Author Topic: Siglent SDS1104X-E In-Depth Review  (Read 29373 times)

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Offline Performa01

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Siglent SDS1104X-E In-Depth Review
« on: December 12, 2017, 12:06:39 am »
The new Siglent SDS1x04X-E series SPO have entered the world market and generated some interest.

Siglent were kind enough to offer me an early SDS1104X-E for evaluation and I couldn’t resist finding out whether this scope has the potential to meet the high expectations. The new models have a whole lot to offer – certainly more than the average DSO in this class.

The SDS1x04X-E series scopes aren’t expensive, yet they are certainly not the cheapest DSOs around. But then again, some might be looking for the best value for money rather than just the cheapest price.

In any case this appears to be a very interesting product and I felt it deserves an in-depth review.
Anyone interested in these scopes will find the demonstration, verification and discussion of all features together with any noticeable deficiencies, which of course I’ve already reported to Siglent.

Most of the functionality was of surprising high quality already, with only minor issues that did not prevent me from doing my tests the way I had them planned and getting the results I'm going to present here. Of course there were (and sure as hell still are) a number of flaws, particularly in the areas that are either completely new or have undergone a major re-design:

•   Serial decoding had been redesigned and looks promising, but needs further refinement.
•   MSO Option has not yet been available.
•   Bode Plotter first shot, good concept, but certainly far from finished yet.
•   XY-mode currently some emergency solution, that will see some major re-design.
•   Sequence mode is currently broken, but Siglent promised a fix within a short time.

A full and final review of these functions listed above will be published later, after a firmware with the necessary fixes has been released.

Either way, this review is not yet finished, so you can expect regular updates in the future. I just figured some folks might appreciate to get some detailed information about the new kids in town…

The review is provided piece-wise as small pdf files (with slightly overlapping content), because this site obviously doesn’t allow attachments bigger than 1MB. Also not more than 2MB total for one post, so I’ll need several posts to get the initial contents online.

Here we start:

SDS1104X-E Review 1-25
- Introduction
- Differences to SDS1202X-E
- Base Functionality
- - Display
- - - SPO (Super Phosphor Oscilloscope)
- - - Display Modes
- - - A first glance at measurements
- - - Persistence Mode
- - - Horizontal Zoom
- - - - Zoom Mode
- - - - Changing Timebase in Stop Mode
- - - Vertical Zoom
- - - Reference Waveforms

EDIT: Uploaded latest revision of the document. The most important updates are:
•   Improved image quality
•   Some typos and formal issues addressed


SDS1104X-E Review 26-50
- Base Functionality
- - Acquisition
- - - Memory Depth
- - - Acquisition Modes
- - - - Normal
- - - - Peak Detect
- - - - Average
- - - - Eres
- - - - Roll Mode
- - - X-Y
- - - Interpolation
- - - - Dots + x
- - - - Dots + sin(x)/x
- - - - Vectors + x
- - - - Vectors + Sin(x)/x
- - - - Examples

EDIT: Uploaded latest revision of the document. The most important updates are:
•   Improved image quality
•   A more realistic look at XY-trace quality
•   Some typos and formal issues addressed


Anyone interested in these scopes is welcome to ask questions, request additional tests and discuss the results. Be aware though, that my limited spare time will only allow me to play with the scope at the weekends.

Anyone who’s already got one of these scopes is welcome to share their experiences and add more review content to this thread.

« Last Edit: February 22, 2018, 03:28:25 am by Performa01 »
 

Offline Performa01

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Re: Siglent SDS1104X-E In-Depth Review
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2017, 12:11:43 am »
Here comes part 3 together with a special about bandwidth:

SDS1104X-E Review 50-70
- Base Functionality
- - Acquisition
- - - Signal Handling
- - - - DC Accuracy
- - - - AC Accuracy
- - - - Bandwidth
- - - - Input Impedance
- - - - Low Frequency Response
- - - - Probe Bandwidth PP510
- - - - Noise

EDIT: Uploaded latest revision of the document. The most important updates are:
•   Improved image quality
•   Noise measurement tables added
•   Noise rms measurements corrected
•   Noise vs. Timebase for 20MHz bandwidth limit added
•   Some typos and formal issues addressed


SDS1000X-E Bandwidth
- Introduction
- Why we need Bandwidth
- Why we need Sample Speed
- - Aliasing in the SDS1202X-E
- - Reconstruction in the SDS1202X-E
- - Aliasing in the SDS1104X-E
- - Reconstruction in the SDS1104X-E
- Square Wave Test
- The 100MHz Puzzle

