Author Topic: Looking for oscilloscope for son beginning electronics  (Read 2136 times)

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Offline borjam

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Re: Looking for oscilloscope for son beginning electronics
« Reply #75 on: October 12, 2019, 01:36:39 pm »

There is a fetish that a digital display is better than an analogue display. In some cases that is valid, but in other cases it is completely incorrect. Simple example from a different world: if you were in a cockpit, which would you rather see: a rotating ball showing the horizon moving, or digits (0,0), (8, -10), (15, 0), (25, 10).... BTW, are the instruments in a modern "glass cockpit" analogue or digital? :)
Let's back up a bit here. What actually was the point you tried to make? Repetition doesn't seem to do much in the way of clarifying. :)

Highlighted above, for extreme clarity. N.B. "display", not capture and processing.
Interesting. So you claim that digital oscilloscopes display arrays of numbers (which seems to be what you call "digital display" instead of drawing waveforms, which would be an "analog display"?
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Looking for oscilloscope for son beginning electronics
« Reply #76 on: October 12, 2019, 02:01:18 pm »
Highlighted above, for extreme clarity. N.B. "display", not capture and processing.
I'm not being facetious when I say the point still isn't clear. Repetition doesn't really help. Judging by borjam's confusion I'm not alone. Even if we were discussing just displays those can show anything you want although a CRT could arguably too. As we are discussing the benefits of DSOs it only seems reasonable to include capture and processing too.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2019, 02:03:53 pm by Mr. Scram »
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Looking for oscilloscope for son beginning electronics
« Reply #77 on: October 12, 2019, 04:13:15 pm »

There is a fetish that a digital display is better than an analogue display. In some cases that is valid, but in other cases it is completely incorrect. Simple example from a different world: if you were in a cockpit, which would you rather see: a rotating ball showing the horizon moving, or digits (0,0), (8, -10), (15, 0), (25, 10).... BTW, are the instruments in a modern "glass cockpit" analogue or digital? :)
Let's back up a bit here. What actually was the point you tried to make? Repetition doesn't seem to do much in the way of clarifying. :)

Highlighted above, for extreme clarity. N.B. "display", not capture and processing.
Interesting. So you claim that digital oscilloscopes display arrays of numbers (which seems to be what you call "digital display" instead of drawing waveforms, which would be an "analog display"?

No, I don't.

A digital display is a display of digits.
Alternatively, if you see numbers it is a digital display, if you see a wavy line it is an analogue display!

How the information "gets to" the display is an orthogonal issue.
Whether or not the display is composed of discrete pixels is also an orthogonal issue.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
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Online tggzzz

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Re: Looking for oscilloscope for son beginning electronics
« Reply #78 on: October 12, 2019, 04:23:59 pm »
Highlighted above, for extreme clarity. N.B. "display", not capture and processing.
I'm not being facetious when I say the point still isn't clear. Repetition doesn't really help. Judging by borjam's confusion I'm not alone. Even if we were discussing just displays those can show anything you want although a CRT could arguably too.

There's no "arguably" about it. Until recently all DSOs had CRTs.

Quote
As we are discussing the benefits of DSOs it only seems reasonable to include capture and processing too.

That is why I specifically referred to "digital display" not to "digitising sampling oscilloscope".

Before you complain about "digitising sampling", my fastest sampling scope (a Tektronix) does not digitise the samples; it is analogue throughout.

Also, my fastest digitising scope (a LeCroy) has a CRT. That clearly demonstrates "DSO" vs "CRT" is meaningless!

And to go back further, the first sampling scope I saw used an XY pen plotter as the the display device, servos wires wheels and all :)

Plus my fastest sampling scope retains that ability; one of the plugin output devices is a thermal chart recorder, the other allows external XV pen plot to be made. Since I don't have a pen plotter, I use my slow digitising scope to capture that output :)
« Last Edit: October 12, 2019, 04:43:48 pm by tggzzz »
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Looking for oscilloscope for son beginning electronics
« Reply #79 on: October 12, 2019, 05:58:11 pm »
No, I don't.

A digital display is a display of digits.
Alternatively, if you see numbers it is a digital display, if you see a wavy line it is an analogue display!

