Author Topic: Looking for opinions before buying Agilent MSOX2024A  (Read 19535 times)

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Offline Yaksaredabomb

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Looking for opinions before buying Agilent MSOX2024A
« on: May 10, 2013, 10:14:20 pm »
Hi everyone.  I posted back in October about trying to choose an oscilloscope in the $500 range.  Some time has gone by, I've saved some more money, and I've re-evaluated what I'm looking for.  I'm now thinking a 4-channel 200MHz scope could be better for me.

Applications would include microcontroller work with up to 80MHz clocks and some switching power supply and power electronics work (for instance, a saltwater aquarium controller with several channels of dimmable LEDs).

I was thinking of the Rigol DS1204B (~1400 USD).  Then, however, I was surprised to have the opportunity to buy a used Agilent MSOX2024A for ~2000 USD (with warranty and calibration [and no options enabled]).  It's quite more capable than the DS1204B, but leaves some things to be desired (for instance, 100k memory is standard).  The Rigol DS4024 is much better than the Agilent in a few ways but is ~2900 USD.  If I could find a DS4024 used with warranty and calibration maybe that would really be ideal.

In the back of my head I'm thinking maybe I should just stick to the Rigol DS1102E I had nearly settled on back in October.  I think the used MSOX2024A is well worth 5x a new DS1102E (~400 USD).  Twice the bandwidth, 3x the channels (counting 8 digital as worth 2 analog), 100x the update rate, 5x the pixels, the Agilent name, etc.  But does that mean I should buy it?

I'll leave it at that to try keeping it brief for a change.  I may buy the Agilent within the next week or so and I wanted to run it by people here first.  Thanks for reading and anything anyone has to say!

Jacob

[Edit: Added clarification that no options would be enabled (though I could lobby them to include an option or two).]
« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 02:49:31 am by jneumann »
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Offline Hydrawerk

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Re: Looking for opinions before buying Agilent MSOX2024A
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2013, 10:31:55 pm »
I have the DSOX2002A, as written here: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/my-new-toy-%29-agilent-dsox2002a-sex-on-a-stick!/30/
With Agilent you get a good after sale support. It's easy to download the new firmware... The scope is quite cold even after a few hours of running.
On the other hand, there are only four automatic measurements. Not much for a 4 channel scope.
The memory depth is 100kpoints per each channel. Not so much...  You can buy optional 1Mpoints per channel.
But the logic analyzer is not so good. It has only 50kpoints per channel and 12.5kpts memory per channel when the analog channels are ON. I don't know if it can be improved if you buy the DSOX2MEMUP option.
Rigol is better bang per buck but it has a few known problems and maybe it's not much ergonomic... And their DS4000 with digital channels is not in market yet.

Quote
Then, however, I was surprised to have the opportunity to buy a used Agilent MSOX2024A for ~2000 USD (with warranty and calibration).
Will it have Wavegen and DVM included?? It's not certain.

To sum up, this scope is easy to operate and pleasant to work with.  :-+ But I probably wouldn't buy it if there wasn't a gratis DVM and WAVEGEN option.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2013, 10:53:07 pm by Hydrawerk »
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Looking for opinions before buying Agilent MSOX2024A
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2013, 10:36:03 pm »
Rigol have a new 1000Z series just coming out, but I don't think it's 200MHz.
Looked into Goodwill/Instek or Hameg perhaps?
 

Offline jmole

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Re: Looking for opinions before buying Agilent MSOX2024A
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2013, 10:36:24 pm »
I've got one. My second really, as my lab had one a few years before I did. Liked it so much I bought one myself.

It's really the best scope you can get for $2000.

My biggest beef is that the serial decode doesn't work on the digital channels. Bit of a bummer, but that's what the 30 day all-options trial is for. I honestly didn't find serial decode to be that useful.

