Author Topic: RTB2004 still worth it in 2021 (vs SDS2104X+)?  (Read 3195 times)

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Offline flimtim

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RTB2004 still worth it in 2021 (vs SDS2104X+)?
« on: November 01, 2021, 04:50:59 pm »
I am a longtime lurker first time poster on EEVBlog, so thank you for the great content up until now.

I am an EE PhD looking for a new scope to carry me through my dissertation as well as hobby projects. I have settled on the following two scopes as contenders: RTB2004 and SDS2104X+.

I am able to purchase the RTB2004 as a full package (COM4) for ~2400€ and I would purchase the SDS2104X+ at it's base price and then hack it to unlock all features @ 500MHz.

As for the requirements I am looking for in the scope:
- 4 channels
- large display
- Advanced math functions
- Low noise floor for audio applications
- Protocol decoding (UART/SPI/I2C)
- MSO functionality (while I have a separate Salea, I find it critical to view the analog signal against the protocol for certain applications)
- Intuitive UI
- Capable FFT. Although I have access to an analyzer, I do not have a great analyzer at my workbench.

While I have the money for either scope, the price/capabilities ratio seems fantastic on the SDS2104X+.

My primary questions are:
EEVBlog seems to love the SDS2104X+, and there is a great deal of praise for the scope throughout the site. I guess my questions is, "What's the catch?"

Simultaneously, is the RTB2004 still worth purchasing in 2021, or is it starting to show it's age? I would buy the RTM3004 if I could, but it's way outside my budget.

Thank you,
Roger
« Last Edit: November 02, 2021, 04:20:20 am by flimtim »
 

Offline mawyatt

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Re: RTB2004 still worth it in 2021?
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2021, 05:04:54 pm »
Roger,

We're doing some very advanced development work and using the SDS2000X+ "augmented", very capable DSO. Since you are working towards a PhD you are likely into the more theoretical aspects of EE, and will find the FFT and Bode plot capability and other math functions enlightening for a DSO in this price range.

Also, the low noise floor and ERES function are quite nice. We have two of these one is a 2 channel and the other is 4 channel, the 8 bit ADC Siglent is utilizing in these are very good for an 8 bit ADC, and produces accurate results.

Good luck on your dissertation, care to share?

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Offline exe

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Re: RTB2004 still worth it in 2021?
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2021, 05:07:45 pm »
I found RTB2004's UI to be very slow. I'm surprised that so many people like it.
 
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Online 2N3055

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Re: RTB2004 still worth it in 2021?
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2021, 07:02:26 pm »
I am a longtime lurker first time poster on EEVBlog, so thank you for the great content up until now.

I am an EE PhD looking for a new scope to carry me through my dissertation as well as hobby projects. I have settled on the following two scopes as contenders: RTB2004 and SDS1204X+.

I am able to purchase the RTB2004 as a full package (COM4) for ~2400€ and I would purchase the SDS1204X+ at it's base price and then hack it to unlock all features @ 500MHz.

As for the requirements I am looking for in the scope:
- 4 channels
- large display
- Advanced math functions
- Low noise floor for audio applications
- Protocol decoding (UART/SPI/I2C)
- MSO functionality (while I have a separate Salea, I find it critical to view the analog signal against the protocol for certain applications)
- Intuitive UI
- Capable FFT. Although I have access to an analyzer, I do not have a great analyzer at my workbench.

While I have the money for either scope, the price/capabilities ratio seems fantastic on the SDS2104X+.

My primary questions are:
EEVBlog seems to love the SDS2104X+, and there is a great deal of praise for the scope throughout the site. I guess my questions is, "What's the catch?"

Simultaneously, is the RTB2004 still worth purchasing in 2021, or is it starting to show it's age? I would buy the RTM3004 if I could, but it's way outside my budget.

Thank you,
Roger

Both are good devices. RTB2000 is slightly different concept, although they are both designed for touchscreen GUI .

