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What do you prefer?

2 channel scope with better specs
41 (50.6%)
4 channel scope with worse specs
27 (33.3%)
No idea
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Author Topic: Rigol DS1054Z vs Siglent SDS1202X-E  (Read 16951 times)

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Offline paul_ius

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Rigol DS1054Z vs Siglent SDS1202X-E
« on: June 06, 2017, 06:33:06 AM »
Hey guys,

I am new here and I want to apologize if this topic has been created before and if so, I would appreciate a link to it.

I'm looking for my first entry level oscilloscope, which I'm gonna use as a general scope, not for any specific purpose. I had my mind set on Rigol DS1054z, but I just recently noticed that Siglent has released SDS1202X-E, the specs of which seem to be superior except for the number of channels. I know that the Rigol's scope can be hacked easily and so on, but even then the specs are not as good as the Siglent's. And, in my country at least, the price difference between the two is just 20 euros, so they cost pretty much the same. So my question is: are those better specs worth sacrificing the two channels for? Also, I have no idea about other feature like the interface, responsiveness and so on, maybe there's a clear winner here that I just don't know about. Maybe some of you have tried both of them and can share the experience?

I would be really grateful for your input guys.
Thanks  :)

-Paul

P.S. I'm sorry for my English, I'm not a native speaker.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2017, 06:37:02 AM by paul_ius »
 

Offline tautech

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z vs Siglent SDS1202X-E
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2017, 06:38:56 AM »
Welcome to the forum.

For some 4 channels is a must, that's entirely your call.
No control latency reported for the X-E and of course no need for hacks.
A few bugs are being addressed and word is there'll be new FW this month for X-E.
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z vs Siglent SDS1202X-E
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2017, 07:13:34 AM »
I am new here and I want to apologize if this topic has been created before and if so, I would appreciate a link to it.
http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/entry-level-digital-scope/
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online DaJMasta

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z vs Siglent SDS1202X-E
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2017, 07:21:26 AM »
It is a topic that's been done more or less to death, but it seems like you have most of the info (and I wouldn't have assumed non-native english speaker).

The Siglent is a newer unit and the hardware inside reflects that - the interface and capture rate and such is quicker and it's probably the biggest thing over the Rigol aside from having no need to unlock features - basically everything available on the model comes in the standard unit.  That said, of course, the two extra channels is a big deal for some applications.

I'd consider what sort of usage you're expecting (at least in the forseeable future) and then check out some video reviews of each to get a visual indicator of responsiveness and UI design.  While both should be fairly responsive and have a good UI, you may find a preference in one from seeing it actually being used.  I believe Dave's got videos with some on-screen stuff for both scopes.

Offline rstofer

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z vs Siglent SDS1202X-E
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2017, 07:34:32 AM »
The 2 versus 4 channels is a really big deal - maybe.  I had a 350 MHz analog scope (2 channels) so when I bought the DS1054Z last year, I wasn't buying bandwidth, I was buying channels (specifically 4 channels for SPI analysis).  I had never had a DSO so I didn't know how much I was missing.  The difference is staggering.

Most projects don't take a lot of bandwidth but if you want to look at square waves, you should probably get to at least the 7th harmonic.  So the Rigol, unlocked to 100 MHz, is probably only good for a 15 MHz square wave.  The Siglent is twice that.  But I still have my 350 MHz scope so bandwidth isn't that much of an issue.

I wanted channels, I bought channels.  That doesn't keep me from looking at the Siglent.  Siglent needs to get that first firmware revision out in the wild.  Sooner would be better than later.  If I were buying and could wait a month, see how the first update comes out.  Right now everybody is cutting Siglent some slack but that update better get it right.

Rigol took several updates over 2 years to get is 'almost' right.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z vs Siglent SDS1202X-E
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2017, 07:47:30 AM »
Rigol took several updates over 2 years to get is 'almost' right.
Don't count on Siglent being any quicker given their track record so far.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline paul_ius

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z vs Siglent SDS1202X-E
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2017, 07:48:44 AM »
Thanks for the answers. The question about the channel count is quite obvious - the more the merrier. I'm more concerned with those other differences. For example, waveform capture rate differs by a lot (approx. 3 times) between the two and to be honest, I have no idea how important that is in real life. Another thing is the min. timebase - 5ns vs 1ns and so on. The problem is that I have very little experience with scopes and I wonder how much of a difference do these specs make for a hobbyist. And I also read some posts of people saying that they very rarely had come across situations where they had to use more than 2 channels, which confused me even more.

