Author Topic: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase  (Read 4078 times)

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Offline blueskull

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #50 on: February 13, 2020, 11:23:51 am »
Dig a little bit deeper and you quickly learn a feature is there but slow, limited and/or cumbersome to use which kills productivity.

I'm totally fine with a Keysight scope with no decoder, no MSO and only 2Mpts of memory. And I never use FFT for the matter.
Basically I just need a scope that accepts some fancy (less than Tek) HV/current active probes and capture on an external trigger.
And for the matter, I don't even care about trigger capability. Anyway Keysight has bad trigger when amplitude is low (say, it will miss a 100mV rise in 2V/div mode).
And guess what, I'm totally fine with it. I use my skill to make an otherwise not perfect scope doing exactly what I wanted it to do.
The only things that I really care are lag free control and active probes, which Keysight does well on it, so that's all what I care.
 

Offline borjam

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #51 on: February 13, 2020, 11:56:26 am »
Freedom of the speech is most misquoted and misunderstood term....

Freedom of the speech is basically "freedom of POLITICAL speech".
It can be much more than that.

I remember reading that Gy├Ârgy Ligeti, the great composer, once mentioned that there was a cathegory of music he composed usually called "drawer bottom music". Why? Beacause the regime didn't want contemporary dark/atonal music, just cheerful, straightforward melodies.

So, modern music composed in some Eastern block countries wasn't publicly performed or even published. That's not just politicial expression. He was Hungarian, I think Yugoslavia was much more open during the Cold War.

 
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Online nctnico

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #52 on: February 13, 2020, 11:59:28 am »
Dig a little bit deeper and you quickly learn a feature is there but slow, limited and/or cumbersome to use which kills productivity.
I'm totally fine with a Keysight scope with no decoder, no MSO and only 2Mpts of memory. And I never use FFT for the matter.
Basically I just need a scope that accepts some fancy (less than Tek) HV/current active probes and capture on an external trigger.
And for the matter, I don't even care about trigger capability. Anyway Keysight has bad trigger when amplitude is low (say, it will miss a 100mV rise in 2V/div mode).
And guess what, I'm totally fine with it. I use my skill to make an otherwise not perfect scope doing exactly what I wanted it to do.
The only things that I really care are lag free control and active probes, which Keysight does well on it, so that's all what I care.
It is nice you can 'make do' but from a business perspective I'd rather have people using their time & creativity on getting a product out on the market than  'fighting' their tools. People cost more than the tools they use (not just in wages but also insurance, desk / floor space, etc).
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline borjam

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #53 on: February 13, 2020, 12:06:21 pm »
The Chinese are perfectly capable of building quality stuff, you just have to be willing to pay for it. Buying something "made locally" is more a garantee of being price-gouged than anything else.
I think people are mixing several unrelated variables here, together with cherry picked time points.

First, a lot of stuff outsourced to China is crappy simply because the Western company wanted the cheapest product no matter how much quality is compromised. Does that mean that everything manufactured in China is poor? No. Outsourcing to China can be cheaper. But it has some costs like transport, coordination...

Second. People tend to make comparisons between fixed time points. Like, "Hey, Apple said Intel processors were crap only to embrace Intel five years later". They don't pay attention to the fact that when Apple used Power PC G3 and G4 the Intel counterparts were really poor. But Intel released much better processors later and they were indeed much better while the PowerPC camp stagnated.

The same happens with instrumentation. Are the current Rigol and Siglent models comparable with the ones released four years ago? Or 5 years ago?

Regarding the classic A-names. Does a basic instrument from them have a performance light years ahead of the current offering by the Chinese newcomers? Does it contain a lot of innovation? Does that innovation benefit the end user or does it just allow the A brand to cut costs while keeping the selling price stable?

I think we all know that, for some reason, Chinese software is very poor and nowadays software may matter more than hardware. But has it improved in 5 years?

Quote
eg. Fluke's special "Asian market" multimeters are every bit as well built as the Fluke 87 so why does the 87V cost four times as much? Because flag-waving patriots keep on buying them, that's why. Fluke is happy to keep on pocketing that money.
I guess part of the reason is simple. Those models are approved by companies that demand very strict approval procedures for safety related equipment. So, if the Fluke 87V is approved and it's still available on the market they won't incur the cost of finding a replacement.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #54 on: February 13, 2020, 12:10:55 pm »
It is nice you can 'make do' but from a business perspective I'd rather have people using their time & creativity on getting a product out on the market than  'fighting' their tools. People cost more than the tools they use (not just in wages but also insurance, desk / floor space, etc).

