Author Topic: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?  (Read 18630 times)

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Offline SymaxTopic starter

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What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« on: November 05, 2021, 03:34:27 pm »
I know that "best" is relative and needs to be narrowed down quite a bit.  I'm a newbie and I know that.  I have no real idea what to look for in a scope.  If there is some sort of if/then flowchart or program that can help guide me to what features to look for in a scope that would be great.  I also know that budget for a scope is a key factor in recommendations.  My budget is $30,000.  I want a VERY feature rich scope, and I figure with that kind of budget, I can accomplish that.  I also am aware that going with a 4 channel scope is best.  I have been reviewing the other threads on this topic, but most of the scopes come in way under my budget.  The goal is to buy 1 scope and have it be the last scope that I will ever need.  Some of the plans that I have involve decoding software installed into micro controllers such as Arduino, PIC, etc.  I do also mess with RF from time to time.  I am also looking to monitor the sine wave from my 110V outlets because I plan on going somewhat off grid in the future.  I've watched a few YouTube videos and saw suggestions that I should go for as many samples per sec as possible.

Looking for tips and advice.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2021, 05:56:07 am by Symax »
 

Offline rvalente

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2021, 03:48:38 pm »
Imho..

Sds2000x
Sva3000x
1 x micsig diff probe
1 x micsig current probe

Id say 6..7k and sabe the rest
 
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Online wraper

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2021, 03:51:06 pm »
If you don't know what you need it for, you simply don't need $30k scope. And it's certainly not a tool for learning, if you manage to damage it, which is easy, repair will be very expensive. If anything, it will be significantly harder to use than a cheap scope.
Quote
I am also looking to monitor the sine wave from my 110V outlets because I plan on going somewhat off grid in the future.
If you try directly connecting it to mains voltage, very likely you will destroy it with explosion. For mains measurement you need a high voltage differential probe or a portable scope.
IMHO buy some inexpensive $300-1000 scope until you learn what you actually need. Expensive scope won't give you any advantage if used for what you mentioned. For RF spectrum analyzer is more appropriate tool.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2021, 03:53:06 pm by wraper »
 
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Offline Trader

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2021, 03:52:30 pm »
If you are learning electronics, I recommend "Siglent SDS2104X Plus" and invest the remaining budget in other instruments, types of equipment, components, etc.
 

Online knudch

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2021, 03:52:42 pm »
Use the saved money for a spectrum/network analyzer for your RF jobs

just my opinion
 

Offline Trader

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2021, 03:56:50 pm »
The goal is to buy 1 scope and have it be the last scope that I will ever need.

What you think about this: "The goal is to buy 1 CELL PHONE and have it be the last cell phone that I will ever need." ?

Best brands are Keysight and Tektronix, you can start with the basic model.
 

Offline rvalente

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2021, 03:59:14 pm »
The goal is to buy 1 scope and have it be the last scope that I will ever need.

What you think about this: "The goal is to buy 1 CELL PHONE and have it be the last cell phone that I will ever need." ?

Best brands are Keysight and Tektronix, you can start with the basic model.

Not for tek, tds 2k seriess is a joke for modern prices and features
 
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Offline rvalente

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2021, 04:00:06 pm »
I just hope he's not trolling us and making us waste our time
 
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Online knudch

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2021, 04:10:10 pm »
I just hope he's not trolling us and making us waste our time

On the other hand ... it is fun to dream about gear's on cost of other peoples money ;)
 

Offline SymaxTopic starter

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2021, 04:22:32 pm »
I just hope he's not trolling us and making us waste our time

On the other hand ... it is fun to dream about gear's on cost of other peoples money ;)

I came into an inheritance and would like to get a good scope.  So yeah, go ahead and dream as big as you want.  I will be using this thread to base my purchasing decision on.  So if you were to start fresh, what would you have liked to get?
« Last Edit: November 05, 2021, 05:11:29 pm by Symax »
 
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Offline SymaxTopic starter

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2021, 04:24:19 pm »
The goal is to buy 1 scope and have it be the last scope that I will ever need.

What you think about this: "The goal is to buy 1 CELL PHONE and have it be the last cell phone that I will ever need." ?

Best brands are Keysight and Tektronix, you can start with the basic model.

As long as the hardware of the basic model has the "best" hardware and software options can be added on later I'm OK with that option.  And I understand that with all forms of electronics, the "best" is only the best at that point in time and electronics is an ever evolving target.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2021, 04:27:12 pm by Symax »
 

Online tv84

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2021, 04:31:42 pm »
And I understand that with all forms of electronics, the "best" is only the best at that point in time and electronics is an ever evolving target.

How do you conjugate that with this: "The goal is to buy 1 scope and have it be the last scope that I will ever need." ?
 
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Offline pcprogrammer

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2021, 04:39:21 pm »
The best scopes one can buy probably are LeCroy or Yokogawa, but might go above budget for the actual best.

As a beginner it is better to start with something simple, and diversify for the different projects you have in mind. A mid range Siglent or Rigol will do just fine for microprocessor probing and even some rf measurements. For the latter a spectrum analyzer is better, as already advised earlier by others.

Also with such a budget you can buy a lot more then just a scope, and that might be more useful then just a single high priced scope with all the bells and whistles.

Online knudch

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2021, 04:41:29 pm »
How long do you expect to live ;) ?

If you want to combine digital scope with RF work...then might the feature RIS( Lecroy term), ESR(Siglent term) be some what of interest together with high analog bandwidth  eg. 500MHz => 1 GHz.
But does not substitute an spectrum/network analyzer
 

Offline SymaxTopic starter

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2021, 04:45:08 pm »
The best scopes one can buy probably are LeCroy or Yokogawa, but might go above budget for the actual best.

As a beginner it is better to start with something simple, and diversify for the different projects you have in mind. A mid range Siglent or Rigol will do just fine for microprocessor probing and even some rf measurements. For the latter a spectrum analyzer is better, as already advised earlier by others.

Also with such a budget you can buy a lot more then just a scope, and that might be more useful then just a single high priced scope with all the bells and whistles.

Ok so a good scope and a good spectrum analyzer.  What other accessories should I focus on?  I have seen a High voltage differential probe, so what should I look for there?
 

Online knudch

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2021, 04:51:58 pm »
Current probes for your solar project ;)
Remember option for spectrum/network analyzer (Even if I don't know what kind of RF work you have in mind)
I would suggest a RF signal-generator but I think some of the SA/NA can be used for simple RF signal generation
 

Online tunk

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2021, 04:55:10 pm »
What other tools do you have? I assume you already have a
good quality multimeter, power supply and solder station?
 

Offline pcprogrammer

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2021, 04:57:24 pm »
A good spectrum analyzer with a builtin tracking generator. Again Siglent and Rigol have some nice ones.

Offline SymaxTopic starter

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2021, 05:09:40 pm »
What other tools do you have? I assume you already have a
good quality multimeter, power supply and solder station?

I have the EEVBlog 121GW multimeter so a decent enough multimeter.  No power supply.  Only a basic solder station, but I do have a PineCil TS100 clone on order with a full complement of replaceable tips.
 

Online wraper

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2021, 05:11:05 pm »
I came into an inheritance and would like to get a good scope.  So yeah, go ahead and dream as big as you want.  I will be using this thread to base my purchasing decision on.
People with the money they did not earn often do not end well and waste it very fast. Google what happens with lottery winners. rd.com/list/13-things-lottery-winners/ The fact you got the money, does not mean you need to blow it immediately. Calm down and use your brain. Expensive scope will be large and convoluted. And on top of that usually with noisy fans. People who have access to large expensive scopes usually use them only when they have an actual need, and mostly use some simpler and much cheaper scope for the rest of the work.
 
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Offline SymaxTopic starter

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2021, 05:13:20 pm »
I came into an inheritance and would like to get a good scope.  So yeah, go ahead and dream as big as you want.  I will be using this thread to base my purchasing decision on.
People with the money they did not earn often do not end well and waste it very fast. Google what happens with lottery winners. rd.com/list/13-things-lottery-winners/ The fact you got the money, does not mean you need to blow it immediately. Calm down and use your brain. Expensive scope will be large and convoluted. And on top of that usually with noisy fans. People who have access to large expensive scopes usually use them only when they have an actual need, and mostly use some simpler and much cheaper scope for the rest of the work.

Yes I realize this and I have my son helping me with this financial situation.
 

Offline SymaxTopic starter

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2021, 05:18:28 pm »
Current probes for your solar project ;)
Remember option for spectrum/network analyzer (Even if I don't know what kind of RF work you have in mind)
I would suggest a RF signal-generator but I think some of the SA/NA can be used for simple RF signal generation

It would be nice to get more specific brands/model numbers so I can look from there.  If you were to start fresh, what would you have liked to start with?  What do you use daily?
 

Offline SymaxTopic starter

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2021, 05:24:32 pm »
If you don't know what you need it for, you simply don't need $30k scope. And it's certainly not a tool for learning, if you manage to damage it, which is easy, repair will be very expensive. If anything, it will be significantly harder to use than a cheap scope.
Quote
I am also looking to monitor the sine wave from my 110V outlets because I plan on going somewhat off grid in the future.
If you try directly connecting it to mains voltage, very likely you will destroy it with explosion. For mains measurement you need a high voltage differential probe or a portable scope.
IMHO buy some inexpensive $300-1000 scope until you learn what you actually need. Expensive scope won't give you any advantage if used for what you mentioned. For RF spectrum analyzer is more appropriate tool.

I more or less read this as "You are going to shoot your eye out, kid!" the quote from "A Christmas Story" in relation to the Red Rider rifle.  :D

But yeah, I get what you mean.  A good scope that can be used anywhere.  To me it will be a tool that should be multi purpose.  I do like your comment about too loud of fans, so quiet fans would be more appealing to me for sure.
 

Online tunk

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2021, 05:34:35 pm »
What experience do you have with scopes?
As many have suggested, you may be better off starting
with a 500-1000$ scope, and if/when you outgrow it, buy
something better.
 

Offline FlexibleMammoth

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2021, 05:39:05 pm »
Okay so where do I start... for $30k you can get a very decent lab, or an overpowered oscilloscope that is very sensitive to any kind of abuse as well as cheap trash for the rest of your tools.

It's your money and I really get the enthusiasm, but maybe save a bit to cover expenses for future projects... Also you may want to look into used gear, as it gives you higher "leverage" per $ spent.

My suggestion would be:
- EDIT: apparently there is some controversy on the topic of isolation transformers, so do some research into the pros and cons of using one vs. having your DUT grounded with a low current RCD in front (your wiring must be up to code then!)
I am not letting my ego get the best of me and have someone get hurt. I still think that isolation transformers are a good thing, but there are other opinions, e.g. by ntnico later in this thread.

- A nice, but not overkill scope. Maybe a Siglent SDS5000X, which is really good value, or a Rigol MSO7000. If you insist on spending a possibly overkill amount of your budget, there is the Rohde&Schwarz RTM3000 as well as the Keysight 3000X and 4000X series (the latter is basically the same with a larger screen).

EDIT: depending on your skill level, there is also the Siglent SDS2000X Plus and the Rigol MSO5000, which cost maybe 60% of those above and are mostly similar minus the support for active probes and limited in frequency to 350MHz (if I remember correctly).

- A high voltage differential probe with at least 700V differential input range so you don't blow up your new scope (e.g. from Micsig or Pico)

- A good power supply. I like the three channel Keysight E3631 (+/- 25V, 6V), which gives you symmetric rails e.g. for ADCs and another high power rail e.g. for the main 5V rail. If you want to spend more, there is a successor with graphical display, and of course there are those from Rigol and Siglent at a cheaper price.

- An ESD mat, so you don't accidentally zap your boards.

- An ESD safe soldering stations that . Weller makes nice ones to choose from.

EDIT: you may want a solder smoke filter (not sure what they are called in English), your lungs will thank you. There are cheap ones that basically are just a fan and a sheet of activated carbon, and nice ones with multi-step filters e.g. made by Weller.

- Hand tools at  your need: side cutters, pliers, screwdrivers (Wera and Whia make nice ones), tweezers, hammers, cordless drill, step drill bit, wrenches, nuts,........

=== OPTIONAL - nice to have ===

- EDIT: I forgot the RF part - others have put it well, get a nice Spectrum Analyzer e.g.  Siglent SSA3000X Plus, depending on the frequency range you need. Only get a vector network analyzer if you actually need it and understand what makes it different from a spectrum analyzer with a tracking generator.

- A signal generator. Most scopes have a simple generator built in, this may be enough in the beginnig. If you know for sure it is not enough, there are nice ones from siglent, and nicer (and waaaaay more expensive ones) from keysight. Look out for max frequency, max amplitude, modulation capabilities......

- A professional bench multimeter. Personally, I like those made by Keithley, as they have great specs and are really really fast. You can get a Keithley 2000 used for ~$500. Again, if you want to splurge, there is the new Keithley DMM6500 with graphical display.

- An LCR meter. I have the keysight U1733C, which is nice, but you may have higher/lower requirements.

=== ONLY IF YOU KNOW YOU NEED THEM ===
- A current probe. The exact type strongly depends on your application. Buy this last, when you know what you need.

- A hot air station. Again, Weller or chinese brands which I forgot (-> see YT channel of louis rossmann).
« Last Edit: November 05, 2021, 11:56:14 pm by FlexibleMammoth »
 
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Offline pcprogrammer

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #25 on: November 05, 2021, 05:39:31 pm »
I myself have a Rigol MSO5074 with the logic analyzer probe which is a good scope for the things I do. A friend of mine whom is more into RF is thinking about buying a Rigol DSA815-TG.

Also own a couple of the cheaper scopes like FNIRSI 1013D and 1014D, which are just toys and a Hantek DSO2D10, which is nice for quick measurements, but also bought as a hobby project.

For a power supply I don't have advise since the one I have is an old HAMEG 4 channel one, 30V/3A per channel. Usable in series or parallel, so good for 30V/12A or 120V/3A. A double or triple output power supply is good to have for analog or motor projects.

For soldering a hot air gun 858D is also good to have. Handy for de-soldering smd ic's or shrinking heat shrink sleeve.

Online knudch

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2021, 05:40:31 pm »
Current probes for your solar project ;)
Remember option for spectrum/network analyzer (Even if I don't know what kind of RF work you have in mind)
I would suggest a RF signal-generator but I think some of the SA/NA can be used for simple RF signal generation

It would be nice to get more specific brands/model numbers so I can look from there.  If you were to start fresh, what would you have liked to start with?  What do you use daily?

Tell a little about your expected RF works and your solar/green energy project

Then it would easier to give adequate advise
 

Offline brabus

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #27 on: November 05, 2021, 06:12:21 pm »
I have an used HP 54621A, an absolutely wonderful scope, that I may let go for that kind of money. Details via PM.
 

Offline rvalente

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #28 on: November 05, 2021, 06:14:05 pm »
Id say you have too much money and no place to expend, because you do not have a clue of what you need but want the best, imho your approach is just wrong. Go on baby steps and save up. Get a used 1054z for 250 on ebay and play with it. No ofense
 
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Offline Trader

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #29 on: November 05, 2021, 06:31:29 pm »
Ok so a good scope and a good spectrum analyzer.  What other accessories should I focus on?  I have seen a High voltage differential probe, so what should I look for there?

Maybe you can start by this one:   https://www.keysight.com/us/en/cmp/2021/keysight-smart-bench-essentials-test-instruments.html

 
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Offline PaulAm

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #30 on: November 05, 2021, 06:55:17 pm »
You're getting some good advice, you can populate a pretty decent lab for $30K.  Buying the "last scope you'll ever need" really isn't possible.  Most products are built with a 5-10 year lifetime and, once out of warranty, are more or less economically unjustifiable to repair.  At that point you just buy a new one.  New features and capabilities come out all of the time.  Today's top of the line scope will not look like one in 5-10 years.  The stuff also tends to depreciate quickly once no longer current.  Businesses can depreciate that $30K scope so when it dies they can just throw it out, that's a bit harder for an individual to deal with.

On the other hand, most basic functions of a scope don't really change, so you can afford to look around for something you like and be confident that it will do everything (or nearly everything if you're on the bleeding edge) that you would want it to.  You can get a lot of scope for $1-3K and even more used, if you want to be budget conscious.  Once you run into the limits of what you have, then you will know enough to make a good choice going forward.

If you end up doing RF work, think about a VNA.  You can do a lot with a SA and TG, but a VNA will do that and much much more. One warning: if you think test equipment is a black hole (see TEA thread), RF equipment is a super massive black hole as far as your budget is concerned.

Try to get an idea of where you want to go with this.  It will help you spend the money in the most useful areas.  You really don't want to buy a Ferrari to go down your driveway to pick up the mail when a golf cart would be a much more useful tool
 

Offline KE5FX

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #31 on: November 05, 2021, 06:55:51 pm »
I came into an inheritance and would like to get a good scope.  So yeah, go ahead and dream as big as you want.  I will be using this thread to base my purchasing decision on.  So if you were to start fresh, what would you have liked to get?

Snarky answer: Imagine if this were a musicians' forum, or maybe a customer forum for a music retailer.  Someone shows up and asks, "I'm interested in learning to play the guitar.  I have a budget of $30,000, which should certainly be enough for a killer axe.  What do you guys recommend?"  What responses would he or she be likely to receive from experienced musicians?

