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Products => Test Equipment => Topic started by: Jayy on February 10, 2020, 11:33:16 am

Title: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: Jayy on February 10, 2020, 11:33:16 am
Hi All,

I have the opportunity to buy a Demo scope MSO4000 500Mhz scope from Lecroy. But also looking at Rigol MSO7000 or RTB2004.
Which is the best scope among these three choices can i buy. they all cost almost similar and currently promotion offers. This is for a R&D lab.
Unable to decide.

any advice or suggestions will be helpful.

Thanks and Regards,
Jayy.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: tggzzz on February 10, 2020, 11:45:27 am
1) define what job you are going to use it for
2) define what information will use the scope to gather
3) define what measurements will give you that information
4) define parametric limits required in the measurements
5) match all that to the scope's capabilities

A scope suitable for determining an amplifier's settling time to 0.01% is not going to be the same as one for high speed digital signal integrity.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: Jayy on February 10, 2020, 12:23:11 pm
Thanks for the reply.

Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: Rich@RohdeScopesUSA on February 10, 2020, 03:35:30 pm
All nice scopes.  I agree with tggzzz's suggestion, but let me know if you have questions specific to the RTB2004.

-Rich
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: nctnico on February 10, 2020, 03:45:28 pm
Hi All,

I have the opportunity to buy a Demo scope MSO4000 500Mhz scope from Lecroy. But also looking at Rigol MSO7000 or RTB2004.
Which is the best scope among these three choices can i buy. they all cost almost similar and currently promotion offers. This is for a R&D lab.
Unable to decide.

any advice or suggestions will be helpful.
Have all of them demonstrated and pick the one which seems to be the easiest to work with and fits the use case. Personally I'd set the expectations for the Rigol low due to firmware issues and very slow fixing of problems but it depends on your usage whether it affects you or not. R&D lab doesn't tell us anything about what kind of measurements you want to do. The RTB2004 is likely the best allround scope from the ones listed above but if it is missing a feature you need it doesn't help you.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: Wuerstchenhund on February 10, 2020, 06:28:17 pm
I have the opportunity to buy a Demo scope MSO4000 500Mhz scope from Lecroy. But also looking at Rigol MSO7000 or RTB2004.
Which is the best scope among these three choices can i buy. they all cost almost similar and currently promotion offers. This is for a R&D lab.
Unable to decide.

It would have helped if you got the model variant right. LeCroy has no "MSO4000" but there is the HDO4000 Series and the new WaveSurfer 4000HD, so you're either talking about a HDO4054 or a WaveSurfer 4054HD.

In any case, both are true 12bit HD scopes with a decent range of analysis options, and neither a Rigol MSO7000 nor a R&S RTB2004 is really in the same class. The Rigol is a 8bit scope with very limited toolset and the RTB2004 is a 10bit scope with again a very limited toolset.

The LeCroy scopes also have a vast range of probes, unless the other two.

You're really comparing apples vs oranges here.

As others said you first need to define your requirements, and then decide what you need and which scope fulfills these needs best and within your budget.

Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: tautech on February 11, 2020, 07:16:30 am
Don't overlook SDS5000X models of 500 MHz or 1 GHz.
Promo on these too offering all options free, $2k worth !  :o
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: jake111 on February 12, 2020, 06:48:28 am
Is this a Tektronix MSO4000?

If so, look at the probes.  TCP0030(A) and TDP0500/1000 can be had on ebay for amazing prices compared to new and with these probes + Tek MSO4000 I don't think you can beat the functionality with these probes for the price.  I've been looking for comparable probes for my DSO-X 3034A and the market is not good.  I ended up buying the adapter to use the older Tek TCP202 probe on my Agilent, ironic.  It seems that in this generation (if you are talking about Tek), the Tek probe selection dominated.  Also I don't think you can't beat the capture depth on the Tek unless you spend way more money on an Agilent.  And the Tek 4000 series display is far, far better than the Agilent/Keysight options.  It seems that even on the larger Keysight scopes they may be using this crappy display resolution that comes on the DSO-X 3000.  I never thought I would care but when you are using the scope every day and looking at lots of edges you suddenly realize that the display resolution is really important.  I theorized that Agilent may have settled on this poor display resolution because a higher resolution is irrelevant due to the memory capture depth limitations(and inability to control this on some models).

If you are working directly with TestEquity maybe they will let you look at a few scopes in person?
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: Wuerstchenhund on February 12, 2020, 02:18:25 pm
Is this a Tektronix MSO4000?

If so, look at the probes.  TCP0030(A) and TDP0500/1000 can be had on ebay for amazing prices compared to new and with these probes + Tek MSO4000. I don't think you can beat the functionality with these probes for the price.

Working TCP0030/0030A 30A 120MHz current probes usually go for around the $1200-$1500 mark. Working TDP0500 and TDP1000 go for around $500-$1200, depending if they come with accessories.

That's not any cheaper than what you can find for other manufacturers. For example, LeCroy CP031 current probes can sometimes be found around the $1000 mark, and I've bought quite a few Active Differential probes like the 500MHz AP033 and 1GHz AP034 with the 42V high voltage adapter for notably less than $250.

Agilent/Keysight, by nature, is a bit more expensive. A N7026A current probe will fetch north of $2k, but an Agilent 1159A 1GHz active differential probe (which, aside from the probe interface, is identical with the LeCroy AP034) in working condition can still fetch close to $1k.

The price difference however is hardly a reason to settle for an inferior scope. Even less so when considering that both LeCroy and Keysight offer adapters to use Tektronix probes with their scopes.

Quote
I've been looking for comparable probes for my DSO-X 3034A and the market is not good.  I ended up buying the adapter to use the older Tek TCP202 probe on my Agilent, ironic.  It seems that in this generation (if you are talking about Tek), the Tek probe selection dominated.

Based on what, what is available used and worn-down on ebay?

Quote
Also I don't think you can't beat the capture depth on the Tek unless you spend way more money on an Agilent.

Not true. The MDO4000 has 20Mpts of memory, and second hand variants, even the lowly 200MHz models, often go for in excess of $5k.

For roughly the same price you get an Agilent DSO8104A 1GHz 4ch scope with 128Mpts of memory. Or three LeCroy WavePro 7300A 3GHz scopes with 64Mpts.

The only real highlight of the MDO4000 is the built-in "Spectrum Analyzer", which, although only being an FFT analyzer with woeful RF performance, can run in parallel to the scope mode.

Until recently we had a MDO4104C which was carried around by an engineer for a specific task where it is useful to have waveform and spectral views in parallel, however this is now in the process of being replaced by a normal scope where FFT will take the place of the MDO's "spectrum analyzer".

Quote
And the Tek 4000 series display is far, far better than the Agilent/Keysight options.

I don't know. The MDO has a decent 10.4" XGA display compared to the smaller DSOX3k's display (the DSOX4k has a larger 12.1" display, although both are SVGA only), but then the MDO displays up to four channels, digital channels and the spectrum view which is more than what you'd see on a scope like the DSOX.

Quote
It seems that even on the larger Keysight scopes they may be using this crappy display resolution that comes on the DSO-X 3000.

No, they don't. SVGA is only used on InfiniVision Series scopes, which cover the entry-level up to the mid-range market. The larger Infiniium scopes all have XGA or better displays, aside from the early 54800 Series which came out in 1998.

Quote
I never thought I would care but when you are using the scope every day and looking at lots of edges you suddenly realize that the display resolution is really important.  I theorized that Agilent may have settled on this poor display resolution because a higher resolution is irrelevant due to the memory capture depth limitations(and inability to control this on some models).

That theory of yours has no relation to reality. Fact is that both the MDO4000 and the DSOX are 8bit scopes, which gives you exacly 256 vertical steps. It doesn't matter what resolution your display has, as long as it can display 256 vertical steps then any higher resolution will not add information (i.e. details) to the waveform. Simple as that.

What Agilent has realized however is how important a good user interface, simple operation and immediate response is for a good scope. This is something Tektronix never understood. The MDO Series has a horrible user interface, and like most Tek DSOs it locks up when it's doing something demanding. Tektronix still has the slowest architecture on the market, and that includes even newcomers like Rigol and Siglent. All while LeCroy and Agilent/Keysight have been pushing scope technology forward since the end of the analog scope era.

And this is one of the reasons that the DSO-X still sells like hot cakes and Tektronix has been struggling with dropping sales for over a decade.

Quote
If you are working directly with TestEquity maybe they will let you look at a few scopes in person?

I'm sure they will, and they will charge you through the nose for it ;)
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: jake111 on February 12, 2020, 02:50:16 pm
[..........]

I have heard this complaint over and over about Tektronix user interface, yet I never had any problem with the Tek user interface at all, I don't really see a difference.  Is this in reference to the old windows based Tek scopes?  I rarely used anything like that but I wouldn't doubt that they were clunky.  I see no use for windows based scopes for normal analog/power work and the like.