I spend majority of my time on researching ideas than to implement and test them.
I probably toy with my gears for less than 20 hours a month, and it really doesn't matter that much.
For some common tests like reading a voltage or troubleshoot signal integrity of a breadboarded prototype, any scope will work.
 

Online 2N3055

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #55 on: February 13, 2020, 12:21:32 pm »
Dig a little bit deeper and you quickly learn a feature is there but slow, limited and/or cumbersome to use which kills productivity.
I'm totally fine with a Keysight scope with no decoder, no MSO and only 2Mpts of memory. And I never use FFT for the matter.
Basically I just need a scope that accepts some fancy (less than Tek) HV/current active probes and capture on an external trigger.
And for the matter, I don't even care about trigger capability. Anyway Keysight has bad trigger when amplitude is low (say, it will miss a 100mV rise in 2V/div mode).
And guess what, I'm totally fine with it. I use my skill to make an otherwise not perfect scope doing exactly what I wanted it to do.
The only things that I really care are lag free control and active probes, which Keysight does well on it, so that's all what I care.
It is nice you can 'make do' but from a business perspective I'd rather have people using their time & creativity on getting a product out on the market than  'fighting' their tools. People cost more than the tools they use (not just in wages but also insurance, desk / floor space, etc).

I agree, but it highly depends on work being done. Some type of work can be automated and benefit from using decoding, math and all that to automate menial work, like inter-chip communication etc. . If you are working on something that is more fundamental (I believe Blueskull  works mostly on power electronics) you are pretty much left with looking at shapes on screen and trying to deduce source of problems and how to solve it. So specialized probing solutions, analog like style of work, some measurements (and then mostly cursors and gated measurements, because you are looking for specific details) is what you use scope for.
So I believe both of you are right. For the work you do.
 

Online GeorgeOfTheJungle

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #56 on: February 13, 2020, 03:02:01 pm »
Not to mention that people buying the china junk results in the good companies going under due to no further path to profit and then everybody is forced to buy junk...  This is why I never complain about buying a quality tool.  A quality tool will serve you well for its entire life, and that life can be very long if you care for it.  A china tool will serve you poorly for an undetermined and often random amount of time before you're forced to throw it in the landfill where all the other china junk goes.  This is why we have a plastic island the size of Texas floating off the coast of California.  I guess this is called "progress"?

Apple's (*) iPhones, iPads, iMacs, etc. are "China junk" too, then, right?

(*) Most USA companies manufacture "as much as they can" in China nowadays.
http://brave.com <- BETTER AND FASTER BROWSER. YOUTUBE W/O ADS/INTERRUPTIONS.
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #57 on: February 13, 2020, 03:06:26 pm »
(*) Most USA companies manufacture "as much as they can" in China nowadays.

That's why Apple devices have stickers saying "designed in California" on them.
 

Online GeorgeOfTheJungle

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #58 on: February 13, 2020, 03:32:18 pm »
(*) Most USA companies manufacture "as much as they can" in China nowadays.
That's why Apple devices have stickers saying "designed in California" on them.

Right, to try to SAVE FACE.
http://brave.com <- BETTER AND FASTER BROWSER. YOUTUBE W/O ADS/INTERRUPTIONS.
 

Offline Wuerstchenhund

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #59 on: February 13, 2020, 04:23:31 pm »
@Wuerstchenhund : there is a lot of contradiction in what you are writing.  My own experience with Chinese engineers is that while being clever they have very little understanding of the purpose of a product. Just do as being told but in that process the little details that make or break a product are lost.

This is certainly true but not different from a Western engineer starting to work on a product for a field he doesn't really know well. For example, while I understand EE and electrical engineering the intrinsics of a control system for a nuclear power plant would be beyond my current understanding.

And if you ever worked with the typical American worker then you'll find that while he's generally a good worker and tries to do his task to the best to his abilities, there often is very little interest in the big picture. Still, some of the best engineers I know are American.