Realistic answer: At the $30,000-and-up level you'll find a lot of specialized instruments that are great at specialized tasks, but not very good general-purpose instruments.  They may have fast ADCs and massive acquisition memories that are sluggish to work with.  Little or no attention may be paid to user experience and UI design, having been devoted to performance instead.  Common general-purposes tasks like bus decoding will be no better-implemented than they are in much cheaper instruments, assuming they're present at all.  And they are less likely to have standard 1-megohm inputs, which means that specialized active probes will be needed for common tasks.  Using such a scope as a daily driver will be an exercise in frustration.

Finally, if you have questions, fewer people here and elsewhere will be able to help with them.

You can spend a million dollars on a 100 GHz+ oscilloscope if you want... so what's stopping you from doing that?  Whatever that reason may be, it almost certainly applies at the $30,000 level as well.   The amount of money in question can be put to far better use in your lab.  It only makes sense to spend this much on a scope if you have a specific need for what it can do.
 
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Offline tautech

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #32 on: November 05, 2021, 08:54:40 pm »
Current probes for your solar project ;)
Remember option for spectrum/network analyzer (Even if I don't know what kind of RF work you have in mind)
I would suggest a RF signal-generator but I think some of the SA/NA can be used for simple RF signal generation

It would be nice to get more specific brands/model numbers so I can look from there.  If you were to start fresh, what would you have liked to start with?  What do you use daily?
Lots of excellent advice here that you shouldn't overlook.  ;)

If you came knocking on our door with such wishes I too would be steering you into the lower value mid-range equipment so to get best bang for your buck and a small selection of gear that would best cover your current and future needs.

As reply #1 suggested SDS2104X Plus and SVA1032X would be good choices due to their capabilities and it would be some years before you'd outgrow their capability. SDS2104X Plus hacked (everybody does) gives you 500 MHz capability and SVA1032X offers SA, TG and VNA capability to 3.2 GHz which unless you needed to cover 5 GHz wireless should well cover basic RF needs for a while as you slowly fall into that black hole.

However it sounds like the lab is just getting started and there could be much more to buy so as others have wisely advised take a step back and have a good hard look at the big picture.
PSU's ?
E loads ?
Bench meter ?
Standalone AWG ?
Cabling, adaptors, Cal kits ?
And so on......

Differential probes are chump change compared to the big ticket items.
Current probes not so much but their are some cost effective choices available.

Good luck with your choices.
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Online nctnico

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #33 on: November 05, 2021, 09:42:13 pm »
I know that "best" is relative and needs to be narrowed down quite a bit.  I'm a newbie and I know that.  I have no real idea what I to look for in a scope.  If there is some sort of if/then flowchart or program that can help guide me to what features to look for in a scope that would be great.  I also know that budget for a scope is a key factor in recommendations.  My budget is $30,000.  I want a VERY feature rich scope, and I figure with that kind of budget, I can accomplish that.  I also am aware that going with a 4 channel scope is best.  I have been reviewing the other threads on this topic, but most of the scopes come in way under my budget.  The goal is to buy 1 scope and have it be the last scope that I will ever need.  Some of the plans that I have involve decoding software installed into micro controllers such as Arduino, PIC, etc.  I do also mess with RF from time to time.  I am also looking to monitor the sine wave from my 110V outlets because I plan on going somewhat off grid in the future.  I've watched a few YouTube videos and saw suggestions that I should go for as many samples per sec as possible.

Looking for tips and advice.
With that budget I'd look at the 8 channel scopes from Tektronix or Yokogawa.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Trader

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #34 on: November 05, 2021, 09:42:37 pm »
The goal is to buy 1 scope and have it be the last scope that I will ever need.

Check this:  https://www.eevblog.com/forum/buysellwanted/fs-rs-rta4004-(fully-loaded)-unused/
 

Online nctnico

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #35 on: November 05, 2021, 09:45:32 pm »
My suggestion would be:
- BUY THIS FIRST: An isolation transformer, so the following scope is not actually "the last thing" you buy...
No, buy CAT rated differential probes. Isolation transformers are death traps in untrained hands.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline Trader

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #36 on: November 05, 2021, 10:06:48 pm »
My suggestion would be:
- BUY THIS FIRST: An isolation transformer, so the following scope is not actually "the last thing" you buy...
No, buy CAT rated differential probes. Isolation transformers are death traps in untrained hands.

Isolation Transform for the DUT and Differential Probes for the Scope.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #37 on: November 05, 2021, 10:10:17 pm »
My suggestion would be:
- BUY THIS FIRST: An isolation transformer, so the following scope is not actually "the last thing" you buy...
No, buy CAT rated differential probes. Isolation transformers are death traps in untrained hands.

Isolation Transform for the DUT and Differential Probes for the Scope.
No isolation transformer but get a low current GFI and keep the DUT grounded. There are a gazillion ways in which the DUT can become grounded again when using an isolation transformer. In order to use an isolation transformer you need to have proper training AND a workbench which is setup for measuring floating DUTs. But in the end an isolation transformer is a crutch from times when differential probes where horribly expensive and the entire chassis of a device could be connected to mains directly.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2021, 10:12:16 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline FlexibleMammoth

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #38 on: November 05, 2021, 11:39:31 pm »
Edit: I thought about this post and it does not really do a good job to convey the necessary information. I've put a new one here:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/what-is-the-best-oscilliscope-that-i-can-get-for-$30-000/msg3799394/#msg3799394

An Isolation transformer is no substitute for training, attention to what you are doing or careful setup of your workspace, nor is having CAT rated differential probes. Working with mains can get you killed.

Can the DUT become grounded again? Yes, absolutely, especially if you do not know what you are doing. Which is why you should not start out with mains voltage circuits.

Can not having Isolation get you seriously hurt? Also yes.

There is a whole lot of nasty surprises you can come across when working with mains voltage. Reaching across the bench and brushing against the DUT, poking your fingers where you shouldn’t have because you were sure your DUT is off, slipping with your probes, making a dumb mistake because you’re tired etc.

It is not a fix all, but neither is it a dumb relic from the past.

EDIT: we also don’t know which period the devices are from he is working on… I’ve come across quite some horrors in 70s electronics.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2021, 02:14:07 pm by FlexibleMammoth »
 
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Offline BrokenYugo

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #39 on: November 06, 2021, 12:25:17 am »
By hobbyist standards $30k USD will buy you like 5 fully equipped dream labs, each with a more than adequate oscilloscope that can be had for under 1000. Depending on exactly what you intend to decode at what speed and what frequency band of RF interests you may get by with half that or less.
 

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #40 on: November 06, 2021, 08:49:23 am »
I know that "best" is relative and needs to be narrowed down quite a bit.  I'm a newbie and I know that.  I have no real idea what I to look for in a scope.  If there is some sort of if/then flowchart or program that can help guide me to what features to look for in a scope that would be great.  I also know that budget for a scope is a key factor in recommendations.  My budget is $30,000.  I want a VERY feature rich scope, and I figure with that kind of budget, I can accomplish that.  Some of the plans that I have involve decoding software installed into micro controllers such as Arduino, PIC, etc.  I do also mess with RF from time to time.  I am also looking to monitor the sine wave from my 110V outlets because I plan on going somewhat off grid in the future.  I've watched a few YouTube videos and saw suggestions that I should go for as many samples per sec as possible.

Looking for tips and advice.

A $500 can do all that.

I also am aware that going with a 4 channel scope is best.

For that budget you can get an 8-channel 'scope. You know they make 8-channel 'scopes, right?

I have been reviewing the other threads on this topic, but most of the scopes come in way under my budget.

They can do the jobs that even the experts here need them to do, so...  :-//

Out of curiosity, what else is in your lab (or planned for it)?
 

Online TERRA Operative

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #41 on: November 06, 2021, 11:46:04 am »
Adam Savage of Mythbusters has something to say abut this scenario.

Buy the cheaper option and if you use it enough to wear it out or outgrow it, then go buy the expensive thing.
That way if you never outgrow or wear the cheap one out, you haven't wasted your money.

I'd be looking at a cheaper well rounded scope, couple hundred MHz like a Rigol or Siglent, or if you want a bit better, Tek or Keysight etc.
Then go buy a decent dual or triple rail power supply, a bench multimeter (Keysight have some good ones, a 34465A or 34470A will set you right), a function gen and frequency counter.
There's a good lab that will have you going for a long time.
Anything you outgrow can be sold easily enough to make way for the newer better gear.

My main scope is an old Tektronix TDS210, a 60MHz scope I got for free over 10 years ago. It "just works" and in usual day to day stuff it does what I need 90% of the time. I've only just needed more (usually for calibrating and adjusting other equipment) and got myself a 1GHz Tektronix TDS784A.
Where does all this test equipment keep coming from?!?

https://www.youtube.com/NearFarMedia/
 
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Offline GerryR

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #42 on: November 06, 2021, 11:54:36 am »
I'm in my 70's and am a mostly retired engineer.  Some of the best engineers I know have very modest equipment and get along much better than those with far better equipment and really don't know how to use it or need the capabilities of the equipment they possess.  It may be impressive to have such equipment, at least to the uninformed, but it won't make you a better hobbiest or engineer.
It sounds like you need to do a lot more homework to determine your needs before you start spending (wasting ) money on equipment that have capabilities you will never use or need.  It also sounds like you need to get better educated so you don't hurt yourself once you get using the equipment you buy.  Best of luck with your endeavor.  ;)
Still learning; good judgment comes from experience, which comes from bad judgment!!
 

Offline Sighound36

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #43 on: November 06, 2021, 12:56:11 pm »
Look at investing the funds more productively. For this money you can put togther a really nice lab set up as a few of the posters have suggested.
This will server you far better than having a mid range scope with a few apps and a couple of basic probes.

Sig/function gennys, DVM's quality power supplies, maybe a dc load? Quality sodlering irons, bench set up also conside a dedicate power analyser for a/c measurments better than an  pretty much any scope even my Lecroy HD wave pro 0.5% gain accuracy V's 0.05%.

Quality tools, cutters/pliers etc, maybe a microscope? For RF work a VNA Siglant make so very repsetcable models with good features. Alos SA'sare really useful I find for many purposes degugging emi and complience issues. Yes most scopes come with a basic FFT function but for real indepth work a big scope (if space s tight) or a god scope and SA/VNA would make more sense imho

Lots to consdier Symax, just to give you an idea we have three scopes in excess of your budget, however I could not complete my tasks with out everything and more I have listed. Look at the bigger picture not just the main focus.

Gerry R also made a very valid point about cost and what you exactly wish to use this for? I still use an old Tek 2541 analogue quite reguarly a Rigol Fuction gen, Keithely DVM and Kikusui load, far more than I use my scopes.

For that outlay you could put a quaity well equiped lab togther that many EE would be pleased to have at their disposal


Seeking quality measurement equipment at realistic cost with proper service backup. If you pay peanuts you employ monkeys.
 

Offline SymaxTopic starter

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #44 on: November 06, 2021, 01:53:50 pm »
Okay so where do I start... for $30k you can get a very decent lab, or an overpowered oscilloscope that is very sensitive to any kind of abuse as well as cheap trash for the rest of your tools.

It's your money and I really get the enthusiasm, but maybe save a bit to cover expenses for future projects... Also you may want to look into used gear, as it gives you higher "leverage" per $ spent.

My suggestion would be:
- EDIT: apparently there is some controversy on the topic of isolation transformers, so do some research into the pros and cons of using one vs. having your DUT grounded with a low current RCD in front (your wiring must be up to code then!)
I am not letting my ego get the best of me and have someone get hurt. I still think that isolation transformers are a good thing, but there are other opinions, e.g. by ntnico later in this thread.
Safety is definitely an important thing.  110V+ needs lots of safety.  Amps can kill.  I don't expect to work on anything with vacuum tubes.  Most of my electronics would involve transistors and newer electronics.

- A nice, but not overkill scope. Maybe a Siglent SDS5000X, which is really good value, or a Rigol MSO7000. If you insist on spending a possibly overkill amount of your budget, there is the Rohde&Schwarz RTM3000 as well as the Keysight 3000X and 4000X series (the latter is basically the same with a larger screen).

EDIT: depending on your skill level, there is also the Siglent SDS2000X Plus and the Rigol MSO5000, which cost maybe 60% of those above and are mostly similar minus the support for active probes and limited in frequency to 350MHz (if I remember correctly).
What's beneficial about active vs passive probes?  So far from the recommendations I'm reading in here, I'm leaning towards the SDS2104X Plus via Amazon.com.

- A high voltage differential probe with at least 700V differential input range so you don't blow up your new scope (e.g. from Micsig or Pico)
I'm considering messing with 15kV pole transformers too.  I know that it is important to wear thick rubber when messing with them.

- A good power supply. I like the three channel Keysight E3631 (+/- 25V, 6V), which gives you symmetric rails e.g. for ADCs and another high power rail e.g. for the main 5V rail. If you want to spend more, there is a successor with graphical display, and of course there are those from Rigol and Siglent at a cheaper price.

- An ESD mat, so you don't accidentally zap your boards.
Already have an ESD Mat in storage from years ago.

- An ESD safe soldering stations that . Weller makes nice ones to choose from.
Could a TS100 be considered ESD Safe?

EDIT: you may want a solder smoke filter (not sure what they are called in English), your lungs will thank you. There are cheap ones that basically are just a fan and a sheet of activated carbon, and nice ones with multi-step filters e.g. made by Weller.
Fume Extractor

- Hand tools at  your need: side cutters, pliers, screwdrivers (Wera and Whia make nice ones), tweezers, hammers, cordless drill, step drill bit, wrenches, nuts,........

=== OPTIONAL - nice to have ===

- EDIT: I forgot the RF part - others have put it well, get a nice Spectrum Analyzer e.g.  Siglent SSA3000X Plus, depending on the frequency range you need. Only get a vector network analyzer if you actually need it and understand what makes it different from a spectrum analyzer with a tracking generator.

- A signal generator. Most scopes have a simple generator built in, this may be enough in the beginning. If you know for sure it is not enough, there are nice ones from siglent, and nicer (and waaaaay more expensive ones) from keysight. Look out for max frequency, max amplitude, modulation capabilities......
The built-in signal generator will probably suffice for most of what I do, but at least I can always look back on this thread if I need something more advanced.

- A professional bench multimeter. Personally, I like those made by Keithley, as they have great specs and are really really fast. You can get a Keithley 2000 used for ~$500. Again, if you want to splurge, there is the new Keithley DMM6500 with graphical display.

- An LCR meter. I have the keysight U1733C, which is nice, but you may have higher/lower requirements.

=== ONLY IF YOU KNOW YOU NEED THEM ===
- A current probe. The exact type strongly depends on your application. Buy this last, when you know what you need.

- A hot air station. Again, Weller or chinese brands which I forgot (-> see YT channel of louis rossmann).
And yeah, for Hot air station, I'd go with what Rossmann has.  At the moment, I'm just using a heat gun that allows me to set an exact temperature.
 

Offline pcprogrammer

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #45 on: November 06, 2021, 02:18:38 pm »
Safety is definitely an important thing.  110V+ needs lots of safety.  Amps can kill.  I don't expect to work on anything with vacuum tubes.  Most of my electronics would involve transistors and newer electronics.

I'm considering messing with 15kV pole transformers too.  I know that it is important to wear thick rubber when messing with them.

Could a TS100 be considered ESD Safe?

It is indeed the Amps that can kill, but a high voltage even with low Amps hurts. :-DD Safety is easily overlooked, I can tell from own experience. Still alive though 8)

I would keep my scope, and other equipment far clear from 15KV, unless there is a very good reason to do measurements on it, and then only with the right high voltage probes.

If the TS100 tip is grounded it will be safe.

Online Fungus

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #46 on: November 06, 2021, 02:42:50 pm »
It is indeed the Amps that can kill

But amps need volts to make them flow.
 

Offline pcprogrammer

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #47 on: November 06, 2021, 02:56:09 pm »
It is indeed the Amps that can kill

But amps need volts to make them flow.

And resistance reduces them. When sitting on a wooden floor touching the live wire (240V over here) you feel nothing or just a slight buzz. Also touch the neutral and you go ouch >:D or worse.

Offline Per Hansson

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #48 on: November 06, 2021, 03:00:39 pm »
Some of the plans that I have involve decoding software installed into micro controllers such as Arduino, PIC, etc.
I'm considering messing with 15kV pole transformers too.
You just need a 100:1 probe, preferably switchable between 10:1 and 100:1 so you don't have to switch probes when you switch between scoping your Arduino and the 15kV pole transformer.

I know that it is important to wear thick rubber when messing with them.
Yes absolutely, you wouldn't want to get pregnant when working with that pole transformer, safety first!

Already have an ESD Mat in storage from years ago.
Great, you wouldn't want to waste several dollars buying a new one!
 
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Offline pcprogrammer

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #49 on: November 06, 2021, 03:08:18 pm »
You just need a 100:1 probe, preferably switchable between 10:1 and 100:1 so you don't have to switch probes when you switch between scoping your Arduino and the 15kV pole transformer.

To me not good advice. Even as it is a transformer I would use a suited differential probe and only use that for the 15KV as a good safety practice. Always switch between them when going to another (low) voltage project.

