Author Topic: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase  (Read 4344 times)

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Offline Wuerstchenhund

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #75 on: February 14, 2020, 09:08:10 am »
You 'cleverly' left the R&S RTM3000 out.

A scope with up to 80Mpts memory, less decoding options (i.e. no FlexRay). Well, at least it's got 50ohms inputs ;)

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And not to mention Yokogawa has a whole bunch of interesting scopes.

Yokogawa's "whole bunch" consists of only two scope series (DLM3000 and DLM4000)  ;) and both have been on the market for many years.

The DLM3000 can have up to 250Mpts as the SDS5kX but it only has 2.5GSa/s, does FFTs up to 1.25Mpts, and has less functionality, limited decode and trigger options.

The DLM4000 goes up to 250Mpts as well and has more decode options, but it, too, is limited to 500MHz BW, plus the max sample rate is limited to 1.25GSa/s, FFTs to 250k, and functionality and trigger options are more limited than on the SDS5kX.

And that's just the current offering. Many previous models had even lower sample rates.

Don't get me wrong, these scopes are certainly interesting. But they have been designed primarily for industrial applications like power electronics and production control systems, and not as general purpose scopes.

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And on the lower end there is GW Instek too.

Yes, the GDS-2000E which has a lot smaller memory (10Mpts), smaller FFTs, and limited math, analysis, decode and triggers.

The only scope over 200MHz is the GDS-3000 and that offers a whooping 25kpts per channel. The rest of the specs read similar dire.

Let's be realistic, GW Instek has nothing in the class of scopes like the SDS5kX or DSO3kX, what it has is at most  comparable with other entry level scopes like the DSO-X1k/DSO-X2k, Rigol MSO5000 or the new Siglent SDS2kX+.

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All in all lots of other choices besides Rigol and Siglent.

Yes, and none of them offer a similar amount of memory, functionality, trigger capabilities and features. Which has been my point.

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Don't get too wound up about deep memory on the Rigol and Siglent scopes because they typically don't have enough processing power under the hood to do something usefull with it

Well, the SDS5104X I have currently access to begs to differ. For an embedded scope the platform seems pretty powerful, and the overall package is surprisingly good. There are some annoyances which could be improved, as well some things I really don't like, but right now I am not aware of any other scope in the market which would offer the same amount of capabilities and features in this class. I can't say I ever imagined saying this about a Siglent scope but here we are.

The other thing is that apparently Siglent will port the improvements that went into the SDS2kX+ to the SDS5kX as well.

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you'll end up with the same pitfall Tektronix fell in when they designed the MDO3000/4000.

I doubt anyone could compete with Tektronix when it comes to backward architectures and horrible UI. That's after all their USP ;)

« Last Edit: February 14, 2020, 10:14:50 am by Wuerstchenhund »
 

Offline tautech

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #76 on: February 14, 2020, 09:44:02 am »
Wuerstchenhund, have you got your mitts on a SDS2kX Plus yet ?
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Offline Wuerstchenhund

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #77 on: February 14, 2020, 09:53:54 am »
First, a lot of stuff outsourced to China is crappy simply because the Western company wanted the cheapest product no matter how much quality is compromised.

That's a very important point. In the end, what determines the crap-ness of a product is not the place of manufacture but the design goals of whoever came up with the product.

I guess the main reason why people equate "Made in China" (or any other cheap labor country) with "crap" is because true crap is usually too expensive to be manufactured in Western countries, while better quality products can be made in the West as well as in countries like China.

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Second. People tend to make comparisons between fixed time points. Like, "Hey, Apple said Intel processors were crap only to embrace Intel five years later". They don't pay attention to the fact that when Apple used Power PC G3 and G4 the Intel counterparts were really poor. But Intel released much better processors later and they were indeed much better while the PowerPC camp stagnated.

Well, G3 and G4 were better on those carefully selected benchmarks by Apple. There's a good article about this:

https://lowendmac.com/2006/twice-as-fast-did-apple-lie-or-just-carefully-select-its-truths/

In reality (i.e. outside artificial benchmarks), PPC had already lost when the G4 came out. Back then when Apple made the move from 68k to PPC there was the might of IBM behind the platform, with IBM wanting to push it into the desktop PC space (there were quite a few PPC-based desktop PCs from several manufacturers). IBM then dropped the idea pretty quickly and only kept PowerPC as a cheaper variant of their POWER architecture for the RS/6000 platform running AIX and Linux. The independent PPC PC makers disappeared, and when the G5 arrived Apple was the last PPC vendor, only to move to intel after realizing what a dead end the platform was (even more so when the G5 was too hot and power hungry for laptop use).

