Author Topic: Is the Siglent SDS1104X-E still good value for money in 2020  (Read 1604 times)

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Offline MobiusHorizons

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Is the Siglent SDS1104X-E still good value for money in 2020
« on: August 16, 2020, 04:34:31 am »
Hello,

I am buying my first oscilloscope, and would like some confirmation that I am not missing something before I buy.

My needs:

I am an electronics hobbyist working with microntrollers, so my needs are mostly analyzing digital signals (which I have done so far with a cheap logic analyzer + sigrok). I also plan to use the scope for troubleshooting power issues, and crystals not running correctly when spinning my own boards. So at this point my needs are very modest, and most entry level scopes would be adequate. However I would like to buy something I'm not going to grow out of very soon, so I am happy to spend a bit more if it means quality or fewer headaches down the road.

The scopes I have considered:

* Siglent SDS1104x-E (current pick)
* Rigol DS1054z (cheaper and hackable)
* GW Instek GDS1054B (also cheap and apparently hackable)
* something used with MSO capability (not much luck finding used scopes)

Based on advice from Dave Jones, I am sticking to 4 channel scopes with serial decoding (either in the base price or hackable). It seems like from my research that in 2016 or so, the answer hands down for me would have been the DS1054z hacked to unlock bandwidth and serial decoding. However it seems like by 2018, the Siglent SDS1104x-E became a competitive option that was considered good value for money and somewhat better than the DS1054z. Now in 2020, however, I have not been able to find any up-to-date information on whether or not the Siglent is still considered competitive given the reduced price of the Rigol (~$350), and other cheap scopes that have come on to the market (like Owon and  GW Instek) since then. It seems like the Siglent (~$500) is still considered a good entry level scope,  but is it really worth the extra $150 dollars?

I'm perfectly happy to buy the Siglent or a more expensive scope if it really gives me something (easier to use, fewer gotchas, etc). But I also recognize that my needs are very modest, I could get away with with one of the cheaper scopes for analog jobs, and continue using my logic analyzer for everything else, so I don't want to spend a lot on a scope if it only gives me features I will basically never need.

So what scope do you recommend. Is the SDS1104X-E still a good scope from a value perspective in 2020? Is it overkill for my needs? Or are there other better value scopes I should be considering?

Thanks
-Paul
 

Offline thirstybear

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Re: Is the Siglent SDS1104X-E still good value for money in 2020
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2020, 09:07:32 am »
I’m a complete noob and I just bought the Siglent.  You didn’t mention that it is easily hackable using the instructions in the dedicated thread. Maybe that’s another plus for the Siglent!?!
 

Offline jukk

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Re: Is the Siglent SDS1104X-E still good value for money in 2020
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2020, 11:54:23 am »
I've also looked for a "real" scope for my hobby for many years (electrical engineer working in industry with other things). I couldn't get the Instek easily, so out of Rigol and Siglent I chose Siglent. Reasons were:

- A more modern and faster interface
- Could buy it almost locally, so warranty matters easy and good support
- easily unlocked (really easy in the end; used a python script someone made and the scope web interface)
- regularly updated firmware
- good probes even though they might feel and look cheap

So far I've only used it a little and I'm happy with it. The fan has a bit noise, but I've seen people put silent fans in it (I might consider this in the future).
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: Is the Siglent SDS1104X-E still good value for money in 2020
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2020, 12:03:22 pm »
The scopes I have considered:

* Siglent SDS1104x-E (current pick)
* Rigol DS1054z (cheaper and hackable)
* GW Instek GDS1054B (also cheap and apparently hackable)

If you're in the USA and can get the Instek for $310 then then that's definitely the one to go for IMHO.

https://www.tequipment.net/Instek/GDS-1054B/Digital-Oscilloscopes/?search=true

(nb. It's under $300 if you can find tequipment's EEVBLOG discount ...  :popcorn: )
 

Offline MobiusHorizons

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Re: Is the Siglent SDS1104X-E still good value for money in 2020
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2020, 10:33:05 pm »
Interesting I will look more into the GW Instek. I pretty much dismissed it because it seems to have sacrificed on interface (ugly and large, non-recessed power cord, odd menu layout, etc) However that was based off of the EEvblog teardown from 2015, so maybe some of those issues have been mitigated through software. If anyone has this scope, maybe they can comment how it is to live with. It certainly is much cheaper than the Siglent.
 