When left in 10:1 position 1500V will easily blow out the input of the scope. An oversight easily made :palm:

Edit: Even 150V is too high for most scopes :-DD
« Last Edit: November 06, 2021, 03:33:56 pm by pcprogrammer »
 
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Offline Per Hansson

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #50 on: November 06, 2021, 03:20:35 pm »
I had hoped I would not need to write out that I was kidding  :-DD just as the original poster of this thread did not point out that he is trolling  :popcorn:
 

Offline SymaxTopic starter

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #51 on: November 06, 2021, 03:45:29 pm »
I had hoped I would not need to write out that I was kidding  :-DD just as the original poster of this thread did not point out that he is trolling  :popcorn:

I'm not trolling.  I'm using this thread as research as to what to buy.  I might not buy right away, but I have some good ideas as to what to start with.
 

Offline IAmBack

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #52 on: November 06, 2021, 03:58:46 pm »
Well, 30k scope is not something good to "start with".
You can start with $3000 scope. After 2..3 years you can buy new one for $3k, and sell first one. After next three years you can buy third scope for 3k and amount of money you get for the first scope and so on.
Most probably you will get better scope in 10..12 years than the scope bought today for 30k... In a meantime You will collect experience with your tools.
My 3 cents.
 
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Offline MadTux

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #53 on: November 06, 2021, 05:34:37 pm »
Well, 30k scope is not something good to "start with".
You can start with $3000 scope. After 2..3 years you can buy new one for $3k, and sell first one. After next three years you can buy third scope for 3k and amount of money you get for the first scope and so on.
Most probably you will get better scope in 10..12 years than the scope bought today for 30k... In a meantime You will collect experience with your tools.
My 3 cents.
Exactly, new $30k scope now will be $3k scope in 10-15 years.
Probably picked quite a few $30k scopes/instruments for peanut price that way, Tek 7854/7904A with plugins each were about $20k list price, now a few $100s...
Same with high end DSOs, once the market is saturated with "cheap" high end Rigol/Sigilents, you probably can pick used 20GS/s Lecroy Wavepros and similar for less than $5k on ebay. That kind of price drop is already happening with late 1990s/early 2000s Tek scopes, remember when Tek TDS7404/7254 usually went above 5-10k$, now available sometimes for less than 1k$....
 
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Offline FlexibleMammoth

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #54 on: November 06, 2021, 05:52:46 pm »
Safety is definitely an important thing.  110V+ needs lots of safety.  Amps can kill.  I don't expect to work on anything with vacuum tubes.  Most of my electronics would involve transistors and newer electronics.

Good to see you are careful - please just remember that power electronics (e.g. SMPS) can also carry high DC voltages. :)

What's beneficial about active vs passive probes?  So far from the recommendations I'm reading in here, I'm leaning towards the SDS2104X Plus via Amazon.com.

Money-related answer first: most likely, you don't need active probe support in your scope.

Technical answer: Active probes contain active electronics (hence the name) and require external power to operate. With an active probe you can amplify incoming signals or reduce the load that your probe poses to the circuit. The probe power is provided by your scope or by a battery inside the probe, depending on the construction. If you have an active probe with a battery, you don't need active probe support in your scope, since the power comes from the battery. If you have active probe support in your scope, probes from the same manufacturer can be used without needing a battery.

Examples of active probes:
- Most high voltage differential probes are active, usually they have a 9V battery inside so you can use them with any scope. This is probably the thing you want.
- There are active high frequency low voltage probes (they exist both single-ended and differential) that are used for analyzing serial buses such as USB. These are special, you most likely don't need them right from the start. Also, your scope needs protocol trigger and decode functionality for the bus you are probing.
- There are active preamplifiers for measuring very small voltages (uV range) that are powered by your scope. Again, this is an advanced functionality that comes with its own limitations.


I'm considering messing with 15kV pole transformers too.  I know that it is important to wear thick rubber when messing with them.

EDIT: As correctly noted by Per Hansson, the 40kV probes made by Fluke are not CAT IV, but made for old CRT TVs etc. Don't touch a pole transformer with them, thats a dumb idea.

As I was apparently not allowed to have fun in this thread and since nobody else mentioned it from my skimming of the thread I just want to say that I don't think Fluke has any high voltage probes designed for CAT-III or CAT-IV use that a pole transformer surely qualifies for, plus how are you even gonna carry that heavy scope up the pole?
All their HV probes that I have seen are intended only to service CRT TV's in a CAT-I environment.

A lot of things go bang when you come too close to a 15kV rail. There are special probes to measure these kinds of voltages, which are usually 1:1000 or higher, e.g. from Fluke. They are physically long, so you don't have to come too close to the source. All probes have maximum voltage ratings which must not be exceeded and which get MUCH lower as frequency goes up! You can easily damage your equipment or kill yourself if you apply excessive voltage to an unsuitable probe, even if it says 100:1.

I am not making concrete product recommendations here, since you *really* need to know what you are doing when using these probes and have good chances of hurting yourself.

Hint: your standard HV differential probe for your oscilloscope will probably not cut it. Even the nicest probe from pico only goes to 7kV. Be careful.

Could a TS100 be considered ESD Safe?

That probably depends on the power supply you are using - I'd say generally no. My station has a socket in the back, where you can plug a 1MOhm resistor in series to ground. This way, the soldering iron provides a path for static charges to discharge without shorting things to ground. On the other hand: I have used it many times with hard grounding and did not destroy anything, but I figured I'd let you know.

I had hoped I would not need to write out that I was kidding  :-DD just as the original poster of this thread did not point out that he is trolling  :popcorn:

Can we stop making fun of people that got overly excited while window shopping but genuinely put an effort to learn? Also, deliberately giving bad advice is not funny. Shame on you.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2021, 04:05:25 pm by FlexibleMammoth »
 
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Offline KE5FX

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #55 on: November 06, 2021, 06:13:04 pm »
Exactly, new $30k scope now will be $3k scope in 10-15 years.
Probably picked quite a few $30k scopes/instruments for peanut price that way, Tek 7854/7904A with plugins each were about $20k list price, now a few $100s...
Same with high end DSOs, once the market is saturated with "cheap" high end Rigol/Sigilents, you probably can pick used 20GS/s Lecroy Wavepros and similar for less than $5k on ebay. That kind of price drop is already happening with late 1990s/early 2000s Tek scopes, remember when Tek TDS7404/7254 usually went above 5-10k$, now available sometimes for less than 1k$....

Good point there.  I remember when the Tek DPOs came out in the 1999 timeframe, probably the first digital scopes that could legitimately be considered a replacement for the best analog scopes.  I reeeeeeeally wanted a TDS 784D, but they cost about $25K.  I 'settled' for a TDS 3034 portable, and never had any reason to second-guess that choice.  The 3034 was fine -- more than 'fine', in fact, since the high-end 784D didn't even support roll mode.  :palm:  It was that trivial point that pulled me back from the brink of an expensive mistake.

These days a 784D is about $500 on eBay, and (oddly enough) so is the 3034.  It would have been a poor financial decision and a poor technical one to splurge on the 784D, even at the peak of the dot-com madness.  The scenario here sounds all too familiar.
 

Offline Trader

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #56 on: November 06, 2021, 06:14:11 pm »
Exactly, new $30k scope now will be $3k scope in 10-15 years.

I guess this won't happen anymore like the 70's, 80's devices.

Rigol DS1054Z was released 7+ years ago, and the price is basically the same.

Brymen 869s, Fluke 87V / 289, has more than 10 years, and it's expensive than before.

Keysight appears just changed the color and name of Agilent instruments, the design is basically the same, no changes. e.g: the Keysight 3458A (8 1/2 DMM) is the same design since 1989, but expensive.

I think the best brand instruments are keeping almost the same price since 2000's.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2021, 06:18:07 pm by Trader »
 

Offline MadTux

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #57 on: November 06, 2021, 07:25:15 pm »
Rigol DS1054Z is just bottom line cheap, that's why price keeps constant.
If a used 10/20/50MHz analog scope for $20-$100 doesn't do it for you, next step is cheapest usable DRO, which likely is Rigol DS1054Z, new maybe $400, used working $200-$300, broken 50-100$. Guess quite a few end in dumpster, because it's not viable to repair or sell, so constant demand at low price.

Same with quality handheld DMMs. After 10-20years of daily use by electrician/service guy, they are so beaten up, that you'll hardly get much money for them, even when working, so constant demand at constant price.

8 1/2 DMM are low demand, high price items, especially if working.
Can't beat physics, so 8 1/2 no bullshit digits are still high end today, that needs quality, selected components.....
Thereby constant high price. Also lots of people want them and 3458A isn't excatly known for high reliability (U180 ;D), that what keeps the price up
 

Offline IAmBack

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #58 on: November 07, 2021, 05:21:13 pm »
Exactly, new $30k scope now will be $3k scope in 10-15 years.

I guess this won't happen anymore like the 70's, 80's devices.

Rigol DS1054Z was released 7+ years ago, and the price is basically the same.

Brymen 869s, Fluke 87V / 289, has more than 10 years, and it's expensive than before.

Keysight appears just changed the color and name of Agilent instruments, the design is basically the same, no changes. e.g: the Keysight 3458A (8 1/2 DMM) is the same design since 1989, but expensive.

I think the best brand instruments are keeping almost the same price since 2000's.
1054z costs the same, despite of inflation. Also, there are a few other tools that are approaching 1054's features with smaller price.
Otoh, how much was 500/350M 4ch scope 7 years ago? If tools like 1054 have established it's long-term price point, more expensive tools (like 30k scope) will probably cost less.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #59 on: November 07, 2021, 09:28:09 pm »
But still, who would buy a Rigol DS1054Z (which isn't even the best buy for the money it costs nowadays) if they have budget to spend 20 times more? $30k is a bit much to spend on an oscilloscope but $5k to $10k buys you something nice from an A-brand with big screen and a well polished user interface.

You can always reason a Fiat Panda (or any other small & cheap car) gets you from A to B but a BMW or Mercedes will do that while offering much more comfort so the trip is much less tiresome. So if you have the money, why not treat yourself with a bit of comfort?
« Last Edit: November 08, 2021, 07:51:20 am by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline kcbrown

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #60 on: November 07, 2021, 09:58:22 pm »
I have the EEVBlog 121GW multimeter so a decent enough multimeter.  No power supply.  Only a basic solder station, but I do have a PineCil TS100 clone on order with a full complement of replaceable tips.

OK, so essentially, you're just starting out.

Quote
As long as the hardware of the basic model has the "best" hardware and software options can be added on later I'm OK with that option.  And I understand that with all forms of electronics, the "best" is only the best at that point in time and electronics is an ever evolving target.

You've given a general idea of what you're going to be doing but haven't given specifics.  That tells me that you're basically just starting out.  There are many excellent general purpose scopes on the market for far below your $30K budget, as others have mentioned.

I understand the sentiment behind your question.  You want something that you'll never have to replace due to exceeding its capabilities, and thus which will meet every requirement you might ever have in the future.

There's likely no such thing.


Firstly, unlike scopes of the past that supplied schematics, and which used off-the-shelf "jellybean" parts exclusively, today's scopes throughout the range are highly proprietary things, and make use of many special-purpose parts.  Oddly enough, most (the new Rigol scopes are an exception) of the Chinese scopes (and the Instek scopes, which are from Taiwan) are the ones that, from a hardware standpoint, are the most maintainable in that respect, because they use FPGAs for the heavy lifting, and those are in principle obtainable, though whether they'll be obtainable at the point you'd need to repair your scope is highly questionable.

The more expensive and more capable the scope, the more likely it is to use custom ASICs, and those are unobtainium.  Some lines are built like that all the way down to the low end, such as the Keysight line.

Secondly, modern scopes are more like computers than anything else.  The real magic is in the firmware.  If your flash chip goes south, you'll somehow need to be able to flash a replacement, which means you'll need the flash image from the original.

On the flip side, however, modern manufacturing techniques result in hardware that tends to be very stable and reliable as long as you treat it properly, so it's rare that something goes wrong and when it does, it's often in the front-end or in something that by its nature has a limited life, like the flash chip.  The bottom line here is that the long term viability of modern scopes has more to do with changes in the nature of what you're doing than it does with the reliability of the hardware.

Now, one of the obvious things about scopes is that their capabilities for the price have evolved massively over time, particularly for those scopes that can be "hacked".  You can now lay hands on a scope that's capable of 500 MHz bandwidth and is very good for small signals, has numerous protocol decoding options, has digital and analog inputs, has a decent AWG, etc., for less than $1500 (the Siglent SDS2104X+).  Similar capabilities with a higher sample rate but noisier front-end can be had in the Rigol MSO5074.  Such capability for less than $10K or so was unheard of only a few years ago.  Another scope to take a hard look at is the Instek MSO-2204EA (https://www.tequipment.net/Instek/MSO-2204EA/Mixed-Signal-Oscilloscopes-(MSO)/).  While its raw capabilities are less than the other two scopes mentioned above, it has a very fast user interface and very few, if any, bugs.


What this trend in capability over time means is that you're far better off buying something inexpensive and highly capable, like the Siglent SDS2104X+, and growing your understanding of how to do things properly (such as high-frequency probing) as well as learning through experience the sorts of problems you'll find yourself troubleshooting, before going further.  The longer you end up using your inexpensive but highly capable scope, the more capability for the price you'll be able to get at whatever point you end up outgrowing the capabilities of your first scope.


And an additional point: just because you've outgrown your first scope for some of the things you do doesn't mean it won't be useful for those things you had already been doing with it.  It'll continue to be useful for those things.


Quote
What's beneficial about active vs passive probes?  So far from the recommendations I'm reading in here, I'm leaning towards the SDS2104X Plus via Amazon.com.

That would certainly be a good choice for someone in your position.  You're unlikely to exceed its capabilities for quite some time, if ever.

Note that modern high-speed digital buses for peripherals and the like are so fast that you need specialized equipment just to deal with them.  The frequencies are so high that the probing techniques are very demanding, and making sense of the data would require a decoder that few scopes have.  Keysight, for instance, sells such scopes but they are quite pricey.  But how likely is it that you'll need to be able to see the signals over such a bus?  My suspicion is that it's quite low.  You'd have to be building something that needs a bus that fast, at which point you'd be designing boards with length-matched differential pair signal lines, proper ground plane layout in a multilayer board, proper signal line impedance, etc.  This is all very advanced stuff, and (I expect) demands proper simulation capability just for the design phase, which is of course very expensive (see, e.g., Cadence, Altium, etc.).

You have the same problems with microwave RF, for the same reasons.  Check out Shahriar's Youtube channel for some great videos on the equipment, design issues, etc., that are involved with signals at those frequencies: https://www.youtube.com/c/Thesignalpath.  He's also on Odysee: https://odysee.com/@TheSignalPath:d


Most of the digital buses you're likely to use in practice with, e.g., microcontrollers and such, are much more modest and easily handled by the scopes I mentioned above.  I'm talking about buses like i2c, SPI, etc.

The point here is that once you get to the point where you'd need the kind of equipment to deal with gigahertz frequency signals in the time domain (frequency domain is a different thing, and spectrum analyzers that can handle that are less than $3k these days), it's likely that you'll no longer be talking about hobbyist level engagement, but rather commercial level engagement, at which point you'll have a business with the necessary resources to acquire the needed equipment and software, or you'll farm out the work to a business with the right capabilities.


Honestly, there's so much to learn in the world of electronics that you can spend a lifetime without ever needing to go much above 100 MHz, much less into the gigahertz range.  So I have to echo the sentiments of others here: start with something inexpensive but highly capable (like the Siglent you're leaning towards, a scope I have myself and like quite a lot), and build your knowledge with it.  What you learn and experience will ultimately direct your purchases from there.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2021, 07:26:26 pm by kcbrown »
 
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Offline 1audio

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #61 on: November 08, 2021, 03:31:07 am »
In my experiece past a certain $$ level instruments start getting really specialized. I have a DSA7200, $30K+ new that is almost useless except for specifics of very high speed signal analysis. The same can be said for many of the most expensive instruments. 30+ years ago the same situation would have lead to a Tek 7000 + an assortment of plugins that can address almost any situation. However years of experiece would be necessary to get utility from that collection.

Modular scopes like the Tek 7K don't really exist as products anymore. There is not much you could not troubleshoot with a Siglent or Rigol midrange scope. And if you do need more it would probably a very specialized instrument. in fact renting when you need it might make more sense. it would not be your problem to maintain it or replace it once obsolete.

Working on High voltage power requires lots of special stuff and training. You do not connect a general purpose scope even with special probes casually to the primary of a 15K distribution transformer. Use the budget for the specific tools designed for that application. You stand a much better chance of living to see tomorrow.

 

Online Doctorandus_P

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #62 on: November 08, 2021, 11:32:48 am »
I agree with the others here.
For between EUR 500 and EUR1200 you have a scope that exceeds what beginners can make use of for many years to come.

Beginners are also relatively likely to *&^%$#@! and damage a scope beyond repair. Something like the Siglent or Rigol (I prefer Siglent) is still easy to replace if it falls of your balcony and a truck drives over it.

Scopes above EUR 5000 are not "general purpose scopes" anymore. Buying those without having a clear idea of what you want to use them for and doing some thorough research beforehand is bordering on insanity.

What does make sense to me if you do a bit of research to compare a EUR 20.000 scope with a < EUR 2000 scope and make sure they have a very similar user interface, and then buy the cheap one. If it's not enough then you can easily sell it and buy the other one, but it's more likely that won't happen for 10+ years.
 

