Author Topic: Rigol DS1054Z - Still the best bang for the buck?  (Read 2248 times)

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Offline broderp

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Rigol DS1054Z - Still the best bang for the buck?
« on: December 04, 2016, 01:13:35 PM »
I've watched all Dave's video's, but they are getting a year or so old.  Has anyone come out with a competitor to the Rigol DS1054Z? (bang for buck)

I'm a long time engineering hobbyist, and have been out of the "business" for many years.  The last scope I used was an analog 20Mhz model.  (Still wish I had it)

I purchased a Rigol DP832 PS for my testing and it has been great.  (Thanks Dave for the great video's).  I'd like to be brand loyal, but logically, I'll get what works best and provides the most for my money.

I read the 50Hrz Rigol DS1054Z can be upgraded or unlocked making it a value leader.  Is this still so? Or should I looks another brand for better specifications pr performance? 

Thank you.



 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z - Still the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2016, 03:11:03 PM »
I read the 50Hrz Rigol DS1054Z can be upgraded or unlocked making it a value leader.  Is this still so?
Given the ability to fully unlock it, I'd say Yes.  :-+

That's not to say there's not other scopes to consider, but the Siglent SDS2000 Series is more expensive (seems to be a nice scope though). For example, the 4ch 100Mhz SDS2104 is on sale for ~$1100 from Saelig (here). Which is nearly ~3x the cost for the same frequency & channel count.
 

Offline JPortici

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z - Still the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2016, 04:59:16 PM »
... which also has
- 2GS/s sample rate
- selectable 1Meg/50ohm input
- greater input sensitivity
- timebase can go as fast as 1ns/div
- almost as 3 times as the waveform update rate
- can/lin decoding and triggering
- optional waveform generation
and probably more, like better usability and an UI that doesn't struggle to perform actions... which can't be known before trying it.
so not just the same bandwidth and channel count. just one of these requirements is enough to trash the 1054 in favour of any other scope to the person that needs this requirement, because how you are comparing scopes sound like tech illiterate people comparing phones
« Last Edit: December 04, 2016, 05:04:27 PM by JPortici »
 

Online tautech

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z - Still the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2016, 05:12:36 PM »
... which also has
- 2GS/s sample rate
- selectable 1Meg/50ohm input
- greater input sensitivity
- timebase can go as fast as 1ns/div
- almost as 3 times as the waveform update rate
- can/lin decoding and triggering
- optional waveform generation
and probably more, like better usability and an UI that doesn't struggle to perform actions... which can't be known before trying it.
so not just the same bandwidth and channel count. just one of these requirements is enough to trash the 1054 in favour of any other scope to the person that needs this requirement, because how you are comparing scopes sound like tech illiterate people comparing phones
Quite right but you missed a few things:
140 Mpts memory depth
16 Ch MSO capability
Ext Trig input
400V rated channel inputs
Avid Rabid Hobbyist & NZ Siglent Distributor
 

Offline BravoV

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z - Still the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2016, 05:34:10 PM »
Not sure if you've considered this particular factor here, which is, tons of users base at least here in this forum, plenty of info, resources and hacks included  >:D , and the fact is, that Rigol is still actively updating it's firmware, imo.

At least to me, this "crowd factor" alone is important.

Offline mpicker21

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z - Still the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2016, 06:19:28 PM »
I got my Rigol a short time ago and love it. I looked at some of the options but based on the fact that you can unlock the full hardware its definitely worth it. I have no regrets.
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z - Still the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2016, 06:23:44 PM »
I've watched all Dave's video's, but they are getting a year or so old.  Has anyone come out with a competitor to the Rigol DS1054Z? (bang for buck)

Yes, there's a couple of competitors now.

But none of them are unlockable to 100Mhz bandwidth, serial decoders, etc. The unlocked DS1054Z is still king by a large margin.
 

Offline MrWolf

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z - Still the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2016, 09:25:24 PM »
Well I bought one for learning basic transmission line and RF stuff. It's my fifth scope so I have things to compare it to. My advice: Buy it if you need something cheap and and now, and are just learning VHF stuff... AND planning to buy "real thing" some time after. Do not buy it if you plan to keep it as your main scope for long time:
- 5ns timebase (and no further zoom!) is a joke at VHF
- It heavily relies on some weird hidden filters and interpolation, never shows raw samplepoints
- Many of the endless "features" are non-working or have severe limitations sensitivity wise etc
So if you have lots of time to work around it's limitations and things that you do are not mission critical - good bang for buck and excellent hobby corner deco item.
If you need equipment that just honestly does the job and does not get into your way - it's not this one, need to pay a bit more or buy used...
I'm personally waiting for "generation change" because "big names" are currently heavily lagging with memory sizes and pricing. Good Rigol and Siglent scopes (4ch) are sort of "hanging in the middle". Picoscope has gone to town with memory (up to 128MS on entry level range!), but lagging sampling rate wise. And some new players are just starting to making a mess (Micsig).
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z - Still the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2016, 10:14:44 PM »
I suggest that using any 100MHz scope to do transmission line analysis at VHF is a case of wrong tool for the job, like using a hammer to put a screw in. It might do some of what's needed but it won't do a very good job at it.
 