Offline uargo

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Re: Is the Siglent SDS1104X-E still good value for money in 2020
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2020, 02:28:44 am »
* Siglent SDS1104x-E
* Rigol DS1054z
* GW Instek GDS1054B

Of those 3 oscilloscopes that you put Siglent is the best without a doubt:

SIGLENT SDS1104X-E:
Screen 7 "
2 ADC at 1GS = 500MS on 4 channels
100Mhz hackable to 200Mhz
Wfms / s: 400,000
MEMORY: 28MB
FFT: 1Mpt
Serial decoder: YES, Serial / RS232, I2C, SPI, LIN, CAN
Waveform generator possibility: YES, needs expansion
Possibility of logic analyzer: YES, needs expansion
BodePlot: YES, you need any Siglent waveform generator or expansion
WIFI: YES, you need usb adapter
WEB REMOTE CONTROL: YES

RIGOL DS1054Z:
Screen 7 "
1 ADC at 1GS = 250MS on 4 channels
50Mhz hackable to 100Mhz
Wfms / s: 60,000
MEMORY: 24MB
FFT: YES but it's a toy.
Serial decoder: YES, Serial / RS232, I2C, SPI, LIN, CAN
Waveform generator possibility: NO
Possibility of logic analyzer: NO
BodePlot: NO
WIFI: NO
WEB REMOTE CONTROL: NO

GW Instek GDS1054B:
Screen 7 "
1 ADC at 1GS = 250ms on 4 channels
50Mhz hackable to 100Mhz
Wfms / s: 50,000
MEMORY: 10MB for channel
FFT: 1Mpt
Serial decoder: yes in the new version.
Signal generator possibility: NO
Possibility of logic analyzer: NO
BodePlot: NO
WIFI: NO
WEB REMOTE CONTROL: NO


Obviously you have to assess the price, the most expensive is the Siglent but it is also the best.
It is your decision what you want to spend of course, but of this price range the best, most complete and most expandable (with a view to the future) is the Siglent. If you just want a decent and cheap Rigol is yours.

If you can spend more, other oscilloscopes come into play, a higher step, they would be Rigol's MSO5000 series (from € 1000) and Siglent's SDS2000X Plus series (from € 1400), but the latter play in a higher league.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2020, 07:19:48 pm by uargo »
 

Online TK

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Re: Is the Siglent SDS1104X-E still good value for money in 2020
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2020, 03:25:13 am »
GW Instek GDS1054B:
50Mhz hackable ??
MEMORY: 10MB or 10MB for channel, does not make it clear.
Serial decoder: yes in the new version. free??
50Mhz hackable ??  <--- YES, 100MHz
MEMORY: 10MB or 10MB for channel, does not make it clear. <-- 10MB per channel
Serial decoder: yes in the new version. free??  <-- I already confirmed it is free, you keep spreading doubt to everybody... YES!!! FREE!!!

In the US, the clear winner in terms of price performance is GW Instek GDS-1054B.  The siglent is not worth the extra $199 (against the Instek)

One negative point about the Instek is that it comes with 70MHz probes.
 

Offline MobiusHorizons

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Re: Is the Siglent SDS1104X-E still good value for money in 2020
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2020, 05:11:30 am »
TK, I think you may have missed the point slightly. I don't think there is any doubt that the GW Instek is really good value at it's price point. But my question is not "Are these other cheaper scopes good value for money", but rather, "Is the Siglent actually still considered good value for money at it's price point today in 2020". By that I really mean two things:

  * How much is the Siglent substantively better (facts)
  * How much nicer of a scope is the Siglent to use (subjective)

You are both correct, but only uargo is actually addressing my question.

I think it's fair to say that the decision will come down to if I want to spend extra money assuming I will grow into the need for a better scope. And that is obviously a question you can't answer for me. Thanks for all the info. I really appreciate it.
 

Online 2N3055

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Re: Is the Siglent SDS1104X-E still good value for money in 2020
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2020, 05:50:27 am »
... but rather, "Is the Siglent actually still considered good value for money at it's price point today in 2020". By that I really mean two things:

  * How much is the Siglent substantively better (facts)
  * How much nicer of a scope is the Siglent to use (subjective)
........

With due all respect question  "Is the Siglent actually still considered good value for money at it's price point today in 2020" doesn't really correlate those two points.

How does question "good value for money at it's price point today in 2020" differs from "really good value at it's price point" ?

Also this was already answered few times in last few months of this very 2020.
Nothing new happened in 2020 in that arena.