Offline FlexibleMammoth

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #63 on: November 08, 2021, 02:09:56 pm »
An Isolation transformer is no substitute for training, (...)

I've decided to word this post better, since I feel it does not do a good job to convey the purpose and dangers of isolation transformers (and also because I got curious and wanted to know more). I invite others to improve this post, if something is wrong, missing or inaccurate, I'll add that information.

Generally, the mechansim by which you receive an electric shock is by touching a potential difference that exceeds safe limits. This "safe limit" is usually lower for AC than for DC, and depends on additional factors. For example, children touching stuff and wet environments (e.g. bathroom) have lower safe limits.
   a) Probably the most common way to receive a shock is touching a single "hot" point, i.e. one that is above the safe limit. Current then flows from that point through your body to ground, and via the ground back to neutral, which completes the circuit.
        -> Partially mitigated by the mechanisms discussed below.
   b) Another possibility is touching both live (L) and neutral (N) wires at the same time, at which point current flows directly from L through your body to N.
        -> Not prevented by the mechanisms discussed below.
   c) Shocks from other sources, such as capacitors, large battery banks etc.
        -> Out of scope of this post - look at isolation and discharging techniques.

Now that we have established what can go wrong, let's look at potential solutions:
 
A RCD (residual current device) is a safety breaker that  is designed to protect you from fault currents that flow through your body to ground. It constantly monitors the difference between the current flowing in the L and N lines. Once that difference exceeds a certain level (e.g. 10mA, but there are also 20mA and 30mA models) for a certain time, that means current is getting lost somewhere, usually due to a fault in a device or you touching a hot wire. The RCD will then interrupt the lines to protect the victim from receiving a continuous shock.

This hurts really bad, but in most cases (!) will not kill you.


An isolation transformer is a 1:1 transformer that provides galvanic isolation from the mains live (L) and neutral (N) wires as well as interrupt the ground connection (depends on construction - see reply below). In terms of safety, if you only touch one of the transformer outputs, it is not possible to complete a circuit and you will not receive a shock.

That sounds nice, until you realize there is plenty opportunity for you to ground the device under test (DUT) again: your oscilloscope ground lead is grounded. Your PC's USB ground is grounded. Nearby chassis of measurement tools are grounded. Once you accidentally ground your DUT again, other points may be live with respect to that new ground point. That may or may not be dangerous, depending on where you placed the new ground point.

What is worse: now your RCD no longer protects you. If you now touch a hot point inside the DUT, current will flow from that point through your body to ground, and back into the DUT via the new ground point. From there, it makes its way via the N back to the transformer, which completes the circuit. This current flows through the secondary winding, which means incoming and outgoing current is the same both on primary and secondary side. As a result, the RCD only sees IL = IN and thinks all is well, while you are getting shocked.

This is what ntnico refers to when he says:
No, buy CAT rated differential probes. Isolation transformers are death traps in untrained hands.

Isolation Transform for the DUT and Differential Probes for the Scope.
No isolation transformer but get a low current GFI and keep the DUT grounded. There are a gazillion ways in which the DUT can become grounded again when using an isolation transformer. In order to use an isolation transformer you need to have proper training AND a workbench which is setup for measuring floating DUTs. But in the end an isolation transformer is a crutch from times when differential probes where horribly expensive and the entire chassis of a device could be connected to mains directly.

Now to the benefits of an isolation transformer: When operated correctly, an isolation transformer prevents single (!) errors on your side, such as:
Reaching across the bench and brushing against the DUT, poking your fingers where you shouldn’t have because you were sure your DUT is off, slipping with your probes, making a dumb mistake because you’re tired etc.

Whether you are capable of guaranteeing that this is the case every single day with no exceptions in your lab is a question only you can answer. As such, your personal safety is your responsibility.


Finally, for some measurements it is a good idea to step away from the DUT and all connected instruments when performing the measurement. This means setting up everything before turning on the power and no handheld measurements.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2021, 03:13:35 pm by FlexibleMammoth »
 

Online bdunham7

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #64 on: November 08, 2021, 02:33:28 pm »
An isolation transformer is a 1:1 transformer that provides galvanic isolation from the mains live (L) and neutral (N) wires as well as interrupt the ground connection. The idea is that if you only touch one of the transformer outputs, it is not possible to complete a circuit and you will not receive a shock.

Isolation transformers, as they typically exist and are used, do not interrupt the ground connection where they have ground pins on their cords and outlets.  Under certain conditions, you may want to do this with an adapter. Earlier versions often were only two pronged and didn't have any ground connections--they were developed for the shock hazard reason that you state, which was extreme because TVs at the time often had a 'live' metal chassis internally.

Quote
That sounds nice, until you realize there is plenty opportunity for you to ground the device under test (DUT) again: your oscilloscope ground lead is grounded. Your PC's USB ground is grounded. Nearby chassis of measurement tools are grounded. Once you accidentally ground your DUT again, other points may be live with respect to that new ground point. That may or may not be dangerous, depending on where you placed the new ground point.

One of the main reasons to use an isolation transformer is so that you can deliberately ground a point on the circuit, usually one that isn't grounded in the normal configuration, so as to make certain measurements.

Protection against shock hazard is a mixed bag.  While one or the other may be better for some situations, neither isolation transformers nor RCDs can protect you from all shock hazards, and in modern electronics these unmitigable types of hazards are very common.  I recommend paying attention rather than relying on one or the other safety device.

Edit:  After more coffee, I noticed that this discussion is in a thread about a $30K oscilloscope which I had presumed was sarcasm or trolling or both.  How did that happen?  :-/O
« Last Edit: November 08, 2021, 03:25:15 pm by bdunham7 »
A 3.5 digit 4.5 digit 5 digit 5.5 digit 6.5 digit 7.5 digit DMM is good enough for most people.
 
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Offline KaneTW

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #65 on: November 08, 2021, 02:59:52 pm »
Coming back to the topic, my first scope was an RTB2004 fully optioned. I paid about 4.5k at the time since I needed a scope asap and it was in between promos.

Pretty happy with it, although nowadays I'm starting to outgrow it.
 

Offline Jan Audio

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #66 on: November 08, 2021, 03:19:11 pm »
Once you have something the fun is gone.
 

Online bdunham7

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #67 on: November 08, 2021, 03:30:14 pm »
I'm not trolling.  I'm using this thread as research as to what to buy.  I might not buy right away, but I have some good ideas as to what to start with.

Of course you are, but perhaps it is friendly trolling?  The volume and apparent sincerity of the responses is hilarious.  The answer to your question is that you should get the Siglent SDS2104X promo combo and duct tape a half kilo gold bar to the back of it.  Maybe you can squeeze a few nice probes and a matching AWG into the budget.
A 3.5 digit 4.5 digit 5 digit 5.5 digit 6.5 digit 7.5 digit DMM is good enough for most people.
 
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Offline FlexibleMammoth

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #68 on: November 08, 2021, 03:30:30 pm »
Coming back to the topic, my first scope was an RTB2004 fully optioned. I paid about 4.5k at the time since I needed a scope asap and it was in between promos.

Pretty happy with it, although nowadays I'm starting to outgrow it.

I really really wanted that scope, back when there was the "all options for $2k" promo in the USA. I called R&S Germany and they really tried but didn't have the marketing budget to match the USA offer. In the end, I got an offer for a student price of 4.5k€, which was a good discount but still almost triple the USA price.

Felt kind of unfair, kept my old HMO1202.
 

Offline SymaxTopic starter

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #69 on: November 08, 2021, 06:52:08 pm »
I'm not trolling.  I'm using this thread as research as to what to buy.  I might not buy right away, but I have some good ideas as to what to start with.

Of course you are, but perhaps it is friendly trolling?  The volume and apparent sincerity of the responses is hilarious.  The answer to your question is that you should get the Siglent SDS2104X promo combo and duct tape a half kilo gold bar to the back of it.  Maybe you can squeeze a few nice probes and a matching AWG into the budget.

I've come to the conclusion that I should probably get a fully decked out SDS5104X (1 GHz, 4 CH).  Totally decked out I saw the cost is $11,308.00.  If there are options I should unselect that I could "hack" I'd be interested in hearing about it.
 

Offline tautech

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #70 on: November 08, 2021, 06:56:54 pm »
I'm not trolling.  I'm using this thread as research as to what to buy.  I might not buy right away, but I have some good ideas as to what to start with.

Of course you are, but perhaps it is friendly trolling?  The volume and apparent sincerity of the responses is hilarious.  The answer to your question is that you should get the Siglent SDS2104X promo combo and duct tape a half kilo gold bar to the back of it.  Maybe you can squeeze a few nice probes and a matching AWG into the budget.

I've come to the conclusion that I should probably get a fully decked out SDS5104X (1 GHz, 4 CH).  Totally decked out I saw the cost is $11,308.00.  If there are options I should unselect that I could "hack" I'd be interested in hearing about it.
You need study this thread:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/siglent-sds5000x-feedback/

SDS2000X Plus is a more polished model range albeit not as capable as the 5000X range for higher BW or if you need active probe support.
Avid Rabid Hobbyist
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Online tv84

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #71 on: November 08, 2021, 07:16:35 pm »
I've come to the conclusion that I should probably get a fully decked out SDS5104X (1 GHz, 4 CH).

Did you have an epiphany? Or did I miss an episode? The biggest experts here have been lowering the bar and you "came to the conclusion"...  :palm:

If the goal is to spend the money, I can get you a MSO5000 for 30k€ fully licensed.
 
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Offline kcbrown

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #72 on: November 08, 2021, 07:22:44 pm »
I've come to the conclusion that I should probably get a fully decked out SDS5104X (1 GHz, 4 CH).  Totally decked out I saw the cost is $11,308.00.  If there are options I should unselect that I could "hack" I'd be interested in hearing about it.

One question: why?  What's your specific justification for that, particularly in light of the logic I presented previously?

For that kind of money, you could get multiple different instruments that when put together give you far more capability.


What's your real reason for being interested in such an expensive piece of test equipment?


Let me put it this way: if you buy something inexpensive and capable (like the SDS2104X+), you can always buy something that meets your newly discovered requirements at the point in time you discover them, because you'll have saved the vast majority of your funds.  If you buy something in the $10K+ price range then you'll almost certainly be unable to recover most of it, and you'll have that much less in the way of funds to spend on equipment that covers any new requirements you end up with.

But hey, if you're truly intent on blowing your wad of cash, here you go: https://saving.em.keysight.com/en/used/oscilloscopes/msos604a-e185152669471
« Last Edit: November 08, 2021, 07:42:46 pm by kcbrown »
 

Offline tautech

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #73 on: November 08, 2021, 07:27:20 pm »
AFAICT Symax is still getting his head around scopes recommended for the price they are might not be a capable as he thinks but of course we know a different story. Anyways, his $ his choice.  :popcorn:
« Last Edit: November 08, 2021, 07:41:44 pm by tautech »
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Offline kcbrown

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #74 on: November 08, 2021, 07:46:41 pm »
AFAICK Symax is still getting his head around scopes recommended for the price they are might not be a capable as he thinks but of course we know a different story.

I think it's even worse than that.  I'd wager he doesn't even have any idea what capabilities he'll need or even actually want.  What he has on his bench right now suggests a rank beginner to me.  That's basically what I am, frankly, and though I am fortunate enough that I could afford equipment in the price range he's talking about, and although I sometimes salivate over equipment like that, I'm also practical enough to know that I'm likely to use only a fraction of the total capability of even instruments like the SDS2104X+.


Quote
Anyways, his $ his choice.  :popcorn:

Yep.  Maybe he has a very limited amount of time left on this earth and wants to experience using the best things he can lay his hands on.  And if that's the case, well, I can't fault him for it.
 

Online Fungus

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #75 on: November 08, 2021, 07:49:22 pm »
I can't believe everybody here is spending all their time trying to talk him out of it instead of discussing $30k oscilloscopes.
 

Offline kcbrown

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #76 on: November 08, 2021, 08:02:50 pm »
I can't believe everybody here is spending all their time trying to talk him out of it instead of discussing $30k oscilloscopes.

Best comment in the thread.   LOL!!!   :-DD


So with that in mind, please discuss everything that's wrong with https://saving.em.keysight.com/en/used/oscilloscopes/msos604a-e185152669471

 >:D
 

Offline tautech

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #77 on: November 08, 2021, 08:03:04 pm »
AFAICT Symax is still getting his head around scopes recommended for the price they are might not be a capable as he thinks but of course we know a different story.

I think it's even worse than that.  I'd wager he doesn't even have any idea what capabilities he'll need or even actually want.  What he has on his bench right now suggests a rank beginner to me.  That's basically what I am, frankly, and though I am fortunate enough that I could afford equipment in the price range he's talking about, and although I sometimes salivate over equipment like that, I'm also practical enough to know that I'm likely to use only a fraction of the total capability of even instruments like the SDS2104X+.
Certainly and that's a dilemma I'm often faced with as today's instruments often offer way more capability than many need or are likely to. KC, you also have the 4ch X-E and even these have features that it's hard to comprehend could be jammed into such a small package. They are just at a price point than a few don't want to stretch to so the X-U was developed which although not as well featured is enough scope for most ppls.....hell even the $379 SDS1202X-E is if you know how to drive it.
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Offline kcbrown

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #78 on: November 08, 2021, 08:26:59 pm »
Certainly and that's a dilemma I'm often faced with as today's instruments often offer way more capability than many need or are likely to. KC, you also have the 4ch X-E and even these have features that it's hard to comprehend could be jammed into such a small package. They are just at a price point than a few don't want to stretch to so the X-U was developed which although not as well featured is enough scope for most ppls.....hell even the $379 SDS1202X-E is if you know how to drive it.

Yep, exactly. 

The reason I got the SDS2104X+, despite already having the SDS1204X-E, is that I felt the screen of my SDS1204X-E was a bit limiting and the touchscreen of the SDS2104X+ (and the increased size and resolution of the screen) looked like a major usability improvement.  It also looked to have fixed some of the major gripes I had with the SDS1204X-E (zoom mode is done properly on the 2104X+).  It really did look like the last scope I'd likely ever need.  And it still does, of course.  Despite my gripes with the lack of responsiveness of the front panel, I'm immensely happy with it.  It's helped me solve some major problems (for instance, diagnosing a dead computer motherboard). 

And I needed a Christmas present.  It was a great Christmas present!   :)

I won't be surprised if, in a few years, a scope like the SDS2104X+ becomes the new "low end" offering.  Hard to say.  Depends on how much the CPU and FPGA technology improves from here.
 

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #79 on: November 08, 2021, 08:43:24 pm »
I can't believe everybody here is spending all their time trying to talk him out of it instead of discussing $30k oscilloscopes.

Which $30K oscilloscopes would you like to discuss?
A 3.5 digit 4.5 digit 5 digit 5.5 digit 6.5 digit 7.5 digit DMM is good enough for most people.
 

Offline KaneTW

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #80 on: November 08, 2021, 10:04:45 pm »
Honestly if you have 30k to spend, get a R&S RTO6.
 

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #81 on: November 08, 2021, 10:09:41 pm »
If you don't know what you need it for, you simply don't need $30k scope.

This.

But hey, it's your (or someone else's?) money. So, if you want to drop that kind of coin on a scope, you'd want to demo them all first and see what ones you like. Keysight, Tek, Lecroy, R&S are the biggies.
Any dealer would be happy to come and give you a demo of one.
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #82 on: November 08, 2021, 10:15:17 pm »
I just hope he's not trolling us and making us waste our time

On the other hand ... it is fun to dream about gear's on cost of other peoples money ;)

I came into an inheritance and would like to get a good scope.  So yeah, go ahead and dream as big as you want.  I will be using this thread to base my purchasing decision on.  So if you were to start fresh, what would you have liked to get?

Ok, havign now read the thread I've gotta say that this is kinda silly. $30k on a scope because you can is kinda pointless. It's not like splashing out on a Lamborghini, as even Joe Average can get a thrill out of driving that.
Getting the Lamborghini of scopes isn't going to give you a thrill, in fact it's likely going to be really annoying to use. The higher end and more complex a scope gets, generally speaking, the more annoying it is to use on a daily basis. They are big, hard to move around, take forever to boot up, have big loud fans, probably no dedicated knobs, and a UI that's very annoying for daily use.
Many a high end lab at big companies has a big expensive high end scope like this and it almost always just sits in the corner gathering dust, while the easier to use and more practical lower end scopes get used daily. Most engineers groan when they have to get the big expensive scope out to do some specific high end measurement they need.

If I was to spend some coin on a scope, IMO the nicest to use on a daily basis is the Keysight. It's certainly not the best bang-per-buck, but it's the fasted UI and "just works", which is very nice for daily use.
As someone with a lab full of fairly expensive scopes, it's the small simple Keysight 1000X that I grab when I just want to measure something.

I'm with the others. $5k can get you a really nice kitted out lab. Scope, function gen, 6.5 digit meter, load, PSU's, diff probes, irons, fume extractor, mats, hand tools, microscope, thermal imager etc.
$10k if you really want to splurge.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2021, 10:35:16 pm by EEVblog »
 
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Offline Wallace Gasiewicz

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #83 on: November 08, 2021, 11:38:06 pm »
I hate to say this, since I am a rebellious hippie, but the administrator is absolutely correct.
I agree: scope is just one part of a lab that you will probably need or want.
 

