Author Topic: new killer scope in town - a true game changer from R&S - RTB2002 & RTB2004  (Read 535754 times)

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Offline RBBVNL9

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Re: new killer scope in town - a true game changer from R&S - RTB2002 & RTB2004
« Reply #2800 on: November 25, 2020, 08:03:52 am »
Quote
Since it wasn't explicitly stated if you overcame this problem: You need to set the SPI to only decode MOSI and set MISO to None in the protocol configuration, if you want to do a CAN decode on B2.  Doing both MOSI and MISO on B1 is bringing you to the two decode limit.
 

Thanks for pointing that out. Yes, I now understand it matters whether one decodes ISP or UART bidirectionally or not. (Would be kind of useful if this were mentioned in the user manual, though.)

Also, your analysis of the RTB attractiveness is interesting.

Personally, I still like my RTB as such very much, let there be no doubt about this, and would likely buy it again today if I was shopping in this category. My personal experiences with R&S service were not as positive as yours, it took them months to replace a faulty probe delivered with the instrument (reported elsewhere in the forum). In hindsight, this was due to multiple communication problems between departments (in different countries) within the company.

In terms of overall functionality and performance, I am very happy. It’s a great device, and some additional functions offered in recent firmware releases should be applauded.

Is it perfect? No, there are some things left to be desired:
  • Bug fixes. One example is that the Label List import function does not work properly, even the CAN label example file provided in the RTB manual does not work (hexadecimals values are mistaken for decimal values).
  • Several previous bugs were corrected by firmware updates, but often rather late. The firmware blocker when loading an 'SCP' took several years to arrive…
  • Device crashes. I must admit this seems to happen less often after the last firmware update, but again, took several years to iron most out, and there are still some.
  • Functions advertised in, for instance, the RTB brochure or the fact sheets on the sold options that are not actually in the device. Example is importing patterns as CSV files.

Although these are things I can live with (and for several I developed some work-arounds, and shared them in this forum), they would take little effort for the company to take up and provide overall a more satisfying user experience.

Of course, there are always other desires, but I cannot complain when they are not materialized (although I can always hope…)



 

Offline uski

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Re: new killer scope in town - a true game changer from R&S - RTB2002 & RTB2004
« Reply #2801 on: November 28, 2020, 10:37:24 am »
The RTB2000 was a great 'entry level' scope 3.5 years ago.  I like many others here got it at the intro price, and at the time it was a great deal (~$2200 or so fully loaded).  Now the B-Market has caught up with a vengeance since the RTB2000 was first released.  As much as I like the RTB2000 still, I doubt I would have still purchased it today if I was in the market for a new scope.  It is still a great scope, just much harder to justify even at sale prices imho.

This is where R&S could start releasing some feature upgrades, to keep the attractiveness. Additional serial decodes like I mentioned could be a possibility.

Or significantly reducing the price for the bandwidth "upgrades" which is an outrageous concept anyway (ever heard about a car with an software limitation of the horsepower, which offered paid upgrades to remove that limitation ?), at least for hobbyists. Not 20% off. Divide it by 10.

I do have some experience with "B series", specifically a Rigol DSA832. Not a scope, I know, but it speaks about the company. Not super happy with the quality of the firmware. Lots of crashes, some weird annoying bugs, and missing features which made usability for some use cases much harder than what it should/could have been.
I also have experience with a R&S CMU200. Felt much better. So I hope that R&S made a better job than the B-series with the recent products, which would help justifying the price. But seeing the reply above, not sure the R&S software is bug free....
 

Offline RBBVNL9

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Re: new killer scope in town - a true game changer from R&S - RTB2002 & RTB2004
« Reply #2802 on: November 28, 2020, 10:54:24 am »
Quote
But seeing the reply above, not sure the R&S software is bug free....

To avoid misinterpretation: with my RTB, I certainly do not experience a lot of crashes. With earlier firmware I (very) occasionally had crashes (some of which I learned to avoid because I know what triggered them). With the current (2.300) firmware, I'm not sure I had any crashes, but its only out recently, so too early to tell for me whether they now addressed them all.

