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Author Topic: DS1054Z vs GDS-1054B/1102B for first digital 'scope?  (Read 1633 times)

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Offline Ampere

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DS1054Z vs GDS-1054B/1102B for first digital 'scope?
« on: February 01, 2016, 02:46:03 PM »
I see tons of posts about the Rigol DS1054Z and how great it is for beginners, but Dave's GW Instek GDS-1104B teardown and FFT comparison videos make me wonder whether the 1054Z is still the best. It seems like the Rigol as well as the Instek 'scopes have their own unique strengths:

DS1054Z:
+ 4-channel
+ 100MHz hacked

GDS-1054B:
+ 4-channel
+ 1Mpt. FFT

GDS-1102B:
+ 100MHz stock
+ 1Mpt. FFT

So the two might be a good alternative. Has anyone used the DS1054Z side-by-side with either of these scopes? I haven't seen many direct comparisons other than the ones posted on GW Instek's Youtube channel. Would the 1102B be the better choice if I don't see myself needing 4 channels often? I don't own a spectrum analyzer nor a digital scope so it would be nice to have one tool that can be both reasonably well on a student's budget.
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: DS1054Z vs GDS-1054B/1102B for first digital 'scope?
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2016, 03:00:19 PM »
The question would be, is RF a major factor for you?
If you change the time domain the Rigol FFT gets a bit better than what Dave showed in the video, well, at least it does on my DS2000 series if I put the time domain on fine (vernier mode) instead of coarse.

Also a cheap SDR dongle and an android phone with OTG capabilities and paying a little for the full software instead of the free one will give you a more capable spectrum analyser.

Then again I don't know about the Instek scopes vs the Rigol DS1054z, so you'll have to find out what your needs are going to be even in the short term.

I'll go for sampling rate and features and I wouldn't concern myself on the math channel a lot since I barely use that.

I also barely use the decoding capabilities of the Rigol, but it's nice to know they are there.

So at the end, you have to look at all of the features give them some weight on what it's important to you and decide.
 

Offline Muxr

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Re: DS1054Z vs GDS-1054B/1102B for first digital 'scope?
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2016, 03:10:06 PM »
Still think Rigol beats Gw-Instek when it comes to the value. DS1054Z is really comparable to the GW Instek GDS-1104B, which retails for more than twice the cost. I say this only due to the availability of the easy bandwidth and options unlock on the Rigol.

But Gw-Instek does have some real advantages. FFT to name one. Better construction in some aspects, although the power supply isn't shielded. Rigol is also more compact which I think is a plus, as GW-Instek isn't really using the space well. Gw-Instek seems to have a more responsive UI though..

I dunno which one I would get if I was in the market for one. Sorry.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2016, 03:13:44 PM by Muxr »
 

Online MarkF

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Re: DS1054Z vs GDS-1054B/1102B for first digital 'scope?
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2016, 03:34:00 PM »
It really comes down to which you would use more - the spectrum analyzer or the logic analyzer capabilities?   What are your interests?

As a general purpose beginner scope, I would say you would use the extra channels more often.  Working with microcontrollers and their SPI and I2C protocols, the extra channels are indispensable for debugging problems.  I have the Rigol DS1074Z and use 3 and 4 channels all the time examining processor logic.

After many years of working with sonar equipment, I think you will find that the FFT capabilities of most scopes is pretty much a toy.  For any serious work in the frequency domain, you're going to want a dedicated spectrum analyzer.  You can always use the scope networking capabilities to capture data and do the FFT analysis on a PC (however, still in the toy domain).
 

Offline Ampere

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Re: DS1054Z vs GDS-1054B/1102B for first digital 'scope?
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2016, 04:42:05 PM »
The question would be, is RF a major factor for you?
If you change the time domain the Rigol FFT gets a bit better than what Dave showed in the video, well, at least it does on my DS2000 series if I put the time domain on fine (vernier mode) instead of coarse.

Also a cheap SDR dongle and an android phone with OTG capabilities and paying a little for the full software instead of the free one will give you a more capable spectrum analyser.

Then again I don't know about the Instek scopes vs the Rigol DS1054z, so you'll have to find out what your needs are going to be even in the short term.

I'll go for sampling rate and features and I wouldn't concern myself on the math channel a lot since I barely use that.

I also barely use the decoding capabilities of the Rigol, but it's nice to know they are there.

So at the end, you have to look at all of the features give them some weight on what it's important to you and decide.

RF is definitely something that I would like to mess around with at some point. I don't know whether my phone would be compatible, but I'm finding a few PC-based solutions like RTL-SDR that look promising. It definitely looks better than the FFT from either scope.

Decoding is something that I haven't thought about at all. I've been working with micros lately and it would be nice to have a scope that can detect I2C/SPI problems.

Still think Rigol beats Gw-Instek when it comes to the value. DS1054Z is really comparable to the GW Instek GDS-1104B, which retails for more than twice the cost. I say this only due to the availability of the easy bandwidth and options unlock on the Rigol.

But Gw-Instek does have some real advantages. FFT to name one. Better construction in some aspects, although the power supply isn't shielded. Rigol is also more compact which I think is a plus, as GW-Instek isn't really using the space well. Gw-Instek seems to have a more responsive UI though..

I dunno which one I would get if I was in the market for one. Sorry.

The FFT was what I was most concerned about, but it looks like the option of using SDR to analyze signals may be better so that advantage doesn't seem to be much of a factor.

The size of the scope wouldn't be a problem, though. Any digital 'scope would be better than the analog monstrosity that takes up over 1/3 of my bench.

It really comes down to which you would use more - the spectrum analyzer or the logic analyzer capabilities?   What are your interests?

As a general purpose beginner scope, I would say you would use the extra channels more often.  Working with microcontrollers and their SPI and I2C protocols, the extra channels are indispensable for debugging problems.  I have the Rigol DS1074Z and use 3 and 4 channels all the time examining processor logic.

After many years of working with sonar equipment, I think you will find that the FFT capabilities of most scopes is pretty much a toy.  For any serious work in the frequency domain, you're going to want a dedicated spectrum analyzer.  You can always use the scope networking capabilities to capture data and do the FFT analysis on a PC (however, still in the toy domain).

I don't really have any main focus yet. I'm trying out a little bit of everything to get a feel for it and my analog scope has done nothing to help me look at any signals that aren't really simple. Any scope that will help me do many things reasonably well is good enough for now.

I think that it's worth going with the Rigol for I2C/SPI debugging alone because I know that it's something I could use right now. If I eventually need a dedicated spectrum analyzer then I'll get one when I do.




Right now, the DS1054Z and RTL-SDR seem to be the best option. Thank you all for your advice. It's great to have experts like you around who are willing to help newbies like me who don't know what they don't know.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: DS1054Z vs GDS-1054B/1102B for first digital 'scope?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2016, 01:50:52 AM »
If you are after protocol decoding then I'd choose the scope which decodes the entire memory instead of what is only on-screen. AFAIK the Rigol and Siglent scopes only show what is on screen so you can't zoom in on a timing problem without losing the decoded information. My GDS2204E (a slightly higher end model) decodes the entire memory and shows decoded information no matter what.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 


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