Author Topic: Oscilloscope selection woes (Siglent SDS1000X-E vs SDS5000X)  (Read 1272 times)

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Offline melwin

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tl;dr: Looking for moral support to get the SDS5000X!

Hey all - long time lurker here who recently registered (first post!). Been reading the forum a lot, learning as much as I can - many thanks to all who contribute so much of their time and skill!

Anywho - I work with IT/software development professionally but have I've been dabbling with electronics last few years as a hobby. Mostly done Arduino projects, like simple home automation, and have gotten by ok with limited tools. Now I'm looking to get more into doing my own PCB designs (just ordered my first custom PCB - w00p!) and have some projects ongoing, including a lipo charger/buck/boost regulator, low power battery and multi-button input management for wifi enabled Arduino (similar to the Amazon button but more capable), a led driver, a custom 433 MHz remote (also need to reverse engineer proprietary protocol over 433 MHz for an awning remote) and some simpler repairs (mostly HiFi audio equipment). Some of the these things I can buy as finished modules of course, but half (most?!) of the fun is designing something to your own specs and integrating the functionality needed.

For this I want to expand my workbench with some new tools - with a 4ch oscilloscope being the centerpiece. I'm also getting a new lab power supply, function generator and multimeter and maybe more, depending on what I fit into the $5k I've managed to save and budget for this.

After reading all relevant threads I could find I started leaning more and more towards Siglent's entry level offerings - SDS1104X-E scope, SDG1032X awg and SPD3303X-E bench supply. I even considered their bench multimeters but think I will hold off on those and get a new handheld from Brymen to begin with. Then maybe get something fun like the Keithley DMM6500 if I feel a need for something even more capable.

I was pretty much set on the above but when looking at the new Rigol 5000 series I started feeling more and more that perhaps I should go bigger with the scope from day one - get a bigger (touch) screen and more functionality, like zone trigger, which I really like the looks of. Sticking with the brand I saw Siglent has the new SDS5034X which obviously is much more expensive than the 1104X-E, but it's not as horrendously expensive as alternatives with similar capabilities and would fit in, but consume a large part of, my budget. From what I can see, it's all in all a very appealing alternative compared to Rigol and others at similar price level.

Now - I do realize that perhaps I'm stupid, seduced by the look of that new and shiny 10.1" capacitive touch screen, and getting the 5000X is just a waste of money better spent on something else. But I don't like the idea of getting the cheaper scope and regretting it... Unfortunately I've found no way of trying the units before ordering. That's why I'm turning to the wisdom of the forum crowd(!). What would you do with a similar budget for some tools?

Or put differently - WWDD? - What Would Dave Do? So to speak. :]

Any input is appreciated! Thanks.

/M
 

Offline JPortici

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Re: Oscilloscope selection woes (Siglent SDS1000X-E vs SDS5000X)
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2019, 04:02:08 pm »
It seems you have the budget.. if you also have the need, get the 5000
Nice screen is a bonus, nicer interface is a bonus, more advanced feature is a bonus
 

Offline BillB

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Re: Oscilloscope selection woes (Siglent SDS1000X-E vs SDS5000X)
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2019, 04:08:34 pm »
Welcome melwin!

Most here (myself included) are afflicted with acute TEA, and will wholeheartedly support your decision to buy a new shiny!

However,

Since you are leveling-up in your hobby, getting a decent bench of low-cost equipment is a good idea.  The Siglent gear you mentioned will be more than adequate for your needs; I've got many of those very items myself.

Regarding the scope, I might be in the minority saying this, but the SDS5000X is a little steep to start off with I think, especially if it is going to chew into your budget for other gear.  Given that you are unfamiliar with the brand/features, getting the SDS1104X-E (hackable!) to experiment and familiarize yourself with might be a better option.  You can always sell it for a good used price if you wanted to grow into something else later.
 

