Author Topic: Scope Purchase  (Read 3584 times)

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Offline nealfox

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Scope Purchase
« on: January 11, 2018, 02:18:41 am »
Hi, I am a retired EE that has been away from electronics for over 12 years.  So, to start catching back up, I am setting up a small lab on a very limited budget.  I am getting ready to buy a scope and I am considering a Rigol DS1054Z.   

My question is, is this scope the best choice for a under $400 scope or is there another choice I should consider, as DS1054Z has been out for a couple of years.
 

Online rstofer

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2018, 03:49:07 am »
At the moment, the DS1054Z owns the entry level (less than $400) market.  There's nothing even close.  Assuming, of course, that you plan to unlock the features.

The next interesting scope with 4 channels is the new Siglent SDS 1204X-E which has 200 MHz bandwidth but it is nearly twice as expensive.  There are other scopes in the price range but the issue is features.  Do they have 4 channels, decoding, FFT, suitable bandwidth, etc?  In general, no.

Whether 100 MHz bandwidth is sufficient is the big question.  Given the harmonic nature of square waves, that bandwidth isn't much.

I have a Tek 485 350 MHz scope to handle bandwidth issues and the DS1054Z for features.
 

Offline kelchm

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2018, 04:16:48 am »
Hi, I am a retired EE that has been away from electronics for over 12 years.  So, to start catching back up, I am setting up a small lab on a very limited budget.  I am getting ready to buy a scope and I am considering a Rigol DS1054Z.   

My question is, is this scope the best choice for a under $400 scope or is there another choice I should consider, as DS1054Z has been out for a couple of years.
I spent the last few weeks deciding between the Rigol DS1054Z ($350), Siglent 1202X-E ($379) and Siglent 1104X-E ($500). I ended up settling on getting the 1104X-E. It's a little more expensive than the DS1054Z, but it's also newer, more responsive and offers some features that even a 'hacked' 1054Z does not offer.

I'm happy with mine so far, though I'm just a beginner and this is my first oscilloscope.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 04:18:53 am by kelchm »
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2018, 04:46:21 am »
I am getting ready to buy a scope and I am considering a Rigol DS1054Z.   

My question is, is this scope the best choice for a under $400 scope

For a 4-channel 'scope*, yes. An unlocked DS1054Z is still definitely the one to go for in that price range.

(*) ...and I strongly recommend getting 4 channels

I spent the last few weeks deciding between the Rigol DS1054Z ($350), Siglent 1202X-E ($379) and Siglent 1104X-E ($500). I ended up settling on getting the 1104X-E. It's a little more expensive than the DS1054Z
$500 / $350 = 1.428, ie. 43% more expensive.
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2018, 05:07:33 am »
It depends on what you want to use your scope for, unsurprisingly.

Be aware there are significant limitations of entry level DSOs. In particular, look at the ADC resolution (often 8 bit), the capture memory depth, and whether they only process what is visible on the screen (i.e. not the whole capture memory). (Processing could be an FFT or a protocol decode)

One valid strategy is to have an old high bandwidth (>300MHz) scope to assure signal integrity, then a logic analyser and printf statements to capture many (>>4) digits simultaneously.

If you look at the Digilent Analog Discovery, you will find it has a 10MHz/14-bit/2-channel DSO, plus 2 channel function generator, plus 16 bit 100MS/s logic analyser, plus 16 bit pattern generator. You also have software for a spectrum analyser, a network analyser, and control-loop analyser.
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Offline james_s

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2018, 05:13:01 am »
I wouldn't consider 8 bit ADC to be much of a limitation, it's pretty standard even in fairly high end scopes. An oscilloscope isn't intended for precision voltage measurements. Higher ADC resolution just means lower bandwidth and/or fewer samples for the same cost.
 

Offline nealfox

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2018, 06:08:05 am »
Quote
Whether 100 MHz bandwidth is sufficient is the big question.  Given the harmonic nature of square waves, that bandwidth isn't much.

I have a Tek 485 350 MHz scope to handle bandwidth issues and the DS1054Z for features.

In my 40+ year career I specialized in digital and ASIC design.  Thus, I never had the opportunity to do analog design.  So, my emphasis will be analog design plus playing with Arduino etc.  So, I don’t think a lot of bandwidth is necessary.  As aside I used an Tek 485 throughout the 1970s and I would love to have one, but I just do not have the space in my small retirement apartment.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2018, 06:25:06 am »
I think you'll be happy with the Rigol, it's pretty much the defacto "decent" hobbyist DSO. If space is limited then there are not many competitive options, I have older Tek scopes which are great but they're huge in comparison.
 

Offline kelchm

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2018, 06:47:55 am »
$500 / $350 = 1.428, ie. 43% more expensive.
I'll agree that the 1054Z does give you more bang for the buck, but still... it's only a $150 difference and the option is worth at least considering for a tool that will be used for many years to come.

I'm also hopeful that certain aspects of the Siglent will prove to be hackable, much like the Rigol.
 

Offline DDunfield

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2018, 07:29:29 am »
Hi Guys - been lurking for a long time, have seen "whats the best scope to buy" many times, so finally decided to register and post my 2c (ok, more like 2Kc).

I almost always see three answers regarding the DS1054Z (or any other "entry level" scope):

1) It's awesome, just buy it.

2) It's chinese crap, don't buy it.

3) It's too slow even when unlocked to 100Mhz, don't buy it.

I don't find any of these answers to be all that useful.


You really need to consider what you will be using the scope for. A major question is Bandwidth? and the usual response is "get as much as you can".
If you do that, there are two very likely results for most people:

- you will pay more than you need to for your scope.

- you will give up features/capabilities which might be more useful to you on a daily basis.


Bandwidth is the most expensive "feature" of a scope by far - Sample rate also falls into this catagory. it takes real hardware to get high bandwidth and single-shop capture rates and regarding these two things, I classify scopes into into three very broad classes:


1) uber-expensive, ultra-high bandwidth, crazy sampling rates... (>1Ghz)

You need one of these if you are designing VERY fast circuits, which might include:
   - modern CPU/MEMORY systems
   - Modern signal transport (networking, digital video, very high speed specialized bus etc).
   - Radio where you actually need to look at the RF signal shapes, reflections etc.
   - Power systems where you need to see very small/fast glitches etc.
If you are doing this, you should already know what specs. you need for your scope. (if you don't I certainly hope you are not the lead designer on the project).


2) mid-range high-bandwidth/sample rate (200-600Mhz)

Possibly useful to someone who has recently graduated from category 3 below, or has to maintain older fastish equipment, but really today you seem to need "uber-fast" or "entry level" (there are or course exceptions).


3) "entry level" 50-200Mhz general purpose low-cost scope

If you are doing things like:
 - Dabbling in a home lab.
 - Restoring vintage equipment (Computers, Audio, etc.)
 - Building/repairing older embedded systems (Ie: the CPU is a DIP or early SMT)
 - Working with pre-built development systems: Arduino, STM32, PIC and others.
 - Working with a SOC where the fast stuff is inside the chip and only peripheral on the outside.
 - Looking at "normal" serial busses and CPU controlled I/O bits.