Lots of people calling Tek inferior with no supporting evidence, which is why I am trying not to call anything except the child labor china garbage inferior as we all know that's true.  I think a lot of this just depends on personal preference or what you used at your first EE job.

As far as probes, I've rarely seen any Agilent probes with specs comparable to the TDP1000 for sale on eBay for comparable prices.  Same goes for the current probes like TCP0030.  The Tek probes just seem way more common on the used market, presumably because they have either always been more affordable and/or preferred.  Also kind of funny that Agilent made the adapter to use Tek probes on their scopes, maybe a little hint that they knew they were losing market share and trying to add incentive for users in this class to switch? hehe.  The Agilent 1159A looks nice except that you have to use these clunky attenuators on the end of them whereas the TDP series are electronically attenuated and no chance of accidentally blowing up that probe by bumping the 1X input with damaging voltage or when you forget you have the wrong hat on.  TDP has the nice little RG174 cable with small tidy end on it and you can just get it out and use it without switching out parts.  I guess it all comes down to preference and what you have in the lab.

As far as pricing I see the Tek DPO/MSO4000's on ebay pass for under $5k quite regularly, I would never pay $5k for a 200MHz scope, that just seems ridiculous.  I've seen those newer MSO/MDO3000 series for $2k but the small screen is undesirable for my faulty eyes and those look like a seriously cost reduced design just like the Agilent DSO-X so I wouldn't be interested already having a DSO-X.

I think you missed my point on display resolution, I was not talking about vertical resolution of the capture, I was talking about rolling through that massive capture you just took of that failure that only happens once before burning your IC and the like.  I understand that there are similarities in the ADC acquisition but when you put the same waveform side by side on the Tek vs. the Agilent, especially when you just captured 20Mpts on the Tek vs. way less on the Agilent for some single event and try to roll through them, the difference becomes very clear.  If you don't need this, if you are just looking at repetitive waveforms, etc, then maybe you don't need this deep capture depth and there is no point to bashing your neighbors twin turbo V8 that he commutes to work in when you chose to get the 4 cylinder(BUT IT HAS TWO CUPHOLDERS, AND LOOK AT ALL THE LIGHTS AND BUTTONS!)... To each his own ;)
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: tautech on February 12, 2020, 08:50:45 pm
[..........]

I have heard this complaint over and over about Tektronix user interface, yet I never had any problem with the Tek user interface at all, I don't really see a difference.  Is this in reference to the old windows based Tek scopes?  I rarely used anything like that but I wouldn't doubt that they were clunky.  I see no use for windows based scopes for normal analog/power work and the like.

Lots of people calling Tek inferior with no supporting evidence, which is why I am trying not to call anything except the child labor china garbage inferior as we all know that's true. 
Where have you been the last 25 years ?  :-//
Tek, HPAK and LeCroy all have had scopes made in Asia.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: jake111 on February 12, 2020, 11:17:58 pm
[..........]

I have heard this complaint over and over about Tektronix user interface, yet I never had any problem with the Tek user interface at all, I don't really see a difference.  Is this in reference to the old windows based Tek scopes?  I rarely used anything like that but I wouldn't doubt that they were clunky.  I see no use for windows based scopes for normal analog/power work and the like.

Lots of people calling Tek inferior with no supporting evidence, which is why I am trying not to call anything except the child labor china garbage inferior as we all know that's true. 
Where have you been the last 25 years ?  :-//
Tek, HPAK and LeCroy all have had scopes made in Asia.

You know I think I should have said "designed(copied) in china.  You're right, I most stuff like this probably has been made in china for the last 2 decades.  Very sad.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: tautech on February 12, 2020, 11:46:23 pm
[..........]

I have heard this complaint over and over about Tektronix user interface, yet I never had any problem with the Tek user interface at all, I don't really see a difference.  Is this in reference to the old windows based Tek scopes?  I rarely used anything like that but I wouldn't doubt that they were clunky.  I see no use for windows based scopes for normal analog/power work and the like.

Lots of people calling Tek inferior with no supporting evidence, which is why I am trying not to call anything except the child labor china garbage inferior as we all know that's true. 
Where have you been the last 25 years ?  :-//
Tek, HPAK and LeCroy all have had scopes made in Asia.

You know I think I should have said "designed(copied) in china.  You're right, I most stuff like this probably has been made in china for the last 2 decades.  Very sad.
Why, seriously why ?
Without the Asians getting into manufacture and design (NOT copying!) we'd all still be paying through the nose for our gear AND their advances wouldn't have inspired the innovation we see today in even modest priced equipment.
It's a properly competitive market now with more players each competing for a share.

Never before have we had the choice of such good equipment and at affordable prices.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: Fungus on February 12, 2020, 11:48:44 pm
You're right, I most stuff like this probably has been made in china for the last 2 decades.  Very sad.

We now have amazing oscilloscopes in the sub-$400 range where Tek would have us paying $4000. How is that sad?  :-//
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: jake111 on February 13, 2020, 12:20:02 am
You're right, I most stuff like this probably has been made in china for the last 2 decades.  Very sad.

We now have amazing oscilloscopes in the sub-$400 range where Tek would have us paying $4000. How is that sad?  :-//


Well, let's see.  What are we funding here:
-Communism
-Genocide
-Child Labor
-Winnie the Pooh
-etc


And all to get a majority of product which isn't designed, but is instead mostly copied without truly understanding it.

That's why.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: BlackFX on February 13, 2020, 12:33:19 am
You're right, I most stuff like this probably has been made in china for the last 2 decades.  Very sad.

We now have amazing oscilloscopes in the sub-$400 range where Tek would have us paying $4000. How is that sad?  :-//


Well, let's see.  What are we funding here:
-Communism
-Genocide
-Child Labor
-Winnie the Pooh
-etc


And all to get a majority of product which isn't designed, but is instead mostly copied without truly understanding it.

That's why.

You should see the diverse fields that the Saudis invest in - I suspect if your purchasing habit's were truly based on some moral compass then really you would have to pretty much make everything yourself, you can't escape dirty money.

Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: jake111 on February 13, 2020, 12:38:10 am
You're right, I most stuff like this probably has been made in china for the last 2 decades.  Very sad.

We now have amazing oscilloscopes in the sub-$400 range where Tek would have us paying $4000. How is that sad?  :-//


Well, let's see.  What are we funding here:
-Communism
-Genocide
-Child Labor
-Winnie the Pooh
-etc


And all to get a majority of product which isn't designed, but is instead mostly copied without truly understanding it.

That's why.

You should see the diverse fields that the Saudis invest in - I suspect if your purchasing habit's were truly based on some moral compass then really you would have to pretty much make everything yourself, you can't escape dirty money.

Ok I wasn't trying to start a debate by answering Fungus' question, we should not derail Jayy's question with this stuff.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: Someone on February 13, 2020, 12:46:20 am
Working TCP0030/0030A 30A 120MHz current probes usually go for around the $1200-$1500 mark. Working TDP0500 and TDP1000 go for around $500-$1200, depending if they come with accessories.

That's not any cheaper than what you can find for other manufacturers. For example, LeCroy CP031 current probes can sometimes be found around the $1000 mark, and I've bought quite a few Active Differential probes like the 500MHz AP033 and 1GHz AP034 with the 42V high voltage adapter for notably less than $250.

Agilent/Keysight, by nature, is a bit more expensive. A N7026A current probe will fetch north of $2k, but an Agilent 1159A 1GHz active differential probe (which, aside from the probe interface, is identical with the LeCroy AP034) in working condition can still fetch close to $1k.
Still falling back on your cherry picking of "prices" to make a one sided point?

CP031 and TCP0030 are similar 100MHz+ 30A probes, but older and higher noise than the more expensive N7026A. There is plenty of competition back at the 50MHz+ area, TCP2020, 1147 or AP015 all selling similarly under $1k.

Active probes are all over the place with specs and harder to compare but you "find" all these super low prices as you are looking for them, they aren't representative of actual pricing others can find readily, or a realistic comparison to the higher prices you quote for items you aren't hunting for actively. Both 1159A and AP034 are typically around $500 tested with accessories.

Odly enough the market has settled out and price is pretty much aligned with performance! No premiums against rarity or compatibility for these common items.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: Someone on February 13, 2020, 01:00:48 am
As far as probes, I've rarely seen any Agilent probes with specs comparable to the TDP1000 for sale on eBay for comparable prices.  Same goes for the current probes like TCP0030.  The Tek probes just seem way more common on the used market, presumably because they have either always been more affordable and/or preferred.
Probing can be an area that determines what scope/brand to buy, the TDP1000 is a unique and affordable mid-voltage probe which has been a long neglected market. Despite making their own current probes the pricing on Tek units has been (matched?) around those of the competitors, its really only the differential probes where they have had a price advantage.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: nigelwright7557 on February 13, 2020, 01:41:20 am
Quote

And all to get a majority of product which isn't designed, but is instead mostly copied without truly understanding it.


