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Help on differences in Siglent SDG1032X, SDG2042X and Rigol DG811 for hobby use

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pbs74:
Hi

I am coming back to my old electronics hobby, and are looking to buy my first function generator.

My main usage scenario is ramping up in general, audio repair (amplifier/cd/tape), low-frequency frequency response, and low-end microcontrollers for small projects.

I recently purchased a Siglent SDS1104E-X oscilloscope, so pairing with a Siglent AWG seems obvious, e.g., for Bode plot. On the other hand, I also have an Analog Discovery 2, and in the audio frequency range, this ought to perform better, however, I also prefer to not have to rely on a PC for everyday use.

My current candidates, based on reading a number of (long) threads here and elsewhere are below (all "improvable")
* Siglent SDG1032X
* Siglent SDG2042X
* Rigol DG811

I have also looked at the Feeltechs and Uni-T, but will prefer above.

I am leaning towards the Siglent SDG1032X as it seems to match my modest requirements at this point and matches my oscilloscope. However, I do have the budget for the SDG2042X as well as long as it actually provides return on the higher price (it is 80% more expensive in my country) for my needs. Otherwise, that money can be spent on other equipment instead, and if actually needed, I can upgrade later.

Specifically, I am wondering how much do I loose by not having below 2042X/Rigol811 (improved) advantages:
* Up to 120MHz sine > Seems like up to 60MHz should be enough for my use cases?
* 16bit vs 14bit > Could be useful, but I guess that saved money could be better spent for a 24 bit soundcard or e.g., Quantasylum QA402 for audio needs?
* Higher sample rate, up to 1.2G/s vs 125M/s > How useful is that in general/hobby scenarios?
* Much higher memory (8M vs 16K) and frequency (20 vs 6MHz) for arbitrary waveforms > Arbitrary waveforms seems cool, but I have not yet had a need for testing or using/recoding arbitrary waveforms. How useful/important is that in general/hobby scenarios?
* More stable clock (less jitter) > I guess if I ever need that, an external 10MHz GPS reference would be better anyway?

Also, how important/useful is the better square performance of the 1032X? Could it be an advantage for e.g., clock generator for microcontroller setup, or would that require a better quality (crystal) clock anyway?

Thanks,
Peter

bdunham7:
I have the SDG 2042X and it does work well alongside the SDS 1104X-E, and the pair is a great value when you are done hacking them.

To answer a few of your questions:

I don't think 14 vs 16 bit is a huge issue. 

The SDG 2042X is 300MSa/s with x4 interpolation output filtering.  IMO, the way they market it is borderline criminal, but it doesn't affect the usefulness of the unit.

The square wave performance of the SDG 2042X is inferior to the SDG 1032X because the latter has a special separate circuit for them.  The SDG 2042X is limited to 25MHz and an 8.4ns rise time in general.  Frankly this is a limitation in certain circumstances, but unless you need that performance for a specific reason, it isn't a big issue.

The clock on the SDG 2042X is pretty stable and accurate, can't say for the others.

If you work on audio and ever need to analyze an FM receiver, the 120MHz (hacked) capability of the SDS 2042X is useful.  I haven't figured out how to generate composite stereo FM signals with it, but for every other test it works great.  Note to Siglent:  If you would incorporate an FM stereo test signal into the 2122X, you would sell a bunch for that feature alone.

pbs74:
Thanks!


--- Quote from: bdunham7 on November 28, 2021, 04:48:15 pm ---The square wave performance of the SDG 2042X is inferior to the SDG 1032X because the latter has a special separate circuit for them.  The SDG 2042X is limited to 25MHz and an 8.4ns rise time in general.  Frankly this is a limitation in certain circumstances, but unless you need that performance for a specific reason, it isn't a big issue.

--- End quote ---
What could be real life examples where this is a limitation? It is this and price that are the main reasons I favor the 1032X, but it might not be worth not choosing the 2042X due to this square limitation given its other advantages?


--- Quote from: bdunham7 on November 28, 2021, 04:48:15 pm ---If you work on audio and ever need to analyze an FM receiver, the 120MHz (hacked) capability of the SDS 2042X is useful.
--- End quote ---
Good point, I did think of that actually. However, I am not sure FM calibration is required that much, and where I live, radio is used a lot less these days. In fact, there have been plans turning off the FM signal nationwide (that keeps being postponed though).


Also, do you use arbitrary signals and record/re-generate a lot with your 2042X? What would be common cases for that?

And how much do you take advantage of the Bode Plot integration? Rigol DG811 will be quite capable, but it is one area it does not match the Siglents. However, as I mentioned I have an Analog Discovery 2 and that makes Bode Plots as well, when that is needed.

tautech:
All SDG models interface directly via USB or LAN with SDS1104X-E for Bode plot functionality and saving/reproduction of captured waveforms. Also EasyWaveX SW is a powerful tool for waveforms that can be used as an interface between the scope and AWG. (Capture, view, upload/recreate)
SDG1032X is a good entry level AWG despite being 14 bit however that lack of signal purity can impact on THD/audio stuff.
Coupled with the 4ch X-E DSO SDG1032X is a popular pairing however SDG2042X especially for those that want/need to improve them is the better choice.

pbs74:

--- Quote from: tautech on November 28, 2021, 07:21:12 pm ---All SDG models interface directly via USB or LAN with SDS1104X-E for Bode plot functionality and saving/reproduction of captured waveforms. Also EasyWaveX SW is a powerful tool for waveforms that can be used as an interface between the scope and AWG. (Capture, view, upload/recreate)
SDG1032X is a good entry level AWG despite being 14 bit however that lack of signal purity can impact on THD/audio stuff.
Coupled with the 4ch X-E DSO SDG1032X is a popular pairing however SDG2042X especially for those that want/need to improve them is the better choice.

--- End quote ---

Thanks Tautech (also on your support on Siglent in this forum)!

No doubt SDG2042X is the better generator. I am trying to assess though, how important its better specs are for "everyday" use, especially when it comes to signal purity (which I guess is still not optimal for, e.g., THD) and arbitrary signals for a hobbyist (audio/microcontrollers). And if its lower square performance is of any significance in that use.

I know it is hard to answer, as I am asking in general and not for a specific requirement that can be looked up in the datasheets. Basically I am wondering, based on the experience of others, if 1032X is "enough" as a start/growing into, or whether it will quickly be let down, e.g., by its arbitrary waveform support?

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