Author Topic: Rigol DP832A Worth it?  (Read 1506 times)

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Offline Artificial_Spark

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Rigol DP832A Worth it?
« on: February 20, 2018, 03:40:21 am »
Hello board l am a new poster and l appreciate the wealth of knowledge you have collected here.

I have AS in electronic engineering and want to start actually applying concepts learned in class (So l'll be in the beginner section).

I have posted in the wanted section about purchasing a used Rigol DP832 fully unlocked as l need the extra features.

If unavailable, I was told to purchase the Rigol DP832A instead to be more cost efficient and sidestep Rigol DP832 bugs/firmware errors.

Are they not the same power supply? I'm also under the assumption that the DP832 is close to being phased out.

Also l am looking to to build my own bench with other purchases of:

RIGOL DM3058E
RIGOL DG1022Z
RIGOL DS1054Z

This is for consistency with our school's lab supplies.

Thank you for your time.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 04:50:38 am by Artificial_Spark »
 

Offline thm_w

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Re: Rigol DP832A Worth it?
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2018, 11:40:40 am »
What is your budget?

DP832 is $470 and DP832A is $840, so I'm not sure how 832a would be more cost efficient. They are essentially the same supply.
AFAIK the 832 can still be hacked, so I would just get that, if its within your budget.
 
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Offline rstofer

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Re: Rigol DP832A Worth it?
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2018, 12:19:05 pm »
I bought the DP832 a little over a year ago.  I have no intention of 'unlocking' it because I simply don't need the features.  The nearest 10 mV is fine by me.    It's a power supply, what do I need?  +-15V, 5V, 3.3V and maybe some other integer value for transistor circuits.  Others have different requirements.

I also have the DS1054Z and it's a pretty nice scope.  Just for variety, plus it's a good AWG, I have the Siglent SDG2082X.

That should keep me going for a long time.

 
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Offline LaurentR

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Re: Rigol DP832A Worth it?
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2018, 12:54:57 pm »
If unavailable, I was told to purchase the Rigol DP832A instead to be more cost efficient and sidestep Rigol DP832 bugs/firmware errors.

Are they not the same power supply? I'm also under the assumption that the DP832 is close to being phased out.

They are the same supply and the statement that buying the DP832A would let you sidestep the DP832 bugs is 100% incorrect. The DP832A is a DP832 with all options built-in, plus a colorful front panel and multiple colors enabled on the display (the display of the DP832 is full color but the firmware only has monochrome themes - you pick the color). I don't know if these will be discontinued soon. They are still excellent for the price and many people have them (and they are reasonably quiet, once you've swapped the fan...).

As for the "consistency", I am not sure it is important or useful. I started this way (DP832, DS1074Z, DG1022...) and the DG1022 (not Z) ended up being a disappointment, so I sold it and went elsewhere. Since then, I have also upgraded the scope, so I am left with just the DP832. I wouldn't necessarily try to stay with Rigol as you will be upgrading later based on needs and availability of new products, so it is very unlikely you'll stay with Rigol forever and instead will end up with a mix.

Instead go for bang-for-buck and look at competitors. Look at used gear from 1st-tier companies (Keysight...) as this may work out better.

Note that you may not need a bench DMM at all (get a good handheld first) or a function gen (get a $20 EBay one to start). With time, you'll figure out what you need exactly. For instance, if you do a lot of work with microcontrollers, you may find you need a USB Logic Analyzer first.

The absolute only reason to go all-Rigol is if you really want to install their (mostly dreadful) PC software as it forces you to install the NI Visa stack, which sometimes causes issues with other instruments Visa stacks. OTOH, if you only want to run C/Python/Matlab SCPI scripts, it doesn't matter.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 12:58:03 pm by LaurentR »
 
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Offline bson

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Re: Rigol DP832A Worth it?
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2018, 01:24:46 pm »
Get the plain DP832 and unlock it.  Google riglol.

The Rigol DS1054Z is still great value for coin when unlocked.  Kinda crippled otherwise.

Not sure about the DMM; get one that's calibrated, which probably means buying new.  Consider the Siglent SDM3055.

The Siglent SDG2042X series AWGs are vastly better performers than the Rigol 1022, much easier to use.  I have both an SDG2120X (120MHz) and a Rigol 1022 and would be happy to sell you the 1022 if you desperately want one.  It's the only instrument I ever regretted buying.  (I also have an HP33120A which has better SNR than the Siglent and can float its single 15MHz output, both of which are useful when measuring audio THD+N.)  I think the 2042X can still be unlocked to a 2120X (I didn't want to fuss with unlocking to save $200).

