Author Topic: (not so) new scopes at my school  (Read 7992 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Fantasma25

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 91
  • Country: mx
(not so) new scopes at my school
« on: October 11, 2013, 02:04:25 am »
My university bought a lot of this (not so) new oscilloscopes: the Tektronix TDS2002b and the TBS1102. I am rather angry at the situation because I know those scopes are more or less expensive (like $800 USD), and I think for the same price they could have gotten an equivalent Rigol model with waaay more features and a bigger screen. Is my opinion correct? Or did the lab manager actually made a good choice?
 

Offline c4757p

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7805
  • Country: us
  • adieu
Re: (not so) new scopes at my school
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2013, 02:07:47 am »
I am angry because my university bought perfectly capable, usable oscilloscopes, but I like these other perfectly capable, usable oscilloscopes better! :P

I think they made a dumb choice, particularly with the TBS1102. But so what? They work.
No longer active here - try the IRC channel if you just can't be without me :)
 

Offline Fantasma25

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 91
  • Country: mx
Re: (not so) new scopes at my school
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2013, 02:25:17 am »
lol you're right, I should not be complaning. They do work well. It's just that some times I want to make more advanced stuff, like a decent FFT or a statistical analysis of my signals and it bugs me a litte to know that for the same price they could have gotten something a bit better.
 

Offline c4757p

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7805
  • Country: us
  • adieu
Re: (not so) new scopes at my school
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2013, 02:27:59 am »
Both of those scopes do FFT. If you need more than that, export the waveform data and feed it to MATLAB or similar.
No longer active here - try the IRC channel if you just can't be without me :)
 

Offline Fantasma25

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 91
  • Country: mx
Re: (not so) new scopes at my school
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2013, 02:53:29 am »
Yes, they do calculate the FFT, but it looks horrible and it's really sluggish. I guess I haven't tried to export it to matlab... I'll try it next time. Thanks for the tip! :-+
 

Offline jerry507

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 246
Re: (not so) new scopes at my school
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2013, 02:59:05 am »
You have every right to be upset that the state spent your money poorly. Unless you go to a private school in which case sorry, you just go to a school run by people who don't think very hard.
 

alm

  • Guest
Re: (not so) new scopes at my school
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2013, 04:02:21 am »
Lab equipment tends to have pretty hard life in schools. Maybe they figured out that these scopes will survive longer or have better warranty terms than equivalent Rigol scopes? Based on complaints about rotary encoders from hobbyists, I don't expect the DS1052E to survive for longer than a year or so. The DS2000 has not been on the market long enough to make a meaningful estimate of its reliability under harsh conditions.

Maybe Tek provides free training material that Rigol doesn't provide? Of course the lab manager might also be old-fashioned in believing that Tek is the only company making scopes. But just because the TDS2000/TBS1000 would be a poor choice for a hobbyists wanting the most features for their money doesn't make it a poor choice for schools. The lab equipment should be good enough so the student can perform the lab assignments and to give them some hands on experience. Those old Tek scopes may very well be plenty sufficient for both.
 

Offline EEVblog

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 29694
  • Country: au
    • EEVblog
Re: (not so) new scopes at my school
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2013, 04:19:10 am »
My university bought a lot of this (not so) new oscilloscopes: the Tektronix TDS2002b and the TBS1102. I am rather angry at the situation because I know those scopes are more or less expensive (like $800 USD), and I think for the same price they could have gotten an equivalent Rigol model with waaay more features and a bigger screen. Is my opinion correct? Or did the lab manager actually made a good choice?

It depends what they had before.
If there was a lot of course material already written for existing TDS series scopes for example, then it does make some sense to stay with that series.
Or Tek might have some educational material for the scopes as well (Agilent so this, and target the schools hard).
But that is about the only selling point of these Tek TBS scopes, otherwise, no, it's a stupid choice.
Tek are preying on those who simply buy Tek, because that is what they have always bought.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2013, 04:22:01 am by EEVblog »
 

Offline EEVblog

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 29694
  • Country: au
    • EEVblog
Re: (not so) new scopes at my school
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2013, 04:27:21 am »
Lab equipment tends to have pretty hard life in schools. Maybe they figured out that these scopes will survive longer or have better warranty terms than equivalent Rigol scopes? Based on complaints about rotary encoders from hobbyists, I don't expect the DS1052E to survive for longer than a year or so. The DS2000 has not been on the market long enough to make a meaningful estimate of its reliability under harsh conditions.