Offline melwin

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Re: Oscilloscope selection woes (Siglent SDS1000X-E vs SDS5000X)
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2019, 04:26:50 pm »
@JPortici - thanks for the input! "need" is a strong word! ;P I would definitely say I don't _need_ it for the things I will do. And people much more skilled than I make do with much worse, of course. It's more a matter of getting a really strong scope with many features to explore that is a joy to use, etc.

@BillB - ah - a voice of reason when I need it the most. Thanks! Any thoughts on what to use the budget for if not going all in on the scope? Waiting for a need is of course the smart thing to do, but it's also nice to plan ahead for what to potentially get later on to avoid double spending by getting something that you'll look to upgrade shortly thereafter. For instance I feel I should not get a cheap bench DMM, instead use my handheld and then get a bench DMM if/when I know what I want in it. Thanks again!
 

Offline BillB

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Re: Oscilloscope selection woes (Siglent SDS1000X-E vs SDS5000X)
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2019, 04:54:33 pm »
@BillB - ah - a voice of reason when I need it the most. Thanks! Any thoughts on what to use the budget for if not going all in on the scope? Waiting for a need is of course the smart thing to do, but it's also nice to plan ahead for what to potentially get later on to avoid double spending by getting something that you'll look to upgrade shortly thereafter. For instance I feel I should not get a cheap bench DMM, instead use my handheld and then get a bench DMM if/when I know what I want in it. Thanks again!

With a similar budget, I set up a home "micro-bench" to augment my work activities not too long ago.  I'm a matchy-matchy kinda guy and wanted to have consistency across devices, so I centered on Siglent as I like their "very familiar" UI, newer tech like ethernet/USB connectivity and SCPI control, and the bang for the buck because I'm a tightwad (and hack-ability).  Don't forget odds and ends that will eat part of your budget: probes, cables, connectors, terminators, cords, power strips, etc.

Looking at your project set I can see some overlap with my own, so I think many of my choices would serve you well:

Scope: SDS1104X-E with SLA-1016 LA pod
Supplies: SPD3303X-E and SPD1168X
AWG: SDG2042X
DMM: SDM3045X and SDM3055
SA: SSA3021X
DC Load: ITech 8511+ (Might trade up for SDL1020XE)
LCR: DER-EE  DE-5000
Soldering station: aoyue 2703+
Amscope SM-4 trinocular scope with MU-1000 camera
BK Precision 1823A Counter
Micsig DP10013 differential probe
Seek thermal camera
Chinese current probes
probes, leads, cables, connectors, terminators, etc.

plus about 30 other things I can't remember...
 
 
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Offline melwin

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Re: Oscilloscope selection woes (Siglent SDS1000X-E vs SDS5000X)
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2019, 05:44:10 pm »
Looking at your project set I can see some overlap with my own, so I think many of my choices would serve you well:

That's a great list - thanks a lot! Many of the suggestions I've already looked at and it's great to hear what someone with similar needs and budget went for. Will not go for all of that now, but when I have the need I'm very eager to kit up. I was considering a digital scope, that SM-4 is a monster... But stereo is nice!  :-//

plus about 30 other things I can't remember... 

So many things - but having the necessary kit at hand makes it so much more enjoyable (for me)!
 

Online tautech

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Re: Oscilloscope selection woes (Siglent SDS1000X-E vs SDS5000X)
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2019, 09:46:52 pm »
@BillB - ah - a voice of reason when I need it the most. Thanks! Any thoughts on what to use the budget for if not going all in on the scope? Waiting for a need is of course the smart thing to do, but it's also nice to plan ahead for what to potentially get later on to avoid double spending by getting something that you'll look to upgrade shortly thereafter. For instance I feel I should not get a cheap bench DMM, instead use my handheld and then get a bench DMM if/when I know what I want in it. Thanks again!
I'll second Bills recommendations and add if you're venturing into RF and 433 MHz telemetry save a few $ on the DSO and consider getting a SVA1015X, a combo SA/VNA that can be very useful for antenna work.
They have the same touch display as SDS5kX.