Just my pennies worth of thoughts on the matter.
 
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Online tautech

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Re: Rigol DP832A Worth it?
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2018, 01:30:07 pm »
The Siglent SDG2042X series AWGs are vastly better performers than the Rigol 1022, much easier to use.  I have both an SDG2120X (120MHz) and a Rigol 1022 and would be happy to sell you the 1022 if you desperately want one.  It's the only instrument I ever regretted buying.  (I also have an HP33120A which has better SNR than the Siglent and can float its single 15MHz output, both of which are useful when measuring audio THD+N.)  I think the 2042X can still be unlocked to a 2120X (I didn't want to fuss with unlocking to save $200).
For properly isolated outputs the 80-160 MHz SDG5000 models provide it but they don't offer the modern UI that SDG2000X or even SDG1000X provides.
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Offline Artificial_Spark

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Re: Rigol DP832A Worth it?
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2018, 03:07:20 pm »
My budget is around $2500 for everything.

Thank you for the suggestions.

I'll look into them as brands to expand into.

I know Rigol is not the only brand but the school has them equipped at their lab.

I can get in-person help there.
 

Offline Artificial_Spark

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Re: Rigol DP832A Worth it?
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2018, 03:09:15 pm »
Thank you for replying.

I wasn't aware of some of the brands available as l am a total newbie to applied electronics.

 

Offline Artificial_Spark

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Re: Rigol DP832A Worth it?
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2018, 03:22:33 pm »
Thank you for letting me know about Keysight.

I don't have a problem with mixed equipment, Rigol is just whats at the lab.

So that's all l know right now.

Is there a list on this site showing bang for buck test equipment according to budget/role?
 

Online tautech

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Re: Rigol DP832A Worth it?
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2018, 03:30:38 pm »
Is there a list on this site showing bang for buck test equipment according to budget/role?
No, as it's forever changing as manufacturers bring out new models.

Lowest price doesn't equal best. As everyone's needs are a little different, the best feature set that fits need dictates the preferred selection.
Some don't mind mixing brands for their needs while others like equipment from one brand.

Here, you will get many opinions............
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Offline TechnoTroll

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Re: Rigol DP832A Worth it?
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2018, 11:45:49 pm »
Riglol seems to indicate that there's a difference between before and after v1.09 device options

DP832 starting from v1.09 device options:
first character: F = official, B = trial
F3PT - Accuracy
F6PT - Analyzer and Monitor
F6LT - LAN
FALT - RS232
FLLT - Trigger

Either way, if you apply those upgrades, does the DP832 display change to color like the DP832A?
 

Offline LaurentR

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Re: Rigol DP832A Worth it?
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2018, 04:02:59 am »
Either way, if you apply those upgrades, does the DP832 display change to color like the DP832A?

No. That's the one remaining difference. You still only get to choose one color for the display - no multi-color display. Since the front panel is not color coded on the DP832, it wouldn't make much sense anway.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 04:07:33 am by LaurentR »
 
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Offline TechnoTroll

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Re: Rigol DP832A Worth it?
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2018, 05:24:06 am »
Thanks, just ordered one :D  So the display is like the picture below but the high accuracy upgrade must give you an extra digit for setting, and you can change the backlight colour, right?
 

Offline LaurentR

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Re: Rigol DP832A Worth it?
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2018, 05:32:55 am »
Congratulations!

Color-wise, you cannot change the background, but you can change the foreground color. I think most people use green or white for best visibility (white looks better but I use green, which has the best contrast IMHO).

The high accuracy gives you the mV digit, in both setting and readback.

The other options can be useful too, like the analyzer/monitor or the connectivity if you are going to script your supply. One popular script is a calibration script in Matlab or Python people use to keep their DP832 with best calibration. There are several threads on this.
 
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Offline TechnoTroll

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Re: Rigol DP832A Worth it?
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2018, 05:39:46 am »
Thanks Laurent, can you please point me at one of the calibration threads?
 

Offline TechnoTroll

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Re: Rigol DP832A Worth it?
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2018, 08:27:49 am »
Well, my DP832 arrived and has been upgraded - that may have upset the calibration, not sure as I didnt check it before using the accuracy code.  Anyhoo, I did a manual calibration on CH1 & 2 and it is good now.

Observations:
1. The fan is noisy - what's the recommendation for a replacement? I saw one vid on youtoob were the guy had to add a resistor to make it work at all  :wtf:
2. Why, seeing as it has a colour screen, do they not use that to make the volts and current numbers different colours?  :wtf: has anyone tried tweaking the firmware or sugesting that to Rigol?

Anyhoo, its a keeper  :-+
 


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