Author Topic: 2 vs 4 Channel Oscilloscope Poll - multiple choice plus fill-in the blank  (Read 20537 times)

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Offline PA4TIM

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Re: 2 vs 4 Channel Oscilloscope Poll - multiple choice plus fill-in the blank
« Reply #25 on: September 30, 2013, 12:04:29 am »
I have three 4 channel scopes (a Tek 547 and two 1a4 plugins, a 7704 with two vertical 2 channel plugins, a 7603 with 2 vertical 2 channel plugins and connected to a 132 and if I put  a 1A4 in that I have 6 channels.
My MSO is a 2 channel 350MHz Hameg with 8 LA channels and a third bnc for external triggering. Also a two channel 1GHz analog sample scope , a 2 Channel HP122 and a few other 2 channel (museum) scopes.
The rare ocassion thatI need 4 channels I use 2 scopes because 4 traces on one screen is much to crowded..

And I could not make a choise between a 2 or 4 channel Rigol because I do not want a Rigol (made that mistake allready once)
 
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Offline Electro Fan

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Re: 2 vs 4 Channel Oscilloscope Poll - multiple choice plus fill-in the blank
« Reply #26 on: September 30, 2013, 02:27:37 am »
I have three 4 channel scopes (a Tek 547 and two 1a4 plugins, a 7704 with two vertical 2 channel plugins, a 7603 with 2 vertical 2 channel plugins and connected to a 132 and if I put  a 1A4 in that I have 6 channels.
My MSO is a 2 channel 350MHz Hameg with 8 LA channels and a third bnc for external triggering. Also a two channel 1GHz analog sample scope , a 2 Channel HP122 and a few other 2 channel (museum) scopes.
The rare ocassion thatI need 4 channels I use 2 scopes because 4 traces on one screen is much to crowded..

And I could not make a choise between a 2 or 4 channel Rigol because I do not want a Rigol (made that mistake allready once)

PA4TIM, as I was reading your post I was pretty sure the conclusion was going to be "4 channels is a minimum and there is no such thing as too many channels" so it was interesting to hear your thinking 4 channels on one screen is much to crowded and that 2 channels is your preference.  Thanks for sharing your perspective.

Which Rigol did you have that turned you off on Rigol?  What was it that you didn't like?  Thx
 

Offline PA4TIM

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Re: 2 vs 4 Channel Oscilloscope Poll - multiple choice plus fill-in the blank
« Reply #27 on: September 30, 2013, 09:03:24 am »
DS1102E, bought it when it still was about twice the price it is now. It was far from acurate, I was always at wat with the menus/knobs. One probe died within 3 months. Then I used it only when I really needed a DSO. After two years the select button stopped working most of the time and the trigger button broke of when I turned it. The hollow shaft of that button was realy thin plastic. I gave it to a student who repaced both knobs and later replaced the powerswitch because that failed too. I did not want a DSO after that until a friend leant me a (one of the worst) 60 MHz old Tek DSO to play with. I liked that over the Rigol but it was rather limited. Then I used his 200 MHz Agilent and that was great. I wanted to buy a Agilent 2000 or 3000 but after some hands on experience with the Hameg I bought their 350 MHz version. I now have it almost 2 years and I  still think iot is great, I use it for almost everything I need a scope.
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Offline Pinkus

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Re: 2 vs 4 Channel Oscilloscope Poll - multiple choice plus fill-in the blank
« Reply #28 on: September 30, 2013, 10:27:39 am »
for me its
A.   I have a 2 channel scope and I’ve never had a need for 4 channels.
... if we talk about analog.

Of course I often need more channels, but then its digital. For this I can suggest a $389 Intronix Logicport logic analyzer with 34 channels. It can do whatever I want/need, with a trick it can also have a trigger out line to trigger the scope if you need a mixed signal view.
A benchtop logicanalyzer usually is a pain. With a PC based logic analyzer you can work with the signals 100x better, quicker and nicer than with a scope. However: beware of the cheap (<$150) logic analyzers, you will reach their limitations too quickly. The Logicport with its software is -in my opinion- still best of its class.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: 2 vs 4 Channel Oscilloscope Poll - multiple choice plus fill-in the blank
« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2013, 10:34:47 am »
Nowadays I wouldn't think about getting a 2 channel scope and go for a 4 channel scope by default. For many measurements I use more than 2 channels. Sometimes I use one channel just for triggering. My scopes also have a trigger input but its nice to be able to check the signal of the trigger source.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Electro Fan

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Re: 2 vs 4 Channel Oscilloscope Poll - multiple choice plus fill-in the blank
« Reply #30 on: September 30, 2013, 02:55:18 pm »
DS1102E, bought it when it still was about twice the price it is now. It was far from acurate, I was always at wat with the menus/knobs. One probe died within 3 months. Then I used it only when I really needed a DSO. After two years the select button stopped working most of the time and the trigger button broke of when I turned it. The hollow shaft of that button was realy thin plastic. I gave it to a student who repaced both knobs and later replaced the powerswitch because that failed too. I did not want a DSO after that until a friend leant me a (one of the worst) 60 MHz old Tek DSO to play with. I liked that over the Rigol but it was rather limited. Then I used his 200 MHz Agilent and that was great. I wanted to buy a Agilent 2000 or 3000 but after some hands on experience with the Hameg I bought their 350 MHz version. I now have it almost 2 years and I  still think iot is great, I use it for almost everything I need a scope.