All three are good value for money for what they cost.

DS1054Z is most basic, GDS1054B is better, while SDS1104x-E is better still.

SDS1104x-E has more memory AND one more A/D converter than GDS1054B, so hardware wise it has an edge.
Hardware wise, SDS1104x-E is more on par with GW Insteks much more expensive GDS2000E series.

As for features and U/I it is very specific to every person, so you have to have in mind what you want to do with it..

While pointless nitpicking discussions like these drag on, many people here created some awesome projects using lowly DS1054Z..
In meantime, some people spent months discussing scope details nobody cares about...

Just buy anything you can afford and start doing projects... One day, you'll need something better, and will cross that bridge when you get there.
 
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Offline Fungus

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Re: Is the Siglent SDS1104X-E still good value for money in 2020
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2020, 06:00:15 am »
  * How much nicer of a scope is the Siglent to use (subjective)

Two details:
Instek has separate controls for each channel.
Instek has a separate button for menu selections, you don't push the twisty knob (which is awkward)
« Last Edit: August 17, 2020, 06:03:58 am by Fungus »
 
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Offline uargo

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Re: Is the Siglent SDS1104X-E still good value for money in 2020
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2020, 07:25:12 pm »
GW Instek GDS1054B:
50Mhz hackable ??
MEMORY: 10MB or 10MB for channel, does not make it clear.
Serial decoder: yes in the new version. free??
50Mhz hackable ??  <--- YES, 100MHz
MEMORY: 10MB or 10MB for channel, does not make it clear. <-- 10MB per channel
Serial decoder: yes in the new version. free??  <-- I already confirmed it is free, you keep spreading doubt to everybody... YES!!! FREE!!!

In the US, the clear winner in terms of price performance is GW Instek GDS-1054B.  The siglent is not worth the extra $199 (against the Instek)

One negative point about the Instek is that it comes with 70MHz probes.
Sorry, modified features.
But GW Instek is not at all clear with the total memory thing, and I have checked its datasheet

If you don't want to have 200Mhz or 200,000Wfms or wifi or remote control via web or 500Ms in 4 channel mode or Bode plot (very useful by the way).
If you do not want to have the possibility of expanding to a logic analyzer or function generator in the future.
If you want to give up all that then yes, you could already opt for Rigol or GW Instek

Rigol and GW Instek are cheaper and also less complete, it all depends on what you want to spend and the options you want the oscilloscope to have.
Objectively Siglent is more expensive but it is also better.
Maybe he prefers to spend less and buy the GW Instek, I don't know.
But it is good to have information to be able to decide.

PS: I've been looking at features of the Siglent SDS2000x PLUS series for a few weeks, and it seems crazy to me, 2GS, 200MB, 4 channels, "upgradeable" to 500Mhz, 10 "touch screen, very fast etc etc etc etc
I love it, but of course the SDS2104X PLUS costs € 1400.
In short, you have to assess between benefits and price.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2020, 07:35:43 pm by uargo »
 

Offline uargo

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Re: Is the Siglent SDS1104X-E still good value for money in 2020
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2020, 07:46:40 pm »
  * How much nicer of a scope is the Siglent to use (subjective)

Two details:
Instek has separate controls for each channel.
Instek has a separate button for menu selections, you don't push the twisty knob (which is awkward)

Yes and it is true, but those are not technical characteristics that make the oscilloscope better.
That belongs to the user interface, which if it is true that makes it more comfortable to use.
However that depends a lot on each person, there will be people for whom having separate buttons per channel is decisive, for others not.
I personally don't care, but I understand what you say
 

Offline MobiusHorizons

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Re: Is the Siglent SDS1104X-E still good value for money in 2020
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2020, 03:51:27 am »
Well it was a really tough decision. I went back and forth a number of times, but I ended up deciding on the Siglent. It's probably overkill, but I do like the idea of buying a scope I won't grow out of any time soon, the form factor is more suitable more for my crowded desk.

Thanks for all the advice. I really appreciate it.
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: Is the Siglent SDS1104X-E still good value for money in 2020
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2020, 05:54:35 am »
Objectively Siglent is more expensive but it is also better.

Aaaand the Rigol and Instek are better than Hantek/Owon.

It's turtles all the way down. At some point you have to stop. If not, you should be looking at A-brands like Keysight/R&S.