They both have segmented memory and history mode (saving previous captures in a background).
They both have well integrated MSO option.
They both have similar, quite advanced triggering.
Both have AWG, R&S one has slightly better options, and it has small pattern generator.
Both have FRA (Bode plot)


RTB2000 has 5 simple math channels that can be nested for more complicated math.
SDS2000X+ has 2 math channels but the have arbitrary expressions and nesting of two channels.

RTB2000 has 2 simplex decodes so for UART Rx/Tx you can decode only one protocol.
SDS2000X+ has 2 duplex decoders so 2 full protocols at the same time.

RTB2000 has 10 bit converter, but noise is not as good as 10bits would suggest. In datasheet there is no noise spec.
SDS2000x+ has up to 2Mpts FFT, and low noise floor, and 500uV/div. There is noise spec in datasheet. 80uV RMS over 500 MHz bandwidth. Very good...

SDS2000X+ has more sample memory, RTB2000 has control of memory differently implemented.
SDS2000X+  has 2 zone triggers.
SDS2000X+ has hystograming and hysticons for measurements.
SDS2000x+ decodes more protocols..
SDS2000X+ has 50 Ohm inputs.
SDS2000X+ has power analysis
SDS2000X+ has LAN disk share mapping for saving.

RTB2000 is very fancy and good, but not a better scope than SDS2000X+.
It is currently supported by R&S, it is active model.

SDS2000X+ is still in active development, so even new features are being added occasionally.

It is really not easy to compare scopes like this, they are complicated devices. Ideally, you should try to use both to see for yourself.
I personally wouldn't give more money to gain less functionality.
 
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Online 2N3055

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Re: RTB2004 still worth it in 2021?
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2021, 07:05:23 pm »
I found RTB2004's UI to be very slow. I'm surprised that so many people like it.

That is what I have been saying for few years now, when I tried, side by side, RT2000/RTM3000 and Rigol MSO5000/7000,  R&S scopes were not faster than Rigols, and some operations felt even slower than on Rigols. That was few years ago, so maybe some optimizations were made, but I wasn't impressed.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: RTB2004 still worth it in 2021?
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2021, 07:15:30 pm »
I found RTB2004's UI to be very slow. I'm surprised that so many people like it.
Maybe they've only used Tek before  ;)
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Re: RTB2004 still worth it in 2021?
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2021, 07:52:25 pm »
I am a longtime lurker first time poster on EEVBlog, so thank you for the great content up until now.
Welcome to the forum.

Quote
My primary questions are:
EEVBlog seems to love the SDS2104X+, and there is a great deal of praise for the scope throughout the site. I guess my questions is, "What's the catch?"
These come with sup par probes, no autosense and switchable.
Doing my best to have this changed so all models in this range come with 350MHz 10x autosense probes at least.
Otherwise a vey popular model that we have trouble keeping in stock due to buyer demand.


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Offline nctnico

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Re: RTB2004 still worth it in 2021?
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2021, 09:13:45 pm »
EEVBlog seems to love the SDS2104X+, and there is a great deal of praise for the scope throughout the site. I guess my questions is, "What's the catch?"

Simultaneously, is the RTB2004 still worth purchasing in 2021, or is it starting to show it's age? I would buy the RTM3004 if I could, but it's way outside my budget.
With the RTB2004 you get a scope with a well polished user interface and it has been around long enough to have the firmware issues sorted out. It is full of nifty features. For example: display of decoded data is suberb; if you make the trace higher then the contents will be rotated by 90 degrees in case the rectangle that contains the data is too narrow so you can have a huge amount of decoded data on screen.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2021, 09:16:26 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline flimtim

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Re: RTB2004 still worth it in 2021?
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2021, 10:58:05 pm »
Both are good devices. RTB2000 is slightly different concept, although they are both designed for touchscreen GUI .

They both have segmented memory and history mode (saving previous captures in a background).
They both have well integrated MSO option.
They both have similar, quite advanced triggering.
Both have AWG, R&S one has slightly better options, and it has small pattern generator.
Both have FRA (Bode plot)


RTB2000 has 5 simple math channels that can be nested for more complicated math.
SDS2000X+ has 2 math channels but the have arbitrary expressions and nesting of two channels.