Thats basically how I have learned over the years.
My pcb design software originally was a copy of EasyPC in 1990.
My USB oscilloscopes are based on www.waitingforfriday.com (http://www.waitingforfriday.com) PIC18F4550 USB project.

I take something copy the good bits and add my own ideas.
Works for me.........

Its when they copy it, mess it up and still try to sell it the trouble starts.

Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: james_s on February 13, 2020, 05:49:00 am
Why, seriously why ?
Without the Asians getting into manufacture and design (NOT copying!) we'd all still be paying through the nose for our gear AND their advances wouldn't have inspired the innovation we see today in even modest priced equipment.
It's a properly competitive market now with more players each competing for a share.

Never before have we had the choice of such good equipment and at affordable prices.

I do really like that part, and from time to time I take advantage of it, however it is a double edged sword. The fact that I can buy something made in China or whatever other low cost region for a small fraction of what it would have cost to get one made in the USA or other first world nation is great. The down side is that it means someone in one of these nations where standards of living are decent, working conditions are safe, environmental protections, taxes that support local infrastructure, etc cannot be paid a livable wage to build them. We have spent decades trading our long term prosperity for cheap toys and it's not sustainable. In the interim though I'm able to afford a lot of things I never possibly could have had 20-30 years ago.

People complain that there are not enough good jobs and then they go and buy the cheapest stuff they can find. You can't have both good well paid jobs and dirt cheap stuff, the money to pay salaries has to come from somewhere.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: jake111 on February 13, 2020, 06:00:39 am
Why, seriously why ?
Without the Asians getting into manufacture and design (NOT copying!) we'd all still be paying through the nose for our gear AND their advances wouldn't have inspired the innovation we see today in even modest priced equipment.
It's a properly competitive market now with more players each competing for a share.

Never before have we had the choice of such good equipment and at affordable prices.

I do really like that part, and from time to time I take advantage of it, however it is a double edged sword. The fact that I can buy something made in China or whatever other low cost region for a small fraction of what it would have cost to bet one made in the USA or other first world nation is great. The down side is that it means someone in one of these nations where standards of living are decent, working conditions are safe, environmental protections, taxes that support local infrastructure, etc cannot be paid a livable wage to build them. We have spent decades trading our long term prosperity for cheap toys and it's not sustainable. In the interim though I'm able to afford a lot of things I never possibly could have had 20-30 years ago.

People complain that there are not enough good jobs and then they go and buy the cheapest stuff they can find. You can't have both good well paid jobs and dirt cheap stuff, the money to pay salaries has to come from somewhere.


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"?
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: james_s on February 13, 2020, 06:07:02 am
It's not China, some very high quality well built stuff comes out of China, they are certainly capable of producing it.

The problem is US (and other relatively wealthy) consumers demand the lowest prices, so stuff gets cost reduced to the hilt and built by the lowest bidder in places with the cheapest labor capable of doing the work and currently that's mostly China. As long as people demand goods for less than someone with a similar cost of living could build them for sale, this will be happening.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: jake111 on February 13, 2020, 06:12:27 am
I don't think the consumers demand the prices, I think it's a race to the bottom when you are copying something.  Everyone is wise to the quality issues that will always exist in a product when it comes from solely from china (vs. being designed, sourced, and QA'd by US, EU, etc) and therefore are not willing to pay much for it.  Since there are multiple china copiers, they all race to the bottom which means reducing quality as much as possible (and in turn increasing profit margins) without losing too many sales.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: blueskull on February 13, 2020, 06:25:45 am
I don't think the consumers demand the prices, I think it's a race to the bottom when you are copying something.  Everyone is wise to the quality issues that will always exist in a product when it comes from solely from china (vs. being designed, sourced, and QA'd by US, EU, etc) and therefore are not willing to pay much for it.  Since there are multiple china copiers, they all race to the bottom which means reducing quality as much as possible (and in turn increasing profit margins) without losing too many sales.

Because more innovative Chinese companies making good stuff are banned in the US? Like ZTE and Huawei and DJI on the brink?

And FYI, Chinese clone is not what you think it was 20 years ago. I work for a company funded and founded by Chinese government serving as an IP source for innovative Chinese companies, and we do all sorts of higher end R&D.

We do clone Western technologies, but we basically stop at the idea level. You have something, we must have it. And that's where it ends. How it is done will be completely different, and the final product will not even resemble each other.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: jake111 on February 13, 2020, 06:34:01 am
I don't think the consumers demand the prices, I think it's a race to the bottom when you are copying something.  Everyone is wise to the quality issues that will always exist in a product when it comes from solely from china (vs. being designed, sourced, and QA'd by US, EU, etc) and therefore are not willing to pay much for it.  Since there are multiple china copiers, they all race to the bottom which means reducing quality as much as possible (and in turn increasing profit margins) without losing too many sales.

Because more innovative Chinese companies making good stuff are banned in the US? Like ZTE and Huawei and DJI on the brink?

And FYI, Chinese clone is not what you think it was 20 years ago. I work for a company funded and founded by Chinese government serving as an IP source for innovative Chinese companies, and we do all sorts of higher end R&D.

We do clone Western technologies, but we basically stop at the idea level. You have something, we must have it. And that's where it ends. How it is done will be completely different, and the final product will not even resemble each other.

So you work for a company funded and founded by communists, who "must have" (i.e. steal) anything that anyone else has.  And you're proud of this?

This chinese "completely different" is still garbage, and it appears that your perception of resemblance is also rather.... unreliable.

I worked with the chinese counterparts of US/EU and other Asian regions on and off for 10 years, attempting to teach them how you should actually design something.

I do not miss that nightmare.  My impression was that chinese EE's get their degrees at something like the dollar store.  My experience, and this was with hundreds of engineers over this time, was that they were impatient, rude, not interested in actually understanding something, and simply wanted to get to the finish line as quickly as possible, honesty and integrity be damned.

Sorry to do it to you.  No offense intended.  Except for the communist part  :-DD
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: BravoV on February 13, 2020, 06:36:43 am
Never before have we had the choice of such good equipment and at affordable prices.

You have to understand, that some are just too young (+heavily brainwashed) to be aware that in the old "glorious days"  ::) say like from 70s to late 90s, the idea of owning a "used" oscilloscope, even low end one was almost impossible for electronic beginners or enthusiasts, let alone buying a new spanking scope, dmm, logic analyzer and etc.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: jake111 on February 13, 2020, 06:42:50 am
Never before have we had the choice of such good equipment and at affordable prices.

You have to understand, that some are just too young (+heavily brainwashed) to be aware that in the old "glorious days"  ::) say like from 70s to late 90s, the idea of owning a "used" oscilloscope, even low end one was almost impossible for electronic beginners or enthusiasts, let alone buying a new spanking scope, dmm, logic analyzer and etc.


This is a good point and it's also important to note the stark difference between the needs of a hobbyist vs. someone who is going to be using the machine day in and day out for hours at a time.  If your total use of a tool is only a few dozen hours over its lifetime, it would not make sense to buy a high end tool unless you have money to burn and do it on principle.  I remember when the digitizing scopes first started appearing on the used market, as tantalizing as they were, they were still cost prohibitive to all but the most elitist bastard (see here's my past jealousy coming out) of a ham operator and he would bring it to the meet once in a while and let everyone drool over it... but not on it   :-BROKE
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: BravoV on February 13, 2020, 06:48:37 am
Never before have we had the choice of such good equipment and at affordable prices.

You have to understand, that some are just too young (+heavily brainwashed) to be aware that in the old "glorious days"  ::) say like from 70s to late 90s, the idea of owning a "used" oscilloscope, even low end one was almost impossible for electronic beginners or enthusiasts, let alone buying a new spanking scope, dmm, logic analyzer and etc.


This is a good point and it's also important to note the stark difference between the needs of a hobbyist vs. someone who is going to be using the machine day in and day out for hours at a time.  If your total use of a tool is only a few dozen hours over its lifetime, it would not make sense to buy a high end tool unless you have money to burn and do it on principle.  I remember when the digitizing scopes first started appearing on the used market, as tantalizing as they were, they were still cost prohibitive to all but the most elitist bastard (see here's my past jealousy coming out) of a ham operator and he would bring it to the meet once in a while and let everyone drool over it... but not on it   :-BROKE

Indirectly, you're also agreeing that, for "youngsters" that are starting to venture into electronics, like most of us here when we were young, isn't the current situation better ?

Or you still insist that "your" younger generation, have to use stuffs labelled "PROUDLY MADE IN USA", and with the pride and attitude like .... screw those cheap clone Chinese bastards stuff, ain't needed it here !!!...  in order just to learn ?  >:D
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: blueskull on February 13, 2020, 06:52:33 am
So you work for a company funded and founded by communists, who "must have" (i.e. steal) anything that anyone else has.

Why don't the West license us what we need? Money is not a problem.

