Author Topic: Lecroy Waverunner 6100A Advice  (Read 301 times)

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Offline AsteroidsOnSteroids

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Lecroy Waverunner 6100A Advice
« on: November 08, 2019, 01:58:17 am »
I've been looking for a new DSO and I came across a local business who is selling their Lecroy 6100A now that they've upgraded to something else. I've done some searching on this forum and elsewhere for info and opinions on this scope, and while I can find some discussions on it, there's very little recent discussion.

I'd just like to know if there are any critical issues with these scopes. Do they hold up? What, if any, common issues do they have? What quirks are worth knowing about? Is it worth picking one up in 2019? Any advice on software and hardware hacks/upgrades?

Basically, I'm just seeking some buying advice if that's alright.

Details of the scope

It is missing a vertical zoom knob but otherwise looks fine. The post for that knob still turns and works fine.

I have seen pictures of the scope reading waveforms on every channel.

I had the seller send me a picture of the status screen and here is what it says:

Model Number: WR6100A
Firmware Version: 4.9.1.1 (build 82478)
Hardware options: none
Software options: none
Operating system: Microsoft Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2
Processor memory: 240 MBytes
Processor speed: 2.00 GHz

The scope will come with 1 PP005 probe (a 500MHz passive probe).

The seller is asking for $1100.

And a little bit about what I'm looking for in terms of a scope.
I initially debated with myself over buying a new ~$1200 scope or an older but faster scope. I decided I might as well go with an older scope that has greater bandwidth because I often measure the rise times of fast edge pulses. I know that if I get this 6100A I'll need to buy some pricey probes to take full advantage of it. I will also want to install the Advanced Math Software Package at the very least for the better FFT. The memory depth, triggering, and acquisition on the 6100A are all sufficient for my needs.

So, any opinions on this scope? Is $1100 a fair price? My initial searching tells me not really given the lack of options, probes, and the missing knob, but I'm biased as the potential buyer. Any other typically sub-$1400 used scopes with 1Ghz bandwidth and 4 channels that are decisively better that I should look out for?

I will appreciate whatever thoughts you might have on this.
 

Online DaJMasta

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Re: Lecroy Waverunner 6100A Advice
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2019, 02:37:28 am »
I think the price is probably a tad bit high.

The WavePro 7000 series scopes tend to go for around $1000/GHz or a little less, though there aren't many 7100s that I've seen available, but they give you double the sample rate and a bit more CPU performance (the 6100A is a Celeron, many 7ks are P4s), especially with the installed amount of memory.  The 7k series also has a bit more base acquisition memory length and better clock jitter spec.

You can probably expect performance to be similar to a lot of other LeCroy scopes from the same vintage, as they all share the XStream based display in a windows OS, and while it's not hugely snappy, it is sufficient for a lot of work and offers comprehensive analysis options.  If you're looking at a 50 ohm source you can see the full bandwidth without an active probe, but there are some active probes available for this scope and similar ones for relatively fair prices (at least by comparison to other active probes).


If the scope in question was loaded with options (most specifically acquisition memory length, since that is hardware) and was in good cosmetic shape, $1100 would be a pretty decent price, in my opinion, but with no options and a knob missing, it's certainly not a deal, though to some maybe it's fair.


Unless you absolutely need the bandwidth, I'd consider something like a 600MHz scope if you can find it in the smaller (half depth or less) form factor - some of the slightly newer LeCroy models fit the bill.  Otherwise keeping a lookout for a cheaper WP 7k or DDA-260/DDA-3000 to get a bit more performance out of your form factor - though I think the base price on these is higher, you can sometimes find a nice deal.
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Lecroy Waverunner 6100A Advice
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2019, 02:59:13 am »
"It is missing a vertical zoom knob but otherwise looks fine. The post for that knob still turns and works fine."

 :-DD

My 64xi waveblunder was missing several.  Many of the ones that remained were loose.  LeCroy provided me with a new set, free of charge.  Guessing they had a lot of problems with these knobs. 

While not the same scope, the case on mine is really poor quality.  Not at all what I would expect from LeCroy.  The recal is a pain.  I've lost more data due to that recal.  If the scope hasn't triggered in 10 minutes, maybe you want to recal.  Nope, lets wait for the sequence of triggers...   

Aside from that, I like the old scope.  While I have a few other old LeCroy DSOs, the 64xi is my main unit.  I did install SSDs and upgraded the OS on the two newer ones.   No real problems once I started to use them.   
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline AsteroidsOnSteroids

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Re: Lecroy Waverunner 6100A Advice
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2019, 03:59:29 am »
I think the price is probably a tad bit high.

If the scope in question was loaded with options (most specifically acquisition memory length, since that is hardware) and was in good cosmetic shape, $1100 would be a pretty decent price, in my opinion, but with no options and a knob missing, it's certainly not a deal, though to some maybe it's fair.

