Author Topic: Is Rigol DS1054Z still a good option in 2019?  (Read 11876 times)

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Offline Sudo_apt-get_install_yum

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Is Rigol DS1054Z still a good option in 2019?
« on: July 30, 2019, 02:16:00 pm »
Hi everyone!

I’m looking into getting a basic oscilloscope. I’ve been using the Siglent SDS2304X at work and its great but I’m heading back to school to finish of my studies and think it would be overkill for my private/school use.

I’ll be using the scope for debugging low speed analog signals and digital protocols/ communication.

I need a 4-channel scope mostly when debugging protocols and mainly never use more than 2-channels for just analog use.
If I ever need more digital channels (Witch is rare) then I’ll just my knockoff Salea logic analyzer.

I’m planning on using Sigrok's PulseView for the digital debugging.

I’ve been looking in the huge thread of oscilloscopes (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/digital-oscilloscope-comparison-chart/) and it seems like the Rigol DS1054Z + unlock is the cheapest and best option.

Got any other recommendations or is this still the way to go for budget oscilloscopes.

I just wanted to hear other opinions before I purchase the scope.  :)

Thank in advanced!

Below are the oscilloscopes from the sub 500$ category with 4-analog channels!
« Last Edit: July 30, 2019, 02:32:32 pm by Sudo_apt-get_install_yum »
 

Online Fungus

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Re: Is Rigol DS1054Z still a good option in 2019?
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2019, 03:10:25 pm »
The DS1054Z is still a great choice.

 

Offline tautech

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Re: Is Rigol DS1054Z still a good option in 2019?
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2019, 04:26:56 pm »
Hi everyone!

I’m looking into getting a basic oscilloscope. I’ve been using the Siglent SDS2304X at work and its great but I’m heading back to school to finish of my studies and think it would be overkill for my private/school use.

I’ll be using the scope for debugging low speed analog signals and digital protocols/ communication.

I need a 4-channel scope mostly when debugging protocols and mainly never use more than 2-channels for just analog use.
If I ever need more digital channels (Witch is rare) then I’ll just my knockoff Salea logic analyzer.
As you're already familiar with Siglent's UI I'd recommend you you stick with them as it will save you a bundle of time learning a new UI. The SDS1104X-E is very similar to SDS2304X use in so many ways however the little X-E is more capable and powerful in many respects too.
Yes I've owned and used both and while I miss some things the 2304X had, the little X-E has many updated features the bigger 2kX scope hasn't.
The only thing you'll have to adapt to with a X-E is the multiplexed vertical controls and if you're anything like me dreaded the thought of using them but I very quickly adapted and far more easily than I had imagined.
Just how the channel select buttons and the shared control interact has been worked out very well so that you can adapt pretty quickly.

Good luck with your choice and further studies.
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Is Rigol DS1054Z still a good option in 2019?
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2019, 04:38:20 pm »
Multiplexed controls versus single channel controls makes a lot of difference. You can get used to it but having two scopes with different operating styles isn't going to be comfortable. From the list only the GW Instek GDS1000B has individual channel controls (and it can be found for less money than shown in the comparison).
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Online Fungus

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Re: Is Rigol DS1054Z still a good option in 2019?
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2019, 05:21:49 am »
As you can see: They all have their fan clubs.  (Apart from the Rigol "Plus" - don't get that one!)

None will disappoint, all show wiggly lines on screen just fine, all have similar bang per buck in real terms.

Where do you stop going up in price...?  Obviously the Siglent is better but it's also about 50% more expensive and above the Siglent there's something even better. It's turtles all the way up.

You can have a really nice multimeter or soldering iron with the difference between the Rigol and Siglent though.   :popcorn:
« Last Edit: July 31, 2019, 05:25:28 am by Fungus »
 

Online bdunham7

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Re: Is Rigol DS1054Z still a good option in 2019?
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2019, 01:21:00 am »
As for the DS1054Z vs the SDS1104X-E, I have them both.  They both work fine, especially at their price points, but neither is perfect.  Most of the things that are compared are relatively minor nuisance issues for me--for example, the Rigol has measurement buttons that make it quick and easy to select measurements, but I think the measurements on the 1104X-E actually work better overall.  The Rigol is a little noisier at the lowest levels, but the difference isn't that huge--the Siglent is half as noisy at best and this really hasn't been an issue.  Etc, etc.  They both have their quirks, but both are very handy. The only quirk I worry about is that the Rigol has some issues about what it is actually displaying and how it is interpolating that I don't understand--this has been discussed elsewhere. 