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #84 on: November 08, 2021, 11:48:44 pm »
I won't be surprised if, in a few years, a scope like the SDS2104X+ becomes the new "low end" offering.  Hard to say.  Depends on how much the CPU and FPGA technology improves from here.
In the 8 years we have really gone to suppling gear officially the rate of change has been outstanding and every new series offers a whole lot more capability where I too wonder where things will be in the next 10 years.  :o
Whereas the A brands seem to have only pushed ahead at the the leading edge while the Chinese have come in and eaten their lunch.  :P
IMO the 2kX+ will be around for a good while yet such as the hit it has been however it remains to be seen how much of an impact SDS6000A will make in the lower BW mid range market. I do know our beta testers are quite excited about it and how it kicks butt of most of the A brands.
Show me another 2 GHz DSO available for under $10k.  :popcorn:
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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #85 on: November 09, 2021, 12:01:23 am »
As someone with a lab full of fairly expensive scopes, it's the small simple Keysight 1000X that I grab when I just want to measure something.

If you're just whacking around on 'normal' stuff I can see that, but my scope use is a bit more occasional (I don't have a full-time spot on the bench for one) but the issue usually isn't how quickly or nicely I can do something, it's whether the scope has the functionality to accomplish what I want at all.  Whether it is bandwidth, a specialty trigger, memory, low noise, FFT resolution/noise or whatever, I can live with an obtuse UI (although I'm happy to whine about it just like everyone else) and the real test for me is the ultimate capabilities.  So, 'bang for buck' becomes more important than 'polish', at least in the case where you frequently end up at the limits of the capabilities of entry level scopes.

At $30K the discussion becomes ridiculous.  I'd try to buy as loaded a Tek MSO58 as you can get for $30K because 8 channels is nice, but I'm probably not in the majority. 
A 3.5 digit 4.5 digit 5 digit 5.5 digit 6.5 digit 7.5 digit DMM is good enough for most people.
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #86 on: November 09, 2021, 12:47:56 am »
If you don't know what you need it for, you simply don't need $30k scope.

This.
I simply have to agree here.

If you were to buy a plane - would you spend the money on a Lear jet, an SR-71 Blackbird or an Airbus A380 (with no understanding WHY you would require such beasts), just because you could?  Start with something more modest - even if a little lavish.  A Cessna 180 Skywagon might do everything you want.  Try it and fly it ... then you'll start to understand what is important to you.




Quote
But hey, it's your (or someone else's?) money. So, if you want to drop that kind of coin on a scope, you'd want to demo them all first and see what ones you like. Keysight, Tek, Lecroy, R&S are the biggies.
Any dealer would be happy to come and give you a demo of one.
Yep, it's your money - so the choice is yours - but for that sort of coin, I'D be getting some personal attention.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2021, 01:37:50 am by Brumby »
 
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Offline Brumby

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #87 on: November 09, 2021, 01:37:17 am »
Certainly a capable scope is high on the wish list - but that will not be a problem with the budget you have.  Choosing the right one for you is - and we can see that by your starting this thread.

I don't think there is anyone here who would not envy your budget - and we are certainly enjoying a little vicarious pleasure here - but we still have a practical bent on where our thinking goes.  This is why there is the apprehension expressed by many respondents.

Your budget would allow for a very healthy outcome for an entire electronics lab ... certainly for a developing interest.  Knowing what you want will come from playing around with basic gear - as will knowing how you want those features to perform.  For example, many scopes will include FFT functionality (as presented by the marketing department) - but would operate differently.  This could be in fundamental capabilities or the user interface.  Would you know how to assess which scope has the better fit for you?


I agree with the common sentiment that it would be a far more rewarding exercise to look at setting up a more complete lab and start learning for yourself.  We will certainly LOVE to answer any questions you will have.

I would keep this initial investment well under the $10,000 mark (around $5,000 would still get you some great gear).  Then, as you learn what is not adequate for your needs, you can upgrade the relevant pieces of kit with the $20,000-$25,000 you still have in the kitty.


Oh, and don't worry about having more than one scope.  There are a great many of us here who have multiple.  ;D  ::) ..... and occasionally having a second (or third) scope on the bench is very handy.
 

Offline kcbrown

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #88 on: November 09, 2021, 02:06:13 am »
At $30K the discussion becomes ridiculous.  I'd try to buy as loaded a Tek MSO58 as you can get for $30K because 8 channels is nice, but I'm probably not in the majority.

If the prices I'm seeing are any indication, $30K (actually, a little bit more: $31K) is what you'd pay for the lowest priced version of the MSO58, and that's a 500 MHz bandwidth version at that.

But hey, if you've got that kind of cash to spend, then what's an extra 20%, right?  :)   So you may as well sacrifice a couple of channels and go for the MSO66B, which is 6 channels at 1 GHz bandwidth.  Both of these scopes are flex channel scopes where you can switch any analog channel to 8 digital channels just by attaching the appropriate probe.

Prices are those listed at TestEquity.

Shahriar did an excellent overview of the MSO58 here:

He also has one on the 6-Series here:

Both look like amazing pieces of kit.  Initially the 5-Series didn't allow triggering on frequency domain events, which of course surprised Shahriar, but it appears they fixed that since then.  The video on the MSO58 is 4 years old.

The UI on the MSO58 looks quite responsive, and I'd expect the 6-Series UI to be at least as responsive, if not more so.
 
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Offline tautech

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #89 on: November 09, 2021, 02:24:21 am »
Yeah well for $30k you could also have three, yes three 4ch 2 GHz DSO's.

Yes this is getting silly..........
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #90 on: November 09, 2021, 02:59:34 am »
I would keep this initial investment well under the $10,000 mark (around $5,000 would still get you some great gear).  Then, as you learn what is not adequate for your needs, you can upgrade the relevant pieces of kit with the $20,000-$25,000 you still have in the kitty.

Heck, the spare $20k-$25k could pay for an entire DIY backyard cabin/lab building!
 
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Offline SymaxTopic starter

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #91 on: November 09, 2021, 03:59:59 am »
I would keep this initial investment well under the $10,000 mark (around $5,000 would still get you some great gear).  Then, as you learn what is not adequate for your needs, you can upgrade the relevant pieces of kit with the $20,000-$25,000 you still have in the kitty.

Heck, the spare $20k-$25k could pay for an entire DIY backyard cabin/lab building!

Love your videos Dave.  I would love to see you make one involving designing and building an excellent electronics lab from scratch with an unlimited budget!
 

Offline kcbrown

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #92 on: November 09, 2021, 04:32:26 am »
Love your videos Dave.  I would love to see you make one involving designing and building an excellent electronics lab from scratch with an unlimited budget!

That might be tough for him to do since he probably doesn't have an unlimited budget.   :D

But yeah, I'd definitely watch that video!
 

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #93 on: November 09, 2021, 07:07:39 am »

As someone with a lab full of fairly expensive scopes, it's the small simple Keysight 1000X that I grab when I just want to measure something.

Yet you'd be doing many a great disservice today recommending a DSO with just 1 Mpts mem depth.
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Offline kcbrown

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #94 on: November 09, 2021, 08:44:08 am »

As someone with a lab full of fairly expensive scopes, it's the small simple Keysight 1000X that I grab when I just want to measure something.

Yet you'd be doing many a great disservice today recommending a DSO with just 1 Mpts mem depth.

I don't know that he would.  You can do a lot with 1 million points of memory depth.  Look at the sheer amount that's been accomplished with scopes with far less memory than that.  Of course, you can do more with more depth than that, but that's true for most other scope characteristics as well.  The question is how often more memory than that will make the difference between solving the problem and failing to solve it, and I'd wager it's not as often as one might think.

There's a lot to be said for a snappy and responsive instrument.  Such an instrument is a joy to use.  It basically does what you want (presuming it has the capability, of course) when you want it, without hesitation.  That's Keysight's strong suit, and is likely a major reason (if not the reason) Dave reaches for his Keysight.

The main problem with the Keysight is that you pay quite a premium for that snappiness.  Someone who wants a snappy scope but who doesn't want to pay a Keysight premium would be better served with an Instek GDS-1000B series scope, which is both snappy (though not as much as the Keysight -- there are some situations in which the Instek's UI will lag, while from what I can tell the Keysight is always snappy and responsive no matter what it's doing) and has 10x the memory depth, and is far less expensive than the Keysight as well, at least in the U.S.   The Siglent SDS1000X-E series is also reasonably good in terms of its UI responsiveness, but not as good as the Instek.  I have both so I know what I'm talking about here.


Siglent would do well to address the lag in their UI, particularly in the SDS2000X+ series.  It's not like their scopes don't have the horsepower.  The Instek line has no more horsepower than the Siglents do and yet are substantially more responsive in the general case (from my own personal experience).  So it's all a question of how the firmware is designed and built.
 
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Offline paf

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #95 on: November 09, 2021, 10:00:01 am »
I know that "best" is relative and needs to be narrowed down quite a bit.  I'm a newbie and I know that.  I have no real idea what to look for in a scope.  If there is some sort of if/then flowchart or program that can help guide me to what features to look for in a scope that would be great.  I also know that budget for a scope is a key factor in recommendations.  My budget is $30,000.  I want a VERY feature rich scope, and I figure with that kind of budget, I can accomplish that.  I also am aware that going with a 4 channel scope is best.  I have been reviewing the other threads on this topic, but most of the scopes come in way under my budget.  The goal is to buy 1 scope and have it be the last scope that I will ever need.  Some of the plans that I have involve decoding software installed into micro controllers such as Arduino, PIC, etc.  I do also mess with RF from time to time.  I am also looking to monitor the sine wave from my 110V outlets because I plan on going somewhat off grid in the future.  I've watched a few YouTube videos and saw suggestions that I should go for as many samples per sec as possible.

Looking for tips and advice.

You need to change your mind. The "best"  oscilloscope (replace oscilloscope for any other 'thing) does not exist. There are "oscilloscopes" that are "better" for different things. You need to know  what you want to do with the oscilloscope. Today scopes are "very digital" and are evolving. In 10 years time, oscilloscopes will be very different, and you will be very different. So save your money. Buy a Rigol DS1054Z (or other in similar price range) to learn, and use your budget for other things.     
 
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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #96 on: November 09, 2021, 10:26:20 am »

As someone with a lab full of fairly expensive scopes, it's the small simple Keysight 1000X that I grab when I just want to measure something.

Yet you'd be doing many a great disservice today recommending a DSO with just 1 Mpts mem depth.
Indeed. The OP stated protocol decoding and for that you really want deep memory.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #97 on: November 09, 2021, 10:27:44 am »

As someone with a lab full of fairly expensive scopes, it's the small simple Keysight 1000X that I grab when I just want to measure something.

Yet you'd be doing many a great disservice today recommending a DSO with just 1 Mpts mem depth.
Indeed. The OP stated protocol decoding and for that you really want deep memory. A Megazoom Keysight DSO simply isn't the best choice for such jobs.


I don't know that he would.  You can do a lot with 1 million points of memory depth.  Look at the sheer amount that's been accomplished with scopes with far less memory than that.  Of course, you can do more with more depth than that, but that's true for most other scope characteristics as well.  The question is how often more memory than that will make the difference between solving the problem and failing to solve it, and I'd wager it's not as often as one might think.
Yup, people also got to work in Model-T Fords. Time moves on and better solutions are avaiable. Why not take advantage of that?
« Last Edit: November 09, 2021, 10:31:49 am by nctnico »
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Offline IAmBack

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #98 on: November 09, 2021, 11:00:44 am »
One question to OP: are You talking about scope only, or scope with set of probes, that allow You to fully enjoy abilities of the scope? Your scope will came with set of passive probes (if any), and those will limit useful bandwidth to about 500MHz. For higher bandwith You will need set of active probes, that in case of four channels may easilly cost 10k (4x2.5k), limiting budget for the scope itself. And what about current probes?
 
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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #99 on: November 09, 2021, 11:06:28 am »
Yup, people also got to work in Model-T Fords. Time moves on and better solutions are avaiable. Why not take advantage of that?


Buy a cheap, slow Chinese scope with lots of memory, and use that for protocol decoding.  Then get a Megazoom scope to go with it.  See which one you actually use most of the time.  It won't be a close contest.

Analogies involving Model Ts and the like aren't helpful.  :-BROKE
 
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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #100 on: November 09, 2021, 11:23:48 am »
Yup, people also got to work in Model-T Fords. Time moves on and better solutions are avaiable. Why not take advantage of that?


Buy a cheap, slow Chinese scope with lots of memory, and use that for protocol decoding.  Then get a Megazoom scope to go with it.  See which one you actually use most of the time.  It won't be a close contest.
Well, I more-or-less replaced a Keysight DSO7104A with a GW Instek GDS2204E. The latter is just much more convenient to use. Currently I have an R&S RTM3004 on my desk which I use mostly and I'm not going to replace that with a Megazoom Keysight scope as well. That would be a step back in my book. IOW: a lot depends on the actual use case.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2021, 12:53:42 pm by nctnico »
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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #101 on: November 09, 2021, 11:32:45 am »
Love your videos Dave.  I would love to see you make one involving designing and building an excellent electronics lab from scratch with an unlimited budget!

That might be tough for him to do since he probably doesn't have an unlimited budget.   :D

He could use cardboard cutouts like that analog-whatsit guy does in his oscilloscope comparisons on youtube.  :)
 

Offline pcprogrammer

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #102 on: November 09, 2021, 11:33:34 am »
Guess the overall consensuses is buy a relative cheap scope and hobby with that for the coming years. It will most likely be well enough for most of the project you have in mind.

There is no scope that will do everything you want and that will suffice for the rest of your live.

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #103 on: November 09, 2021, 11:38:30 am »

As someone with a lab full of fairly expensive scopes, it's the small simple Keysight 1000X that I grab when I just want to measure something.

Yet you'd be doing many a great disservice today recommending a DSO with just 1 Mpts mem depth.

Why? Not everybody needs it.

If you look at the top sellers on Batronix the first six are all Keysights:

https://www.batronix.com/shop/oscilloscopes/DSO.html

(Andnote that the Rigol DS1052E is still outselling all the Siglent models  :P )
 

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #104 on: November 09, 2021, 12:02:00 pm »

Why? Not everybody needs it.

If you look at the top sellers on Batronix the first six are all Keysights:

https://www.batronix.com/shop/oscilloscopes/DSO.html

(Andnote that the Rigol DS1052E is still outselling all the Siglent models  :P )

How do you know which are the bestsellers? This site doesn't look like its sorted by sales numbers. Rather manufacturer and series.
 
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Online nctnico

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #105 on: November 09, 2021, 12:42:02 pm »

Why? Not everybody needs it.

If you look at the top sellers on Batronix the first six are all Keysights:

https://www.batronix.com/shop/oscilloscopes/DSO.html

(Andnote that the Rigol DS1052E is still outselling all the Siglent models  :P )

How do you know which are the bestsellers? This site doesn't look like its sorted by sales numbers. Rather manufacturer and series.
Indeed. Simply sorted alphabetically.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online Fungus

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #106 on: November 09, 2021, 01:39:01 pm »
How do you know which are the bestsellers? This site doesn't look like its sorted by sales numbers. Rather manufacturer and series.

Because by default they're sorted by "position", not "manufacturer" (use the selector on the right)

Indeed. Simply sorted alphabetically.

Is that why there's Rigols above and below the Siglents in the list?
 

Offline SymaxTopic starter

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #107 on: November 09, 2021, 02:26:43 pm »
One question to OP: are You talking about scope only, or scope with set of probes, that allow You to fully enjoy abilities of the scope? Your scope will came with set of passive probes (if any), and those will limit useful bandwidth to about 500MHz. For higher bandwith You will need set of active probes, that in case of four channels may easilly cost 10k (4x2.5k), limiting budget for the scope itself. And what about current probes?

The scope only is quite a bit of an investment.  I figure once I get the base, I can add stuff later as time goes on similar to how I built my first computer with a box of parts back in the 80286 days.  The $30k price tag was an attempt to give a near limitless budget so that I could get the "best" scope of the times.  I fear that with the chip shortages and other world affairs that sometime in the future, chip manufacturing as it stands now will cease, causing some manufacturered goods to become unobtanium.
 

Offline Jan Audio

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #108 on: November 09, 2021, 03:54:59 pm »
If you have a supercomputer from the 80s it cost alot.
Now it is worth nothing.

Why invest to much ?
You can have each 2 years the newest 2000,- scope with latest technology.
Over 30 years you have alien scope.
 
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Offline TheBay

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #109 on: November 09, 2021, 05:34:42 pm »
Best is what fits your use case, abilities and potential immediate future needs, not future needs as you cannot future proof here.
What is best for someone else is not best for you, irrespective of cost.
 
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Online nctnico

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #110 on: November 09, 2021, 05:45:14 pm »
One question to OP: are You talking about scope only, or scope with set of probes, that allow You to fully enjoy abilities of the scope? Your scope will came with set of passive probes (if any), and those will limit useful bandwidth to about 500MHz. For higher bandwith You will need set of active probes, that in case of four channels may easilly cost 10k (4x2.5k), limiting budget for the scope itself. And what about current probes?

