Author Topic: DSO + Saleae or MSO? (Rigol DS1102E/2072, Agilent DSOX2002A/MSOX2002A, etc)  (Read 20825 times)

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Offline marmad

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They will actually heavily discount those items as well so you can get them for half that price range youre thinking. I was able to get the VGA/LAN adapter for $150 when I bought my MSOX2024A for $1850. The software add-ons are buy one get one free until Sept, so the segmented memory and memory upgrade are only $307 for both (since youd have to buy the more expensive of the two). Decodes are also buy one get one free.

Ok, these are good deals compared to the list price - but let's not get carried away here. MSO/FG/VGA/etc modules are still overpriced and, IMO, often less useful than a standalone equivalent (e.g. the LogicPort, which I have - or a standalone AWG). I understand the marketing reasons for all of these expensive little modules - and I have nothing against them in principle (if you're helping fund better and cheaper DSOs for me - more power to you  ;) ), but nonetheless that doesn't necessarily make them a great deal.

Also, I haven't really understood the expressed desire of people (as mentioned earlier in this thread) to avoid having a second screen (i.e. a computer) on/near their workbench. Is it about space? And how do you manage without one? My workbench has never been without a work computer for well over twenty years - interfacing to my burners, simulators, emulators, analyzers, special-duty add-in PC cards I've bought or designed, etc, etc. I long ago fitted it out with wireless keyboards and mice and multiple screens to control and view it from a few locations - as well as LAN and long USB cable connects all around; it's as vital a piece of test equipment as anything else I have.
 
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Offline ben_r_

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They will actually heavily discount those items as well so you can get them for half that price range youre thinking. I was able to get the VGA/LAN adapter for $150 when I bought my MSOX2024A for $1850. The software add-ons are buy one get one free until Sept, so the segmented memory and memory upgrade are only $307 for both (since youd have to buy the more expensive of the two). Decodes are also buy one get one free.

Ok, these are good deals compared to the list price - but let's not get carried away here. MSO/FG/VGA/etc modules are still overpriced and, IMO, often less useful than a standalone equivalent (e.g. the LogicPort, which I have - or a standalone AWG). I understand the marketing reasons for all of these expensive little modules - and I have nothing against them in principle (if you're helping fund better and cheaper DSOs for me - more power to you  ;) ), but nonetheless that doesn't necessarily make them a great deal.

Also, I haven't really understood the expressed desire of people (as mentioned earlier in this thread) to avoid having a second screen (i.e. a computer) on/near their workbench. Is it about space? And how do you manage without one? My workbench has never been without a work computer for well over twenty years - interfacing to my burners, simulators, emulators, analyzers, special-duty add-in PC cards I've bought or designed, etc, etc. I long ago fitted it out with wireless keyboards and mice and multiple screens to control and view it from a few locations - as well as LAN and long USB cable connects all around; it's as vital a piece of test equipment as anything else I have.
Yea I see your point. I just went with both. Ive got a Saleae Logic16 too and have computers ALL over the place including a wall mounted unit on the bench (to keep it all off of the bench). Sometimes I do just like to have it all in one package though, depending on what Im doing or how Im feeling that day. Sometimes I want everyone off the bench and just want to point and click my way through the day. Different strokes for different folks for different days :)
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!
 

Offline marmad

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Sometimes I do just like to have it all in one package though, depending on what Im doing or how Im feeling that day. Sometimes I want everyone off the bench and just want to point and click my way through the day. Different strokes for different folks for different days :)

Well, sure, if money's no object - I'll take an MSO/AWG too! ;D  Of course, there are moments when I wish I had one - there are certain cases when they would certainly save time (e.g. not having to rig up some complicated DSO + LA triggering, etc) but I still think - given their price - they're a bit of a luxury (although that might not be the case much longer).
 

Offline Electro FanTopic starter

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Hi marmad,

Very cool to learn that you are a Logicport user!  Given that really nice review you did on the 2072 I'm thinking that if you have a Logicport it must be a good device. 

As for one or two tools (separate or integrated) I could make a case for either way.  Space is a consideration but not the primary driver for me.  I still think the major reason to have an integrated solution is to be able to more easily visualize, measure, and understand correlations between events, but as you say it might be more of a luxury than a necessity.

A little off topic from LAs, any chance you could recap the top trade-offs you see between the 2072 and the Agilent DSOX2002A?