The SDS5kX is indeed a very nice DSO even though I've only play with one for a day or so before I had to give it to my customer but as Bill says the little SDS1104X-E can easily manage your scope use and for just $500 outlay. In the bigger picture there's much less to loose when the time to upgrade arrives.
Avid Rabid Hobbyist
Can help with advice on Siglent equipment as time permits.
 
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Offline DaJMasta

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Re: Oscilloscope selection woes (Siglent SDS1000X-E vs SDS5000X)
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2019, 11:53:23 pm »
The lower end SDS1104X-E is the king of value for dollar, but there's things it can't do and if you need beyond that, the price step up is pretty across the board (unless you go for a much older generation large footprint scope).  I personally don't see a particular reason to stick with just one or two manufacturers, but a lot of the Siglent equipment mentioned does the job just fine.  I've got two SPD3303X-Es and a SDG2082X on my bench and they do a fine job, and I've been generally on the side of Siglent's scope UIs more than Rigol's, though either is serviceable.

If you're looking around that budget for a nicer scope, I'd definitely consider R&S's options as well, especially if you don't need very high bandwidths, they've got a few options that may be realistic and offer a bit different featureset.  Dave's got a recent video comparing 1GHz scopes and the SDS5000X and some other options, and while they're likely all over your budget, he does go through the datasheet comparison pretty comprehensively, and supposedly there's a full review on the way.  If you're willing to consider used there's a whole different set of options, but generally speaking, you'd be sacrificing waveform memory and maybe some ease of use/responsiveness for bandwidth and analysis features, so it's not necessarily that an older used scope will be that beneficial as a general purpose scope.

+1 to proper RF gear if you're dealing with radios much... the dynamic range of a scope just can't compare to a spectrum analyzer, even in eres mode, but that's a whole new investment and consideration.  Otherwise, an LCR meter is probably good advice if you don't already have one, especially if you're looking to try to do any work on those RF circuits.  The general guidance of Multimeter, Scope, Power supply, Sig gen as a baseline covers a lot of ground and not including soldering equipment.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2019, 11:55:06 pm by DaJMasta »
 
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Offline Performa01

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Re: Oscilloscope selection woes (Siglent SDS1000X-E vs SDS5000X)
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2019, 12:18:23 am »
Of course the SDS1104X-E is all you need. Even though it's an entry level scope, it still has plenty of functionality to explore, so you won't get bored too soon.

On the other hand, the large screen touch UI of the SDS5000X is really nice to use, so this alone could get you addicted. Yet you could still get an SDS1104X-E now and upgrade later. The SDS5000X is fairly new and will take at least another 6 months to be feature complete. Furthermore, a new scope between the SDS1000X-E and SDS5000X might eventually emerge, so in 6 to 12 months you would have a better basis to make a final choice.

Even if you get a SDS1104X-E now and decide to upgrade within only one year, this should not be a big loss. The SDS1104X-E is only some 500 bucks (tax included) and you can plan to keep it anyway, as a 2nd scope. This would be handy at times, when you need to do some long time monitoring on one project but still want to do some debugging on another one.

I would say it finally comes down whether you want/need an MSO or just a DSO right now. If you want a MSO, I cannot wholeheartedly recommend the MSO option (SLA1016) for the SDS1004X-E, because the integration of the digital channels is less than perfect. You have to give up some important features like Zoom when digital channels are in use. The MSO option for all other models (SPL2016) doesn't suffer from these limitations.
 
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Offline melwin

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Re: Oscilloscope selection woes (Siglent SDS1000X-E vs SDS5000X)
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2019, 04:15:32 pm »
Thanks for all the thoughtful input! The SDS5034X is still really tempting, but I'll get the 1104X-E to start with (ordered today after reading your replies!).

@Performa01 - Thanks, good to know, and it confirms what I've seen in other threads. I'll see how far the 4 channels will take me to start with and if I see a strong need for an LA I'll reevaluate then.
 


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