Over time, quite a few 'other' bugs were addressed in firmware updates, for which quite detailed change logs are issued. But the process has been rather long (several years to iron out several bugs), and there are some bugs that remain.

I cannot compare this to recent scopes of other brands in terms of crashes or bugs because I do not have experience with them.

(Well, I have a Tek 453, a Tek 2465A, and a trusty HAMEG HM 203-5, and hey, none of them ever crashed, but I would not take them as comparison points for this discussion  ;-))) 

 

Offline 2N3055

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Re: new killer scope in town - a true game changer from R&S - RTB2002 & RTB2004
« Reply #2803 on: November 28, 2020, 11:19:13 am »
Quote
But seeing the reply above, not sure the R&S software is bug free....

To avoid misinterpretation: with my RTB, I certainly do not experience a lot of crashes. With earlier firmware I (very) occasionally had crashes (some of which I learned to avoid because I know what triggered them). With the current (2.300) firmware, I'm not sure I had any crashes, but its only out recently, so too early to tell for me whether they now addressed them all.

Over time, quite a few 'other' bugs were addressed in firmware updates, for which quite detailed change logs are issued. But the process has been rather long (several years to iron out several bugs), and there are some bugs that remain.

I cannot compare this to recent scopes of other brands in terms of crashes or bugs because I do not have experience with them.

(Well, I have a Tek 453, a Tek 2465A, and a trusty HAMEG HM 203-5, and hey, none of them ever crashed, but I would not take them as comparison points for this discussion  ;-))) 



Well, problem is, that in that regard, you paid premium price to A brand, and you got B grade instrument and B grade support.
And you would buy it again. I wouldn't. I would feel cheated.

Fact is, I agree with JxR. Today, in that range, for much less money you have Siglent SDS2000X Plus series, that so far had better track record in being less buggy, faster fixes, very powerful, and much lower price... So if I'm supposed to buy something, and than wait for few years for them to fully debug it, I would at least can say, well I didn't pay much so it paid off.

From premium A brand, high price should mean better quality and it should work from the day one with only minor problems. I bought Keysight 3000T 2 years ago. Expensive. Worth every penny. Not a single problem, since day one. I made a comment here on EEVBlog about how it seems illogical that you can measure pulse count on analog channels but not digital. Few months later that measurement was in the new firmware.. That is premium brand. R&S 2000/3000/4000 was amatuer hour..... No better than Rigol or Siglent. So why pay premium prices for the mediocre product?

It should not be like cars, where you have same Toyota sold as Lexus for twice the price...


 
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Offline exe

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Re: new killer scope in town - a true game changer from R&S - RTB2002 & RTB2004
« Reply #2804 on: November 28, 2020, 11:52:17 am »
ever heard about a car with an software limitation of the horsepower, which offered paid upgrades to remove that limitation ?

Tesla? :) https://electrek.co/2016/07/26/tesla-upgrade-software-limited-battery-pack-model-s-x/
 

Online maxspb69

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Re: new killer scope in town - a true game changer from R&S - RTB2002 & RTB2004
« Reply #2805 on: November 28, 2020, 12:14:29 pm »
We were allowed to save screenshots to internal memory in last firmware 2.300. But how can I get them back from the internal memory? I haven't found a way to copy them on a USB stick or access them via the web interface.  I didn't even find a way to view the screenshot on the scope screen. You can do only one action:  - erase it! :)))
Somebody knows?
« Last Edit: November 28, 2020, 12:16:54 pm by maxspb69 »
 

Offline RBBVNL9

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Re: new killer scope in town - a true game changer from R&S - RTB2002 & RTB2004
« Reply #2806 on: November 28, 2020, 12:16:26 pm »
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Today, in that range, for much less money you have Siglent SDS2000X Plus series

Depends on how you define “much less”. At the time of my purchase, the difference was 30%. So, yes, the Siglent was less expensive, but not terribly so, and lacked some of the features I was looking got (like Bode frequency response).