It's not just PowerPC. There was Alpha AXP (created by DEC, killed by HP), SPARC (created by Sun) and MIPS (used by SGI and Siemens-Nixdorf), which all died more or less around the same time (aside from SPARC, which is still drowned slowly in boiling oil by Oracle). Of course it's sad that this diversity has died, but on the other side at no point computing power was so cheap as today.

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Regarding the classic A-names. Does a basic instrument from them have a performance light years ahead of the current offering by the Chinese newcomers? Does it contain a lot of innovation? Does that innovation benefit the end user or does it just allow the A brand to cut costs while keeping the selling price stable?

In the scope class we're talking here the technology has been pretty much developed out years ago, and what we get are essentially iterations (more features, better screens) of previous models. This is especially true for A-brand scopes (aside from R&S' 10bit ADCs). Some of the premium they charge goes into better quality (especially software) as well as support, but a large part is simply because you pay for the name.

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I think we all know that, for some reason, Chinese software is very poor and nowadays software may matter more than hardware. But has it improved in 5 years?

Chinese software was (and still often is) poor because it's seen as something that has no value (a thinking that is not uncommon in the West, too). Which is one reason for (or maybe a consequence of?) rampant piracy in China. If something has no value then it should not be surprising that no-one pays much attention to detail. This, too, can be seen on some Western products.
 

Offline Zucca

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #78 on: February 14, 2020, 10:06:07 am »
Wuerstchenhund I missed you!
Can't know what you don't love. St. Augustine
Can't love what you don't know. Zucca
 
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Offline Wuerstchenhund

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #79 on: February 14, 2020, 10:17:42 am »
Wuerstchenhund, have you got your mitts on a SDS2kX Plus yet ?

No, simply because this is a class of scope neither myself nor my clients would buy (the lowest we buy are 500Mhz/1Ghz scopes a la DSOX4k).

Doesn't mean it's a bad scope (well, it seems to share a lot with the SDS5kx, plus got some improvements so it can't be that bad) just that it's not on my RADAR  ;)
 
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #80 on: February 14, 2020, 10:55:24 am »
And on the lower end there is GW Instek too.

Yes, the GDS-2000E which has a lot smaller memory (10Mpts), smaller FFTs, and limited math, analysis, decode and triggers.
You are wrong here. Actually it's 20Mpts of memory per channel in segmented mode. FFT is 1MPts. Math is freeform based on any trace so there is nothing limited to that except for having one math trace. It can do protocol triggering and search. Something else the GW Instek can do is statistic analysis on segmented recordings. You can define bins and then get an overview of what the distribution is for a measurement across the segments. These are rather clever oscilloscopes with quite a few nifty features. Actually there is a 2 channel 300MHz 'MDO' version too. With a simple key generator you can have the 300MHz bandwidth and spectrum analysis mode on the GDS/MSO models as well. It is true that GW Instek could do with a higher end oscilloscope in their portfolio but perhaps they don't see this as a segment they want to be in. I have the feeling GW Instek is big in the educational market (latest GDS-2000E firmware has added the Portugese language). BTW  it seems that GW Instek is also the OEM for quite a few pieces of Lecroy equipment.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2020, 10:59:03 am by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Wuerstchenhund

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #81 on: February 14, 2020, 11:46:24 am »
And on the lower end there is GW Instek too.

Yes, the GDS-2000E which has a lot smaller memory (10Mpts), smaller FFTs, and limited math, analysis, decode and triggers.

You are wrong here. Actually it's 20Mpts of memory per channel in segmented mode.

Still 20Mpts vs 250Mpts.

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FFT is 1MPts.

1Mpts vs 2Mpt.

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Math is freeform based on any trace so there is nothing limited to that except for having one math trace.

One math trace vs two math traces (with plans to extend this to four I believe).

Math on the GDS2kE seems to be rather basic (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division), compared to the SDS5kX (which has addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, integration, differential, sqrt as well as a formula editor).

The SDS5kX also has a more measurements.

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It can do protocol triggering and search.

Trigger and decode for I2C/SPI/UART/CAN/LIN vs Trigger & decode for I2C/I2S/SPI/UART/CAN/LIN/FlexRay/MIL1553B (and more are planned).

