Author Topic: Are all oscilloscopes as noisy as Rigol oscilloscopes?  (Read 8817 times)

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Offline Rene

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Are all oscilloscopes as noisy as Rigol oscilloscopes?
« on: November 05, 2014, 05:45:09 AM »
Hello,

I recently purchased a Riglol oscilloscope (DS1104Z to be exact) and I am probably going to end up returning the unit. The primary reason for doing this is the fan noise. My home lab is in a pretty quiet room and the Rigol oscilloscope fan noise sticks out like blistering hemorrhoids.

Before I bother going into all the trouble of returning this thing and begin searching for a replacement, I was curious if someone could tell me if other oscilloscopes are just as noisy as the Rigols ones and if that is the case, I should perhaps just keep the Rigol one.

By the way, I went to my local electronic store and saw an Agilent oscilloscope and that thing was whisper quiet. What I don’t know is if it was whisper quiet because it was idling but once I start using it the fan will rev-up and be just as noisy.

Thank you.
 

Online jancumps

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Re: Are all oscilloscopes as noisy as Rigol oscilloscopes?
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2014, 06:14:00 AM »
The DS1052E is certainly noisy too. There are mods published with alternative fans that can be fitted into that one.
 

Offline diyaudio

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Re: Are all oscilloscopes as noisy as Rigol oscilloscopes?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2014, 06:16:20 AM »
Hello,

I recently purchased a Riglol oscilloscope (DS1104Z to be exact) and I am probably going to end up returning the unit. The primary reason for doing this is the fan noise. My home lab is in a pretty quiet room and the Rigol oscilloscope fan noise sticks out like blistering hemorrhoids.

Before I bother going into all the trouble of returning this thing and begin searching for a replacement, I was curious if someone could tell me if other oscilloscopes are just as noisy as the Rigols ones and if that is the case, I should perhaps just keep the Rigol one.

By the way, I went to my local electronic store and saw an Agilent oscilloscope and that thing was whisper quiet. What I don’t know is if it was whisper quiet because it was idling but once I start using it the fan will rev-up and be just as noisy.

Thank you.


I have no idea how they could QA such a noisy instrument.

 

Online HighVoltage

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Re: Are all oscilloscopes as noisy as Rigol oscilloscopes?
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2014, 06:22:37 AM »
Be happy that you do not have a Lecroy Wavejet
That sucker was so noisy, I returned after one day.

On the other hand, I have a Rigol DSA815 and you can hear the fan, but it is not too noisy.
May be they improved it for the SA.
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Offline coppice

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Re: Are all oscilloscopes as noisy as Rigol oscilloscopes?
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2014, 06:28:37 AM »
By the way, I went to my local electronic store and saw an Agilent oscilloscope and that thing was whisper quiet. What I don’t know is if it was whisper quiet because it was idling but once I start using it the fan will rev-up and be just as noisy.
It probably seemed whisper quiet because you were in a shop. Most things seem quiet in an environment like that. Get it home, to a genuinely quiet room, and it won't sound so good. I don't think I've ever encountered a piece of test equipment with a quiet fan. Noise isn't one of their priorities, as most labs are far from quiet.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2014, 05:33:38 AM by coppice »
 

Offline rodcastler

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Re: Are all oscilloscopes as noisy as Rigol oscilloscopes?
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2014, 06:33:59 AM »
I am probably going to end up returning the unit. The primary reason for doing this is the fan noise. My home lab is in a pretty quiet room

You could change the fan to a larger, quieter version and add a series resistor to it. I did that to my Rigol the very same day I got it and I've been happy with it ever since. Way easier and quicker than returning the unit.

Plenty of how-to's out there by the way.
 

Offline Rene

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Re: Are all oscilloscopes as noisy as Rigol oscilloscopes?
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2014, 06:44:29 AM »
You could change the fan to a larger, quieter version and add a series resistor to it. I did that to my Rigol the very same day I got it and I've been happy with it ever since. Way easier and quicker than returning the unit.

