Author Topic: Wondering what function generators are good  (Read 3413 times)

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Offline ThereWasAnError

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Wondering what function generators are good
« on: December 08, 2016, 05:21:46 pm »
I'm looking to finally make a purchase here soon within the holiday season for test equipment, so I was wondering what function generators are top quality. My budget is around $300ish so what's a good one for entry level wise that still can perform many different functions?
 

Offline tautech

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Re: Wondering what function generators are good
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2016, 06:08:44 pm »
The Siglent SDG2042X is the forum favourite at present but at 499 is well above your budget. There's some other models from the Siglent stable, notably the SDG1000X series but again for a 30 MHz version @ 399 is still above your budget.
You'd have to drop down to a SDG1010 @ 329 to get even close and these have been good units but nowhere near as fully featured as the X series models.
http://www.siglentamerica.com/pd.aspx?tid=16&T=1

There's several threads on these Siglents on the forum, here's the one for the SDG1000 (not X) series:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/the-sdg1000-and-sdg800-thread/
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Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Wondering what function generators are good
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2016, 06:37:50 pm »
You could make one using some op-amps to get started depending on what you need. 
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline ThereWasAnError

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Re: Wondering what function generators are good
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2016, 07:39:14 pm »
Well I've been looking at the Rigol 1022 and I'm not looking for a whole lot in terms of functionality, just something that would be an entry level. I'm currently working on my Electronic Engineering Associates Degree and would like to get into it a bit more as a hobby that doesn't break the bank. I thought about making a simple one but I'd rather buy one that would benefit me down the road when I go back to get my Bachelors Degree.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2016, 07:41:29 pm by ThereWasAnError »
 

Offline tautech

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Re: Wondering what function generators are good
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2016, 08:09:13 pm »
Well I've been looking at the Rigol 1022 and I'm not looking for a whole lot in terms of functionality, just something that would be an entry level. I'm currently working on my Electronic Engineering Associates Degree and would like to get into it a bit more as a hobby that doesn't break the bank. I thought about making a simple one but I'd rather buy one that would benefit me down the road when I go back to get my Bachelors Degree.
A careful comparison of the datasheets will sort out the right decision for you.

There's members with both brands and hopefully they'll contribute for your decision so have a little study up and come back with any further questions you may have.

Give it a day or two for members to spot this thread and maybe offer further comment.
There's been a few threads started in the last few days on FG's, AWG's and the like so have a read of them too:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/

Links added:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/building-my-electronics-lab-need-help-choosing-a-function-generator-please-)/
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/help-choose-a-signal-generator-rigol-vs-siglent/
« Last Edit: December 08, 2016, 08:47:26 pm by tautech »
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Offline DaJMasta

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Re: Wondering what function generators are good
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2016, 08:19:59 pm »
Any specific requirements for higher frequency (or even RF) or arb waveforms?

With the $300 pricepoint, I think you're right between the more entry level sig gens and the more fully featured true arb ones... and if you don't have a specific need/goal in mind for what you're looking for... I'm wondering if it would just be better to get a real cheap DDS generator for now and just save the rest for an eventual upgrade when you have more money or have a better idea of what you're going to be using it for.  That said, if you don't have an immediate use, maybe you'd be better off saving a bit and going for a good all-arounder like the SDG2000X series (I've got an SDG2082X and it works great, though the fan is a hair loud).

Building your own is a great option, but if you want to use the generator to test parts or performance, it's going to be much harder to do since you're going to have to get the performance of your design up to snuff before you can go testing other things.
 

