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Iwatsu scopes

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I am looking for a better scope and came across Iwatsu, not a brand I have heard of, are they any good and what are their weak points. All I know is they come from Fukushima in Japan.


--- Quote from: G7PSK on May 06, 2013, 08:56:22 pm ---I am looking for a better scope and came across Iwatsu, not a brand I have heard of, are they any good and what are their weak points. All I know is they come from Fukushima in Japan.

--- End quote ---

Iwatsu is a very old Japanese manufacturer of test equipment, telecommunication systems and optical reproduction systems. Their core market is Japan and other Asian countries, and more a rarity everywhere else.

Their scopes are generally very high quality, very solid and reliable, but in terms of features and performance Iwatsu nowadays is way behind of other manufacturers. Their portfolio is quite limited (no real midrange and no high end). If you don't need latest features and only want a reliable scope then they are fine.

However, Iwatsu was/is also the manufacturer for certain LeCroy scopes (WaveJet, Waverunner LT, WavePro 900), which have been developed together by both companies. These scopes exhibit the typical Iwatsu quality but are much more advanced than original Iwatsu scopes (and even many scopes from other brands).

Before that LeCroy has also sold rebadged Iwatsu analog scopes. Amongst them was a model which had a LCD monitor and used a scan converter tube to convert the analog input signal into display information.

But at the end of the day it depends on what you want to do with the scope. Do you have a specific scope in mind?

I have a WaveJet made by Iwatsu but it dates from 2006. Looking on their web-site their latest scope seems to be an upgrade of this with the main improvements being 1M instead of 500k memory, LAN etc built-in with the option of trigger out (and faster LAN) and some more sophisticated triggers. But basically it is a small evolutionary change. But this perhaps is no bad thing as it means there are unlikely to be major bugs in the firmware etc.

The WaveJet is solid and I'm generally pleased with it. It starts up very quickly and seems well built. I like the history mode and it can do spectrum displays in persistence mode. When I tested the calibration (as best I could) it seemed spot on even though it had not been calibrated since 2006 (I got it in January this year). The time base accuracy is specced at 10ppm which is better than a lot of lower end scopes and I found it to be much better than this.

The waveforms per second are limited to 3,600 but this particular feature I think is rather over emphasized because of Agilent pushing it hard.

One drawback is a noisy fan. One other annoying thing is the FFTs are limited to 8k points but you can only set points to 1k or 10k so this means in practice you're often limited to just 1k points (something I found out experimenting today).

They also do analogue scopes I think.


--- Quote ---Dear valuable customers,
Due to the terrible disasters by earthquakes in north Japan, our manufacturing facilities in Fukushima prefecture are partially damaged. Also traffic and electricity are still remain in limited availability. We, Iwatsu Test Instruments Corp., do our best to recover and catch up our production and services in normal position as soon as possible. However, products' delivery and repair, maintenance & recalibration services in our Aizu-Fukushima factory are possibly estimated in delay. We are sorry for any of your inconveniences caused and hope your understanding.
--- End quote ---
What? The Fukushima power plant disaster happened at 11th March 2011...
Well, Iwatsu produces only one series of digital oscilloscopes. Oh, why only one??
This DS-5500 is strange... Is can be 500Mhz bandwidth but only 1Gs/s per each channel. Even worse than Rigol... A new Iwatsu is definitely not a banf per buck, these scopes are not suitable for hobbyists... Unless you buy it very cheap...
Well, Iwatsu has some advanced analysis function, but not much modern hardware. Iwatsu has no subsidiary in Europe. It's not possible to download an user manual from their website.
What the hell. I could not find any eshop that sells those DS-5500 scopes... This Iwatsu looks bad when compared to Agilent or Tektronix.
We know that LeCroy WaveJet is manufactured by Iwatsu. You cannot buy other Iwatsu products in Europe...
Let's compare prices of these four channel scopes.
LECROY - WAVEJET WJ324-A - DSO, 200MHZ and 1Gs/s per each channel - costs 3970 Euro.
AGILENT TECHNOLOGIES - MSOX3024A 200MHz and 2GS/s per each channel
+ included 16 channel Logic analyzer!!!  costs 4365 Euro
AGILENT TECHNOLOGIES - DSOX3024A 200MHz and 2GS/s per each channel
 costs 3400 Euro
There is no reason to choose the Iwatsu (=LeCroy) scope...  8)

I used to have several Iwatsu scopes. They are not bad. Which model are we talking about?


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