And you're proud of this?

Yes, I love this job enough to quit my 6 year stay in US and give up my approved and wait list pending green card.

This chinese "completely different" is still garbage, and it appears that your perception of resemblance is also rather.... unreliable.

Bigger difference than Uncle Sam's "peacekeeping" and "invasion".

I worked with the chinese counterparts of US/EU and other Asian regions on and off for 10 years, attempting to teach them how you should actually design something.

Presumably your level doesn't grant you access to good Chinese engineers. After all, birds flock by feather.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: tautech on February 13, 2020, 06:55:21 am
Never before have we had the choice of such good equipment and at affordable prices.

You have to understand, that some are just too young (+heavily brainwashed) to be aware that in the old "glorious days"  ::) say like from 70s to late 90s, the idea of owning a "used" oscilloscope, even low end one was almost impossible for electronic beginners or enthusiasts, let alone buying a new spanking scope, dmm, logic analyzer and etc.
I know that only too well as at one time I was one too !

As one ages and matures the blinkers come off and prejudices change as when I was young we all despised Jap crap but look at them now. Some 40 years later and China has passed that point too except for their low end garbage but doesn't every country produce some ?

The corporates must take some share of the blame in sending production offshore to lower wage production in the search to provide 'adequate' returns for their shareholders and CEO's.  ::)
There's no simple answer other than for each country to stick to their knitting and continue to do what they do best. In many ways we all need each other and for mankind's greater good and global peace and harmony the more trade we share with one another the better.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: james_s on February 13, 2020, 07:28:09 am
Indirectly, you're also agreeing that, for "youngsters" that are starting to venture into electronics, like most of us here when we were young, isn't the current situation better ?

It's absolutely better, but it's not sustainable. It's a bit like burning fossil fuels, from a performance standpoint they're quite unbeatable, energy density, portability, ease of use, nothing else comes close. Like the cheap goods imported from places that can build them cheaply it's not sustainable, eventually the gravy train will run out and it will be time to pay the piper. It's fantastic that I can buy all sorts of cool gadgets and gear that are better and more capable than I could have possibly dreamed having when I was young, it's absolutely incredible. The cost though is that formerly great companies like Tektronix, Fluke, Hewlett-Packard and many, many others are mere shells of their former selves or in many cases gone entirely. Many other once very high quality products have been cost engineered to compete and as someone else said in many cases you can't even choose to buy quality anymore.

I'm not necessarily crusading for a return to the old days, indeed I would be giving up a lot to do that, but this can't go on forever. We can't make everything insanely cheap and still have jobs that pay a good living. We can't all make a living by skimming off of work outsourced to people who live off a tiny fraction of the income our lifestyle requires. As I said, we're trading our long term prosperity for short term gains, things are great right now, but job after job that formerly earned a good stable living are gone. Between that and ever greater automation society does not require anywhere near the labor that it once did and this trend continues to accelerate. If we choose to continue this path we are eventually going to have some hard choices to make as we end up with a vast surplus of people needing to earn a living relative to the number of jobs needed to support our society.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: BravoV on February 13, 2020, 07:28:43 am
As one ages and matures the blinkers come off and prejudices change as when I was young we all despised Jap crap but look at them now. Some 40 years later and China has passed that point too except for their low end garbage but doesn't every country produce some ?

Remembered my grand-dad (RIP) fought Japanese in WWII, he lost few of his family members killed by the Japs, don't ask me how he reacted whenever he saw product made in Japan when in 70s, my dad used to go facepalming whenever his dad started the anti-Japs speech everytime.  :palm:

He lived in the era before WWII, and he told us, that US made stuffs were cheap crap in those era, better use European made, go figure.  :-DD


The corporates must take some share of the blame in sending production offshore to lower wage production in the search to provide 'adequate' returns for their shareholders and CEO's.  ::)

There's no simple answer other than for each country to stick to their knitting and continue to do what they do best.

Well, some countries excel in doing their "knitting" and keep improving, some are just way too arrogant living in denial and way too complacent, and drifted too far without realizing it even today.

Just look at Germany, practically the whole country was obliterated after WWII, and with their auto industry today, and the Japs simply still can not beat them at the top high margin market, even after so many decades, even with Japanese samurai spirit of hardworking habit/attitude.  :o
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: james_s on February 13, 2020, 07:33:27 am
Remembered my grand-dad (RIP) fought Japanese in WWII, he lost few of his family members killed by the Japs, don't ask me how he reacted whenever he saw product made in Japan when in 70s, my dad used to go facepalming whenever his dad started the anti-Japs speech everytime.  :palm:

I don't think it's possible to relate to someone who has been through the hell of a war like that. I suspect once you've been conditioned that the Japanese (or whoever) are the enemy and spent several years fighting to stay alive it's probably really hard to just turn that off. The war was long over and the Japanese were by then our allies but it's probably hard to forgive and forget an experience like that. I'd guess the same is true for them.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: blueskull on February 13, 2020, 07:33:49 am
We can't make everything insanely cheap and still have jobs that pay a good living. We can't all make a living by skimming off of work outsourced to people who live off a tiny fraction of the income our lifestyle requires.

If we choose to continue this path we are eventually going to have some hard choices to make as we end up with a vast surplus of people needing to earn a living relative to the number of jobs needed to support our society.

Darwin says otherwise.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: BravoV on February 13, 2020, 07:45:58 am
Remembered my grand-dad (RIP) fought Japanese in WWII, he lost few of his family members killed by the Japs, don't ask me how he reacted whenever he saw product made in Japan when in 70s, my dad used to go facepalming whenever his dad started the anti-Japs speech everytime.  :palm:

I don't think it's possible to relate to someone who has been through the hell of a war like that. I suspect once you've been conditioned that the Japanese (or whoever) are the enemy and spent several years fighting to stay alive it's probably really hard to just turn that off. The war was long over and the Japanese were by then our allies but it's probably hard to forgive and forget an experience like that. I'd guess the same is true for them.

Exactly, thats why I keep wondering why human never learn from the history.

Especially looking at current scene today, people and especially few leaders or nations, that keep pumping out the hatred globally.

Some of the youngsters need to read the history of the making of Adolf Hitler, he was basically "exploiting" the xenophobia masquerading as "nationalistic" for his own ambition, its one of the fastest, easiest & cheapest political campaign method to get mass support and "hysteria", as we've seen today.

Its like getting a DC low voltage from AC mains, with just a single resistor and a diode.  :palm:

Fyi, students majoring in Politics, know this very well as its taught at 1st semester.  ::)
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: tautech on February 13, 2020, 07:55:23 am
As one ages and matures the blinkers come off and prejudices change as when I was young we all despised Jap crap but look at them now. Some 40 years later and China has passed that point too except for their low end garbage but doesn't every country produce some ?

Remembered my grand-dad (RIP) fought Japanese in WWII, he lost few of his family members killed by the Japs, don't ask me how he reacted whenever he saw product made in Japan when in 70s, my dad used to go facepalming whenever his dad started the anti-Japs speech everytime.  :palm:

He lived in the era before WWII, and he told us, that US made stuffs were cheap crap in those era, better use European made, go figure.  :-DD


The corporates must take some share of the blame in sending production offshore to lower wage production in the search to provide 'adequate' returns for their shareholders and CEO's.  ::)

There's no simple answer other than for each country to stick to their knitting and continue to do what they do best.

Well, some countries excel in doing their "knitting" and keep improving, some are just way too arrogant living in denial and way too complacent, and drifted too far without realizing it even today.

Just look at Germany, practically the whole country was obliterated after WWII, and with their auto industry today, and the Japs simply still can not beat them at the top high margin market, even after so many decades, even with Japanese samurai spirit of hardworking habit/attitude.  :o
Yes the world evolves and every country today needs to find its niche of excellence or the very best they can be. While goods can be easily dispersed around the globe economies will continue on this path of evolution.

Those of us that have lived in close or extended families have the benefit of our predecessors life experience and wisdom the knowledge of how different things were in the past. I live 100m from where my father was born and he was just 6 when electricity came to this area some 85 years ago and his mom saw both wars, the first flight, refrigeration, motor vehicles, moon landing, color TV etc etc all in her lifetime. That I got to share some 40yrs of mine with hers was a privilege.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: Wuerstchenhund on February 13, 2020, 08:15:02 am
So you work for a company funded and founded by communists, who "must have" (i.e. steal) anything that anyone else has.  And you're proud of this?

Well, you could also argue the same for someone working for a company in a country which built a large part of it's military might and achievements on technology 'obtained' from Germany after WW2, and which since then has gone around the world to wreak havoc and enact regime change, which has been engaged in torture without repercussions, which (in violation of it's own Constitution) is still incarcerating people without any conviction, and which is happy to do business with the guys who funded one of the worst terrorist attacks on its own people. ;)

But politics is a no-no here for good reason so we should leave it at that.