20k segments vs 100k segments.

2ns vs 400ps Peak Detect

+50ppm vs +1-3.5ppm timebase accuracy

And so on...

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Actually there is a 2 channel 300MHz 'MDO' version too. With a simple key generator you can have the 300MHz bandwidth and spectrum analysis mode on the GDS/MSO models as well.

Well, that's pretty much just a more SA-like interface for FFT (the Tek MDO does the same).

And 300MHz are still below the 350MHz which is where the SDS5kX Series starts at.

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These are rather clever oscilloscopes with quite a few nifty features.

I'm not saying the GWI scopes aren't good scopes, but my point remains that there's nothing out there at the moment which can match what the SDS5kX has to offer in this scope class (lower mid-range), and the fact remains that GWI simply has nothing above the upper entry-level market.

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It is true that GW Instek could do with a higher end oscilloscope in their portfolio but perhaps they don't see this as a segment they want to be in. I have the feeling GW Instek is big in the educational market (latest GDS-2000E firmware has added the Portugese language).

Yes, they seem to have a place in schools, probably mostly down to their low cost and solid performance.

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BTW  it seems that GW Instek is also the OEM for quite a few pieces of Lecroy equipment.

Indeed.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2020, 01:53:00 pm by Wuerstchenhund »
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #82 on: February 14, 2020, 01:28:41 pm »
Perhaps but the GW Instek MSO2104E costs less than half (including logic probes) compared to the SDS5k 4 channel entry model so it is logical there are differences. And no, the math on the GW Instek isn't basic. Again, it has freefrom math as well with a formula editor (or set the formula remotely). You should check it out because it is a very nice general purpose oscilloscope for R&D lab use. The UI is very productive as well . I used to own an Agilent MSO7104A but the GW Instek GDS2204E I bought later on turned out to be much easier to use so it quickly replaced the MSO7104A. Meanwhile I have an R&S RTM3004 on my bench but I'm still holding on to the GDS2204E because it can do a few useful things the RTM3004 can't.

And I'm not convinced there is nothing out there which can match the SDS5k. On paper and at first glance the specs may look great but you'd have to put some actual use on it (drill down deep) to see if everything holds up and works well in actual usage scenarios.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2020, 01:51:45 pm by nctnico »
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Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #83 on: February 14, 2020, 06:35:13 pm »
Ahhh... the old 'scope battles... It's 2015 again, with the difference that Wuerst has banded with the Siglent team. :-DD

And I'm not convinced there is nothing out there which can match the SDS5k. On paper and at first glance the specs may look great but you'd have to put some actual use on it (drill down deep) to see if everything holds up and works well in actual usage scenarios.
Nico, I have to ask: have you ever used the SDS5k to doubt so fervently the testimony of someone else that says he has access to one? Or is this pure caution (and a bit of prejudice, considering your past bad experience) with Siglent?


@Wuerstchenhund : there is a lot of contradiction in what you are writing.  My own experience with Chinese engineers is that while being clever they have very little understanding of the purpose of a product. Just do as being told but in that process the little details that make or break a product are lost.

This is certainly true but not different from a Western engineer starting to work on a product for a field he doesn't really know well.
That is my experience as well, with the difference that the root cause is not always lack of experience but also resource allocation and pressure to meet deadlines. In other words, you may be totally immersed in a large design facility but only a few are capable of having an overall understanding of the whole product.

This also happens more often across transnational interactions, where secrecy is deliberately applied to prevent copycats.

My only comment on the whole China-US relations is that none of the players in this game are the "oppressed". Neither "First world" countries being squeezed out of markets they deliberately allowed the race to the bottom to happen, nor China being squeezed out of the high end market after deliberately leaving copycats roam freely and use state power to keep major technological companies afloat at any cost. It is a commercial and innovation war like any other - perhaps the new "cold war".
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Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #84 on: February 14, 2020, 08:06:49 pm »
Ahhh... the old 'scope battles... It's 2015 again, with the difference that Wuerst has banded with the Siglent team. :-DD

