Author Topic: How many multi-meters do I need to start?  (Read 6016 times)

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Offline bsas

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How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« on: February 13, 2018, 08:44:12 pm »
Hi,

I am starting on the "self-learning" path on electronics. But, I really want to focus on basic analog stuff first since I am a Sotware Developer and I don't want to go directly to digital electronics since they are "too close to home" for now :D

My first goal is to learn enough to satisfy my other main hobby: electric guitars.

I want to be able to build, understand and mod pedals, amps (specially tube ones), etc.

So, I think I need at least two multi-meters right? Do I need more than 2?

And what is the preferable ones to get (any combination, cheapest the better, so I can buy right away):
- EEVblog Brymen BM235;
- Fluke 17B+;
- Fluke 87V;
- Fluke 117;
- Other...???

Also, what do you guys recommend for a oscilloscope (I honestly think I will learn a lot from FFT and 0-20khz sweeps)?
- Rigol 1054Z;
- Analog Discovery 2;
- Other...???

Thanks!!!
 

Offline cowasaki

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2018, 08:55:05 pm »
If you are like me you will end up with lots!  I have 2 PM2525, a UNI-T 61E and maybe 4-5 others plus I'm buying a Keithley 2100 on Sunday :-)  Realistically two allows you to see a before and after value or current and voltage at the same time.  I would get one decent multimeter and 1 or 2 cheapish ones to be going on with.  You can see how accurate the cheap ones are by comparing them with the better one and what you CAN do is open up the cheaper one and calibrate it to the better one by adjusting the adjustment pots if they have any.  I quite rate the 61E and if you are getting a really decent main meter then that would make a great second one.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 08:58:17 pm by cowasaki »
 
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Offline Paul Rose

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2018, 09:00:36 pm »
You will get a wide variety of answers to this.

I like to have at least two meters: a good one like any of the 4 from your list ( I have the 87V ).  The second can just be a cheap one until you feel like you need a second good one.

I prefer a standalone scope, especially if I can only have one.  Rigol 1054Z or Siglent SDS1202X is a reasonable choice here
 
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Offline bsas

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2018, 09:06:11 pm »
So, do you suggest to have at least one really good one like the 87V? I was thinking about using the current good price/deal on the EEVblog BM235 and just get two of them.

What do you prefer and why? The Rigol 1054Z or Siglent SDS1202X?

Thanks!!!
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2018, 09:06:46 pm »
You NEED one multimeter. Two is better. Four is really good. I would recommend two. This gives you a way to measure current and voltage at the same time and also have a sanity check of one against the other. Get a good quality meter or two that won't let you down. There are so many to choose from that you will get many recommendations. Seeing as you want to reliably measure tube circuits, then get something that s better rated for those voltages, and actually has a real verified rating.

Suggestions:
Uni-T UT139C, Amprobe AM-5x0 series, Brymen BM235 or BM257S or BM319S, and some others. Don't buy the cheap crap. Nobody ever cried over buying quality.

If you can't afford two multimeters and an oscilloscope, then get the oscilloscope over a second meter. The DS1054Z is still the king of the cheap scope pile.

I would personally recommend the BM257S (or two) and a DS1054Z. This is a hard to beat measurement set and when you need something better you will know.

There is also no substitute for education and caution. If you are sure how to measure something ask, before you blow soemthing up, or you.
 
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Offline paulca

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2018, 09:10:37 pm »
You had to ask, didn't you.

The answer is "Some more"
"What could possibly go wrong?"
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Offline Lightages

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2018, 09:13:39 pm »
So, do you suggest to have at least one really good one like the 87V? I was thinking about using the current good price/deal on the EEVblog BM235 and just get two of them.

What do you prefer and why? The Rigol 1054Z or Siglent SDS1202X?

Thanks!!!

The Fluke 87V is an industry standard for electricians and general electronics. It has a good reputation and deservedly so. It is not the best buy for most people. Many other meters surpass its features and capabilities for a lower price. The BM869S is lower priced but beats it in almost every specification. Brymen also has a great reputation for reliability and construction and also has a higher CAT rating than the 87V.

The BM257S will do everything you need and at a much lower price. So much lower you can buy two for a lower price of the 87V. Don't buy the hype of the Fluke fanboys. Two Amprobe AM-510, or AM-530 would also serve you better than one 87V. I even believe you would be better served by one BM235 and one UT139C than one 87V.
 

Offline tautech

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2018, 09:14:31 pm »
The Rigol 1054Z or Siglent SDS1202X?
The 1054Z is 50 MHz whereas 1202X-E is 200 MHz !

The Rigol can be hacked to 100 MHz but still the Siglent outperforms it on several specs.
There's a table in the first post of this thread that you can better compare specs:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/siglent-sds1204x-e-released-for-domestic-markets-in-china/
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Offline bsas

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2018, 09:20:39 pm »
The problem is that the 1202X-E looks like it is discontinued (at least in https://www.tequipment.net/) and the "Suggested Replacement: DS2202A" is $1,205.10! Am I going to feel that much worse with the 1054Z? Remember that guitars (and audio in general) is more important anything in the 0-20khz range...

Is there any other scope on the $500ish range that is "better" than the "hacked" 1054Z (I have no issue hacking it to 100MHz).
 

Offline bsas

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2018, 09:21:36 pm »
How much "better" the BM257S is compared to the BM235 from the EEVBlog? Thanks!!!
 

Offline bsas

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2018, 09:37:59 pm »
The problem is that the 1202X-E looks like it is discontinued (at least in https://www.tequipment.net/) and the "Suggested Replacement: DS2202A" is $1,205.10! Am I going to feel that much worse with the 1054Z? Remember that guitars (and audio in general) is more important anything in the 0-20khz range...

Is there any other scope on the $500ish range that is "better" than the "hacked" 1054Z (I have no issue hacking it to 100MHz).

Ah! Found in Amazon the Siglent Technologies SDS1202X-E 200 mhz: https://www.amazon.com/Siglent-Technologies-SDS1202X-Oscilloscope-Channels/dp/B06XZML6RD/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1518557527&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=siglent+sds1204xe

- Is that the one you are referencing?

- If so, am I going to "miss" the 4 channels of the 1054Z for my application?

- How much better the FFT of that scope is compared to the 1054Z?

Thanks!
 