RTB2000 has 2 simplex decodes so for UART Rx/Tx you can decode only one protocol.
SDS2000X+ has 2 duplex decoders so 2 full protocols at the same time.

RTB2000 has 10 bit converter, but noise is not as good as 10bits would suggest. In datasheet there is no noise spec.
SDS2000x+ has up to 2Mpts FFT, and low noise floor, and 500uV/div. There is noise spec in datasheet. 80uV RMS over 500 MHz bandwidth. Very good...

SDS2000X+ has more sample memory, RTB2000 has control of memory differently implemented.
SDS2000X+  has 2 zone triggers.
SDS2000X+ has hystograming and hysticons for measurements.
SDS2000x+ decodes more protocols..
SDS2000X+ has 50 Ohm inputs.
SDS2000X+ has power analysis
SDS2000X+ has LAN disk share mapping for saving.

RTB2000 is very fancy and good, but not a better scope than SDS2000X+.
It is currently supported by R&S, it is active model.

SDS2000X+ is still in active development, so even new features are being added occasionally.

It is really not easy to compare scopes like this, they are complicated devices. Ideally, you should try to use both to see for yourself.
I personally wouldn't give more money to gain less functionality.

This is fantastic. Thank you for the succinct rundown.
 
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Offline flimtim

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Re: RTB2004 still worth it in 2021?
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2021, 11:00:38 pm »
With the RTB2004 you get a scope with a well polished user interface and it has been around long enough to have the firmware issues sorted out. It is full of nifty features. For example: display of decoded data is suberb; if you make the trace higher then the contents will be rotated by 90 degrees in case the rectangle that contains the data is too narrow so you can have a huge amount of decoded data on screen.

Thanks. I'm personally wondering whether the polish and professionalism of R&S is worth it. If I wasn't a student and I had some disposable income, I would certainly dispose of it much too quickly... Obviously, this is only a question I can answer for myself, but the R&S quality is tempting.

 

Offline Martin72

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Re: RTB2004 still worth it in 2021?
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2021, 11:30:23 pm »
Quote
RTB2004 still worth it in 2021?

Before the siglent sds2k+ comes up, I would say yes, but after the siglent launch...

After working over a year with the sds2k+ there are only 3 advantages the R&S got, in my opinion.
Higher resolution screen, native 10 bit ADC, and it´s a R&S gear..
Is this worth to pay double the price ? (100Mhz vs 100Mhz)
For me, not...


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Re: RTB2004 still worth it in 2021?
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2021, 11:35:36 pm »
I am able to purchase the RTB2004 as a full package (COM4) for ~2400€ and I would purchase the SDS2104X+ at it's base price and then hack it to unlock all features @ 500MHz.

What does that Siglent cost you locally?
I see 1398€ with LA and AWG
https://www.siglent.eu/product/1182111/siglent-sds2104x-plus-4ch-100mhz-2gsa-s-oscilloscope
In that case I suspect it's hard to justify the extra 1k, especially as a student.

Remember that a lot of people on the forum got the R&S when they had that crazy half price introduction special.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2021, 11:40:22 pm by EEVblog »
 
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Re: RTB2004 still worth it in 2021?
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2021, 11:43:03 pm »
These come with sup par probes, no autosense and switchable.
Doing my best to have this changed so all models in this range come with 350MHz 10x autosense probes at least.

Yes, that's just dumb at this end of town, very amateur. The user can buy a set of cheap $10 switchables if they need that.
 

Offline flimtim

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Re: RTB2004 still worth it in 2021?
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2021, 12:04:25 am »
What does that Siglent cost you locally?
I see 1398€ with LA and AWG

I am able to purchase the 2104X+ Promo package, which includes the 100MHz scope and the SPL2016 logic probe, for... €1400. It also includes some unlocked options (awg && mso), but I would hack that anyway. If I were to purchase only the base scope, I would spend €1150. (NOTE: Both these prices include a student discount).