Quote
This chinese "completely different" is still garbage, and it appears that your perception of resemblance is also rather.... unreliable.

You might want to read some newer scientific papers about leading high tech research, and if you do then pay attention to the author's names. You'll find surprisingly large number of Chinese names there.

The idea that all the Chinese are capable off is copying Western stuff is naive. There is *a lot* of high tech research going on, not just in electronics but also in other areas such as genetics. There is a wide consensus that, on it's current course, the West will be left behind in pretty much every technological and scientific field by China.

Also, not everything the Chinese have was 'stolen' (i.e. obtained through some legally and morally questionable means), there are lots of cases where the Chinese simply invested in technology no-one else was willing to.

Quote
I worked with the chinese counterparts of US/EU and other Asian regions on and off for 10 years, attempting to teach them how you should actually design something.

I do not miss that nightmare.  My impression was that chinese EE's get their degrees at something like the dollar store.  My experience, and this was with hundreds of engineers over this time, was that they were impatient, rude, not interested in actually understanding something, and simply wanted to get to the finish line as quickly as possible, honesty and integrity be damned.

Sounds like you managed a sweat shop ;)

I worked with Japanese for many years, and more recently also with Chinese. Personally, I find the Chinese culture (which is very top-down and surprisingly risk-averse) often a bit difficult, and due to their culture they don't necessarily learn the same way as Westerners do (I found the Japanese culture much easier to deal with). But there were some really clever people amongst them, exceptionally capable, very intelligent.

China's education system is nothing like for example India's dollar store degree factories, which are mostly designed to circumvent the American H1B visa system to export low cost labor to the US. The Chinese government sees education as critical, and quite a few Chinese universities are among the top 50 or top 100 universities in the world.

Don't fall into the trap to believe that if only we prevented the Chinese to 'steal' our IP that we could stop their technological and scientific progress. Ain't going to work.

You better get used to the idea that China might well become the global leader in technology and science within the next 20 years or so, and if that happens then we have only ourselves to blame.


Just look at Germany, practically the whole country was obliterated after WWII, and with their auto industry today,

That is true, but there are dark clouds ahead for Germany as most of the areas it's strong are traditional industries (like automotive, tooling/manufacturing machinery, aviation or defense). Of course there is also cutting edge work going on but in general because of low funding and short-sighted investment strategies Germany has lost or sold-off valuable industries even before they really took off (i.e. mobile phones). In addition, modern day Germany is very risk-averse, and there is very little support (and pretty much no political apetite, aside from the occasional zinger) for start-ups. Which means many Germans are going to more supportive countries to work or found their start-up, like for example the U.S.

 
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: nctnico on February 13, 2020, 08:23:35 am
You better get used to the idea that China might well become the global leader in technology and science within the next 20 years or so.
I think it will take longer because without freedom of speech there is no freedom of mind. Without freedom of mind you never invent something new. Being clever at copying only gets you so far. Look at Siglent and Rigol: both are basically copying ideas and not innovating. OTOH MicSig does show that a Chinese company can come up with a radically different product in the form of a tablet oscilloscope which has been well thought out, well tested and as a result just works -period-.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: blueskull on February 13, 2020, 08:28:29 am
Without freedom of mind you never invent something new.

True, but for 1% of disruptive work you need 99% of iterative works to get it done properly, and that alone is a huge market.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: BravoV on February 13, 2020, 08:29:26 am
Don't fall into the trap to believe that if only we prevented the Chinese to 'steal' our IP that we could stop their technological and scientific progress. Ain't going to work.

You better get used to the idea that China might well become the global leader in technology and science within the next 20 years or so, and if that happens then we have only ourselves to blame.

Its just sad, especially for the next generations, lots of wasteful resources, money, time, efforts just to build the bad campaigns, generate hatred and etc, instead of focusing and gearing up the youngsters for the future, maybe like drastically improving the education, wellfare and etc, for these kids to face the harsh and unknown future, at least this brings more hope.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: Wuerstchenhund on February 13, 2020, 09:19:53 am
You better get used to the idea that China might well become the global leader in technology and science within the next 20 years or so.
I think it will take longer because without freedom of speech there is no freedom of mind. Without freedom of mind you never invent something new.

The first part is demonstrably false, as evidenced (not only) by the number of intellectuals in societies where freedom of speech was/is limited (and most political change came from what you call "freedom of mind"), but also by the ingenuity shown of those that lived under such restrictive conditions.

If you look at Russia for example, a country where "freedom of speech" has been very limited through most of its history, the list of things invented or discovered there cover a wide range of areas including advanced electrical and mechanical engineering, materials, math, physics and so on, a lot of it even world-leading.

I've worked with some Russian technology and while the way they approach things is often very different from how it would be by a Westerner, there was a lot of ingenuity in the designs.

The same is true in most "non-free" countries. China is no exception.

Quote
Being clever at copying only gets you so far. Look at Siglent and Rigol: both are basically copying ideas and not innovating.

Well, he same could be said for most (non-electric) cars, after all the basic concept (a box with four wheels outside, one wheel inside, some chairs and something revolving at either end of the vehicle) is over a century old.

This isn't much different with scopes, especially the ones at the lower end of the market. Most engineers simply want something square-ish with a screen on the left of the front, knobs on the right of the front and connectors on the bottom of the front, which shows them wiggly lines. When something like a standard scope such as the Siglent SDS1000X can be assembled from standard components, why re-invent the wheel? In this market, the only area where a manufacturer can really add some value is via the software (i.e. functionality, UX) and by offering a low price. Naturally, the Chinese can easily do "low price" because the labor costs are way lower than in Western countries. Functionality however is more difficult, so it takes some time to develop these skills. UX is even more difficult, so getting this right takes even longer. Quite a normal, iterative process for a country like China.

Siglent has put a lot of ideas into the new SDS5kX and SDS2kX+ (god, I hate that naming scheme!), many which you can't find on comparable competitors' scopes, including from the A-brands.

Rigol is even further, they already have their own ASIC which is quite an achievement.

Saying Rigol and Siglent aren't innovating is ignoring reality.

Quote
OTOH MicSig does show that a Chinese company can come up with a radically different product in the form of a tablet oscilloscope which has been well thought out, well tested and as a result just works -period-.

I never used one of the MicSigs but I remember that the early versions has a number of bugs, and it took a while for MicSig to fix them.

But yes, MicSig is another example of Chinese ingenuity.


Don't fall into the trap to believe that if only we prevented the Chinese to 'steal' our IP that we could stop their technological and scientific progress. Ain't going to work.

You better get used to the idea that China might well become the global leader in technology and science within the next 20 years or so, and if that happens then we have only ourselves to blame.

Its just sad, especially for the next generations, lots of wasteful resources, money, time, efforts just to build the bad campaigns, generate hatred and etc, instead of focusing and gearing up the youngsters for the future, maybe like drastically improving the education, wellfare and etc, for these kids to face the harsh and unknown future, at least this brings more hope.

Indeed, but I guess that's what we deserve for making sure a handful of people are wealthy beyond their wildest dreams while investments in research and especially education have been widely reduced. The consequences are already visible, especially in politics.

I blame my generation for that.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: nctnico on February 13, 2020, 09:45:40 am
@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. 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.

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).
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: 2N3055 on February 13, 2020, 10:03:15 am
Freedom of the speech is most misquoted and misunderstood term....

Freedom of the speech is basically "freedom of POLITICAL speech".

It has no bearing on people who don't care about politics.
Back in old socialist Yugoslavia, most of the people didn't care about freedom of political beliefs. What "normal", nonpolitical people care is food, shelter, having good life for them and their families. They want to have fun, to love, to dance, to work and have normal life.
Nobody cared to have discussions about what political system is better etc.. Except people interested in politics..

OTOH, science and engineering, that was free, and what was valued was results.

Speaking of, USA is NOT a country that has freedom of speech. If it were, there would be communist and socialist presidential candidate, too.
Nobody has to vote for them, but they should be there. USA political system is still based on Civil War: Republicans (South) and Democrats (North). Both hardcore capitalist with same agenda. And a notion that every person deserves not to be hungry, that education and medical care should be included in taxes people pay (so taxpayers money don't go to fund wars to make military-industrial complex even richer than they are, but are instead used to help people who are paying the bill) is "them commies" idea. Not smart, and humanistic, but bad...

There is no freedom and uncensored thinking in USA on country scale. It is equally controlled and not free as in China, Russia or something else. Just different version of dogma.

But still, there are so many beautifully smart, great intellectuals with so many great ideas coming from USA. Why ? Because, human mind cannot be shackled. Not  in USA, not in Russia, not in China. Exceptional individuals will be exceptional. In any country. And stupid ones will be stupid. In any country.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: BravoV on February 13, 2020, 10:17:09 am
Speaking of, USA is NOT a country that has freedom of speech. If it were, there would be communist and socialist presidential candidate, too.