Offline tautech

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2018, 09:42:00 pm »
The problem is that the 1202X-E looks like it is discontinued (at least in https://www.tequipment.net/) and the "Suggested Replacement: DS2202A" is $1,205.10!
TE is not the only provider !
It's only been discontinued in their range as they lost Siglent distribution.
Look for it at Saelig and there's a thread here where you can ask and get the same 6% discount as an EEVblog member.
The problem is that the 1202X-E looks like it is discontinued (at least in https://www.tequipment.net/) and the "Suggested Replacement: DS2202A" is $1,205.10! Am I going to feel that much worse with the 1054Z? Remember that guitars (and audio in general) is more important anything in the 0-20khz range...

Is there any other scope on the $500ish range that is "better" than the "hacked" 1054Z (I have no issue hacking it to 100MHz).

Ah! Found in Amazon the Siglent Technologies SDS1202X-E 200 mhz: https://www.amazon.com/Siglent-Technologies-SDS1202X-Oscilloscope-Channels/dp/B06XZML6RD/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1518557527&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=siglent+sds1204xe

- Is that the one you are referencing?

- If so, am I going to "miss" the 4 channels of the 1054Z for my application?

- How much better the FFT of that scope is compared to the 1054Z?

Thanks!
Yep, but look at SDS1104X-E also if 4ch is a must have. I've already linked the thread.  ;)
The FFT of X-E models is far better.
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Offline rsjsouza

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2018, 09:44:47 pm »
The problem is that the 1202X-E looks like it is discontinued (at least in https://www.tequipment.net/) and the "Suggested Replacement: DS2202A" is $1,205.10! Am I going to feel that much worse with the 1054Z? Remember that guitars (and audio in general) is more important anything in the 0-20khz range...

Is there any other scope on the $500ish range that is "better" than the "hacked" 1054Z (I have no issue hacking it to 100MHz).
No, it is not. It is a dick move that Tequipment is doing to mark these items as discontinued when they are simply not selling Siglent gear anymore.

http://www.saelig.com/product/sds1202x-e.htm
https://www.amazon.com/Siglent-Technologies-SDS1202X-Oscilloscope-Channels/dp/B06XZML6RD

If you are interested in analog audio, I would be very biased towards the Siglent, given it is a more modern platform and has better FFT. Being a newer oscilloscope, it may have bugs to be fixed, though. There are some threads around here with discussions about this oscilloscope.
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Offline Lightages

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2018, 10:34:00 pm »
It seems we have a general consensus about the number of multimeters, but not he brand of an oscilloscope. It is arguable if a higher bandwidth or more channels are better. IMHO, for audio use as the OP has specified, more channels are king. A hacked DS1054Z will have much more than adequate bandwidth, 4 channels, and have all the other added extras for other work for less than the Siglent. 100MHz isnot really that much less than 200Mhz in real world use, but 2 channels more is a huge benefit.
 
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Offline bsas

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2018, 10:35:13 pm »
...
Look for it at Saelig and there's a thread here where you can ask and get the same 6% discount as an EEVblog member.
...

How can I get the discount? I can't find the code in the thread...
 

Offline ez24

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2018, 10:36:09 pm »
12
YouTube and Website Electronic Resources ------>  https://www.eevblog.com/forum/other-blog-specific/a/msg1341166/#msg1341166
 
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Offline bsas

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2018, 10:38:17 pm »
It seems we have a general consensus about the number of multimeters, but not he brand of an oscilloscope. It is arguable if a higher bandwidth or more channels are better. IMHO, for audio use as the OP has specified, more channels are king. A hacked DS1054Z will have much more than adequate bandwidth, 4 channels, and have all the other added extras for other work for less than the Siglent. 100MHz isnot really that much less than 200Mhz in real world use, but 2 channels more is a huge benefit.

But does the FFT and other evaluation functions are so much better in the Siglent that it gets over the lack of 2 channels?

rsjsouza states that "If you are interested in analog audio, I would be very biased towards the Siglent, given it is a more modern platform and has better FFT". Why? How much better? Is the FFT in the Rigol useless (toy feature) compared to the Siglent one? Why the "modern platform" matters?

Thanks guys!!! :D
 

Offline bsas

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2018, 10:39:18 pm »
12

42?... What 12 suppose to mean? :D
 

Offline tautech

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2018, 10:45:17 pm »
It seems we have a general consensus about the number of multimeters, but not he brand of an oscilloscope. It is arguable if a higher bandwidth or more channels are better. IMHO, for audio use as the OP has specified, more channels are king. A hacked DS1054Z will have much more than adequate bandwidth, 4 channels, and have all the other added extras for other work for less than the Siglent. 100MHz isnot really that much less than 200Mhz in real world use, but 2 channels more is a huge benefit.

But does the FFT and other evaluation functions are so much better in the Siglent that it gets over the lack of 2 channels?
You're missing the fact that there's 2 and 4ch X-E's.
Look here, grab the datasheets and take your time to have a good study.
https://www.siglentamerica.com/digital-oscilloscopes/sds1000x-e-series-super-phosphor-oscilloscopes/


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Offline tautech

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2018, 10:47:25 pm »
12
:-DD  :-+

I need a few more then as I can only count ~10.  :)
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Offline bsas

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2018, 10:50:56 pm »
It seems we have a general consensus about the number of multimeters, but not he brand of an oscilloscope. It is arguable if a higher bandwidth or more channels are better. IMHO, for audio use as the OP has specified, more channels are king. A hacked DS1054Z will have much more than adequate bandwidth, 4 channels, and have all the other added extras for other work for less than the Siglent. 100MHz isnot really that much less than 200Mhz in real world use, but 2 channels more is a huge benefit.

But does the FFT and other evaluation functions are so much better in the Siglent that it gets over the lack of 2 channels?
You're missing the fact that there's 2 and 4ch X-E's.
Look here, grab the datasheets and take your time to have a good study.
https://www.siglentamerica.com/digital-oscilloscopes/sds1000x-e-series-super-phosphor-oscilloscopes/

I am not, but:
1) The "cheaper" SDS1104X-E 4 channel one is 100MHz instead of 200MHz, so, what is the benefit over the Rigol 1054Z hacked (it is a $150 price difference)?
2) The SDS1204X-E 200MHz is double the price of the 2 channel one (or the Rigol one), so, it is far off my price range unfortunately.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 10:52:27 pm by bsas »
 

Offline tautech

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2018, 11:00:05 pm »
It seems we have a general consensus about the number of multimeters, but not he brand of an oscilloscope. It is arguable if a higher bandwidth or more channels are better. IMHO, for audio use as the OP has specified, more channels are king. A hacked DS1054Z will have much more than adequate bandwidth, 4 channels, and have all the other added extras for other work for less than the Siglent. 100MHz isnot really that much less than 200Mhz in real world use, but 2 channels more is a huge benefit.