EDIT: Uploaded latest revision of the document. The most important updates are:
•   Improved image quality
•   Reconstruction: Percentage of Nyquist frequency corrected
•   Some typos and formal issues addressed
« Last Edit: February 22, 2018, 03:30:20 am by Performa01 »
 

Offline Performa01

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Re: Siglent SDS1104X-E In-Depth Review
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2017, 12:15:35 am »
Here come parts 4 & 5:

SDS1104X-E Review 70-93
- Base Functionality
- - Trigger
- - - Trigger Coupling
- - - - AC Trigger Coupling
- - - Trigger Sensitivity
- - - Trigger Stability
- - - Triggering Noisy Signals
- - -Trigger Types
- - - - Edge
- - - - Slope
- - - - Pulse
- - - - Video
- - - - Window
- - - - Interval
- - - - DropOut
- - - - Runt
- - - - Pattern
- - - - Serial
- - - Trigger Frequency Counter
- - - Trigger Rate

EDIT: Uploaded latest revision of the documents. The most important updates are:
•   Improved image quality
•   Some typos and formal issues addressed


SDS1104X-E Review 93-108
- Base Functionality
- - Measurements
- - - Automatic Measurements
- - - - Time Resolution
- - - - Sensitivity
- - - - Speed
- - - - Standard measurements
- - - - Channel Delay Measurements
- - - - Gated Measurements
- - - Cursors
- - - - Manual
- - - - Tracking

EDIT: Uploaded latest revision of the documents. The most important updates are:
•   Improved image quality
•   Some wordings changed for better clarity
•   Some typos and formal issues addressed
« Last Edit: February 22, 2018, 03:32:35 am by Performa01 »
 

Offline Performa01

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Re: Siglent SDS1104X-E In-Depth Review
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2017, 12:18:40 am »
 
Finally I can present parts 6 & 7:

SDS1104X-E Review 109-137
- Advanced Functions
- - Math
- - - Add & Subtract
- - - Multiply & Divide
- - - Integral
- - - Differential
- - - Square Root
- - Poor Men’s Differential Probing
- - FFT
- - - Basic Operation
- - - - Screen Modes
- - - - AUTO SET
- - - - Units
- - - - Window
- - - - Display Modes
- - - FFT-Bandwidth and RBW
- - - Setting up an FFT Measurement
- - - Looking at IF Signals

EDIT: Uploaded latest revision of the documents. The most important updates are:
•   Improved image quality
•   Proper and fair review of the Differentiate function
•   Various typos and formal issues addressed


SDS1104X-E Review 137-162
- Advanced Functions
- - FFT
- - - Performance Test
- - - - Amplitude Accuracy
- - - - Harmonic Distortion
- - - - Two Tone Test
- - - Application Examples
- - - - Wideband Measurement
- - - - Narrowband Measurement
- - - - Signal buried in Noise
- - - - Broadcast
- - Mask Testing
- - Web Server

EDIT: Uploaded latest revision of the documents. The most important updates are:
•   Improved image quality
•   dBm to voltage conversion errors corrected
•   One more reason for mask testing vs. just persistence alone
•   Web Server: manual IP address assignment tested
•   Some typos and formal issues addressed
« Last Edit: February 22, 2018, 03:35:14 am by Performa01 »
 

Offline Performa01

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Re: Siglent SDS1104X-E In-Depth Review
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2017, 12:19:58 am »
Today I can present another piece of information, regarding segmented memory:

SDS1104X-E Review 163-174
- Advanced Functions
-- Segmented Memory
--- History
--- Sequence Mode


Since I am running out of reserved postings, please find additional review documents later in this thread.

Right now there is an in-depth review of the optional SAG1021 AWG here:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/siglent-sds1104x-e-in-depth-review/msg1432665/#msg1432665

« Last Edit: February 22, 2018, 03:38:28 am by Performa01 »
 
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Offline lundmar

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Re: Siglent SDS1104X-E In-Depth Review
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2017, 12:24:36 am »
Good job! :-+

Please provide a summary conclusion also. Thanks.
https://lxi-tools.github.io - Open source LXI tools
https://tio.github.io - A simple TTY terminal I/O application
http://dc-power-supply.github.io - OSHW DC power supply project
 
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Siglent SDS1104X-E In-Depth Review
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2017, 01:29:18 am »
Why create PDFs instead of forum posts? Side node: PDFs on EEVblog never open properly in a PDF reader on my machine (unlike other websites).
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline imidis

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Re: Siglent SDS1104X-E In-Depth Review
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2017, 01:43:54 am »
I'm just guessing as I've used many forums over the years, but forums have post limitations as well as formatting issues. (it's usually a nightmare to post things like that on forums) Perhaps they have a website you can download the off of properly?