:-+  :clap: .. LOL .. you're basically poking where it hurts most, the "core" on what those believers stand for, aka "fake freedom of speech" .

Beware though, some will hate you for that.  :-DD :-DD :-DD


But still, there are so many beautifully smart, great intellectuals with so many great ideas coming from USA. Why ? Because, human mind cannot be shackled. Not  in USA, not in Russia, not in China.

Some have strong believe, even down to their bones, that if you're born and grew up, say in Russia or China, "AUTOMATICALLY" you're stupid, not creative, inferior and etc.  :-DD
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: Fungus on February 13, 2020, 10:22:31 am
As one ages and matures the blinkers come off and prejudices change as when I was young we all despised Jap crap but look at them now. Some 40 years later and China has passed that point too except for their low end garbage but doesn't every country produce some ?

Remembered my grand-dad (RIP) fought Japanese in WWII, he lost few of his family members killed by the Japs, don't ask me how he reacted whenever he saw product made in Japan when in 70s, my dad used to go facepalming whenever his dad started the anti-Japs speech everytime.  :palm:

The reason most of the LCDs have failed on early Fluke multimeters (eg. the 8020) is because John Fluke refused to buy LCD modules from Japan.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: 2N3055 on February 13, 2020, 10:29:17 am
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).
Special is that it is their own design, that according to many "them Chinese don't know how to do".
Special is that they made something that A brands ask you much higher price for, for basically  same instrument.
Special is that technology gap (that still existed only few years ago) is narrowing down to differences in style, not capabilities.
Special is that 90% of scope market is NOT high end scopes and Chinese are ruling that market (now on price, but within few years on features too). Don't trust me on this. Just take a look at A brands. They are killing off their lower ranges of products, or cleverly regurgitating old technology but still keeping higher prices, riding it out for as long as it goes....

Special is that if it were up to A brands, entry level scope would still cost same as a small car, mid range one same as a small house...
And VERY FEW of us here would be able to afford one...
There are many, many poor US citizens that wouldn't be able to afford scope where it not for Chinese. If anything, Chinese cheap T&M equipment is enabler for USA people to popularize technology...
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: vk6zgo on February 13, 2020, 10:31:46 am
It's not China, some very high quality well built stuff comes out of China, they are certainly capable of producing it.

The problem is US (and other relatively wealthy) consumers demand the lowest prices, so stuff gets cost reduced to the hilt and built by the lowest bidder in places with the cheapest labor capable of doing the work and currently that's mostly China. As long as people demand goods for less than someone with a similar cost of living could build them for sale, this will be happening.

It is largely not the consumers, but the buyers for the large stores who led the stampede to junk.
I would love to go to a whitegoods shop & buy, say, an electric kettle which :-
(1)Worked properly
(2) Lasted for longer than 6-8months before expiring gracelessly.

I tried going "up market" & buying a well known brand.
At $A75, it should have been markedly better, but, no!

It lasted less time than the El Cheapo!(it was also made in the PRC, maybe in the same factory.)

Obviously, the same performance, coupled to one third of the price is a powerful reason to buy the cheaper one.
I eventually found a "unicorn"!----- an El Cheapo which works well, & is still doing so, "a year & a bit" later!

There are all sorts of "Chinese" products, from tne $600 "Wertheim" vacuum cleaner which purported to be "German designed", & wouldn't run for more than 15 minutes without shutting down from overheating, to the "Ozito" drum type vacuum cleaner at $50, which takes anything I throw at it without a hiccup, (but with a lot of noise), & which has already done more work than the Wertheim achieved all the time we had it.

Why would I buy poorly performing "upmarket junk".
A couple of years back, I bought a "vanity cabinet" for the bathroom, at a fairly stiff price.

This included a handbasin with a fancy combined hot/cold tap, an overflow vent to prevent overfilling the basin, complete with a nice chrome trim, & a push down/pop up "plug" assembly.

The push down/pop up thing failed first, when the spring got tired.
That wasn't much of a problem so we could ignore it.
Next, the "trim ring" around the overflow went green--bye, bye, chrome!

The best was left till last, when the fancy tap started leaking through pinholes corroded through the chrome & whatever sh*t metal it was made of.
By comparison, the taps which were replaced were around 50 years old, were made of brass, & had no "pinholes"!

This wasn't bought online from some dodgy site, but from a "reputable" plumbing supplier!


Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: Fungus on February 13, 2020, 11:05:52 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.

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.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: nctnico on February 13, 2020, 11:09:50 am
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).
Special is that it is their own design, that according to many "them Chinese don't know how to do".
Special is that they made something that A brands ask you much higher price for, for basically  same instrument.
Special is that technology gap (that still existed only few years ago) is narrowing down to differences in style, not capabilities.
Special is that 90% of scope market is NOT high end scopes and Chinese are ruling that market (now on price, but within few years on features too). Don't trust me on this. Just take a look at A brands. They are killing off their lower ranges of products, or cleverly regurgitating old technology but still keeping higher prices, riding it out for as long as it goes....
Well... not all A-brands are milking old technology. Only Tektronix and Keysight seem to do that. And you basically underlined what I already wrote: the Chinese brands aren't there yet. For heavy duty professional use you need that little extra that is still lacking in almost all of the Chinese scopes. Dig a little bit deeper and you quickly learn a feature is there but slow, limited and/or cumbersome to use which kills productivity. Siglent is getting close but they'll need at least another iteration to get more features accellerated by hardware instead of doing it slow in software. But maybe they don't even care.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: blueskull 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.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: borjam 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 György 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.

Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: nctnico 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).
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: borjam 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?

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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.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: blueskull 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.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: 2N3055 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.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: GeorgeOfTheJungle 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.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: Fungus 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.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: GeorgeOfTheJungle 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.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: Wuerstchenhund 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.

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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 (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.

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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 (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?  :-//
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: nctnico 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.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: tautech 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' ?  :-//
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: nctnico 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.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: tautech 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:
(https://siglentna.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/SDS5000X-08.jpg)
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: Fungus 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...)
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: 2N3055 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...

Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: nctnico 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.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: vk6zgo 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.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: blueskull 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.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: james_s 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.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: BravoV 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 ?
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: 2N3055 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.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: Fungus on February 14, 2020, 07:51:27 am
I have a couple of pretty expensive flashlights

I just bought a fancy Lumintop AA flashlight (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000010484308.html) 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.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: tautech 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.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: blueskull on February 14, 2020, 08:26:35 am
I just bought a fancy Lumintop AA flashlight (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000010484308.html) 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.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: Wuerstchenhund on February 14, 2020, 09:08:10 am
You 'cleverly' left the R&S RTM3000 out.

A scope with up to 80Mpts memory, less decoding options (i.e. no FlexRay). Well, at least it's got 50ohms inputs ;)

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And not to mention Yokogawa has a whole bunch of interesting scopes.

Yokogawa's "whole bunch" consists of only two scope series (DLM3000 and DLM4000)  ;) and both have been on the market for many years.

The DLM3000 can have up to 250Mpts as the SDS5kX but it only has 2.5GSa/s, does FFTs up to 1.25Mpts, and has less functionality, limited decode and trigger options.

The DLM4000 goes up to 250Mpts as well and has more decode options, but it, too, is limited to 500MHz BW, plus the max sample rate is limited to 1.25GSa/s, FFTs to 250k, and functionality and trigger options are more limited than on the SDS5kX.

And that's just the current offering. Many previous models had even lower sample rates.

Don't get me wrong, these scopes are certainly interesting. But they have been designed primarily for industrial applications like power electronics and production control systems, and not as general purpose scopes.

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And on the lower end there is GW Instek too.

Yes, the GDS-2000E which has a lot smaller memory (10Mpts), smaller FFTs, and limited math, analysis, decode and triggers.

The only scope over 200MHz is the GDS-3000 and that offers a whooping 25kpts per channel. The rest of the specs read similar dire.

Let's be realistic, GW Instek has nothing in the class of scopes like the SDS5kX or DSO3kX, what it has is at most  comparable with other entry level scopes like the DSO-X1k/DSO-X2k, Rigol MSO5000 or the new Siglent SDS2kX+.

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All in all lots of other choices besides Rigol and Siglent.

Yes, and none of them offer a similar amount of memory, functionality, trigger capabilities and features. Which has been my point.

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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

Well, the SDS5104X I have currently access to begs to differ. For an embedded scope the platform seems pretty powerful, and the overall package is surprisingly good. There are some annoyances which could be improved, as well some things I really don't like, but right now I am not aware of any other scope in the market which would offer the same amount of capabilities and features in this class. I can't say I ever imagined saying this about a Siglent scope but here we are.

The other thing is that apparently Siglent will port the improvements that went into the SDS2kX+ to the SDS5kX as well.

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you'll end up with the same pitfall Tektronix fell in when they designed the MDO3000/4000.