But does the FFT and other evaluation functions are so much better in the Siglent that it gets over the lack of 2 channels?
You're missing the fact that there's 2 and 4ch X-E's.
Look here, grab the datasheets and take your time to have a good study.
https://www.siglentamerica.com/digital-oscilloscopes/sds1000x-e-series-super-phosphor-oscilloscopes/

I am not, but:
1) The "cheaper" SDS1104X-E 4 channel one is 100MHz instead of 200MHz, so, what is the benefit over the Rigol 1054Z hacked (it is a $150 price difference)?
2) The SDS1204X-E 200MHz is double the price of the 2 channel one (or the Rigol one), so, it is far off my price range unfortunately.
OK so you'd like 4 channels, fine.
Are you happy with hacking a unit to 100 MHz ?
Have you carefully compared specs to discover the vast differences in capabilities between the two brands ?

There's a heap of info on the forum about each model's capabilities, strengths and weaknesses so take some good time to really study it. Will a bit more time to do so matter ?
Yes, I can just say buy this one but it's your money and after doing some homework YOU make the choice and NOT me !
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Online james_s

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2018, 11:16:01 pm »
99% of the time I only need one multimeter, occasionally it's handy to have two. You'll know if/when you need more than that.

Get one decent meter and focus on learning how to use it properly rather than trying to amass a whole collection of them.
 
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Offline joeqsmith

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2018, 11:32:44 pm »
My first brand new meter was an analog one from Radio Shack.  I used it for many years into my adult life and did a fair amount of tube work with it. 

Wait until you actually need more or better equipment before you buy it.  You may learn enough by then to know what you need. 
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Offline tggzzz

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2018, 12:33:47 am »
So, I think I need at least two multi-meters right? Do I need more than 2?

You need two multimeters if and only if you need to make two measurements at the same time.

So far you haven't specified measurements you need to make, let alone more than one at once.

As to how "good" a meter you need, for many measurements you only need 1% accuracy, so even an analogue meter would do. And, as somebody interested in audio, you already realise that sometimes analogue displays are better than digital displays.

So, buy something cheap but safe, and when you know you can't use that you will automatically know what you need to buy.

Read my .sig, and remember that buying expensive equipment doesn't buy skill nor does it buy useful results.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline bsas

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2018, 12:42:11 am »
(...)
OK so you'd like 4 channels, fine.
Are you happy with hacking a unit to 100 MHz ?
Have you carefully compared specs to discover the vast differences in capabilities between the two brands ?

There's a heap of info on the forum about each model's capabilities, strengths and weaknesses so take some good time to really study it. Will a bit more time to do so matter ?
Yes, I can just say buy this one but it's your money and after doing some homework YOU make the choice and NOT me !

Please don't be angry at me :(
Sorry if I sounded somehow challenging, I didn't want to. I am just super confused about the billion specs a scope has and which ones I will miss.

So:

- "OK so you'd like 4 channels, fine."
-> I don't know if I need 4 channels, that is one of the things I am asking...

- "Are you happy with hacking a unit to 100 MHz ?"
-> Yes, I am fine hacking it.

- "Have you carefully compared specs to discover the vast differences in capabilities between the two brands ?"
-> Yes, I am reading everything you guys pointed to me, specially this really detailed comparison on the forum (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/siglent-sds1204x-e-released-for-domestic-markets-in-china/1) but, it is A LOT of specs and terms that I don't know what they mean, and that is why I am asking.

- "There's a heap of info on the forum about each model's capabilities, strengths and weaknesses so take some good time to really study it. Will a bit more time to do so matter ?
Yes, I can just say buy this one but it's your money and after doing some homework YOU make the choice and NOT me !"

-> I know that (and that is the part I am worried if somehow I made you angry with me). But, again, I am kind of lost on all the specs and I am not sure what I really need...

I kind of decided to go with (based on my price range):
- 2x EEVBlog BM235;
- 1x µCurrent™ GOLD;
(both purchases are also aimed to help David and the EEVBlog)

- 1x scope that will be the Rigol 1054Z or the Siglent SDS1202X-E
(still undecided here, that is why I am poking the forum...)

Again, thanks! All your replies are being super useful to finalize my decision! :D

 

Offline tautech

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2018, 12:54:21 am »
bsas
I'm trying to help but please understand as a Siglent distributor I have to temper my replies and not seem totally one eyed. All I can do is point you to the heap of info here and hope you take some good time to study it. You will get some other opinions, both for and against.
Just take your time to drill into threads and links within.

Another recent thread on DSO questions/selection:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/hobby-oscilloscopes-what-additional-features-do-you-want/

I'll bow out now and only come back if you've been given some wrong info.
Best of luck.
 
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Online rstofer

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2018, 12:54:56 am »
I bought a couple of the EEVblog meters.  They are excellent.  They don't match my Fluke 189 but they are good enough for the bench.  I have several other meters but I would suggest the EEVblog meter as better than most of them.

I haven't been impressed with the FFT on the DS1054Z.  OTOH, I don't foresee using the FFT as my interests are digital.  There is also the possibility that my issues are operator related.

If I want a good FFT I will use my Analog Discovery 2.  There are reviews elsewhere but it is quite handy, particularly if your interest is in the audio range.  Make sure you use 10:1 probes and the probe adapter kit.  The allowed input voltage for the AD2 isn't all that high and it's important to pay attention to that and all the other specs.  I don't want to let the magic smoke get out!

The new Siglent SDS1104Z-E will match up with the DS1054Z (unlocked) and it costs an additional $150.  It would be nice to have the improved features of the Siglent and if I were buying new about a year from now, the Siglent would be at the top of the list.  The one year wait is to give them time to upgrade the firmware a couple of times and if they don't have the bugs out by then, I would look at something else.  Sure, delaying is easy for me, I have the Rigol and I still have my Tek 485.  I haven't been following the Siglent threads so I really don't know much about the current situation.

By now, the DS1054Z is about bug free.  It took a couple of years but Rigol kept after it.  The remaining issues are design related and they're not the kind of things that can be fixed.  What we have is what we're going to get.

I want the 200 MHz version of the Siglent but it seems terribly expensive.  I probably won't buy it.  If I didn't already have the Rigol I might.  200 MHz is a lot better for my needs.  Of course, I can always use my 350 MHz Tek 485 is I don't need the DSO features.  It's a very good scope!

My money?  Two of the EEVblog meters (primarily to help the cause) and the DS1054Z (unlocked).  BTW, most of the features come unlocked under the new reduced pricing plan.  Check TEquipment for details.
 
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Online rstofer

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2018, 12:58:55 am »
Network analysis (Bode' Plots) are really easy to do with the Analog Discovery 2.  It is one of my favorite features as I try to describe simple filters to my grandson.  One graph shows it all!