The scope only is quite a bit of an investment.  I figure once I get the base, I can add stuff later as time goes on similar to how I built my first computer with a box of parts back in the 80286 days.  The $30k price tag was an attempt to give a near limitless budget so that I could get the "best" scope of the times. 
In the end only you can determine what is best for your usage. If you are going to spend several $k then you should get the equipment on loan first so you can try what suits you best. Just make a pro / con list per model and rate what feature you find important. From there make a short list with 2 or 3 units you would like to try.

Quote
I fear that with the chip shortages and other world affairs that sometime in the future, chip manufacturing as it stands now will cease, causing some manufacturered goods to become unobtanium.
That sounds rather paranoia. If chip manufacturing stops then the world is in real trouble and the last thing you'll need is an oscilloscope. Such a scenario is highly unlikely due to the way the world economy is intertwined nowadays.
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Offline kcbrown

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #111 on: November 09, 2021, 06:53:37 pm »
Yup, people also got to work in Model-T Fords. Time moves on and better solutions are avaiable. Why not take advantage of that?

Because there are tradeoffs.

When there aren't tradeoffs, then of course you go with what you call the "better solutions".

Look, Dave has an Instek (the GDS-1104B), he has at least a couple of Siglents, he has a Rigol DS-1054Z, he has a couple of Keysights, he has at least one R&S, at least one Tektronix, and probably others.  And yet, the Keysight 1000X is his go-to scope.  Why, if it's so incredibly inferior to the rest?

You yourself have argued how much better the Instek's UI is compared with the other "B-brand" scopes, in large part (as I recall) due to its responsiveness.  I'm arguing that compared with even the Instek, the Keysight's UI is superior, at the very least in responsiveness, and that, combined with its size, is why Dave chooses it to perform off-the-cuff measurements and other things that don't exceed its capabilities, and apparently it's not often that what he needs to do exceeds its capabilities.

You replaced your Keysight because you needed different capabilities.  But that's you.  And despite your arguments in favor of the Instek, your go-to scope is now an R&S, again likely because of its capabilities that you need and that the Instek doesn't have.  But again, that's you, and due to your specific requirements.  What you find most usable depends on what you are actually doing.  The Keysight shines for many typical oscilloscope uses, and doesn't do so well for a few.  Your use cases fall into that latter category.   The plain fact is that Keysight wouldn't be selling nearly as well as it does for the kind of price it commands if it didn't do most things well enough.  Its responsiveness and usability apparently more than make up for the rest.  It's not like the 1000X is some kind of specialty scope (it's rather the opposite, actually -- it's rather basic by today's standards), so the fact that it sells as well as it does for its price means it must be doing something very right.  That something is its usability.  Nothing else about it stands out.


This is all subject to change.  The competition is improving all the time.  But as of now, for responsiveness, the Keysight apparently wins over everything else.  Combine that with a diminutive size and it's clear why Dave selects it above all of the considerable number of other choices he has at his disposal for his typical uses.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2021, 07:17:55 pm by kcbrown »
 
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Offline kcbrown

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #112 on: November 09, 2021, 07:05:11 pm »
The scope only is quite a bit of an investment.  I figure once I get the base, I can add stuff later as time goes on similar to how I built my first computer with a box of parts back in the 80286 days. 

Modern scopes aren't like that.  Their hardware is fixed out of the box, and determines the upper limit of what you can get out of any given unit.  The rest is just software.

You're calling the scope "quite a bit" of an investment, but that's only the case if you insist it is.  You can get all the capability you're likely to need for at least the next 5 years for less than $500.  And if you increase your budget to around $1500, you can do so in style.  :)


Quote
The $30k price tag was an attempt to give a near limitless budget so that I could get the "best" scope of the times.  I fear that with the chip shortages and other world affairs that sometime in the future, chip manufacturing as it stands now will cease, causing some manufacturered goods to become unobtanium.

This scenario is essentially impossible.  The only thing that's going to take out chip manufacturing worldwide is a global war, likely thermonuclear.  If that happens, we'll all be back in the stone ages, because it won't just be chip manufacturing that gets taken out, but most manufacturing.

Planning around such an event is not rational, because that's essentially planning everything around the worst possible case.  It's one thing to have contingencies against the worst possible case.  It's quite another thing to plan everything around it.  This is the latter.

No, as bad as things can sometimes look, the bottom line is that you need to have a little faith in your fellow man.  We each help to make things work, and that will continue to be the case.  The chip shortage has occurred due to a number of factors, but even now actions are being taken to compensate for it, e.g. Intel: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/23/intel-is-spending-20-billion-to-build-two-new-chip-plants-in-arizona.html

So fear not, and instead go on as if things will continue to be normal-ish, because just about everyone is working to ensure that.
 

Offline KE5FX

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #113 on: November 09, 2021, 07:57:56 pm »
Yup, people also got to work in Model-T Fords. Time moves on and better solutions are avaiable. Why not take advantage of that?


Buy a cheap, slow Chinese scope with lots of memory, and use that for protocol decoding.  Then get a Megazoom scope to go with it.  See which one you actually use most of the time.  It won't be a close contest.
Well, I more-or-less replaced a Keysight DSO7104A with a GW Instek GDS2204E. The latter is just much more convenient to use. Currently I have an R&S RTM3004 on my desk which I use mostly and I'm not going to replace that with a Megazoom Keysight scope as well. That would be a step back in my book. IOW: a lot depends on the actual use case.

Hmm, that's actually really interesting.  Not being familiar with the GDS2204E, I looked it up, and it seems to fall far short of the specs of the DSO7104A in some key areas.  Memory depth is a wash (10M versus 8M for the Keysight.)  Seems like a great deal for the price, but that's all that jumps out at me.  So you must really like it to make a statement like that.  What are some of the things you find more convenient about the Instek (or, conversely, intolerable about the Keysight)?

I'd hope the RTM3004 would be a good scope, being a first-tier R&S-branded product that's 10 years or so newer than the Keysight UI and its underlying chipset.  When it comes to scopes, Keysight seems to be resting on their laurels like Tektronix did for a long time, and I wouldn't be surprised if they lose their leadership position in mid-range DSOs as a result.  But not to a 200 MHz 1 GS/s Instek that sells new for $1200.  What am I missing?  Maybe I'm letting some old prejudices do the thinking for me here.
 

Offline tautech

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #114 on: November 09, 2021, 08:09:47 pm »

As someone with a lab full of fairly expensive scopes, it's the small simple Keysight 1000X that I grab when I just want to measure something.

Yet you'd be doing many a great disservice today recommending a DSO with just 1 Mpts mem depth.
Indeed. The OP stated protocol decoding and for that you really want deep memory.
The reality is KS 1kX is a 2 GSa/s DSO and in providing 2 GSa/s the capture length is just half that of a 1 GSa/s DSO with the same mem depth. Activate another channel and that's halved again !
The power of a DSO is severely hobbled with such limiting mem depth for capture length.
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Offline KE5FX

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #115 on: November 09, 2021, 08:35:42 pm »
The power of a DSO is severely hobbled with such limiting mem depth for capture length.

The rule of diminishing returns applies.  My TDS 3034 only had a 10K record length (and only then when operated in the right 'mode', another pet peeve.)  But it was a big step up from the 1K-point 2430A it replaced, because the 10K data record helped me get some things done that were much harder to accomplish with 1K points. 

Upgrading to 1M points in the MSO 6034A felt like winning the lottery in comparison.  And yes, I've found that limiting as well... I think it's happened two or three times in the last 10 years.  I got over it. 

I'm sure if I had a 100M record, I'd hit that limit as well, but at that point I'd probably be better off using some other instrument to capture and work with such large amounts of data.  That problem becomes one of streaming data acquisition for offline processing, which in turn becomes a matter of writing some custom software for decoding whatever data I'm dealing with, or perhaps recording complex data from an SDR.  I think the newer Tek scopes can actually do that sort of thing, which brings us back to the $30,000-and-up topic.
 

Offline IAmBack

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #116 on: November 09, 2021, 08:38:48 pm »
One question to OP: are You talking about scope only, or scope with set of probes, that allow You to fully enjoy abilities of the scope? Your scope will came with set of passive probes (if any), and those will limit useful bandwidth to about 500MHz. For higher bandwith You will need set of active probes, that in case of four channels may easilly cost 10k (4x2.5k), limiting budget for the scope itself. And what about current probes?

The scope only is quite a bit of an investment.  I figure once I get the base, I can add stuff later as time goes on similar to how I built my first computer with a box of parts back in the 80286 days.  The $30k price tag was an attempt to give a near limitless budget so that I could get the "best" scope of the times.  I fear that with the chip shortages and other world affairs that sometime in the future, chip manufacturing as it stands now will cease, causing some manufacturered goods to become unobtanium.
So, you are looking for doomsday scope :)
Maybe you should start with power generator with engine capable to run on alcohol, and instruments to produce this fuel?
In case of shortage of chips you'll need few more tools than a scope itself. Maybe several sets, hidden in different places...
And don't forget to prepare your own pcb manufacturing line together with all needed materials. Don't forget about components needed to build/repair stuff...
If a great "shortage of ewerything" is going to happen, your 30k scope won't be very useful. BTW, I've survived almost decade of such world, where lack of ewerything is something normal - thanks to political system (beware of the left side). I don't think, that advanced tools (as of these times) could help us, but basic and simple equipment and materials were wery helpful.
 
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Offline tautech

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #117 on: November 09, 2021, 09:23:37 pm »
The power of a DSO is severely hobbled with such limiting mem depth for capture length.

The rule of diminishing returns applies.  My TDS 3034 only had a 10K record length (and only then when operated in the right 'mode', another pet peeve.)  But it was a big step up from the 1K-point 2430A it replaced, because the 10K data record helped me get some things done that were much harder to accomplish with 1K points. 

Upgrading to 1M points in the MSO 6034A felt like winning the lottery in comparison.  And yes, I've found that limiting as well... I think it's happened two or three times in the last 10 years.  I got over it. 

I'm sure if I had a 100M record, I'd hit that limit as well, but at that point I'd probably be better off using some other instrument to capture and work with such large amounts of data.  That problem becomes one of streaming data acquisition for offline processing, which in turn becomes a matter of writing some custom software for decoding whatever data I'm dealing with, or perhaps recording complex data from an SDR.  I think the newer Tek scopes can actually do that sort of thing, which brings us back to the $30,000-and-up topic.
We need remember a DSO can be the whole acquisition system or just part of it.
Analysis can be performed within the scope or offline and capture depth/length is very important.
Comparatively cheap scopes offering 100+ Mpts are common today yet you act like this is something special when it is the direction the industry is heading and makes perfect sense where the modern DSO is far more than a tool for just looking at waveforms.
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Offline KE5FX

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #118 on: November 09, 2021, 09:33:01 pm »
Comparatively cheap scopes offering 100+ Mpts are common today yet you act like this is something special when it is the direction the industry is heading and makes perfect sense where the modern DSO is far more than a tool for just looking at waveforms.

Point being, I hardly ever need that, and when I do, I need something besides an oscilloscope to acquire and process the data.  Obsession over record length is an objectively terrible way for most people to choose a scope.

 

Offline tautech

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #119 on: November 09, 2021, 09:49:32 pm »
Comparatively cheap scopes offering 100+ Mpts are common today yet you act like this is something special when it is the direction the industry is heading and makes perfect sense where the modern DSO is far more than a tool for just looking at waveforms.

Point being, I hardly ever need that, and when I do, I need something besides an oscilloscope to acquire and process the data.  Obsession over record length is an objectively terrible way for most people to choose a scope.
Interesting when you said getting a scope with larger mem depth was like winning the lottery so why you would not include a more capable capture length as a high priority specification and just one part of choosing a DSO ?  :-//
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Online nctnico

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #120 on: November 09, 2021, 10:20:44 pm »
Yup, people also got to work in Model-T Fords. Time moves on and better solutions are avaiable. Why not take advantage of that?


Buy a cheap, slow Chinese scope with lots of memory, and use that for protocol decoding.  Then get a Megazoom scope to go with it.  See which one you actually use most of the time.  It won't be a close contest.
Well, I more-or-less replaced a Keysight DSO7104A with a GW Instek GDS2204E. The latter is just much more convenient to use. Currently I have an R&S RTM3004 on my desk which I use mostly and I'm not going to replace that with a Megazoom Keysight scope as well. That would be a step back in my book. IOW: a lot depends on the actual use case.

Hmm, that's actually really interesting.  Not being familiar with the GDS2204E, I looked it up, and it seems to fall far short of the specs of the DSO7104A in some key areas.  Memory depth is a wash (10M versus 8M for the Keysight.)  Seems like a great deal for the price, but that's all that jumps out at me.  So you must really like it to make a statement like that.  What are some of the things you find more convenient about the Instek (or, conversely, intolerable about the Keysight)?

I'd hope the RTM3004 would be a good scope, being a first-tier R&S-branded product that's 10 years or so newer than the Keysight UI and its underlying chipset.  When it comes to scopes, Keysight seems to be resting on their laurels like Tektronix did for a long time, and I wouldn't be surprised if they lose their leadership position in mid-range DSOs as a result.  But not to a 200 MHz 1 GS/s Instek that sells new for $1200.  What am I missing?  Maybe I'm letting some old prejudices do the thinking for me here.

Where the Instek wins is the menu structure. Like the Tektronix TDS500/600/700 series it has a vertical and horizontal row of buttons next to the screen. The horizontal buttons select the menu and the vertical buttons shows the sub-menu with the current settings. This gives the user a very clear overview of what settings are where. Also the GW Instek has a seperate select button. What drove me mad on the DSO7104A is the select button rotating to the next item while it is pressed. Which then required to go into the menu again and adjust the setting. On top of that the GW instek also has clever things like a default 1:10 button in the probe setup menu. Also don't be fooled by Keysight's memory depth specs; in most use cases it is only 1/4th of what it says on the badge. So it is 10Mpts (GDS2204E) versus 2Mpts (DSO7104A). A specific issue of the DSO7104A is that it has a noisy front-end (AFAIK modern Keysight scopes should be much better in that respect) so I usually had the high-res mode on as a noise filter which comes with it's own set of problems when displaying a signal. Another problem is lack of processing power in the DSO7104A. 128kpts FFT on the DSO7104A is basically useless due to the excruciatingly slow update rate where the GDS2204E has a reasonable update rate even with 1Mpts FFT on. The same goes for math where the GDS2204E uses actual data instead of decimated data. The latter is also why I'm keeping the GDS2204E around: filtering and math work only well on the actual data and not on decimated data. This is also a point where the RTM3004 falls short.
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Offline kcbrown

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #121 on: November 09, 2021, 11:56:31 pm »
Where the Instek wins is the menu structure. Like the Tektronix TDS500/600/700 series it has a vertical and horizontal row of buttons next to the screen. The horizontal buttons select the menu and the vertical buttons shows the sub-menu with the current settings. This gives the user a very clear overview of what settings are where.

I agree.  Once you get used to that, it makes submenu navigation fast and obvious.


Quote
Also the GW Instek has a seperate select button. What drove me mad on the DSO7104A is the select button rotating to the next item while it is pressed. Which then required to go into the menu again and adjust the setting.

Yeah, that's a major usability win for the Instek.  I've never understood why manufacturers use knobs without detents for the select knob/button.  I'm particularly surprised that Keysight would make such a mistake.

That said, I think Instek still made a mistake by not using a detent-based knob for the select knob.  Selecting items from a list is annoying with it because it's easy to overshoot the item you want, so you have to backtrack.  If it had detents it would be a lot easier to be precise with it.

 

Offline Sighound36

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #122 on: November 10, 2021, 11:35:39 am »
Is this still going on really?

My goto scope is 6000B Lecroy, if I didn't require the accuracy and the toolbox, plenty of the suggestions in the previous 5 pages would more than fit the bill without question easily and the cost of the probes would be a darn site cheaper!

Howabout a good everyday scope with decent tool box and a quality power analyser, DMM and Function Genny, load etc and you will have change and have a far more capable set up the just putting all your eggs in one basket.

In the last few years I ahve looked at a good number of mid range scopes up to £100K with tools and probes, some better than others, some far more flexible and accurate some bloody noisy!

If you wish to travel this route you will need exeperiance of using these more powerful and complex devices have indosyncraticness which can be frustrating.

But genuinelly a dailydriver will be a simple to use, quick boot up times and intutive plus you have to wish to use it regularly rather than Oh do I have to switch this thing on?

Take your time, have plenty of long term demo's at home and set up the sorts of testing you would be performing with these types of scopes all of the big four will wish to make a sale and sould be very happy to supply a  demo unit, I have no issues here on the UK othher that breakdowns
Seeking quality measurement equipment at realistic cost with proper service backup. If you pay peanuts you employ monkeys.
 

Offline KE5FX

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #123 on: November 10, 2021, 05:46:47 pm »
Interesting when you said getting a scope with larger mem depth was like winning the lottery so why you would not include a more capable capture length as a high priority specification and just one part of choosing a DSO ?  :-//

$100M would be nice, but not if I have to play Squid Game with my oscilloscope to win it.  I'll take $10M and a Megazoom ASIC, thanks.

10K points isn't enough for some of my use cases, but 1M to 10M is fine.

Yeah, that's a major usability win for the Instek.  I've never understood why manufacturers use knobs without detents for the select knob/button.  I'm particularly surprised that Keysight would make such a mistake.