Also, the scope doesn't really go down to 10 mV/div, it's just a digitally scaled version of the 40 mV/div. Also a bit of a bummer. Single-bit 12 bit DAC transitions at 5 volts barely register on the scope (at least with the included 10:1 probes. You'll do much better with a 1:1 probe, but the included probes are non-switchable). At 1 mV/div in 1:1 mode, you could expect a maximum discernable resolution of about 250uV. Questionable if the signal trace is actually useful at those tiny levels.

That said, the scope is a phenomenal piece of gear, and you won't find anything even coming close at the price they're going for now. Wait 2 years, and something new will come out. So that's the question, I guess. Do you need the $1500 NOW for something else, or do you need a great scope right now?




 

Offline eevblogfan

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Re: Looking for opinions before buying Agilent MSOX2024A
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2013, 10:52:43 pm »
hey

as user of DSOX2002 I can tell you that's awsome scope , are you sure you need all  4 channels ?

if no , I'd go for the DSOX2002 , 1.2K$ , and please ask for student discount , they gave me that scope with wavegen and DVM for only 800$ , you must ask them , it worth it ,

PS , 2 CH scope and decent 300$ logic analyzer is okay for you ?

Cheers :P
 

Offline Hydrawerk

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Re: Looking for opinions before buying Agilent MSOX2024A
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2013, 10:55:21 pm »
Rigol have a new 1000Z series just coming out, but I don't think it's 200MHz.
It is only 100MHz and no logic analyzer included. I would buy Rigol only after a year of production so they could eliminate all the bugs.
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Offline ben_r_

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Re: Looking for opinions before buying Agilent MSOX2024A
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2013, 10:58:59 pm »
Another MSOX2024A with some upgrades here (memory upgrade, DVM, segmented memory, VGA/LAN card). I love it so far! Best scope for the money if you get one of the CertiPrime ones from AgilentUsed! Just get it, you wont regret it!
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Looking for opinions before buying Agilent MSOX2024A
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2013, 11:02:43 pm »
if no , I'd go for the DSOX2002 , 1.2K$ , and please ask for student discount , they gave me that scope with wavegen and DVM for only 800$ , you must ask them , it worth it ,

For 2 channel I'd rather go with the Rigol DS2000. Just so much more capability for the same price or less.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Looking for opinions before buying Agilent MSOX2024A
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2013, 11:05:19 pm »
Rigol have a new 1000Z series just coming out, but I don't think it's 200MHz.
It is only 100MHz and no logic analyzer included.

Ok, fair call. That option is coming soon though. But soon ain't now. The 2000X is certainly a fine scope, and the firmware update and support is the best in the business. The 2000X had the market completely to itself 2 years ago, but now there is competition nipping at their heels.
 

Offline marmad

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Re: Looking for opinions before buying Agilent MSOX2024A
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2013, 01:26:42 am »
Hi Jacob,

I personally think, at this juncture, an Agilent MSOX2024A is a big mistake for a couple of reasons.

First and foremost, it appears as if there is rather a big cock-up in the Agilent X-series regarding interpolation and waveform fidelity. No one is really talking about it, but it seems that Agilent's single-minded quest for waveform update rates in their MegaZoom ASICs causes some nasty artifacts at lower sampling speeds - including what might be either misaligned and/or missing sample points. You can read about it in this thread. Normally, to double-check sampling veracity, you would turn off interpolation and run some tests. Unfortunately, on the X-Series, you can't turn off interpolation - so you can never see where the actual sample points are. Since the most important thing a DSO must do is reproduce the waveform accurately, I wouldn't buy one suffering from this apparent defect - at least not before questioning Agilent about the cause of this problem.

Secondly, even forgetting the above-mentioned problem, the best buy for a high-quality, fast, four channel DSO at the moment is the new GW-Instek GDS-2000A series. The GDS-2204A is $1962 brand new (before any dealer discounts - which are being offered heavily at the moment) - and it is, without a doubt (IMO), a MUCH better scope for the money then the Agilent X2024A. It has more memory, bigger screen with more waveform display real-estate, many more triggers, faster waveform update rate, real 1mV/div (not the digitally 'magnified' scales as on the Agilent), cheaper upgrade options, and many more features. This is what I would buy if getting a four-channel DSO at this time - grego (another member here) posted some video about the DSO here.