You don't need 200Mhz, you don't even need 100Mhz (I know people will argue).
Keep in mind that even though your Raspberry PI may be 1.2Ghz and have 900Mhz RAM, these parts are located in a very small part of the board that you will likely never have to probe. Most of signals of interest in these types of systems will be a few Mhz or slower.


Regarding sample rate.

Keep in mind that the analog bandwidth of the scope is NOT the maximum square wave it can see without degradation. It is the frequency of sine wave that will be diminished 3db by the scope electronics. The scope will see higher frequency components than that, but at an ever reduced amplitude (until it's just noise).

Nyquist says that we only need 2x the bandwidth, however that is to reconstruct a sine wave, and if you already know it's a sine, why not just use a  frequency counter and voltmeter?

I use this "rule of thumb" regarding sample-rate vs analog bandwidth.

>10x is "really good"
10x is "quite good"
5x is "ok"
<5x  is "pretty bad"

Applying this to the DS1054Z, we see that:

1CH 1G/50 is "really good"
2CH 500M/50 is "quite good"
4CH 250M/50 is "ok"

So I would say the 50Mhz DS1054Z is a terrific scope from this viewpoint.

If you apply the bandwidth hack, or have a 100Mhz/1GS scope, then it becomes:

1CH = 1G/100 is "quite good"
2CH = 500M/100 is "ok"
4CH = 250M/100 is "pretty bad"

That's not to say that a 4CH 100M 1GS scope isn't useful, but beware of the limitation if you are trying to use it near max bandwidth with all four channels running. For that matter, be aware of the limitations of any of your tools when doing a particular job.


The next "good thing" to have is memory depth. The more samples you can store, the longer a series of events you can capture and zoom in on to see the details - it really helps.

Channels: 2 channels is 100x better than 1 channel. With 2 channels, you can compare two signals in real-time, or in a single-shot capture. Unless you are doing something really primitive, you probably want at least 2 channels. Four channels is "really really nice" but I wouldn't call it essential. But it can be so much easier to look a things like serial buses when you can see data in, out, select and clock all at once.





Who am I and why do I think I know something about scopes?  I'm primarily a very-low-level software guy, who has built and interfaced a pretty good share of hardware over the 40 years or so that I've been doing this. My 2Kc comes from a professional lifetime of actually using various scopes in a cost-conscious 1-man company (and a fair bit of hobby time too):


My first scope was a home-built analog ( http://www.dunfield.com/oscope.htm ) which probably had only a few Mhz bandwidth and basically no measurement capability (not even a scale on the screen). Being young and too naive to know that it was "useless" I learned more with this scope than I have with probably any other scope since.

After passing through a few low-end commercial analog scopes (which did have scales :-), My first digital/storage was a Gould OS4000, 10Mhz, 1.8Mhz sample rate, 1K samples. Not being aware that it was "too limiting" to be useful, I designed MANY products with this scope, and used it right up until I was working with ARM-7 systems.

Counting on my fingers, I currently have 6 ponies in my scope stable. I find these cover more than my needs (could probably get rid of a few of them - yeah, I really should...  I'll think about that... someday... maybe...):


1) DS1054Z (4ch 50Nhz 1GS-total)

Yes, I have one - I bought it for 4 channels and the deep memory (and good luck prying it from my fingers). I HAVE NOT upgraded it to 100Mhz although I may after the warranty expires. 50Mhz is plenty for almost all of the stuff that I need a 4ch/deep scope for.


2) Tek TDS210 (2ch 60Mhz 1GSx2)

I got it for the portability and simple Tek controls. It was my daily driver and I still use it a fair bit, but the Rigol is taking over.
I keep it because it has separate vertical controls and the UI responds faster than the Rigol.


3) Tek TDS380 (2CH 400Mhz 2GSx2)

My fastest scope - I keep it around in case I ever need to look at something fast-ish ... but it's big and most of the time it sits in the corner.
Has only 1K sample storage, so not great for zooming in on long stream events.


4) Tek 2232 (2CH 100Mhz 100Mx2)

I keep it because it is The only scope I have left that still can operate as a fully analog. I also find it easy to use (and it has to cool Wizard easter egg :-)


5) UNI-T UT81B (1CH 8Mhz 40MS) - SCOPEMETER

Not a fantastic scope or meter but it fits in my portable toolkit and is useful enough that it's handy to have when nothing else is available. Also good for working on non-ground referenced things.


6) JYtech DSO-138 (1CH 1MS)

Bought out of curiosity to see if a  $15 scope actually worked. Answer: Yes, with limitations but the test wasn't valid because I didn't realize till after I bought it that the $15 ones on Ebay are knock-off clones and JYtech gets nothing. I take solace in the fact that I don't actually use it.



If I had to have only one, it would probably be the DS1054Z - I would say that it covers 95+% of what I use a scope for on a day to day basis, and the advantages of 4CH and deep memory outweigh the benefits of my other scopes (for me at least). 2nd keeper would be the TDS380 for the speed, but I really don't use it much these days and probably wouldn't miss it.

Whew... sorry to be so long winded.

Dave

 
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Online CustomEngineerer

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2018, 02:24:53 pm »
I'm also hopeful that certain aspects of the Siglent will prove to be hackable, much like the Rigol.

I realize their generators and SAs were at one point, but Siglent have actively been trying to close the holes that allowed it, and as far as I'm aware none of their scopes have ever been hackable so I doubt this is something that will happen. I certainly wouldn't base my buying decision on the hope that it might someday be possible.
 

Online CustomEngineerer

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2018, 02:30:45 pm »
1) DS1054Z (4ch 50Nhz 1GS-total)

Yes, I have one - I bought it for 4 channels and the deep memory (and good luck prying it from my fingers). I HAVE NOT upgraded it to 100Mhz although I may after the warranty expires. 50Mhz is plenty for almost all of the stuff that I need a 4ch/deep scope for.

I've got to ask why not? You do realize the scope can be reset (unhacked) with a single command sent over telnet, in such a way that Rigol won't know that you had ever unlocked the features, and thus wouldn't lose your warranty anyways right? I could understand if you didn't want to liberate it out of some sense of morality I guess, or even if you just didn't need the additional bandwidth and options at this point, but to not do it now because its in warranty just doesn't make sense.
 

Offline kelchm

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2018, 03:13:38 pm »
I'm also hopeful that certain aspects of the Siglent will prove to be hackable, much like the Rigol.

I realize their generators and SAs were at one point, but Siglent have actively been trying to close the holes that allowed it, and as far as I'm aware none of their scopes have ever been hackable so I doubt this is something that will happen. I certainly wouldn't base my buying decision on the hope that it might someday be possible.
If you have physical access, it can be hacked. It’s just a matter of time and motivation.

We already know there are some capabilities that could be unlocked such as the USB AWG. I half think the reason they sell the hardware for the USB AWG separate from the license is that they expect people to hack it.
 