 

Offline Fungus

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Re: Is the Siglent SDS1104X-E still good value for money in 2020
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2020, 05:55:58 am »
Two details:
Instek has separate controls for each channel.
Instek has a separate button for menu selections, you don't push the twisty knob (which is awkward)

Yes and it is true, but those are not technical characteristics that make the oscilloscope better.
[/quote]

Not everything revolves around quarter mile lap times. Sometimes you want leather seats and aircon.
 

Offline uargo

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Re: Is the Siglent SDS1104X-E still good value for money in 2020
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2020, 03:10:00 am »
Objectively Siglent is more expensive but it is also better.

Aaaand the Rigol and Instek are better than Hantek/Owon.

It's turtles all the way down. At some point you have to stop. If not, you should be looking at A-brands like Keysight/R&S.

Let's see I have given you tables with objective data, so you can decide.
I have not set prices because if I tell you that in Spain Rigol and Gw Instek cost me € 400 and Siglent € 500, for a € 100 difference it seems to me that there is no doubt, the Siglent is the winner here. as I do not know the prices there, because I only put data.

I have not put Hantek because in Spain it costs me from € 370 to € 450 approx depending on the model and it is lower in everything, it does not make sense, I already had a hantek and it is very basic I ended up changing it.
 

Offline uargo

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Re: Is the Siglent SDS1104X-E still good value for money in 2020
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2020, 03:16:02 am »
Two details:
Instek has separate controls for each channel.
Instek has a separate button for menu selections, you don't push the twisty knob (which is awkward)

Yes and it is true, but those are not technical characteristics that make the oscilloscope better.

Not everything revolves around quarter mile lap times. Sometimes you want leather seats and aircon.
[/quote]

As I have already answered you in the previous message, I understand what you mean and I respect that, but for me it is not something very important, it matters much more to me that it has a bode plot and to be able to graph the response of a filter, for example.
 

Offline uargo

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Re: Is the Siglent SDS1104X-E still good value for money in 2020
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2020, 03:19:20 am »
Well it was a really tough decision. I went back and forth a number of times, but I ended up deciding on the Siglent. It's probably overkill, but I do like the idea of buying a scope I won't grow out of any time soon, the form factor is more suitable more for my crowded desk.

Thanks for all the advice. I really appreciate it.

You enjoy it, and I hope we have given you some information that could have helped
 

Offline tautech

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Re: Is the Siglent SDS1104X-E still good value for money in 2020
« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2020, 07:36:17 am »
Certainly few have had their capabilities examined so closely.
This thread although nearly 3 years old and probably worthy of some updates with features since added is worthy of careful study by those considering the SDS1104X-E.
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/siglent-sds1104x-e-in-depth-review/
Avid Rabid Hobbyist
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: Is the Siglent SDS1104X-E still good value for money in 2020
« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2020, 10:12:46 am »
for me it is not something very important, it matters much more to me that it has a bode plot and to be able to graph the response of a filter, for example.

That's the problem with this analysis: The value of individual features is very relative and a specialist device might do a much better job.

To me it seems that this list is about as useful as Coke vs. Pepsi.
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: Is the Siglent SDS1104X-E still good value for money in 2020
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2020, 10:16:51 am »
I have not set prices because if I tell you that in Spain Rigol and Gw Instek cost me € 400 and Siglent € 500, for a € 100 difference it seems to me that there is no doubt, the Siglent is the winner here. as I do not know the prices there, because I only put data.

That's not true everywhere in spacetime.

The Instek used to be a lot more expensive, the price of Rigol has gone up. Who's to say the price of Siglents won't go up or that Rigol won't go back down again?

I going to doubt your conclusions, too. If you're only doing basic stuff then 100 Euros is the cost of a decent soldering iron or multimeter. Which is a better way to spend your money? I don't think it's a Siglent if means you get your soldering iron from "Todo a 100".
« Last Edit: August 19, 2020, 10:28:40 am by Fungus »
 

Offline uargo

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Re: Is the Siglent SDS1104X-E still good value for money in 2020
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2020, 10:48:38 am »
Certainly few have had their capabilities examined so closely.
This thread although nearly 3 years old and probably worthy of some updates with features since added is worthy of careful study by those considering the SDS1104X-E.
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/siglent-sds1104x-e-in-depth-review/

great contribution, thank you, it will surely help many people. Think that this thread not only helps its creator, a long time after many people with the same doubts will enter to read it.
 

Offline uargo

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Re: Is the Siglent SDS1104X-E still good value for money in 2020
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2020, 10:51:21 am »
for me it is not something very important, it matters much more to me that it has a bode plot and to be able to graph the response of a filter, for example.