Apparently that was one difference with the DSO/MSO6000 series versus the 7000s.  I've only used the former.  It uses a rotary knob with no detent for menu selection, but there's no 'push to accept selection' feature.  Instead, the function is selected immediately while scrolling through the options.  No detent is necessary, since it's easy enough to back up if you overshoot.

The drawback is that there's no way to close the menu; you have to wait a few seconds for it to close itself, assuming you don't need to open another menu right away.  I assume that's why they added the ability to push the knob.  I can see how doing that without adding a detent was a mistake. 

In the absence of a good touchscreen, the obvious right way to do it would be a capacitive sensor in the knob that closes the menu as soon as you take your hand away.
 

Offline tautech

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #124 on: November 10, 2021, 06:36:02 pm »
Interesting when you said getting a scope with larger mem depth was like winning the lottery so why you would not include a more capable capture length as a high priority specification and just one part of choosing a DSO ?  :-//

$100M would be nice, but not if I have to play Squid Game with my oscilloscope to win it.  I'll take $10M and a Megazoom ASIC, thanks.

10K points isn't enough for some of my use cases, but 1M to 10M is fine.
:-DD
You have that arse about face when for Megazoom you need cough up the $ $ $.
The #1 recommended DSO in this thread uses 2 ADC's each with 200 Mpts of memory support !
However if the thought of such memory depth scares you, you can wind it back to factory default 20 Mpts or lower if that would make you more comfortable.  ;)
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Offline KE5FX

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #125 on: November 10, 2021, 06:39:17 pm »
(Shrug) When I need to capture data around here, it's measured in gigabytes at a minimum.  A scope is the wrong tool for the job.

Your mileage may vary, of course. 
 
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Offline tautech

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #126 on: November 10, 2021, 07:49:15 pm »
(Shrug) When I need to capture data around here, it's measured in gigabytes at a minimum.  A scope is the wrong tool for the job.

Your mileage may vary, of course.
Ya think.
If you could save directly from your DSO to any folder on your network would that change your POV ?
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Offline kcbrown

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #127 on: November 10, 2021, 09:08:29 pm »
The #1 recommended DSO in this thread uses 2 ADC's each with 200 Mpts of memory support !

And it might well be even if it had 2Mpts.  It certainly would be if it had 20Mpts.

What makes it the #1 recommended DSO in this thread is the combination of capabilities it possesses for the price.


Quote
However if the thought of such memory depth scares you, you can wind it back to factory default 20 Mpts or lower if that would make you more comfortable.  ;)

This is actually something that people might do more often than you think, and not because of discomfort ( :) ), but rather because of the segment implementation.  Using a smaller capture depth frees up the remainder for segment use.
 
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Offline Per Hansson

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #128 on: November 10, 2021, 09:33:08 pm »
I can't believe everybody here is spending all their time trying to talk him out of it instead of discussing $30k oscilloscopes.
Best comment in the thread.   LOL!!!   :-DD
So with that in mind, please discuss everything that's wrong with https://saving.em.keysight.com/en/used/oscilloscopes/msos604a-e185152669471
 >:D
How are you gonna measure a 15kV pole transformer with that POS?
It doesn't even support transients on the inputs so you can't even shove it in the mains outlet, let alone a pole transformer like our OP intends to, quotes below.

I am also looking to monitor the sine wave from my 110V outlets

I'm considering messing with 15kV pole transformers too.  I know that it is important to wear thick rubber when messing with them.

A lot of things go bang when you come too close to a 15kV rail. There are special probes to measure these kinds of voltages, which are usually 1:1000 or higher, e.g. from Fluke. They are physically long, so you don't have to come too close to the source. All probes have maximum voltage ratings which must not be exceeded and which get MUCH lower as frequency goes up! You can easily damage your equipment or kill yourself if you apply excessive voltage to an unsuitable probe, even if it says 100:1.
As I was apparently not allowed to have fun in this thread and since nobody else mentioned it from my skimming of the thread I just want to say that I don't think Fluke has any high voltage probes designed for CAT-III or CAT-IV use that a pole transformer surely qualifies for, plus how are you even gonna carry that heavy scope up the pole?
All their HV probes that I have seen are intended only to service CRT TV's in a CAT-I environment.

I had hoped I would not need to write out that I was kidding  :-DD just as the original poster of this thread did not point out that he is trolling  :popcorn:
Can we stop making fun of people that got overly excited while window shopping but genuinely put an effort to learn? Also, deliberately giving bad advice is not funny. Shame on you.
When they genuinely put an effort to learn?
-Absolutely, but that sure ain't happening here!
« Last Edit: November 10, 2021, 09:37:49 pm by Per Hansson »
 

Offline KE5FX

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #129 on: November 10, 2021, 09:46:27 pm »
If you could save directly from your DSO to any folder on your network would that change your POV ?

I can (see dso6000.cpp in the GPIB Toolkit.)  But I've only used that app a few times since I wrote it several years back.   I'm more likely to need to record a continuous stream, which isn't supported by any of the DSOs around here. 

Stream acquisition would be a nice feature to have, since it would let the DSO serve as a general-purpose digitizer.  But (once again) it would require only a certain amount of acquisition storage on the DSO itself, with no benefit to paying for more.
 

Online Fungus

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #130 on: November 11, 2021, 07:28:13 am »
The #1 recommended DSO in this thread uses 2 ADC's each with 200 Mpts of memory support !

It's just a pity it can't zoom out and see it all:


 
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Offline rf-loop

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #131 on: November 12, 2021, 08:23:31 am »
The #1 recommended DSO in this thread uses 2 ADC's each with 200 Mpts of memory support !

It's just a pity it can't zoom out and see it all:



Sometimes should perhaps somehow be distinguished from the needs of fun play, the needs of media business populism, and the real work needs of professionals.
Of course, it can require the right knowledge, experience, and skill, which often shines in their absence from these films and opinions because the need for populism passes for media business. Just like yellow media click headlines and sensational news, same approach, same earnings model.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2021, 08:34:14 am by rf-loop »
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Online nctnico

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #132 on: November 12, 2021, 10:32:12 am »
The #1 recommended DSO in this thread uses 2 ADC's each with 200 Mpts of memory support !

It's just a pity it can't zoom out and see it all:



Sometimes should perhaps somehow be distinguished from the needs of fun play, the needs of media business populism, and the real work needs of professionals.
Of course, it can require the right knowledge, experience, and skill, which often shines in their absence from these films and opinions because the need for populism passes for media business. Just like yellow media click headlines and sensational news, same approach, same earnings model.
Well, ofcourse you want to defend your commercial interests/stay loyal to your employer but the reality is that Siglent simply has made a bade choice.  As I've written before: I won't touch a scope which can't zoom out even with a 10 foot pole. Hard pass. For some of the measurement jobs I do it would be very tedious to operate. Like using a non-auto ranging DMM to measure a wide variety of voltages. Ofcourse it is possible to get the job done but needing to change the range for every measurement is super tedious, wastes precious time and gets annoying quickly.

Now there will be a whole flurry of people chiming in who work on different kinds of projects than I am and yet are trying to force their way of working on me. Meh. I suggest they carefully read what I wrote about the GW Instek versus the Keysight scope earlier on in this thread. Sometimes seemingly little differences make for a more efficient workflow for some tasks. There is no need to rehash an old thread.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2021, 10:35:44 am by nctnico »
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Offline djsb

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #133 on: November 12, 2021, 10:42:25 am »
If money was no object, I'd buy a Tektronix MDO4104 mixed domain Oscilloscope. They are around £30k I think.
David
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #134 on: November 12, 2021, 11:54:30 am »

As someone with a lab full of fairly expensive scopes, it's the small simple Keysight 1000X that I grab when I just want to measure something.

Yet you'd be doing many a great disservice today recommending a DSO with just 1 Mpts mem depth.
Indeed. The OP stated protocol decoding and for that you really want deep memory.
The reality is KS 1kX is a 2 GSa/s DSO and in providing 2 GSa/s the capture length is just half that of a 1 GSa/s DSO with the same mem depth. Activate another channel and that's halved again !
The power of a DSO is severely hobbled with such limiting mem depth for capture length.

That's all a software limitation BTW, the same ASIC (with inbuilt memory) is the same from the 1000 to 4000 models.
They have increased it before with an update, and it wouldn't surprise me if they increase it again to stay relevant until the Megazoom V comes out.
But the fact that they haven't indicates that it's still selling so well that they don't have to.
Name another scope that's still selling well 12 years after release.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #135 on: November 12, 2021, 12:00:09 pm »
1054z costs the same, despite of inflation. Also, there are a few other tools that are approaching 1054's features with smaller price.
Otoh, how much was 500/350M 4ch scope 7 years ago? If tools like 1054 have established it's long-term price point, more expensive tools (like 30k scope) will probably cost less.

Actually, entry level scopes have remained fairly stable in price (actually cheaper with inflation) for at least 40 years, at least here in Aussie dollars.
When I was a kid, $600-$800 bought you a decent 20MHz dual CH analog scope. Then the Rigol DS1052E came out at $800 and you got all the DSO bells and whistles for the same price. Then the DS1054Z gave you 4 channels for a similar price.
 

Offline Sighound36

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #136 on: November 12, 2021, 12:07:19 pm »
Had both the 5 and 6 series on long term test, humm a way of the current mark of altenatives shame really so much wanted to like the 6 series but sadly not up to mark or the Keysight and Lecroy offerings and £25K for a True view probe I think not!


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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #137 on: November 12, 2021, 12:08:23 pm »
I've come to the conclusion that I should probably get a fully decked out SDS5104X (1 GHz, 4 CH).  Totally decked out I saw the cost is $11,308.00.  If there are options I should unselect that I could "hack" I'd be interested in hearing about it.

Why do you need 1GHz?  :-//
You are vastly better off getting a 350MHz or even 500MHz model and a whole bunch of useful probes like HV diff probes, current probes and active probes.
Anything above about 500MHz is pretty useless with your normal passive probes anyway.
If you really need GHz range then get an older used scope in the several GHz range just for that task.
 
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Offline rf-loop

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #138 on: November 12, 2021, 02:40:51 pm »
I've come to the conclusion that I should probably get a fully decked out SDS5104X (1 GHz, 4 CH).  Totally decked out I saw the cost is $11,308.00.  If there are options I should unselect that I could "hack" I'd be interested in hearing about it.

Why do you need 1GHz?  :-//
You are vastly better off getting a 350MHz or even 500MHz model and a whole bunch of useful probes like HV diff probes, current probes and active probes.
Anything above about 500MHz is pretty useless with your normal passive probes anyway.
If you really need GHz range then get an older used scope in the several GHz range just for that task.


Do you believe that example Tektronix TPP1000 passive 1GHz probes are just useless and made for joking. Perhaps you think Tek do not know what they design and do.  No they are serious with also this product. But naturally also it need some real knowledge how to use and for what. As is with most serious T&M instruments and tools mostly, even nowdays.

But for peoples who do not have enough knowledge and exdperience about RF proping, yes they are useless... as everything is useless, even hammer is useless if do not know   how to use and for what.

If one really need GHz range then get an modern scope. Forget old boat anchors with many kind of severe limits if need seriously do something - if want playing fun or nostalgic reasons like these then situation is of course different. Exept if have special and functinally limited need and some old meet perfectly just for this "single" need.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2021, 02:49:10 pm by rf-loop »
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Offline rf-loop

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #139 on: November 12, 2021, 03:00:43 pm »
I'm not trolling.  I'm using this thread as research as to what to buy.  I might not buy right away, but I have some good ideas as to what to start with.

Of course you are, but perhaps it is friendly trolling?  The volume and apparent sincerity of the responses is hilarious.  The answer to your question is that you should get the Siglent SDS2104X promo combo and duct tape a half kilo gold bar to the back of it.  Maybe you can squeeze a few nice probes and a matching AWG into the budget.

I've come to the conclusion that I should probably get a fully decked out SDS5104X (1 GHz, 4 CH).  Totally decked out I saw the cost is $11,308.00.  If there are options I should unselect that I could "hack" I'd be interested in hearing about it.

Why not a little higher-end (rel SDS5000X) more advanced SDS6104A. In the EU, its base price is 7,880 euros.
And if need, with SAP2500D 2.5GHz differential probe etc.
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Offline kcbrown

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #140 on: November 12, 2021, 11:43:12 pm »
The #1 recommended DSO in this thread uses 2 ADC's each with 200 Mpts of memory support !

It's just a pity it can't zoom out and see it all:



Tell me why in principle I can't zoom out with a 10M point capture buffer when my 1 GS/s GDS-1054B scope is set to 1ms/div.  Yes, I know the technical reasons for it, but that I can zoom out under some circumstances and not others is, from a user's perspective, arbitrary.  So give me a first principles based reason that I can't zoom out under those conditions, if being able to zoom out after a capture is performed is so incredibly important.

Whether you can zoom out or not on the scopes that behave as you prefer is effectively arbitrary.  It depends on your capture length, your timebase, your base sample rate, the number of channels you have active and the distribution of those channels over the available ADCs, and possibly other things I haven't considered.


In light of that, what matters is how you control what gets captured and how much gets captured.  What is certain is that the Siglent doesn't waste any memory even when capturing less than the specified buffer size: it instead uses the additional memory for additional captures and allows you to view those captures via the history mechanism.  You can always ensure that the entire buffer is filled simply by setting your timebase appropriately.  Just like, for the scope behavior you prefer, you can always ensure that you can zoom out after a capture by setting your timebase appropriately.

It's just a difference in philosophy.  The Siglent's main advantage in this is that everything is obvious up-front.  What you see is what you're going to get, no more and no less.  You have complete and direct control of the capture length and duration.  With the mechanism you prefer, you have to do the math, or pay attention to the little indicator at the top of the display, and your control over the capture time is much more coarse, limited to those selections that the scope gives you for the capture buffer length, and using something less than the total wastes the rest unless you have the segments feature and fool around with it (segments are not a first class citizen on the Instek).

Neither approach is particularly hard to deal with as a user.  The approach you prefer is perhaps better suited to scopes with a small amount of display real estate.  The Siglent approach is, I'd argue, better when you have a large display because you can use zoom mode on such scopes without incurring much of a real estate penalty, thus getting you the control advantages the Siglent's approach brings while at the same time being able to "zoom out" at will.


If you were really interested in always being able to zoom out, you'd be arguing for something that no scope manufacturer that I'm aware of implements: a fixed ratio of displayed waveform versus captured waveform at capture time.

« Last Edit: November 12, 2021, 11:54:36 pm by kcbrown »
 
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Online nctnico

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #141 on: November 12, 2021, 11:56:42 pm »
You are going at it from the wrong perspective and make things way too complicated in your mind. More memory means that the situation in which the display shows all (and the sample rate gets reduced) happens at higher time/div settings. And it is easy to see when there is not enough memory to show a full display at the full samplerate; at that point the samplerate gets reduced. Having some signal left & right just makes life easier for some use cases; no need to mess with settings or adjusting the trigger point before taking a measurement. If it turns out the trigger point isn't optimal you just scroll left/right. Stick the probe in your circuit and get a trace without needing to think upfront or re-measure when it turns out your assumption on the signal is wrong. Very handy especially when you are hunting rare events which may take an hour to re-occur. It allows for a way more relaxed approach to using an oscilloscope. And if there isn't enough memory then so be it.

See my autoranging DMM example. Autoranging works until you hit the limits and -for example- need to switch to the mV range manually.

And it is interesting that you bring up the history mode as being useful. In the end this also provides a varying time span of data. But not in the form of a continuous capture but a variable amount of past traces. In that perspective there is absolutely no difference between having an unknown amount of time left & right of the screen versus an unknown amount of past acquisitions. The only realisation you need to make is that both can be useful which is why nearly all of the oscilloscope manufacturers offer both and give maximum flexibility to the user.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2021, 12:29:10 am by nctnico »
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Online bdunham7

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #142 on: November 13, 2021, 12:12:36 am »
Having some signal left & right just makes life easier for some use cases; no need to mess with settings or adjusting the trigger point before taking a measurement. If it turns out the trigger point isn't optimal you just scroll left/right. Stick the probe in your circuit and get a trace without needing to think upfront or re-measure when it turns out your assumption on the signal is wrong. Very handy especially when you are hunting rare events which may take an hour to re-occur. It allows for a way more relaxed approach to using an oscilloscope. And if there isn't enough memory then so be it.

My ancient Tek hybrid DSO capture 4 screens worth and you can scroll around in that record.  It is actually handy once in a while.  I understand not wanting to fill the full buffer every capture, but there's no reason that the capture should always be exactly one screen width.  But I doubt anything is going to change.
A 3.5 digit 4.5 digit 5 digit 5.5 digit 6.5 digit 7.5 digit DMM is good enough for most people.
 

Offline kcbrown

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #143 on: November 13, 2021, 12:14:51 am »
You are going at it from the wrong perspective and make things way too complicated in your mind. More memory means that the situation in which the display shows all (and the sample rate gets reduced) happens at higher time/div settings. And it is easy to see when there is not enough memory to show a full display at the full samplerate; at that point the samplerate gets reduced. Having some signal left & right just makes life easier for some use cases; no need to mess with settings or adjusting the trigger point before taking a measurement. If it turns out the trigger point isn't optimal you just scroll left/right. Stick the probe in your circuit and get a trace without needing to think upfront or re-measure when it turns out your assumption on the signal is wrong.

