Author Topic: Keysight MXR 8 channel scope  (Read 9879 times)

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Offline Sighound36

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Re: Keysight MXR 8 channel scope
« Reply #125 on: August 13, 2020, 04:16:18 pm »
Now in possession of a fully working and optioned up (without Tv84? total sacrilege  8) ) A big thank you to Keysight's  UXR/MXR applications engineer Jason for his time yesterday and travelling as far as he did in the heat, while going thoroughly through the MXR a top chap indeed.

Yesterday was ridiculously hot in the lab and the MXR being the beast of a mobile server bank did contribute in no small way to the 38C  in the there. So one did the British thing and retired to a less oppressive environment for refreshments until later in the evening when the thermometer descended to a more manageable 24C.

Long chat with Justin revealed that the MXR has only one asic per bank of 4 channels (not sure why but I was convinced it was one per channel, must be the heat  ;D

Also due in the not to distance future a convergence of Keysight OS firmware, currently the infiniium higher range scopes S series and above use one style of Keysight OS, the UXR another and now the MXR its own as well. Plans to deliver a single platform OS for these three ranges was sheduled earlier in the year but due to Covid 19 this has been put back, now possibly Xmas for this to happen? Interesting no plans to cull the S series at the moment either.

Today the MXR has been getting a work out and has been fairing well, tomorrow its gets serious, the Lecroy Wavepro is appearing in the blue corner  with gum shield and a rather fetching pair of knee length lace up boots and 
some Nigel Benn style shorts  :-DD

Seconds out.........................


 



 
« Last Edit: August 22, 2020, 05:33:51 am by Sighound36 »
Seeking quality measurement equipment at realistic cost with proper service backup. If you pay peanuts you employ monkeys.
 
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Offline MarkL

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Re: Keysight MXR 8 channel scope
« Reply #126 on: August 13, 2020, 08:45:19 pm »
...
Also due in the not to distance future a convergence of Keysight OS firmware, currently the infiniium higher range scopes S series and above use one style of Keysight OS, the UXR another and now the MXR its own as well. Plans to deliver a single platform OS for these three ranges was sheduled earlier in the year but due to Covid 19 this has been put back, now possibly Xmas for this to happen? Interesting no plans to cull the S series at the moment either.
...

Do you know if this new "single platform OS" is still ms windows, or is it something other than windows based?
 

Offline Keysight DanielBogdanoff

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Re: Keysight MXR 8 channel scope
« Reply #127 on: August 13, 2020, 11:24:22 pm »
Do you know if this new "single platform OS" is still ms windows, or is it something other than windows based?

Windows. I expect most major vendors will be windows based for the near + mid future. Acceptable levels of security, supportability and stability are the main drivers.
 
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Offline Sighound36

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Re: Keysight MXR 8 channel scope
« Reply #128 on: August 14, 2020, 06:48:56 am »
Thank you for the clarification Danny  8)

While the temperature is now a very manageable 21C time to return to the matter in hand today.

A day of testing for a new power supply design we are finalizing we feel would be a good start for the MXR's ability to show it's mettle while allowing us to use the device without melting to much in the lab today!

I suspect this is the first time these two heavy hitters of the upper registrars of the scope world have faced off so in the red corner the beast of Bogdanoff with enough heat generation to melt a polar icecap and processing ability to rival a start up AI company takes on,  in the blue corner the Chestnut Ridge Rumbler with its slick ultra low noise floor footwork, fluid OS,  vast array of tools and number crunching prowess.

Going to be a long and interesting day I feel  :-+
 
« Last Edit: August 14, 2020, 06:39:36 pm by Sighound36 »
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Offline 2N3055

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Re: Keysight MXR 8 channel scope
« Reply #129 on: August 14, 2020, 09:00:36 am »
Thank you for the clarification Danny  8)

While the temperature is now a very manageable 21C time to return to the matter in hand today.

A day of testing for a new power supply design we are finalizing we feel would be a good start for the MXR's ability to show it's mettle while allowing us to use the device without melting to much in the lab today!