A valid point, but I've seen a fair share of faulty Tek TDS scopes in my time too. And my DS1052E has been Sagan's play toy for a year, and it doesn't miss a beat.
I suspect it wouldn't be hard to get a matching 5 year warranty out of a local Rigol dealer if you bought enough of them.

The thing with this situation is that the extra features would likely go unused, because any couse material would be written around using the pathetic Tek scope. So there would be no material on how to use deep memory, or segmented memory etc.
 

Offline marshallh

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 1462
  • Country: us
    • retroactive
Re: (not so) new scopes at my school
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2013, 04:45:36 am »
The Teks may be outdated on purchase, slow, unresponsive and annoying to use, but they will get the job done and won't have a lot of fuss.
Your procurement department will favor Tek because they have established distribution channels, and they know they can source replacement units as needed. Danaher aside, Tek will still be around in 5 years.

On the other hand, the Rigol scopes are dubious in their longevity, hell the most critical parts in them are overclocked and intentionally run out of spec right from the factory. And from what I've seen and my own experience, I'd deem them a poor choice for the school's use on that point alone, nevermind the fact that getting replacements is like pulling teeth, and whatever scope model they buy will guaranteed be unavailable 4 or 5 years later. If the company is still around.
Verilog tips
BGA soldering intro

11:37 <@ktemkin> c4757p: marshall has transcended communications media
11:37 <@ktemkin> He speaks protocols directly.
 

Online edavid

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2816
  • Country: us
Re: (not so) new scopes at my school
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2013, 04:54:35 am »
Tektronix probably gives your school a bigger discount than Rigol does.
 

Offline AG6QR

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 792
  • Country: us
    • AG6QR Blog
Re: (not so) new scopes at my school
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2013, 04:56:58 am »
Some companies have educational discount programs but they vary quite a bit from company to company.  The idea is that they try to get their equipment into labs, so that new engineers will be familiar with their equipment, and will want to use it later in their careers.  I don't know what the policies of Tek and Rigol are on this matter, but there's a very good chance that the ratio of retail prices that we see on popular web sites bear very little relationship to the ratios seen by the school's purchasing agent.  Warranty and service agreements are another wrinkle.  Your school may have chosen the very low-priced option.

Did your school do the right thing?  I don't know, what were the offers presented to them?

My opinion is that it doesn't matter much.  In school, you should primarily be learning the basic theory, which is the same regardless of the details of the instrument used.  If you learn the theory, and a little bit of practice on one instrument, you'll be able to adapt to another instrument easily after graduation.  It's actually a good thing to get a feel for several different manufacturer's equipment, if possible.
 

Offline nowlan

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 639
  • Country: au
Re: (not so) new scopes at my school
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2013, 05:38:48 am »
My local tafe are using Tek scopes. Before that, they were analog phillips from memory.
They have a $10k scope for decoding Can serial bus, etc.

When I asked about scopes, they were recommending Tek to me. Rigol/Agilent didnt really come up.

I only ever used scopes for rs232 and amplifer signals. Long time ago now.

Maybe the RF classes need fancy FFT etc.
 

Offline Hydrawerk

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2380
  • Country: 00
Re: (not so) new scopes at my school
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2013, 10:07:04 am »
TDS2000 is quite good for school use. They last for more than 10 years.
Amazing machines. https://www.youtube.com/user/denha (It is not me...)
 

Offline ddavidebor

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1135
  • Country: it
    • Fermium LABS website
(not so) new scopes at my school
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2013, 11:17:31 am »
Tek scope can be slow, old build, obsolete.

But they are quality product.
Davide Bortolami,
Fermium LABS srl
 

Offline amyk

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6483
Re: (not so) new scopes at my school
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2013, 11:19:47 am »
I visited the local school here (I know the guy who's in charge of the lab) a few years ago and they had Rigol DS1052Es. He told me they all got "upgraded" to '1102s not long after that hack came out... :-DD
 

Offline Fsck

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1157
  • Country: ca
  • sleep deprived
Re: (not so) new scopes at my school
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2013, 11:22:41 am »
I visited the local school here (I know the guy who's in charge of the lab) a few years ago and they had Rigol DS1052Es. He told me they all got "upgraded" to '1102s not long after that hack came out... :-DD

where's here anyways? most schools I've seen prefer no alterations in Canada.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2013, 11:25:39 am by Fsck »
"This is a one line proof...if we start sufficiently far to the left."
 