Thanks!
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 05:01:35 am by Electro Fan »
 

Offline marmad

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A little of topic from LAs, any chance you could recap the top trade-offs you see between the 2072 and the Agilent DSOX2002A?

Sure. It really comes down to the following - one is a more powerful DSO right out of the box (Rigol) - and the other has more expandability, longer warranty, better support, and (I'm assuming) better interfacing software (Agilent). So it just boils down to which of those is more important for you. But I think the Rigol is without question more bang for the (original) buck.

The Rigol has a real vertical sensitivity down to 500 µV/div.
The Agilent has a real vertical sensitivity down to 4mV/div.

The Rigol has 7MB/channel (28MB/channel optional) and an extra 128MB segment memory standard.
The Agilent has 100kB/channel (1MB/channel optional) and no extra segment memory (and the segment feature is optional).

The Rigol has standard triggers: Edge, Pulse, Pattern, Video, Runt, Slope, Setup/Hold, RS232/UART, I²C, SPI   (Optional package: Windows, Nth Edge, HDTV, Delay, TimeOut, Duration, and USB)
The Agilent has standard triggers: Edge, Pulse, Pattern, Video   (Optional packages [with decodes]: RS232/UART - or - I²C/SPI - or - CAN/LIN)

The Rigol has Parallel decoding standard   (Optional package: RS232/UART, I2C, and SPI)
The Agilent has no decoding standard   (Optional packages [with triggers]: RS232/UART - or - I²C/SPI - or - CAN/LIN)

The Rigol has high resolution mode (12 bits) when timebase >=5 µs/div.
The Agilent has high resolution mode (12 bits) when timebase >= 20 µs/div.

The Rigol has Mask Testing standard.
The Agilent has Mask Testing optional.

The Rigol has 350MHz 10:1 probes with all models and LAN connection standard.
The Agilent has 150MHz 10:1 probes with the 70 and 100 MHz models (LAN connection optional).
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 10:00:58 pm by marmad »
 

Offline grego

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A little of topic from LAs, any chance you could recap the top trade-offs you see between the 2072 and the Agilent DSOX2002A?

Sure. It really comes down to the following - one is a more powerful DSO right out of the box (Rigol) - and the other has more expandability, longer warranty, better support, and (I'm assuming) better interfacing software (Agilent). So it just boils down to which of those is more important for you. But I think the Rigol is without question more bang for the (original) buck.

The Rigol has a real vertical sensitivity down to 500 µV/div.
The Agilent has a real vertical sensitivity down to 4mV/div.

The Rigol has 7MB/channel (28MB/channel optional) and an extra 128MB segment memory standard.
The Agilent has 100kB/channel (1MB/channel optional) and no extra segment memory (and the segment feature is optional).

The Rigol has standard triggers: Edge, Pulse, Pattern, Video, Runt, Slope, Setup/Hold, RS232/UART, I²C, SPI (Windows, Nth Edge, HDTV, Delay, TimeOut, Duration, and USB as an optional package)
The Agilent has standard triggers: Edge, Pulse, Pattern, Video (RS232/UART - or - I²C/SPI - or - CAN/LIN as optional packages [with decodes])

The Rigol has Parallel decoding standard (RS232/UART, I2C, and SPI as an optional package)
The Agilent has no decoding standard (RS232/UART - or - I²C/SPI - or - CAN/LIN as optional packages [with triggers])

The Rigol has high resolution mode (12 bits) when timebase >=5 µs/div.
The Agilent has high resolution mode (12 bits) when timebase >= 20 µs/div.

The Rigol has Mask Testing standard.
The Agilent has Mask Testing optional.

The Rigol has 350MHz 10:1 probes with all models and LAN connection standard.
The Agilent has 150MHz 10:1 probes with the 70 and 100 MHz models (LAN connection optional).