One of the big differences is that the FFT on the Rigol is joke quality (both the function and the UI) while the one on the Siglent actually works pretty well and is decently configurable.  Some others are:

The Siglent has max sweep rate of 1ns/div while the Rigol is 5ns/div.
The Siglent is hackable to beyond 200 MHz (and has twice the sampling rate with more than one channel), the Rigol, however, is much easier to hack.
The Siglent has a Bode plot function that may be useful or interesting.
The Siglent has more usable screen area. 

There are more differences and I'm probably forgetting some major ones.

All in all the Siglent is more scope for more money.  I can't think of anything that the Rigol does that the Siglent doesn't, or anything significant that it does better.  But, the Siglent is 50% more at today's prices.
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Online tv84

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Re: Is Rigol DS1054Z still a good option in 2019?
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2019, 08:50:41 am »
Sudo,

Like Fungus said:

If you have only 339€+VAT, go for the DS1054Z. If you have 429€+VAT, go for the SDS1104X-E.

It's that simple!
 
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Offline vinlove

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Re: Is Rigol DS1054Z still a good option in 2019?
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2019, 09:13:56 am »
I don't own 1054Z, but I recall someone on the forum saying that he has been using 1054Z in his work, and he doesn't like it, because display is sluggish.
He rather prefers DS1052E for fast display and quick processing.
 

Online Fungus

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Re: Is Rigol DS1054Z still a good option in 2019?
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2019, 09:21:12 am »
As for the DS1054Z vs the SDS1104X-E, I have them both.  They both work fine, especially at their price points, but neither is perfect.

This.

Dismiss any idea that the Siglent is "perfect", it has issues too.

The only quirk I worry about is that the Rigol has some issues about what it is actually displaying and how it is interpolating that I don't understand--this has been discussed elsewhere. 

It's not difficult to understand it's just that the Rigol-hater-club that inhabits this forum tries to exaggerate it beyond all reason and the details get lost.

Some oscilloscopes have the option to turn off sin(x)/x signal reconstruction. Not all of them do (most expensive ones don't!) because it makes no sense to do so. It's a fundamental part of signal reconstruction and drawing the wiggly lines on screen.

The Rigol does have it but it only appears when you turn on more than two channels enabled and it's sampling at 250Mhz. It's greyed out at all other times because the sample rate isn't anywhere near the Nyquist limit so sin(x)/x is the correct thing to do.

What the Rigol-hater club discovered is that when you turn sin(x)/x "Off", it doesn't really turn off. Instead it changes to a "Rigol interpolation".

We don't know the exact math of this interpolation, hence the FUD. The only 'issue' is that it's not what the OCD types think "sin(x)/x turned off" ought to be.

(note: Nowhere is it written what "sin(x)/x turned off" should be, it's undefined, it's an error condition...)

OTOH we can see that Rigols' mystery interpolation reduces the Gibbs Phenomenon when you're on the limit, ie. it's better than sin(x)/x when you're on the Nyquist limit.

 
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Online Fungus

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Re: Is Rigol DS1054Z still a good option in 2019?
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2019, 09:33:00 am »
I don't own 1054Z, but I recall someone on the forum saying that he has been using 1054Z in his work, and he doesn't like it, because display is sluggish.

a) "Display is sluggish" is a lie, the display is just fine.

b) It's true that the vertical position control (and only the vertical position control) is a bit sluggish but in daily use it turns out to be a superficial, "First world" problem that doesn't affect work at all.
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Is Rigol DS1054Z still a good option in 2019?
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2019, 10:51:05 am »
a) "Display is sluggish" is a lie, the display is just fine.

b) It's true that the vertical position control (and only the vertical position control) is a bit sluggish but in daily use it turns out to be a superficial, "First world" problem that doesn't affect work at all.
The fun part is that almost all oscilloscopes are sluggish. The Keysights seem to be the only real exception due to doing most things in hardware.
 
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Online bdunham7

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Re: Is Rigol DS1054Z still a good option in 2019?
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2019, 03:17:37 pm »
As for the DS1054Z vs the SDS1104X-E, I have them both.  They both work fine, especially at their price points, but neither is perfect.

This.

Dismiss any idea that the Siglent is "perfect", it has issues too.