Down the road, you might want to pick up one of these gadgets.  It will do a lot of stuff that won't happen on any scope I can afford.  There is also the benefit of a 27" screen (on my PC).
 
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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2018, 01:03:35 am »
bsas
I'm trying to help but please understand as a Siglent distributor I have to temper my replies and not seem totally one eyed. All I can do is point you to the heap of info here and hope you take some good time to study it. You will get some other opinions, both for and against.
Just take your time to drill into threads and links within.

Another recent thread on DSO questions/selection:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/hobby-oscilloscopes-what-additional-features-do-you-want/

I'll bow out now and only come back if you've been given some wrong info.
Best of luck.

Totally understand, and thanks a lot for all the info! :D
 
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Offline imidis

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #30 on: February 14, 2018, 01:10:38 am »
To some, it's an addiction, to others it's a way of life.  :)
Gone for good
 

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #31 on: February 14, 2018, 01:24:18 pm »
12
:-DD  :-+

I need a few more then as I can only count ~10.  :)

I am quite behind the bell curve it seems, I only have 8. 8)
That which doesn't kill you still requires a co-pay.
 

Offline bsas

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #32 on: February 14, 2018, 02:37:15 pm »
Network analysis (Bode' Plots) are really easy to do with the Analog Discovery 2.  It is one of my favorite features as I try to describe simple filters to my grandson.  One graph shows it all!

Down the road, you might want to pick up one of these gadgets.  It will do a lot of stuff that won't happen on any scope I can afford.  There is also the benefit of a 27" screen (on my PC).

Noob question: so, to measure for example an EQ curve from 0Hz-20kHz, do you use the network analysis feature? If so, what would be similar with a regular scope? Thanks!!!
 

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #33 on: February 14, 2018, 02:53:52 pm »
Network analysis (Bode' Plots) are really easy to do with the Analog Discovery 2.  It is one of my favorite features as I try to describe simple filters to my grandson.  One graph shows it all!

Down the road, you might want to pick up one of these gadgets.  It will do a lot of stuff that won't happen on any scope I can afford.  There is also the benefit of a 27" screen (on my PC).

Noob question: so, to measure for example an EQ curve from 0Hz-20kHz, do you use the network analysis feature? If so, what would be similar with a regular scope? Thanks!!!

I know exactly diddly about audio;  I have no idea what an EQ curve looks like.

The conventional Bode' Plot displays attenuation and phase shift versus frequency.  The 'attenuation' can also be 'gain' so basically it is Vout for a constant Vin over some frequency range.

https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Control_Systems/Bode_Plots

Just think of an RC low pass filter.  We apply a known voltage to the resistor input and measure the voltage across the capacitor as well as the phase shift.

This is trivial on the Analog Discovery 2 and is, in fact, automated with the Network Analysis tool.  It is certainly possible to do the same thing with any similar network even if, internally, it is an amplifier.  The output magnitude and phase shift is measured over frequency.

Dave did a video on making a Bode' Plot on an oscilloscope.  I don't remember the details but it wasn't anywhere near as full-featured as the AD 2.


https://hackaday.com/2013/08/19/bode-plots-on-an-oscilloscope/
 
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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #34 on: February 14, 2018, 02:56:45 pm »
Of course, it is also possible to just stuff in a signal at some frequency and measure the output with a DMM.  A spreadsheet will produce the graph.  Phase might require a scope.

AD2 approach:


« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 03:04:11 pm by rstofer »
 
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Offline trevers

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #35 on: February 14, 2018, 03:12:05 pm »
I see lots of people recommending the Brymen meters. Don't bother looking because you cannot easily buy them in the states.  :palm:
 

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #36 on: February 14, 2018, 03:17:33 pm »
AD2 approach:
SDS1*04X-E approach:



Posted by rf-loop in previously linked thread.

Sweep source is either a standalone SDG**** or DSO's optional USB 25 MHz SAG1021 AWG
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Offline bsas

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #37 on: February 14, 2018, 04:23:48 pm »
By the way, is there any other main feature difference between the SDS1204X-E and the SDS1104X-E (besides the 100MHz vs 200MHz obviously)?

Because looks like the SDS1202X-E doesn’t support bode plots but the *04X-E supports.
 

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #38 on: February 14, 2018, 04:49:50 pm »
While these capabilities in the Siglent scopes are fairly exciting, I'd like to point out that the Analog Discovery 2 is rather capable when it comes to FFT/Spectrum/Network Analyzers, as long as you can live with the 10MHz limitation. The 14bit ADC gives you useful vertical resolution (noise floor is around -80dB when just playing around on a breadboard). Horizontal resolution is selectable in 1-2-5 intervals from 10 to 10000 points, so that's nice too.

I suggest you download and try their Waveforms software. It has simulated demo devices, so you see what the capabilities are before you buy the hardware.
 
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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #39 on: February 14, 2018, 05:16:37 pm »
In addition to requiring the more expensive scope model, there are two options required: an external signal generator ($159) and firmware ($109) which means, if you have to buy the firmware, adding the Bode' Plot feature costs as much as an AD2 complete (more or less).

https://store.siglentamerica.com/product/sds1204x-e-200-mhz/

That SDS1204X-E is looking better all the time.

In the image linked above, I can't really see the phase trace.

If I add up all the options for the SDS1204X-E, the price gets pretty high ($1583).

I already have a really nice Siglent SDG2082X Arbitrary Waveform Generator that I bought at exactly this time last year.

This is the kind of project that justifies a LOT of test equipment:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/a-valentine's-day-activity-for-your-scope-and-function-generator/msg1136847/#msg1136847
 
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Offline Kalvin

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #40 on: February 14, 2018, 05:28:31 pm »
Typically you need two more than you have currently available. So, buy two cheap ones for those situations your better ones are already in use and you need to check something fast without disconnecting the test probes or you just need to make some simple measurement outside your lab. Those DMMs around $20 and 9999 count are pretty good. You might want to get a version with a temperature measurement capability, too.
 
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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #41 on: February 14, 2018, 05:35:39 pm »
I see lots of people recommending the Brymen meters. Don't bother looking because you cannot easily buy them in the states.  :palm:

I bought mine directly from the EEVblog Shop - there are 18 in stock at the moment.

https://www.eevblog.com/product/bm235-multimeter/

 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #42 on: February 14, 2018, 05:53:21 pm »
I see lots of people recommending the Brymen meters. Don't bother looking because you cannot easily buy them in the states.  :palm:

I bought mine directly from the EEVblog Shop - there are 18 in stock at the moment.

https://www.eevblog.com/product/bm235-multimeter/

I bought my first one from TME
https://www.tme.eu/gb/ 
Fast shipping and no problems.  Several others have also purchased from them as well. 
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #43 on: February 14, 2018, 05:53:24 pm »
bsas get 2nd hand Simpson 260 as you live in the US. It is really solid passive analog meter from the days long gone, but I will promise you will learn more about measurements with it that any DMM.
 
