Author Topic: Siglent SDS1202X-E impressions and a couple of bugs to be aware of...  (Read 4970 times)

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Offline TonyWilk

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Just got a new Siglent SDS1202X-E, £361.08 delivered from 'lacamax-shop' on eBay.

I have a 60MHz Trio which I bought 30years ago and an aging Tektronics TDS210 (60MHz 2ch storage) and was looking for a nice new bit of kit for a project I'm involved with. I was looking for 2 or 4 channels, 300+MHz but saw this and thought... what the heck, I wonder what you get these days for 360 quid?

Immediately puts the old Trio and Tek to shame, good display, pretty responsive controls, lots of menus to get lost in : )
1G sampling is pretty limiting at the top end though.

A couple of things caught me out and I spent the last 4 house sorting out what was going wrong...

1st Bug:

Trigger setup can get confused and stop triggering. The fix is to wiggle the trigger level knob.
Details: Had the 'scope set to trigger in the middle of a 0-3v UART transit signal on CH1, trigger set to EDGE, RISING
Press trigger SETUP then press SLOPE, triggering stops sometimes. select RISING, triggering stops, now you can press a lot of things like Menu On/Off, Holdoff, SINGLE, NORMAL and it refuses to trigger. Press AUTO and it springs into life, press NORMAL and it doesn't do anything.
Wiggle the trig knob a bit and it starts again.

2nd Bug(s):
 
Threshold levels are wrong if you have X10 probe selected. Serial decode stops working. Easy fix it to set X1 probe.
Details: With a c. 0-3v UART signal on CH1, with X10 probe set, 1V/div you can press the trigger level knob to auto-set 1/2 level, the 'scope displays 1.4V and NORMAL trigger works fine.  Then press DECODE, set Serial, UART, then set Signal. The Threshold adjustment went from -474mV upto 426mV and shows a dotted line on the trace which is consistent with that value (i.e. up and down by 1/2 a division at the bottom of the trace). If you adjust the line so it looks like it is on the signal, then decode doesn't work - because the line is wrong and the values displayed are wrong by a factor of 10.
I spent **AGES** wondering why decode wouldn't work (this is the same for I2C decode as well).

Bit if a side note... before setting up DECODE, you can set triggering to trigger on 'Serial', I set this up to trigger on 0x24 (the starting '$' character of a GPS message) and it worked fine - which was even more confusing when pressing DECODE, because you clearly see a serial string being triggered on a given character, but the decoder works independently with its own threshold values (that I had set wrong earlier).

A final tip

A lovely bit of kit for the price. If you already have a 'scope and/or thinking about 2 or 4 channels, remember that you can use the trigger output.
Cabling trigger out from the Siglent to the Ext Trig on the old Tek I have 4 channels on two independent timebases.

Still might get something else for RF work where I really need 300MHz or more, but now I think I'll look for a 2ch one and link it to the Siglent when I need to look at more channels of slower stuff.

Yours,
  TonyWilk
« Last Edit: May 20, 2017, 12:36:50 pm by TonyWilk »
 
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Offline tautech

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Welcome to the forum.

Thanks for the feedback, yes these issues have been spotted already and reported to Siglent Tech support.
Currently we are waiting for new firmware to address these issues.
You can continue to report any other issues you find here or in the Siglent's support thread:
http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/siglent-technical-support-join-in-eevblog/
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Offline boggis the cat

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I received my unit from "tautech" on Friday, and have had a chance to do some messing about with this 'scope, as well as taking some measurements of the bandwidth to determine if there is a difference with the low V/div ranges (there isn't much: they stay well within 3 dB).

So my two cents worth so far follows.

Some approximate timings
  • Boot time is about 12 s, so not bad.
  • 'Self Cal' takes about 4 minutes 40 s.  The percentage complete gauge that is displayed is (as is usual for these things) not accurate.
  • Using 'Print' to take a PNG format screenshot is effectively instant and doesn't interfere with operation (that I can see).  This is a huge improvement over 'scopes that insist on dumping a BMP format and take forever to do so.
The [Do Self Cal] Routine

The 'Self Cal' is worth doing if you want an accurate vertical scale indication.  My particular one had a significant DC offset in the low V/div ranges, but was close to zero after the 'Self Cal'.

Very few 'scopes sent in to us for calibration have this routine ever run by the customer.  (Some 'scopes keep track of when the routine was last run: and if it was last year during the cal then I know the customer has used it the whole year without bothering to run it.)

Menus etc. (and user confusion)

The menus seem a bit confused.  Depending on how you navigate them you can get odd behaviours.  (Difficult to be certain of these are bugs, or user error.)

