Author Topic: New test equipment from Rigol release.  (Read 16362 times)

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Offline Joao Carvalho

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New test equipment from Rigol release.
« on: July 17, 2015, 06:21:11 AM »
Hello,
I follow the EEVblog for 3 years and sow almost every video and follow the forum, but never posted anything, but now I have a strange question that I would like to ask.

The question is the following if Rigol is positioned to the entry level/budget market and there is a very sound movement to learn electronics all around the world, why isn’t there a new test equipment from Rigol in near an entire year?
I already bought 3 equipment from Rigol, in the previous year/years but when I go to Batronix the isn’t any new launch in almost one year.
The strange thing was that previously there were always new releases.

For example currently I’m looking for a 100MHz Arbitrary Function Generator, but the offer from Rigol is from 2012, I would like to buy a more recent model. The advance from my last 50MHz Rigol to my new (6 months) 100MHz Rigol 4 Channels is like night and day.

I’m I asking to much?
I see this low budget segment like a great opportunity for Rigol to rapidly advance the Test Equipment market in terms of features and software, because what they don’t make in the price of a unit they make several times in the volume of units that they sell.
They transform the market of test equipment from a niche into a mass market, and that must be good for the market.

Thank you,
Best regards,
João Carvalho
 

Offline PedroDaGr8

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Re: New test equipment from Rigol release.
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2015, 06:51:10 AM »
Test equipment is NOT like new iPhones. The development cycle takes much longer and much longer support is demanded. New equipment takes a long time to develop and often times needs markets need to be evaluated if new equipment even makes sense in that market. For example, the D1000Z series covers the budget oscilloscope range VERY well. No need to innovate there for a while, at least until technology reaches a point that substantial changes are possible. This is because 1) no one is selling a billion oscilloscopes so the profit margins need to be higher and 2) the types of engineering involved are VERY different.

EDIT:
What I mean by the types of engineering are very different is that for oscilloscopes, no one is making an oscilloscope SoC for general sale. Agilent comes close with their MegaZoom ICs but it is far from having every little thing on the chip like most phones do. Outisde of the major high budget manufacturers, the oscilloscope has to be built block by block from more or less off the shelf parts. This is not only difficult and costly but it takes longer to do and ensure a quality product.

As for evaluating the market, technology of off-the-shelf parts moves much more slowly. You don't see the same huge jumps in power that you do in the high volume SoC markets. This is partly due to the fact that oscilloscopes require things like FPGAs (while cellphones require more linear architectures like ARM) and partly due to sheer volumes involved. If the parts have only increased 10% in performance, it doesn't make sense to spend all of the money developing a new product line for a measly 10% gains.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2015, 07:07:18 AM by PedroDaGr8 »
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Offline Wuerstchenhund

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Re: New test equipment from Rigol release.
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2015, 07:00:52 AM »
Test equipment is NOT like new iPhones. The development cycle takes much longer and much longer support is demanded.

Development cycles for stuff like that offered by Rigol don't necessarily take much longer than say for an iPhone, that's bollocks. Rigol isn't treading new ground here in terms of technology (that's what others do), and there are many areas where Rigol could very well use some updates (i.e. a proper search function for their scopes, or finally some replacement for the overaged DG1022 Series).

The reason Rigol doesn't come up with new products is that sales of their existing products are still more than good enough, they're simply riding the wave until it slows down.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2015, 07:02:50 AM by Wuerstchenhund »
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: New test equipment from Rigol release.
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2015, 07:25:13 AM »
Test equipment is NOT like new iPhones. The development cycle takes much longer and much longer support is demanded.

Development cycles for stuff like that offered by Rigol don't necessarily take much longer than say for an iPhone, that's bollocks.
They do, as they have orders of magnitude less resource  to throw at it than Apple, because the market is vastly smaller.
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Offline Wuerstchenhund

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Re: New test equipment from Rigol release.
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2015, 07:54:17 AM »
Quote
Development cycles for stuff like that offered by Rigol don't necessarily take much longer than say for an iPhone, that's bollocks.
They do, as they have orders of magnitude less resource  to throw at it than Apple, because the market is vastly smaller.

So what? Rigol doesn't invent or innovate, all they do is using cheap components put together in a cheap plastics case, which doesn't require anything like the extensive development periods that were suggested . I'm not a fan of Apple but the attention they pay towards the materials, hardware and other details is hardly comparable with what Rigol does for their kit, plus Apple maintains a pretty complex piece of software for it (iOS, which is much more complex than the simple firmware Rigol makes for their stuff, which is also regularly full of bugs which isn't exactly a sign of a thorough development process).

