Author Topic: Alternative to Rhode & Schwarz RTB2004  (Read 1650 times)

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Offline mr_jj

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Alternative to Rhode & Schwarz RTB2004
« on: January 23, 2022, 05:26:01 pm »
I am thinking about purchasing the RTB2004, which costs about 4k where I live. Are there any other similar mixed signal oscilloscopes that offer similar functionality but are better value? What I need is a mixed signal oscilloscope with a BW of 100 MHz. Decoding of serial protocols should be included..
 
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Alternative to Rhode & Schwarz RTB2004
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2022, 05:40:30 pm »
I am thinking about purchasing the RTB2004, which costs about 4k where I live. Are there any other similar mixed signal oscilloscopes that offer similar functionality but are better value? What I need is a mixed signal oscilloscope with a BW of 100 MHz. Decoding of serial protocols should be included..
Did you look on the 2nd hand market? Instrumex.de has a few RTB2004 units.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2022, 06:03:08 pm by nctnico »
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Offline Pinkus

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Re: Alternative to Rhode & Schwarz RTB2004
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2022, 06:49:10 pm »
Warning! If you want to use decoders, be careful not to be fooled by the R&S advertising.
They are advertising the availability of two simultaneous decoder to get their check mark and to look as good as other scopes.
In reality, the RTB often allow only one decoder instead of the two promised decoders, since R&S considers each signal direction as one decoder. Thus R&S decoders always are one-directional decoder, where decoder of all other test instrument companies are bi-directional decoders.
Thus, decoding of a UART communication with Rx and Tx eats up all (both) available decoder of the RTB2004; there is no decoder left e.g. for I2C.
For UART and SPI (both Rx/Tx) you would need four decoder at the RTB (which are not available), every other scope I know would only need two decoder for this.
 

Offline 2N3055

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Re: Alternative to Rhode & Schwarz RTB2004
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2022, 09:56:10 pm »
There are literally hundreds of topics on EEVBLOG about choosing a scope, and at least  dozen about comparing RTB2000 to other scopes.
There are several alternatives to RTB2000 for fraction of money that do some things equally well, some much better, and some not...

Quickly:

if you want to decode a lot and lowest possible noise is not necessary then Rigol MSO5000 will give you 4 channels of decode.
If you want best analog performance, MSO, and 2 decodes are OK you have Siglent SDS2000X+.

There are some other options but those two are decimating sales of RTB2000.

For the rest, please look around the forum. All was already said and explained.
 
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Offline armandine2

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Re: Alternative to Rhode & Schwarz RTB2004
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2022, 08:56:25 pm »
There are literally hundreds of topics on EEVBLOG about choosing a scope

Hence the difficulty the OP has  - and others, in finding out alternatives to the RTB2004, perhaps.
 

Offline Martin72

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Re: Alternative to Rhode & Schwarz RTB2004
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2022, 10:12:47 pm »
In my opinion, it´s relatively easy.

Specs of the RTB2000 series compared to the ones who are close at the priceline and are close to the own needs.
There aren´t much alternatives...
Keysight, Tektronix, Lecroy you can forget in this priceclass, so they´re out.
Hantek, Peaktech, Uni-T, Micsig, GWinstek the same, but in other direction, so they´re out.
So it´s reduced to three brands, R&S, Siglent and Rigol.
Let´s see what rigol and siglent got for nearly or under the price of a RTB2004 100Mhz.

Siglent SDS2K+, SDS5000X
Rigol MSO 5104, Rigol MSO7000
The rest had 2N3055 told.

That´s all.  ;)



Offline 2N3055

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Re: Alternative to Rhode & Schwarz RTB2004
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2022, 10:14:51 pm »
There are literally hundreds of topics on EEVBLOG about choosing a scope

Hence the difficulty the OP has  - and others, in finding out alternatives to the RTB2004, perhaps.

You are correct and the problem is exactly because every single person starts the same topics again and again.
Opening yet another duplicate topic is not a solution but a source of problem.

Going to older topic, and politely asking for a summary and verification that data in topic is still relevant and asking additional question when in doubt is much better solution, keeps all data in same place and actually keeps topic up to date, instead of being just some old discussion that is not relevant anymore.

