Author Topic: Help me chose my first oscilloscope  (Read 1147 times)

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Online NEoX

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Help me chose my first oscilloscope
« on: August 13, 2018, 07:34:16 am »
Hi! I'm new here on forum! :box:

So, I'm a student of electrical engineering  8) and I want to buy an oscilloscope to learn more about stuff and have in mind some projects to do. At the moment I'm working on project "supervision of pellet furnace" with ESP8266 and automatic refilling. For that project I build my own schematic and board, but it has some problems and I want to debug it.
So I need an oscilloscope, and also in next semester I have a course about oscilloscope and measure.

My budget is 450€ max!  :-BROKE

1. I was looking at some models like Rigol ds1054z but i don't know if this scope is best buy for that money in 2018. (I will unlock to 100MHz if still can and all other things like I2C,RS232...)

2. My main interest is digital electronic/microcontrollers/serial comunications (I2C,UART,RS232....)

3. I want to buy a product that I can use for long, long time as a student and to do hobby stuff with it and maybe one day for work  :blah: :blah:

Please suggest me some oscilloscopes that will last.

Thanks!

Sorry if this topic doesn't belong here.  :popcorn:
 

Offline pilotchup

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Re: Help me chose my first oscilloscope
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2018, 07:57:46 am »
At that price range, you only have a few options.

The Rigol you mentioned, probably one of the best options.
The Keysight 1000 series, only 2ch though (well, 2.5ch you can say)
The Siglent SDS1000X-E series scopes - thinking about this myself.
Or there's also OWON that make Zynq based scopes

Basically, at that price range, you have the Rigol or Keysight and then any other scope that is based of the Zynq FPGA MCU, in my opinion.
 
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Online rsjsouza

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Re: Help me chose my first oscilloscope
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2018, 08:54:03 am »
There's also the GW Instek GDS-1072B or GDS-1054B with excellent features - although I think they don't have serial decoders. Depending on the decoder you need, this can be solved with a very cheap logic analyzer.
Vbe - vídeo blog eletrônico http://videos.vbeletronico.com

Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 
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Online nctnico

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Re: Help me chose my first oscilloscope
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2018, 09:35:21 am »
There's also the GW Instek GDS-1072B or GDS-1054B with excellent features - although I think they don't have serial decoders. Depending on the decoder you need, this can be solved with a very cheap logic analyzer.
Nowadays these can be hacked to have the serial decoders. Also GW Instek offers a limited lifetime warranty (IIRC the warranty ends 5 years after they stop producing the product) to the original owner.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2018, 09:37:02 am by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline pilotchup

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Re: Help me chose my first oscilloscope
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2018, 09:42:19 am »
Also of note, the Digilent Analog Discovery 2.

Great pricing for students and it is like the kitchen sink or jack of all trades. Does a lot of stuff but not particularly the best at those thing - although it is perfectly decent and good for a student.
 
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Online NEoX

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Re: Help me chose my first oscilloscope
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2018, 09:53:18 am »
I want to buy something that will last long time..I don't want to spend now lik 100€ and after 2y again 400€ for something more powerfull ..I want to buy something nice that gives some options that I can learn and "grorowing" in knowledge.
Rigol is easy to get for me because Im from Croatia and they have shop here (some other scopes are expensive here but it is worth of searching). So I'm looking for that but mby I can find something better for that price
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Help me chose my first oscilloscope
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2018, 10:07:36 am »
It seems like the Rigol is the obvious choice for you. Other options in that general price range are largely similar in capability.
 
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Online NEoX

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Re: Help me chose my first oscilloscope
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2018, 10:14:47 am »
So Rigol ds1054z is right choice? Nothing wrong with it or overrated in price?  Just don't want to rush and cry after..
 

Online David Hess

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Re: Help me chose my first oscilloscope
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2018, 12:15:59 pm »
1. I was looking at some models like Rigol ds1054z but i don't know if this scope is best buy for that money in 2018. (I will unlock to 100MHz if still can and all other things like I2C,RS232...)

The Rigol DS1054Z probably has the best performance for its price despite its problems.

Quote
2. My main interest is digital electronic/microcontrollers/serial comunications (I2C,UART,RS232....)

The Rigol DS1054Z serial decoding is pretty limited and low performance.  For one thing, it only operates on what is currently displayed.  Still, it is enough for many users.

You did not mention SPI which requires 3 inputs for full decoding but some of the 2-channel DSOs can use their external trigger input for the 3rd input.
 
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Online rsjsouza

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Re: Help me chose my first oscilloscope
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2018, 12:28:07 pm »
Since you are in the learning phase of engineering, one big drawback of the Rigol is the frequency domain functionality - namely the FFT. If you see yourself interested in analog electronics, this is a good functionality to have in hand and the other models mentioned here have a better implementation.