The only quirk I worry about is that the Rigol has some issues about what it is actually displaying and how it is interpolating that I don't understand--this has been discussed elsewhere. 

It's not difficult to understand it's just that the Rigol-hater-club that inhabits this forum tries to exaggerate it beyond all reason and the details get lost.

Some oscilloscopes have the option to turn off sin(x)/x signal reconstruction. Not all of them do (most expensive ones don't!) because it makes no sense to do so. It's a fundamental part of signal reconstruction and drawing the wiggly lines on screen.

The Rigol does have it but it only appears when you turn on more than two channels enabled and it's sampling at 250Mhz. It's greyed out at all other times because the sample rate isn't anywhere near the Nyquist limit so sin(x)/x is the correct thing to do.

What the Rigol-hater club discovered is that when you turn sin(x)/x "Off", it doesn't really turn off. Instead it changes to a "Rigol interpolation".

We don't know the exact math of this interpolation, hence the FUD. The only 'issue' is that it's not what the OCD types think "sin(x)/x turned off" ought to be.

(note: Nowhere is it written what "sin(x)/x turned off" should be, it's undefined, it's an error condition...)

OTOH we can see that Rigols' mystery interpolation reduces the Gibbs Phenomenon when you're on the limit, ie. it's better than sin(x)/x when you're on the Nyquist limit.

Ease up on the "Rigol-hater" rhetoric.  The issues are more complex than that.  Interpolation is involved with triggering, as well as drawing your squiggly line.  IMO, the Rigol does a really good job of generating a stable trigger overall--better in fact than any of my analog scopes except the 2465B, and excepting low signal levels where some of the analog scopes trigger cleanly on much lower signals. 

However, the issue I have, and which has been discussed endlessly elsewhere, is that the 'DOTS' mode displays dots which are not necessarily data samples.  The whole point of wanting to eliminate interpolation is that sometimes you want to see the raw data that the scope is receiving so you have a better idea of what it actually knows and what it is 'reconstructing'.  This is very important because the reconstruction theory depends on certain conditions being met--bandwidth limitations and so on--and sometimes there isn't an actual guarantee that they ARE met.  I've seen some pretty bizarre results from this on and not just on contrived corner-case examples.  I think it is a limitation, and more importantly, it isn't an obviously apparent one.  Sometimes the dots are sample points--and sometimes they aren't.  I'm not sure what it is doing and I haven't seen a clear explanation yet. 

None of this would stop me from buying the scope again if I needed to stay at that price point.
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Online Fungus

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Re: Is Rigol DS1054Z still a good option in 2019?
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2019, 05:31:52 pm »
The whole point of wanting to eliminate interpolation is that sometimes you want to see the raw data that the scope is receiving so you have a better idea of what it actually knows and what it is 'reconstructing'.

I'm not sure how looking at dots tells you anything though. It's like looking at the pixels in a zoomed image and telling me you know the detail in between them.

The correct thing to do would be turn off other channels and get 500MHz or 1GHz sample rate on the channel you're interested in. That way you move away from the Nyquist limit and see the true signal.

This is very important because the reconstruction theory depends on certain conditions being met--bandwidth limitations and so on--and sometimes there isn't an actual guarantee that they ARE met.

It's perfectly possible that they aren't being met on a Rigol DS100Z. It has about 130MHz bandwidth and the sample rate drops to 250MHz when you turn all channels on.

The Siglent SDS1204 has the exact same problem, it has about 280Mhz measured bandwidth and sample rate can drop to 500Mhz with all channels on - not enough to garantee the conditions required by signal theory.

To beat this you have to go up in price, eg. The Rigol MSO5000 has 350MHz bandwidth and at least 2GHz sample rate per channel. It's never going to get anywhere close to Nyquist with that ratio.

 

Online bdunham7

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Re: Is Rigol DS1054Z still a good option in 2019?
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2019, 05:54:25 pm »
The whole point of wanting to eliminate interpolation is that sometimes you want to see the raw data that the scope is receiving so you have a better idea of what it actually knows and what it is 'reconstructing'.

I'm not sure how looking at dots tells you anything though. It's like looking at the pixels in a zoomed image and telling me you know the detail in between them.

The correct thing to do would be turn off other channels and get 500MHz or 1GHz sample rate on the channel you're interested in. That way you move away from the Nyquist limit and see the true signal.

This is very important because the reconstruction theory depends on certain conditions being met--bandwidth limitations and so on--and sometimes there isn't an actual guarantee that they ARE met.