And I did provide him with quick summary that is pretty much current state of affairs . I wasn't dismissive. But if he wants the details why, it is their homework.  I would start with datasheets, and go from there.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2022, 10:19:12 pm by 2N3055 »
 

Offline SilverSolder

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Re: Alternative to Rhode & Schwarz RTB2004
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2022, 10:37:06 pm »
There are literally hundreds of topics on EEVBLOG about choosing a scope

Hence the difficulty the OP has  - and others, in finding out alternatives to the RTB2004, perhaps.

You are correct and the problem is exactly because every single person starts the same topics again and again.
Opening yet another duplicate topic is not a solution but a source of problem.

Going to older topic, and politely asking for a summary and verification that data in topic is still relevant and asking additional question when in doubt is much better solution, keeps all data in same place and actually keeps topic up to date, instead of being just some old discussion that is not relevant anymore.

And I did provide him with quick summary that is pretty much current state of affairs . I wasn't dismissive. But if he wants the details why, it is their homework.  I would start with datasheets, and go from there.

The Eevblog  really needs some sticky topics "Best beginner oscilloscope", "Best beginner signal generator", etc.

The first post should contain a leaderboard and get updated when new products appear, hacks discovered, flaws discovered, etc.

 
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Offline Martin72

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Re: Alternative to Rhode & Schwarz RTB2004
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2022, 10:53:41 pm »
Quote
The Eevblog  really needs some sticky topics

In the forum I´m work for free as a admin, we got relatively a lot of sticky topics, because people are too lazy to search. :P
But it´s useless, they start a new topic and when you ask for the reason, didn´t  you search for, didn´t you read the stickys, they always, ALWAYS, answer the same.
Yes I did, but it wasn´t EXACTLY what I´m looking for.
And exactly means word for word.



 
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Offline RBBVNL9

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Re: Alternative to Rhode & Schwarz RTB2004
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2022, 11:06:51 am »
Dear mr_jj,

There has been a lot of comparison discussions going on here on the forum, indeed.

Recently, I took up the task to make a detailed comparison document between all functionalities of the RTB2000 and the SDS2000X+ series (and a simpler Keysight scope as well). You can find it in this repository (check the latest document version; it's constantly being updated).

While it is certainly true that the RTB can only decode one bidirectional serial protocol at a time (and the SDS can do two), there are many other considerations to take into account, even if you look at serial decode functions and implementation only. Just take a look at the comparison document at “Serial bus decode” and “CAN protocol decoding” to get an idea. (These parts were actually updated today, and more detailed information on other serial protocol decode implementation will follow soon.)

There is also a series of videos comparing these scopes here. Three videos are currently out, and I am planning an episode on serial decode as the next one, to appear sometime soon.

Anyway, bottom line: take a broad view of your use cases, expectations, priorities. and the many, many differences between these devices. Looking at a single dimension or feature is, in my view, not enough to make a well-considered choice. After all, it's quite an investment and hopefully, the instrument you chose will serve you haioplly for quite some years!

Good luck choosing!
 

Offline SilverSolder

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Re: Alternative to Rhode & Schwarz RTB2004
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2022, 03:10:08 pm »
Quote
The Eevblog  really needs some sticky topics

In the forum I´m work for free as a admin, we got relatively a lot of sticky topics, because people are too lazy to search. :P
But it´s useless, they start a new topic and when you ask for the reason, didn´t  you search for, didn´t you read the stickys, they always, ALWAYS, answer the same.
Yes I did, but it wasn´t EXACTLY what I´m looking for.
And exactly means word for word.

Well, some life forms simply aren't viable and go extinct!  We should focus on helping the viable ones...  :D
 
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Offline skander36

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Re: Alternative to Rhode & Schwarz RTB2004
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2022, 12:41:47 am »
My opinion: take two!  :D
I mean RTB is something you should have. For the things it miss then is Rigol or Siglent.
There is no such thing as a perfect oscillocope . Always it will miss something that others have.
Hence my solution :D
 
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Offline RBBVNL9

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Re: Alternative to Rhode & Schwarz RTB2004
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2022, 10:05:01 am »
Quote
My opinion: take two!  :D
I mean RTB is something you should have. For the things it miss then is Rigol or Siglent.
There is no such thing as a perfect oscillocope . Always it will miss something that others have.
Hence my solution :D