I'm not rushing to buy a scope, so I will probably wait for a month to see how the things will turn out in the Siglent's camp, unless it's not worth it


 

Offline boggis the cat

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z vs Siglent SDS1202X-E
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2017, 08:44:25 AM »
While both should be fairly responsive and have a good UI, you may find a preference in one from seeing it actually being used.  I believe Dave's got videos with some on-screen stuff for both scopes.
The Rigol really isn't very responsive, with the Siglent being much better in this regard (more processor power available).  The UI design is quite different, both physically (dedicated per channel controls on the Siglent, single set that must be set to the channel fir the Rigol) and in terms of on-screen layout.

There are pros and cons to each, so ideally you want to get some actual hands-on time.  Otherwise, going through reviews where people are using the instruments (rather than waffling about specs and such) is a good way to gauge responsiveness and UI oddities.

I have the Siglent, but calibrate a broad range of 'scopes as part of my job working in a cal lab.
 

Offline tautech

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z vs Siglent SDS1202X-E
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2017, 08:55:04 AM »
I am new here and I want to apologize if this topic has been created before and if so, I would appreciate a link to it.
This one:
http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/siglent-sds1202x-e-or-rigol-dso1054z-(yes-another-one)/
Avid Rabid Hobbyist & NZ Siglent Distributor
 

Offline boggis the cat

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z vs Siglent SDS1202X-E
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2017, 09:01:49 AM »
Thanks for the answers. The question about the channel count is quite obvious - the more the merrier. I'm more concerned with those other differences. For example, waveform capture rate differs by a lot (approx. 3 times) between the two and to be honest, I have no idea how important that is in real life.
This really depends on what you intend using it for.  Unless you have a specific application in mind, put more emphasis on the basics: how well do they work for normal activities.

The Siglent is very usable out to the full 200 MHz bandwidth, so you should be able to work with signals getting up around 100 MHz.  The Rigol, when 'hacked', will deliver around 100 MHz (possibly more), so that would make it a bit marginal for a signal around 50 to 60 MHz.  If you know that you'll be working on lower speed stuff then that's no problem.  If you anticipate working on signals well above 100 MHz then even the 200 MHz bandwidth will be a problem.

The Siglent has better low amplitude accuracy (goes down to a 'real' 500 uV/div) and also withstands higher voltage on the BNC connectors.

The Rigol has the extra channels, which will not be useful most of the time: but if you do find that you need three or four channels, the Siglent isn't going to meet that need.

Quote
I'm not rushing to buy a scope, so I will probably wait for a month to see how the things will turn out in the Siglent's camp, unless it's not worth it
Spend some time looking at hands-on reviews, where people actually set up the 'scopes then take measurements.

I was originally going to get the GW Instek GDS 1054B over the Rigol because it is much more useable in terms of the UI and responsiveness.  The Siglent has the same processor and higher bandwidth, but two channels, and was (significantly) cheaper for me to buy where I am.  There is no harm in waiting and figuring out what you are likely to need.  Worst case scenario is you end up buying the wrong 'scope for you, so resell it at a small loss -- more of an issue if you were looking to spend thousands.

Edit:
This thread covers some initial impressions for th Siglent, and bugs that should be addressed.
http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/siglent-sds1202x-e-impressions-and-a-couple-of-bugs-to-be-aware-of/
« Last Edit: June 06, 2017, 09:18:51 AM by boggis the cat »
 

Online DaJMasta

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z vs Siglent SDS1202X-E
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2017, 09:29:01 AM »
Just a note about the waveform updates: it matters a lot when you're trying to find rare, intermittent glitches in a signal, but not a whole lot more.  Depending on the implementation, it can mean faster on screen displays or faster update of math functions or whatnot, but that's not really a requirement of the spec.

As for the channel debate, it's really up to your own personal usage scenario.  Of course, just having a channel or two is hugely more valuable than having none, and each added channel sort of drops off in usefulness, but I find myself really preferring more in a lot of applications, and a recent repair's probing would have actually been a lot simpler if I had 8 or 10 analog channels, though most of them would only need kHz of bandwidth (and there are data acquisition devices that basically do this).  When you're following an analog signal, it's great to have probes on several parts of the signal path, the output, and the power supply rails, so it would be easy for me to find an application for 6+ channels, and more means you will ID correlations faster and have to switch probes less frequently.

Of course, in many of these cases you're dealing with a repetitive signal that you can just look at one part and then another, or it's close enough to DC for a decent multimeter to pick it up, or you can verify that one part of a circuit directly tracks another, so that probing one gets you the info you're after.... but especially if you're designing or troubleshooting analog designs that have several stages or filters, having more channels is definitely nice.

