Author Topic: Rigol MSO4000 or Tektronix MDO3000 Series. They say Rigol has bugs. Scope Help  (Read 1485 times)

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Offline ssdflash01

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Hi everyone,

Before i start i read several discussions on this forum about rigol, keysight and tektronix but still need help.

I am going to buy a proper scope. The rigol has an offer with 350MHz bandwidth update and all decoders free. I missed opportunity in Tektronix so will be able to buy mdo3014-3024 at most since my budget is at most 4-5K dinar :) $.

I thought based on the specs, the rigol was pretty good (upto 70mpts and Up to 110,000wfms/s while mdo3000 looks much less 10Mpts). However when watched videos on youtube the FFT, or I2C Serial etc are buggy and really slow. The videos are recorded at 2012 to 2015. Would the 2017 version Rigol be better.(I do not think they can fix it with software firmware anyway) Tektronix and Keysight looks pretty capable of doing the job but they were 1GHz version of the series so could they be faster compared to 100-200Mhz version of the series.

I would like to do RF circuits in future so Tektronix's spectrum analyzer option could be perfect. Rather than that i am mainly doing embedded design so high bandwidth might not be that much important even if i think maybe ram connections' length matching delays etc can be checked with higher bandwidth scope(no sure). Or of course high freq. harmonics will be there even the signal freq is slow.

I have been searching and really confused, that is why decided to write here. I want a proper long term scope which will be fast and functional. Do not want to end up in a point where new scope is needed.

Any suggestion is appreciated. Any different options are welcome as well.
 

Online dr.diesel

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Be sure and read through this thread:

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/rigol-mso4000-and-ds4000-tests-bugs-firmware-questions-etc/

My MSO4000 has been sitting in a closet collecting dust since the R&S2004 came out.  Rigol has fixed most of the crashing bugs, but I personally don't care much for it still.  Can't comment on the Tek.

Offline ssdflash01

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I was checking that link. Thanks for your comment.

What would you say about the need of going high in bandwidth. I cannot find to much reason where i need higher bandwidth except RF and maybe high speed digital signals.

And in RF case i need a spectrum analyzer mostly for 2.4ghz band
 

Online dr.diesel

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BW all depends on what kinda stuff you do, note the FFT on the 4000s is pretty much worthless.


Offline ssdflash01

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Sorry to bother you again.

If 4000 series is this slow or bad can i simply assume mso1104z series are worst. I am also think to buy a scope for now and wait for a good offer by tektronix :)
 

Online dr.diesel

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Sorry to bother you again.

If 4000 series is this slow or bad can i simply assume mso1104z series are worst. I am also think to buy a scope for now and wait for a good offer by tektronix :)

No worries, bother away!

I don't pay much attention to the Rigol stuff these days, however, the big difference with the 1000 series is the price, you DO get a bunch for your money.  May not be the fastest, but they pack it in.

The 4000 series was supposed to be a much higher end professional instrument, which it still is not, even with years of FW updates.

Offline H.O

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Many of the bugs in the DS/MSO4000 reported early on has indeed been fixed, some most likely hasen't and some might not ever BE fixed. The fact that they (Rigol) introduced the DS4000E series could be a signe that they MIGHT still spend some development efforts on the firmware. I would not expect newer models to be "better" than older ones, in fact they may have figured out where to further cut costs (I bought a replacement PSU for my DS4000 and it had capacitors of a much lesser brand (CapXCon) compared to the original. That doesn't mean they won't last - I'm just saying.

If FFT and similar functionallity is something you'll use then it's my undertanding that the Tek MDO is in a another League completely, not to mention the fact that Rigol, in general, isn't exactly known for their FFT performance. From reading the forum it's also my understanding that the Tek MDO series is considered extremely slow/sluggish on the GUI side perhaps even more so than the DS4000 (which IMO really isn't that bad). I have no experience with the Tek MDO though.

Again, the DS4k is a pretty old platform by now. If I was buying today I'd personally consider the new R&S scope but it's apparently not without faults either.