Obviously this is the more financially sensible decision, and I am under no illusion that I'm "paying for the lights" with R&S. And I know this sounds so stupid, but...the couple times I've had the chance to use the RTM3004, it was felt soooo cool to play with! I feel like a kid who has the chance to buy his toy and now I have to exercise self-restraint because I'm not actually a kid...maybe I don't really need to eat? :(

I guess I was hoping someone was going to say, "No wait! The R&S is so much better because A,B,C,...", but alas, it is not so.

Remember that a lot of people on the forum got the R&S when they had that crazy half price introduction special.

Yes, that's a good point. Thanks.
 

Offline Domitronic

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Re: RTB2004 still worth it in 2021?
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2021, 12:13:03 am »
Hello,

i have had the RTB2004 and returned it. Mainly because the FFT is unusable for low frequency stuff in my opinion. The comment from R&S to that topic was that you can not expect more in that price range. Also one of the knobs was not working correctly and the scope had to be sent for repair anyway. I can also not confirm that firmware issued have been sorted out. At least i encoutered two bugs in the first few hours of using it.

I still liked the user interface and that it has pretty low fan noise. I even ordered it with an additional set of x100 probes because i measure mains voltage from time to time. And since the RTB2000 can only go up 5V/div the x10 probes are not sufficient for european mains voltage. But in the end it had to go and i'm now happy with the SDS2k for half of the price.

BR
 
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Online 2N3055

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Re: RTB2004 still worth it in 2021?
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2021, 12:17:27 am »
With the RTB2004 you get a scope with a well polished user interface and it has been around long enough to have the firmware issues sorted out. It is full of nifty features. For example: display of decoded data is suberb; if you make the trace higher then the contents will be rotated by 90 degrees in case the rectangle that contains the data is too narrow so you can have a huge amount of decoded data on screen.

Thanks. I'm personally wondering whether the polish and professionalism of R&S is worth it. If I wasn't a student and I had some disposable income, I would certainly dispose of it much too quickly... Obviously, this is only a question I can answer for myself, but the R&S quality is tempting.
¸

Well, with R&S it is mostly visual polish (Apple style attention to visual detail and uniformity of graphical presentation) and some nicely laid out stuff.
There are some nice features in RTM3000 but those are not available in RTB2000.

Construction for the both scopes is the same. Plastic case, single PCB motherboard, touch screen (that is polished shiny glass on R&S), some metal shielding, PSU and that's it. It is same as Keysight 3000T series and any modern embedded scope, really.

Quality and  reliability vise, SDS2000X+ is top notch product. It is at the same level as A brands. 
To me it looks both professionally made and done with care. I don't care much for visual eye candy.. I mean , i have sense of aesthetics, I just don't want to pay twice so my scope would have custom fonts that "better communicate corporate legacy"... or whatnot...

There are some complaints about fan noise (acoustic), nothing special. Some don't mind, some are screaming bloody murder.. Mostly people that expect sound level of fanless equipment. R&S RTB2000 does that a bit better, it's fan is apparently very quiet. Although some people complained about it too..  Go figure..
 
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Offline flimtim

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Re: RTB2004 still worth it in 2021?
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2021, 12:23:33 am »
There are some complaints about fan noise (acoustic)

I've seen this in a couple places, but I figured if it was a huge issue I could just replace the fan with a nice high quality silent fan. I assume people are complaining that the fan itself is too loud and not that the software incorrectly triggers the fan so that it spins more than is necessary?

Afayk, is that a faulty assumption (i.e. that I can replace the fan if it becomes a huge issue)?
« Last Edit: November 02, 2021, 04:15:41 am by flimtim »
 

Offline flimtim

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Re: RTB2004 still worth it in 2021?
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2021, 12:24:56 am »
Hello,

i have had the RTB2004 and returned it. Mainly because the FFT is unusable for low frequency stuff in my opinion. The comment from R&S to that topic was that you can not expect more in that price range. Also one of the knobs was not working correctly and the scope had to be sent for repair anyway. I can also not confirm that firmware issued have been sorted out. At least i encoutered two bugs in the first few hours of using it.

Wow, that's pretty bad. Thanks for sharing.