I suspect this is the first time these two heavy hitters of the upper registrars of the scope world have faced off so in the red corner the beast of Bogdanoff with enough heat generation to melt a polar icecap and processing ability to rival a start up AI company takes in the blue corners Chestnut Ridge Rumbler with its slick ultra low noise floor footwork, vast array of tools and number crunching.

Going to be a long and interesting day I feel  :-+
 

LOL... Brick Top would be proud.... ^-^
 

Offline Sighound36

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Re: Keysight MXR 8 channel scope
« Reply #130 on: August 14, 2020, 04:17:32 pm »
Just came out for air, its getting dirty in there I need a breather  :o

It's scopes Jim, but not as we know it  :-/O


Back in the ring to take another swing but first just popping out for one of these essential items plus a pair of hearing protection devices.

« Last Edit: August 14, 2020, 04:25:55 pm by Sighound36 »
Seeking quality measurement equipment at realistic cost with proper service backup. If you pay peanuts you employ monkeys.
 
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Offline Sighound36

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Re: Keysight MXR 8 channel scope
« Reply #131 on: August 16, 2020, 05:10:12 pm »
Well its all over now, just finished mopping up the blood, sweat and tears not so surprising result, but you will have to wait for the prize giving until tomorrow, I need some down time to recover from this ordeal. :o

Also require some paracetamol for the headache I need to nurse  :-DD


« Last Edit: August 16, 2020, 05:16:27 pm by Sighound36 »
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Offline NoisyBoy

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Re: Keysight MXR 8 channel scope
« Reply #132 on: August 17, 2020, 03:19:53 am »
Looking forward to your reviews and comparison.

Thank you so much for spending your precious time to help those of us who are on the fence.
 

Offline snoopy

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Re: Keysight MXR 8 channel scope
« Reply #133 on: August 17, 2020, 01:21:32 pm »
I think the MDO feature of the Tek scopes is missing on these two competing scopes which would be a deal breaker for me if I was going to spend this sort of coin. Just saying ;)
 

Offline srce

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Re: Keysight MXR 8 channel scope
« Reply #134 on: August 17, 2020, 01:30:38 pm »
I think the MDO feature of the Tek scopes is missing on these two competing scopes which would be a deal breaker for me if I was going to spend this sort of coin.
Yep.
 
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Offline Sighound36

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Re: Keysight MXR 8 channel scope
« Reply #135 on: August 17, 2020, 03:39:59 pm »
I think the MDO feature of the Tek scopes is missing on these two competing scopes which would be a deal breaker for me if I was going to spend this sort of coin. Just saying ;)

Snoopy I feel if a new purchase was considered you have a very valid point concerning the spectrum analysis features of this product.
For myself I do not require to have the DDC style feature attached to the scope, for others potential purchasers as you say could very well be a deal breaker.

« Last Edit: August 17, 2020, 03:43:11 pm by Sighound36 »
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Offline snoopy

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Re: Keysight MXR 8 channel scope
« Reply #136 on: August 18, 2020, 01:16:21 am »
I think the MDO feature of the Tek scopes is missing on these two competing scopes which would be a deal breaker for me if I was going to spend this sort of coin. Just saying ;)

Snoopy I feel if a new purchase was considered you have a very valid point concerning the spectrum analysis features of this product.
For myself I do not require to have the DDC style feature attached to the scope, for others potential purchasers as you say could very well be a deal breaker.

If you are doing switch mode power supply design there may come a time where you really need this feature. Just saying ;)

cheers
 

Offline tv84

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Re: Keysight MXR 8 channel scope
« Reply #137 on: August 19, 2020, 06:47:18 pm »
@Sighound, we're still waiting for your MXR final review or head-to-head with the LeCroy. From all I've read from you i get the impression that the MXR must have been approved only by NASA to be used on launchpads... where a few ºC or dB more don't make much difference.  ;D
 

Online KE5FX

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Re: Keysight MXR 8 channel scope
« Reply #138 on: August 19, 2020, 07:13:39 pm »
If you are doing switch mode power supply design there may come a time where you really need this feature. Just saying ;)

cheers

Hard to imagine the scope's FFT function wouldn't be good enough for that.  What does a DDC do for you there?
 

