Author Topic: EEVblog #1057 - Digilent Open Scope MZ Review  (Read 8604 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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EEVblog #1057 - Digilent Open Scope MZ Review
« on: February 09, 2018, 08:28:57 am »
Dave looks at the Digilent Open Scope MZ Review, an $89 open source oscilloscope, logic analyser, and function generator.

https://store.digilentinc.com/openscope-mz-open-source-all-in-one-instrumentation/

 

Offline firewalker

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Re: EEVblog #1057 - Digilent Open Scope MZ Review
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2018, 09:09:31 am »
Does it work with sigrok-pulseview yet?

Alexander.
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Offline Avacee

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Re: EEVblog #1057 - Digilent Open Scope MZ Review
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2018, 09:20:52 am »
Excellent review  :-+ enjoy and trust your reviews much more compared to the marketing driven/scripted ones that only show something working perfectly.

Given it's open source I can't help but wonder how many weeks before the Chinese are pumping them out at a fraction of the price with links to Digilent's website for the software.
Then it may be worth getting one as the UK Price is £83.27 from RS-Components so given its limitations and software that's currently a pass.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1057 - Digilent Open Scope MZ Review
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2018, 10:05:49 am »
Given it's open source I can't help but wonder how many weeks before the Chinese are pumping them out at a fraction of the price with links to Digilent's website for the software.

I'd be interested to know how much the cloners could sell an Analog Discovery for?
 

Offline Bud

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Re: EEVblog #1057 - Digilent Open Scope MZ Review
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2018, 11:00:03 am »
Why do they call it "professional" ?  I can hardly see any professional wasting their  time fiddling with it.
 

Offline BillyO

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Re: EEVblog #1057 - Digilent Open Scope MZ Review
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2018, 11:15:30 am »
Dave, there is nothing wrong with a well implemented R2R DAC.  It'll get it done.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1057 - Digilent Open Scope MZ Review
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2018, 11:29:33 am »
Why do they call it "professional" ?  I can hardly see any professional wasting their  time fiddling with it.

Yeah, forgot to comment on that.
The Analog Discovery is certainly a "professional" education market, but this one is aimed at hobbyists really.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1057 - Digilent Open Scope MZ Review
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2018, 11:29:55 am »
Dave, there is nothing wrong with a well implemented R2R DAC.  It'll get it done.

Sure.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #1057 - Digilent Open Scope MZ Review
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2018, 11:35:42 am »
Why do they call it "professional" ?  I can hardly see any professional wasting their  time fiddling with it.
Without a real scope frontend including BNCs it is more like a data acquisition board.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline imidis

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Re: EEVblog #1057 - Digilent Open Scope MZ Review
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2018, 02:10:37 pm »
It seems unrealistic.  :-//
Gone for good
 

Offline thmjpr

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Re: EEVblog #1057 - Digilent Open Scope MZ Review
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2018, 04:35:54 pm »
This was linked in the youtube comments:
http://www.analog.com/en/design-center/evaluation-hardware-and-software/evaluation-boards-kits/ADALM2000.html
https://wiki.analog.com/university/tools/m2k
http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/analog-devices-adalm2000/

For $99, hardware wise looks way better (10MHz, 100MS/S digital). Software mentions network analyzer and spectrum analyzer. But who knows if it will ever be released, and the software will be supported.
Analog discovery used to be available at this price point, but now even with the student discount is much more expensive.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1057 - Digilent Open Scope MZ Review
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2018, 04:48:50 pm »
This was linked in the youtube comments:
http://www.analog.com/en/design-center/evaluation-hardware-and-software/evaluation-boards-kits/ADALM2000.html
https://wiki.analog.com/university/tools/m2k
http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/analog-devices-adalm2000/

For $99, hardware wise looks way better (10MHz, 100MS/S digital). Software mentions network analyzer and spectrum analyzer. But who knows if it will ever be released, and the software will be supported.
Analog discovery used to be available at this price point, but now even with the student discount is much more expensive.

Wow, that looks like a killer at $99
Release date anyone?
 

