Author Topic: Scope For Electrical Repairs  (Read 6648 times)

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Offline NateTronix

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Scope For Electrical Repairs
« on: April 04, 2014, 07:06:21 pm »
Hi all im looking at buying my first scope to learn how to use it and all. Which i can hopefully use in my repair business. I repair tvs dvd players amplifiers pc laptops ect and was wondering which would be the better to go for.

http://www.rigol-uk.co.uk/Rigol-Digital-Oscilloscope-DS1104Z-p/ds1104z.htm

or

http://www.conrad-electronic.co.uk/ce/en/product/122412/Voltcraft-632-FG-2-Channel-Oscilloscope-Bandwidth-0-DC-to-30-MHz?ref=list

or any recommendations would be appreciated dont want to spend no more than £600
 

Offline deth502

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Re: Scope For Electrical Repairs
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2014, 11:40:42 pm »
srsly?

a respectable name brand 100MHz 4 channel scope, or an off brand 30MHz 2 channel scope?

that should be a no-brainer.
 

Offline deth502

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Re: Scope For Electrical Repairs
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2014, 11:45:00 pm »
i was just looking closer at the options and i think i see what your draw was to the 2 channel scope. it has a built in function generator.

my opinion on such things is that any tool that is designed to do more than one job is, by definition, a compromise, and therefore, not as good as having the 2 (or more) properly made tools.
 

Offline AG6QR

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Re: Scope For Electrical Repairs
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2014, 11:49:08 pm »
I'll also point out that the Voltcraft is analog, while the Rigol is digital.  While there are definitely some areas where an analog scope can outperform a digital, there are many more areas where a digital is much nicer.  That's especially true for one-shot events.  If you have your heart set on an analog scope for those areas where it is appropriate, I think you're probably better off getting a quality used lab-grade high-bandwidth analog scope at a bargain price.
 
The Voltcraft appears to have a signal generator built in, which might add some benefit.  I don't have any experience with that brand, but generally speaking, I'd agree with deth502's sentiment.  The 100 MHz 4-channel digital scope from a well-known maker is the one I'd pick in a heartbeat.  It's not a contest.
 

Offline PedroDaGr8

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Re: Scope For Electrical Repairs
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2014, 11:50:34 pm »
Why not go with the DS1074Z and hack it to the higher version. Save yourself some money, maybe pick up a used/inexpensive function generator.
The very existence of flamethrowers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, "You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done." -George Carlin
 

Offline Mark_O

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Re: Scope For Electrical Repairs
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2014, 05:50:10 am »
Hi all im looking at buying my first scope to learn how to use it and all. Which i can hopefully use in my repair business. I repair tvs dvd players amplifiers pc laptops ect and was wondering which would be the better to go for.

The Rigol is 'better', for sure.  But that doesn't automatically make it a better choice for you. 

The Voltcraft will be easier to learn how to use, since it can do so much less than the Rigol.  ;)  That might be a significant advantage to some.  More of it's controls are main-panel, and not in menus (where you have to find them).

You won't outgrow the Rigol any time soon (if ever), though you might the Voltcraft.  And these low-end analogs don't have much resale value, when you do.  If you're thinking of going that way for a 'starter' scope, I wouldn't even consider dropping that kind of $$$ for a new Voltcraft.  I'd find a decent used analog scope for next to nothing instead.  I had a 'like new' 60 MHz analog Tek a few years back, and I just gave it away to a friend for nothing.  I couldn't have sold it for a whole lot more.
 

Offline Mark_O

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Re: Scope For Electrical Repairs
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2014, 05:54:18 am »
Why not go with the DS1074Z and hack it to the higher version.

Because there's no need to even hack a DS1074Z at all.  It's already almost a 100MHz scope, out of the box (~90 MHz).

But yeah, save some money and get the 1074 over the 1104, if you decide to go with a digital scope.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2014, 05:59:10 am by Mark_O »
 

Offline NateTronix

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Re: Scope For Electrical Repairs
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2014, 06:29:45 pm »
Thanks for the responses to be honest i was more leanng towards the rigol just got to look into how hack the cheaper scope before i make the final decision. Thanks again
 

Offline wolfienuke

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Re: Scope For Electrical Repairs
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2014, 07:07:13 pm »
If you are looking for a multifunction, which I am as well, I just recently purchased a Hantek MSO5074FG.
It is 70MHz bandwidth (hackable to 200MHz) with built-in Arbitrary Waveform Generator and 8 channel Logic Analyzer. I purchased one for USD$505 as my first scope since I am fairly poor and like the multifunctionality since I work with analog and digital circuits. I also have a homemade function generator (simple to build 100Hz-10MHz square,sine,triangle) and a $30 16-channel usb Logic analyser, so I have multiple options for testing and troubleshooting.