I know the OP didn't ask but since I just got one I'll throw the Instek 2000A series into the hat here too:

The Instek has sensitivity down to 1mV
The Instek has 2Mpt/channel (single), 1Mpt standard
The Instek has all the same triggering as the Rigol as far as I can see
The Instek has no decoding standard but is a true MSO with options for 8 or 16 channel LA modules - buy the module and all the decodes come with it (no additional license)
The Instek does NOT have hi-res which is a shame.  I asked for it to be added to a future firmware release.
The Instek has mask testing standard (they call it GO/NO-GO)
The Instek has probes based on what bandwidth you buy - my 200Mhz model came with 250Mhz probes (10:1)
The Instek has LAN as an additional module (not standard)
The Instek is 80k wfm/s (vs 50k for the Rigol and Agilent) - best case scenario mind you

The Instek is price competitive with the Rigol 2000 series and cheaper than the 4000 series (although the 4000 series is a 4GS/s and the Instek is 2GS/s same as the 2000 and Agilent).  If you need 4 channels the Instek (I think) is the clear winner for the price conscious buyer.  Also if you are in the US at least they have a local US sales/service center in California and so far they have been awesome in keeping me up to date and answering all my questions.  I am not saying the Instek is better/worse than either of the other two -- to be honest I don't think you can go wrong with any of them at this point.  It's all a matter of what you are looking for and how much you want to spend.
 

Offline marmad

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I know the OP didn't ask but since I just got one I'll throw the Instek 2000A series into the hat here too:

No problem - but if you're going to compare against what I posted - get it right  ;)

Quote
The Instek has 2Mpt/channel (single), 1Mpt standard

The Instek has 500kB/channel (1MB/channel only in single-shot mode) and no extra segment memory  (I don't know if you can get more as an option).

Quote
The Instek has all the same triggering as the Rigol as far as I can see

Oh no no ;D  According to the manual:
The Instek has standard triggers: Edge, Pulse, Video, Runt, Slope, Delay, Timeout    (I don't know what optional ones are available)
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 10:20:12 pm by marmad »
 

Offline grego

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I know the OP didn't ask but since I just got one I'll throw the Instek 2000A series into the hat here too:

No problem - but if you're going to compare against what I posted - get it right  ;)

Quote
The Instek has 2Mpt/channel (single), 1Mpt standard

The Instek has 500kB/channel (1MB/channel only in single-shot mode) and no extra segment memory  (I don't know if you can get more as an option).

Quote
The Instek has all the same triggering as the Rigol as far as I can see

Oh no no ;D  According to the manual:
The Instek has standard triggers: Edge, Pulse, Video, Runt, Slope, Delay, Timeout    (I don't know what optional ones are available)

I'd say the same to you - the Instek has segmented memory standard. :)  The Instek has 1M/ADC - so if I'm using channels 1 & 3 I get 1M, if I'm using 1&2 only 500k.

And triggering:

Edge, Pulse Width, Video, Pulse Runt, Rise & Fall, Alternate,tme out, Event-Delay(1~65535 events), Time-Delay(10nS~10S), Logic*, Bus* (*with DS2-08LA or DS2-16LA option)

Bus = I2C, SPI, RS232, RS485, etc -- CAN too shortly.

So yeah, pretty complete there.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 10:26:41 pm by grego »
 

Offline marmad

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I'd say the same to you - the Instek has segmented memory standard. :)  The Instek has 1M/ADC - so if I'm using channels 1 & 3 I get 1M, if I'm using 1&2 only 500k.

You better read the posts better  ;)  I never said it didn't have the segmented memory standard - I said it didn't have extra segment memory and it doesn't. The Rigol DS2000 has 128MB of dedicated segment memory. Also, Electro Fan was asking me about 2-channel scopes here - not 4-channel, so being able to use 1M with 2-channels of a 4-channel scope is totally irrelevant here.

Quote
Edge, Pulse Width, Video, Pulse Runt, Rise & Fall, Alternate,tme out, Event-Delay(1~65535 events), Time-Delay(10nS~10S)

This is copied from the Instek manual:

Standard Triggers: Edge, Delay, Pulse width, Video, Pulse and Runt, Rise and Fall, Timeout - which is what I wrote before, only I shortened Pulse Width to Pulse - and Pulse & Runt to Runt.

Edit:  You included the Delay Trigger twice - and Alternate trigger, although a nice feature to have, is not in reality a trigger type. But I'll admit, though the Instek doesn't have the same standard triggers as the Rigol, it has a very healthy assortment - especially compared to the weak group from Agilent  :)
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 10:52:15 pm by marmad »
 

Offline grego

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I'd say the same to you - the Instek has segmented memory standard. :)  The Instek has 1M/ADC - so if I'm using channels 1 & 3 I get 1M, if I'm using 1&2 only 500k.