And I'm not convinced there is nothing out there which can match the SDS5k. On paper and at first glance the specs may look great but you'd have to put some actual use on it (drill down deep) to see if everything holds up and works well in actual usage scenarios.
Nico, I have to ask: have you ever used the SDS5k to doubt so fervently the testimony of someone else that says he has access to one? Or is this pure caution (and a bit of prejudice, considering your past bad experience) with Siglent?
Mostly caution based on what I have read about the SDS5k so far where I carefully weigh the information based on the background (sales or engineering) and  perceived experience from the person writing the information. The recent scopes from Siglent look mighty interesting but there are also some hints of cutting corners which may eventually get in the way of making full use of all the potential. Anyway, the memory management is a hard fail for me though so it is unlikely I'm going to ever put my hands on a Siglent SDS5k.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2020, 08:24:56 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 Martin72

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #85 on: February 17, 2020, 09:46:27 pm »
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Anyway, the memory management is a hard fail for me

Simple question : Why ?


Offline nctnico

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #86 on: February 17, 2020, 10:09:13 pm »
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Anyway, the memory management is a hard fail for me

Simple question : Why ?
Using all the memory ('Capturing beyond the screen') is something I use very often because it makes the settings on the oscilloscope much less critical. This in turn translates to being able to focus on the circuit I'm designing while not having to think about how the oscilloscope is setup exactly. It just works so much easier. I used to have the first SDS2000 iteration oscilloscope which did had the setting to use all the memory but it would revert back to automatic by itself. This was very cumbersome to work with because I needed to set it back to full memory all the time.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2020, 10:12:35 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Martin72

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #87 on: February 17, 2020, 10:38:58 pm »
Ah, it´s only a thing of comfortable use, not a serious issue, that reassures me.

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I used to have the first SDS2000 iteration oscilloscope which did had the setting to use all the memory but it would revert back to automatic by itself.

The 2000+/5000 series got the whole memory (200/250mpts) in the ms timebase range, in this range you can choose the depth, above not.
I don´t think they weren´t clever, it must have a good reason.


Offline nctnico

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #88 on: February 17, 2020, 10:49:18 pm »
Ah, it´s only a thing of comfortable use, not a serious issue, that reassures me.
Well, I would call lack of comfort a serious issue.  8)  But if you aren't used to comfort you probably don't miss it  ;D
« Last Edit: February 17, 2020, 10:51:02 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Wuerstchenhund

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #89 on: February 18, 2020, 11:03:57 am »
Perhaps but the GW Instek MSO2104E costs less than half (including logic probes) compared to the SDS5k 4 channel entry model so it is logical there are differences. And no, the math on the GW Instek isn't basic. Again, it has freefrom math as well with a formula editor (or set the formula remotely). You should check it out because it is a very nice general purpose oscilloscope for R&D lab use. The UI is very productive as well . I used to own an Agilent MSO7104A but the GW Instek GDS2204E I bought later on turned out to be much easier to use so it quickly replaced the MSO7104A. Meanwhile I have an R&S RTM3004 on my bench but I'm still holding on to the GDS2204E because it can do a few useful things the RTM3004 can't.

I had to go for from what I could find on the GWI homepage and in the (very short and limited) spec sheets and manuals as I don't have access to any GWI scope around here.

I'm not doubting the GWI scopes are good scopes and worth their money but the matter of fact is that GWI has nothing in the 350MHz and above BW class so there's no point comparing it to the SDS5kX. Apples vs oranges.

If GWI ever makes anything in the 500MHz+ class then I'm sure I'll have a closer look, but right now anything below 500MHz (or 1GHz, really) is pretty much useless for us. Having said that, I still have the DS1054z I bought a while ago but that's essentially a toy I bought because I wanted to see how much scope I can get new for <$400 (although I have to say I have grown rather fond of this little thing!) ;)

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And I'm not convinced there is nothing out there which can match the SDS5k.

As I said, I'm open for suggestions of comparable(!) scopes which offer a similar feature set. So far I haven't seen one.

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On paper and at first glance the specs may look great but you'd have to put some actual use on it (drill down deep) to see if everything holds up and works well in actual usage scenarios.

True, but this is no longer the SDS2000 of back then. Siglent has learnt so much that a product can't be released if the basic functionality doesn't work.

Don't forget that the SDS5kX is the result of work stemming from experienced engineers like Performa01 who contributed massively to the feature set of the scope and the technology shared with Siglent by LeCroy.

The SDS5104X that's currently sitting here (not bought by me) isn't bug free but it's core functionality works and works reliably, and better than many big brand scopes. There are things I would implement differently (especially regarding the UI) but at the end of the day it's a perfectly usable debugging scope with features that at this point in time can't be found in other comparable scopes. It's as simple as that.