Offline saturation

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Re: Wondering what function generators are good
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2016, 08:25:56 pm »
Besides price, what do you need it to do?  How stable should it be, harmonics, frequency, arbitrary generation or "general purpose" like:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/volteq-function-generators/

Gets you going for $150.
Best Wishes,

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Offline free_electron

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Re: Wondering what function generators are good
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2016, 08:59:30 pm »
HP200A.  definitely the HP200A
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Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Wondering what function generators are good
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2016, 10:08:14 pm »
Besides price, what do you need it to do?  How stable should it be, harmonics, frequency, arbitrary generation or "general purpose" like:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/volteq-function-generators/

Gets you going for $150.
Those are pretty poor compared to the ones from Feeltech: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/feeltech-fy3224s-24mhz-2-channel-dds-aw-function-signal-generator/
IMHO the FY3200S series is pretty complete with two channels, fine grained frequency settings and 20Vpp into a high impedance load. I don't think a decent function generator gets any cheaper than this.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2016, 10:10:07 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline j bob

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Re: Wondering what function generators are good
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2016, 10:17:37 pm »
I work at a school and am pretty happy with the instek 8255A. It isn't super precise but it has a lot of functionality. I've had 12 of them for about 6 years with no reliability issues. The students sometimes get disconcerted because it shows more places of precision than it has stability from cold start. They are 350USD new but I've seen them for 200USD on eBay.

Whatever you get, you'll get a better price on a used one. If you figure out later you need different specs, you can put it back for sale without a big penalty you get from selling something you bought new.

- j.
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Wondering what function generators are good
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2016, 01:58:17 am »
Well I've been looking at the Rigol 1022 and I'm not looking for a whole lot in terms of functionality, just something that would be an entry level. I'm currently working on my Electronic Engineering Associates Degree and would like to get into it a bit more as a hobby that doesn't break the bank. I thought about making a simple one but I'd rather buy one that would benefit me down the road when I go back to get my Bachelors Degree.

For me, designing and building my own from scratch would certainly benefit me if I were going to school for EE degree.  There used to be some single IC waveform generators if you wanted to cheat.  Depending what you need, you could maybe just roll one with a microcontroller. 


HP200A.  definitely the HP200A
:-DD   

How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline saturation

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Re: Wondering what function generators are good
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2016, 07:23:52 pm »
I read that thread a while back, does the PSU require replacement to a linear one, or will just grounding the output to earth solve the coupled VAC output problems?

The thread mentions harmonic distortion to about 0.2%.  However I see that current prices for the unit or clones of it are as low as $55, delivered, in the USA.

The FG I mentioned on the link was either the USB based Hantek DDS 25, discussed on the forum archives and the Mechatrommer hack software as the driver, output to 100 MHz.   It seems still available fro $150 from Amazon USA. 

The GWInstek  is solid to 3 MHz, SFG 1003 at $150.




Besides price, what do you need it to do?  How stable should it be, harmonics, frequency, arbitrary generation or "general purpose" like:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/volteq-function-generators/

Gets you going for $150.
Those are pretty poor compared to the ones from Feeltech: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/feeltech-fy3224s-24mhz-2-channel-dds-aw-function-signal-generator/
IMHO the FY3200S series is pretty complete with two channels, fine grained frequency settings and 20Vpp into a high impedance load. I don't think a decent function generator gets any cheaper than this.
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline DavidDLC

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Re: Wondering what function generators are good
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2016, 07:35:53 pm »
Well I've been looking at the Rigol 1022 and I'm not looking for a whole lot in terms of functionality, just something that would be an entry level. I'm currently working on my Electronic Engineering Associates Degree and would like to get into it a bit more as a hobby that doesn't break the bank. I thought about making a simple one but I'd rather buy one that would benefit me down the road when I go back to get my Bachelors Degree.

I'm selling one in excellent condition (like new) if you are interested.

David DLC
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Wondering what function generators are good
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2016, 10:03:44 am »
I read that thread a while back, does the PSU require replacement to a linear one, or will just grounding the output to earth solve the coupled VAC output problems?
I have put a grounded inlet in my Feeltech generator and connected the ground to the 0V of the PSU. Problem solved. There really is no need to get into building your own (linear) PSU.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 


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