Don't forget that with the Rigol DS4k you can buy the lowest bandwidth option and unlock/hack it to the full 500MHz bandwidth without any known issues. So if you need bandwidth it's still a fairly good option.

Compromises compromises.....
 
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Offline JPortici

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Tektronix and Keysight looks pretty capable of doing the job but they were 1GHz version of the series so could they be faster compared to 100-200Mhz version of the series.

I can only talk for keysight but the only difference in any scope in the 3000 series is in the bandwidth. Every other thing is unlocked by a software license.
Same for 4000 and 6000 series, every instrument in the series has the same processing power.
I assume this is true also for tektronix.
 
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Offline mk_

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I am going to buy a proper scope. The rigol has an offer with 350MHz bandwidth update and all decoders free. I missed opportunity in Tektronix so will be able to buy mdo3014-3024 at most since my budget is at most 4-5K dinar :) $.

Any suggestion is appreciated. Any different options are welcome as well.

somewere in the eevblog-universe (2013?) there is a thread how to... enter some numbers, generated via a pythonscript from serial and required options so that the mdo3014 will be an mdo3054 after the last entered digit. So... if you decide to buy the mdo3xxx you will "earn" a full featured mdo3054 with all options enabled (including signal generator, logic - and spectrumanalyser and all decoding...)

don`t know if this worls for the mdo4xxx too.

hth
 
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Offline ssdflash01

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Thanks for comments.

More bandwidth might not mean anything if i cannot rely on its results. I think as people indicated ds4k series outdated and harware is slow generally. This is not something they can improve much with good software in the case of performance.

Rigol is in no-no list right now :)

Can anyone using tektronix mdo3000 series share their experiences please
 

Online dr.diesel

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More bandwidth might not mean anything if i cannot rely on its results.

FYI, general scope functions have never given me any reason to doubt.


Offline ssdflash01

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More bandwidth might not mean anything if i cannot rely on its results.

FYI, general scope functions have never given me any reason to doubt.

Thanks noted that.
 

Offline IDEngineer

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My second Rigol related post today....

I have a personal DS4000 series scope. Overall I can recommend it. Most of the usual comments you read here (FFT is basically useless, etc.) are true but I would not dismiss it as a digital storage scope, which is what it is designed to be.

When I was shopping I strongly considered Keysight (have several close friends who work for them and pushed me HARD to buy theirs), and Tek (I have years of experience with Tek scopes), and gave a cursory glance at Rigol just to be thorough. I didn't know enough about R&S to consider them at the time. I could afford any of them, yet ended up with the Rigol and don't regret the choice.

I must say their probes are nothing to brag about. I don't like how their retractable hook tip often hangs up on itself, and they seem to be noisier than I'm used to. But that's the probes, not the scope itself. 

DS4000's have been on good discount lately and include all the decode options and a bandwidth upgrade, which effectively further lowers the price. That's a pretty good deal for a DSO of that caliber.

If I had it to do over again, I would consider Rigol, Keysight, and R&S to start, and maybe include Tek. I haven't been impressed with what Tek has been doing with their scopes lately but would try to be open minded.

Just my $0.02, hope it helps! Bringing a new scope into your family is a big decision as they tend to loiter around way longer than human children.  ;D
 

Online Fungus

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Most of the usual comments you read here (FFT is basically useless, etc.) are true but I would not dismiss it as a digital storage scope, which is what it is designed to be.

Yep. If you're not the sort of person who does FFTs then those sorts of comments are (or should be) meaningless. They tell you nothing at all about the rest of the 'scope.

Maybe even the opposite: If a manufacturer didn't waste money on making sure the FFT is good then they might have spent it somewhere else. Bad FFT could mean better functions in other areas.

The main purpose of a 'scope is looking at wiggly lines. Rigols do that part quite well. After that you need to decide on what functions are important to you rather than looking for general answers.
 