Pair it with decent DMM, the bonus is that old US tube equipment and their repair manuals often were written Simpson in mind. (..in Europe the AVO8 had similar status).
 
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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #44 on: February 14, 2018, 06:04:58 pm »
bsas get 2nd hand Simpson 260 as you live in the US..

Absolutely!  An analog meter shows variations a lot better than a DMM.  You don't need 5 digits just to see if the signal is moving around a bit.

I bought 3 of these when they became surplus at a company I worked for.  I paid the exorbitant price of $25 each.

Personally, I like the recessed knob arrangement of the Triplett meter but either will do.

Try to get one with the anti-parallax mirror on the scale.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Simpson-260-7-series-multimeter-Works/183066144059
 

Offline tautech

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #45 on: February 14, 2018, 07:51:08 pm »
By the way, is there any other main feature difference between the SDS1204X-E and the SDS1104X-E (besides the 100MHz vs 200MHz obviously)?
No, only BW.

Quote
Because looks like the SDS1202X-E doesn’t support bode plots but the *04X-E supports.
Correct, 2 channel X-E's don't do bode plot.

In addition to requiring the more expensive scope model, there are two options required: an external signal generator ($159) and firmware ($109) which means, if you have to buy the firmware, adding the Bode' Plot feature costs as much as an AD2 complete (more or less).
That's not correct.
Bode plot is standard fare and if you already have a Siglent AWG it works without further cost. If just the USB AWG is added, the scope instructs it to sweep for the plots. The SW option to control the AWG is ONLY needed to use the USB AWG as a standalone AWG and use all its waveforms. The SW option is not required for bode plots.
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Offline rsjsouza

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #46 on: February 14, 2018, 08:36:12 pm »
I see lots of people recommending the Brymen meters. Don't bother looking because you cannot easily buy them in the states.  :palm:

I bought mine directly from the EEVblog Shop - there are 18 in stock at the moment.

https://www.eevblog.com/product/bm235-multimeter/

I bought my first one from TME
https://www.tme.eu/gb/ 
Fast shipping and no problems.  Several others have also purchased from them as well.
One more happy customer from TME. Their service was great and their shipping was quite quick.
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Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 

Online bitseeker

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #47 on: February 14, 2018, 08:36:35 pm »
bsas,

Since you're just getting started, focusing initially on analog electronics, and concentrating on audio in particular, I'd recommend the following based on your comments, questions, and reactions to the posts thus far:

DMM: Get the BM235 as you already plan to do. However, unless you're in a hurry, I'd recommend getting just one to start. Once you've used it in projects, you'll better understand if a second one of the same model is the best choice or if a different DMM would provide other functionality or capability that you need. I have a lot of DMMs and they're all different. Although they offer the same basic functionality, some are better than others for particular measurements or situations. Of course, if you don't mind having more than two DMMs, then you can certainly start off with two BM235.

Note that in the US, many Brymen DMMs are sold under the Greenlee brand (e.g., DM-820A, DM-830A, DM-860A). If you decide in the future that you want one of the fancier Brymen meters and US warranty coverage, that's an option.

Scope: You may want to start off with the Analog Discovery 2 and wait on buying a standalone oscilloscope. This will enable you to save some cash initially, learn about a lot of the functionality and specs that are currently overwhelming you, and allow Siglent to further mature their current models. The AD2 has plenty of functionality for analog and digital electronics with more than enough bandwidth for audio (I have both DS1054Z and AD2).

P.S. You may want to check out JohnAudioTech's YouTube channel. He has some clever methods of working on audio gear with modest tools, including an even older Rigol scope than has been discussed in this thread.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 08:53:55 pm by bitseeker »
I TEA.
 
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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #48 on: February 14, 2018, 09:19:08 pm »
In addition to requiring the more expensive scope model, there are two options required: an external signal generator ($159) and firmware ($109) which means, if you have to buy the firmware, adding the Bode' Plot feature costs as much as an AD2 complete (more or less).
That's not correct.
Bode plot is standard fare and if you already have a Siglent AWG it works without further cost. If just the USB AWG is added, the scope instructs it to sweep for the plots. The SW option to control the AWG is ONLY needed to use the USB AWG as a standalone AWG and use all its waveforms. The SW option is not required for bode plots.

So, if I want to use the USB AWG for anything other than as an attachment to the scope, I need to buy the software, right?  Like driving it from a PC or something?

The fact that I already have the SDG2082X means I wouldn't need the software or any other extra cost if I want to drive it from the scope?

When they listed it as firmware on the web page, I was anticipating unlocking firmware inside the scope itself.
 

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #49 on: February 14, 2018, 10:00:23 pm »
bsas get 2nd hand Simpson 260 as you live in the US. It is really solid passive analog meter from the days long gone, but I will promise you will learn more about measurements with it that any DMM.
 
Pair it with decent DMM, the bonus is that old US tube equipment and their repair manuals often were written Simpson in mind. (..in Europe the AVO8 had similar status).

I had one, it was a beautiful classic instrument. Eventually though I gave it to someone else, I found I just never used it. The analog bargraph on my Fluke is sufficient for my needs in that respect. If you can get an analog multimeter for free or very cheap go for it, but expect it will likely become a shelf ornament unless you grew up using them and feel nostalgic, or have very specific needs.
 

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #50 on: February 14, 2018, 10:16:42 pm »
In addition to requiring the more expensive scope model, there are two options required: an external signal generator ($159) and firmware ($109) which means, if you have to buy the firmware, adding the Bode' Plot feature costs as much as an AD2 complete (more or less).
That's not correct.
Bode plot is standard fare and if you already have a Siglent AWG it works without further cost. If just the USB AWG is added, the scope instructs it to sweep for the plots. The SW option to control the AWG is ONLY needed to use the USB AWG as a standalone AWG and use all its waveforms. The SW option is not required for bode plots.

So, if I want to use the USB AWG for anything other than as an attachment to the scope, I need to buy the software, right?
Correct.

Quote
Like driving it from a PC or something?
Only works with the 4ch X-E's.

Quote
The fact that I already have the SDG2082X means I wouldn't need the software or any other extra cost if I want to drive it from the scope?
Correct.
But it only applies for Bode plot usage not scope control of the SDG for general AWG usage.