I was thinking of doing that but that would mean removing the guaranty sticker and the idea of losing my 3 year guaranty stops me dead in my tracks. I know there are ways to remove the guaranty sticker in a non-destructible way so it can be reuse but I am not sure I have the kahunas to take that risk.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2014, 07:22:42 AM by Rene »
 

Online jancumps

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Re: Are all oscilloscopes as noisy as Rigol oscilloscopes?
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2014, 07:17:19 AM »
...I was thinking of doing that but that would mean removing the guaranty sticker...
 

Offline dentaku

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Re: Are all oscilloscopes as noisy as Rigol oscilloscopes?
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2014, 08:38:10 AM »
Mike Harrison actually did a video on removing the Rigol warranty sticker without breaking it.

It's also good that Rigol 1000 series scopes seem to have fans that use two pin connectors and not soldered directly.

 

Offline HiTech

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Re: Are all oscilloscopes as noisy as Rigol oscilloscopes?
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2014, 08:49:33 AM »
My LeCroy is on the noisy side I would say. I think a portion of most fan noise is the type of construction around it that tends to make it loud. My HP gear has fans that can be a bit on the loud side but not annoying when only one item is powered up. Turn them all on and the room sounds like a power tool running. High cfm fans are going to be louder than those that aren't moving volumes of air.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Are all oscilloscopes as noisy as Rigol oscilloscopes?
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2014, 09:00:43 AM »
My Siglent SDS2024 is pretty quiet compared to the oscilloscopes I have used before.
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Offline Isaac000

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Re: Are all oscilloscopes as noisy as Rigol oscilloscopes?
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2014, 09:02:58 AM »
I've used a lot of different kind of scopes, old and new, analog & digital. Of the scopes I currently have on hand, an old LeCroy WavePro is what I would consider to be quite noisy and borderline unacceptable.

At my last place, I also acquired a Rigol, not exactly your model, but similar. The first thing I noticed was the audible noise. Was it noisier than the LeCroy? Possibly not, but given the sheer size & age of the LeCroy, I kind of expect it to be a bit loud. But not for the Rigol. It was unacceptable, loud enough that I decided not to procure it for my own personal oscilloscope despite the extra low cost. I'd rather eBay for an old TDS754 or something similar before I spring for one of those new Rigol's. I spoke with the Rigol rep about that and he assured me the newer 2000 & 4000 series were significantly quieter, but I've not seen them myself.

I have even used old Tektronix Type 547/545 era of scopes and I don't remember it being as annoying as the Rigol. (Again, that might be expectation for what is a near 50 year old scope that rolls on its own massive cart).

Most of the recent HP/Agilent/Keysight , Tektronix, Yokogawa scopes I've tried are fairly quite and nowhere near the Rigol.
 

Offline Alex Eisenhut

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Re: Are all oscilloscopes as noisy as Rigol oscilloscopes?
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2014, 09:11:38 AM »

I have even used old Tektronix Type 547/545 era of scopes and I don't remember it being as annoying as the Rigol. (Again, that might be expectation for what is a near 50 year old scope that rolls on its own massive cart).


I find my 547 quite pleasant, especially as winter approaches, and the fan is very large so it doesn't spin too fast.

It's about like a room fan.
 

Online HighVoltage

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Re: Are all oscilloscopes as noisy as Rigol oscilloscopes?
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2014, 09:52:31 AM »
I exchanged a lot of fans in older HP/Agilent powers supplies. If you use a low noise fan for replacement with temp control NTC, they get so quiet, you almost don't hear them anymore. I just was not ready to do this on a new LeCroy scope. This subject should not even come up anymore in these days, if the manufacturer would do it right from the beginning.

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Offline Rene

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Re: Are all oscilloscopes as noisy as Rigol oscilloscopes?
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2014, 09:55:26 AM »
I spoke with the Rigol rep about that and he assured me the newer 2000 & 4000 series were significantly quieter, but I've not seen them myself.