Offline ArdWar

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Re: EEVblog #1057 - Digilent Open Scope MZ Review
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2018, 06:05:02 pm »
I guess using free I/O for DAC with a bunch of resistors is better(?) than spending additional ~60 cents for integrated DAC.

Strange design decision indeed. Cost? Performance?  :-//
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 06:06:37 pm by ArdWar »
 

Offline abraxa

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Re: EEVblog #1057 - Digilent Open Scope MZ Review
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2018, 06:44:16 pm »
Does it work with sigrok-pulseview yet?

This thing is a toy, so I don't know any of the core devs willing to waste their time writing a driver for it. Digilent did get in touch with us regarding support for their devices in sigrok but as of now we have no idea how much support from their side this would entail. If it's a mere "here, have the hardware and the comm protocol" kind of deal then I'd expect the Open Scope MZ to be passed on. Simply because it's just not worth our time. However, drivers contributed by the community would of course be welcome.
 
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Online blueskull

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Re: EEVblog #1057 - Digilent Open Scope MZ Review
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2018, 06:48:10 pm »
Given it's open source I can't help but wonder how many weeks before the Chinese are pumping them out at a fraction of the price with links to Digilent's website for the software.

I did a quick profitability analysis, and it seems like it's not worth it. The BOM is about $40 in mass quantity, and given none of the parts are easily available in China, the cloners need to source them from distributors. If the cloner is a small comnay without import/export license, then they will have to pay 20% import package tax, so that's $48 BOM.

According to PCBWay PCBA quoting system, PCB+PCBA would be $5 per board, that adds the bottom line to $53. Then there are accessories and packaging, let's say totally $60.

It's schematic and firmware are open source, but the PCB is not. Let's say, an average EE service costs ~$10 per hour in China, and it will take at least 100 hours to get the board cloned, so that's $1000 NRE. If the cloner can sell 200 pcs, then that's $5 per unit engineering cost.

There's no way you can profit cloning something that has $65 cost and sell for significantly cheaper than $89.

Sure, it can be made much cheaper by replacing the PIC32 with STM32, and the WiFi module with ESP32, but that requires extensive engineering, talking about $10000 on engineering. Unless you can sell this by thousands, you are still not very competitive.
 
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Offline abraxa

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Re: EEVblog #1057 - Digilent Open Scope MZ Review
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2018, 07:03:53 pm »
This was linked in the youtube comments:
http://www.analog.com/en/design-center/evaluation-hardware-and-software/evaluation-boards-kits/ADALM2000.html
https://wiki.analog.com/university/tools/m2k
http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/analog-devices-adalm2000/

For $99, hardware wise looks way better (10MHz, 100MS/S digital). Software mentions network analyzer and spectrum analyzer. But who knows if it will ever be released, and the software will be supported.
Analog discovery used to be available at this price point, but now even with the student discount is much more expensive.

The software used is scopy (https://github.com/analogdevicesinc/scopy) and is in part based on PulseView, so it's open source. I'm pretty sure AD is serious about releasing the ADALM2000 :)
 

Offline prof

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Re: EEVblog #1057 - Digilent Open Scope MZ Review
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2018, 09:51:40 pm »
 :-DD

I was seriously laughing my ass off watching this video.

I'm one of the Kickstarter backers and the whole thing is just a huge mess and a major letdown.

The whole project is just all over the place. The project people are obviously overwhelmed. The engineers haven't even close to delivered the promised features and progress seems to be pretty much dead: you can count the software releases on one hand and they seem to be only slight bugfix releases (from looking at the source because no release notes -- who reads release notes anyway...). The current software is so buggy to the point of being totally useless. There's no offline support out-of-the-box (requires to manually install the Waveforms Live on the device which is a rather involved process). Capturing via WiFi only seems to work every full moon or so and even over USB is so quirky that you'll never know whether the DUT or the "scope" is at fault. In other words: Totally useless, a toy at best; but then again there're much better toys out there.

Heck, even their shipping department messed up the shipping declaration and doesn't respond to inquiries I've been asked by other Digilent people to make.

