sample rate is 1GHz for every 100MHz in BW and then I'm told that is marginal is trying to monitor fast risetime signals?

Dave


1054z has 1 GHz for 100MHz 4 channels so it turns out to be the same.
 

Offline FlyingHacker

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Keysight 1000x? Maybe only two channels (two and half) but the interface is not sluggish like the Chinese scopes.
--73
 
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Online tautech

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Keysight 1000x? Maybe only two channels (two and half) but the interface is not sluggish like the Chinese scopes.
I can assure you there is nothing sluggish about the new SDS1202X-E. The thing flies.
Hunt for the Defpom's vids on YT about them.
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Offline WackyGerman

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If you re looking for a 4 channel scope it is the best bang per buck . But for the prize you cannot expect the best quality , performance and support . No company cannot give away highest quality for free . There are thousands of postings here in the forum of the firmware , performance and quality issues . But you have to judge yourself if the issues are a problem for you or not . Many users here are working with this scope on spi bus projects and they seem to be really happy with it . So I think it also would help you to go forward with your projects even with the bugs . Basically these scopes work , not perfectly but it is a good compromise with a low budget
 

Offline Karel

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The DS1054Z is still king in this price class.
I would never go back to a two channel scope.
The difference between theory and practice is less in theory than
the difference between theory and practice in practice.
Expensive tools cannot compensate for lack of experience.
 

Offline VEGETA

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Having 4 channels is still the biggest advantage regardless of other stuff. The price is also reasonable enough.

Offline rstofer

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Keysight 1000x? Maybe only two channels (two and half) but the interface is not sluggish like the Chinese scopes.
I can assure you there is nothing sluggish about the new SDS1202X-E. The thing flies.
Hunt for the Defpom's vids on YT about them.

I LIKE the UI response!




I have only watched the first one but I sure like the FFT function.
 

Offline Karel

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Don't buy anything from Siglent if you are not sure you don't want to sell it on Ebay later...

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/siglent-they-filed-a-'wrongful-trademark-claim'/

The difference between theory and practice is less in theory than
the difference between theory and practice in practice.
Expensive tools cannot compensate for lack of experience.
 

Offline ebastler

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I LIKE the UI response!

Could you point me to a time in the video where he adjusts the vertical and/or horizontal offset, ideally while multiple traces are visible on the screen? I fast-forwarded through the videos (find them a bit tedious to watch, to be honest), and did not come across any operation that would be taxing for the UI. Thanks!
 

Offline james_s

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Yea, but 1ghz sample rate is not good for 200MHz BW is it? I would think them minimum sample rate is 1GHz for every 100MHz in BW and then I'm told that is marginal is trying to monitor fast risetime signals?

Dave

Sure it is, most waveforms are repetitive in nature, so a DSO simply assembles the waveform by sampling multiple cycles, it works pretty well. My 1GHz bandwidth scope has a max sample rate of 4 GS/sec and it has no trouble displaying waveforms up near the bandwidth limit. The only time you really need max capture rate is for single shot transient events.
 

Offline rstofer

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I was watching the SPI decoding part and it seems Siglent didn't take advantage of using the Ext trigger for CS'.  I want to read the manual before saying anything about using 'holdoff' to find the first transition of the packet.  In the video, the channels are MOSI and Clk.

Since CS' frames the packet, it is a pretty important signal.

Overall, the decoding feature seems pretty nice.  I like the table display.


 

Offline radcom123

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I watched both of the reviews as well and also didn't get why you can't use the ext trigger for the CS but I do like the idea of the display table, but that in its self isn't really enough to go for it over the rigol. The biggest draw for me for the sig over the rigol is the 200Mhz bandwidth but I don't know how useful that extra bandwidth will be to me as I'm not looking at doing any RF stuff, and my gut feeling is the ability to see more at the same time with the extra 2 channels is going to be more useful to me than the higher bandwidth but I don't know enough about scopes to fully understand the implications about the bandwidth.
 

Offline james_s

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Bandwidth largely determines the max rise time you can accurately display. 100MHz is probably enough for most stuff but it never hurts to have more bandwidth. I got by with a 100MHz analog scope for many years, but now that I have a newer high bandwidth scope I wonder how I got by without it. Still, for entry level 100MHz is probably enough. You can still look at somewhat faster signals than that, you just have to understand how the limited bandwidth affects what you see.
 

Offline rstofer

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Bandwidth largely determines the max rise time you can accurately display. 100MHz is probably enough for most stuff but it never hurts to have more bandwidth. I got by with a 100MHz analog scope for many years, but now that I have a newer high bandwidth scope I wonder how I got by without it. Still, for entry level 100MHz is probably enough. You can still look at somewhat faster signals than that, you just have to understand how the limited bandwidth affects what you see.

In the video, the author runs the 200 MHz scope up to 400 MHz.  The display is messed up with aliasing but you can still see the waveform.  300 MHz actually looked pretty good.  Attenuated, sure, but the waveform was there.  Then again, it was a sine wave.  I would have rather seen a square wave.

I need to understand a lot more about the decoding to get interested in yet another scope.  Does it just decode the screen image?  Does it decode the entire buffer?

I like the idea of being able to turn off all of the measurements with a single button.

I still have no idea what segmented memory is all about and why I would care.  The author seems to understand it and praises the scope so it must be important.
 

Online tautech

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Don't buy anything from Siglent if you are not sure you don't want to sell it on Ebay later...

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/siglent-they-filed-a-'wrongful-trademark-claim'/
Really ?

You must be aware Rigol tried this on too, or have you conveniently forgotten ?
http://www.eevblog.com/forum/beginners/ds1052e-removed-from-ebay/

Avid Rabid Hobbyist & NZ Siglent Distributor
 

Offline rstofer

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Don't buy anything from Siglent if you are not sure you don't want to sell it on Ebay later...

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/siglent-they-filed-a-'wrongful-trademark-claim'/
Really ?

You must be aware Rigol tried this on too, or have you conveniently forgotten ?
http://www.eevblog.com/forum/beginners/ds1052e-removed-from-ebay/

Both brands are all over eBay today.  Including this new scope but is shown as overpriced out of Hong Kong.  At least one of the Siglents is 'used'.

 
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Offline james_s

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Why the issues with ebay? Are there fake Siglent and Rigol scopes out there? I would not buy one out of China on ebay but a used one from the US would not raise any red flags.
 

Offline rstofer

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Why the issues with ebay? Are there fake Siglent and Rigol scopes out there? I would not buy one out of China on ebay but a used one from the US would not raise any red flags.

The manufacturers didn't want a 'gray market' in their products.  This is actually pretty common and a huge problem in the SCUBA industry where regulators are available in foreign countries (relative to US) for considerably less money.  The customers in the US are getting ripped and will often order from foreign sources but the manufacturer claims you won't get a warranty and your local retailer may no perform the usual maintenance.  Sometimes retailers order from these sources in bulk and sell the products for less than MSRP.  Not the kind of thing the manufacturer wants to see as they try to protect their authorized resellers.

 


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