Quote
AFAIK people in Russia and East Europe had a lot more freedom to read & learn whatever people liked so could develop themselves more broadly compared to the Chinese restrictive educational system which actively suppresses free thinking and creativity.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_China

"China has also become a top destination for international students. As of 2013, China is the most popular country in Asia for international students, and ranks third overall among countries. As of 2018, the country has the world's second highest number of top universities."

The problems in Chinese education are less in the quality of education, it's more to do that the system enacts extreme pressure on students. There is also a difference in quality between the universities in larger cities and those in rural areas, but the same can be said for most universities in Western countries, too.

Also, as someone else said, political oppression is rarely something which prevents people getting creative. China has a very rich culture in arts, music and movies, which would not be possible if they were these simple-minded drones they are described here.

Quote
Back to oscilloscopes: What is special about Rigol's ASIC and Siglent's features in the SDS5kX? AFAIK the Rigol ASIC is missing several basic features and AFAICS the Siglent SDS5kX doesn't have any feature you won't be able to find on an A-brand and in many cases the A-brand will have a more polished performance (be it at a higher price).

Rigol's ASIC is special because it's a sign of technological progress. And yes, the Phoenix ASIC might be imperfect but frankly if you look at something like the Keysight MegaZoom ASIC then it's not exactly wizardry, too, just a clever concept poured in hardware.

The other thing that's often ignored is that Rigol is doing more than just producing test equipment. They have been making high performance chromatography equipment for a long time (although I think this part has been sold on), for example the L-3000:

http://www.tlab.pl/tl_files/produkty/RIGOL/L-3000%20HPLC/HPLC2015-EN-MINI.pdf

As to Siglent, show me any comparable(!) MSO from any other brand which offers the same amount of memory sample, a similarly extensive range of trigger functions, can decently large FFTs (i.e. more than 1Mpts), decent math, lots of measurements, comes with very good Bode plot function, and a large display with a decent resolution?

None of the Keysight InfiniVision scopes fullfill this requirement (small memory, small FFT, limited math, limited trigger).

Tektronix MDO3000 doesn't, either (small memory, smaller FFT, limited trigger, no bode plot, no touch screen). And out of experience of owning one I can't even say it's more polished than the SDS5kX, in fact it's a lot worse.

R&S RTB2004? Nope. Smaller memory (and the full 160Mpts are only available in segmented mode), small FFT, limited measurements, math and triggers.

What else?  :-//
 
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Online nctnico

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #60 on: February 13, 2020, 04:59:51 pm »
You 'cleverly' left the R&S RTM3000 out. And not to mention Yokogawa has a whole bunch of interesting scopes. And on the lower end there is GW Instek too. All in all lots of other choices besides Rigol and Siglent. Don't get too wound up about deep memory on the Rigol and Siglent scopes because they typically don't have enough processing power under the hood to do something usefull with it; you'll end up with the same pitfall Tektronix fell in when they designed the MDO3000/4000.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 05:02:29 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online tautech

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #61 on: February 13, 2020, 05:15:51 pm »
Don't get too wound up about deep memory on the Rigol and Siglent scopes because they typically don't have enough processing power under the hood to do something usefull with it....
How is 2Mpts FFT even possible without 'enough processing power under the hood' ?  :-//
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Online nctnico

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #62 on: February 13, 2020, 06:31:42 pm »
Don't get too wound up about deep memory on the Rigol and Siglent scopes because they typically don't have enough processing power under the hood to do something usefull with it....
How is 2Mpts FFT even possible without 'enough processing power under the hood' ?  :-//
Try to do 200Mpts FFT. If you have 200Mpts (just a number) of memory then why is FFT limited to 2Mpts? Processing power becomes important for doing anything related to waveform analysis (math) combined with deep memory.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 06:33:51 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online tautech

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #63 on: February 13, 2020, 06:41:39 pm »
Don't get too wound up about deep memory on the Rigol and Siglent scopes because they typically don't have enough processing power under the hood to do something usefull with it....
How is 2Mpts FFT even possible without 'enough processing power under the hood' ?  :-//
Try to do 200Mpts FFT.
Why and what DSO can do/needs to do that ?

You made a statement implying some brands were short of processing power, where's your facts ?
Just assumptions ?