The only takeaway from this project is: Sometimes it takes a completely botched project like this to see the reality of a shitty company behind a brand with a supposedly good reputation. I'll make sure to stay the hell away from Digilent in the future.
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1057 - Digilent Open Scope MZ Review
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2018, 10:11:44 pm »
The whole project is just all over the place. The project people are obviously overwhelmed. The engineers haven't even close to delivered the promised features and progress seems to be pretty much dead: you can count the software releases on one hand and they seem to be only slight bugfix releases (from looking at the source because no release notes -- who reads release notes anyway...). The current software is so buggy to the point of being totally useless. There's no offline support out-of-the-box (requires to manually install the Waveforms Live on the device which is a rather involved process). Capturing via WiFi only seems to work every full moon or so and even over USB is so quirky that you'll never know whether the DUT or the "scope" is at fault. In other words: Totally useless, a toy at best; but then again there're much better toys out there.

Interesting. I didn't think to check the Kickstarter updates and comments.

Quote
The only takeaway from this project is: Sometimes it takes a completely botched project like this to see the reality of a shitty company behind a brand with a supposedly good reputation. I'll make sure to stay the hell away from Digilent in the future.

How is the Analog Discovery so well received then?
Entirely different team?
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1057 - Digilent Open Scope MZ Review
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2018, 01:22:43 am »
Given it's open source I can't help but wonder how many weeks before the Chinese are pumping them out at a fraction of the price with links to Digilent's website for the software.

I'd be interested to know how much the cloners could sell an Analog Discovery for?

I thought you said the AD's main chip cost about $100.


What could "BTNP" and "BTNR" possibly stand for, I wonder?


 :popcorn:
« Last Edit: February 10, 2018, 02:08:59 am by Fungus »
 

Offline madires

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Re: EEVblog #1057 - Digilent Open Scope MZ Review
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2018, 02:16:56 am »
Seems to be neither fish nor fowl. And using JS doesn't give me any confidence in the product either. I'm a hobbyist and I think the 90 bucks for the Open Scope MZ could be spent on something more useful.
 

Online mrpackethead

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Re: EEVblog #1057 - Digilent Open Scope MZ Review
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2018, 06:09:40 am »
Seems to be neither fish nor fowl. And using JS doesn't give me any confidence in the product either. I'm a hobbyist and I think the 90 bucks for the Open Scope MZ could be spent on something more useful.

$90 woudl almost buy a nice dinner.
On a quest to find increasingly complicated ways to blink things
 

Offline bitwelder

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Re: EEVblog #1057 - Digilent Open Scope MZ Review
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2018, 06:18:30 am »
What's up with the wiggly J2 connector?
 

Offline Rolo

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Re: EEVblog #1057 - Digilent Open Scope MZ Review
« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2018, 06:21:47 am »
What's up with the wiggly J2 connector?
That a trick to get a good fit for a programmer header without soldering it. The header makes good contact because the slight offset of the holes. Seen it on more digilent products.
 
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Offline thm_w

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Re: EEVblog #1057 - Digilent Open Scope MZ Review
« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2018, 07:46:49 am »
What could "BTNP" and "BTNR" possibly stand for, I wonder?

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-1057-digilent-open-scope-mz-review/?action=dlattach;attach=393677;image
 :popcorn:

Sure, but why not make Prog and Reset text larger? Then the end user would read the important one first, and not the designator. They missed a lot of opportunity to put information on the silkscreen.
Of course if whoever made the board expected it to be in a decent case, silkscreen info wouldn't be needed.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1057 - Digilent Open Scope MZ Review
« Reply #24 on: February 10, 2018, 06:20:06 pm »
What could "BTNP" and "BTNR" possibly stand for, I wonder?

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-1057-digilent-open-scope-mz-review/?action=dlattach;attach=393677;image
 :popcorn:

Sure, but why not make Prog and Reset text larger? Then the end user would read the important one first, and not the designator. They missed a lot of opportunity to put information on the silkscreen.
Of course if whoever made the board expected it to be in a decent case, silkscreen info wouldn't be needed.

Yep, silly stuff.
When shootign stuff on my camcorder screen screen it's easy to miss stuff like that, your eyes are drawn toward to big bold horizontal text, not the smaller side text.
 


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