Another detail that detracts from the Rigol is the fact the decoders only work on the waveforms that are shown in the display, not in the complete acquired memory. This is quite an annoyance when you are actually decoding longer streams of data. I don't know how the other ones work, but a cheap USB logic analyzer can take care of that.

Going for Rigol is the local distributor - if they are decent, they can help you with lots of things ranging from warranty to repairs.
Vbe - vídeo blog eletrônico http://videos.vbeletronico.com

Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 
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Offline Old Printer

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Re: Help me chose my first oscilloscope
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2018, 01:49:28 pm »
Also of note, the Digilent Analog Discovery 2.

Great pricing for students and it is like the kitchen sink or jack of all trades. Does a lot of stuff but not particularly the best at those thing - although it is perfectly decent and good for a student.
The current Analog Discovery full price is $279. Verified student price is $179. At one time this was $99, but that has been discontinued. Still, at $179 this is a great learning tool. I paid $279 for mine and really like it.
 
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Online tggzzz

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Re: Help me chose my first oscilloscope
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2018, 05:00:05 pm »
Please suggest me some oscilloscopes that will last.

No oscilloscope will last; you will always want a "better" one :(

Are you sure you need only a scope? The digilent analogue discovery is designed for students, and also includes a waveform generator, a logic analyser, a pattern generator, a network analyser, a control loop analyser....

Good practice is to debug analogue signals in the analogue domain with a scope to ensure signal integrity. Once you know the analogue signals will be correctly interpreted as digital signals, flip to debugging in the digital domain with logic analysers, printf statements and similar.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Online NEoX

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Re: Help me chose my first oscilloscope
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2018, 06:44:42 pm »
Thank you all for the help..will look around little bit more before final decision. Keep giving advices! :-+
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: Help me chose my first oscilloscope
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2018, 07:00:49 pm »
So Rigol ds1054z is right choice?

Yes.

If you're working with microcontrollers then get 4 channels.

Just don't want to rush and cry after..

2 channels would do that.
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: Help me chose my first oscilloscope
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2018, 07:06:10 pm »
The Rigol DS1054Z serial decoding is pretty limited and low performance.  For one thing, it only operates on what is currently displayed.  Still, it is enough for many users.

True, but ALL oscilloscopes are a bit rubbish for decoding long sequences of data, they're really the wrong tool for the job (wrong user interface, not much memory, etc.).

You can use a DS1054Z to see if the signals are present and correct and get a $6 logic analyzer if you want to see long sequences of data.

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=usb+logic+analyzer

You did not mention SPI which requires 3 inputs for full decoding but some of the 2-channel DSOs can use their external trigger input for the 3rd input.

Better to get 4 channels and not worry.
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Help me chose my first oscilloscope
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2018, 07:18:58 pm »
The Rigol DS1054Z serial decoding is pretty limited and low performance.  For one thing, it only operates on what is currently displayed.  Still, it is enough for many users.

True, but ALL oscilloscopes are a bit rubbish for decoding long sequences of data, they're really the wrong tool for the job (wrong user interface, not much memory, etc.).

You can use a DS1054Z to see if the signals are present and correct and get a $6 logic analyzer if you want to see long sequences of data.

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=usb+logic+analyzer

You did not mention SPI which requires 3 inputs for full decoding but some of the 2-channel DSOs can use their external trigger input for the 3rd input.

Better to get 4 channels and not worry.

Better still to get two fast (>100MHz!) channels to spot voltage/timing violations, and then to use some form of logic analyser. But you know that :)
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline Fungus

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Re: Help me chose my first oscilloscope
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2018, 08:17:35 pm »
Better still to get two fast (>100MHz!) channels to spot voltage/timing violations, and then to use some form of logic analyser. But you know that :)

It's good to be able to decode a byte or two of data on screen though, along with the relative timing of each signal on the bus.

I'd pick 4 channels @100MHz over 2 channels @200Mhz for digital work, I often want to see another signal along with the data on the bus (devices usually respond to the data they receive).

Plus: You can do things like toggle an I/O pin in your I2C interrupt handler to see if it fired or not. Use the fourth channel for debugging.  :)

More channels is good, you'll always find a use for them in digital work. Logic analyzers are good for debugging communication protocols but they don't tend to show things in real time like an oscilloscope does. Sometimes it's good to just hook up a probe and see the signal.

PS: DS1054Z is >100MHz in real life, but you knew that.
 
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Online NEoX

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Re: Help me chose my first oscilloscope
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2018, 10:14:58 pm »
Better still to get two fast (>100MHz!) channels to spot voltage/timing violations, and then to use some form of logic analyser. But you know that :)

It's good to be able to decode a byte or two of data on screen though, along with the relative timing of each signal on the bus.

I'd pick 4 channels @100MHz over 2 channels @200Mhz for digital work, I often want to see another signal along with the data on the bus (devices usually respond to the data they receive).