Quote
When they listed it as firmware on the web page, I was anticipating unlocking firmware inside the scope itself.
The software AWG license is only for the USB AWG general usage, bode plot usage with an SDG or USB AWG is a standard feature.
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Offline rsjsouza

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #51 on: February 14, 2018, 10:17:13 pm »
It seems we have a general consensus about the number of multimeters, but not he brand of an oscilloscope. It is arguable if a higher bandwidth or more channels are better. IMHO, for audio use as the OP has specified, more channels are king. A hacked DS1054Z will have much more than adequate bandwidth, 4 channels, and have all the other added extras for other work for less than the Siglent. 100MHz isnot really that much less than 200Mhz in real world use, but 2 channels more is a huge benefit.

But does the FFT and other evaluation functions are so much better in the Siglent that it gets over the lack of 2 channels?

rsjsouza states that "If you are interested in analog audio, I would be very biased towards the Siglent, given it is a more modern platform and has better FFT". Why? How much better? Is the FFT in the Rigol useless (toy feature) compared to the Siglent one? Why the "modern platform" matters?

Thanks guys!!! :D
I forgot about this comment of mine.

In general, an oscilloscope for analog audio does not require four channels nor very high bandwidth, although the more is usually the merrier. In this case, the Siglent has additional bandwidth (which is not necessarily an advantage in your case) and its two channels would not be limiting for audio. However, the much more accurate FFT (which helps evaluating the "purity" of a signal) and the newer processor being used (which is reported to bring a much more responsive oscilloscope) are two great features that help the Siglent to be highly considered for this particular case.

If in the future you intend to work with digital datastreams from ADC/DACs or signal processors, the Rigol may be a better option as its logic decoders (and the extra channels) are included in the price (the digital serial interfaces have multiple wires that need to be monitored). However, a cheap USB Logic Analyzer + an open source Logic Analyzer software (Sigrok) is also suitable for these digital datastreams for audio converters.

One thing that detracts from Siglent is their track record for fixing bugs - they tend be a bit slower on this regard. The bugs on the Rigol are well known and most of them are apparently fixed (although they were also slow to get them straightened up). If that is a topic that concerns you, another brand (GW Instek) may have a higher weight on your decision.

A thread that points to several others is: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/rigol-ds1054z-vs-siglent-sds1202x-e/

As others have said, the Analog Discovery is a nice tool as well, as it integrates a signal generator, a bit more resolution (14-bit) but slower (100MSPS) 2 channel oscilloscope, a 2 channel signal generator and a logic analyzer. It is priced quite reasonably for what it does ($279 + accessories), but keep in mind that it is a tool that does a lot but is usually more limited on each function when compared to standalone tools.

In the far future you should start considering something like a really nice audio signal generator (Krohn Hite 4400B) or the Keithley 2015, a bench multimeter that performs distortion analysis.
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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #52 on: February 14, 2018, 10:59:43 pm »

If in the future you intend to work with digital datastreams from ADC/DACs or signal processors, the Rigol may be a better option as its logic decoders (and the extra channels) are included in the price (the digital serial interfaces have multiple wires that need to be monitored). However, a cheap USB Logic Analyzer + an open source Logic Analyzer software (Sigrok) is also suitable for these digital datastreams for audio converters.


The decoding of various serial buses is included with the Siglent, not 'unlocked' as in the case of the Rigol.  These days, Rigol is giving away the decoding but, AFAIK, not the upgrade to 100 MHz so a bit of 'unlocking' is still required.

In the digital world, more channels is better.

One other thing about the AD2 - both scope inputs are fully differential unless you use the BNC adapter.  So, for a Class A transistor amplifier with emitter degeneration, I can put one channel across the load resistor (Vcc to collector) and another channel across the emitter resistor (emitter to ground).  Or, I can have one channel ground referenced on the base and the other floating across the load resistor.

This differential input feature is really handy when messing around with transistor amplifiers.

The Rigol is easier to use than the AD2 because the Rigol is sitting on a shelf over my bench and the AD2 is boxed up in a drawer.  As a result, I don't use the AD2 nearly as often as I should.

I think the features of the AD2 are underappreciated.  It really is a lab in a box (or backpack).
 
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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #53 on: February 15, 2018, 01:25:58 am »
For those with an AD2 and working on audio projects, since the Audio Analyzer Suite software is gone, there's been some efforts to use the new scripting functionality in the AD2's spectrum analyzer for plotting frequency sweeps. More info at https://forum.digilentinc.com/topic/4383-using-script-with-spectrum-on-ad2/
I TEA.
 
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Offline rsjsouza

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #54 on: February 15, 2018, 01:34:56 am »

If in the future you intend to work with digital datastreams from ADC/DACs or signal processors, the Rigol may be a better option as its logic decoders (and the extra channels) are included in the price (the digital serial interfaces have multiple wires that need to be monitored). However, a cheap USB Logic Analyzer + an open source Logic Analyzer software (Sigrok) is also suitable for these digital datastreams for audio converters.


The decoding of various serial buses is included with the Siglent, not 'unlocked' as in the case of the Rigol.  These days, Rigol is giving away the decoding but, AFAIK, not the upgrade to 100 MHz so a bit of 'unlocking' is still required.
Thank you; I stand corrected, despite the fact that certain serial links can't be fully decoded on a 2 channel oscilloscope.
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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #55 on: February 15, 2018, 02:19:43 am »
Thank you; I stand corrected, despite the fact that certain serial links can't be fully decoded on a 2 channel oscilloscope.

And that is the very reason I bought the DS1054Z;  I wanted 4 channels for SPI.
 

Offline Nusa

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #56 on: February 15, 2018, 02:21:46 am »
The answer to the original post is ZERO. You've already started. But getting at least one should be at the top of your list.
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #57 on: February 15, 2018, 09:29:17 am »
Thank you; I stand corrected, despite the fact that certain serial links can't be fully decoded on a 2 channel oscilloscope.

And that is the very reason I bought the DS1054Z;  I wanted 4 channels for SPI.

Wouldn't it have been cheaper and more effective to spend £10 on the cheapest "logic analyser" available, or £25 on a bus pirate?

General principle: debug digital signals in the digital domain with digital tools. Use scopes for signal integrity and analogue waveforms.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Online blueskull

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #58 on: February 15, 2018, 09:44:06 am »
I have two, and I never feel I need a third. I do have a third and a fourth, but one of them is a pocket unit for troubleshooting on the go, and the other is Dave's GW121 solely for supporting Dave.
 