Mark
« Last Edit: May 11, 2013, 01:54:00 am by marmad »
 

Offline Wuerstchenhund

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Re: Looking for opinions before buying Agilent MSOX2024A
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2013, 08:46:23 am »
I have to agree with marmad here, the lack of a facility to disable interpolation in the DSO-X2000 is pathetic, and the apparent fidelity issues worrisome for a scope in this price range. Agilent can make good scopes (they don't always do, unfortunately) but just because of these two issues alone I would not touch a DSO-X2000/3000 with a bargepole, and albeit I'm still wary of Rigol I'd rather buy a Rigol DS2000 than an Agilent DSO-X2000. In addition, the DSO-X2000 seems to have very limited signal analysis capabilities, even for a scope in this class (entry level).
« Last Edit: May 11, 2013, 08:48:04 am by Wuerstchenhund »
 

Offline roli_bark

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Re: Looking for opinions before buying Agilent MSOX2024A
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2013, 11:26:44 am »
In an apples-to-apples comparison to Rigol's DS4024 - the GW GDS-2204A (without the Signal Generator/LA options) is cheaper by almost $900, however it has 'only' 2Mpts memory depth, 2G Sa/s, 80K wfm/s, & 250Mhz probes bundled, compared to 140Mpts, 4G Sa/s, 110K wfm/s, & 500Mhz probes.

Whether these may/may-not be factored into the overall worth-for-buck is in the eyes of the beholder.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2013, 11:31:24 am by roli_bark »
 

Offline Wuerstchenhund

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Re: Looking for opinions before buying Agilent MSOX2024A
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2013, 12:09:58 pm »
In an apples-to-apples comparison to Rigol's DS4024 - the GW GDS-2204A (without the Signal Generator/LA options) is cheaper by almost $900, however it has 'only' 2Mpts memory depth, 2G Sa/s, 80K wfm/s, & 250Mhz probes bundled, compared to 140Mpts, 4G Sa/s, 110K wfm/s, & 500Mhz probes.

I wouldn't give too much on the bandwith of the probes, as passive probes are generally useless above 300MHz anyways.

And as to 80k wfms/sec to 110k wfms/sec, oh well...
 

Offline marmad

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Re: Looking for opinions before buying Agilent MSOX2024A
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2013, 01:21:57 pm »
In an apples-to-apples comparison to Rigol's DS4024 - the GW GDS-2204A (without the Signal Generator/LA options) is cheaper by almost $900, however it has 'only' 2Mpts memory depth, 2G Sa/s, 80K wfm/s, & 250Mhz probes bundled, compared to 140Mpts, 4G Sa/s, 110K wfm/s, & 500Mhz probes.

Whether these may/may-not be factored into the overall worth-for-buck is in the eyes of the beholder.

It's true the Rigol beats the Instek hand-down in terms of memory, but that's about the only place it really leads. The 110k wfrm/s is a NON-interpolated speed (dots only); the DS4000 is closer to 80k wfrm/s with interpolation on - so I would say that's a wash between the two. Plus, IMO, the sample rate is rather a non-issue for the 200MHz BW we're discussing here.