Rigol doesn't sell stuff because it's technically advanced (it isn't), it's bought because it's cheap and offers decent performance for its low price. That's why as long as their current products sell as well as they currently do we won't hardly see any successor products.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2015, 08:02:40 AM by Wuerstchenhund »
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Offline tautech

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Re: New test equipment from Rigol release.
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2015, 08:27:02 AM »
For example currently I’m looking for a 100MHz Arbitrary Function Generator, but the offer from Rigol is from 2012, I would like to buy a more recent model.
Welcome to the forum.

You must understand, just because a piece of TE was designed some years ago doesn't make it out of date.
Good designs allow for additional functionality and upgrades of performance with new firmware releases.

When existing HW becomes too expensive to compete against compeditors, new models are designed and released. This has always been so.
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Offline Corporate666

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Re: New test equipment from Rigol release.
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2015, 10:49:05 AM »
Quote
Development cycles for stuff like that offered by Rigol don't necessarily take much longer than say for an iPhone, that's bollocks.
They do, as they have orders of magnitude less resource  to throw at it than Apple, because the market is vastly smaller.

So what? Rigol doesn't invent or innovate, all they do is using cheap components put together in a cheap plastics case, which doesn't require anything like the extensive development periods that were suggested . I'm not a fan of Apple but the attention they pay towards the materials, hardware and other details is hardly comparable with what Rigol does for their kit, plus Apple maintains a pretty complex piece of software for it (iOS, which is much more complex than the simple firmware Rigol makes for their stuff, which is also regularly full of bugs which isn't exactly a sign of a thorough development process).

Rigol doesn't sell stuff because it's technically advanced (it isn't), it's bought because it's cheap and offers decent performance for its low price. That's why as long as their current products sell as well as they currently do we won't hardly see any successor products.

Bull.

There was cheap test equipment before Rigol came along, and there is tons of product out there a lot cheaper than them now.  They aren't selling because they are cheap.  They are selling because they offer great bang for the buck.  And if you don't think Apple stuff is at *least* as buggy (hardware and software) as Rigol stuff, you haven't been paying attention.  Bendgate, antennagate, batterygate, mapsgate and more.  I'm not bashing Apple, I'm just saying shit happens for every manufacturer.

And nobody out there is pushing the envelope of price/features like Rigol.  They've had several home runs in a row (DS2072, DP832, DG4062, DS1054Z, arguably others).
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Offline Bud

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Re: New test equipment from Rigol release.
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2015, 11:47:22 AM »
Yes they are selling because they are cheap.

Any shit will sell if it is cheap. Just go to any dollar store and see it for yourself.

ADDED: @OP - you do not want any old or new rigol shit, time will come and you will thank you me for this.

« Last Edit: July 17, 2015, 11:51:25 AM by Bud »
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: New test equipment from Rigol release.
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2015, 12:30:25 PM »
FWIW I'm happy with my cheap Rigol shit for two years and counting :)
 

Offline Muxr

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Re: New test equipment from Rigol release.
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2015, 01:47:58 PM »
The size of the smartphone market alone influences the advancement of components in that field. A chip manufacturer will design a SOC to target smartphones because they stand a lot to gain from it. Test gear is exactly the opposite. Manufacturers more often than not rely on FPGAs because ASICs are too expensive to tap out because of low volume and small profit margins, especially for guys like Rigol. Compare Apple's profit margin on an iPhone to Rigol's profit margin on the DS1kz. And Apple sells 10s of millions.

Even the smartphone market is starting to slow down, since it was a relatively new field not that long ago.

For the same reasons, like Mike mentioned you also have much smaller teams working on test gear projects. iPhone development is a much larger effort but the resources available and being poured into it are orders of magnitude larger. And yes I said iPhone takes a lot of engineering to get done. iOS alone is orders of magnitude more complex than a Sig Gen firmware. And that's just the software, Apple designs some of their own silicon like the SOC. Rigol doesn't do any of their own silicon as far as I know?
« Last Edit: July 17, 2015, 02:00:11 PM by Muxr »
 

Offline tautech

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Re: New test equipment from Rigol release.
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2015, 03:16:58 PM »
FWIW I'm happy with my cheap Rigol shit for two years and counting :)
And how many power cycles has it done?
Oh that's right Rigols don't have a bootstrap counter.  :palm:
« Last Edit: July 17, 2015, 03:26:51 PM by tautech »
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Online EEVblog

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Re: New test equipment from Rigol release.
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2015, 03:19:39 PM »
Development cycles for stuff like that offered by Rigol don't necessarily take much longer than say for an iPhone, that's bollocks.

Technically it doesn't have to, no, but in practice the design and production teams and resources are much smaller, and they don't have to be in a hurry because there aren't the same market forces.
One well known multimeter maker is coming out with a new multimeter shortly, and it's a very basic bottom of the range no frills one. It's taken more than 12 months already and it's just at the pilot-production stage, still not on the market yet.
 