How the information "gets to" the display is an orthogonal issue.
Whether or not the display is composed of discrete pixels is also an orthogonal issue.
I think that's where the confusion arose as you seem to be talking about the UI rather than the physical display itself. A character display or what you call a digital display is very uncommon if not nonexistent in oscilloscopes so people obviously didn't make the connection. A wavy line on a pixel or non CRT screen obviously has nothing to do with analogue signals. It's graphical style is derived from earlier analogue technology but has separated from it in pretty much every sense.
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Looking for oscilloscope for son beginning electronics
« Reply #80 on: October 12, 2019, 07:11:52 pm »
No, I don't.

A digital display is a display of digits.
Alternatively, if you see numbers it is a digital display, if you see a wavy line it is an analogue display!

How the information "gets to" the display is an orthogonal issue.
Whether or not the display is composed of discrete pixels is also an orthogonal issue.
I think that's where the confusion arose as you seem to be talking about the UI rather than the physical display itself. A character display or what you call a digital display is very uncommon if not nonexistent in oscilloscopes

Not true. Many analogue scopes have digital displays, and have done since the 80s; look at a Tek 24x5 screen.

But the display device is unimportant in this discussion.

Quote
so people obviously didn't make the connection. A wavy line on a pixel or non CRT screen obviously has nothing to do with analogue signals.

Que? None of that makes sense!

If nothing else, what about "a wavy line or pixel on a non CRT screen"? They still exist.

Quote
It's graphical style is derived from earlier analogue technology but has separated from it in pretty much every sense.

Given the flaws in your contentions, it isn't surprising your conclusion is flawed.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
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Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Looking for oscilloscope for son beginning electronics
« Reply #81 on: October 12, 2019, 07:43:49 pm »
Not true. Many analogue scopes have digital displays, and have done since the 80s; look at a Tek 24x5 screen.

But the display device is unimportant in this discussion.

Que? None of that makes sense!

If nothing else, what about "a wavy line or pixel on a non CRT screen"? They still exist.

Given the flaws in your contentions, it isn't surprising your conclusion is flawed.
Regardless of which particular and peculiar set of definitions is applied to this discussion the point of all this still isn't clear. What does any of this have to with the question sparky480 asked or with how DSOs are modern tools for the job? Surely it's not some academic jostle to congratulate oneself for a job well done while OP has quietly beaten the retreat?
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Looking for oscilloscope for son beginning electronics
« Reply #82 on: October 12, 2019, 08:07:24 pm »
Not true. Many analogue scopes have digital displays, and have done since the 80s; look at a Tek 24x5 screen.

But the display device is unimportant in this discussion.

Que? None of that makes sense!

If nothing else, what about "a wavy line or pixel on a non CRT screen"? They still exist.

Given the flaws in your contentions, it isn't surprising your conclusion is flawed.
Regardless of which particular and peculiar set of definitions is applied to this discussion the point of all this still isn't clear. What does any of this have to with the question sparky480 asked or with how DSOs are modern tools for the job? Surely it's not some academic jostle to congratulate oneself for a job well done while OP has quietly beaten the retreat?

Definitions and clarity of thought are important, especially when a beginner might be confused by loose terminology - in this case confusingly intermixing front end and back end  (display) technology.

You picked up and ran with a passing comment of mine, with some incorrect observations.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Looking for oscilloscope for son beginning electronics
« Reply #83 on: October 12, 2019, 11:02:46 pm »
Definitions and clarity of thought are important, especially when a beginner might be confused by loose terminology - in this case confusingly intermixing front end and back end  (display) technology.

You picked up and ran with a passing comment of mine, with some incorrect observations.
Save the incorrect observations you're correct. It's therefore best to abstain from using ambiguous loose terminology like "digital display", especially when it's effectively unrelated to the intended purpose of the thread.
 
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Online Marck

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Re: Looking for oscilloscope for son beginning electronics
« Reply #84 on: October 12, 2019, 11:11:37 pm »
I just went through the analog vs digital decision. I am an electronics new starter but also a telecommunications professional so the basic concepts are within my grasp.  When I first started looking into an oscilloscope the advice from a learned friend was to buy a good quality analog oscilloscope with good probes.  But in Australia thats easier said than done.  After a little bit of rationalisation I decided to get a secondhand Rigol DS1052e

The main reasons for this where.