Unless you absolutely need the bandwidth, I'd consider something like a 600MHz scope if you can find it in the smaller (half depth or less) form factor - some of the slightly newer LeCroy models fit the bill.  Otherwise keeping a lookout for a cheaper WP 7k or DDA-260/DDA-3000 to get a bit more performance out of your form factor - though I think the base price on these is higher, you can sometimes find a nice deal.

Thanks for the info, DaJMasta. What would you say is a more reasonable price? The seller has already dropped from $1200 to $1100, but I've seen a few sold ebay listings for quite a bit less than that. I'll probably screenshot them and send them off with an offer if I decide to go with this one.

And I'm glad you mentioned the DDA's. I've been checking out ebay for used scopes and I've been seeing a lot of these. I haven't yet had a chance to look into them. In general, are there any normal DSO features that are absent in a DDA? I've so far shied away from them since I don't yet know the practical differences.

"It is missing a vertical zoom knob but otherwise looks fine. The post for that knob still turns and works fine."

 :-DD

My 64xi waveblunder was missing several.  Many of the ones that remained were loose.  LeCroy provided me with a new set, free of charge.  Guessing they had a lot of problems with these knobs. 

While not the same scope, the case on mine is really poor quality.  Not at all what I would expect from LeCroy.  The recal is a pain.  I've lost more data due to that recal.  If the scope hasn't triggered in 10 minutes, maybe you want to recal.  Nope, lets wait for the sequence of triggers...   

Aside from that, I like the old scope.  While I have a few other old LeCroy DSOs, the 64xi is my main unit.  I did install SSDs and upgraded the OS on the two newer ones.   No real problems once I started to use them.   

Good to know that the missing knob isn't an isolated problem. And that's awesome that Lecroy sent replacements. If I get this scope I'll see if they'll still offer that. I'm not too worried about it though since I should be able to 3d print a replacement if all else fails. It won't match and it'll feel different, but that's not a big deal.

How much of a difference did upgrading the OS make? I can imagine the SSD reduces start time by a lot. And any other advice on upgrading and adding software packages? I came across one thread that implied that there weren't many software options available through the proper channels, but that certain packages could still be installed anyway. However, looking at a 6000 series spec/promo document it shows plenty of software addons so I'm not really sure what that guy was on about unless those options are no longer available for some reason.
 

Online DaJMasta

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Re: Lecroy Waverunner 6100A Advice
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2019, 04:16:10 am »
The DDA series in some cases is a regular scope with a set of disk drive analysis software tools, and because they are less search-friendly, they're often cheaper.

That said, some DDA variants also forego the higher voltage ranges, so even with the 1M input, their frontends may not be able to handle as high of a voltage.  Not a deal-breaker for some (and makes no difference if it's through an active probe), but it does also differ between DDA models, worth checking the datasheet.

Not totally sure on what a fair price would be, but the seller knocking off a bit over 8% going from 1100 to 1200 may seem like more of a discount than it is.  If you think this is the scope for you, I think something like $900 is fair enough not to be just turned down, but would feel like a lot better of a deal to me.  If you're more on the fence, something like $750 would still be a fair offer (low, but not so much as to be insulting if I were the seller), but which may net a better price.  If you end up with the 6100A, I'd max out the motherboard's CPU and memory right off the bat, then upgrade the firmware (I think the most recent 32 bit is 6.something) - it will feel much more responsive that way.... and an IDE SSD would make another big difference but would be basically a drop-in replacement with the old disk's image.

Still, I think if you could manage to find a WP 7k for $1200, I'd take that one over a 6100A for $900, for whatever that means to you.  It would definitely mean a waiting game, probably for months, but it is entirely possible to find one.  The 6000 series was somewhat shortlived, and while 1GHz is a lot of bandwidth, I sort of have a tough time justifying the bench space for the full sized chassis for "only" 1GHz if you're dropping this kind of money into it.  Very much to personal preference, setup, and finances, though.
 

Offline darkstar49

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Re: Lecroy Waverunner 6100A Advice
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2019, 05:46:17 am »
If you’re happy with the sampling rate and the smaller screen, I found the WR6K easier to upgrade than the bigger ones (got an SDA6K, no WP7K, but I believe the interior is similar).
SSD, Micro- or Flex ATX board, new display (LVDS) to get rid of the Lecroy SDVO board and you’re gone. The biggest hurdles being the LVDS cable (mainboard with LVDS connector, of course), and an LCD thin enough (incl. touchscreen) to avoid an awful butchery on the front panel.
And a few Noctua fans later, you won’t almost notice it’s up and running...
 

Offline ollopa

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Re: Lecroy Waverunner 6100A Advice
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2019, 12:11:25 pm »
The 6k is smaller, quieter, and puts out less heat than the 7k series.  I have both and although the 7k is my main scope I really like the 6k too.
 


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