Offline David Hess

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2018, 04:04:33 pm »
I wouldn't consider 8 bit ADC to be much of a limitation, it's pretty standard even in fairly high end scopes. An oscilloscope isn't intended for precision voltage measurements. Higher ADC resolution just means lower bandwidth and/or fewer samples for the same cost.

This does not apply to the Rigol 1000Z series but most DSOs store the 8-bit results in 16-bit memory for processing reasons.  So the resolution of the ADC has no effect on sample memory.
 

Offline beanflying

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2018, 05:20:48 pm »
And fast catching up with some nice features is the fully loaded Micsig 1104.

I have just been through the used brand name or cheaper Chinese or .... In the end 100Mhz 4 channel with built in Bus decoding for a reasonable price won me over. I loathe and hate Hantek with a passion (I own one) Rigol is getting old and due for a makeover. Being bent over by some to pay $ after the sale to get upgrades for x,y & z didn't appeal to me at all. Occasionally field use will be handy for me so I have mine coming with the battery option.

Migsig's Ali Express store https://www.aliexpress.com/store/1293611?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.qYVA8I

It still won't be the answer for all situations and I am still looking at something more upmarket to go with it.  :)
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Offline Fungus

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2018, 07:47:50 pm »
In my 40+ year career I specialized in digital and ASIC design.  Thus, I never had the opportunity to do analog design.  So, my emphasis will be analog design plus playing with Arduino etc.  So, I don’t think a lot of bandwidth is necessary.  As aside I used an Tek 485 throughout the 1970s and I would love to have one, but I just do not have the space in my small retirement apartment.

Another option might be an Analog Discovery. It's a little gadget designed for learning electronics and has a built-in oscilloscope with enough bandwidth for "Arduino" work (also for Audio work, where its fancy 14-bit DAC shines).
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2018, 07:51:21 pm »
I'll agree that the 1054Z does give you more bang for the buck, but still... it's only a $150 difference and the option is worth at least considering for a tool that will be used for many years to come.

You've also admitted you've never owned a DS1054Z, so.... how would you know?

A DS1054Z + $150 in your pocket for something else isn't a deal to be sniffed at.

I'm also hopeful that certain aspects of the Siglent will prove to be hackable, much like the Rigol.
It seems unlikely, not without at least some hardware modifications. Siglent is actively against hacking where Rigol uses it as a marketing strategy.
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2018, 08:12:03 pm »
I HAVE NOT upgraded it to 100Mhz although I may after the warranty expires.

I've got to ask why not? You do realize the scope can be reset (unhacked) with a single command sent over telnet, in such a way that Rigol won't know that you had ever unlocked the features, and thus wouldn't lose your warranty anyways right? I could understand if you didn't want to liberate it out of some sense of morality I guess, or even if you just didn't need the additional bandwidth and options at this point, but to not do it now because its in warranty just doesn't make sense.

Yep. At the end of the day you're just pressing a sequence of buttons on the front panel. It can be relocked easily and there's no way that could affect a hardware warranty in any civilised country.

There's no reports of Rigol refusing to fix a hacked scope under warranty (I'm sure we'd know if there was a single case in the entire world given the amount of Rigol haters on these forums).


Hi Guys - been lurking for a long time, have seen "whats the best scope to buy" many times, so finally decided to register and post my 2c (ok, more like 2Kc).

I almost always see three answers regarding the DS1054Z (or any other "entry level" scope):

1) It's awesome, just buy it.

For $350 it's more than awesome.

2) It's chinese crap, don't buy it.

I can't believe anybody could complain about the build quality. It's solid as a rock.

At the end of the day the reason we buy Rigols is: they stick out by a mile if we draw a graph of bang vs. buck..

That's it.

PS: Beware,...a lot of the people who spew Rigol hate on these forums are Siglent dealers. Being an official Siglent dealer doesn't require any sort of professionalism (apparently).

 

Offline Helix70

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2018, 08:27:08 pm »
I think the bandwidth part of the hack is the least interesting or important part of the hack. I am rarely, if ever, finding myself needing it if I am being honest. I always laugh hearing about the hobbyists chasing high bandwidth, 10 bit adcs, and fft for use with their Arduino projects. You just don't need it. 4 channels on the other hand, advanced trigger options and serial decoding, all very relevant for the hobbyist.
 

Offline rf-loop

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2018, 08:37:25 pm »


At the end of the day the reason we buy Rigols is: they stick out by a mile if we draw a graph of bang vs. buck.


I have only well over tens of years profession (and also hobby ) with electric and electronics in lab with many kind of oscilloscopes starting with 50 euro shit and ending to price of house state of art ones and truck load other instruments and in field designing and doing real things but somehow I still can not draw this graph. Because it is so difficulty I ask your help.

Is it possible you help all of us and draw this secret graph you told and show it to all of us.

Please.
If practice and theory is not equal it tells that used application of theory  is wrong or the theory itself is wrong.
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Offline jacklee

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2018, 08:49:52 pm »
I have both Rigol DS1054Z(50MHz 4CH) and Micsig TO1104(100MHz 4CH).

In my opinion, the Rigol is Desktop, have nice user interface with Knobs. 
Micsig is tablet, portable, big screen (4:3), WLAN
handling is faster, only some taps then your works are done!
and it is far less noisy with far better FFT and faster X-Y

Micsig TO1104 allows for a different work style. That's the reason I recommend rather than DS1054Z.
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Offline beanflying

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2018, 08:59:13 pm »
Being a drum beating Rigol fan boy isn't really a help either. Rigol has it's place as do others and there is NO PERFECT choice for all users. Rehashing the Rigol hack/no hack thing for the hundreth time is surely a WASTE of bandwidth.

The OP's needs are what is important and as he mentioned a wish to play with some Arduinos 4 channel and bus decoding firmware makes good sense.

I have been playing with Arduinos for a while and putting up with a rubbish hantek 20Mhz USB scope. That said it is still way in front of the first Analog CRO's I used well over 30 years ago. The point here is it is not always about bang for buck or bottom line but it is important the product serve the purchaser well!
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Offline Fungus

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2018, 09:12:44 pm »
Being a drum beating Rigol fan boy isn't really a help either.

The OP's needs are what is important and as he mentioned a wish to play with some Arduinos 4 channel and bus decoding firmware makes good sense.

He also mentioned a "very limited budget" but the Siglent pushers have no problem ignoring it.
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2018, 09:42:17 pm »
In my 40+ year career I specialized in digital and ASIC design.  Thus, I never had the opportunity to do analog design.  So, my emphasis will be analog design plus playing with Arduino etc.  So, I don’t think a lot of bandwidth is necessary.  As aside I used an Tek 485 throughout the 1970s and I would love to have one, but I just do not have the space in my small retirement apartment.

Another option might be an Analog Discovery. It's a little gadget designed for learning electronics and has a built-in oscilloscope with enough bandwidth for "Arduino" work (also for Audio work, where its fancy 14-bit DAC shines).

IMNSHO the OP would be wise to investigate the Analog Discovery (as I mentioned earlier), especially for audio work for the reason you mention and for its AWG/function generator.