Sorry to hear about your 1102E.  Glad you found your way to the Hameg and that it is working well for you.  My guess/sense based on reading lots of posts here is that Rigol has improved their product features/functions and performance and their reliablity but they probably haven't quite reached Agilent when it comes to QC and service and support.  Thanks again for your thoughts/insight.
 

Offline Electro Fan

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Re: 2 vs 4 Channel Oscilloscope Poll - multiple choice plus fill-in the blank
« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2013, 03:21:45 pm »
for me its
A.   I have a 2 channel scope and I’ve never had a need for 4 channels.
... if we talk about analog.

Of course I often need more channels, but then its digital. For this I can suggest a $389 Intronix Logicport logic analyzer with 34 channels. It can do whatever I want/need, with a trick it can also have a trigger out line to trigger the scope if you need a mixed signal view.
A benchtop logicanalyzer usually is a pain. With a PC based logic analyzer you can work with the signals 100x better, quicker and nicer than with a scope. However: beware of the cheap (<$150) logic analyzers, you will reach their limitations too quickly. The Logicport with its software is -in my opinion- still best of its class.

Yep, while it would be cool to have an Agilent MSOX3000 or maybe a Rigol MSO4000 they are kind of pricey.  With either of those 2 extra channels is not a big extra cost overall and I'd for sure go with 4 channels. 

Closer to entry level it would seem that a Rigol 2072 plus an Intronix LogicPort would be a relatively low cost and very high value way to go for users interested in reasonably high performance and digital signals. 

The only question left in my mind (and the reason for the original post) is whether it might make sense to give up some waveforms per second, some memory, some screen space and maybe af few other features from the 2000 series and go with a DS1000Z to get the 4 analog channels, but either way one of these entry Rigols and an Intronix looks like a great combination. 

It's hard to say who is happier - Rigol 2072 customers or Intronix LogicPort customers - kind of looks like a tie with many happy customers for each.
 

Offline JuKu

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Re: 2 vs 4 Channel Oscilloscope Poll - multiple choice plus fill-in the blank
« Reply #32 on: September 30, 2013, 06:24:40 pm »
I have a two channel scope, a 32 channel logic analyzer and a 8 channel audio analyzer. All have enough channels, but only on the logic analyzer I have never wished for more. Sometimes I poke around with one scope channel to check that the waveforms are what I expect; it would be marginally more handy to hook up more channels. Sometimes I have to repeat a measurement to get all audio channel data in. I've never run out of logic channels, but it has been close.
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Offline KJDS

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Re: 2 vs 4 Channel Oscilloscope Poll - multiple choice plus fill-in the blank
« Reply #33 on: September 30, 2013, 07:37:46 pm »
I've got an assortment of two and four channel analog and digital scopes. I've also got some interesting Kikusui COS6100 100MHz 5 channel analog scopes, though channels 4 and 5 are trigger channels that can also be displayed. I've also got a 16 channel logic analyzer.

It's been a little while since I've needed more than one channel. What I do need is speed, and triggering, and a lack of noise.

Offline tonybarry

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Re: 2 vs 4 Channel Oscilloscope Poll - multiple choice plus fill-in the blank
« Reply #34 on: October 01, 2013, 09:03:04 am »
Quote
Hi Tony,

Thanks - any chance you could say more about the types of digital signals you typically work with and also about what analog and/or digital signals you would ideally most like to marry/synchronize on the time bases (and how precisely you need to synchonize them)?  Are you measuring the level of synchronicity with numeric readouts or eyeballing (or triggering) where rising and falling signals line up?  What next scope(s) are you considering?  Thx, EF

Hi ElectroFan,
My work is generally with microcontrollers (Arduino type stuff) where the clocks are slow (16MHz or thereabouts) and analog voltages are present on the board.  The analog voltages are digitised and actions computed based on the results.  Mostly acceptable latencies are in the low msec range but sometimes they are in the microsecond range.

I have ordered a Rigol MSO 4014 with serial decode and it should be here in about a month.  I had considered several other scopes, for either price or features, but it seems this scope has enough grunt to do me for the foreseeable future.  I have written about my brief experiences with a showroom device in another post.

Regards,
Tony Barry
 

Offline denneyaa

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Re: 2 vs 4 Channel Oscilloscope Poll - multiple choice plus fill-in the blank
« Reply #35 on: October 09, 2013, 12:03:21 am »
E.   I have a 4 channel scope and generally only need 2 channels but when I need 4 channels it’s mostly for monitoring multiple motor inputs.

I use this in the research that I have been working on with autonomous quad-copters and synchronizing the outputs of the motors for the correct style of movement. It comes in really handy to be able to see all four motor inputs on the exact same screen. It could be done with multiple ir tachometers, but being able to just have an 4 channel oscilloscope that it able to directly tell me if I am see the proper movement from the motor signals is a lot easier to read and to diagnose problems. I ran into the problem of needing the 4 channel oscilloscope. It could have been solve with using 2 2-channel but it's extremely nice having it all on the single screen.

I would say if you can't really think of a complete reason of why a 4 channel is needed go with the 2 channel option. If there is a hint of a possibility pay the difference and you won't regret having to only set up and analyze on a single screen.
 


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