Plus: You can do things like toggle an I/O pin in your I2C interrupt handler to see if it fired or not. Use the fourth channel for debugging.  :)

More channels is good, you'll always find a use for them in digital work. Logic analyzers are good for debugging communication protocols but they don't tend to show things in real time like an oscilloscope does. Sometimes it's good to just hook up a probe and see the signal.

PS: DS1054Z is >100MHz in real life, but you knew that.

yes..I would unlock all the things after powering it ON for first time  (unlock to 100MHz and all other things) ;D (if I buy it..but Im staring to dream that scope hahha)
 

Offline Old Printer

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Re: Help me chose my first oscilloscope
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2018, 10:42:39 pm »
I am not very fluent in euros or the scope market in your country, but I think your budget puts you right on the edge of the Siglent SDS1104X-E scope. As you are looking toward the future, I think you should take a good hard look at this scope if it is available in your country. I think it gives you a few more options towards the future than the current Rigol 1054z.
 
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Offline NivagSwerdna

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Re: Help me chose my first oscilloscope
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2018, 10:53:30 pm »
I bought a 1052E a few years back and don't regret it... the difference between not having a scope and having one is quite astounding!  (For all analogue signals I used to rely on intuition!)

I would aim to spend as little as you can and to get something that will last you for say 5-years. 

I love the 1052E but if I was buying now I would go for the 1054Z as having 2 channels is hard work... I do have 4CH envy.

The Rigols are not perfect and TBH I would like a snappier User Interface and a higher resolution display but it has taken me to designs that were beyond my reach before.

The Siglents look like a potential alternative but if I was buying again I would get a 1054Z without hesitation.  IMHO The Keysight doesn't have enough channels at our price point.
 
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Offline james_s

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Re: Help me chose my first oscilloscope
« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2018, 01:16:35 am »
No oscilloscope will last; you will always want a "better" one :(

I've had my TDS784C for a few years now and it's still more scope than I really need, can't imagine needing a better one. There are times when a physically smaller one would be nice though.

Before that I got by on a 465B for around 15 years.
 

Online David Hess

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Re: Help me chose my first oscilloscope
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2018, 04:02:54 am »
I bought a 1052E a few years back and don't regret it... the difference between not having a scope and having one is quite astounding!  (For all analogue signals I used to rely on intuition!)

I evaluated the Rigol 1000D and 1000E series when I decided I needed a DSO at home few years ago and disqualified them for lack of peak detection but I was not as desperate since I had a couple of analog oscilloscopes.  This was before the Rigol 1000Z series was released.  Instead I bought a couple of Tektronix 2230s and 2232s and refurbished them.

Quote
I love the 1052E but if I was buying now I would go for the 1054Z as having 2 channels is hard work... I do have 4CH envy.

I also wanted 4 channels so I stacked a pair of 2230/2232s together.  This was still less expensive than anything new but only because I knew I could repair and refurbish them.

Quote
The Siglents look like a potential alternative but if I was buying again I would get a 1054Z without hesitation.  IMHO The Keysight doesn't have enough channels at our price point.

Today I would take a very close look at Rohde & Schwarz and Keysight but they are outside of the OP's budget.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Help me chose my first oscilloscope
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2018, 05:24:25 am »
So Rigol ds1054z is right choice?
Yes.
I hate to burst your bubble (NOT!  >:D ) but I think the GW Instek GDS1054B offers better value for money when hacked (by loading a license file) nowadays. 4 channels, 10Mpts per channel, full memory decoding, 1Mpts FFT and probably many more features which the Rigol DS1054Z isn't good at or even doesn't have.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2018, 05:26:45 am by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online tautech

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Re: Help me chose my first oscilloscope
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2018, 06:40:31 am »
So Rigol ds1054z is right choice?
Yes.
I hate to burst your bubble (NOT!  >:D ) but I think the GW Instek GDS1054B offers better value for money when hacked (by loading a license file) nowadays. 4 channels, 10Mpts per channel, full memory decoding, 1Mpts FFT and probably many more features which the Rigol DS1054Z isn't good at or even doesn't have.
I agree.
For a trainee EE looking for a DSO to go into the future there are better choices now than a 1054Z.
It all depends on how much future proofing is required or can be afforded.
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Online rsjsouza

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Re: Help me chose my first oscilloscope
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2018, 06:49:14 am »
So Rigol ds1054z is right choice?
Yes.
I hate to burst your bubble (NOT!  >:D ) but I think the GW Instek GDS1054B offers better value for money when hacked (by loading a license file) nowadays. 4 channels, 10Mpts per channel, full memory decoding, 1Mpts FFT and probably many more features which the Rigol DS1054Z isn't good at or even doesn't have.
I agree.
For a trainee EE looking for a DSO to go into the future there are better choices now than a 1054Z.
It all depends on how much future proofing is required or can be afforded.
+1. The DS1054Z is an older architecture that is lagging behind the newer offers. 
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Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 


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