(In detail: I bought the RTB2004COM4 for €3800, and at that time, the comparable configuration of the SDS2000X (300 MHz 4 channel, plus SPL2016 MSO probes, SDS2000X serial decoders and SDS2000X function generator) was €2900. (All prices include VAT.) We all know promotions for options change all the time, so these prices can be different at other points in time.)
 

Offline RBBVNL9

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Re: new killer scope in town - a true game changer from R&S - RTB2002 & RTB2004
« Reply #2807 on: November 28, 2020, 12:22:24 pm »
Quote
We were allowed to save screenshots to internal memory in last firmware 2.300. But how can I get them back from the internal memory? I haven't found a way to copy them on a USB stick or access them via the web interface.
Somebody knows?

Good question, having been looking for a way to copy it from internal memory to external memory (ie flash drive) but could not find that either!

You can, however, use a laptop with USB MPT connection to access any file in the internal memory, including screen prints stored there (at least if you have a Windows computer, on MacOS that is another story, see the separate threat on this in this forum).

I m currently using a €10 Euro "USB switch" so I can use a flash drive that I connect to both my computer and as an external drive on the RTB, so I can switch with the push of button. Not perfect, but serves me quite well.
 

Online maxspb69

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Re: new killer scope in town - a true game changer from R&S - RTB2002 & RTB2004
« Reply #2808 on: November 28, 2020, 12:32:17 pm »
Thank you, I somehow did not think about this (USB MTP). Well, at least one way to copy files.
 

Offline 2N3055

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Re: new killer scope in town - a true game changer from R&S - RTB2002 & RTB2004
« Reply #2809 on: November 28, 2020, 12:42:10 pm »
Quote
Today, in that range, for much less money you have Siglent SDS2000X Plus series

Depends on how you define “much less”. At the time of my purchase, the difference was 30%. So, yes, the Siglent was less expensive, but not terribly so, and lacked some of the features I was looking got (like Bode frequency response).

(In detail: I bought the RTB2004COM4 for €3800, and at that time, the comparable configuration of the SDS2000X (300 MHz 4 channel, plus SPL2016 MSO probes, SDS2000X serial decoders and SDS2000X function generator) was €2900. (All prices include VAT.) We all know promotions for options change all the time, so these prices can be different at other points in time.)

Not that one. The SDS2000X Plus, the new one. Seriously different, much better instrument.
And I wasn't commenting about back then when you bought it.
Comment was, that despite all the problems you would buy it again. Today, things are different than 2 years ago, and there is more competition...
And bad experience, on par with B brands would put me off. My opinion, of course. You have yours. We are just exchanging viewpoints and experiences here...
Hopefully we all learn something, maybe even useful.

Best regards,

Sinisa
 

Offline RBBVNL9

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Re: new killer scope in town - a true game changer from R&S - RTB2002 & RTB2004
« Reply #2810 on: November 28, 2020, 01:35:01 pm »
Oh sorry, you are right, I was comparing to the about the SDS2000X, not the SDS2000X Plus you mention.

Made me wonder what I would do today. Just looked at the current prices (so not considering which of the two is the better scope). Checking more or less comparable configurations (its never identical, but I tried to be fair) and the currently available "promotional bundles" for both instruments, and looking at the same store, I see €2599+€335=€2934 for the SDS2354X-plus and the SPL2016 Logic Probes, and € 3390 for the RTB2004 COM4 (which includes the logic probes). Both offers include the serial decoding options. (All prices excluding VAT.)

Price difference is less than 10%, so I would say these prices are more or less on par, and that the Siglent is not "much cheaper". 


 
 

Offline 2N3055

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Re: new killer scope in town - a true game changer from R&S - RTB2002 & RTB2004
« Reply #2811 on: November 28, 2020, 02:25:06 pm »
Oh sorry, you are right, I was comparing to the about the SDS2000X, not the SDS2000X Plus you mention.

Made me wonder what I would do today. Just looked at the current prices (so not considering which of the two is the better scope). Checking more or less comparable configurations (its never identical, but I tried to be fair) and the currently available "promotional bundles" for both instruments, and looking at the same store, I see €2599+€335=€2934 for the SDS2354X-plus and the SPL2016 Logic Probes, and € 3390 for the RTB2004 COM4 (which includes the logic probes). Both offers include the serial decoding options. (All prices excluding VAT.)