1. Availability of second hand test equipment in QLD is a little limited so choice of older scopes was limited by the cost of shipping them here vs value of the unit.

2.  My Boy is 12 now and old enough to take an interest in electronics if he wants to and he like most kids now is technology focused and has been pulling apart and putting together a couple of old PC’c so I think the interest is real.  I am a firm believer that for young people just having access to Books / Music / Tools / Whatever is good for them it at least gives them a chance to try different things . Thats why I have a garage full of routers, switches, radios, old laptops, cables, batteries that I have gathered for little or no money for him to play with.   And I hope he will take an interest in electronics as another thing we can do together.   Now the reason for the DSO is that if he gets involved he will be learning on newer technology. I am far from qualified to even have an opinion on which is better for what use but learning / playing on devices that have an interface and mode of operation that he will be more likely to come across as his education advances I think would be more useful to him than knowing how to run an older unit.   

I might not be able to teach him even a 10 percent of what a DSO can do but when or if he gets to the point that he is in front of someone that can he might be comfortable with the devices and technology that are used. 

And if he gets involved and it looks like an analog scope is more what he needs i will find one for him because you can never have too many toys.  Sorry i mean tools. 

M

 

Offline vk6zgo

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Re: Looking for oscilloscope for son beginning electronics
« Reply #85 on: October 13, 2019, 03:34:14 am »
No, I don't.

A digital display is a display of digits.
Alternatively, if you see numbers it is a digital display, if you see a wavy line it is an analogue display!

How the information "gets to" the display is an orthogonal issue.
Whether or not the display is composed of discrete pixels is also an orthogonal issue.
I think that's where the confusion arose as you seem to be talking about the UI rather than the physical display itself. A character display or what you call a digital display is very uncommon if not nonexistent in oscilloscopes so people obviously didn't make the connection. A wavy line on a pixel or non CRT screen obviously has nothing to do with analogue signals. It's graphical style is derived from earlier analogue technology but has separated from it in pretty much every sense.

In fact, the wavy line has everything to do with analogue signals, as that's what Oscilloscopes are for whether they are analogue, digital, or trained Quokkas with marking pens.
(Although Quokka technology showed much early promise, it was limited in frequency response, the pens needed changing, & the Quokka poo removed, so it fell by the wayside) ;D

The numerical display versus continuous display thing is another argument, altogether.

Are hour meters driven by analog electric motors digital?
How about the old "General Radio" audio oscillators I used years ago which had a mechanical dial which displayed frequencies as a line of numbers behind illuminated windows?

Numerical displays were all the go, back in the 1980s, with most watches having such displays.
People liked the old clock hands, & most modern watches, nor matter how "digital" the guts are, have either
mechanical hands, or (very good) rendered displays of such things.
Car speedometers also flirted with numerical displays in the 1980s, only to go the same way as watches did.

A very interesting case is the "S"meter/power meter on Amateur Radio transceivers.
These were originally moving coil meters, but were, for a time, replaced with "bar graphs" either of a group of LEDs, or LCD displays like the bargraph on a DMM.

Hams didn't much like them, so some manufacturers went back to moving coil meters.
Ultimately, they went to exquisitely rendered  representations of the original "analog" electromechanical meters.
It is quite hard to distinguish them from the real thing!

Another example of such a "rendered" display is the clock on my iPad.
It is a perfect representation of a mechanical clock, right down to the shadows under the hands.

One thing that annoys me about DSOs, is the seeming lack of standardisation of the information blocks around the active screen.
A person with a problem presents a screenshot of their 'scope, asking for help.
Firstly, I have to try to work out what the volts/div & time/div are.

This is probably OK, if you have that particular piece of equipment, but  if you don't, it is:

"Is that value the usecs/div, or the length of the total display, or is it the duration of a cycle of the signal?
Or something else again?"

After seeing enough DS1054 screenshots, I can "sort of" work it out, but hit me with a Hantek, & I'm "all at sea"!
So it would be nice if people posting screenshots would add the basic information separate from the screenshot for us dinosaurs who still "count squares".

« Last Edit: October 13, 2019, 03:37:16 am by vk6zgo »
 

Online tautech

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Re: Looking for oscilloscope for son beginning electronics
« Reply #86 on: October 13, 2019, 08:55:40 am »
One thing that annoys me about DSOs, is the seeming lack of standardisation of the information blocks around the active screen.
A person with a problem presents a screenshot of their 'scope, asking for help.
Firstly, I have to try to work out what the volts/div & time/div are.

This is probably OK, if you have that particular piece of equipment, but  if you don't, it is:

"Is that value the usecs/div, or the length of the total display, or is it the duration of a cycle of the signal?
Or something else again?"
100% so !

This infuriates me too when a poster comes crying for help not giving the full picture and expects you to be some clairvoyant !
The info captured on a DSO screenshot might not seem so important to some but it is a very valuable record to study and share to a mentor or the forum for better understanding. There is so much info that can be portrayed in this record but few manufacturers choose to maximize it.
While many of us here can glance at a screenshot and instantly spot usage errors or something that just doesn't make sense the more info displayed helps us all.
While some mightn't like the depth of menu structures in the modern DSO and prefer buttons or knobs for everything the capability a DSO demands that they must be put together this way and yet many brands fall short of basic info offered in the GUI.
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Offline vk6zgo

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Re: Looking for oscilloscope for son beginning electronics
« Reply #87 on: October 13, 2019, 02:37:43 pm »
One thing that annoys me about DSOs, is the seeming lack of standardisation of the information blocks around the active screen.
A person with a problem presents a screenshot of their 'scope, asking for help.
Firstly, I have to try to work out what the volts/div & time/div are.

This is probably OK, if you have that particular piece of equipment, but  if you don't, it is:

"Is that value the usecs/div, or the length of the total display, or is it the duration of a cycle of the signal?
Or something else again?"
100% so !

This infuriates me too when a poster comes crying for help not giving the full picture and expects you to be some clairvoyant !
The info captured on a DSO screenshot might not seem so important to some but it is a very valuable record to study and share to a mentor or the forum for better understanding. There is so much info that can be portrayed in this record but few manufacturers choose to maximize it.
While many of us here can glance at a screenshot and instantly spot usage errors or something that just doesn't make sense the more info displayed helps us all.
While some mightn't like the depth of menu structures in the modern DSO and prefer buttons or knobs for everything the capability a DSO demands that they must be put together this way and yet many brands fall short of basic info offered in the GUI.
I sometimes, after trying to help someone by offering what seems a logical investigative process, I just give up, whilst the original poster in the thread continues to post more & more irrelevant screenshots.

Obviously, if we were there in person, we would fiddle with the 'scope & fairly quickly work out what the display is saying, (& probably find the original problem), but being at that one remove of just looking at a screenshot makes it much harder.

Maybe it's just me, but I seem to be more able to "catch on" to what a screenshot from a Siglent or Rigol is telling me than one from a Hantek, which seems to have been designed deliberately to confuse.

I don't own any of these brands, or indeed a DSO of any kind, but that is just how it seems to me, as an "outsider".
 

Online tautech

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Re: Looking for oscilloscope for son beginning electronics
« Reply #88 on: October 14, 2019, 02:23:49 am »
I sometimes, after trying to help someone by offering what seems a logical investigative process, I just give up, whilst the original poster in the thread continues to post more & more irrelevant screenshots.

Obviously, if we were there in person, we would fiddle with the 'scope & fairly quickly work out what the display is saying, (& probably find the original problem), but being at that one remove of just looking at a screenshot makes it much harder.

Maybe it's just me, but I seem to be more able to "catch on" to what a screenshot from a Siglent or Rigol is telling me than one from a Hantek, which seems to have been designed deliberately to confuse.

I don't own any of these brands, or indeed a DSO of any kind, but that is just how it seems to me, as an "outsider".
Yep all that.
As some example, a screenshot with all the relevant info as part of the default GUI:
SDS1104X-E


Sampling, mem depth, frequency, Ch #, H pos, V pos, V/div, s/div, trigger type, trigger level, input coupling and probe attenuation are all there as default. This screenshot is a bit faint on graticules as I should've brightened them up some  :palm: so the amplitude is a bit difficult to read accurately we can still get the idea of what was being captured.
When necessary a relevant menu can also be selected for further portrayal of info when/if required.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2019, 02:25:44 am by tautech »
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