I doubt anyone could compete with Tektronix when it comes to backward architectures and horrible UI. That's after all their USP ;)

Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: tautech on February 14, 2020, 09:44:02 am
Wuerstchenhund, have you got your mitts on a SDS2kX Plus yet ?
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: Wuerstchenhund on February 14, 2020, 09:53:54 am
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.

That's a very important point. In the end, what determines the crap-ness of a product is not the place of manufacture but the design goals of whoever came up with the product.

I guess the main reason why people equate "Made in China" (or any other cheap labor country) with "crap" is because true crap is usually too expensive to be manufactured in Western countries, while better quality products can be made in the West as well as in countries like China.

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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.

Well, G3 and G4 were better on those carefully selected benchmarks by Apple. There's a good article about this:

https://lowendmac.com/2006/twice-as-fast-did-apple-lie-or-just-carefully-select-its-truths/ (https://lowendmac.com/2006/twice-as-fast-did-apple-lie-or-just-carefully-select-its-truths/)

In reality (i.e. outside artificial benchmarks), PPC had already lost when the G4 came out. Back then when Apple made the move from 68k to PPC there was the might of IBM behind the platform, with IBM wanting to push it into the desktop PC space (there were quite a few PPC-based desktop PCs from several manufacturers). IBM then dropped the idea pretty quickly and only kept PowerPC as a cheaper variant of their POWER architecture for the RS/6000 platform running AIX and Linux. The independent PPC PC makers disappeared, and when the G5 arrived Apple was the last PPC vendor, only to move to intel after realizing what a dead end the platform was (even more so when the G5 was too hot and power hungry for laptop use).

It's not just PowerPC. There was Alpha AXP (created by DEC, killed by HP), SPARC (created by Sun) and MIPS (used by SGI and Siemens-Nixdorf), which all died more or less around the same time (aside from SPARC, which is still drowned slowly in boiling oil by Oracle). Of course it's sad that this diversity has died, but on the other side at no point computing power was so cheap as today.

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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?

In the scope class we're talking here the technology has been pretty much developed out years ago, and what we get are essentially iterations (more features, better screens) of previous models. This is especially true for A-brand scopes (aside from R&S' 10bit ADCs). Some of the premium they charge goes into better quality (especially software) as well as support, but a large part is simply because you pay for the name.

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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?

Chinese software was (and still often is) poor because it's seen as something that has no value (a thinking that is not uncommon in the West, too). Which is one reason for (or maybe a consequence of?) rampant piracy in China. If something has no value then it should not be surprising that no-one pays much attention to detail. This, too, can be seen on some Western products.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: Zucca on February 14, 2020, 10:06:07 am
Wuerstchenhund I missed you!
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: Wuerstchenhund on February 14, 2020, 10:17:42 am
Wuerstchenhund, have you got your mitts on a SDS2kX Plus yet ?

No, simply because this is a class of scope neither myself nor my clients would buy (the lowest we buy are 500Mhz/1Ghz scopes a la DSOX4k).

Doesn't mean it's a bad scope (well, it seems to share a lot with the SDS5kx, plus got some improvements so it can't be that bad) just that it's not on my RADAR  ;)
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: nctnico on February 14, 2020, 10:55:24 am
And on the lower end there is GW Instek too.

Yes, the GDS-2000E which has a lot smaller memory (10Mpts), smaller FFTs, and limited math, analysis, decode and triggers.
You are wrong here. Actually it's 20Mpts of memory per channel in segmented mode. FFT is 1MPts. Math is freeform based on any trace so there is nothing limited to that except for having one math trace. It can do protocol triggering and search. Something else the GW Instek can do is statistic analysis on segmented recordings. You can define bins and then get an overview of what the distribution is for a measurement across the segments. These are rather clever oscilloscopes with quite a few nifty features. Actually there is a 2 channel 300MHz 'MDO' version too. With a simple key generator you can have the 300MHz bandwidth and spectrum analysis mode on the GDS/MSO models as well. It is true that GW Instek could do with a higher end oscilloscope in their portfolio but perhaps they don't see this as a segment they want to be in. I have the feeling GW Instek is big in the educational market (latest GDS-2000E firmware has added the Portugese language). BTW  it seems that GW Instek is also the OEM for quite a few pieces of Lecroy equipment.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: Wuerstchenhund on February 14, 2020, 11:46:24 am
And on the lower end there is GW Instek too.

Yes, the GDS-2000E which has a lot smaller memory (10Mpts), smaller FFTs, and limited math, analysis, decode and triggers.

You are wrong here. Actually it's 20Mpts of memory per channel in segmented mode.

Still 20Mpts vs 250Mpts.

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FFT is 1MPts.

1Mpts vs 2Mpt.

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Math is freeform based on any trace so there is nothing limited to that except for having one math trace.

One math trace vs two math traces (with plans to extend this to four I believe).

Math on the GDS2kE seems to be rather basic (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division), compared to the SDS5kX (which has addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, integration, differential, sqrt as well as a formula editor).

The SDS5kX also has a more measurements.

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It can do protocol triggering and search.

Trigger and decode for I2C/SPI/UART/CAN/LIN vs Trigger & decode for I2C/I2S/SPI/UART/CAN/LIN/FlexRay/MIL1553B (and more are planned).

20k segments vs 100k segments.

2ns vs 400ps Peak Detect

+50ppm vs +1-3.5ppm timebase accuracy

And so on...

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Actually there is a 2 channel 300MHz 'MDO' version too. With a simple key generator you can have the 300MHz bandwidth and spectrum analysis mode on the GDS/MSO models as well.

Well, that's pretty much just a more SA-like interface for FFT (the Tek MDO does the same).

And 300MHz are still below the 350MHz which is where the SDS5kX Series starts at.

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These are rather clever oscilloscopes with quite a few nifty features.

I'm not saying the GWI scopes aren't good scopes, but my point remains that there's nothing out there at the moment which can match what the SDS5kX has to offer in this scope class (lower mid-range), and the fact remains that GWI simply has nothing above the upper entry-level market.

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It is true that GW Instek could do with a higher end oscilloscope in their portfolio but perhaps they don't see this as a segment they want to be in. I have the feeling GW Instek is big in the educational market (latest GDS-2000E firmware has added the Portugese language).

Yes, they seem to have a place in schools, probably mostly down to their low cost and solid performance.

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BTW  it seems that GW Instek is also the OEM for quite a few pieces of Lecroy equipment.

Indeed.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: nctnico on February 14, 2020, 01:28:41 pm
Perhaps but the GW Instek MSO2104E costs less than half (including logic probes) compared to the SDS5k 4 channel entry model so it is logical there are differences. And no, the math on the GW Instek isn't basic. Again, it has freefrom math as well with a formula editor (or set the formula remotely). You should check it out because it is a very nice general purpose oscilloscope for R&D lab use. The UI is very productive as well . I used to own an Agilent MSO7104A but the GW Instek GDS2204E I bought later on turned out to be much easier to use so it quickly replaced the MSO7104A. Meanwhile I have an R&S RTM3004 on my bench but I'm still holding on to the GDS2204E because it can do a few useful things the RTM3004 can't.

And I'm not convinced there is nothing out there which can match the SDS5k. On paper and at first glance the specs may look great but you'd have to put some actual use on it (drill down deep) to see if everything holds up and works well in actual usage scenarios.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: rsjsouza on February 14, 2020, 06:35:13 pm
Ahhh... the old 'scope battles... It's 2015 again, with the difference that Wuerst has banded with the Siglent team. :-DD

And I'm not convinced there is nothing out there which can match the SDS5k. On paper and at first glance the specs may look great but you'd have to put some actual use on it (drill down deep) to see if everything holds up and works well in actual usage scenarios.
Nico, I have to ask: have you ever used the SDS5k to doubt so fervently the testimony of someone else that says he has access to one? Or is this pure caution (and a bit of prejudice, considering your past bad experience) with Siglent?


@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.
That is my experience as well, with the difference that the root cause is not always lack of experience but also resource allocation and pressure to meet deadlines. In other words, you may be totally immersed in a large design facility but only a few are capable of having an overall understanding of the whole product.

This also happens more often across transnational interactions, where secrecy is deliberately applied to prevent copycats.

My only comment on the whole China-US relations is that none of the players in this game are the "oppressed". Neither "First world" countries being squeezed out of markets they deliberately allowed the race to the bottom to happen, nor China being squeezed out of the high end market after deliberately leaving copycats roam freely and use state power to keep major technological companies afloat at any cost. It is a commercial and innovation war like any other - perhaps the new "cold war".
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: nctnico on February 14, 2020, 08:06:49 pm
Ahhh... the old 'scope battles... It's 2015 again, with the difference that Wuerst has banded with the Siglent team. :-DD

And I'm not convinced there is nothing out there which can match the SDS5k. On paper and at first glance the specs may look great but you'd have to put some actual use on it (drill down deep) to see if everything holds up and works well in actual usage scenarios.
Nico, I have to ask: have you ever used the SDS5k to doubt so fervently the testimony of someone else that says he has access to one? Or is this pure caution (and a bit of prejudice, considering your past bad experience) with Siglent?
Mostly caution based on what I have read about the SDS5k so far where I carefully weigh the information based on the background (sales or engineering) and  perceived experience from the person writing the information. The recent scopes from Siglent look mighty interesting but there are also some hints of cutting corners which may eventually get in the way of making full use of all the potential. Anyway, the memory management is a hard fail for me though so it is unlikely I'm going to ever put my hands on a Siglent SDS5k.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: Martin72 on February 17, 2020, 09:46:27 pm
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Anyway, the memory management is a hard fail for me

Simple question : Why ?

Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: nctnico on February 17, 2020, 10:09:13 pm
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Anyway, the memory management is a hard fail for me

Simple question : Why ?
Using all the memory ('Capturing beyond the screen') is something I use very often because it makes the settings on the oscilloscope much less critical. This in turn translates to being able to focus on the circuit I'm designing while not having to think about how the oscilloscope is setup exactly. It just works so much easier. I used to have the first SDS2000 iteration oscilloscope which did had the setting to use all the memory but it would revert back to automatic by itself. This was very cumbersome to work with because I needed to set it back to full memory all the time.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: Martin72 on February 17, 2020, 10:38:58 pm
Ah, it´s only a thing of comfortable use, not a serious issue, that reassures me.

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I used to have the first SDS2000 iteration oscilloscope which did had the setting to use all the memory but it would revert back to automatic by itself.

The 2000+/5000 series got the whole memory (200/250mpts) in the ms timebase range, in this range you can choose the depth, above not.
I don´t think they weren´t clever, it must have a good reason.

Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: nctnico on February 17, 2020, 10:49:18 pm
Ah, it´s only a thing of comfortable use, not a serious issue, that reassures me.
Well, I would call lack of comfort a serious issue.  8)  But if you aren't used to comfort you probably don't miss it  ;D
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: Wuerstchenhund on February 18, 2020, 11:03:57 am
Perhaps but the GW Instek MSO2104E costs less than half (including logic probes) compared to the SDS5k 4 channel entry model so it is logical there are differences. And no, the math on the GW Instek isn't basic. Again, it has freefrom math as well with a formula editor (or set the formula remotely). You should check it out because it is a very nice general purpose oscilloscope for R&D lab use. The UI is very productive as well . I used to own an Agilent MSO7104A but the GW Instek GDS2204E I bought later on turned out to be much easier to use so it quickly replaced the MSO7104A. Meanwhile I have an R&S RTM3004 on my bench but I'm still holding on to the GDS2204E because it can do a few useful things the RTM3004 can't.

I had to go for from what I could find on the GWI homepage and in the (very short and limited) spec sheets and manuals as I don't have access to any GWI scope around here.

I'm not doubting the GWI scopes are good scopes and worth their money but the matter of fact is that GWI has nothing in the 350MHz and above BW class so there's no point comparing it to the SDS5kX. Apples vs oranges.

If GWI ever makes anything in the 500MHz+ class then I'm sure I'll have a closer look, but right now anything below 500MHz (or 1GHz, really) is pretty much useless for us. Having said that, I still have the DS1054z I bought a while ago but that's essentially a toy I bought because I wanted to see how much scope I can get new for <$400 (although I have to say I have grown rather fond of this little thing!) ;)

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And I'm not convinced there is nothing out there which can match the SDS5k.

As I said, I'm open for suggestions of comparable(!) scopes which offer a similar feature set. So far I haven't seen one.

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On paper and at first glance the specs may look great but you'd have to put some actual use on it (drill down deep) to see if everything holds up and works well in actual usage scenarios.

True, but this is no longer the SDS2000 of back then. Siglent has learnt so much that a product can't be released if the basic functionality doesn't work.

Don't forget that the SDS5kX is the result of work stemming from experienced engineers like Performa01 who contributed massively to the feature set of the scope and the technology shared with Siglent by LeCroy.

The SDS5104X that's currently sitting here (not bought by me) isn't bug free but it's core functionality works and works reliably, and better than many big brand scopes. There are things I would implement differently (especially regarding the UI) but at the end of the day it's a perfectly usable debugging scope with features that at this point in time can't be found in other comparable scopes. It's as simple as that.


@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.

That is my experience as well, with the difference that the root cause is not always lack of experience but also resource allocation and pressure to meet deadlines. In other words, you may be totally immersed in a large design facility but only a few are capable of having an overall understanding of the whole product.

Indeed, and especially on large projects this is often not avoidable.

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My only comment on the whole China-US relations is that none of the players in this game are the "oppressed". Neither "First world" countries being squeezed out of markets they deliberately allowed the race to the bottom to happen, nor China being squeezed out of the high end market after deliberately leaving copycats roam freely and use state power to keep major technological companies afloat at any cost. It is a commercial and innovation war like any other - perhaps the new "cold war".

How true!

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Ahhh... the old 'scope battles... It's 2015 again, with the difference that Wuerst has banded with the Siglent team. :-DD

Yes, but then technology has moved on. I'm not sure I'd buy any scope with Siglent badge in 2015.

Also, just imagine how empty the test equipment forum would be if all the scope battle threads were removed ;)
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: nicnac117 on March 02, 2020, 04:58:57 pm
The guy origionally asked for advice on what of three scopes he mentioned to buy,not all this political shit !!!! For his attention I recently bought the RTB 2K-COM4 package promotion by Rhode& Schwarz and am more than impressed and happy with it . It comes with all options enabled  and 300 MB B/W;logic pods etc . A true general purpose package with serial decoding included. Its time ALL manufacturers included serial decoding in a general purpose scope as times have moved on and these protocols are common everday tools . PS I remember back in the day looking at a TEK 2465 or 2467 and thinking if only !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i could afford one . PS it also includes segmented memory/sig-gen /function gen .
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: jemangedeslolos on March 02, 2020, 05:54:46 pm
The guy origionally asked for advice on what of three scopes he mentioned to buy,not all this political shit !!!! For his attention I recently bought the RTB 2K-COM4 package promotion by Rhode& Schwarz and am more than impressed and happy with it . It comes with all options enabled  and 300 MB B/W;logic pods etc . A true general purpose package with serial decoding included. Its time ALL manufacturers included serial decoding in a general purpose scope as times have moved on and these protocols are common everday tools . PS I remember back in the day looking at a TEK 2465 or 2467 and thinking if only !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i could afford one . PS it also includes segmented memory/sig-gen /function gen .

euhhhh

I don't know if you are jocking or not but in fact you paid for it.
It is an R&S bundle promotion but the oscilloscope alone costs much less than the full bundle.
All manufacturers offer serial decoding included .... if you pay the full option bundle  :-DD
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: nicnac117 on March 02, 2020, 06:52:07 pm
Catch a grip!!! I didnt say I got it for nothing !! .but it cost a lot less than the options full price normally . Check your facts before trying to be a smartass!!!
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: Wuerstchenhund on March 03, 2020, 11:49:05 am
The guy origionally asked for advice on what of three scopes he mentioned to buy,not all this political shit !!!!

True, but he also got the only correct response in the first reply, which is to define what the requirements are. All three scopes (of which one isn't a model that even exists in this form so it's up to us to guess) are of completely different classes so to determine which one is "best" could easily be done by the throw of dice.

And since no further information by the OP has been forthcoming anyways it doesn't really matter if the discussion had stopped right there or deviated.

Besides, this isn't a one-to-one consultation, and stuff posted here may well be helpful or interesting for other people at some point.

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Its time ALL manufacturers included serial decoding in a general purpose scope as times have moved on and these protocols are common everday tools.

True again but because serial decode is a common requirement the big brands use it to try to milk their customers even more.
Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: jemangedeslolos on March 03, 2020, 02:20:17 pm
Catch a grip!!! I didnt say I got it for nothing !! .but it cost a lot less than the options full price normally . Check your facts before trying to be a smartass!!!

smartass ? Not really but if you insist i can try.

English is not my native language so maybe I misunderstood.
When I read you, it seems like R&S introduced a game chnger by offering a package with serial protocol decoding.
And this is not the case at all, all manufacturers offer serial decoding for several years, sometimes even without having to buy an additional option.
There are even oscilloscopes with serial decoding included that cost less than the R&S decoding option alone ;D

And I am very aware of the prices thank you very much.
I was aware of the R&S bundle promotion before it was introduced thanks to Rich on this forum.
Great oscilloscope by the way, no problem on this, but nothing new either.

Title: Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
Post by: nicnac117 on March 04, 2020, 11:52:48 pm
Ok Fair enough about the language ! You did pick me up wrong !! I was saying that the RTB2K-COM4 promotion package was good value whereas the normal pricing of the options is prohibitive . I was also saying that all the options should be standard in a modern scope or at least reasonably priced . Ihave a HMO1232 which does nothave any options . It would cost more than the scope to add all the protocols.