If you look through the manuals, the Instek has better analysis tools and memory search functions - and the 800x600 screen - much better for 4-channels, IMO - is a big plus. Also, look at the price of the options:
GDS-2000A: 8-channel logic analyzer module (hardware module which comes with triggers and decodes for I2C, SPI, UART, Parallel): $570
DS4000: ONE SINGLE software decode option (I2C or SPI or UART, etc): $500

So, the question becomes - is it worth paying $900 more just for extra memory and more expensive options?
« Last Edit: May 11, 2013, 01:23:38 pm by marmad »
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Looking for opinions before buying Agilent MSOX2024A
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2013, 01:56:37 pm »
I have to agree with marmad here, the lack of a facility to disable interpolation in the DSO-X2000 is pathetic, and the apparent fidelity issues worrisome for a scope in this price range. Agilent can make good scopes (they don't always do, unfortunately) but just because of these two issues alone I would not touch a DSO-X2000/3000 with a bargepole, and albeit I'm still wary of Rigol I'd rather buy a Rigol DS2000 than an Agilent DSO-X2000. In addition, the DSO-X2000 seems to have very limited signal analysis capabilities, even for a scope in this class (entry level).
I can disable interpolation on my MSO6000 but have never seen any reason to do it. I really can't see why it is a big issue - the scope bandwidth means you're not going to see much more by looking at individual samples - there are far more important differencesbetween scopes than this. 
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Offline roli_bark

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Re: Looking for opinions before buying Agilent MSOX2024A
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2013, 02:00:38 pm »
So, the question becomes - is it worth paying $900 more just for extra memory and more expensive options?
You forgot the probes. I assume that Rigol's 500M (4 of them) worth at least $400 more than the 250M included with the GW's. IMO the 800*480 vs. 800*600 screen resolution is not significant.

So looking at the parameters mentioned - is a 140M pts memory worth the extra $500 spending.
I have no idea...
 

Offline marmad

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Re: Looking for opinions before buying Agilent MSOX2024A
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2013, 02:12:48 pm »
I can disable interpolation on my MSO6000 but have never seen any reason to do it. I really can't see why it is a big issue - the scope bandwidth means you're not going to see much more by looking at individual samples - there are far more important differencesbetween scopes than this.

True, it's not something you'd use very often - but it's another level of abstraction layered on top of the original analog data. As mentioned above (and in the thread about the Agilent X-Series's interpolation), when trying to determine exactly what is going 'wrong' - either with sampling or, post-sampling, with interpolation, it can be kind of critical.
 

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Re: Looking for opinions before buying Agilent MSOX2024A
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2013, 02:18:00 pm »
You forgot the probes. I assume that Rigol's 500M (4 of them) worth at least $400 more than the 250M included with the GW's.

The probes may be worth $400 extra. This assumes they are good quality: 500 MHz high-Z passive probes are not easy to design, and the old Rigol probes weren't exactly of stellar quality. Whether this extra $400 value is useful to you is another question. It could also have solid gold knobs worth $400, but are you willing to pay a $400 premium just for the solid gold knobs? Same for the 500 MHz probes, it's not like it makes much of a difference to the system bandwidth of the probe + scope.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2013, 05:17:30 pm by alm »
 

Offline marmad

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Re: Looking for opinions before buying Agilent MSOX2024A
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2013, 02:23:29 pm »
You forgot the probes. I assume that Rigol's 500M (4 of them) worth at least $400 more than the 250M included with the GW's.

Well, the value you give them may be debatable, but in any case, as a prospective buyer looking to save money, I think I'd save the $400 initially and get higher BW probes if/when needed.

Quote
IMO the 800*480 vs. 800*600 screen resolution is not significant.

So, 25% more vertical space is NOT significant for a scope designed to display 4 waveforms above each other? Sorry - I strongly disagree; and the disparity will be even more apparent in the future when people are comparing the screen of the GDS-2000A series with LA module against the DS4000 with LA module.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Looking for opinions before buying Agilent MSOX2024A
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2013, 02:23:55 pm »
I have to agree with marmad here, the lack of a facility to disable interpolation in the DSO-X2000 is pathetic

Why?  :-//
Is there a common use case where disabling it would be advantageous?
 