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Online rstofer

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #59 on: February 15, 2018, 02:07:51 pm »
Thank you; I stand corrected, despite the fact that certain serial links can't be fully decoded on a 2 channel oscilloscope.

And that is the very reason I bought the DS1054Z;  I wanted 4 channels for SPI.

Wouldn't it have been cheaper and more effective to spend £10 on the cheapest "logic analyser" available, or £25 on a bus pirate?

General principle: debug digital signals in the digital domain with digital tools. Use scopes for signal integrity and analogue waveforms.

Sure!  I could have just continued along using my Tek 485 for scope duties and using my Sump.org 200 MHz Logic Analyzer.  Or, I could use my Analog Discovery 2 for both functions.

There are other features of a DSO that are equally important like single shot and measurements that are simply not available on my 485.

It was worth buying some DSO just to see how they work and education is never free.  Given that, the DSO should have features that my analog scope doesn't have (including decoding) and one of those things is 4 channels.  All in, the DS1054Z has met my needs quite well.  But my needs are also quite simple so it is understandable if people want to buy a much more capable scope.

The question here is how much scope for how much money in the context of a beginner.  I think the new Siglent 1204X-E is bringing a lot of capability to the entry level scope.  The second part of the question is whether $800 is reasonable for an entry level scope.  Because, without the additional bandwidth, the Siglent is just competing with the Rigol and the Rigol is cheaper and better established.

 
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Offline Vtile

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #60 on: February 15, 2018, 04:51:59 pm »
bsas get 2nd hand Simpson 260 as you live in the US. It is really solid passive analog meter from the days long gone, but I will promise you will learn more about measurements with it that any DMM.
 
Pair it with decent DMM, the bonus is that old US tube equipment and their repair manuals often were written Simpson in mind. (..in Europe the AVO8 had similar status).

I had one, it was a beautiful classic instrument. Eventually though I gave it to someone else, I found I just never used it. The analog bargraph on my Fluke is sufficient for my needs in that respect. If you can get an analog multimeter for free or very cheap go for it, but expect it will likely become a shelf ornament unless you grew up using them and feel nostalgic, or have very specific needs.
Yes. The cost is a good point, get one from the cheap end of the spectrum. The beauty of old passive analog meter is that it forces the user to wrap the head around the measurement, not just poking around. The reason I recommended the Simpson 260 is that it were a solid quality (actually better in specs than most analog meters on the market today) and in US you can get working beaten-up unit with pennies. It is a great tool for learning, which is one thing bsas is after. Besides you can always build a preamplifier for it.  ;D
« Last Edit: February 15, 2018, 04:55:09 pm by Vtile »
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #61 on: February 15, 2018, 05:13:46 pm »
Thank you; I stand corrected, despite the fact that certain serial links can't be fully decoded on a 2 channel oscilloscope.

And that is the very reason I bought the DS1054Z;  I wanted 4 channels for SPI.

Wouldn't it have been cheaper and more effective to spend £10 on the cheapest "logic analyser" available, or £25 on a bus pirate?

General principle: debug digital signals in the digital domain with digital tools. Use scopes for signal integrity and analogue waveforms.

Sure!  I could have just continued along using my Tek 485 for scope duties and using my Sump.org 200 MHz Logic Analyzer.  Or, I could use my Analog Discovery 2 for both functions.

There are other features of a DSO that are equally important like single shot and measurements that are simply not available on my 485.

It was worth buying some DSO just to see how they work and education is never free.  Given that, the DSO should have features that my analog scope doesn't have (including decoding) and one of those things is 4 channels.  All in, the DS1054Z has met my needs quite well.  But my needs are also quite simple so it is understandable if people want to buy a much more capable scope.

The question here is how much scope for how much money in the context of a beginner.  I think the new Siglent 1204X-E is bringing a lot of capability to the entry level scope.  The second part of the question is whether $800 is reasonable for an entry level scope.  Because, without the additional bandwidth, the Siglent is just competing with the Rigol and the Rigol is cheaper and better established.

Your points about analogue scopes are beside the point under discussion.

If you want to get a DSO (or any other tool) for entertainment, education and experimentation, that's an excellent reason. I wish more people had that attitude.

But capturing SPI is a poor reason for getting a DSO, since there are better alternatives. (Doubly so if you already possess alternatives)

It is usually best to be clear and upfront about the motivation/reason.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline TheUnnamedNewbie

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #62 on: February 15, 2018, 06:34:49 pm »
As always, it really depends.

Just today I was using 4 and really could have used one or two more. But that is when I'm doing repair work and I need to keep an eye on how different voltage rails behave during testing. Ofcourse this is just a luxury problem, and I could just actually put in effort and move probes as I measure, but I like seeing everything in a single glance.
I have a few cheap meters that I don't trust, but they can still be usefull. It doesn't take much accuracy to see if your 15 V rail has collapsed to 2 V due to a short on the output....
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Offline jgalak

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #63 on: February 15, 2018, 07:10:45 pm »
To answer the headline question, the number of DMMs needed is "n+1" where "n" is the number of DMMs currently owned....

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #64 on: February 15, 2018, 08:05:32 pm »
The question here is how much scope for how much money in the context of a beginner.  I think the new Siglent 1204X-E is bringing a lot of capability to the entry level scope.  The second part of the question is whether $800 is reasonable for an entry level scope.  Because, without the additional bandwidth, the Siglent is just competing with the Rigol and the Rigol is cheaper and better established.
Can I remind you there's an SDS1104X-E (100 MHz) model that under $500 and while head butting with a hacked 1054Z has significantly more functionality and capabilities. For those that do their homework they need to decide if the better specs, functionality and capability are worth more $ or will the cheapest do ?

Nothing has changed and it will always be this way.
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Offline Jwillis

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #65 on: February 16, 2018, 07:56:36 am »
I agree more is better.Especially when you need to monitor more than one voltage at a time.Depending on what your doing you may want to include a good analog VM .As for buying the most expensive like Fluke ,I haven't found any difference in accuracy between my 300 dollar Fluke or my 40 dollar Master Craft ,which has more features by the way .But hey it's your wallet. Aside from the Fluke the most expensive meter I have is the Mastech MS5308.It's not just a LCR tester but does capacitance and  fairly decent measure of milliohms.Cheers
 
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Offline jayjr1105

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #66 on: February 16, 2018, 05:34:21 pm »
I have an addiction. Some of these were freebies from harbor freight and ones I inherited over the years. Only paid for the Uni-T, UEI, and B&K.

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Offline Nusa

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #67 on: February 16, 2018, 05:36:56 pm »
If you have to choose between buying food or batteries for your multimeters, that's when you need treatment.
 