Offline MrW0lf

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The main purpose of a 'scope is looking at wiggly lines. Rigols do that part quite well.

If by "well" you mean artistic impression then yea. Quite nice digitally manipulated abstractions, sort of Dali of scopes :P From engineering standpoint - DS1000Z was complete garbage when working near Nyquist with its cannot-really-turn-off Sinc busy doing software bw boost. On normal engineering grade scope Sinc ON-OFF or even ETS mode would show minimal to no differences, especially in amplitude.


 

Offline ssdflash01

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Bringing a new scope into your family is a big decision as they tend to loiter around way longer than human children.  ;D

This is why we think this much about scopes before buy. You wouldn't want a lack phosphor-ed kid :)
 

Online blueskull

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Both will be slow in terms of UI response. I constantly have the urge of smashing the Tek scopes I'm working with. I'm not talking about shitty entry level scopes, I'm talking about a $20k+ Windows 7 based 2GHz scope. I used to test a demo Rigol 6000 series, and it's faster than Tek, way faster, but still no comparison with a Keysight.

I settled at a Keysight MSOX3000A series, and then by chance, got an MSOX6004A for cheap, so that's my current scope. By choosing a Keysight, you lose large memory points, but it's basically better than competitors in every other aspects.
SIGSEGV is inevitable if you try to talk more than you know. If I say gibberish, keep in mind that my license plate is SIGSEGV.
 
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Online nctnico

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It might be worth considering looking at Lecroy's Wavesurfer 3000 (although no peak-detect) and maybe R&S has some interesting models in their Hameg line (although with small screens and short memories).

If you want a scope in the >=1GHz range then IMHO it is well worth to look at the second hand market. Lot's of choices for really nice scopes (Lecroy WavePro 7000 series for example) and there are several older (cheaper) models from Agilent and Lecroy as well.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline Howardlong

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I have an MDO3014 that’s been liberated. It’s available on the bench together with an MSO7104B and an MSOX3054A.

My field is mixed signal embedded including RF up to the low GHz. Although the spec an on the MDO3000 is OK as a very basic instrument, keep in mind it’s a real time SA so under some use cases it can appear to be slow compared to traditional SAs, but that’s because it’s processing the entire input time domain, not just small snippets of time.

Be aware that unlike the MDO4000 you cannot have both the SA and scope on at the same time, it’s only one or the other, so you cannot correlate time and frequency domains which is a key selling point of the MDO4000.

Functionally the MDO3000 is feature rich, but the UI is painful to use compared to Keysight’s (for example). The MDO3000 UI feels slow and is often non-intuitive. However I still use it reasonably frequently because for a very few features it’s better than the KS units on the bench, but I still find it’s a fight to get things done despite having it for a couple of years.

If it was my only scope I might be telling a different story, but I find the Keysights to be so much simpler to get the scope doing what I want them to. A lot of this is due to the automatic deep memory of the KS, and the way the zoom mode works. On the Tek I find I’m frequently fannying around with the acquisition depth, and I find the Tek’s zoom and pan navigation to be a far less elegant system to the Keysight’s implementation

On the plus side the 3.9pF low capacitance passive probes on the MDO3000 are very welcome, and there is a special LA mode called MagniVu that runs at about 8Gsa/s which can be useful for tight timing comparisons. The sig gen BNC is on the back side of the Tek which is a pain. The Vesa mount is a great feature, I have mine on a gas spring mount together with a Vesa quick release bracket so it takes up no bench space and I can move it away easily when it’s out of use.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2017, 09:23:34 AM by Howardlong »
 
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Offline JPortici

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It might be worth considering looking at Lecroy's Wavesurfer 3000

Having tried it, i wouldn't.
The interface is NOT made for touch, it's made for mouse and they added a very shitty resistive touch screen... that can't be used reliably with fingers. Then the actions one can make are what you could expect from an industrial touch panel from around 2000.
Keysight interface in the 3000T and onwards is made for touch, by people that have used a touch device in the last 5 years.