It's perfectly possible that they aren't being met on a Rigol DS100Z. It has about 130MHz bandwidth and the sample rate drops to 250MHz when you turn all channels on.

The Siglent SDS1204 has the exact same problem, it has about 280Mhz measured bandwidth and sample rate can drop to 500Mhz with all channels on - not enough to garantee the conditions required by signal theory.

To beat this you have to go up in price, eg. The Rigol MSO5000 has 350MHz bandwidth and at least 2GHz sample rate per channel. It's never going to get anywhere close to Nyquist with that ratio.

No, I think we're on two different pages here.  First, just to clarify, the "measured bandwidth" refers to approximately the 3db point.  The 1054Z will cleanly trigger on and display a signal out to 400MHz, which is near what you call the "Nyquist limit", but that is when it is fed a clean 400MHz sine signal.  Nyquist, however, requires that all of the input signal above the limit be attenuated below the noise level or it will show up folded back in (aliased).  You can demonstrate this doesn't happen with the 1054Z by using 500MHz, 600MHz and 700MHz signals--try it if you can.

I'm not referring to the sampling/bandwidth issue directly, I'm referring to interpolation sometimes being implausible.  How do I know what is between the dots?  I don't--and this is my point.   I want to see the samples displayed directly with no interpolation or interpretation so that I understand what information the scope is working with.  With complex or transient signals, the interpolation is just defective guesswork that I don't trust--and that is because I've seen it be wrong.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2019, 05:57:25 pm by bdunham7 »
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Online rsjsouza

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Re: Is Rigol DS1054Z still a good option in 2019?
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2019, 01:10:46 am »
In my opinion, the Siglent and the Instek are the best bang for buck and have a longer roadmap of updates as they are newer platforms, with an edge for the Siglent as the manufacturer actually supports and advertises the protocol decoding. The Instek can have these enabled via hacking, but the manufacturer does not have them as an option, which increases risk as they may simply vanish in a future update. You don't seem too worried about this, thus you should be fine with either.

The independent controls for each channel are nice, but the shared controls can be learned and one develops some mechanical memory over time. I personally prefer the independent controls, but YMMV.

The discussions above on very specific details about each one's preferred brand are common here. The same regular actors tend to turn each question into a battlefield of ideas, preferences, assumptions and guesses... Don't feel bad feeling your question started a war - it always happens around here! :P
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Offline bitseeker

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Re: Is Rigol DS1054Z still a good option in 2019?
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2019, 04:47:28 am »
If you have only 339€+VAT, go for the DS1054Z. If you have 429€+VAT, go for the SDS1104X-E.

It's that simple!

This ^^^ should be a sticky. :-+

But it probably wouldn't curb the recurrence of this topic every week (nor the battle that ensues shortly after each new thread is created). >:D
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Offline tautech

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Re: Is Rigol DS1054Z still a good option in 2019?
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2019, 05:04:37 am »
Nope, the OP is already using a very capable Siglent at work and likely very familiar with it, it would be a mistake he would very likely regret selecting the lowest value 4ch DSO for his home use when the X-E that he has pondered about has a very very similar UI and even has some features its bigger brother has not.
In particular X-E's later and faster processor allows for snappy operation, a bigger feature set and far better FFT.

Without throwing more $ at the selection for home use, selection of an X-E is a total no-brainer, no contest choice for the OP.
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Offline bitseeker

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Re: Is Rigol DS1054Z still a good option in 2019?
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2019, 05:30:53 am »
Not nope (unless I misunderstood to what your nope refers). The OP implied his budget was up to around $500. So, tv84's statement does not preclude getting an X-E (in fact, it's in support of it) unless the OP's budget is in reality too low to do so. ;)
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Online Fungus

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Re: Is Rigol DS1054Z still a good option in 2019?
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2019, 10:38:12 am »
I'm not referring to the sampling/bandwidth issue directly, I'm referring to interpolation sometimes being implausible.  How do I know what is between the dots?  I don't--and this is my point.   I want to see the samples displayed directly with no interpolation or interpretation so that I understand what information the scope is working with.

My points were:
a) Looking at the dots doesn't tell you anything. If you disagree then feel free to start a thread with screenshots and explanations. I'm sure a lot of signal theorists will be interested in techniques to reconstruct information above the sample rate.