The 10MHz bandwidth isn't quite enough for digital signals from the Arduino, but the 16-bit 100MS/s logic analyser is fast enough - and the 16-bit pattern generator is the digital equivalent of the AWG.

Cheap-ish, small, great for simple projects, not as general purpose as dedicated instruments, limitations w.r.t. input/output voltages.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline lem_ix

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2018, 10:15:53 pm »
I remember reading a thread where a senior member of the forum complained about the font size on the 1054z. Maybe this is something worth considering. I don't have the rigol so I can't really say. I played around with the Micsig and it's a nice scope but it's definitely different from the norm. Scope wise all of these new entry level scopes are great bang for buck, you can't go wrong. They're a far cry from the cheap digital scopes from 10 years back.
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2018, 10:55:11 pm »
I remember reading a thread where a senior member of the forum complained about the font size on the 1054z. Maybe this is something worth considering. I don't have the rigol so I can't really say.

The Rigol font isn't especially small or different than other 'scopes.

The only reason you see complaints like this next to the word "Rigol" is because so many people have bought Rigols.
 

Offline GeorgeOfTheJungle

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2018, 11:02:56 pm »
The Rigol font isn't especially small or different than other 'scopes.

It should be a readable Sans Serif font but is a Serif and too small and barely readable which is a  :--
 

Offline DDunfield

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2018, 11:05:44 pm »
1) DS1054Z (4ch 50Nhz 1GS-total)

Yes, I have one - I bought it for 4 channels and the deep memory (and good luck prying it from my fingers). I HAVE NOT upgraded it to 100Mhz although I may after the warranty expires. 50Mhz is plenty for almost all of the stuff that I need a 4ch/deep scope for.

I've got to ask why not? You do realize the scope can be reset (unhacked) with a single command sent over telnet, in such a way that Rigol won't know that you had ever unlocked the features, and thus wouldn't lose your warranty anyways right? I could understand if you didn't want to liberate it out of some sense of morality I guess, or even if you just didn't need the additional bandwidth and options at this point, but to not do it now because its in warranty just doesn't make sense.

I do know that it can be un-hacked. The primary reasons it's not hacked for 100Mhz are:

I have 400Mhz scope which I use if I feel a "need for speed".

My main use for the DS1054Z is as a 4-channel scope, and it's not a great 4-CH scope at 100Mhz (only 2.5x sample rate). It would be nice if Rigol had included a 50Mhz bandwidth limit option, but they didn't (for that matter since they also offer a 70Mhz version they could have provided 20/50/70Mhz limits as it's obviously all controlled by software).

There is an (admittedly small) chance that it could fail in a way which prevents me issuing SCP commands (fails to power up etc.). It's not clear if Rigol would honor the warranty on a hacked scope. I do recall one guy posting that he received a nice note in his box saying that they would not (there was no such note in my box).



I got the scope nearly a year ago. I used it till the trials were about to expired, then I generated a 'DSER' key for all options (including 100Mhz)... in my uses, I noticed absolutely no difference in quality of measurements, and there was the little niggle in the back of my mind that it was probably better for 4CH use at 50Mhz.

I also did have a slight morality issue as being a software developer I am sensitive to licenses, although unlike many larger companies, I do not believe that every package that someone installed without paying me meant a lost sale - In my experience most users who depend on your product will actually buy it. Those who "steal" it are likely to either just be playing with it, or would not have bought it if they were forced to pay - so knowing I would not have shelled out for the DS1104Z I allowed myself to hack it. But again, that little niggle knowing that I was using a hacked tool for professional purposes.

Btw, The basis of a morality issue is that you are using code that was developed (presumably at some expense) and you have not contributed to the recovery of that expense. I have no such issue with the 100Mhz or Deep memory options, as they are NOT code (other than a small bit designed to prevent you from using them). These are implemented in hardware that you now own.



I happened to show the scope to a colleague in December and he liked it so much he purchased two from my dealer. I was surprised that he received keys to install all the options for free (not 100Mhz which isn't officially an option).

I contacted Rigol and asked if they would offer such love to an existing customer and they said (paraphrased) "screw off - the deal started in November and you bought yours before that - you could try contacting your dealer".

I contacted my Dealer and he said "I'll get you the option certificate" (Great dealer - it probably helped that I had just sold two scopes for him).
Two days later I had the official from Rigol options certificate, so I cleared the scope and installed the official Rigol keys. Now I have everything except 100Mhz (which I'm not convinced I want) and it's all above board. No more niggles.

The reason I said "I might hack it when the warranty expires" wasn't so much about the warranty, and should have read "in a few years" - at some point I will downsize my location, and the TDS380 will likely go as it's big - when that happens, having the 1054Z be able to do 1 (well) or 2 (mostly OK)  channel at 100Mhz might be useful - but as noted in my previous post, I almost never drag out the 380 these days.



Interesting observation about Rigol keys:

You can see they key type within the printed key, for example the 'DSER' key which enables "everything" looks like:

xDxxxxx-xxSxxxx-xxxExxx-xxxxRxx

The one they send you is a 'DSAR' key which activates all options except for the unofficial 100Mhz option and the unsupported 500uv option.

But... the other letters are NOT the same as a DSAR key generated with RIGLOL, although both keys work.

This means that either:

1) There are multiple encoding of the same key and Riglol uses a different method than Riglol.
 -or-
2) They master key used by Riglol is not the same as the one used by Rigol and the scope accepts either key. This would imply that the key Riglol has wasn't "accidentally leaked"... (maybe you need to put an aluminium foil "hat" on your hacked scopes -- they might know they are special! :-)

 

Offline Fungus

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2018, 11:08:43 pm »
Another option might be an Analog Discovery. It's a little gadget designed for learning electronics and has a built-in oscilloscope with enough bandwidth for "Arduino" work (also for Audio work, where its fancy 14-bit DAC shines).
The 10MHz bandwidth isn't quite enough for digital signals from the Arduino, but the 16-bit 100MS/s logic analyser is fast enough - and the 16-bit pattern generator is the digital equivalent of the AWG..

Are you looking at the old one? The ADII has "30MHz+" bandwidth and 100Msamples/sec.

http://store.digilentinc.com/analog-discovery-2-100msps-usb-oscilloscope-logic-analyzer-and-variable-power-supply/


 

Offline Fungus

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2018, 11:11:48 pm »
The Rigol font isn't especially small or different than other 'scopes.

It should be a readable Sans Serif font but is a Serif

Really?

« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 11:15:16 pm by Fungus »
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2018, 11:22:10 pm »
My main use for the DS1054Z is as a 4-channel scope, and it's not a great 4-CH scope at 100Mhz (only 2.5x sample rate).

The sample rate goes up with less channels - 10x with only one channel enabled.

(I'm sure you know this, I'm just pointing it out to newbies)

I also did have a slight morality issue as being a software developer I am sensitive to licenses, although unlike many larger companies, I do not believe that every package that someone installed without paying me meant a lost sale

I know that Rigol would have lost a LOT of sales if it wasn't hackable.

eg. If the Rigol wasn't hackable I'd probably be recommending the Goodwill Instek GDS1000B.
 

