Author Topic: DSO/MSO 5K/6K vs DSOX/MSOX 3K  (Read 4664 times)

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Offline jayk

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DSO/MSO 5K/6K vs DSOX/MSOX 3K
« on: February 22, 2013, 04:58:39 am »
I'm looking for feedback from anyone who's used scopes from both of these families.  I have experience with an MSO6034A but not with the DSOX/MSOX 3K and I'm considering an upgrade.  What I like about the DSO's is the great XGA display (1024x768), which Agilent has replaced with a lower-res 800x480 display on the new scopes.   The DSOs also include ethernet and GPIB standard while these have become options on the 3K family.  On the other hand, the new scopes have some upgraded specs and the add-on options are more reasonably priced (i.e. I2C/SPI module for the DSO's is $1500 and about half that for the DSOX). 

Any thoughts?
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: DSO/MSO 5K/6K vs DSOX/MSOX 3K
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2013, 05:18:00 am »
A major benefit of sticking with the older ones is availability of everlasting trial licenses.
Seems unlikey there will ever be any useful SW updates to the old models, so not risking a FW upgrade in case it kills old trials isn't a big deal.
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Online EEVblog

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Re: DSO/MSO 5K/6K vs DSOX/MSOX 3K
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2013, 08:53:33 am »
Agilent often have deals on the X series scopes in terms of options, so worth waiting for one of these, or asking if you can get an option thrown in.

The X series would have the benefit of future development and new features being added all the time, and I'd expect this to continue for many years to come.

Dave.
 

Offline jayk

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Re: DSO/MSO 5K/6K vs DSOX/MSOX 3K
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2013, 08:04:29 pm »
Thanks for the replies.  I currently have an MSO6034A - I'm happy with it, but I was thinking I could probably sell it and pay for most of an MSOX3054A (from Agilent's factory Ebay store - some great deals on there).  But it just doesn't look like enough of an upgrade to warrant the cost (and, in some ways, it would be a step down).
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: DSO/MSO 5K/6K vs DSOX/MSOX 3K
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2013, 08:53:33 pm »
Thanks for the replies.  I currently have an MSO6034A - I'm happy with it, but I was thinking I could probably sell it and pay for most of an MSOX3054A (from Agilent's factory Ebay store - some great deals on there).  But it just doesn't look like enough of an upgrade to warrant the cost (and, in some ways, it would be a step down).

In that case I wouldn't bother changing.

Dave.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: DSO/MSO 5K/6K vs DSOX/MSOX 3K
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2013, 08:35:38 am »
When the new MSOXs came out I did a quick comparison with my current MSO6034A but concluded that there wasn't much benefits and a few downsides.
This was before I found about the everlasting trials on the 6000, then it became a total no-brainer.
Even if I was buying now, I'd probably still look at a used 6000 or 7000.
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Offline JoeyP

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Re: DSO/MSO 5K/6K vs DSOX/MSOX 3K
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2013, 01:05:10 pm »
This was before I found about the everlasting trials on the 6000, then it became a total no-brainer.

What do you mean by "the everlasting trials"? Is it a hack of some sort, or is Agilent providing them some how?
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: DSO/MSO 5K/6K vs DSOX/MSOX 3K
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2013, 09:26:33 pm »
It's blindingly simple. The trials have a stop date but no start date, so install and set the clock back a few years. Simple as that.
Even if they do expire you can set the clock back and reinstall them (so print out all the codes and keep them with the scope). I don't recall whether or not you need to set the clock to the validity window when initially installing.

For a long time I'd just assumed that they would have left some sort of marker to prevent re-installing once expired, and held off for years trying any until a time I really needed serial decode etc. for a job. Then for the hell of it I just tried one of the more obscure ones, waited for it to expire & found that it could be reinstalled if the clock was set back. So then filled it up with everything available - UART, SPI, I2C, Segmem, masktest, CAN, I2S & still working fine after over a year.

It's unlikely that there will be any more useful firmware upgrades for this line, so not a big deal never upgrading again & risking an upgrade that might stop this (e.g. like on the now MSOX, where you can't set the clock before the FW release date). I think I'm only about 2 updates behind the latest version, and those just added support for some extra autoprobe types. I don't know whether the latest FW has anything to make the trials stop - I think it was released after some discussion of this here so there's a very small possiblity.

What  I found surprising is that when you request a trial, there is no license agreement/terms to agree to, and no folllow-up from sales.
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Offline JoeyP

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Re: DSO/MSO 5K/6K vs DSOX/MSOX 3K
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2013, 07:19:20 am »
Thanks for the tip Mike. I bought my 6K box used, and I've already updated to the latest FW, so not sure what its status will be for this. I'll definitely be checking in to it.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: DSO/MSO 5K/6K vs DSOX/MSOX 3K
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2013, 07:31:40 am »
Thanks for the tip Mike. I bought my 6K box used, and I've already updated to the latest FW, so not sure what its status will be for this. I'll definitely be checking in to it.
Let us know how it goes - something to quickly check is if the  latest FW lets you set the date back a few years.
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Offline JoeyP

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Re: DSO/MSO 5K/6K vs DSOX/MSOX 3K
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2013, 08:29:38 am »
Yes, it allows years back to 2001. I probably won't enable the trials for anything until/unless I actually need them. If it doesn't work out, I don't want to waste the trials when I'm not actually using them.

One thing I learned, is that Agilent seems to freely give away the 8M memory option. Mine originally didn't have it, but the person I bought it from was able to get a permanent code from Agilent to unlock 8M. I suspect that's because current new 6K units have 8M standard.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: DSO/MSO 5K/6K vs DSOX/MSOX 3K
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2013, 08:56:46 am »
Yes, it allows years back to 2001. I probably won't enable the trials for anything until/unless I actually need them. If it doesn't work out, I don't want to waste the trials when I'm not actually using them.

One thing I learned, is that Agilent seems to freely give away the 8M memory option. Mine originally didn't have it, but the person I bought it from was able to get a permanent code from Agilent to unlock 8M. I suspect that's because current new 6K units have 8M standard.
If I were you I'd request them now - as these are old models they might discontinue them at some point. If you're concerned about changes in new FW, do what I did &  request an obscure one you're less likely to actually need & test it.
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Offline JoeyP

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Re: DSO/MSO 5K/6K vs DSOX/MSOX 3K
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2013, 09:16:44 am »
Good point. I'll do that with something I don't have any use for just to see what happens.

As far as discontinuing the trials, these are still current production. I'd expect they'll continue the trials several years beyond end of production because they can continue selling the options long after production stops.

I had some discussion with a rep from Agilent who said he doesn't expect production to end any time soon. The 6K and 7K units have identical hardware/specs. The main difference is the size of the display. He said there are still many people buying new 6K/7K units instead of choosing the newer models. I started out looking at the MSOX 3K models, and have the impression that in some ways (e.g. memory depth) they are a step backward. He said that the rack mount versions of the 6K models (which also have identical hardware and options) are still very popular and might be in production long after the portable versions.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: DSO/MSO 5K/6K vs DSOX/MSOX 3K
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2013, 10:43:22 pm »
Quick update on trials on 5/6/7000 series :
Current firmware 6.16 still seems to work & allow setting date back, however there is one major 'catch' I didn't notice.
The really useful options, RS232 and I2C/SPI decode are only supported on 4-channel models - even the 2-channel MSO versions do not support them. To confuse matters you can request a trial and you get a key, but it doesn't install.
Segmem and masktest options work OK though.

 
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