There is a guy on youtube that reviewed one fo the Rigol 4000 series oscilloscope and he states that the fan is pretty noisy.



Also, at the beginning of the video you can tell that when he turns off the oscilloscope, the video noise drops significantly making it pretty clear that the unit is noisy.



Who knows, personally, I doubt they are any quieter.

 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: Are all oscilloscopes as noisy as Rigol oscilloscopes?
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2014, 09:56:02 AM »
My home office is next to the kitchen so running water bugs me more than a silly fan :)

And for some reason it seems to always be running (the water that is) I think I want to start a new project to remotely shut down the water main from my desk
 

Offline kwass

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Re: Are all oscilloscopes as noisy as Rigol oscilloscopes?
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2014, 10:17:30 AM »
I replaced the fan in my 1054z with this one:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835352002&nm_mc=TEMC-RMA-Approvel&cm_mmc=TEMC-RMA-Approvel-_-Content-_-text-_-

(You'll need to modify the connector to a 2-pin one.)

I didn't add a series resistor as the result was very quiet and quite easy to ignore in a home office environment.  I realize that this fan has somewhat lower airflow than the stock fan , but I think that Rigol assumes that their scopes might be in harsh, hot environments with little space between equipment.  I've run the 1054z for many ours of the past month with no issues at all.

I always replace the fan(s) (and often add a series resistor) in all my test equipment and PC's and have never had an overheating problem.  Of course all of these are used in a home environment kept at less than 70F (21C).



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Offline Wuerstchenhund

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Re: Are all oscilloscopes as noisy as Rigol oscilloscopes?
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2014, 01:24:46 AM »
Before I bother going into all the trouble of returning this thing and begin searching for a replacement, I was curious if someone could tell me if other oscilloscopes are just as noisy as the Rigols ones and if that is the case, I should perhaps just keep the Rigol one.

I don't know the DS1104z but I've experienced the DS2000 and DS4000 scopes, and no, to me they are not noisy in comparison to what is else out there, but they certainly aren't the most quiet devices either.

One thing to consider however is that an electronics lab is no quiet room. Test equipment is generally noisy, as cooling and a stable temperature are important. If you think that your DS1104z is noisy then you should have a look at the noise high end scopes emit. In my lab I have a LeCroy WavePro 7300A 3GHz scope, which has three large and some smaller fans which, when turned on, sound like a jet engine powering up (and once the aquisition system is initialized another fan kicks in). But realisticly there is no way to cool things thing silently, considering the heat the front end and aquisition system alone puts out, which has to go somewhere.

Noise perception is a very difficult topic. Aside from noise volume, the frequency plays a big part in if a specific noise is experienced as uncomfortable or not. The mentioned LeCroy WavePro scope for example is quite loud, but since the noise it emits is of lower frequency I don't experience it as bad as say the high pitch whine from the small fans in one of my PSUs, which are of lower volume.

Quote
By the way, I went to my local electronic store and saw an Agilent oscilloscope and that thing was whisper quiet. What I don’t know is if it was whisper quiet because it was idling but once I start using

As already mentioned by others, the reason you think it's not noisy could very well be because of the high background noise floor in the shop environment. You may well find that it's as loud or even louder than your DS1104z if you would try it in your home lab.

If for some reason you want silent you might have a look at USB scopes which usually come without fans. But most of them have so many other drawbacks that accepting the noise of your Rigol might be the better option.
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Offline Wuerstchenhund

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Re: Are all oscilloscopes as noisy as Rigol oscilloscopes?
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2014, 01:27:13 AM »
I exchanged a lot of fans in older HP/Agilent powers supplies. If you use a low noise fan for replacement with temp control NTC, they get so quiet, you almost don't hear them anymore. I just was not ready to do this on a new LeCroy scope. This subject should not even come up anymore in these days, if the manufacturer would do it right from the beginning.