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Re: New test equipment from Rigol release.
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2015, 03:24:37 PM »
So what? Rigol doesn't invent or innovate, all they do is using cheap components put together in a cheap plastics case, which doesn't require anything like the extensive development periods that were suggested .

Depends how you define innovation.
Rigol were the first maker to come out with a cheap 1GS/s bench scope (the DS5000 series), they truly pioneered the market of quality bang-per-buck low cost scopes.
So much so that Agilent decided to rebadge Rigol scopes instead of making their own low end unit.

 

Offline Electro Fan

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Re: New test equipment from Rigol release.
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2015, 03:35:52 PM »
You are going to get both Rigol fans and Rigol not so much fans here - take it all with a grain of salt.  My guess is that some of the people who don't like Rigol actually owned a piece of Rigol equipment at some point but I bet if you put up a poll asking how many people who have owned a piece of Rigol equipment would recommend Rigol gear to a friend on a budget I bet the percentage would be pretty high in favor of Rigol.

As for the product cycles, the market for Test Equipment is probably very small compared to more mainstream consumer products (like phones).  As volume goes down it's harder to justify rapid introductions of new models because there are fewer sales over which NRE can be amortized. 

For the past couple years Rigol has probably introduced as many low end oscilloscopes as anyone in the market and likely sold more than most if not all manufacturers in the low end.  So it's not like they are going slow on scopes.  Some of their products have had slower new product introductions - like function/arb generators but it's probably because those are even more niche products than oscilloscopes.  Their lowest price function/arb gens are among the longest in the tooth within their product line but at a step up the 1032Z and 1062Z haven't been on the market all that long.

Having said all that, I think Rigol is like every other company - they are trying their best to forecast demand and using their limited resources to invest where they can get the best return.  My guess is that one of the things Rigol has figured out over the years is that each product adds some ongoing support costs so before they introduce something new, especially if it doesn't reuse a lot of parts and resources from previous models, they want to make sure they aren't digging a new hole they can't profitably manage.  But mostly, until they see competition hitting one of their products hard they don't have much incentive to introduce a new lower cost product that will just erode their own revenues and margins.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2015, 03:38:20 PM by Electro Fan »
 

Offline Wuerstchenhund

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Re: New test equipment from Rigol release.
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2015, 03:39:01 PM »
There was cheap test equipment before Rigol came along, and there is tons of product out there a lot cheaper than them now.

Yes, but most of them did perform vastly inferior.

Quote
They aren't selling because they are cheap.  They are selling because they offer great bang for the buck. 

They are selling because they offer decent performance at a low price.

Quote
And if you don't think Apple stuff is at *least* as buggy (hardware and software) as Rigol stuff, you haven't been paying attention.  Bendgate, antennagate, batterygate, mapsgate and more.  I'm not bashing Apple, I'm just saying shit happens for every manufacturer.

I never said Apple was free from problems (they certainly aren't), but especially their software is vastly more complex than Rigol's firmware, and while iOS regularly comes with some annoying bugs it's not half as bad as when Rigol produces a new product with a new firmware. So yes, iphone development requires much more resources than developing some low end scope like a Rigol DS1kz or DS2k.

Quote
And nobody out there is pushing the envelope of price/features like Rigol.  They've had several home runs in a row (DS2072, DP832, DG4062, DS1054Z, arguably others).

Rigol was the first to get price/features right but isn't the only one. Siglent offers mostly similar kit in this class (and for some things like low end AWGs even has a much more attractive portfolio than Rigol), aside from the DS1kz (and I'll guess we'll see some competition there, soon).

This still doesn't change the fact that nothing in Rigol's products is really ground breaking. They are certainly good at getting the balance between price, quality impression and features right, and as a Chinese manufacturer they can produce at very low cost. But meeting a price target isn't as complex as developing technology further, which Apple has done in many areas (i.e. manufacturing processes, materials etc). Everything in a Rigol product aside from PCB and case are cheap standard COTS parts, and I'd be surprised if there are more than say 5 people working on the firmware for all their products.

Rigol will come up with new products when they feel the need for it, i.e. when there are more similar products and sales figures will drop. Until then they'll just sell on what they have now.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2015, 03:40:53 PM by Wuerstchenhund »
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: New test equipment from Rigol release.
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2015, 04:04:29 PM »
FWIW I'm happy with my cheap Rigol shit for two years and counting :)
And how many power cycles has it done?
Why does that matter?
Quote
Oh that's right Rigols don't have a bootstrap counter.  :palm:
And..? What use is that to anyone?
 
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Offline pickle9000

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Re: New test equipment from Rigol release.
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2015, 04:55:56 PM »
Rigol is a business, so is Siglent and Agilent.