Offline zapta

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6004
  • Country: us
Re: (not so) new scopes at my school
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2013, 02:37:14 pm »
You have every right to be upset that the state spent your money poorly. Unless you go to a private school in which case sorry, you just go to a school run by people who don't think very hard.

+1

The OP said that they bought 'a lot' of these scopes.
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline Fantasma25

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 91
  • Country: mx
Re: (not so) new scopes at my school
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2013, 02:57:59 pm »
Wow! Thaks a lot for your opinions. I think they probably chose those scopes because of the warranty. I went to tektronik's website and some scopes even include lifetime warranty. I think it also had to do with the fact that there are not many scopes distributors (or not that I know) in Mexico, and they didn't have many options. Before we had (and we still have them) some older tektronix scopes. I can't remember the model, but they had black and white screens. We also had a few really big agilent scopes.  They even had 3.5" floppy drive. Anyway... I should enjoy what I have and try to get the most out of it.  :-+  :-BROKE
 

Offline zapta

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6004
  • Country: us
Re: (not so) new scopes at my school
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2013, 08:02:27 pm »
Lifetime warranty sometimes means 'useful life of the product', it's not always what one would assume.

Drain the swamp.
 

Offline RobbieC

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 12
Re: (not so) new scopes at my school
« Reply #20 on: October 13, 2013, 03:28:46 pm »
     I'll have to see what my College is using now, but ten years ago it was HP 546XX digital scopes which were already a few years old at the time.
     They did what they needed to do for our labs, which included essentially what an old analog scope would do plus automatic measurements and image capture.
     Your University should have at least a couple of "bleeding edge" DSOs made available in some labs though.
     When I was a co-op at the Department of Defence instrumentation shop, I used to drool over the old Tek scopes. Last month I was looking for a good used older 100MHz+ Tek DSO, but ended up going with the (now) good ol' hacked (thanks Gizmo!) Rigol DS1052E. Those Teks are still tanks and I'd love to have one, but you can't beat the Rigol for value!
 

Offline Hydrawerk

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2380
  • Country: 00
Re: (not so) new scopes at my school
« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2013, 04:47:37 pm »
At school we have a few TDS220/TDS1000/TDS2000, but not much. There are many HP 54600 series scopes, both old from early 1990s or from early 2000s.


Then there is one Agilent DSO6000 and an old TDS3000

I have also seen a LeCroy WaveJet at my university, but I have never touched it. Then we used a few old Agilent DSO3000 (those made by Rigol)
Then there are a few Rohde&Schwarz RTO scopes and even Agilent DSOX3000, but I have never seen them with my own eyes.
You will hardly ever see an analog scope at my university. Only two of them are used in education (one is a Tesla BM556 or similar). Then one Gould/Hitachi scope is in the student's lab because nobody wants it.

There is also a crap scope GW Instek GDS-806C.
https://plus.google.com/photos/106264218831814439783/albums/5852286961657081569

To sum up: There really are not many TDS1000 or similar scopes and they are used only for basic measurement.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2013, 04:59:55 pm by Hydrawerk »
Amazing machines. https://www.youtube.com/user/denha (It is not me...)
 

Offline Hydrawerk

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2380
  • Country: 00
Re: (not so) new scopes at my school
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2013, 10:22:14 pm »
Yesterday I used this monochromatic scope at university... Well, the autorange button is a cool feature!
Amazing machines. https://www.youtube.com/user/denha (It is not me...)
 

Offline Frenchie

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 61
  • Country: au
Re: (not so) new scopes at my school
« Reply #23 on: October 23, 2013, 01:20:46 am »
for the same price they could have gotten something a bit better

Don't be so sure, It's highly unlikely they paid anything close to retail on the gear. Universities get all sorts of wonderful price breaks & most manufacturers are prepared to go a lot tighter on their margins when it comes to education (some moreso than others). I wouldn't be surprised if the price was right and the extra features you're missing just didn't justify the extra money.

In the last tender I was involved in before departing the University world, we ended up buying something that on paper was considerably more expensive than the next compeditor. After the usual sales banter and educational discounts we paid 40% retail which made it considerably cheaper.
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf