Author Topic: Agilent signal generators  (Read 5641 times)

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Offline bernroth

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Agilent signal generators
« on: December 10, 2012, 12:19:16 am »
Hello everybody!
I watched quite every video blog from Dave and noticed that there are very few signal generator reviews.
Actually I am interested in some new or used Agilent 33220A or the 2 channel model and I wonder if anyone can give me some advise wether these generators are good for general usage or if there are better ones out there.
Currently I have a crappy Voltcraft 13MHz analog model in use and sometimes I use the integrated generator in my 3000X scope (I think it's better to have an independent device on the bench).
Thank you!
Best regards,
Bernhard
 

alm

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Re: Agilent signal generators
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2012, 12:35:29 am »
In my experience Agilent signal generators are excellent but pricey for hobby use. Expect the Rigol/Hantek fans to come in and claim those instruments can do the same for much less money ;).
 

Online Wytnucls

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Re: Agilent signal generators
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2012, 02:54:29 am »
There is always something better out there. The question is how much are you prepared to spend and what are your requirements?
If you are just tinkering and on a budget, the entry-level Rigol wouldn't be a bad choice. If you live in the States, eBay is the obvious place to look for reasonably priced brand-name instruments. Just be aware that flaws could be hard to detect and expensive to repair.
 

Offline saturation

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Re: Agilent signal generators
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2012, 01:12:27 pm »
The FG with the 3000X is far better than any analog FG sold today or those under $ 1000 500 for various brands. 

Given that Agilent just released a whole bevvy of FG +/- AWG, all with ever increasing prices, it really comes down to specifying what you need, so you can buy it.  If sky's the limit, so is the price.  Once in that price range, the competitors also play, but who wins depends on who meets your requirements best, including price and end user support.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 03:53:23 pm by saturation »
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline T4P

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Re: Agilent signal generators
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2012, 03:21:08 pm »
Hmm, i wonder how does it go up against a DG4062  ::)
 

Offline saturation

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Re: Agilent signal generators
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2012, 03:55:19 pm »
Didn't realize its $800 list, well I stand corrected see below, under $500 then ;)  Again there are also support issues for some countries, but Rigol continuous to be a bang for buck when competing with similar Agilent devices.

Hmm, i wonder how does it go up against a DG4062  ::)
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline bernroth

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Re: Agilent signal generators
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2012, 07:13:49 pm »
First of all thank you for all your replies. I forgot to mention that the FGs primary use is for business.
I currently have a lot of Agilent devices on my bench and like the automatic setup of all parameters via GPIB or LXI for each test environment.
I just have seen they released a new 335xx series.
Well, price matters always.... the difference to a Rigol FG is shocking...
Someone has some lab experience on the new 335xx FGs?
 

Offline larry42

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Re: Agilent signal generators
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2012, 07:59:01 pm »
Own a 33521a. Much better jitter than 33220a, and cheaper and phase lockable by default I think. Spoke to Agilent, they only keep the 220a to satisfy customers that have old ATE procedures.

The 335xx B series has same performance as A but can support their easy IQ sw, if you get the dual output version.

PS stay away from the 33120a the old 15Mhz model. Terrible UI.

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alm

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Re: Agilent signal generators
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2012, 08:23:45 pm »
Can you elaborate on the terrible UI? I can remember the switch from 50 ohm and Hi-Z being somewhat annoying, but the rest of UI seemed quite intuitive to me.
 

Offline larry42

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Re: Re: Agilent signal generators
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2012, 08:51:33 pm »
Can you elaborate on the terrible UI? I can remember the switch from 50 ohm and Hi-Z being somewhat annoying, but the rest of UI seemed quite intuitive to me.

I always get confused with the menu 'across' and 'down' settings (same with the 34401a). I don't like the UI for setting the frequency on the '120a (compared to the 220a ) and the same goes for the output level setting.

Other negs re 33120a: Smallest output level is still quite high at 100mV IIRC.

It's not a terrible piece of equipment per se but i wouldn't give more than 100usd for it.

BTW the 3 x 220a that I've used all had rotary control problems. Caveat emptor.

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If you have an animated GIF in your avatar or signature then I reserve the right to think you're a dolt.
 

Offline DaveW

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Re: Agilent signal generators
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2012, 09:04:10 pm »
First of all thank you for all your replies. I forgot to mention that the FGs primary use is for business.
I currently have a lot of Agilent devices on my bench and like the automatic setup of all parameters via GPIB or LXI for each test environment.
I just have seen they released a new 335xx series.
Well, price matters always.... the difference to a Rigol FG is shocking...
Someone has some lab experience on the new 335xx FGs?

I just did a review on the 335XXB series. It's a very nice bit of kit, and from having used the 335XXA series for a few years, I've have no problems with longevity,

http://www.element14.com/community/roadTestReviews/1386
 

Offline bernroth

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Re: Agilent signal generators
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2012, 12:30:39 am »
Thank you DaveW for the link and the excellent review.
I just remember a case where Arb in combination with the ExtTrig input is required for a customer.
Maybe you can confirm that this works as I can't get the clue out of the manual.
I would like to output an Arb ramp (imported from CSV file) on output 1 and another signal on output 2. Both signals should be played synchronously only once each time the instrument receives an external trigger impulse.
As far as I have understood, I import two arg waveforms onto the instrument, select arb burst mode, 1 repetition and external trigger on rising edge. Am I basically right and does this work?
« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 12:42:37 am by bernroth »
 

Offline DaveW

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Re: Agilent signal generators
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2012, 09:25:16 pm »
Thank you DaveW for the link and the excellent review.
I just remember a case where Arb in combination with the ExtTrig input is required for a customer.
Maybe you can confirm that this works as I can't get the clue out of the manual.
I would like to output an Arb ramp (imported from CSV file) on output 1 and another signal on output 2. Both signals should be played synchronously only once each time the instrument receives an external trigger impulse.
As far as I have understood, I import two arg waveforms onto the instrument, select arb burst mode, 1 repetition and external trigger on rising edge. Am I basically right and does this work?

As you want two channels, it's much easier to go through Benchlink where you can define the waveform for both channels and so get them in sync rather than directly importing from CSV, unless you have both channels in the CSV to start with. That setup does seem to work!
 

Offline Hydrawerk

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Re: Agilent signal generators
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2013, 12:13:44 am »
At my school lab we have about 10 units of Agilent 33220A. Almost all of them have problems with the rotary knob. The buttons are OK, though.
EDIT: They might be 8 years old or so...
« Last Edit: May 17, 2014, 04:28:16 pm by Hydrawerk »
Amazing machines. https://www.youtube.com/user/denha (It is not me...)
 


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