Like multiple Histograms for example:
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Offline Fungus

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #64 on: February 13, 2020, 07:15:22 pm »
Try to do 200Mpts FFT.
Why and what DSO can do/needs to do that ?

I don't know about that but take a look at how many people here constantly bang on about how the Rigol MSO5000 is "sluggish" without ever stopping to think that it has 400Mpts of memory to deal with. If it's keeping up at all then it's doing a good job IMHO.

(they could always try reducing the memory depth a bit...)
 

Online 2N3055

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #65 on: February 13, 2020, 08:52:49 pm »
With FFT it's not only processing time. I pointed out that many times.

If you have 1 MPoint FFT, that means 2 Msps for 1 Mbins. For 5 MHz bandwidth, gate time will be 200 ms for single FFT just to take samples. So max 4-5 FFT per second even if FFT would be done in microsecond.
At that setting, you would have bin width of 4-5 Hz. 

If you wanted to take a look at 100Khz bandwith 1MPoint FFT it will have bin width of 95 mHz (0.095 Hz), and gate time of 10 sec. 200 Mpoint FFT at that setting would have 500 micro Hertz bins and gate time of 2000 seconds for single FFT.

Not very practical...

 

Online nctnico

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #66 on: February 13, 2020, 09:22:49 pm »
Don't get too wound up about deep memory on the Rigol and Siglent scopes because they typically don't have enough processing power under the hood to do something usefull with it....
How is 2Mpts FFT even possible without 'enough processing power under the hood' ?  :-//
Try to do 200Mpts FFT.
Why and what DSO can do/needs to do that ?
FFT is just one example but maybe not the best one. Think about doing searches, tracking math, etc, etc. Deep memory in itself is an enabler to catch elusive bugs quickly without the need for setting up special trigger conditions. For example looking at frequency variations, demodulating PWM and see where a switch mode power supply acts up. The possibilities are endless. All these require the data to be processed quickly in order to get a result in a reasonable amount of time. Otherwise it is not much use to have all that memory.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online vk6zgo

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #67 on: February 14, 2020, 06:48:30 am »
This wasn't bought online from some dodgy site, but from a "reputable" plumbing supplier!

The Chinese are perfectly capable of building quality stuff, you just have to be willing to pay for it. Buying something "made locally" is more a garantee of being price-gouged than anything else.
That's just the point,---------it was not made locally, but in the PRC!  (The local manufacturers have either gone broke, been bought out by Chinese companies, or become importers)
I still got "price-gouged".

If you read the rest of my posting, you will note that I pointed out, in my experience, the expensive Chinese stuff is often junk, but not all the "El Cheapo" stuff is.
It's the "luck of the draw".
Quote

eg. Fluke's special "Asian market" multimeters are every bit as well built as the Fluke 87 so why does the 87V cost four times as much? Because flag-waving patriots keep on buying them, that's why. Fluke is happy to keep on pocketing that money.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #68 on: February 14, 2020, 07:13:27 am »
If you read the rest of my posting, you will note that I pointed out, in my experience, the expensive Chinese stuff is often junk, but not all the "El Cheapo" stuff is.

I have a couple of pretty expensive flashlights (mostly Nitecore, a few white and a UV), vacuum cleaners (two Dyson v6, one Panasonic "wine bottle") and other small gadgets all made in China.

They all deserve their price tag.

And I certainly don't buy junk (by price). Otherwise I wouldn't have built that PXI box.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #69 on: February 14, 2020, 07:20:21 am »
I really have no issue buying Chinese made gear, plenty of it is as good as stuff made anywhere else.

What I do have a problem with is paying the inflated Western brand premium for imported products. I don't mind the price gouging if it's going toward salaries of people with a similar cost of living to my own. I'm not going to pay it just to give the shareholders dividends and a bigger bonus to the obscenely overpaid CEO.
 

Offline BravoV

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #70 on: February 14, 2020, 07:26:35 am »
I don't mind the price gouging if it's going toward salaries of people with a similar cost of living to my own.

Just curious, do such products exist ?

Online 2N3055

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #71 on: February 14, 2020, 07:38:05 am »
I really have no issue buying Chinese made gear, plenty of it is as good as stuff made anywhere else.