Gone for good
 
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Offline lundmar

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Re: Siglent SDS1104X-E In-Depth Review
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2017, 02:05:06 am »
I'm just guessing as I've used many forums over the years, but forums have post limitations as well as formatting issues. (it's usually a nightmare to post things like that on forums) Perhaps they have a website you can download the off of properly?

One could place them on github - github has a pretty decent built in pdf viewer that is compatible with most/all browsers.
https://lxi-tools.github.io - Open source LXI tools
https://tio.github.io - A simple TTY terminal I/O application
http://dc-power-supply.github.io - OSHW DC power supply project
 

Offline firstcolle

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Re: Siglent SDS1104X-E In-Depth Review
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2017, 02:51:42 am »
many many thanks for this huge review!!!
 
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Offline H.O

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Re: Siglent SDS1104X-E In-Depth Review
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2017, 04:56:38 am »
Why create PDFs instead of forum posts? Side node: PDFs on EEVblog never open properly in a PDF reader on my machine (unlike other websites).
Parts 1 & 2 are 48 pages with 61 screenshots and some tables. I for one can't imagine Writing, formating and posting that on the forum with it's totally crappy and clunky way of handling images. Nice work Performa01!
 
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Siglent SDS1104X-E In-Depth Review
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2017, 05:23:31 am »
Why create PDFs instead of forum posts? Side node: PDFs on EEVblog never open properly in a PDF reader on my machine (unlike other websites).
Parts 1 & 2 are 48 pages with 61 screenshots and some tables. I for one can't imagine Writing, formating and posting that on the forum with it's totally crappy and clunky way of handling images. Nice work Performa01!
Host the screenshots external and write the text in a text editor (with the forum tags to inline images). You don't need to use the forum edit box to create a post! I've wrote quite a few extensive posts like that myself.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline rf-loop

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Re: Siglent SDS1104X-E In-Depth Review
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2017, 06:15:52 am »
Personally I like this PDF idea for publish - really lot of.  This is far better than some forum posts.  Pdf can always read without any hassle with some forum software and without any hassle how some browsers handle these images and formatting in forum web side. Reading pdf is nearly like reading real book.  Lot of thanks you select this road!  :-+

Later some comments about the content of the review and some details.

If practice and theory is not equal it tells that used application of theory  is wrong or the theory itself is wrong.
It is much easier to think an apple fall to the ground than to think that the earth and the apple will begin to move toward each other and collide.
 
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Online tautech

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Re: Siglent SDS1104X-E In-Depth Review
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2017, 07:25:05 am »
File = Review 02

DC Accuracy, on last page table missing from pdf
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Offline Performa01

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Re: Siglent SDS1104X-E In-Depth Review
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2017, 10:51:59 am »
File = Review 02

DC Accuracy, on last page table missing from pdf

... because the entire Signal Handling chapter is contained in Review 03!
Just that last page happens to hold one screenshot that still belongs to the Interpolation chapter dealt with in Review 02.
 
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Offline Performa01

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Re: Siglent SDS1104X-E In-Depth Review
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2017, 11:07:57 am »
 
Thank you for your interest and feedback.

I have noticed by now that some screenshots are corrupted in the pdf documents for some unknown reason.
Also in the bandwidth document a few statements are either not correct or missing. Nevertheless, all the conclusions remain valid.

Unfortunately, I'm ill right now, but will correct these issues as soon as I'm well again.

As already stated, this review is far from being complete yet. Next will be math and particularly FFT, which is a huge topic. I hope I will be able to publish that next weekend.

As for an overall conclusion, it could only be for the content published so far and this would be very positive, except maybe for the X-Y mode and the displayed resolution of the time measurements. But X-Y mode will most definitely see a major re-design and I might be able to convince Siglent to offer one digit more resolution on some of the automatic measurements ;)

The reason why I publish the review as pdf should be quite obvious. The document is some 125 pages now, with enumerations, tables, diagrams and lots of screenshots. It will be 200+ pages once it's finished, I recon. I have a day job. I have a wife and I have even friends - in short, I have a life. It should be enough that I spend all the weekends with the new little scope in an attempt to compile a review that deserves the name, create bug reports, discuss proposals about improvements and new features with Siglent - really no time fiddling with forum HTML code and pictures that cannot be inserted directly.