Offline ez24

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #68 on: February 16, 2018, 05:41:32 pm »
I think a good rule of thumb is if you live in area with a 12 hour clock - you need 12.  If you live in a 24 hour clock area - you need 24.  This makes it simple.
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Offline paulca

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #69 on: February 16, 2018, 05:51:41 pm »
It's even easier than that.

If you have to ask, it's "You need one more"
"What could possibly go wrong?"
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Offline taydin

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #70 on: February 16, 2018, 06:11:41 pm »
12
:-DD  :-+

I need a few more then as I can only count ~10.  :)

I am quite behind the bell curve it seems, I only have 8. 8)

God, then I'm in the stone age, only 3 :(
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Offline taydin

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #71 on: February 16, 2018, 06:21:15 pm »
For audio usage, it's best to get a scope that has a higher ADC resolution (12-bit or more, 16 bit would be best). This will allow you to measure low level audio signals with high resolution.

Also, for audio usage, it's much better to get a scope with low bandwidth. The higher a scope's bandwidth, the more noise it will have. In your case, there is absolutely no benefit in getting a 300 MHz or even a 1 GHz scope. These will just pick up and display more noise.
Real programmers use machine code!

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Offline bsas

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #72 on: February 16, 2018, 07:06:11 pm »
For audio usage, it's best to get a scope that has a higher ADC resolution (12-bit or more, 16 bit would be best). This will allow you to measure low level audio signals with high resolution.

Also, for audio usage, it's much better to get a scope with low bandwidth. The higher a scope's bandwidth, the more noise it will have. In your case, there is absolutely no benefit in getting a 300 MHz or even a 1 GHz scope. These will just pick up and display more noise.

Do you have any idea what is the ADC resolution on the Rigol 1054Z or the Siglent SDS1104X-E? I don't know where to find that spec (I probably just don't know where to search or how to google it)...

Thanks!
 

Online GreyWoolfe

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #73 on: February 16, 2018, 07:20:24 pm »
I think a good rule of thumb is if you live in area with a 12 hour clock - you need 12.  If you live in a 24 hour clock area - you need 24.  This makes it simple.

So if you live in an area with a 12 hour clock but use a 24 hour clock, does that mean you need 36?
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Online bitseeker

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #74 on: February 16, 2018, 07:56:24 pm »
Do you have any idea what is the ADC resolution on the Rigol 1054Z or the Siglent SDS1104X-E? I don't know where to find that spec (I probably just don't know where to search or how to google it)...

They're both 8-bit, as are most standalone digital scopes. Below is a post with a comparison table from last August. The ADC resolution is the fifth item down in the table.

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/siglent-sds1204x-e-released-for-domestic-markets-in-china/msg1290409/#msg1290409

The Analog Discovery 2 is 14-bit for both the scope and the signal generator. https://reference.digilentinc.com/reference/instrumentation/analog-discovery-2/reference-manual
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Offline Old Printer

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #75 on: February 18, 2018, 04:16:44 am »
For your interest areas a solid older analog scope would be very handy to have as well without breaking the bank. I went with a Tek 2225 but Leader, Iwatsu, and a few others make good solid scopes that are very popular with the tube amp guys. I could not single out one of the current DSO's since the Siglent came out so I went with the Analog Discovery 2 because it offers so many tools to someone just learning. I really like it, and since I always have a PC on my bench it is there all the time, on two nice large screens, a big plus for me.
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #76 on: February 18, 2018, 04:32:24 am »
It is amazing to me how people recommend old analog scopes to people who want to do only audio work. You might have a chance of getting something that works, but also a chance where nothing is within spec anymore. Yes a person who has $50might benefit from an analog scope because there isn't another choice, but there sin't anything a modern analog scope can't do. OK, some might be pretty shit for update rate on X-Y mode, but that is it. Everything else is far superior in a modern DSO to any old analog scope.
 

Offline tautech

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #77 on: February 18, 2018, 05:04:15 am »
It is amazing to me how people recommend old analog scopes to people who want to do only audio work. You might have a chance of getting something that works, but also a chance where nothing is within spec anymore. Yes a person who has $50might benefit from an analog scope because there isn't another choice, but there sin't anything a modern analog scope can't do. OK, some might be pretty shit for update rate on X-Y mode, but that is it. Everything else is far superior in a modern DSO to any old analog scope.
Because the CRO learning curve isn't as steep much because WYSIWYG.
However the risk of 'cheapness' can be a mirage to a scope newbie that isn't likely to have the skills to keep an old CRO working.
Been there and done that......migrated to DSO's and won't go back !
Time at the bench is too valuable to be spent repairing test equipment.

Basic DSO usage isn't that complicated, certainly no more so than a CRO and in some ways easier for those that can't get their head around it by just using the Autoset button.

The first scope I used was at high school when I got permission to use one in the science lab to check the ripple on a home built valve HT PSU. I got the check done before my teacher asked how many volts did that 'thing' produced.
320VDC and IIRC ~3V ripple.  ;D I was 13.

It was probably 30 years later before I got my own CRO and used one again. Like riding a bike, once learnt never forgotten.  :P
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Offline jgalak

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #78 on: February 18, 2018, 08:40:34 pm »
I'm very much a newbie, but it seems to me that for someone only interested in audio freq and below, the Analog Discovery 2 is an amazing unit.  Scope (get the adapter board to use real probes), SpecAn, Network Analyzer, Arbitraty Waveform Generator, Logic Analyzer.  It's 12 bit (compared to a Rigol or Siglent's entry scopes, which are 8 bit).  And it's cheap.

If only it wasn't such low bandwidth....  But plenty for audio.
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Offline byoungblood

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #79 on: February 20, 2018, 10:27:42 pm »
I'm in the you need two meters group. Swapping leads around just doesn't waste time, but it also deprives you of being able to observe both voltage and current simultaneously. Of course I can hook up my 'scope to act like a glorified volt meter, but for DC measurements or steady AC it is overkill.

I have a Fluke 179 plus a 20 year old RS meter that I bought when I worked there way back when. 
 

Offline daedalux

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Re: How many multi-meters do I need to start?
« Reply #80 on: February 21, 2018, 03:15:22 pm »
I have lots of them, but I have to admit that the most useful for me has been the UNI-T mini current clamp with DC. It works quite good from about 100s of mA to 200A, even when not very precise, but no fuse or burden voltage. It's genius for automotive work.

Is one of the small thing, and measuring current without contact is the most safe way and you can't blow the meter.

The bad thing is that is not very confortable to use in voltage modes due to its form factor so i would add a common mA 10A COM V multimeter.
 


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