Price difference is less than 10%, so I would say these prices are more or less on par, and that the Siglent is not "much cheaper".

450 € is a lot of money still.. Also that is if you want full loaded RTB2000, for which you have current promotion.
If you wanted only 100 MHz 4ch scope, SDS 2014+ has very competitive price.
Other thing is that you can, for the price of 3390 €, you can buy Siglent SDS5034X that is very, very serious scope.

All of that , normally, if you don't want (or can't) "liberate" Siglents with keygens. So you can "open" SDS2014+ to SDS2054+, or SDS5034X to 750MHz. All options for Siglents are free now.

So to make it short, without hacking, for the price of RTB2000 full package, you can get SDS5034X that is competing in RTM3000 class..

But, as I said, you might think differently.
 

Offline JxR

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Re: new killer scope in town - a true game changer from R&S - RTB2002 & RTB2004
« Reply #2812 on: November 28, 2020, 10:52:48 pm »
The RTB2000 was a great 'entry level' scope 3.5 years ago.  I like many others here got it at the intro price, and at the time it was a great deal (~$2200 or so fully loaded).  Now the B-Market has caught up with a vengeance since the RTB2000 was first released.  As much as I like the RTB2000 still, I doubt I would have still purchased it today if I was in the market for a new scope.  It is still a great scope, just much harder to justify even at sale prices imho.

This is where R&S could start releasing some feature upgrades, to keep the attractiveness. Additional serial decodes like I mentioned could be a possibility.

Or significantly reducing the price for the bandwidth "upgrades" which is an outrageous concept anyway (ever heard about a car with an software limitation of the horsepower, which offered paid upgrades to remove that limitation ?), at least for hobbyists. Not 20% off. Divide it by 10.

I do have some experience with "B series", specifically a Rigol DSA832. Not a scope, I know, but it speaks about the company. Not super happy with the quality of the firmware. Lots of crashes, some weird annoying bugs, and missing features which made usability for some use cases much harder than what it should/could have been.
I also have experience with a R&S CMU200. Felt much better. So I hope that R&S made a better job than the B-series with the recent products, which would help justifying the price. But seeing the reply above, not sure the R&S software is bug free....

R&S has a ridiculously large range of products to support, and I expect all of them could use some additional developer love in one way or another to improve upon them.  More decoding options would certainly be welcome.  I expect the code already exist to bring the decode options on the RTM/RTA over to the RTB if they wanted to.

***WARNING OFF TOPIC RANT****
R&S makes some bizarre choices on some things imho, and alot of their product range could use some additional love.  Take their newest power supply offerings: NGL, NGM, and NGP series.  The desktop software to "control" these power supplies is ancient (HMExplorer).  In fact none of them can actually be fully controlled by this software to my knowledge.  It is so bad that I would be straight up embarrassed to demonstrate this software to a potential buyer.  There is no comparison to what Keysight or Keithely(Tek) each provide to support their power supplies. 

The NGM power supply is hardware wise one of the most advanced power supplies on the market, yet it has no real analysis software like it's predecessor the NGMO. It has a ridiculously simple software to get a graph of the outputs that honestly looks like it was written by a undergrad on their summer internship (it also crashes pretty regularly after a single use).  Again, completely embarrassing for an A-brand company. 

One of the main features of the NGM is battery simulation, yet there is no battery analysis software (besides the built-in simulation part itself).  Hell they don't even provide additional internal logging features specific to that function.  Its like they look at their competitor (Keithely), top every hardware feature Keithley has, but then ignore the fact that the Keithley actually does provides analysis tools to support that feature (both internal and external).  The NGM is still a badass power supply, but it feels 'unfinished'.