Offline Sighound36

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Keysight MXR deliberation over the jury’s back
« Reply #139 on: August 19, 2020, 07:19:05 pm »
Fear not Tv84 its here now, just taken a while to compose!

This review has taken a lot longer than first anticipated, not just because of the first unit failure and resultant time periods but also really knowing how to characterize this piece as well.

The MXR not just for myself, is one of the most hotly anticipated new pieces of test equipment for quite some time. The MXR has really has caught the imagination of those who work within all aspects the EE industry and beyond. I mean a scope of this class that has real processing power with the real time analysis capability plus a large and useful options tools box including VSA and DDC so appetites were well and truly wet!

Expectations are high especially with Keysight ‘s own comparison video against their S series range of quality scopes.
This piece is purely about how I found the MXR in the circumstances that I would use this device in around my daily work routine and practices. I have no affiliation to any of the manufacturers that are mentioned in this feedback article.

The replacement MXR that Keysight kindly brought out to myself by one of the their application engineers was a ‘fully leaded model’ as we say in these parts, in that it came with the full bandwidth, all current available options, stock probes plus one active Ghz probe, a 100Mhz 30 amp active current probe plus a 1.4Kva high voltage differential probe all top quality units. All eight analogue channels in operation plus sixteen digital channels and matching probes plus a supplied keyboard and mouse.

A brief recap, it’s big as in bench dominating large, very Abraham’s tank like construction, purposeful look and feel to the scope, decent 15.6” HD screen plus separate HDMI output for those wishing to use an external screen.
The 8 channel version uses 650 watts of power and does generate a fairly significant amount of heat (I cannot be sure as I did not take this one apart! but it may have a linear power supply to fed that bank of FPGA's) this may explain the noise this scope makes during operation (initial start up is just like jet liner taking off then it settles back to a cruising speed!) which depending on your lab’s policy and construction could have a major say on purchasing a unit.

Even when the unit was just idling it generated a minimum of 65dB at 24 inches or 60cm for our EU friends climbing to 72dB when working the unit hard. All sound measurements were taken using ‘a’ weighting and fast response on a trusty Radio-shack SPL meter. Videos will be linked below. As a comparison I took a reading at closer range of the Keysight power supply, GW Instek DC load and Keithley DMM65000 all running together and that just about made 57dB using the same settings on the SPL meter.
So you can breathe a sigh of relief this is not going to be a really long review piece as the decision was made quite early on in the evaluation process.

One item I wish to point out. The original loan unit was faulty so my initial noise floor measurements were not valid and were way off. The replacement unit I am happy to report did meet it all its quoted noise floor specifications at all of the various frequencies I measured image of the lowest noise floor @ 20Mhz/full 16 bits/1mv VTB/200ps HTB around 41uv.

Probes engage with a quality ‘clunk’ and the fit, finish and operation of the knobs are of a high quality feel and action.
I did perform a wide verity of measurements and tests with the MXR, except VSA which by the time the schedule was reached I really was at the point with the noise that I had decided enough was enough.

The MXR promises the ability to have eight instruments contained within one simple heavyweight chassis:-
•   Logic Analyzer
•   Protocol Analyzer
•   DVM
•   Counter
•   Real-time Spectrum Analyzer
•   Bode Plotter
•   Waveform Generator
Plus the oscilloscope function itself, so this unit can be a powerful diagnostic tool for any well appointed lab and could cut down on the amount of physical boxes by a decent amount.

The big feature for many EE’s is the ability to have a real time spectrum analyzer built in to the MXR, coupled with the very attractive potential 320 MHz RT band width. This RTBW is normally reserved  for the current exotic SA’s from R&S and Keysight which cost fairly significant numbers to purchase!

So a big feature rich scope, with RTSA and quality apps for many applications will be a desirable draw I suspect for many an SME’s plus the odd up market hobbyist.