Online BravoV

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #31 on: January 12, 2018, 12:25:20 am »
I remember reading a thread where a senior member of the forum complained about the font size on the 1054z. Maybe this is something worth considering. I don't have the rigol so I can't really say. I played around with the Micsig and it's a nice scope but it's definitely different from the norm. Scope wise all of these new entry level scopes are great bang for buck, you can't go wrong. They're a far cry from the cheap digital scopes from 10 years back.

I guess the "senior" member you mentioned never used nor saw an analog scope before, yes, I'm pretty sure if it, as most popular analog scopes screen size are smaller than DS1054Z.

Here an example, my DS1104Z (which has identical screen size and font with DS1054Z) on top/vs popular analog Tek scope's screen, which I believe represents most analog scopes screen size. And yes, this particular analog scope model has text readout, which is smaller than DS1054Z's font.

« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 01:04:52 am by BravoV »
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #32 on: January 12, 2018, 02:47:51 am »
Another option might be an Analog Discovery. It's a little gadget designed for learning electronics and has a built-in oscilloscope with enough bandwidth for "Arduino" work (also for Audio work, where its fancy 14-bit DAC shines).
The 10MHz bandwidth isn't quite enough for digital signals from the Arduino, but the 16-bit 100MS/s logic analyser is fast enough - and the 16-bit pattern generator is the digital equivalent of the AWG..

Are you looking at the old one? The ADII has "30MHz+" bandwidth and 100Msamples/sec.

http://store.digilentinc.com/analog-discovery-2-100msps-usb-oscilloscope-logic-analyzer-and-variable-power-supply/

I have an AD, and it always was a very generous 10MHz (i.e. <<3dB down).

However, the AD2's 30MHz makes it even more of a no-brainer!
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline tggzzz

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #33 on: January 12, 2018, 03:08:54 am »
I guess the "senior" member you mentioned never used nor saw an analog scope before, yes, I'm pretty sure if it, as most popular analog scopes screen size are smaller than DS1054Z.

It doesn't take much thought to realise that "size" is a meaningless and misleading metric w.r.t. usability. A couple of examples...

The original Apple Macs had a more readable and usable screen than the contemporary IBM PCs -- because they had a smaller screen and despite having lower resolution.

If bigger is better, then presumably you would be very impressed with one a display made from NeoPixels!
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline GeorgeOfTheJungle

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #34 on: January 12, 2018, 03:22:20 am »
The Rigol font isn't especially small or different than other 'scopes.

It should be a readable Sans Serif font but is a Serif

Really?

Look: http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/rigol-ds1000z-series-font-size/msg555711/#msg555711

"Re: Ridiculously small Rigol DS1000z series font size
« Reply #35 on: 22-11-2014, 16:44:06 »
They did partially fix it with firmware 04.*. They changed the font used for displaying measurements, it's now a sans-serif instead of a serif, which makes it easier to read, even if it is still the same size.

As mentioned above, they added a "large" option for the measurements, it doubles the font size and makes it bold. Doesn't look great design wise (overlaps with the trace area), but it's useful when you're sitting at more than arms length from the scope.

I wouldn't call it perfect, but it doesn't annoy me everytime I look at the measurements anymore."
 

Online BravoV

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #35 on: January 12, 2018, 03:23:58 am »
If bigger is better, then presumably you would be very impressed with one a display made from NeoPixels!

Yep, I've been dreaming of such huge wall display made from that at home at one of my lab's wall, view from the right distance of course, especially for my aging eyes, that will be awesome.  :-+
 

Offline GeorgeOfTheJungle

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #36 on: January 12, 2018, 03:28:24 am »

I guess the "senior" member you mentioned never used nor saw an analog scope before, yes, I'm pretty sure if it, as most popular analog scopes screen size are smaller than DS1054Z.


I'd swear the characters on e.g. a tek 2232 are larger even though its screen is smaller. And, at least for me, easier to read, that's for sure.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 04:26:35 am by GeorgeOfTheJungle »
 

Offline kelchm

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #37 on: January 12, 2018, 03:43:06 am »
He also mentioned a "very limited budget" but the Siglent pushers have no problem ignoring it.

Yes, how dare I suggest someone take a look at an alternative to the 1054Z and decide for themselves.  ::)
 

Online mtdoc

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #38 on: January 12, 2018, 03:43:52 am »
I have an AD, and it always was a very generous 10MHz (i.e. <<3dB down).

However, the AD2's 30MHz makes it even more of a no-brainer!

The scope and FG hardware is identical in the AD and AD2. Scope bandwidth is the same (i.e. 30 MHz). The “10MHz” was a misguided marketing decision by Digilent not to confuse students with -3dB considerations This is documented in the original AD technical document and confirmed by side by side comparisons. There have been previous discussions about this here.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 03:59:40 am by mtdoc »
 

Offline David Hess

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #39 on: January 12, 2018, 03:50:38 am »
I guess the "senior" member you mentioned never used nor saw an analog scope before, yes, I'm pretty sure if it, as most popular analog scopes screen size are smaller than DS1054Z.

Here an example, my DS1104Z (which has identical screen size and font with DS1054Z) on top/vs popular analog Tek scope's screen, which I believe represents most analog scopes screen size. And yes, this particular analog scope model has text readout, which is smaller than DS1054Z's font.

The difference is that oscilloscope CRTs of that size have higher resolution than the DS1054Z LCD despite being smaller.

6x4.2 inch 800x480 LCD 133dpi
3.94x3.15 inch 1000x800 CRT 254dpi

The vertical CRT resolution on a Tektronix 2230/2232 is 4 times higher than the ADC resolution. If you look closely, you can *see* the ADC steps; they are not a display artifact and instead are the display accurately rendering the ADC's quantization.  This becomes apparent when averaging is used and a diagonal trace turns smooth with no antialiasing or other display processing.  The same high CRT resolution makes the readout easier to read even if the readout text is smaller and in some cases, the readout characters are generated using vectors instead of a raster further increasing their clarity.

For technical reasons having to do with the CRT being designed for higher bandwidth, the Tektronix 2465B in your example is not quite that good but it is still better than any DSO LCD.  The 2465B also uses a raster instead of vectors for its readout characters which I think was a step backwards.

Maybe at some point DSOs with "retina" displays will become available.  Then they will have caught up with 30 years ago.

The original Apple Macs had a more readable and usable screen than the contemporary IBM PCs -- because they had a smaller screen and despite having lower resolution.

The Macintosh 512×342 display looked better than the 640×200 CGA PC display most people used but not better then the MGA/Hercules 720×350 display commonly used in business.
 

Offline David Hess

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #40 on: January 12, 2018, 03:54:24 am »
I think the bandwidth part of the hack is the least interesting or important part of the hack. I am rarely, if ever, finding myself needing it if I am being honest. I always laugh hearing about the hobbyists chasing high bandwidth, 10 bit adcs, and fft for use with their Arduino projects. You just don't need it. 4 channels on the other hand, advanced trigger options and serial decoding, all very relevant for the hobbyist.