That's the problem with this analysis: The value of individual features is very relative and a specialist device might do a much better job.

To me it seems that this list is about as useful as Coke vs. Pepsi.

In this thread apart from the subjective comments that we can all put and in fact we put, I believe that objective data has been provided, and opinions that can be of help to people with doubts
 

Offline uargo

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Re: Is the Siglent SDS1104X-E still good value for money in 2020
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2020, 11:04:30 am »
I have not set prices because if I tell you that in Spain Rigol and Gw Instek cost me € 400 and Siglent € 500, for a € 100 difference it seems to me that there is no doubt, the Siglent is the winner here. as I do not know the prices there, because I only put data.

That's not true everywhere in spacetime.

The Instek used to be a lot more expensive, the price of Rigol has gone up. Who's to say the price of Siglents won't go up or that Rigol won't go back down again?

I going to doubt your conclusions, too. If you're only doing basic stuff then 100 Euros is the cost of a decent soldering iron or multimeter. Which is a better way to spend your money? I don't think it's a Siglent if means you get your soldering iron from "Todo a 100".

I have not entered the price war, I have only given an example of what they cost me here in Spain, of course, for many people € 100 can decide to buy a GW Intek and a soldering iron or multimeter, that is up to each one , but knowing the characteristics of each oscilloscope is easier to decide.

I'm going to give you an example of why it seems very important to inform and help people with doubts:
4 years ago I came from an analog oscilloscope and I had no idea what to look for in a digital oscilloscope, I did not find advice and I ended up buying the Hantek DSO4202C, which had only 40K of memory, very basic in everything, laughing FFT and nothing of serial decoders ...
It cost me € 420 and 3 years later I sold it badly for € 120 to be able to buy the SDS1104X-E for € 500, if someone had advised me I would have bought the Rigol that already existed at that time, or I would have waited for the Siglent that already it was advertised. But I lost € 300 for a bad purchase due to lack of information.
So I don't think that informing people on the forum is useless.
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: Is the Siglent SDS1104X-E still good value for money in 2020
« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2020, 11:41:46 am »
I'm going to give you an example of why it seems very important to inform and help people with doubts:
4 years ago I came from an analog oscilloscope and I had no idea what to look for in a digital oscilloscope, I did not find advice and I ended up buying the Hantek DSO4202C, which had only 40K of memory, very basic in everything, laughing FFT and nothing of serial decoders ...

Sure, but:

a) If you had been able to find this thread back then you'd also have found EEVBLOG forums, a place where everybody says not to buy a Hantek.
b) If you have no idea what to look for then a long list of features won't help.

Much better (IMHO) is a thread that lists the 'scopes which are actually worth buying, along with a list of relative worth.

eg.

Rigol DS1054Z << Instek 1054B << Siglent SDS1104X

Conslusion: If Rigol+Instek cost the same then obviously you don't buy the Rigol. If you want to spend more money and get more oscilloscope, get the Siglent (but why stop there? Why is Siglent the end of the list?)

Even then it's not so simple. For the same money some people might want a Fiesta 1.6 for performance reasons, others might want a Fiesta 1.4 with leather seats and better sound system because they're more relaxed drivers.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2020, 11:45:31 am by Fungus »
 

Offline uargo

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Re: Is the Siglent SDS1104X-E still good value for money in 2020
« Reply #25 on: August 19, 2020, 11:50:26 am »
Although we disagree on some things, the important thing, I think, is that whoever reads the thread can get enough information to choose;)
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: Is the Siglent SDS1104X-E still good value for money in 2020
« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2020, 01:07:17 pm »
Even so, I don't think you should leave out UI considerations.

eg. Rigol has a row of buttons down the left side for toggling measurements along with a little icon to show what it is. I can turn on a measurement with a single button press (or two).

Siglent makes you go through a popup window and do a lot of knob twiddling to achive the same thing.
 

Offline uargo

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Re: Is the Siglent SDS1104X-E still good value for money in 2020
« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2020, 01:56:41 pm »
Even so, I don't think you should leave out UI considerations.

eg. Rigol has a row of buttons down the left side for toggling measurements along with a little icon to show what it is. I can turn on a measurement with a single button press (or two).

Siglent makes you go through a popup window and do a lot of knob twiddling to achive the same thing.

Well that, said is for the information of who reads the thread
 


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