Offline BravoV

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z - Still the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2016, 10:21:08 PM »
Well I bought one for learning basic transmission line and RF stuff. It's my fifth scope so I have things to compare it to.

- 5ns timebase (and no further zoom!) is a joke at VHF

After 1st four scopes, just wonder why you still insisted to buy a new 100Mhz (say the 50 to 100Mhz hack is legit) for a VHF work ?

Offline MrWolf

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z - Still the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2016, 10:35:19 PM »
After 1st four scopes, just wonder why you still insisted to buy a new 100Mhz (say the 50 to 100Mhz hack is legit) for a VHF work ?

VHF starts at 30MHz BTW. And not work, learning. You do not buy Porsche to learn track driving, start with old beaten up Civic until you are smart enough to make informed choices. By the time you get informed many noobs with Porsches will be left in the dust ;) "Informed choice" scope for me will cost 3000€ at least so Ill want to be damn informed before I go for one...
For example discovered only yesterday that Tek 4000C can do time corellated FFT...  :-+
So in short: When using crap equipment you are forced to learn much more (purpose was learning!) to work around shortcomings. After having my way with it itll be left for occasional "nasty work" like HV flyback tuning etc.
 

Offline saturation

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z - Still the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2016, 06:07:33 AM »
The Rigol still gives you the most functions per dollar but it still has issues, besides bugs, quality control issues and design peculiarities [ all discussed in a specific thread on eevblog about that DSO ] which can be unacceptable if you require those functions to work as defined, OOB.  Most users are happy as they require a basic DSO, issues do not impact them, or they are unaware of its significance. 

Disclaimer, I do not own the Z and cannot make a side by side comparison but simply follow the adventure of other users on that thread.

I have the GWInstek 1054B and discussed on a separate eevblog thread for details. 

Instek prices are best in the USA, but internationally China brand DSOs like Rigol are much more easily available at a bargain price while Instek can be premium priced [ at list price or more in the EU for example], or wholly unavailable.
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Online rstofer

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z - Still the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2016, 06:37:24 AM »
If you really have a high frequency application, do you need all the 'gee whiz' measurements, channels and decoding?  Not at all!

So, what's wrong with having a fully featured DSO with all the modern features that has a realistic bandwidth and then some old analog scope for the higher frequencies?

I have an older 350 MHz Tek 485 I picked up for a couple of hundred dollars.  It works great and I have been using it for 12 years or so.  It doesn't have any of the modern DSO features but it will display higher frequencies just fine.  Not that I ever need to, my projects work at 100 MHz or lower, usually much lower.

I bought the DS1054Z for the features, not the bandwidth.  Sure, I would love to have a 500 MHz Keysight DSO (or, better, MSO) but this is just a hobby, one of many hobbies, and the money simply isn't there.

Plant a stake in the ground, money wise, and then shop around.  The closest thing to the DS1054Z will cost at least twice as much, if not 3 times.  Even then, it's still an entry level scope, suitable for student lab projects.  Expect to pay > $10k for anything that is engineering lab quality.  Even then, it's kind of low level.  There are scopes will over $100k and I have never seen one or even been in a building that had one.

It's worth remembering that, if you want to display square waves that are actually square looking, you need a bandwidth several times higher than the base frequency.  The 3rd harmonic won't be enough and likely the 5th won't cut it either.  So, maybe you need to include the 7th harmonic and now your 100 MHz scope can only display a 13 MHz square wave with any kind of accuracy.

Everything has limitations, there are tradeoffs...
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z - Still the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2016, 06:48:41 AM »
... which also has
- 2GS/s sample rate
- selectable 1Meg/50ohm input
- greater input sensitivity
- timebase can go as fast as 1ns/div
- almost as 3 times as the waveform update rate
- can/lin decoding and triggering
- optional waveform generation
and probably more, like better usability and an UI that doesn't struggle to perform actions... which can't be known before trying it.
so not just the same bandwidth and channel count. just one of these requirements is enough to trash the 1054 in favour of any other scope to the person that needs this requirement, because how you are comparing scopes sound like tech illiterate people comparing phones

Nailed the difference, but failed in an attempt to trash the Rigol.  Of course the Rigol has limitations.  If it didn't there wouldn't be any sales of the more expensive scopes.  Price is one attribute that can trash a great many scopes for what is clearly a large market segment.  That said, if you have a couple of thousand dollars, there are very few situations where a handful of Rigols would be the appropriate choice over a better scope.
 


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