I will be receiving it early next week and will be doing an in depth review and hack and teardown. Obviously it is not top of the line, and most would recommend separate devices for a true workshop, but there is something to be admired for a device that combines these functionalities in one package. I hope to see more high end manufacturers looking into this idea.

I am not by any means giving the Hantek MSO5074FG a shout out... I know nothing of it's performance or usability, just another option to look at.

In any case, I would recommend the Rigol DS1000 series, and if you can afford it - the DS2000 series.

And like I said before, a simple function generator can be easily built on the cheap if you are not too concerned with having digital controls and high accuracy.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2014, 07:22:32 pm by wolfienuke »
 

Offline Mark_O

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Re: Scope For Electrical Repairs
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2014, 10:16:52 pm »
I just recently purchased a Hantek MSO5074FG.
I purchased one for USD$505 as my first scope since I am fairly poor...

Where did you find one here in the US for that price?  That's better than I've seen anywhere.  Or did you go Alibaba or something?  I find it hard to locate Hantek product here in the US, since it's mostly eBay sellers (in China) offering it.  That model is on Amazon... for about 650 bucks.

Just a couple comments, from a quick look at the specs. 

a) the memory depth on this is 1M samples/channel.  That's really not bad at all, though the Rigol you mentioned has 6x that.
b) it doesn't look like there are any protocol decode capabilities (that I could see)
c) the "logic" inputs are spec'ed to a maxInput of 3V.  That makes no sense to me at all.
d) I have no idea about this unit, but previous Hantek's had no SCPI capability.  That can be a real disadvantage, for some folks.
 

Offline Mark_O

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Re: Scope For Electrical Repairs
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2014, 10:39:21 pm »
Oh, and one additional comment on the Hantek MSO5074FG.  I knew this was fairly "new", but I didn't know it was "brand new".  Aka, I thought it had been out a while, but apparently not.

Checking out the Hantek site for more information, I see there is NO User Manual available.  And no Programming Guide.  AND not even a Data Sheet.  Just some info in a table on one tab... which leaves out a lot of information.

Sounds like you should have some fun checking this out.
 

Offline wolfienuke

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Re: Scope For Electrical Repairs
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2014, 12:20:38 am »

Where did you find one here in the US for that price?  That's better than I've seen anywhere.  Or did you go Alibaba or something?  I find it hard to locate Hantek product here in the US, since it's mostly eBay sellers (in China) offering it.  That model is on Amazon... for about 650 bucks.
AliExpress, 15% off sale... Beware that these are probably not UL listed. Most of us here probably know this. I don't plan on using this device until I survey it's power supply circuitry and the quality of vital passive components.

a) the memory depth on this is 1M samples/channel.  That's really not bad at all, though the Rigol you mentioned has 6x that.
There is a new recent picture floating around of a actual MSO5074F with a 2M memory depth. My fingers are crossed that I get that one, but who knows...

b) it doesn't look like there are any protocol decode capabilities (that I could see)
I hope there is, but obviously it is only a software limitation if so. Since it is new, I have no doubt that there will be firmware or software updates to fix that. If not, I have my USB logic analyser for decoding via laptop. How much can you really expect to get out of a $500 scope?

c) the "logic" inputs are spec'ed to a maxInput of 3V.  That makes no sense to me at all.
I saw that and plan on testing and looking at the logic input. Nothing so terrible that some zeners can't solve. I'm hoping it is 5V safe, but I will post info to let others know.

d) I have no idea about this unit, but previous Hantek's had no SCPI capability.  That can be a real disadvantage, for some folks.
There are community developed tools for Hantek's USB/LAN protocol that is documented. I plan on updating the software to take advantage of the 4-channel analog (and the logic and AWG if possible). The Hantek supplied tools are known to be quite limited. I have been a software programmer for over 15 years and have plans to update the community software if there is enough interest.
http://elinux.org/Das_Oszi_Protocol
http://peter.dreisiebner.at/dso-usb-tool/

Oh, and one additional comment on the Hantek MSO5074FG.  I knew this was fairly "new", but I didn't know it was "brand new".  Aka, I thought it had been out a while, but apparently not.
I believe Hantek announces some products early. The MSO5074 looks like it was released late last year (http://www.hantek.org/asken/iaskdetail.aspx?id=2013072518442475). I never said it was brand new. Maybe just for US dealers...

