Author Topic: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase  (Read 4388 times)

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Offline Jayy

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Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« 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.
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #1 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.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
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Offline Jayy

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2020, 12:23:11 pm »
Thanks for the reply.

 

Offline Rich@RohdeScopesUSA

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #3 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
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #4 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.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline Wuerstchenhund

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #5 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.

« Last Edit: February 10, 2020, 06:31:10 pm by Wuerstchenhund »
 
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Offline tautech

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #6 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
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Offline jake111

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #7 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?
 
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Offline Wuerstchenhund

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #8 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 ;)
 

Offline jake111

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #9 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 ;)
 

Offline tautech

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #10 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.
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Offline jake111

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #11 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.
 

Offline tautech

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #12 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.
Avid Rabid Hobbyist
 
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Online Fungus

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #13 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?  :-//
 

Offline jake111

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #14 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.
 

Offline BlackFX

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #15 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.

 

Offline jake111

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #16 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.
 

Online Someone

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #17 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.
 

Online Someone

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #18 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.
 

Offline nigelwright7557

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #19 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 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.

PCBCAD51/PCBCAD360/PCBCAD720 PCB design software https://www.murtonpikesystems.co.uk
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #20 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.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 06:07:39 am by james_s »
 
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Offline jake111

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #21 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"?
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #22 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.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 06:08:58 am by james_s »
 
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Offline jake111

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #23 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.
 

Online blueskull

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #24 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.
 


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