Some behaviours seem to be based on different assumptions than I was expecting.  For example, with both channels on:
  • Press [Acquire]
  • Press [Acquisition Normal], yields "Mem Depth 7M" (fifth 'softkey' from left)
  • Press [Acquisition Normal] to set [Acquisition Peak Detect], yields "Mem Depth 7M"
  • Press [Acquisition Peak Detect] to set [Acquisition Average], yields "Mem Depth 700K"
  • Press [Acquisition Peak Average] to set [Acquisition Eres], yields "Mem Depth 700K"
  • Press [Mem Depth 700K] twice to set [Mem Depth 7K], then keep pressing to set [Mem Depth 700K] again
Now all acquisition modes are set to 700K.
So the 'scope changes the depth immediately, then retains any changed setting through other acquisition modes.  I was expecting it to keep track of the depth by mode, as that seemed logical to me.

It is necessary to learn new equipment, of course, and I haven't come across anything particularly annoying so far -- bar the 'ghost' [Impedance 50 \$\Omega\$] selection, and the [Utility] > [Options] softkey that doesn't do anything (but doesn't seem to do anything weird).

Possible Variable Initialisation Bugs

Pretty sure this one wasn't 'user error': selected Video triggering, Sync Select, then [Field x]was initially set to [Field 0].  After setting it (to "1" or "2"), it retains the value.  It appeared to actually start on Field 2 (yes, it does) , although I can't now check this.  (Also selected "PAL", in case it makes any difference.)

Edit: After doing a 'Factory Reset'.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2017, 04:49:23 pm by boggis the cat »
 
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Offline arturfra

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Hi,

I purchased the sds1202x-e it has a Good price for good oscilloscope, if in the future firmware upgrade i hope the user can change the dimension of the fonts specially for read values, because they are too small, it's very difficult to read
 

Offline boggis the cat

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if in the future firmware upgrade i hope the user can change the dimension of the fonts specially for read values, because they are too small, it's very difficult to read
Yes, even if you could select a bold font the values would be more legible.  (The display is nice and clear, but tiny fonts are a bit of an eye strain and make it more likely to misread something.)

I also don't see why they couldn't give a few different options for whether to overlay measurements, list them below the trace window, or even reduce the width of the trace window in order to list measurements to the right (or left).

Customisation options for the layout would be useful.
 

Offline N8AUM

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Not sure if mine has a bug or is just defective but within a 2 week period it would lock up and would not come out of screensaver mode, couldn't even turn scope off unless i unplug the mains. The few times that it did come out of screensaver mode the controls were unresponsive! sending it back today for an exchange. 

73  N8AUM  Vidas
 

Offline mikepa

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I chose the 1202X-E scope for a few reasons, but one was the switchable 50/1M impedance.  It eliminates the need for cumbersome BNC Tees 50 ohm terminators. However, in the current firmware, changing between 50 and 1M Ohm does nothing.

I just checked with Siglent and they told me the 50/IM switchable was not supposed to be available on the -E model, so the switch will be removed in the next firmware release.  (It is available on the 1202X model for $200 more!).  In fairness to Siglent I think it was during a review I was told the 1202X-E had switchable impedance, not in Siglent materials.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2017, 11:04:17 am by mikepa »
 

Offline tautech

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I chose the 1202X-E scope for a few reasons, but one was the switchable 50/1M impedance.  It eliminates the need for cumbersome BNC Tees 50 ohm terminators. However, in the current firmware, changing between 50 and 1M Ohm does nothing.

I just checked with Siglent and they told me the 50/IM switchable was not supposed to be available on the -E model, so the switch will be removed in the next firmware release.  (It is available on the 1220X model for $200 more!).  In fairness to Siglent I think it was during a review I was told the 1202X-E had switchable impedance, not in Siglent materials.
In even the Chinese datasheet from last year there is no mention of 50 \$\Omega\$ inputs. Also in every online image I know of where you can see the writing by the inputs, again no mention of 50 \$\Omega\$.

It might confuse some that the X and X+ models have 50 \$\Omega\$ inputs but please remember the X-E is an Economy version and there will be features omitted in the X-E. (50 ohm inputs, 8" display......)
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Offline rf-loop

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I chose the 1202X-E scope for a few reasons, but one was the switchable 50/1M impedance.  It eliminates the need for cumbersome BNC Tees 50 ohm terminators. However, in the current firmware, changing between 50 and 1M Ohm does nothing.