One nice touch Keysight have added is the frequency extender option, so even if you only have a 1/2Ghz BW scope you can purchase the frequency extender to reach the full 6.3Ghz of the scope for FFT/DDC/RTSA (Bandwidth ranges are extra cost for the RTSA, so the basic 40Mhz is standard if you wish for the 320Mhz BW. This will also enable the DDC to have a 2Ghz span as well. Then you will have to put your hand in your pocket to the tune of £8.5K.
Cost wise (UK) a 1Ghz 4 channel version is £20,800, Low Speed Protocol Decode/Trigger
Software (I2C, SPI, RS232, I2S, JTAG ..) £2,500 and EZJIT is £4200. £year extended warranty £911 Three year calibration plan £985 so £37,800 + vat
Pricing compared to the current opposition in the class of scopes is very competitive and I am sure will shake up the market in this area.

To business, so far I have spent over thirty quality hours with the MXR, so I feel I am fairly well acquainted with its working methodology. I will admit the OS took a while to grasp as I use Lecroy and Rigol on a pretty much daily basis. I find the Keysight OS to be easier to use than both the current Tektronix 5/6 series and R&S RTO models.

However I totally understand that this is a personal issue and other users may well feel different, that said the Lecroy X-stream OS is so fluid and natural to use for myself it puts all the others in the shade.

Back to the MXR, the selection of basic functions is simple and easy to fathom after a couple of hours (with the amount of apps installed some are more complex than others especially the jitter/clocks and phase noise)

Some of the options involve further drop down menus which ‘seat’ on top of the current open window, and if you are using the set up wizards (rather good they are too in most areas) then it can get quite cluttered on the main viewing panel. Too much distraction caused from the main measurement event for me.

Clean and fluid menus and options I feel are a more intelligent way to run the OS. Separate measurement windows for DVM/Frequency counter or my measurements panel (quick set of basic meas, nice touch) These appear as blue coloured panes which you have to ‘dock or float’ and can shrink and resize in a traditional windows fashions. However what a pain to close them, pretty much all the other manufacturers would just have an ‘x’ in the top right hand side window, no you have to enter each app and un-tick a box to lose that particular measurement or display pane. Quite a few times I just hit factory default set up to clear it all (though this didn’t always work!) Yes a small niggle but a frustrating one.

Now wave form screen speed, hum...... yes this was quite a surprise as in it was slow, given the hype around the hardware acceleration this beastie has I was disappointed.
For example I was looking at the ac wave form during power analysis and was out to just two complete waveforms on the display and wished to increase the HTB out to view at least 20 wave forms, the screen pauses with a few waveforms bunching up then a 4 or five seconds later it catches up and displays the rest of the waveforms for the new HTB. This happened every time I initiated this. But also when look at clock signals and wishing to zoom in to allow a full FFT scan, again it ‘paused’ for a few seconds before catching up and displaying the correct HTB rate.

Now maybe this may have something to do with the auto scale timing, it could take up to 16 seconds to auto scale! Yesterday on some serial data analysis I was examining, consistently taking around 6-8 seconds is far too long to acquire a signal imho.
The hardware acceleration is currently fixed on NRZ and unknown signal acquisition suspect more will follow with the FW updates that will coming thick and fast on this MXR.

The FFT feature on the MXR is fine, pretty fast and accurate nothing to write home about, but then as with many scopes FFTs are adequate and can help for tracing those spurious harmonics down.

Really not going make any other comments on the DDC or RTSA that SCRE has not commented on already other than make the observation of  ‘basic at best uninspiring and almost not worth the effort currently’

As much as it pains me to admit this Tek DDC and FFT ability on its equivalent 6 series is like comparing a Bond Bug attempting the Paris Dakar rally with 4 litres of pump piss and a spare 185/60/14 remoulds (retreads for the US chaps here) with two snow chains fitted. To a full blown World class rally car, with full team support and a £5m budget for the event. It’s embarrassing at this level of performance and cost of equipment.