I had a 2 channel Siglent that I liked quite well and who's performance suited my needs... I found a couple uses for more than two channels and found a good deal on a 4 channel Rigol and switched to it.  I won't buy another 2 channel scope because of how often I have all four probes doing something, and I'm trying to get other instruments with trend-chart displays (works like roll mode) because of how valuable that real time visible correlation has been.  It's not a real requirement for making measurements and debugging, but it's a quality-of-life improvement that I really prefer.

Offline paul_ius

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z vs Siglent SDS1202X-E
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2017, 05:03:45 PM »
boggis the cat and DaJMasta,
Thank you guys, you've made it a little bit clearer. At least for now, I have some plans for mcu based home automation and lighting control, it might include some inter-mcu communications. Frequency converters are also one of my interests. For these applications I don't think that I'll ever use frequencies above 1MHz. Also, I have no idea what could I measure in 500uV/div range. So additional two channels seem like a better choice.

Still, I'll try to wait for that update and some more reviews of the Siglent. In the meantime, I should decide what is more important to me.

Funny it feels a bit like choosing between a powerful two seater convertible and an economical four door sedan. The brain says to take the latter while the heart wants the thrills of the former.
 

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z vs Siglent SDS1202X-E
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2017, 06:55:17 PM »
if only SDS1202X-E is 4 channels and a bit longer memory.... the hassle of slow GUI of DS1054Z is a lot lot less than having to do 2nd probing setup just because you dont have enough channel or not long enough memory. the fast GUI and long FFT is a marketing stunt against DS1054Z imho. the only fair competitor of the SDS1202X-E now  (in term of practicality) is the previous DS1052E model.... as to compete with DS1054Z is Siglent SDS1204. as someone said, you'll dont know what you are missing by having less channels. i'm working on a project that even 4 channels is crippling imho...
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Offline Fungus

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z vs Siglent SDS1202X-E
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2017, 07:40:49 PM »
While both should be fairly responsive and have a good UI, you may find a preference in one from seeing it actually being used.  I believe Dave's got videos with some on-screen stuff for both scopes.
The Rigol really isn't very responsive, with the Siglent being much better in this regard (more processor power available).

It's perfectly responsive on everything except vertical position.

And that isn't really a problem in reality unless you obsess over it.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z vs Siglent SDS1202X-E
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2017, 09:42:20 PM »
And I also read some posts of people saying that they very rarely had come across situations where they had to use more than 2 channels, which confused me even more.
You have to put such statements into context and try to figure out whether people write that because they have a two channel scope so two channels should be enough for everyone or their measurements only require one or (at most) two channels. In case of the first: ignore! in case of the latter: try to find out what these people are working on and see if you are going in the same direction. As a rough rule of thumb: if you are going to work on digital circuit or switching power supplies then definitely get a four channel scope.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z vs Siglent SDS1202X-E
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2017, 09:54:45 PM »
I also read some posts of people saying that they very rarely had come across situations where they had to use more than 2 channels, which confused me even more.

Yeah, all two channel 'scope owners say that.

If you've got four channels you will figure out a use for them, especially if you work with microcontrollers.  :popcorn:
 

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z vs Siglent SDS1202X-E
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2017, 10:38:21 PM »
and that is the simplest arduweeno type project case... once you move to a bit involved ee like mixed signal, even 4 ch is not enough... look at the other new era scope thread.. 8 channels, but...
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline TK

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z vs Siglent SDS1202X-E
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2017, 10:57:06 PM »
If you work with microcontrollers, it is better to have a 16-32 channel logic analyzer with protocol decode (i2c, SPI, SDIO, UART and so on) + 2 channel scope to do some signal integrity test.  You can trigger one instrument from another.
 
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Offline BravoV

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z vs Siglent SDS1202X-E
« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2017, 10:58:56 PM »
Especially for beginner, but not too noob of course, at least understand what a scope can do.

Think of what can you gain and learn when using scope with "MORE" channels.

The learning, knowledge and experience gained worth alot, imo.


Offline boggis the cat

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z vs Siglent SDS1202X-E
« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2017, 11:03:52 PM »
If you've got four channels you will figure out a use for them, especially if you work with microcontrollers.  :popcorn:
Sure.  And if you had six, or eight...  Why not hook them all up to something?

It comes down to trade-offs, and whether you should be using a different tool, such as an MSO, instead of trying to use a four-channel 'scope.  In rare cases you will have lots of horrible interactions and have a tough time figuring out the problem unless you have the visibility that an analogue channel gives you -- but those scenarios would be atypical.

Can you give an example from your usage where you needed all four channels, or even needed more?