What I do have a problem with is paying the inflated Western brand premium for imported products. I don't mind the price gouging if it's going toward salaries of people with a similar cost of living to my own. I'm not going to pay it just to give the shareholders dividends and a bigger bonus to the obscenely overpaid CEO.

That is exactly a point. Western crooks, your countryman (and mine in my country) are getting something for cheap, putting brand on it and selling for premium. It is them that are swindling us. Not CHinese.
They simply make products to the spec. If you order good stuff from reputable source, you'll get good stuff. But it won't be dirt cheap, even in China. But still cheaper that made in EU. But greed is, what it is.
Western crooks search the globe for other crooks. Chinese, Japanese, German, Croatian, American...And vice versa.  And they all do their snake oil routine...

So for me it's either a Western product that really is worth it's money (be it in function, form, support or whatever) or I rather buy products like Rigol, Siglent ets (not A brands) for good enough products for normal amount of money. Or even something dirt cheap for pretty much one time use.... But with full knowledge what I bough, and no middleman.
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #72 on: February 14, 2020, 07:51:27 am »
I have a couple of pretty expensive flashlights

I just bought a fancy Lumintop AA flashlight on Aliexpress and it's awesome quality inside and out. Cree LED, gold plated springs (plural) in the the base.  It came in a nice box with accessories and two spare o-rings. The way the button works to control all the modes is very well thought out, eg. always starting in "moonlight" mode (to not blind you), unless you do a long press in which case it goes to the mode it was in when you switched it off.

We should be celebrating the stuff they do well, not pointing at the $1 junk and saying "Yep, that's the Chinese for you!".

(although only certain forum members are doing that)

Remember: They produce that junk because we buy it.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2020, 07:56:06 am by Fungus »
 

Online tautech

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #73 on: February 14, 2020, 08:16:25 am »
Don't get too wound up about deep memory on the Rigol and Siglent scopes because they typically don't have enough processing power under the hood to do something usefull with it....
How is 2Mpts FFT even possible without 'enough processing power under the hood' ?  :-//
Try to do 200Mpts FFT.
Why and what DSO can do/needs to do that ?
FFT is just one example but maybe not the best one. Think about doing searches, tracking math, etc, etc. Deep memory in itself is an enabler to catch elusive bugs quickly without the need for setting up special trigger conditions. For example looking at frequency variations, demodulating PWM and see where a switch mode power supply acts up. The possibilities are endless. All these require the data to be processed quickly in order to get a result in a reasonable amount of time. Otherwise it is not much use to have all that memory.
Again, there's more than one way to skin a cat !

Let's just look at your elusive bugs.
How would we even efficiently attempt to find them ?
What might they look like ?

Scroll through deep memory endlessly ?
You must be joking, instead you'd trigger on it and relate other channels to that trigger point so to find it's cause.
Deep memory is great but not needed for piss simple tasks but instead your most powerful tools are between your ears and the trigger suite available.
Simple stuff like Persistence and colored intensity grading is all that needed to show elusive bugs initially where you can quickly make trigger settings to properly catch the little bugger and then use Search to find if it's repetitive or not.
I don't need to tell you how to use a scope only that each of us has another way of skinning the same cat based entirely on the toolset at our disposal.

Shit you can do with a $500 scope.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2020, 09:34:19 am by tautech »
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Offline blueskull

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #74 on: February 14, 2020, 08:26:35 am »
I just bought a fancy Lumintop AA flashlight on Aliexpress and it's awesome quality inside and out. Cree LED, gold plated springs (plural) in the the base.  It came in a nice box with accessories and two spare o-rings. The way the button works to control all the modes is very well thought out, eg. always starting in "moonlight" mode (to not blind you), unless you do a long press in which case it goes to the mode it was in when you switched it off.

The one I own and like the most is MT1U, but it was discontinued, probably for liability reasons.

It is a 900mW 365nm UV torch, and I use it to post cure my 3D prints a well as to cure adhesives plus for DIY PCB soldermask lithography.

It is so powerful that it gave me darker skin on the hand I use to hold workpieces with a pair of tweezers, despite I tried hard not to shine the light directly on my hand.

So I now have built a box to use it in a closed optical loop, and I bought another properly built curing machine just for 3D prints.

It makes sense for them to discontinue this product -- it is more or less a melanoma machine. But it is a decent torch -- you just have to use it responsibly.
 


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