The jitter app is comprehensive and has many options that will help you debug your designs thoroughly again the set wizards are decent quality app, still not sure on the screen format lay out, tried several screen layouts (nice drop down menu just for this function) I just didn’t get on with scope function, the AE engineer who’s unit I was kindly loaded also went into to detail with these options, though he still had to work around it as well.
The Real time eye app again a quality app, really well thought out and for myself extremely useful, screen layout better for this (see images below even through in an FFT for good measure).

Really was going to produce a real tomb on this scope originally; however quite early on in the evaluation it was obvious to myself this MXR is only partly finished. So honestly at the moment I do not feel all the effort is worthwhile.

These are my observations relating to this Keysight project
I would like to state for the record M’Lud I really wanted to fall in love with the scope so much, it’s build up and promised performance were salivating to quite a few EE’s including myself. Ultimately it just has not delivered as of yet.
From my perspective this project has serious potential to really cause a big stir in this area of the scope marketplace, massive HW, major flexibility, 8 channels (though 4 channels should be quieter the AE has mentioned and the spec’s say ‘only 450 watts power consumption’) options for pretty much all possible applications you would require, RTSA upto 320 Mhz BW, big screen all software upgrade-able except channel expansion plus a very attractive price. What’s not to like?

In the here and now it feels like the bean counters have said, ‘Hey you guys this project has  had two years and ‘x’ millions of $ of R&D’ now we want to see some payback. Get it out on the market a.s.a.p.
This potentially ground breaking scope has been released far to early and realistically required maybe another 3-4 months of hard core beta testing and programming glitches iron outs and feature sets already installed before the launch was made.

Now I am aware with a machine like this is complex (or any scope of this calibre) the FW will have issues fact of life totally understand this situation. However when the AE is asking what features would I like on the scope to help me make a positive purchase decision I do feel this reaffirms my thoughts on being released to early.

Yes it is great that company staff  are asking these fundamental questions indeed, however these features should have been already installed especially with the RTSA and DDC which was the main point marketing UCP of this MXR product.
I would like to say this is not a hatchet job in any way just my findings with the experience I have gained with this device, I have no doubt in six months all of these glitches and the new features will be proudly accessible and working to a 95% capability and all of this review will be long forgotten.

Personally if the project was allowed to run it indented course I would suspect an MXR would be sitting on my personal bench in the very near future.
Currently no plans for that to happen, The Lecroy Wavepro does not have competitor in the areas I really need to specialize in. Others may feel different totally understand this.

End of term (semester for our US cousins) report, fair start to the school year, shows great promise and top flight ability in brief glimpses. Must improve next term B-

Last Friday a colleague came over to check out the MXR while we were testing some power regulators, after 30 minutes he remarked ' turn that thing off I cannot think with it on'

The most telling point for myself is this, I really did not wish to switch on the MXR and use it in it's current state. You have to be comfortable will all of your test equipment to get the best out of it imho. If you feel it is  chore to use it, then like anything you tend to leave it alone.

The last few images demonstrate the size of the MXR against a Lecroy HDO6000A and one of those cracking little Micsic android hand held scopes.

One for the the Lecroy Wavepro 8084 scope set to 20Mhz HW bandwidth, ERES switched to 3 bits on a 50 ohm open port. 19.75uv and the finial image of a HDP6000A 1Ghz model set to the same settings as the bigger brother the Wavepro 13.3uv

Sorry a couple of other observations I missed in the above:-

Positioning of both the IEC socket and digital probe socket, due to the  very large power supply they are on the right hand side of the unit and tucked back on itself for the logic probe. Not ideal placement but due to the constraints of the psu I suspect they were very few places to locate them.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2020, 10:06:19 pm by Sighound36 »
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Offline tv84

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Re: Keysight MXR 8 channel scope
« Reply #140 on: August 19, 2020, 08:33:07 pm »
@Sighound, with all the glitches ironed out would you still be willing to use it with all the sound noise it creates? Or you find it essential that KS also improves that?
 