You better read the posts better  ;)  I never said it didn't have the segmented memory standard - I said it didn't have extra segment memory and it doesn't. The Rigol DS2000 has 128MB of dedicated segment memory. Also, Electro Fan was asking me about 2-channel scopes here - not 4-channel, so being able to use 1M with 2-channels of a 4-channel scope is totally irrelevant here.

Quote
Edge, Pulse Width, Video, Pulse Runt, Rise & Fall, Alternate,tme out, Event-Delay(1~65535 events), Time-Delay(10nS~10S)

You appear to be listing multiple versions of the same triggers. This is copied directly from the Instek manual:

Standard Triggers:

Edge
Delay
Pulse width
Video
Pulse and Runt
Rise and Fall
Timeout

Edit:  I see what happened with the triggers - you are listing the two types of delay trigger (same thing) - and I missed including Alternate - since it's not really a trigger type.

That list came off the spec sheet - six of one, half dozen of another.

Yup - no argument there on the memory if that's something you need there's a winner hands down.

As I said before I don't think anyone can go wrong with any of these devices - and they all kind of fit in different price ranges which is nice (The Rigol 2000 in the < $1200, the Instek in the $1000-$2000'ish (unless you go for the 300Mhz model which the Rigol doesn't have <grin>), and the Agilent in the (retail, not a refurb) realistic $1800+ market (once you add in a couple of options you're over $1800 easy).

If you need MSO then there are only two options out there for you - the Instek and the Agilent.  If you need deep memory there's only one option (Rigol).  I just ordered the MSO module for my Instek so I can't speak from direct experience with it yet but will be able to shortly.

Not that it matters but the Instek also has a 5Mhz function generator option.  Yes, the new Rigol has a 25Mhz but that's just vapor right now until it hits the market.  And the Agilent has a 20Mhz option.
 

Offline marmad

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BTW, it was just discovered a little while ago today that Rigol switched the Runt trigger in the newest firmware from the options package to standard. I have to assume that has something to do with the release of the GDS-2000A  ;D

Not that it matters but the Instek also has a 5Mhz function generator option.  Yes, the new Rigol has a 25Mhz but that's just vapor right now until it hits the market.  And the Agilent has a 20Mhz option.

True, but the firmware has all been written for the 25MHz AWG (not function generator) and included in the latest release - so I imagine it might not be vapor for too long. You don't write firmware before you have hardware  ;)  Might be a good time to wait if someone is interested in having an AWG built-in to the DSO.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 11:01:59 pm by marmad »
 

Offline Electro FanTopic starter

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Hi marmad and grego,

marmad - thanks very much for your reply to my request on comparing the 2072 and the Agilent 2002A; it was very helpful.

grego - thanks also for your fine advocacy of the Instek.

You guys add a lot of value (including some good entertainment) here :)

I hope you both will continue to keep the rest of us in clover with your product comparisons - your posts are very informative, helpful, and definitely appreciated.

Back on logic analyzers, I've become pretty enamoured with the Intronix LogicPort (although the more I research LAs the more of them I discover and the more I learn about their features).  The Intronix seems to have a strong following and their product appears to provide very good functionality along with reasonably good ease of use.  Sometimes products that are easy to use but don't do much and sometimes products that do a lot are difficult to use; Intronix looks like they have done a fine job in getting a great balance.  The only feature that seems like it might be light is the memory, but even that I'm not sure about.  One other thing is that the UI looks like it could be beautified (it looks kind of like "early windows" instead of "modern Mac"), but I'd take the very good features, ease of use, and maybe more memory over beautification.

Here are a couple good videos I found on the Intronix LA:





- Anyone see any triggers or other features that are missing?

Seems like Rigol ought to add this type of LA functionality to their DS2072 and call it a MS2072 :)

Maybe Rigol and Intronix should partner on something along those lines :)
 

Offline Electro FanTopic starter

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« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 07:25:56 am by Electro Fan »
 

Offline jpb

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The thing that is impressive about the Intronix is that it has been around for 7 years I think so there has been plenty of time for any faults or bad points to be highlighted yet all the reviews by users that I've seen have been very positive. The memory is the only thing that people would like more of for doing things like looking at long USB data streams. One user said that having more memory would simplify the triggering for his application but I'm not sure what that means as even 2k is a very long trigger string. Perhaps he was thinking that the trigger could be almost arbitrary with lots of memory as the user can scroll to the required point without having to specifically trigger on a particular data word.
 