No amount of finesse can make up for inadequate bandwidth but it is often possible to get by with fewer channels especially if you make use of the external trigger.

Instead of thinking in terms of bandwidth, think in terms of transition time.  25 MHz TTL is about 3.5 nanoseconds which is 100 MHz for an oscilloscope.  100 MHz FAST and AS TTL is almost 1 nanosecond which is 350 MHz.  Common low voltage CMOS logic is closer to the later than the former and no matter what the clock speed is, the fast edge is what matters and a 100 MHz oscilloscope can completely miss problems like double clocking even with the "slow" logic associated with an Arduino.

I do the same thing rstofer does.  I have a 100 MHz DSO for general purpose use and inexpensive used analog oscilloscopes for high bandwidth when needed for signal integrity analysis.

 

Online mtdoc

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #41 on: January 12, 2018, 03:56:34 am »
I remember reading a thread where a senior member of the forum complained about the font size on the 1054z. Maybe this is something worth considering. I don't have the rigol so I can't really say. I played around with the Micsig and it's a nice scope but it's definitely different from the norm. Scope wise all of these new entry level scopes are great bang for buck, you can't go wrong. They're a far cry from the cheap digital scopes from 10 years back.

I guess the "senior" member you mentioned never used nor saw an analog scope before, yes, I'm pretty sure if it, as most popular analog scopes screen size are smaller than DS1054Z.

The issue is the amount of tiny video screen colored text required to operate a 1054z scope, not the font size on the controls which anyone familiar with a scope will not have to regularly read. Multiple menus and submenus and on screen data, decodes... oi vay! If you’re not over 50 you may not understand.

I sometimes had problems even on my Rigol 2072 which has a bigger screen than the 1054z.  On the other hand, i have no issues with my Tek 2467 which has a slightly smaller screen than the 2465b.

My R&S RB2004 is a joy with it’s large screen!
 

Online BravoV

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #42 on: January 12, 2018, 03:59:19 am »
I remember reading a thread where a senior member of the forum complained about the font size on the 1054z. Maybe this is something worth considering. I don't have the rigol so I can't really say. I played around with the Micsig and it's a nice scope but it's definitely different from the norm. Scope wise all of these new entry level scopes are great bang for buck, you can't go wrong. They're a far cry from the cheap digital scopes from 10 years back.

I guess the "senior" member you mentioned never used nor saw an analog scope before, yes, I'm pretty sure if it, as most popular analog scopes screen size are smaller than DS1054Z.

The issue is the amount of tiny video screen colored text required to operate a 1054z scope, not the font size on the controls which anyone familiar with a scope will not have to regularly read. Multiple menus and submenus and on screen data, decodes... oi vay! If you’re not over 50 you may not understand.

I sometimes had problems even on my Rigol 2072 which has a bigger screen than the 1054z.  On the other hand, i have no issues with my Tek 2467 which has a slightly smaller screen than the 2465b.

My R&S RB2004 is a joy with it’s large screen!

Ok, may be I should wait till I'm over 50, probably my preference will be different, noted.
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #43 on: January 12, 2018, 04:07:11 am »
If bigger is better, then presumably you would be very impressed with one a display made from NeoPixels!

Yep, I've been dreaming of such huge wall display made from that at home at one of my lab's wall, view from the right distance of course, especially for my aging eyes, that will be awesome.  :-+

Can I suggest that an overnight visit to Procrustes (in Attica, Greece) could improve the ergonomics of working on such a bench!
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline tggzzz

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #44 on: January 12, 2018, 04:12:16 am »
Ok, may be I should wait till I'm over 50, probably my preference will be different, noted.

And then you'll also scream against the current fashion for saving ink by printing thin grey characters - and wasting ink by having a grey background.

When I got reading glasses at ~43, my doctor said "right on time".
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline egonotto

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #45 on: January 12, 2018, 05:28:12 am »
Quote from: tggzzz
I have an AD, and it always was a very generous 10MHz (i.e. <<3dB down).

However, the AD2's 30MHz makes it even more of a no-brainer!
[/quote

Hello,

AD and AD2 have the same bandwidth

Best regards
egonotto
 

Offline Old Printer

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #46 on: January 12, 2018, 06:16:55 am »
Digilent specs the Analog Discovery to 30Mhz for the scope and 12Mhz for the AWG with the addition of the $20 BNC add-on board. I would have a PC at my bench anyway, and the ability to use two large monitors is a huge plus to my 65 year old eyes. I still expect to get a stand alone digital scope, but mostly for the 4 channels. I like the large monitors so much I am seriously considering a PICO scope.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #47 on: January 12, 2018, 06:23:08 am »
Do many modern scopes support an external monitor? My Tek DSOs both have VGA outputs I can use to connect as big a monitor as I want.
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #48 on: January 12, 2018, 06:47:46 am »
If you are looking for bargains and, given you are in the US, you may want to take a look at the clearance bins of Rigol and Tequipment:

https://www.tequipment.net/Rigol/DS1054Z-B/Digital-Oscilloscopes/?v=54585
https://www.rigolna.com/clearance/

I bought my oscilloscope from Rigol's clearance bin and I had an excellent experience.

You can also look at eBay, especially some bargains at Keysight (ex-HP or Agilent) used store:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Keysight-EDUX1002A-InfiniiVision-Digital-Storage-Oscilloscope-50-MHz-2-Channel-/192163107184?hash=item2cbdd05170
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Keysight-Used-DSO1072B-Oscilloscope-2-channel-70-MHz-16k-m-Agilent-/173090947637?hash=item284d064235
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Offline David Hess

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #49 on: January 12, 2018, 07:01:14 am »
The issue is the amount of tiny video screen colored text required to operate a 1054z scope, not the font size on the controls which anyone familiar with a scope will not have to regularly read. Multiple menus and submenus and on screen data, decodes... oi vay! If you’re not over 50 you may not understand.

I sometimes had problems even on my Rigol 2072 which has a bigger screen than the 1054z.  On the other hand, i have no issues with my Tek 2467 which has a slightly smaller screen than the 2465b.

My R&S RB2004 is a joy with it’s large screen!

For a while DSOs routinely came with VGA outputs so an external monitor could be used.  This usually does not help with resolution but the size then becomes a matter of money and space.
 

Online mtdoc

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #50 on: January 12, 2018, 07:37:11 am »
The issue is the amount of tiny video screen colored text required to operate a 1054z scope, not the font size on the controls which anyone familiar with a scope will not have to regularly read. Multiple menus and submenus and on screen data, decodes... oi vay! If you’re not over 50 you may not understand.

I sometimes had problems even on my Rigol 2072 which has a bigger screen than the 1054z.  On the other hand, i have no issues with my Tek 2467 which has a slightly smaller screen than the 2465b.

My R&S RB2004 is a joy with it’s large screen!

For a while DSOs routinely came with VGA outputs so an external monitor could be used.  This usually does not help with resolution but the size then becomes a matter of money and space.