Of course there's no justification why a low performance scope like a WaveJet must be noisy, but some more advanced kit simply needs a lot of airflow for proper cooling, which means there often isn't much room to lower noise levels.
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Are all oscilloscopes as noisy as Rigol oscilloscopes?
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2014, 03:22:54 AM »
One thing to consider however is that an electronics lab is no quiet room. Test equipment is generally noisy, as cooling and a stable temperature are important. If you think that your DS1104z is noisy then you should have a look at the noise high end scopes emit. In my lab I have a LeCroy WavePro 7300A 3GHz scope, which has three large and some smaller fans which, when turned on, sound like a jet engine powering up (and once the aquisition system is initialized another fan kicks in). But realisticly there is no way to cool things thing silently, considering the heat the front end and aquisition system alone puts out, which has to go somewhere.
Perhaps but to me it is not acceptable to have such equipment near me. If I have to do tests with noisy equipment I set those up in a different room. IMHO an oscilloscope for bench use should not make more noise than a quiet PC otherwise it gets irritating and making measurements becomes a nuisance.
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Offline free_electron

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Re: Are all oscilloscopes as noisy as Rigol oscilloscopes?
« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2014, 03:28:20 AM »
Be happy that you do not have a Lecroy Wavejet
That sucker was so noisy, I returned after one day.


you should try their 7ZI series. the moment it starts acquisition there's like 9 fans going form idle to full throttle. you might as well strap a hoover vacuum at full power to your head...
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Offline Lunasix

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Re: Are all oscilloscopes as noisy as Rigol oscilloscopes?
« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2014, 04:08:57 AM »
I recently bought (already used) a Tektronix MSO2024 and I find it's too noisy, even with the variable speed of the fan. So, I don't know if it's possible to reduce noise with another fan. And I keep my TDS2014 (no fan inside) for simple measurement.  :(
 

Offline jpb

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Re: Are all oscilloscopes as noisy as Rigol oscilloscopes?
« Reply #22 on: November 06, 2014, 04:27:56 AM »
Be happy that you do not have a Lecroy Wavejet
That sucker was so noisy, I returned after one day.


The Wavejet is very noisy, the one saving grace is it boots fast so you can leave it off a lot!

I have thought of changing the fan but the innards are very densely packed so I'm a bit cautious of it overheating.
 

Offline Rene

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Re: Are all oscilloscopes as noisy as Rigol oscilloscopes?
« Reply #23 on: November 06, 2014, 04:55:13 AM »
One thing to consider however is that an electronics lab is no quiet room. Test equipment is generally noisy, as cooling and a stable temperature are important. If you think that your DS1104z is noisy then you should have a look at the noise high end scopes emit.

To be fair, I don’t mind loud equipment as long as the loudness is justified. What I can’t get past of is completely unnecessary noise.

Perhaps I am wrong about this but to me it looks like the fan noise on many of the oscilloscopes is primarily due to the design team not considering noise to be an issue. If limiting fan noise was a factor in the design I am pretty sure they could easily change the design so that it practically required no fan at all.... atdleast on the low end scopes.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Are all oscilloscopes as noisy as Rigol oscilloscopes?
« Reply #24 on: November 06, 2014, 05:15:15 AM »
I agree. These low end oscilloscopes consume a few Watts max so with some proper air ducting through the housing it should be able to get by with natural convection. Also adding an NTC and a small SOT-23 mosfet would be nice to create a temperature controlled fan. Perhaps it's just a fashionable thing to add a fan to equipment. A more extreme example: I have a bunch of switching HP power supplies which used to have very loud fans. I modified all of them to temperature controlled fans and guess what: the fans never run at full speed even though the full-speed temperature is set to 45 degrees (measured on the heatsink).
« Last Edit: November 06, 2014, 05:23:54 AM by nctnico »
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