Then the unit is very slow, the processing power isn't there. They ported an architecture that need a lot of processing power to a shitty embedded processor, the things you can do in its version of WaveScan are a total joke and again, it's useless because the wfm/s drop in the single digit and the wave generator is useless in both bandwidth and waveforms.
The scope is there just to fill a void, to throw a couple of general purpose scopes for free when you sell many multithousand dollar scopes to a client.

And it's a shame because i love lecroy's interface.. and i find it amazing that at the very basic it's still the same of my lecroy from 1989, a scope that let me do a lot (advanced math, albeit slowly.. but i can forgive it, being a 386 ;) )
If you wanted a lecroy on that budget i'd rather get an older model, too.
 
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Offline mk_

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Can anyone using tektronix mdo3000 series share their experiences please

Well... it is working... the UI is the ugliest I ever had on a midpriced tool like this  (they followed the "how not to design an UI" guideline very well) - compared with LeCroy I used at customers site it is really stupid how Tek implemented the UI.

the MDO3xxx is slow, I can drink a lot of coffee if I`m are triyng to nail down some details with the SA, on the other hand - I have an SA aviable, so I don`t complain to much aboit this.

So - if you get used to it is ok and the somehow free decoders are worth the money spent for the cheapest MDO you can buy, we do a lot of CAN, SPI, I2C.. the usual stuff during embedded design.  I like the possibility to "print" screenshots to a fileserver in the LAN, makes documentation easy (can be done with LeCroys too).

One of the nasty things from Tek, compared to LeCroy: Tek changes the probe-interface from time to time. If you decide to buy a (expensive) probe - be aware that the probe-interface will change so the probe will beu useless until you buy a very expensive adapter for the new interface (happend here wit a P6247 diff-probe...  Tek asks about 500€ for a simple prototkoll/powerconverter to run the P6247 on the MDO3xxx).

hth


 
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Offline TD-Linux

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Both will be slow in terms of UI response. I constantly have the urge of smashing the Tek scopes I'm working with. I'm not talking about shitty entry level scopes, I'm talking about a $20k+ Windows 7 based 2GHz scope. I used to test a demo Rigol 6000 series, and it's faster than Tek, way faster, but still no comparison with a Keysight.

When I bought my DS1054Z I was surprised how the user interface was "just as fast" as the Tek MSO3000 I had previously used, which should tell you something about the Tek :)

I would still take the Tek any day if I could afford it and all of the options, because the FFT and serial decode are actually usable on it. But I have a USB logic analyzer and software radio that fill those roles for me now.
 
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Online blueskull

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I would still take the Tek any day if I could afford it and all of the options, because the FFT and serial decode are actually usable on it.

I have a Signal Hound, so I don't need an SA. For low frequency stuff and protocol decoding, I use Analog Discovery. It's the kind of electronic Swiss knife I carry around with me all the time whenever I work on any boards.
My Keysight has all decoding features, but I don't happen to use them often -- just being lazy and using a PCB based tool with 0.1'' header is easier.
SIGSEGV is inevitable if you try to talk more than you know. If I say gibberish, keep in mind that my license plate is SIGSEGV.
 
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Offline trukresom

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Offline Howardlong

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I would still take the Tek any day if I could afford it and all of the options, because the FFT and serial decode are actually usable on it.

I have a Signal Hound, so I don't need an SA. For low frequency stuff and protocol decoding, I use Analog Discovery. It's the kind of electronic Swiss knife I carry around with me all the time whenever I work on any boards.
My Keysight has all decoding features, but I don't happen to use them often -- just being lazy and using a PCB based tool with 0.1'' header is easier.

While I’m a big fan of the Analog Discovery, its protocol decoding facilities I find somewhat limited. In particular, are no protocol triggers, and the memory is very shallow. Still, I wouldn’t be without it, it’s a seriously handy tool particulalry for field use. I have it currently set up on a board I’m working on, it slips into my bag so I can work on it during my commute.
 


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