And all this effort for a scope I personally don't even need, just because I already have a SDS2304X on the bench together with three PicoScopes which offer some important features otherwise only found in (at least) upper midrange bench scopes.

I am an old guy with plenty income, so I could easily afford a decent A-grade scope, but I have learnt to stick with what I really need and then I've been young and on a budget myself decades ago and my first scope (analog, CRT of course) was a 50MHz no-name instrument with delayed 2nd timebase, that served me well for several years. It was only $600,- in today's money, which was nevertheless a lot back in the eighties last century.

To cut a long story short, I sympathize with those on a budget, who still want a decent performance and I do enjoy to have a closer look when I think such a product has emerged, making my findings public and at the same time pushing the manufacturer to iron out any flaws and make certain improvements. And Siglent happens to listen. Just compare with the first "V2 firmware" in the SDS2304, which I've reviewed publicly back then. The vast majority of bugs and inconveniences that I've found have been addressed and aren't an issue anymore in the cheap new SDS1104X-E. As I'm in the process of writing the FFT review right now, this is a perfect example how a pathetic 1024 pts FFT turned into a great tool that deserves a very thorough and lengthy review.

By now you may have realized why almost no one is willing to publish a comprehensive review for a DSO/MSO - simply because this is some really serious work. I'm inclined to do that for you, so stay tuned, as there's a lot more to come!

Offline alreadystarted

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Re: Siglent SDS1104X-E In-Depth Review
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2017, 02:42:27 pm »
Thank you for producing this work, it’s very helpful.  I look forward to the additional parts.
 
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Offline pascal_sweden

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Re: Siglent SDS1104X-E In-Depth Review
« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2017, 07:36:09 pm »
Can you do a detailed review about decoding where you test all the supported protocols, use the full memory depth, and try to search for an event and navigate in the recorded data?
 

Offline Gabri74

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Re: Siglent SDS1104X-E In-Depth Review
« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2017, 10:59:21 pm »
Why create PDFs instead of forum posts? Side node: PDFs on EEVblog never open properly in a PDF reader on my machine (unlike other websites).

This is a bug of EEVblog which returns the wrong mime type to the request  :-//
 

Offline Doofus

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Re: Siglent SDS1104X-E In-Depth Review
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2017, 08:26:31 am »
Awesome review! Thank you for the massive work you've put into this. Beyond characterizing this particular instrument, it provides good insight into the inner workings of modern digital scopes.
 
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Offline Geoff-AU

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Re: Siglent SDS1104X-E In-Depth Review
« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2017, 04:32:40 pm »
That's a very thorough review and a LOT of work.  Great stuff   :-+
 
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Offline pascal_sweden

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Re: Siglent SDS1104X-E In-Depth Review
« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2017, 08:03:50 pm »
Is that ever going to happen on this forum? :)

Can you do a detailed review about decoding where you test all the supported protocols, use the full memory depth, and try to search for an event and navigate in the recorded data?
 

Online tautech

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Re: Siglent SDS1104X-E In-Depth Review
« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2017, 08:07:19 pm »
Is that ever going to happen on this forum? :)

Can you do a detailed review about decoding where you test all the supported protocols, use the full memory depth, and try to search for an event and navigate in the recorded data?
Excuse me ?
Pull your head in and read reply #1 and #15.
Patience grasshopper.
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Online tautech

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Re: Siglent SDS1104X-E In-Depth Review
« Reply #23 on: December 16, 2017, 01:18:48 pm »
In Pt 4 Trigger:

Quote
AC trigger coupling does not display a trigger level indicator, which I’m not happy with, but Siglent don’t
seem to be willing to change that.
This has always baffled me as to why a AC trigger level indicator isn't deemed to be necessary as your findings report:
Quote
The trigger level is set to zero which is actually always equivalent to the mean level of a symmetrical input signal.
Furthermore there's no mention in the User manual that no level indicator will be shown or at what the level might be, only this:

AC: block all the DC components and attenuate signals lower than 5.8 Hz. Use AC coupling to get a stable edge trigger when your waveform has a large DC offset.

One might ask for the less experienced user the use of AC trigger coupling could be better described so that it's usage conditions are clear.
What is Siglent's reasoning for no AC trigger level indicator, do you know ?
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Offline Peteg

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Re: Siglent SDS1104X-E In-Depth Review
« Reply #24 on: December 17, 2017, 04:09:21 pm »
Just to say good job, enjoyed the review thanks.
 
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