Offline roli_bark

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Re: Looking for opinions before buying Agilent MSOX2024A
« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2013, 03:21:01 pm »
So, 25% more vertical space is NOT significant for a scope designed to display 4 waveforms above each other? Sorry - I strongly disagree; and the disparity will be even more apparent in the future when people are comparing the screen of the GDS-2000A series with LA module against the DS4000 with LA module.
Sorry, but a 25% addition to vertical rez is insignificant for me.
Not, as a sole reason. Yes, for saving $500.

A different significant reason to opt for either (regardless of a $500 discrepancy) could have been a 1280 * 720 rez,  11" size screen. Especially for an LA.
 

Offline Wuerstchenhund

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Re: Looking for opinions before buying Agilent MSOX2024A
« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2013, 04:04:27 pm »
I have to agree with marmad here, the lack of a facility to disable interpolation in the DSO-X2000 is pathetic

Why?  :-//
Is there a common use case where disabling it would be advantageous?

Yes, as interpolation does introduce artificial signal deviations which are not in the actual input signal. Depending on the circumstances this can become a problem when the deviations become large enough so that the waveform displayed on the screen no longer resembles the signal you're measuring. The more complex the signal, then usually the larger the error introduced by interpolation. And it can get really bad with Peak Detect (which uses irregular sampling intervals).

What's worse, the DSO-X2000/3000 seem to select the type of interpolation (linear or sin(x)/x) depending on the time base, when the interpolation should also be dependent on the type of signal (generally, sin(x)/x is more appropriate for sine-like signals than linear interpolation, and for square-ish waveforms it's the other way around). Many entry level scopes (i.e. Rigol DS2000) rely on such a table, but on most of them you can at least disable interpolation completely. Not so on the DSO-X.

As mentioned in another thread, I have bought my first own low-end scope (Siglent SDS1102CNL, a really really cheap device), and even this cheap $350 scope not only lets me disable interpolation, I can also choose if I want linear or sin(x)/x (apparently independent on the time base setting).

The weird thing is that Agilent believes its little entry level 4GSa/s scope doesn't require a facility to disable interpolation, yet on all larger models it's in there. Interpolation is still enabled by default on their scopes, but at least I can switch it off (which I usually do when I'm at work; my LeCroy Waverunner has interpolation off by default already which is how it should be).
« Last Edit: May 11, 2013, 04:06:45 pm by Wuerstchenhund »
 

Offline marmad

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Re: Looking for opinions before buying Agilent MSOX2024A
« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2013, 05:00:09 pm »
Sorry, but a 25% addition to vertical rez is insignificant for me.
Not, as a sole reason. Yes, for saving $500.

A different significant reason to opt for either (regardless of a $500 discrepancy) could have been a 1280 * 720 rez,  11" size screen. Especially for an LA.

Well, I think if you had both scopes next to each other, with 4 (or 12) complex waveforms stacked on top of each other, I know which screen you'd be looking at.  ;D   And extra vertical pixels require very little more from the DSO in terms of speed - while extra horizontal pixels will lower the wfrm/s rate unless you speed up the acquisition engine.

And while I admire the DS4000 series, Rigol's in a spot of trouble at that price point (as is Agilent) with the introduction of the GDS-2000A - which is, as mentioned before, much better value for money in almost every way. Although it's possible their DS1000Z will mitigate part of that trouble for them.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2013, 05:02:25 pm by marmad »
 

Offline Hydrawerk

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Re: Looking for opinions before buying Agilent MSOX2024A
« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2013, 05:14:58 pm »
I am looking forward to the DS2000 with DDS generator. It would be nice if they made a four channel version of this scope, too.  :-/O
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Offline roli_bark

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Re: Looking for opinions before buying Agilent MSOX2024A
« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2013, 05:24:01 pm »
And while I admire the DS4000 series, Rigol's in a spot of trouble at that price point (as is Agilent) with the introduction of the GDS-2000A - which is, as mentioned before, much better value for money
So, the "trouble" the Rigol's DS4024 has against the its GW counterpart is price ?
What. then, would you recommend if both were at the same price ?
e.g. - Regardless of the price, which has the better set of features/performance ?
 


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