Offline Electro FanTopic starter

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I'm with you jpb.  The more I look at LAs the more Intronix stands out as a very good product; when you factor in the features and the price it is hard to find a better overall value.

When you download their software you can see that they have pretty steadily been making enhancements; it looked like a couple releases or more per year.  It just feels like the "product manager" behind their product is working hard to provide thoughtful and usable features and the company is steadily improving and refining the product.  Kind of reminds me of the Porsche or Mercedes Benz approach.  The product might not look a lot different year to year but it was good back then and it gets better year by year.

At the end of the day, it's about $400 which isn't a huge amount and for that you get a solid package of hardware and software.  If I had to pull the trigger (I guess that's a pun when talking about LAs), I could easily go with Intronix.  The only question is whether now is the time to jump on a DSO + a LA or whether the DSOs are going to morph into really nice MSOs in another product rev or two.

Back on Intronix, they seem to have a pretty low risk proposition:

Our products are warranted free from defects in material and workmanship to the original owner for a period of 1 year, and include a 30 day money-back guarantee. If you are not happy with one of our products for any reason, simply return it in good condition within 30 days for a refund less shipping costs.

The thing that is impressive about the Intronix is that it has been around for 7 years I think so there has been plenty of time for any faults or bad points to be highlighted yet all the reviews by users that I've seen have been very positive. The memory is the only thing that people would like more of for doing things like looking at long USB data streams. One user said that having more memory would simplify the triggering for his application but I'm not sure what that means as even 2k is a very long trigger string. Perhaps he was thinking that the trigger could be almost arbitrary with lots of memory as the user can scroll to the required point without having to specifically trigger on a particular data word.

jpb, I was re-visiting your earlier post:

I came across it via a review of the LeCroy Logic Studio, the reviewer was disappointed with the Logic Studio but recommended the itronix. He also said there was an "undocumented trig out" so I e-mailed them and they said they could add a trig out for $15. I guess you'd need to calibrate the trig delay but it would be possible to do complex triggers and look at the analogue waveform via the scope (or even via the pc if the data is down loaded - this is the approach LeCroy do with their Logic Studio).

- Can you tell us more about what you have in mind for uses?  What projects you would use with the LA, the trig out, and analogue waveforms in concert with the digital signals?  What protocols you would use most often?  Any idea on roughly how often you might use the LA?  Thx, EF
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 11:35:44 pm by Electro Fan »
 

Offline jpb

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jpb, I was re-visiting your earlier post:

I came across it via a review of the LeCroy Logic Studio, the reviewer was disappointed with the Logic Studio but recommended the itronix. He also said there was an "undocumented trig out" so I e-mailed them and they said they could add a trig out for $15. I guess you'd need to calibrate the trig delay but it would be possible to do complex triggers and look at the analogue waveform via the scope (or even via the pc if the data is down loaded - this is the approach LeCroy do with their Logic Studio).

- Can you tell us more about what you have in mind for uses?  What projects you would use with the LA, the trig out, and analogue waveforms in concert with the digital signals?  What protocols you would use most often?  Any idea on roughly how often you might use the LA?  Thx, EF
Sorry, just seen this.

I am very vague about what I will use it for at present because I'm in the process of setting up a home lab with a major purpose being self education (I have a degree in electronic engineering and used to work on microwave integrated circuits but I've very little practical experience on things liked embedded systems). I guess I'm aiming at getting the most flexible solution possible. Having the trig out I can see might be very useful if you know something odd is happening under certain conditions for which you need the complex triggering facility of the LA but you want to look at the waveshape or perhaps some related analogue signal (maybe the power rails or some input to a d2a)  - it would be very handy to be able to trigger the scope from the LA.

To some extent I've already decided against an MSO solution because I've already bought my scope (a WaveJet) but this decision was based on the fact that it was a bargain (350MHz 4 channel for about the list price of the 4 500MHz probes that came with it). But even before I bought it, it seemed to me that the MSO route was rather expensive for the functionality. Perhaps worth it for professional engineers where the cost of the Agilent 3000 series is trivial compared to the charge-rate of an engineers time. But for someone like me setting up my own lab the budget is much more limited.
 


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