Offline snoopy

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Re: Keysight MXR 8 channel scope
« Reply #141 on: August 20, 2020, 02:29:26 am »
If you are doing switch mode power supply design there may come a time where you really need this feature. Just saying ;)

cheers

Hard to imagine the scope's FFT function wouldn't be good enough for that.  What does a DDC do for you there?

Maybe see if there are any spurious oscillations as the supply starts up or shuts down which may become an issue when the supply is running normally. No doubt sighound will be using this for other apps other than supply design ;)

cheers
 

Offline KaneTW

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Re: Keysight MXR 8 channel scope
« Reply #142 on: August 20, 2020, 03:59:13 am »
Wow, shame the DDC/RTSA is crap, and the noise is a killer for me.
 

Offline Sighound36

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Re: Keysight MXR 8 channel scope
« Reply #143 on: August 20, 2020, 10:10:16 am »
@Sighound, with all the glitches ironed out would you still be willing to use it with all the sound noise it creates? Or you find it essential that KS also improves that?

Morning Tv84

Very good question, also as promised some video's of the MXR in action plus a comparison of three of the home lab bench instruments   running simultaneously plus one of the Rigol MSO8000 noise level as well.

Back to your question, the instruments I current use for myself are more accurate, yes I do have more boxes however they are doing a very fine job and the itch the MXR was causing has disappeared.

Instead of the MXR gracing this lab I would suggest now q very good possibility of a DC power analyzer and a quality LCR impedance device will residing in there in the not to distant future.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/mae25p2mfgi5vs7/More%20MXR%20action.mp4?dl=0



 https://www.dropbox.com/s/pvey5rv2msh8z98/Three%20instrument%20combined%20noise.mp4?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/5wzye594pw813ui/MXR_ticking%20over.mp4?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/jp3o5miaqu92d54/Rigol%20MSO8000%20noise.mp4?dl=0
« Last Edit: August 21, 2020, 08:19:21 am by Sighound36 »
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Offline tv84

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Re: Keysight MXR 8 channel scope
« Reply #144 on: August 20, 2020, 01:19:18 pm »
 :wtf: One of the things I still cherish are my ears! I would never buy such a thing. That looks like a data center equipment, not a workbench one!  :palm:

They better think in another way of cooling that thing!
 

Offline Sighound36

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Re: Keysight MXR 8 channel scope
« Reply #145 on: August 20, 2020, 01:33:24 pm »
I have to say that was lowest noise level that I recorded when you really start to use it it does get louder and kicks in with afterburner type whine  :o
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Offline snoopy

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Re: Keysight MXR 8 channel scope
« Reply #146 on: August 21, 2020, 01:46:22 am »
:wtf: One of the things I still cherish are my ears! I would never buy such a thing. That looks like a data center equipment, not a workbench one!  :palm:

They better think in another way of cooling that thing!

No problems with these ;) Also cures sleep apnoea in your partner ;)

 

Offline snoopy

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Re: Keysight MXR 8 channel scope
« Reply #147 on: August 21, 2020, 01:50:59 am »
@Sighound, with all the glitches ironed out would you still be willing to use it with all the sound noise it creates? Or you find it essential that KS also improves that?

Morning Tv84

Very good question, also as promised some video's of the MXR in action plus a comparison of three of the home lab bench also running simultaneously plus one of the Rigol MSO8000 noise level as well.

Back to your question, the instruments I current use for myself are more accurate, yes I do have more boxes however they are doing a very fine job and the itch the MXR was causing has disappeared.

Instead of the MXR gracing this lab I would suggest now some very good possibilities of a DC power analyser and a quality LCR impedance device will residing in the not to distant future.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/mae25p2mfgi5vs7/More%20MXR%20action.mp4?dl=0



 https://www.dropbox.com/s/pvey5rv2msh8z98/Three%20instrument%20combined%20noise.mp4?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/5wzye594pw813ui/MXR_ticking%20over.mp4?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/jp3o5miaqu92d54/Rigol%20MSO8000%20noise.mp4?dl=0

Because this scope has a big screen you could locate it away from you and still view it ok ??? That should cut the noise down ;)
 


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