Checking out the Hantek site for more information, I see there is NO User Manual available.  And no Programming Guide.  AND not even a Data Sheet.  Just some info in a table on one tab... which leaves out a lot of information.
True. I thought this through a lot before I decided to take the chance and buy it. I think it is worth the risk for me.
User Manual is floating around somewhere. I have seen a scan. I know it is included, I don't know which language  :P
The lack of documentation is a problem for long term use, and if you intend on doing self-repairs. The community on this site helped me overlook this issue, as it seems that the community support is great and has some very skilled active members.

Sounds like you should have some fun checking this out.
I sure am!
 

Offline Mark_O

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Re: Scope For Electrical Repairs
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2014, 02:32:17 am »
Hi, wolfienuke.  Thanks for all the answers.  You got a good price on that.

b) it doesn't look like there are any protocol decode capabilities (that I could see)
I hope there is, but obviously it is only a software limitation if so. Since it is new, I have no doubt that there will be firmware or software updates to fix that. If not, I have my USB logic analyser for decoding via laptop. How much can you really expect to get out of a $500 scope?
Well, the Rigol DS1000Z is 4-channels with 6M/chan, and it's less than $585, WITH protocol decoders.  (Granted it lacks the MSO and FG.)  Since it is software, I can expect quite a bit!  ;)

Quote
There are community developed tools for Hantek's USB/LAN protocol that is documented. I plan on updating the software to take advantage of the 4-channel analog (and the logic and AWG if possible). The Hantek supplied tools are known to be quite limited. I have been a software programmer for over 15 years and have plans to update the community software if there is enough interest.
http://elinux.org/Das_Oszi_Protocol
http://peter.dreisiebner.at/dso-usb-tool/
Thanks.   I was unaware of all that.  While being able to use a 'standard' SCPI command interface may be nicer, the 'standard' aspect of SCPI has deteriorated a bit over the years, with many vendors doing their own incompatible variants, oblivious to what anyone else was doing.

Quote
Oh, and one additional comment on the Hantek MSO5074FG.  I knew this was fairly "new", but I didn't know it was "brand new".  Aka, I thought it had been out a while, but apparently not.
I believe Hantek announces some products early. The MSO5074 looks like it was released late last year (http://www.hantek.org/asken/iaskdetail.aspx?id=2013072518442475). I never said it was brand new. Maybe just for US dealers...
My apologies if I wasn't clear.  I was just commenting on my own lack of awareness of the Hantek product status.  The MSO5074F was actually announced years ago, and finally released last year, as you say.  I'd just think at this point, they would have had enough time to put manuals and datasheets in PDFs on their web site.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2014, 02:54:08 am by Mark_O »
 

Offline NateTronix

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Re: Scope For Electrical Repairs
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2014, 08:47:29 pm »
Think im defo going to go with the Rigol DS1104z guys as i keep going back to it every time ive looked at SIGLENT ones but people seem to have quiete a few issues witht them. Theres loads of choices out there but think after the research the rigol is the better build quality and stable and tbh id rather get the 100mhz then hack the 70mhz
 

Online tautech

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Re: Scope For Electrical Repairs
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2014, 09:35:12 pm »
Many like yourself buying their first scope have bought a Siglent, hence the supposed problems seen online.
I suspect most problems arise from inexperience, not the scopes themselves.
DSO's require a significant learning curve to be driven to their full potential.
RTFM.

The SDS1000 series has been around a while in various guises Lecroy, Atten etc.
For an entry level scope they are mature in their evolution and entirely adequate.

And most important I believe, have 400V channel inputs(unlike many others) that help reduce any chance of damage through errors in use.
If you live where there is 230V mains, a 400V input scope is a must.
It is not the point that you do not intend to use it on high voltage, but you will when your experience grows.
Avid Rabid Hobbyist
 

Offline pickle9000

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Re: Scope For Electrical Repairs
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2014, 10:35:11 pm »
I have an sds1102cml which was branded Atten and I put extra memory in. It turned out to be very robust. It has been shipped to several locations in Canada frozen, basically abused by many. It has held up well no faults or complaints. I rescued it when I retired as there was a "better scope" to take its place.

I would say buying the brand name Siglent is probably a better choice if only because it's easier to determine what software will run on the scope. They actually do software updates.

I would say the reliability in my case has been excellent.
 


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