And ... much more importantly:
b) The only correct thing to do is to turn off a channel or two to get a higher sample rate on the channel of interest.

nb. When you do this the Rigol DS1054Z will disable the option to turn off sin(x)/x, which indirectly proves the point being made.

« Last Edit: August 02, 2019, 10:47:17 am by Fungus »
 

Online Fungus

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Re: Is Rigol DS1054Z still a good option in 2019?
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2019, 10:57:38 am »
The OP implied his budget was up to around $500.

So? Maybe the OP would like a nice multimeter with his oscilloscope, or a decent soldering iron.

(but only the OP knows that)

If the Rigol meets his current needs then it meets his current needs. Period. No point in crossing your fingers and hoping that you won't ever need more than something which is only a single step up the ladder (lets not lose sight of that particular point).

 

Online bdunham7

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Re: Is Rigol DS1054Z still a good option in 2019?
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2019, 03:26:40 pm »
I'm not referring to the sampling/bandwidth issue directly, I'm referring to interpolation sometimes being implausible.  How do I know what is between the dots?  I don't--and this is my point.   I want to see the samples displayed directly with no interpolation or interpretation so that I understand what information the scope is working with.

My points were:
a) Looking at the dots doesn't tell you anything. If you disagree then feel free to start a thread with screenshots and explanations. I'm sure a lot of signal theorists will be interested in techniques to reconstruct information above the sample rate.

And ... much more importantly:
b) The only correct thing to do is to turn off a channel or two to get a higher sample rate on the channel of interest.

nb. When you do this the Rigol DS1054Z will disable the option to turn off sin(x)/x, which indirectly proves the point being made.

I'm not referring to deselecting sin(x)/x at lower sampling rates.  I'm talking about one channel, 1GSa/s and selecting 'DOTS' instead of 'VECTOR'.  If it did what I expected, the dots would actually tell me a lot--not about additional magically interpolated information, but rather about how much information I actually had and how accurate it is.  Anyway, we've hijacked a thread over something that has been hashed to death elsewhere.  The 1054Z would be fine choice for the OP--unless he has more 'additional information' for us.
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Online Fungus

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Re: Is Rigol DS1054Z still a good option in 2019?
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2019, 05:45:42 pm »
I'm not referring to deselecting sin(x)/x at lower sampling rates.  I'm talking about one channel, 1GSa/s and selecting 'DOTS' instead of 'VECTOR'.  If it did what I expected, the dots would actually tell me a lot--not about additional magically interpolated information, but rather about how much information I actually had and how accurate it is.

If you have 1GSs/s on a 'scope with ~140Mhz analog bandwidth then it's probably moot.

Anyway, we've hijacked a thread over something that has been hashed to death elsewhere.  The 1054Z would be fine choice for the OP--unless he has more 'additional information' for us.

Yep.

The usage case was : "....debugging low speed analog signals and digital protocols/ communication. I need a 4-channel scope mostly when debugging protocols and mainly never use more than 2-channels for just analog use. If I ever need more digital channels (Witch is rare) then I’ll just my knockoff Salea logic analyzer."

The Rigol DS1054Z can do that.
 

Offline Candid

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Re: Is Rigol DS1054Z still a good option in 2019?
« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2019, 05:57:41 pm »
I’m looking into getting a basic oscilloscope[...]
I’ve been using the Siglent SDS2304X[...]I’m heading back to school to finish of my studies and think it would be overkill for my private/school use.[...]
I’ll be using the scope for debugging low speed analog signals and digital protocols/ communication.[...]
I need a 4-channel scope[...]
[...]and it seems like the Rigol DS1054Z + unlock is the cheapest and best option.

Got any other recommendations or is this still the way to go for budget oscilloscopes.
No other recommendation from me, I would too get the DS1054Z with this recommendations. The right decision from my point of view. You learned to use a Siglent, you should not have a problem in using a Rigol. It's like with a driving license.
 

Offline voltsandjolts

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Re: Is Rigol DS1054Z still a good option in 2019?
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2019, 06:38:52 pm »
These type of threads somehow feel like politely asking for a pint at the bar, which then triggers a pub brawl  ;D
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Is Rigol DS1054Z still a good option in 2019?
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2019, 06:43:06 pm »
No other recommendation from me, I would too get the DS1054Z with this recommendations.
But the DS1054Z is very old and does have several drawbacks. For a little bit more you can buy a much better oscilloscope nowadays. Technology has moved on.
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