**Keep in mind, I'm mainly pointing out the bad while not mentioning all the good**

I know I'm getting a little off topic bringing up their power supplies, but I just want to demonstrate other areas R&S seems to be completely ignoring software wise.  All the supplies I mentioned are much newer than the RTB series (some more expensive than), and they are getting little to no love either.  By comparison the RTB series is actually doing pretty good.  R&S seems to be just happy providing SCPI commands and let their customers do the rest.  While that is "ok", and I certainly do write my own tools to deal with that reality, I still think it looks bad when their closest competitors put in much more effort making software to support their hardware.
***END RANT***

Long story short, don't hold your breath on getting new features.  R&S has/does occasionally pull a happy surprise by allowing a few trickle down features from the RTM/RTA series, but they also intentionally hold back stuff to differentiate the models.  That said, I'm honestly pretty happy with the 2.3.0 firmware on the RTB, and overall still very happy with my RTB. 

I do still really like R&S products, and because of their previous support I do check to see their offerings if I'm in the market for a new device. Although, no one is good enough to get a free pass when it comes to pointing out their faults, or areas that need improvement.
 

Offline marekx

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Re: new killer scope in town - a true game changer from R&S - RTB2002 & RTB2004
« Reply #2813 on: December 15, 2020, 09:04:11 am »
Hi!
Thought I need to share my latest R&S experience.

We have two of these scopes for everyday work. They are loaded with all the software options, one has a 300MHz BW and the other 100MHz.
We have been quite satisfied with these scopes so far, but now when we have a experience with R&S customer support policy then we probably won't
buy another R&S product, ever!
It started one morning when the 300MHz RTB2004 did not start anymore. When the power-button was pressed then the front panel LEDs just
blinked once, the fan turned on and not much else happened. The scope was dead.
Since the thing was no longer in warranty we contacted the R&S local branch for quote for repairing it, thinking that the worst case scenario
would be paying them the price of the new RTB2004 without any options and they will add the same options to it that the dead scope had.
We were wrong, at first they sent us a quote for ~1200€+VAT which was about what we expected, but then they corrected their quote claiming that
since the scope that we want to be "repaired" is a 300MHz version then we would need to pay ~2200€+VAT.
So beware of this when considering buying "cheap" hardware with expensive options R&S, when the hardware dies then you need to buy new options as well.

Rich, if you read this then I would be grateful if you could explain....

With best wishes,
Marek


 
 
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Offline tv84

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Re: new killer scope in town - a true game changer from R&S - RTB2002 & RTB2004
« Reply #2814 on: December 15, 2020, 10:05:37 am »
We were wrong, at first they sent us a quote for ~1200€+VAT which was about what we expected, but then they corrected their quote claiming that since the scope that we want to be "repaired" is a 300MHz version then we would need to pay ~2200€+VAT.

 :palm: Unbelievable!

Let's hope that was wrong.
 

Offline BU508A

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Re: new killer scope in town - a true game changer from R&S - RTB2002 & RTB2004
« Reply #2815 on: December 15, 2020, 10:39:51 am »
[...]
Rich, if you read this then I would be grateful if you could explain....

I'd recommend to send him a personal message via the forum, perhaps he'll recognize it earlier
and can help you faster.
“Chaos is found in greatest abundance wherever order is being sought. It always defeats order, because it is better organized.”            - Terry Pratchett -
 

Offline 2N3055

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Re: new killer scope in town - a true game changer from R&S - RTB2002 & RTB2004
« Reply #2816 on: December 15, 2020, 11:03:57 am »
Brand new Siglent SDS2354X Plus with all options and 350MHz costs 2600€+VAT....  :box:

 

Offline jemangedeslolos

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Re: new killer scope in town - a true game changer from R&S - RTB2002 & RTB2004
« Reply #2817 on: December 15, 2020, 11:07:11 am »
Hi!
Thought I need to share my latest R&S experience.