There is quite some truth there, and it is also the way I plan my purchases... Instead of trying to define the perfect instrument (and, if it exists, pay a fortune), get a good one, as good as you can afford and are willing to pay at that point in time. Then, over time you find out what needs are not yet fulfilled, and that might be filled in additional, complementary purchases. In the context of the scopes discussed here, these do not necessarily need to be 350MHz or 500MHz versions, which can keep the costs of additional purchases down quite a bit and make them good value for money. Also, this strategy stretches out investments over time and allows you to make better-informed choices based on well-identified needs (or desires...)

(In my case, I got the RTB and will never regret it...Later bought an SDS2000X Plus, which offers some nice complementary elements, and might also add an MSO5000, complementing my setup other dimensions (but fewer).

 

Offline 2N3055

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Re: Alternative to Rhode & Schwarz RTB2004
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2022, 11:56:12 am »
Quote
My opinion: take two!  :D
I mean RTB is something you should have. For the things it miss then is Rigol or Siglent.
There is no such thing as a perfect oscillocope . Always it will miss something that others have.
Hence my solution :D

There is quite some truth there, and it is also the way I plan my purchases... Instead of trying to define the perfect instrument (and, if it exists, pay a fortune), get a good one, as good as you can afford and are willing to pay at that point in time. Then, over time you find out what needs are not yet fulfilled, and that might be filled in additional, complementary purchases. In the context of the scopes discussed here, these do not necessarily need to be 350MHz or 500MHz versions, which can keep the costs of additional purchases down quite a bit and make them good value for money. Also, this strategy stretches out investments over time and allows you to make better-informed choices based on well-identified needs (or desires...)

(In my case, I got the RTB and will never regret it...Later bought an SDS2000X Plus, which offers some nice complementary elements, and might also add an MSO5000, complementing my setup other dimensions (but fewer).

Yeah sounds good in theory but are you adding value by getting more of the same?

SDS2000X+, MSO5000 and RTB2000 are largely targeting same segment. While they are different, they are also similar in capabilities.. DSOX1204 is very entry level scope for those that want analog experience and are prepared to pay inflated prices for big name (nothing wrong with that, just pointing it out).

1400€(Siglent SDS2104X Plus)+1200€(Rigol MSO5104)+4000€ (R&S® RTB2K-COM4)+1200€ (Keysight DSOX1204A/70MHz) combined gets you to almost 8000€.  That is all scopes except RTB2000 in basic configuration, without logic probes, or full bandwidth upgrades. With those it will easily reach 10000€

While doing that you don't have any scopes that go to 1 GHz, or 5GS/s or more, no larger screens, no active probes..
OTOH 8000€ range buys you Siglent 5000X, 6000A, R&S RTM3000 with full bundle, if you get a good deal you might buy MSOX3104T or similar, even some smaller LeCroys might be available.... All of these will take you one level up in bandwidth and capabilities.

I have several scopes but all of them have distinct features that are really not available in single scope. 3 Picoscopes: one deep memory MSO that is superb for decoding (25+ protocols and counting), one 16Bit with specifications no other scope has, and one that is 12bit 8 channel and is great for power applications. Combine that with Keysight MSOX3104T and SDS6000 and there is very little you cannot do. Only place to go is up in BW, really, and going really high end.

And having MSOX3104T and SDS6000 at the same time already shows redundancy: I rarely fire up MSOX3104T these days, only when I want to verify something or something specific that it has (like USB PD trigger/decode) that SDS6000 doesn't have currently. 

Having several very different scopes (in class, bandwidth, capabilities) is a good thing. But I would rather have one 1GHz capable scope of higher class than 2 500MHz ones. Hard limitations you cannot work around: BW, memory depth, active probe support..
My opinion.

 

Offline RBBVNL9

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Re: Alternative to Rhode & Schwarz RTB2004
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2022, 01:09:10 pm »
Fair consideration. Its important to consider how much the overlap is, and how much the complementarity. I like your example of different PicoScopes being quite complementary. I also got a PicoScope (the 3405D), hoped to use it more for serial decode but I, unfortunately, use it much less than I was hoping to, partly because of triggering aspects with the serial decode...