Hopefully all DSOs will start to go the same route R&S did with the RB2000 scopes - a built in wifi accessible web browser display and interface.
 

Online tautech

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #51 on: January 12, 2018, 07:45:05 am »
Hopefully all DSOs will start to go the same route R&S did with the RB2000 scopes - a built in wifi accessible web browser display and interface.
The new SDS1*04X-E has this too with either the LAN connection or the optional WiFi interface.

No more NIVISA or additional SW to remotely access or control a DSO.  :-+
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Offline David Hess

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #52 on: January 12, 2018, 10:53:22 am »
For a while DSOs routinely came with VGA outputs so an external monitor could be used.  This usually does not help with resolution but the size then becomes a matter of money and space.

Hopefully all DSOs will start to go the same route R&S did with the RB2000 scopes - a built in wifi accessible web browser display and interface.

I would never by choice buy an oscilloscope or other test instrument which included built in Wifi.  I have no interest in wirelessly networked test instruments because of its security problems and because it becomes obsolete practically immediately.  If I want wireless networking, then I will use an access point through the wired network interface.

A direct monitor connection has the virtue of no practical latency unlike a network connection and Wifi just makes this even worse.  At this point, I have gotten used to browser applications having more latency then the serial terminal connected CP/M systems that I used in the past and they have only gotten worse as time goes by.
 

Offline Helix70

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #53 on: January 12, 2018, 02:07:18 pm »
I think the bandwidth part of the hack is the least interesting or important part of the hack. I am rarely, if ever, finding myself needing it if I am being honest. I always laugh hearing about the hobbyists chasing high bandwidth, 10 bit adcs, and fft for use with their Arduino projects. You just don't need it. 4 channels on the other hand, advanced trigger options and serial decoding, all very relevant for the hobbyist.

No amount of finesse can make up for inadequate bandwidth but it is often possible to get by with fewer channels especially if you make use of the external trigger.

Instead of thinking in terms of bandwidth, think in terms of transition time.  25 MHz TTL is about 3.5 nanoseconds which is 100 MHz for an oscilloscope.  100 MHz FAST and AS TTL is almost 1 nanosecond which is 350 MHz.  Common low voltage CMOS logic is closer to the later than the former and no matter what the clock speed is, the fast edge is what matters and a 100 MHz oscilloscope can completely miss problems like double clocking even with the "slow" logic associated with an Arduino.

I do the same thing rstofer does.  I have a 100 MHz DSO for general purpose use and inexpensive used analog oscilloscopes for high bandwidth when needed for signal integrity analysis.

Never, in all of my years, has this been an issue for me, and I am a professional engineer. I have a 100Mhz scope at work (a fancy one admittedly), and it shows every digital signal I am likely to ever need just fine. Don't confuse the timebase with the sampling rate.

I am not saying some people don't need more than 100Mhz, that is stupid. What I am saying is hobbyists benefit the least from bandwidth increases in scopes, as they probably are not getting the appropriate probes to handle the rise times anyway. They also don't understand probe impedance, and ground lead length and all of a sudden, they are seeing stuff on the screen that just isn't real.

Keyword = hobbyist.
 

Online mtdoc

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #54 on: January 12, 2018, 02:35:02 pm »
I would never by choice buy an oscilloscope or other test instrument which included built in Wifi.  I have no interest in wirelessly networked test instruments because of its security problems and because it becomes obsolete practically immediately.  If I want wireless networking, then I will use an access point through the wired network interface.

My RB2004 is only networked in the sense that it is connected to a single computer (or sometimes a tablet) and there is no internet connection to that router.  I have an old WiFi router dedicated to the purpose. It could just as easily be a wired connection- I just prefer no wires. Not sure why you would be concerned about security.. and what is going to become obsolete??

There really is no noticeable latency. See Mikes review video - he felt the same.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 02:41:47 pm by mtdoc »
 

Offline beanflying

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #55 on: January 12, 2018, 02:58:36 pm »
I started with 20MHz scopes in secondary school, nicer HP stuff in Uni and brought my 20MHz usb Hantek Scope/Logic quite a few years ago thinking it would be all I would need. Jumping ahead a few years the bus decoding/MSO is becoming more important to me as a feature much more than a bandwidth increase being needed.

To get the fancier features I wanted I found myself pushed up to the 100MHz which then became a juggle between branded older s/hand (Agilent 54622D most likely) or looking at the usual list of Asian built modern ones. Sifting through the current frequently changing range is hard work and distilling actual features from bs and hype is also a battle. This seems like it will get harder as manufacturers compete to win a chunk of this lower end market.
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Offline DDunfield

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #56 on: January 12, 2018, 11:30:03 pm »
I think the bandwidth part of the hack is the least interesting or important part of the hack. I am rarely, if ever, finding myself needing it if I am being honest. I always laugh hearing about the hobbyists chasing high bandwidth, 10 bit adcs, and fft for use with their Arduino projects. You just don't need it. 4 channels on the other hand, advanced trigger options and serial decoding, all very relevant for the hobbyist.

No amount of finesse can make up for inadequate bandwidth but it is often possible to get by with fewer channels especially if you make use of the external trigger.

Instead of thinking in terms of bandwidth, think in terms of transition time.  25 MHz TTL is about 3.5 nanoseconds which is 100 MHz for an oscilloscope.  100 MHz FAST and AS TTL is almost 1 nanosecond which is 350 MHz.  Common low voltage CMOS logic is closer to the later than the former and no matter what the clock speed is, the fast edge is what matters and a 100 MHz oscilloscope can completely miss problems like double clocking even with the "slow" logic associated with an Arduino..

The point I was trying to make (and didn't actually state as such apparently) is that if you want the "best" scope (for YOU .. there is no best scope for everyone) you really need to figure out your requirements - I know this may not be easy for a hobbyist setting up a home lab, but you should be able to come up with a pretty good idea of the types of things you want to work on - from that determine your NEEDS and WANTS, do some research is pick the scope that best suits these parameters. If you just ask "what scope should I buy" in a forum like this, you will get information based on others peoples needs and biases.

It is easy to fall into the trap of "What if I need to see this someday" - one could argue that digital signals really want to be square waves, and in order to see every nuance of a square signal you really should get yourself an infinite bandwidth scope with infinite sample rate - then there would NEVER be an artifact that you would not be able to see, even as technology gets faster and faster.

Unfortunately such a scope is unobtanium and the ones that come closest to that goal are VERY far beyond the reach of most small companies and hobbyists and usually need some pretty serious budget approval even in a large company.

So clearly a compromise in in order.

Through the 70-90's myself and other colleagues worked on TTL systems not realizing the 10-20Mhz scopes we could afford were too slow to be useful. But we saw everything we needed to see and produced a boatload of reliable products.

Were these 100Mhz or even 25Mhz TTL? NOPE  ... and I'd bet most of the signals hobbyists are driving out of their arduinos aren't either. As noted in my first post, if you are working on high-speed modern designs then yeah - you need uber-fast tools. But such design work is beyond the scope of most home-labs so planning (and spending) for it may not make sense.