These are profit driven companies. To say that they sit on a new product if an old one is doing well is no surprise and it happens. To say that they don't have a slew under development is false. If there is a market for a low end whatever and you can make a profit at it you do it.

Look at the codes for the DS1054 Rigol could have went nuts and worked out a way to enforce the software upgrades. Instead the have no comment on the issue, a profit driven decision.

As for features or lack thereof, test equipment is often purchased for a particular job. You may purchase for only that one feature. The number of sales define the needed features, it's all about profit. Price is a feature just like a color display, reliability or long battery life to think otherwise is just silly.
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: New test equipment from Rigol release.
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2015, 05:22:57 PM »
FWIW I'm happy with my cheap Rigol shit for two years and counting :)
And how many power cycles has it done?
Oh that's right Rigols don't have a bootstrap counter.  :palm:

Since I use it about three times a day but not everyday, I'll say at least 15 times a week so about 1500 times in the last two years, but it's probably more.
 

Offline krish2487

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Re: New test equipment from Rigol release.
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2015, 05:30:11 PM »
Arent we comparing apples and oranges.


Phones vs Scopes.


If you would like to really understand the driving force behind the TE market, compare Keysight vs Rigol or Tek vs rigol.


Then you will see the development times cycles. And stop with the rigol bashing. It is innovative in a manner that it made the big players stop commanding the market prices. The sheer fact that they have steered the market into a more competitive battlezone is brilliant.


If rigol was not the bridge between low end chinese POS and overpriced Agilents/Teks then the TE market would still be in limbo.
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Offline cs.dk

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Re: New test equipment from Rigol release.
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2015, 06:21:02 PM »
FWIW I'm happy with my cheap Rigol shit for two years and counting :)
And how many power cycles has it done?
Why does that matter?
Quote
Oh that's right Rigols don't have a bootstrap counter.  :palm:
And..? What use is that to anyone?

Wank feature?  :palm:
Theres really no use for that in electronics.

Although it's nice to have an hourcounter for oil service life, etc. on mecanical stuff..
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Offline timofonic

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Re: New test equipment from Rigol release.
« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2015, 07:27:29 PM »
What I dislike is the big amount of bugs in the firmwares and the lack of a dynamic response to fix them, that unmotivates me to buy their products.

I wish there would be a sub 400EUR 100MHz oscilloscope like the Rigol ones, but with Open Source firmware and upgradable by modules. This could make the device quite flexible and eventually fixing all the found bugs. But no traditional company would release such product, they'll want to sell newer models.
 

Offline hendorog

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Re: New test equipment from Rigol release.
« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2015, 08:06:55 PM »
Quote
What I dislike is the big amount of bugs in the firmwares and the lack of a dynamic response to fix them, that unmotivates me to buy their products.
I am seeing bugs being fixed in the firmware for my scope - How are other manufacturers different?

An open source scope would be awesome. But even open source needs a revenue stream somewhere. :-//

The agendas are certainly flowering nicely in this thread.  :popcorn:
 

Offline tautech

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Re: New test equipment from Rigol release.
« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2015, 08:12:28 PM »
FWIW I'm happy with my cheap Rigol shit for two years and counting :)
And how many power cycles has it done?
Why does that matter?
Quote
Oh that's right Rigols don't have a bootstrap counter.  :palm:
And..? What use is that to anyone?
When a new brand/model is released and you hanker for it, it will matter.
How will any prospective buyer of your SH Rigol know if your unit has had professional (daily), hobbyist or is NOS use?

Even the much maligned Tek TDS510/520 has a bootstrap counter 20+ years ago.

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Offline dr.diesel

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Re: New test equipment from Rigol release.
« Reply #23 on: July 17, 2015, 08:14:54 PM »
What I dislike is the big amount of bugs in the firmwares and the lack of a dynamic response to fix them, that unmotivates me to buy their products.

Ya.  It's hard to grip on their really cheap stuff, but I pulled a dumbass move and bought a MSO4000,   :palm:   :palm:   :palm:   :palm:   Their support is worse than pathetic, oh well, learned my lesson.

Offline timofonic

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Re: New test equipment from Rigol release.
« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2015, 08:34:53 PM »
What I dislike is the big amount of bugs in the firmwares and the lack of a dynamic response to fix them, that unmotivates me to buy their products.

Ya.  It's hard to grip on their really cheap stuff, but I pulled a dumbass move and bought a MSO4000,   :palm:   :palm:   :palm:   :palm:   Their support is worse than pathetic, oh well, learned my lesson.

That makes me to think really bad of Rigol.

How many people are needed to make a Rigol-like 100MHz scope in six months? How much to develop the firmware and publish it AGPLv3? Maybe that could be a nice kickstarter.

Or meanwhile RE some common scopes and write an Open Source firmware for it ;)
 


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