Quote
While doing that you don't have any scopes that go to 1 GHz, or 5GS/s or more, no larger screens, no active probes..
OTOH 8000€ range buys you Siglent 5000X, 6000A, R&S RTM3000 with full bundle, [...]

All depends a bit on the price level. If I could indeed buy a 1GHz 4 channel R&S RTM3000 with full bundle for around 8000 Euro, then I might consider that instead of a piecemeal approach.

But over here, a 1GHz 4 channel R&S RTM3000 still costs some 13.400 Euro (link) and the same scope with the full options bundle around 22.000 Euro (link, link2). (Prices I quote include VAT.) Add some active probes, as you mention, and we're talking of quite an investment.
 

Offline 2N3055

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Re: Alternative to Rhode & Schwarz RTB2004
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2022, 01:25:20 pm »
Fair consideration. Its important to consider how much the overlap is, and how much the complementarity. I like your example of different PicoScopes being quite complementary. I also got a PicoScope (the 3405D), hoped to use it more for serial decode but I, unfortunately, use it much less than I was hoping to, partly because of triggering aspects with the serial decode...

Quote
While doing that you don't have any scopes that go to 1 GHz, or 5GS/s or more, no larger screens, no active probes..
OTOH 8000€ range buys you Siglent 5000X, 6000A, R&S RTM3000 with full bundle, [...]

All depends a bit on the price level. If I could indeed buy a 1GHz 4 channel R&S RTM3000 with full bundle for around 8000 Euro, then I might consider that instead of a piecemeal approach.

But over here, a 1GHz 4 channel R&S RTM3000 still costs some 13.400 Euro (link) and the same scope with the full options bundle around 22.000 Euro (link, link2). (Prices I quote include VAT.) Add some active probes, as you mention, and we're talking of quite an investment.

Yes Picoscopes don't have protocol triggers. Complained to them about that more than once.But they are good if you are going to grab longer sequences..

I just realized R&S again changed sales strategy. Up until recently you could get fully loaded RTM3000 1GHz forquite less than that.

Now you get 500MHz version for that. They seem to be all over the place with these prices, and quite frankly give an impression they are just stabbing in the dark, without clear strategy and real positioning.

Oh well. But you get my point.
 

Offline RBBVNL9

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Re: Alternative to Rhode & Schwarz RTB2004
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2022, 01:46:59 pm »
Quote
Yes Picoscopes don't have protocol triggers. Complained to them about that more than once.

Yes, that's keeping me from using my PicoScope for some tasks.

I have been asking myself: why? It seems PicoTech wants to excel in serial decode, there is a market for that specialisation, and they have already been working quite a bit on positioning themselves in that space with a large number of protocols and nice decode features.

But why the lack of good protocol-related trigger features? Would it be a hardware related thing, that this cannot easily be added?
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Alternative to Rhode & Schwarz RTB2004
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2022, 01:58:40 pm »
Fair consideration. Its important to consider how much the overlap is, and how much the complementarity. I like your example of different PicoScopes being quite complementary. I also got a PicoScope (the 3405D), hoped to use it more for serial decode but I, unfortunately, use it much less than I was hoping to, partly because of triggering aspects with the serial decode...

Quote
While doing that you don't have any scopes that go to 1 GHz, or 5GS/s or more, no larger screens, no active probes..
OTOH 8000€ range buys you Siglent 5000X, 6000A, R&S RTM3000 with full bundle, [...]

All depends a bit on the price level. If I could indeed buy a 1GHz 4 channel R&S RTM3000 with full bundle for around 8000 Euro, then I might consider that instead of a piecemeal approach.
AFAIK the 8k price was/is a special (introduction) offer. IIRC the actual list price has always been around the 18k euro mark (22k euro including 20% VAT).

It makes sense though to have oscilloscopes that complement eachother where it comes to bandwidth and versatility. The RTM3004 is excellent as a daily driver and goes a very long way but if I need more bandwidth or analysis features, I fire up the Lecroy Wavepro 7k series. OTOH the latter is not a good scope to use as a daily driver.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2022, 02:04:34 pm by nctnico »
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Offline 2N3055

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Re: Alternative to Rhode & Schwarz RTB2004
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2022, 02:09:37 pm »
Fair consideration. Its important to consider how much the overlap is, and how much the complementarity. I like your example of different PicoScopes being quite complementary. I also got a PicoScope (the 3405D), hoped to use it more for serial decode but I, unfortunately, use it much less than I was hoping to, partly because of triggering aspects with the serial decode...