I still liked the user interface and that it has pretty low fan noise. I even ordered it with an additional set of x100 probes because i measure mains voltage from time to time. And since the RTB2000 can only go up 5V/div the x10 probes are not sufficient for european mains voltage. But in the end it had to go and i'm now happy with the SDS2k for half of the price.

BR

Appreciate the input.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: RTB2004 still worth it in 2021?
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2021, 12:36:13 am »
With the RTB2004 you get a scope with a well polished user interface and it has been around long enough to have the firmware issues sorted out.
Apart from the issue of the annoyingly slow UI  (compared to Keysight)  that is...
« Last Edit: November 02, 2021, 12:39:11 am by mikeselectricstuff »
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Re: RTB2004 still worth it in 2021?
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2021, 12:41:50 am »
What does that Siglent cost you locally?
I see 1398€ with LA and AWG

I am able to purchase the 2104X+ Promo package, which includes the 100MHz scope and the SPL2016 logic probe, for... €1400. It also includes some unlocked options (awg && mso), but I would hack that anyway. If I were to purchase only the base scope, I would spend €1150. (NOTE: Both these prices include a student discount).
MSO Promo package includes the inbuilt 50 MHz FG license:
https://www.siglenteu.com/news-article/save-up-to-e496-with-a-new-sds2000x-plus-oscilloscope-and-option-bundle/
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Offline flimtim

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Re: RTB2004 still worth it in 2021?
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2021, 12:44:44 am »
MSO Promo package includes the inbuilt 50 MHz FG license:
https://www.siglenteu.com/news-article/save-up-to-e496-with-a-new-sds2000x-plus-oscilloscope-and-option-bundle/

Ah yes, thanks. I mean FG but wrote AWG  ^-^.

Great deal, btw.
 

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Re: RTB2004 still worth it in 2021?
« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2021, 01:00:49 am »
MSO Promo package includes the inbuilt 50 MHz FG license:
https://www.siglenteu.com/news-article/save-up-to-e496-with-a-new-sds2000x-plus-oscilloscope-and-option-bundle/

Ah yes, thanks. I mean FG but wrote AWG  ^-^.

Great deal, btw.
No not a great deal but one hell of a deal ! SPL2016 MSO probe set is normally $369 plus $169 licensing so it's over 50% saving just on MSO and a further saving of $219 for FG !

Unfortunately it's come, gone and back again for some markets however Oceania has had this since 1 August.  :phew:
But only when optioned with a new scope.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2021, 01:02:29 am by tautech »
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Re: RTB2004 still worth it in 2021?
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2021, 01:24:03 am »
These come with sup par probes, no autosense and switchable.
Doing my best to have this changed so all models in this range come with 350MHz 10x autosense probes at least.

Yes, that's just dumb at this end of town, very amateur. The user can buy a set of cheap $10 switchables if they need that.
Exactly.
For some reason Siglent thinks their SP3035A probes for $179ea are something special when a better probe we source and supply healthy markups to can Siglent retail for just $79 !
That obviously could diminish the cost of SDS2354X Plus by $400.

Poking them a bit ATM on this one.  >:D
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Offline kcbrown

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Re: RTB2004 still worth it in 2021?
« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2021, 01:38:40 am »
The main problem with the SDS2K+ UI is the lack of responsiveness to the front panel under some circumstances.  Fortunately, the touch screen remains responsive even under those conditions.   If you tend to like to twist knobs, then you might be put off a bit by this.  But if you're comfortable using the touch screen for most operations, then it almost certainly won't be an issue to you.

And in any case, I'm hopeful that Siglent actually pays attention and fixes it, because it's about the only significant issue I have with the scope.

That's just me, of course.  Who knows how many others have been bothered by it ...
 
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Re: RTB2004 still worth it in 2021?
« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2021, 06:11:35 am »
For some reason Siglent thinks their SP3035A probes for $179ea are something special when a better probe we source and supply healthy markups to can Siglent retail for just $79 !
That obviously could diminish the cost of SDS2354X Plus by $400.

$179ea? Yikes.
So you just order wholesale without probes and supply your own?
 


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