Unless the amount of time you needed to capture happens to exceed the amount of time the buffer represents at full sample rate.  Then you need to think about it up front.


Quote
Very handy especially when you are hunting rare events which may take an hour to re-occur. It allows for a way more relaxed approach to using an oscilloscope. And if there isn't enough memory then so be it.

One approach has you thinking about capture time and setting that up directly in advance, while the other has you guessing unless you do the math.

All you're really saying is that you won't have to guess most of the time.  And that's a fair point.

But you always have to set your timebase to something.  If you don't already know the characteristics of what you're capturing, then what exactly is determining what you set your timebase to in the first place?   On the Siglent, this is obvious: you set it to the timebase that gets you full buffer use in a single capture, and you're done.


Quote
See my autoranging DMM example. Autoranging works until you hit the limits and -for example- need to switch to the mV range manually.

Right.  But it's interesting to note that in both cases, if the amount of time you need to capture is in excess of the buffer's time width at full sample rate, then you have to go out of your way to set the timebase appropriately either way.

And that leads back to my question at the end: why aren't you arguing for something like a fixed (or, perhaps, minimum) ratio between displayed time and captured time, so as to ensure that you can always zoom out to see more no matter what your timebase setting is?  If the ability to zoom out and scroll around is so incredibly important as you claim, why is it that this ability isn't preserved under all conditions?
« Last Edit: November 13, 2021, 12:18:27 am by kcbrown »
 

Online nctnico

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #144 on: November 13, 2021, 12:30:49 am »
But you always have to set your timebase to something.  If you don't already know the characteristics of what you're capturing, then what exactly is determining what you set your timebase to in the first place?   On the Siglent, this is obvious: you set it to the timebase that gets you full buffer use in a single capture, and you're done.
But that will lead to a situation where you can't see the details and thus needing more knob twisting to get to the interesting part of the signal.

And that leads back to my question at the end: why aren't you arguing for something like a fixed (or, perhaps, minimum) ratio between displayed time and captured time, so as to ensure that you can always zoom out to see more no matter what your timebase setting is?
That feature is already there: you can use zoom mode for that at the expense of screen real-estate but in such cases roll mode with a lot of memory + peak detect does the job just fine to catch enough details.

But all of this has been discussed at great length already so I'm going to put this subject to bed.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2021, 12:39:39 am by nctnico »
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Offline kcbrown

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #145 on: November 13, 2021, 12:44:27 am »
But you always have to set your timebase to something.  If you don't already know the characteristics of what you're capturing, then what exactly is determining what you set your timebase to in the first place?   On the Siglent, this is obvious: you set it to the timebase that gets you full buffer use in a single capture, and you're done.
But that will lead to a situation where you can't see the details and thus needing more knob twisting to get to the interesting part of the signal.

Unless you're using zoom mode.  Then you get the advantages of both.

Like I said, I think the standard approach (really, the "minimum ratio" approach) is better for scopes with small screens, and the Siglent approach is better for scopes with larger screens.


Quote
And that leads back to my question at the end: why aren't you arguing for something like a fixed (or, perhaps, minimum) ratio between displayed time and captured time, so as to ensure that you can always zoom out to see more no matter what your timebase setting is?
That feature is already there: you can use zoom mode for that at the expense of screen real-estate but in such cases roll mode with a lot of memory does the job just fine.

But then you have to zoom in (via zoom mode or after the fact) to see the details, which is precisely why you argue against the Siglent approach in the first place!

So this is no answer to my question.

You can't have it both ways.  Either you prefer being able to zoom out under all conditions irrespective of the timebase, in which case the standard approach only gets you an approximation of that, or you use zoom mode to get you a detail view, in which case your objection to the Siglent approach falls apart.

The Siglent wins for consistency, at least.  You do the same thing regardless of the time characteristics of the signal: set the timebase so that the screen shows the entire capture you're interested in.
 

Offline Anthocyanina

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #146 on: November 13, 2021, 01:26:14 am »
I have an 1104z, and I have not felt i need something more advanced, more responsive, definitely, but, were i to have an unlimited budget for an oscilloscope, i would go with the keysight 4000x  series mostly because of its many protocol decoders. It seems to be the cheapest to decode USB 2.0 at 8.5k usd for the 4 channel version, and being able to easily debug USB 2.0 would be really nice, should the need ever arise! Have you considered something like that? which protocols would you like to have decoded for you by the oscilloscope? of course that's not the most important thing about the oscilloscope, just seems to be something that hasn't been talked about much in this thread, where, with 30k$, QoL things like that could probably make the difference all else being equal
 

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #147 on: November 13, 2021, 03:50:59 am »
[epic trolling]
You can't have it both ways.
Dont feed the troll! This has been going on for years? now.

There is no scope that has full control of acquisition memory vs screen display when not in zoomed mode. None. Either the user makes use of zoom to get full control, or they put up with whatever approximation/estimation/setting the manufacturer uses in normal/default mode.

I think the approach used by all keysight/lecroy/siglent makes most sense, less time spent adjusting memory depth to keep the scope in its highest throughput mode.

I understand not wanting to fill the full buffer every capture, but there's no reason that the capture should always be exactly one screen width.
There is a good reason that the capture should not overflow the sides of the display, it slows down the acquisition rate and increases blind time. Ideally it should be user controlled, which the zoom mode of just about every single scope does.

I have an 1104z, and I have not felt i need something more advanced.... which protocols would you like to have decoded for you by the oscilloscope? of course that's not the most important thing about the oscilloscope, just seems to be something that hasn't been talked about much in this thread, where, with 30k$, QoL things like that could probably make the difference all else being equal
Not much in the way of actual requirement/use cases from the OP, so hard to make any specific suggestions! Love how this thread has been the classic eevblog fanboys + trolling while the OP pays little attention and just does their own thing.
 
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Online nctnico

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #148 on: November 13, 2021, 11:33:07 am »
I have an 1104z, and I have not felt i need something more advanced, more responsive, definitely, but, were i to have an unlimited budget for an oscilloscope, i would go with the keysight 4000x  series mostly because of its many protocol decoders. It seems to be the cheapest to decode USB 2.0 at 8.5k usd for the 4 channel version, and being able to easily debug USB 2.0 would be really nice, should the need ever arise! Have you considered something like that? which protocols would you like to have decoded for you by the oscilloscope? of course that's not the most important thing about the oscilloscope, just seems to be something that hasn't been talked about much in this thread, where, with 30k$, QoL things like that could probably make the difference all else being equal
IMHO decoding high speed busses with complicated protocols on top makes not much sense unless you are rolling your own hardware implementation. Interfaces like USB, MIPI, PCIe, etc are usually implemented using proven hard-IP blocks in the chip and have specific (matched impedance) routing requirements. If you have a problem you can use a HF (several GHz) oscilloscope or use board layout simulation to see whether you have adhered to the layout rules. Beyond that it makes more sense to monitor the protocol at the software side (for example Wireshark).
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline KaneTW

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #149 on: November 13, 2021, 04:42:29 pm »
Sometimes you have an obscure signaling issue on a highspeed bus that's otherwise using proven building blocks. Arguably it makes more sense to loan a high-bw scope for a few days than to buy one in those cases unless you have a continuous need.
 

Online bdunham7

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #150 on: November 13, 2021, 06:22:21 pm »
There is a good reason that the capture should not overflow the sides of the display, it slows down the acquisition rate and increases blind time. Ideally it should be user controlled, which the zoom mode of just about every single scope does.

Acquisition rate and blind time are usually not so critical that a 4-screen capture would be a problem.  I just happen to have found that to be handy at times.  However, as I've said before, it is more of a scope operation and screen management issue than an actual obstacle to doing some work.  I would forgive Siglent entirely if they would just allow me to shrink the whole record display to a small bar at the top like you'd see on my Tek, instead of using half the screen.  You should see the SDS1104X-E with zoom and FFT and measurements at the same time!  The response was some joke about curtains.
A 3.5 digit 4.5 digit 5 digit 5.5 digit 6.5 digit 7.5 digit DMM is good enough for most people.
 

Online BILLPOD

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #151 on: November 13, 2021, 08:53:42 pm »
Good Morning Symax,   Save your lunch money and get one of these: https://hackaday.com/2018/09/24/tearing-into-a-1-3-million-oscilloscope/ :-BROKE
 

Offline kcbrown

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #152 on: November 13, 2021, 10:25:37 pm »
There is a good reason that the capture should not overflow the sides of the display, it slows down the acquisition rate and increases blind time. Ideally it should be user controlled, which the zoom mode of just about every single scope does.

Acquisition rate and blind time are usually not so critical that a 4-screen capture would be a problem.  I just happen to have found that to be handy at times. 

None of these systems limit the maximum capture time.  That is strictly a question of setting the timebase.

But they do limit the minimum capture time.  The single-screen Siglent approach allows for a much smaller (compared to what you describe, by a factor of 4) minimum capture time than does a multi-screen approach.  However, note that the Instek, at least, has carefully matched the minimum capture length (1000 points) with the minimum timebase, such that a single capture of that length fills only the screen, and thus allows no zooming out.  You have to set a larger capture length for that.

How much of a difference does that really make?  Likely, not much in the grand scheme.  But that obviously depends on the nature of the capture requirements.  Blind time could easily dominate the total interval between trigger events such that the acquisition length makes no real difference until the timebase is much larger than the minimum.  But Siglent's dedicated sequence capture mode essentially eliminates the blind time (or so I'm led to believe), leaving only the capture length itself.  But you have to go out of your way to use that mode.


Quote
However, as I've said before, it is more of a scope operation and screen management issue than an actual obstacle to doing some work.  I would forgive Siglent entirely if they would just allow me to shrink the whole record display to a small bar at the top like you'd see on my Tek, instead of using half the screen.  You should see the SDS1104X-E with zoom and FFT and measurements at the same time!  The response was some joke about curtains.

I completely agree.  Siglent needs to implement the option to make zoom mode look like the normal display on, for instance, the Instek, so that you have a little indicator at the top of the screen showing the position and size of the zoom window within the capture itself.

For the 2000X+ series and the other scopes with a larger screen, this is much less of an issue, and the amount of screen real estate used for the zoomed portion of the waveform display is quite ample.   I wouldn't mind having the same option described above for that scope as well, but the screen size and resolution makes it quite usable.  As scope screens get bigger and increase in resolution, this issue will essentially disappear.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2021, 10:41:50 pm by kcbrown »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #153 on: November 14, 2021, 05:06:16 am »
I've come to the conclusion that I should probably get a fully decked out SDS5104X (1 GHz, 4 CH).  Totally decked out I saw the cost is $11,308.00.  If there are options I should unselect that I could "hack" I'd be interested in hearing about it.

Why do you need 1GHz?  :-//
You are vastly better off getting a 350MHz or even 500MHz model and a whole bunch of useful probes like HV diff probes, current probes and active probes.
Anything above about 500MHz is pretty useless with your normal passive probes anyway.
If you really need GHz range then get an older used scope in the several GHz range just for that task.


Do you believe that example Tektronix TPP1000 passive 1GHz probes are just useless and made for joking. Perhaps you think Tek do not know what they design and do.  No they are serious with also this product. But naturally also it need some real knowledge how to use and for what. As is with most serious T&M instruments and tools mostly, even nowdays.

It's got 4pF input capacitance. At 1GHz that's 39ohms. Enjoy.

Siglent don't even make or supply a matching 1GHz passive probe for that 1GHz scope do they?
This is why Siglent sell a 1GHz active probe with 1.2pF input cap.
 

Offline tautech

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #154 on: November 14, 2021, 05:49:18 am »
Siglent don't even make or supply a matching 1GHz passive probe for that 1GHz scope do they?
This is why Siglent sell a 1GHz active probe with 1.2pF input cap.
What else would fit their SAPBus interface ?
SAP1000 and new models SAP2500 and SAP2500D differential probes.
https://siglentna.com/products/accessories/probes/active-probes/

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Offline rf-loop

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #155 on: November 14, 2021, 10:47:46 am »
I've come to the conclusion that I should probably get a fully decked out SDS5104X (1 GHz, 4 CH).  Totally decked out I saw the cost is $11,308.00.  If there are options I should unselect that I could "hack" I'd be interested in hearing about it.

Why do you need 1GHz?  :-//
You are vastly better off getting a 350MHz or even 500MHz model and a whole bunch of useful probes like HV diff probes, current probes and active probes.
Anything above about 500MHz is pretty useless with your normal passive probes anyway.
If you really need GHz range then get an older used scope in the several GHz range just for that task.


Do you believe that example Tektronix TPP1000 passive 1GHz probes are just useless and made for joking. Perhaps you think Tek do not know what they design and do.  No they are serious with also this product. But naturally also it need some real knowledge how to use and for what. As is with most serious T&M instruments and tools mostly, even nowdays.

It's got 4pF input capacitance. At 1GHz that's 39ohms. Enjoy.




Even when it is not specified but can you tell where in this circuit is this capacitance. Yes I know it do not exist in any special position in circuit.
But also I know, and hope also you understand, there is also other things, whole complex circuit instead of one 4pF capasitance if you look how 1GHz or 10GHz see it.
There is three elements. R, C and L.  Yes there is also L.  Take example probe tip. Now just only for thinking purpose, not real from just this probe.
Think if there is 8mm 0.7mm wire, example just probe tip (if go more deep even it is itself complex circuit). Alone 8mm 0.7mm piece of wire is roughly 5nH inductance (also with parasitic series and parallel C). But this imagined tip simple series XL is around 31ohm. Now there is then this C what is example 4pF in this case. It is not one C in one place. It is least partially "parasitic" capacitance "here and there"  but then we have also other pole what we call "GND" and  also there signal travel through L  and together with parasitic capasitances there, everywhere, every single piece of wire is complex (R)LC.  Try draw this whole circuit with all lumped parasitics... and then how it interact with also complex circuit of DUT... what is then whole circuit when probe is connected. How this whole circuit behave.  :o
Also it is good to think where this GHz signal travel. DC travel well inside whole wire...

Word is bit more complex than 4pF 39pF @1GHz, think about it.

What I try tell. It is MUCH more complex thing than one kids schoolbook ideal 4pF capacitor and its XC.

It also mean that probing high frequency circuit is very complex and end of day state of art and need carefully think how probing change/affect DUT circuit.

How complex it is... more deep we go, more complex it is.

It need also note that least an passive probes freq bandwidth  and risetime is defined in accordance with general practice for an test signal source impedance of 25 ohms.


« Last Edit: November 14, 2021, 10:55:02 am by rf-loop »
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Offline Electro Fan

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #156 on: November 14, 2021, 03:40:53 pm »

How complex it is... more deep we go, more complex it is.


Maybe why this is known as rf-loop?  :) :-+, :) :-+, … :) :-+,
 
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Online bdunham7

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #157 on: November 14, 2021, 04:52:17 pm »
What I try tell. It is MUCH more complex thing than one kids schoolbook ideal 4pF capacitor and its XC.

It also mean that probing high frequency circuit is very complex and end of day state of art and need carefully think how probing change/affect DUT circuit.

How complex it is... more deep we go, more complex it is.

It need also note that least an passive probes freq bandwidth  and risetime is defined in accordance with general practice for an test signal source impedance of 25 ohms.

A high-impedance high-frequency passive probe is always a challenge and I do have to wonder what the use case is.  As for your 'complexities', on the older 500MHz 8pf P6139A Tek actually published the relevant data in the manual.  I don't see that data for the TPP1000 but I suspect that the result will be similar--very low input impedance at the top of the range.  Other than really needing a (very expensive) single probe that 'does it all' and uses a 1M scope input, I don't see why I'd want that in my toolbox.  If the TPP1000 does have better (more) input impedance performance than basic math would indicate, they ought to tell us about it.

I have the P6139A and also a P6156 10X 1pF that has a relatively constant 500R input out to several GHz.  It obviously needs a 50R input, but it has a clear advantage over even the high-performance P6139A above 100MHz.  They make 20X and 100X tips for the P6156, but I haven't scrounged them up yet--but the 100X apparently gives you a 5K input impedance up beyond 1GHz.  So IMO, high-impedance passive probes are an increasingly questionable choice as you go above 200MHz or so.  Yes, they nominally work with a 25R source impedance, but how helpful is that when you are working on a 390MHz garage door opener?


A 3.5 digit 4.5 digit 5 digit 5.5 digit 6.5 digit 7.5 digit DMM is good enough for most people.
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: What is the "best" Oscilliscope that I can get for $30,000?
« Reply #158 on: November 17, 2021, 03:51:11 am »
What I try tell. It is MUCH more complex thing than one kids schoolbook ideal 4pF capacitor and its XC.
It also mean that probing high frequency circuit is very complex and end of day state of art and need carefully think how probing change/affect DUT circuit.
How complex it is... more deep we go, more complex it is.

This is why I said it's pretty useless once you get above 500MHz.
This is why almost all passive probe makers stop at 500MHz
Or as dunham7 said, even questionable once you get above 200MHz.

This is why buying a >500MHz scope, or even say 300MHz scope for general lab use and probing is generally just a waste.
If are "messing with RF sometimes" as the OP is, then save the money on the general lab scope and get a good spectrum analyser.
In bang-per-buck, a 300MHz class scope is better value than a 500MHz class, which is better value again than a GHz class scope.


 
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