Quote
While doing that you don't have any scopes that go to 1 GHz, or 5GS/s or more, no larger screens, no active probes..
OTOH 8000€ range buys you Siglent 5000X, 6000A, R&S RTM3000 with full bundle, [...]

All depends a bit on the price level. If I could indeed buy a 1GHz 4 channel R&S RTM3000 with full bundle for around 8000 Euro, then I might consider that instead of a piecemeal approach.
AFAIK the 8k price was/is a special (introduction) offer. IIRC the actual list price has always been around the 18k euro mark (22k euro including 20% VAT).

Well it was running until recently. Originally it was 500MHz at 6000€ something, then 1GHz at 8-9000€, and now it is 500MHz at 8000€... They just seem desperate to keep prices as high as possible, and then they do random move and then back to as high as possible.

Anyways there is no scenario that scope is worth 22000€. You can buy one helluva scope from LeCroy for that money... Also from Keysight... Heck you can buy better scope from R&S for that money...  :-DD
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Alternative to Rhode & Schwarz RTB2004
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2022, 02:12:57 pm »
You are wrong. As I wrote: list price for a fully optioned (all options including logic probes) RTM3004 has always been in the 18k (ex. VAT) ballpark. AFAIK the 8k offer didn't include all options (IIRC only common decoding, function generator, spectrum analysis and FRA)  and no logic probes.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2022, 02:14:46 pm by nctnico »
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Offline 2N3055

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Re: Alternative to Rhode & Schwarz RTB2004
« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2022, 02:43:04 pm »
You are wrong. As I wrote: list price for a fully optioned (all options including logic probes) RTM3004 has always been in the 18k (ex. VAT) ballpark. AFAIK the 8k offer didn't include all options (IIRC only common decoding, function generator, spectrum analysis and FRA)  and no logic probes.

Ehh, I m not R&S salesman. I don't have detailed price record.. If you insist...

https://web.archive.org/web/20200727163752/https://www.batronix.com/shop/rohde-schwarz/RTM3000.html

So last year until summer it was 10000€ with tax. ... It seems that it went south after that...

My mistake is that I remembered price without VAT...
 

Offline Hydron

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Re: Alternative to Rhode & Schwarz RTB2004
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2022, 03:14:15 pm »
6 months ago a fully loaded/optioned (with logic probes) 1GHz RTA4004 was about 10.5k EUR + VAT (converted from GBP price), which is a hell of a lot lower than the silly money "list" price. The 3k and 2k models had large discounts at the time too, though not quite as dramatic as that.

Though I really like my RTB2004 I wouldn't buy one without a decent discount - though they've never been as cheap as the release promo price (which is what I paid), they have had periodic offers that massively reduce the cost for a well-optioned model.

I have not used the Siglent or Rigol suggested alternatives, you do have the advantage though that if you buy a hackable one (and are not buying for work use where this might not fly) then you can get the lowest cost version and install all the software options to upgrade it. AFAIK this is not possible with the R&S because there are less people working on it, and most of the ones people have are probably fully loaded already.

Edit: RTA4K-COM4 is 10k EUR at batronix still: https://www.batronix.com/shop/oscilloscopes/Rohde-Schwarz-RTA4K-COM4-SP.html
« Last Edit: January 27, 2022, 03:17:29 pm by Hydron »
 
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Offline RBBVNL9

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Re: Alternative to Rhode & Schwarz RTB2004
« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2022, 04:14:16 pm »
Quote
Though I really like my RTB2004 I wouldn't buy one without a decent discount

Agree... When available as RTxnk-COMx packages (which seems to be often but now always the case) the prices are so much more attractive than 'regular' list price. Not sure whether these COM prices fluctuate a lot too over time...

Also, if you qualify, the R&S educational discounts can be, what shall I say ... attractive. Very attractive. And some retailers combine these with the 'regular' discounts. 
 


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