I just checked with Siglent and they told me the 50/IM switchable was not supposed to be available on the -E model, so the switch will be removed in the next firmware release.  (It is available on the 1202X model for $200 more!).  In fairness to Siglent I think it was during a review I was told the 1202X-E had switchable impedance, not in Siglent materials.

Personally I hope they do not this mistake that they remove this selection. Instead of remove they need rename it!  Why?
My recommendation to Siglent is that they use this selection for make dBm @50ohm possible, specially for FFT scale.
Just for tell to scope that there is external 50ohm termination in use by user. This 1Mpoints FFT is so nice that it is useful also bit develop also other ways for some more features and more sophisticated and better usability. dBm scale and measurements are only one desirable improvement.  Just for: Scrap the playthings, get a real oscilloscope.

1M FFT

up to 80000 last acquisition time stamped and always bacround working history fifo buffer, up to 54M (no competitors exept example in expensive R&S) 
     - stop and look back in history and analyze what just happend

up to 80000 segment very fast sequence acquisition up to well over 400ksegment/s (kwfm/s) speed.  (no competitors)
(measured max quaranteed (no missed trigger events and acquisitions)  speed 480ksegment/s  @ segment length 700 samples)
     -  blind time between segments down to <1.5us

full speed mask test with also full speed pass/fail output (no competitors)

Always selectable linear/sin(x)/x vectors or dots for raw data points without "riglols". (fully post processing and available also afterwards in stopped scope and in history and segment memory what both always contain full raw adc data instead if screen frame)

True full resolution and full bandwidth 500uV/div   (no competitors)

a.s.o.
If practice and theory is not equal it tells that used application of theory  is wrong or the theory itself is wrong.
It is much easier to think an apple fall to the ground than to think that the earth and the apple will begin to move toward each other and collide.
 

Offline nctnico

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So many bugs (no competitors)

For all the features you list with 'no competitors' I can come up with at least one oscilloscope brand which has the same feature.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2017, 07:32:36 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline boggis the cat

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Re: Siglent SDS1202X-E impressions and a couple of bugs to be aware of...
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2017, 07:02:46 pm »
My recommendation to Siglent is that they use this selection for make dBm @50ohm possible, specially for FFT scale.
Just for tell to scope that there is external 50ohm termination in use by user. This 1Mpoints FFT is so nice that it is useful also bit develop also other ways for some more features and more sophisticated and better usability. dBm scale and measurements are only one desirable improvement.  Just for: Scrap the playthings, get a real oscilloscope.
A better way to do this would be to have options within the FFT function.  The present erroneous menu should be removed, as it could mislead people into believing that this is a 50 Ohm termination option (because this is how it is represented).

It should be possible to have many options available to give the 'scope information required to make calculations.

Revising the way measurements are presented would be useful, too.  There is plenty of space below the trace window when the menus are off, and usually space to the right.  Any empty areas could be used to better present measurements or other information.
 

Offline rf-loop

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Re: Siglent SDS1202X-E impressions and a couple of bugs to be aware of...
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2017, 11:50:57 pm »
My recommendation to Siglent is that they use this selection for make dBm @50ohm possible, specially for FFT scale.
Just for tell to scope that there is external 50ohm termination in use by user. This 1Mpoints FFT is so nice that it is useful also bit develop also other ways for some more features and more sophisticated and better usability. dBm scale and measurements are only one desirable improvement.  Just for: Scrap the playthings, get a real oscilloscope.
A better way to do this would be to have options within the FFT function.  The present erroneous menu should be removed, as it could mislead people into believing that this is a 50 Ohm termination option (because this is how it is represented).

It should be possible to have many options available to give the 'scope information required to make calculations.

Revising the way measurements are presented would be useful, too.  There is plenty of space below the trace window when the menus are off, and usually space to the right.  Any empty areas could be used to better present measurements or other information.

These are my wordsin previous msg:

Quote from: rf-loop
Personally I hope they do not this mistake that they remove this selection. Instead of remove they need rename it!  Why?
My recommendation to Siglent is that they use this selection for make dBm @50ohm possible, specially for FFT scale.
Just for tell to scope that there is external 50ohm termination in use by user. This 1Mpoints FFT is so nice that it is useful also bit develop also other ways for some more features and more sophisticated and better usability. dBm scale and measurements are only one desirable improvement.

Of course selection can also move to FFT menu. Or how ever but this selection need be available for external 50 ohm

Now selection of course is wrong and it need fix.
If practice and theory is not equal it tells that used application of theory  is wrong or the theory itself is wrong.
It is much easier to think an apple fall to the ground than to think that the earth and the apple will begin to move toward each other and collide.
 


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