Two channels is your minimum for comparing two points.  Each additional channel gives you an extra point on the same timebase -- but that's a common timebase.  Use two 'scopes and you have independent timebases.  (Two two-channel scopes are more useful than one four-channel.  In potentia.)
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z vs Siglent SDS1202X-E
« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2017, 11:08:35 PM »
If you've got four channels you will figure out a use for them, especially if you work with microcontrollers.  :popcorn:
Can you give an example from your usage where you needed all four channels, or even needed more?
Look at the primary & secondary voltage and current of a switching PSU. 4 channels...
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline klaff

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z vs Siglent SDS1202X-E
« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2017, 11:24:36 PM »
I also read some posts of people saying that they very rarely had come across situations where they had to use more than 2 channels, which confused me even more.

Yeah, all two channel 'scope owners say that.

If you've got four channels you will figure out a use for them, especially if you work with microcontrollers.  :popcorn:

I've always had four channel scopes at work and two channel scopes at home. There's no doubt that four is nicer when debugging things, you can simply see more at once and you spend less time moving probes around and taking additional captures. For hard to capture intermittent failures (the type of thing where you set up a trigger and wait minutes or hours for the failure) four makes it more likely you'll capture something educational on the first try. You can capture more in one documentary scope plot.

On the other hand, if budget is limited, I'd rather pay for speed than more channels, and I very much prefer individual channel controls than a system of multiplexed gain and position knobs. Anytime I have to use that I curse it the whole time.

So, you know, just pick one. Flip a coin if you have to!
 

Offline rstofer

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z vs Siglent SDS1202X-E
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2017, 01:00:54 AM »


Can you give an example from your usage where you needed all four channels, or even needed more?


SPI => CS', Clk, MOSI, MISO

In the early stages of development, it is important to watch where CS' switches in relation to the other signals.  It is not unusual for errant code to raise CS' before the SPI gadget has finished sending the data.  There's a reason I know this!

Getting a decode of a short message is just frosting on the cake.  I don't need to decode "War and Peace", I just want to know that what I think I sent is what was actually sent.  Same for receive...  Once that part of the code is known to work, I can concentrate on other stuff.

As I said earlier, I wanted channels and I already had a scope with bandwidth.  Still, I got a lot of projects working with just 2 channels (after all, this is my first 4 channel scope and my first DSO) so I didn't absolutely need the DS1054Z but I thought, for the price, why not try a 4 channel DSO and learn new skills.  No regrets...

Today, the decision would be a lot more difficult because I would be very tempted to go for the 200 MHz Siglent simply because I am spending more time with FPGAs and eventually I will come up with something that outruns my Rigol.  Then again, 4 channels is pretty sweet and I still have bandwidth in the Tek 485!

I agree with the 'flip a coin' approach.  Siglent's new scope is going to give Rigol a real run for the money.

 

Offline OldDogSleeping

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z vs Siglent SDS1202X-E
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2017, 01:35:04 AM »
I got a DS1054Z as my first scope, about 2 years ago and it's been great. I have needed the 4 channels once, and only once so far ( debugging corrupted SPI comms ). Generally I like Rigol, but have found it to be weak in a couple of areas. The ones that have really bothered me are the poor FFT and Maths Channel. Fortunately I was lucky enough to score a Picoscope MSO at a bargain price, so no longer need to use these features on the Rigol.

Looking at reviews the Siglent seems to be much better, in these areas, so if I was buying today my money would be heading Siglent's way, and if Siglent were to launch a SDS1204X in the near future, that would have to be a no brainer for anyone.

 
« Last Edit: June 07, 2017, 01:36:37 AM by OldDogSleeping »
 

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: Rigol DS1054Z vs Siglent SDS1202X-E
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2017, 04:04:45 AM »
It comes down to trade-offs, and whether you should be using a different tool, such as an MSO, instead of trying to use a four-channel 'scope.
what tradeoff if we have 2 choices DSO, about the same price, one 2 channels? one 4 channels? why choose 2 channels? why?! for me i tradeoff gui responsiveness for extra 2 channels, and if i have more money i'll do it again.

Can you give an example from your usage where you needed all four channels, or even needed more?
mcu controlled dynamic load (constant current) project:

capture 1 (4ch1.png):

ch1 = mcu trigger pin
ch2 = mosfet's Vs
ch3 = comparator output 1
ch4 = comparator output 2

capture 2 (4ch2.png):

ch1 = mcu trigger pin
ch2 = mosfet's Vs
ch3 = feedback opamp output for mosfet gate driver control
ch4 = mosfet's Vd

whats is not shown is for mcu debug pin (serial comm) etc, i wish i can capture them all once if i have 6-8 channels scope... with 2ch scopes, i have to do the setup and capture 5 times or more and try to superimpose all the signals manually and try to mentally figure out whats going on or if they are in the right place.
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 


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