We have two of these scopes for everyday work. They are loaded with all the software options, one has a 300MHz BW and the other 100MHz.
We have been quite satisfied with these scopes so far, but now when we have a experience with R&S customer support policy then we probably won't
buy another R&S product, ever!
It started one morning when the 300MHz RTB2004 did not start anymore. When the power-button was pressed then the front panel LEDs just
blinked once, the fan turned on and not much else happened. The scope was dead.
Since the thing was no longer in warranty we contacted the R&S local branch for quote for repairing it, thinking that the worst case scenario
would be paying them the price of the new RTB2004 without any options and they will add the same options to it that the dead scope had.
We were wrong, at first they sent us a quote for ~1200€+VAT which was about what we expected, but then they corrected their quote claiming that
since the scope that we want to be "repaired" is a 300MHz version then we would need to pay ~2200€+VAT.
So beware of this when considering buying "cheap" hardware with expensive options R&S, when the hardware dies then you need to buy new options as well.

Rich, if you read this then I would be grateful if you could explain....

With best wishes,
Marek


 

 :palm:
It's incredible, but it's a practice that also exists in the automotive industry.
The same oil or the same brake discs cost more to replace in the more highend car of the same brand, in the same garage.
They are very ingenious in coming up with ideas to increase their income.
 

Offline Hydron

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Re: new killer scope in town - a true game changer from R&S - RTB2002 & RTB2004
« Reply #2818 on: December 15, 2020, 12:12:35 pm »
This explains the mental price I was quoted for a repair to my RTB2k (2k GBP + VAT) - more than I paid new at launch special price! They specifically asked what the bandwidth of the instrument was before giving me an indication on price when I rang up (before trying to go through the German service people mentioned below).

The German support tech had seemed to imply that it would be covered free of charge after documenting the problem/symptoms ("We will offer you a change of board") but the UK service people they passed me onto completely ignored me when I pointed that out, so I gave up and just fixed it myself (faulty LMH6518 VGA in the front end). Maybe could have tried harder (and tried to get Rich involved) but fixing it myself also meant I wasn't without the unit for an unknown period of time.

I would have been extremely pissed off had I had to pay for the service - the premium prices (remembering this is to fix the fault of the manufacturer more often than not) are bad enough before the insult of escalating charges based on whether you had installed a software license or not, which clearly has nothing to do with R&S's true cost of service.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2020, 09:59:00 pm by Hydron »
 

Offline Robaroni

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Re: new killer scope in town - a true game changer from R&S - RTB2002 & RTB2004
« Reply #2819 on: December 15, 2020, 01:57:29 pm »
We're going back to Tektronix if this thing dies!
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: new killer scope in town - a true game changer from R&S - RTB2002 & RTB2004
« Reply #2820 on: December 15, 2020, 07:19:50 pm »
So let me get this right - buy a 100MHz scope, Pay to get it upgraded to 300MHz, and because of the upgrade, the exact same hardware costs more for a out of warranty repair..?

That is seriously messed up.

Rich - can you please give a definitive answer on this ?
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Offline KaneTW

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Re: new killer scope in town - a true game changer from R&S - RTB2002 & RTB2004
« Reply #2821 on: December 15, 2020, 07:42:54 pm »
Yeah, I hope that was just a misunderstanding as well --- I'd be pretty annoyed if you had to pay more because of a software upgrade. I love this scope and if I ever need a high-end scope I'll likely go R&S (esp. since Keysight's MXR is unbearably loud), but this kind of thing matters a lot.
 

Offline YetAnotherTechie

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Re: new killer scope in town - a true game changer from R&S - RTB2002 & RTB2004
« Reply #2822 on: December 15, 2020, 07:54:32 pm »
I'm sorry but they can´t have it both ways, if you have a software license then the price of the hardware is the price without the license, that's pretty damm obvious, so is the price of the repair of the hardware.
 

Offline KaneTW

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Re: new killer scope in town - a true game changer from R&S - RTB2002 & RTB2004
« Reply #2823 on: December 15, 2020, 07:59:06 pm »
Yep. To me, that's the entire point of a SW license. at 2k/repair i can literally buy a new RTB and transfer my licenses.
 

Offline artelse

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Re: new killer scope in town - a true game changer from R&S - RTB2002 & RTB2004
« Reply #2824 on: December 15, 2020, 08:21:18 pm »
Is there a way to copy files -screenshots- from internal memory to usb-stick? And what is the reason filenames on usb-sticks are restricted to 8 characters and uppercase? That feels ancient.
 


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