I'm not saying YOU don't need a 100Mhz (or faster scope). Only YOU can determine what you actually NEED/WANT, and therefore only YOU can determine what is the "best" scope for YOU.

But be aware of the compromises. In chasing the holy-grail of bandwidth (and diverting your purchase dollars that way), you may end up spending a large about of your time "getting by" without capabilities and features that would make your work easier on a day to day basis - but only YOU can choose the right compromise.

Btw: If you're patient (or lucky) you might be able to come pretty close to the best of both world without spending a lot - My TDS380 cost me $30 ... a client was e-cycling it because "it had a bad input", so I brought it home and took a look - someone had replaced one BNC connector with a non-Tek part that swapped ground and probe sense .. a replacement cost me $30 and now it works perfectly.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 11:32:02 pm by DDunfield »
 

Offline DDunfield

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #57 on: January 12, 2018, 11:48:33 pm »
I would never by choice buy an oscilloscope or other test instrument which included built in Wifi.  I have no interest in wirelessly networked test instruments because of its security problems and because it becomes obsolete practically immediately.  If I want wireless networking, then I will use an access point through the wired network interface.

While I am of the same mindset, I do recall one wifi scope that looked interesting. I think it was Velleman who made it, and it had no on-device controls - you had to control it through a tablet or computer over WiFi and it had a built-in battery. In other words, in operation nothing touches the scope except the device under test.

It looked promising as a tool to use instead of "floating" a benchtop scope which is quite dangerous if you don't know what you are doing (actually it can be quite dangerous even if you do know what you are doing).

Unfortunately IIRC it was really low bandwidth, and the software was reported to be horrible and unsupported so I never did pick one up - but I did consider it.
 

Online tautech

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #58 on: January 13, 2018, 12:11:54 am »
I would never by choice buy an oscilloscope or other test instrument which included built in Wifi.  I have no interest in wirelessly networked test instruments because of its security problems and because it becomes obsolete practically immediately.  If I want wireless networking, then I will use an access point through the wired network interface.

While I am of the same mindset, I do recall one wifi scope that looked interesting. I think it was Velleman who made it, and it had no on-device controls - you had to control it through a tablet or computer over WiFi and it had a built-in battery. In other words, in operation nothing touches the scope except the device under test.

It looked promising as a tool to use instead of "floating" a benchtop scope which is quite dangerous if you don't know what you are doing (actually it can be quite dangerous even if you do know what you are doing).
This is a common albeit risky procedure and even with floating a 'remote control' scope, you're still limited to just use of one channel if other channels don't share the same reference point.
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Offline nealfox

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #59 on: January 13, 2018, 11:58:08 pm »
I wish to thank everyone who took the time to respond to my query.  It has been very helpful.  I did consider both the Analog Discovery and the MICSIG but prefer a traditional scope.
I’m going to order the Rigol DS1054Z from TEquipment.NET.  It is on sale for $349 which includes free software bundle.
 
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Offline Old Printer

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #60 on: January 14, 2018, 02:22:56 am »
Be aware Tequipment offers a discount to EEVBlog members. Also they have a clearance section for returned scopes resold at a slight discount, might be missing some packaging etc. you might get a 1054 for less than $300! But not by much :)
« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 02:26:07 am by Old Printer »
 

Offline nealfox

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #61 on: January 16, 2018, 12:55:59 am »
I ordered the Rigol DS1054Z from TEquipment.NET yesterday. The cost after the EEV Blog discount was $328.06 and it includes the software bundle.
 

Offline TurboSam

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #62 on: February 15, 2018, 07:52:33 am »
As my first EEVblog post, I want to say this thread has been REALLY helpful..... 

I have been trying for days to decide between two scopes, and suspect I have read everything I can find on each of the scopes more than once.  I have an old analog (Tek 2247A) I bought 5 or so years ago that I am still learning to use, but decided a new DSO would help me both with that and with some hobby electronics projects.

Thanks!

 
« Last Edit: February 15, 2018, 09:49:05 am by TurboSam »
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Offline tggzzz

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #63 on: February 15, 2018, 08:30:54 am »
When teaching people about scopes from first principles, I have found analogue scopes to be easier to teach than digital scopes.

Digital scopes are inherently more complex than analogue scopes, so there are more ways they can be subtly misleading (plus many have firmware bugs)

With analogue scopes all the controls are visible on the front panel. With digital scopes, many controls are out of sight buried in a menu system, plus there are more which affect the display in subtle and unobvious ways.

Of course sometimes a storage scope really is necessary, and nobody in their right mind wants to go back to analogue storage scopes.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline james_s

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #64 on: February 15, 2018, 08:56:58 am »
I think anyone should spend at least a few hours working with an analog scope, it's the easiest way to get a real grasp of what the scope is doing and showing you. I don't think it's necessarily worth buying one if one plans to get a digital scope anyway but at least try to borrow one. I still use my analog scope now and then, especially when I need XY mode.
 

Offline MT

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #65 on: February 15, 2018, 10:20:31 am »
I know that Rigol would have lost a LOT of sales if it wasn't hackable.
eg. If the Rigol wasn't hackable I'd probably be recommending the Goodwill Instek GDS1000B.

Yeees, now your talking! Welcome to the dark side! :D
 

Offline Muxr

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #66 on: February 16, 2018, 02:04:56 am »
It's really hard not to recommend the DS1054Z.

- It has 4ch, I've come to realize this is really handy for someone on a budget. You can for instance do A+B measurements on it in the absence of expensive differential probes. So even if you don't see yourself using all 4 channels often it is still a really nice option.

- All scopes have bugs, usually software glitches, or just plain wrong implementations of certain features. Particularly Chinese B brands, which will be all the scopes you're considering (unless you're looking at used dinosaurs). DS1054Z being the most popular of them all is the most well understood. DS1054Z has been put through its paces by the community, and you can bet that if you have a question about a specific nature of your issue with the scope.. there will be someone with an answer.

With that said:

- DS1054Z is getting little long in the tooth now. While it still offers the best bang per buck. If you can stretch your budget a bit you can get some more modern and more capable scopes. Like someone mentioning that Siglent 1104X-E ($500).. that to me looks like a nice upgrade over the DS1054Z. Again with all the issues I mentioned withstanding.

- The font on the DS1054Z is smallish. This may be an issue if your vision isn't all that great.

To conclude: You can't go wrong with the DS1054Z.. but there are other slightly more expensive scopes that are worth considering as well.
 
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Offline Fungus

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #67 on: February 16, 2018, 02:23:02 am »
I know that Rigol would have lost a LOT of sales if it wasn't hackable.
eg. If the Rigol wasn't hackable I'd probably be recommending the Goodwill Instek GDS1000B.

Yeees, now your talking! Welcome to the dark side! :D

But... the Rigol IS hackable.  :-//
 

Offline MT

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Re: Scope Purchase
« Reply #68 on: February 16, 2018, 03:00:45 am »
 Yes but;
Quote
I'd probably be recommending the Goodwill Instek GDS1000B.
  :)
 


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