@Wuerstchenhund : there is a lot of contradiction in what you are writing.  My own experience with Chinese engineers is that while being clever they have very little understanding of the purpose of a product. Just do as being told but in that process the little details that make or break a product are lost.

This is certainly true but not different from a Western engineer starting to work on a product for a field he doesn't really know well.

That is my experience as well, with the difference that the root cause is not always lack of experience but also resource allocation and pressure to meet deadlines. In other words, you may be totally immersed in a large design facility but only a few are capable of having an overall understanding of the whole product.

Indeed, and especially on large projects this is often not avoidable.

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My only comment on the whole China-US relations is that none of the players in this game are the "oppressed". Neither "First world" countries being squeezed out of markets they deliberately allowed the race to the bottom to happen, nor China being squeezed out of the high end market after deliberately leaving copycats roam freely and use state power to keep major technological companies afloat at any cost. It is a commercial and innovation war like any other - perhaps the new "cold war".

How true!

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Ahhh... the old 'scope battles... It's 2015 again, with the difference that Wuerst has banded with the Siglent team. :-DD

Yes, but then technology has moved on. I'm not sure I'd buy any scope with Siglent badge in 2015.

Also, just imagine how empty the test equipment forum would be if all the scope battle threads were removed ;)
 
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Offline nicnac117

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #90 on: March 02, 2020, 04:58:57 pm »
The guy origionally asked for advice on what of three scopes he mentioned to buy,not all this political shit !!!! For his attention I recently bought the RTB 2K-COM4 package promotion by Rhode& Schwarz and am more than impressed and happy with it . It comes with all options enabled  and 300 MB B/W;logic pods etc . A true general purpose package with serial decoding included. Its time ALL manufacturers included serial decoding in a general purpose scope as times have moved on and these protocols are common everday tools . PS I remember back in the day looking at a TEK 2465 or 2467 and thinking if only !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i could afford one . PS it also includes segmented memory/sig-gen /function gen .
« Last Edit: March 02, 2020, 05:15:50 pm by nicnac117 »
 

Online jemangedeslolos

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #91 on: March 02, 2020, 05:54:46 pm »
The guy origionally asked for advice on what of three scopes he mentioned to buy,not all this political shit !!!! For his attention I recently bought the RTB 2K-COM4 package promotion by Rhode& Schwarz and am more than impressed and happy with it . It comes with all options enabled  and 300 MB B/W;logic pods etc . A true general purpose package with serial decoding included. Its time ALL manufacturers included serial decoding in a general purpose scope as times have moved on and these protocols are common everday tools . PS I remember back in the day looking at a TEK 2465 or 2467 and thinking if only !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i could afford one . PS it also includes segmented memory/sig-gen /function gen .

euhhhh

I don't know if you are jocking or not but in fact you paid for it.
It is an R&S bundle promotion but the oscilloscope alone costs much less than the full bundle.
All manufacturers offer serial decoding included .... if you pay the full option bundle  :-DD
 

Offline nicnac117

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #92 on: March 02, 2020, 06:52:07 pm »
Catch a grip!!! I didnt say I got it for nothing !! .but it cost a lot less than the options full price normally . Check your facts before trying to be a smartass!!!
 

Offline Wuerstchenhund

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #93 on: March 03, 2020, 11:49:05 am »
The guy origionally asked for advice on what of three scopes he mentioned to buy,not all this political shit !!!!

True, but he also got the only correct response in the first reply, which is to define what the requirements are. All three scopes (of which one isn't a model that even exists in this form so it's up to us to guess) are of completely different classes so to determine which one is "best" could easily be done by the throw of dice.

And since no further information by the OP has been forthcoming anyways it doesn't really matter if the discussion had stopped right there or deviated.

Besides, this isn't a one-to-one consultation, and stuff posted here may well be helpful or interesting for other people at some point.

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Its time ALL manufacturers included serial decoding in a general purpose scope as times have moved on and these protocols are common everday tools.

True again but because serial decode is a common requirement the big brands use it to try to milk their customers even more.
 

Online jemangedeslolos

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #94 on: March 03, 2020, 02:20:17 pm »
Catch a grip!!! I didnt say I got it for nothing !! .but it cost a lot less than the options full price normally . Check your facts before trying to be a smartass!!!

smartass ? Not really but if you insist i can try.

English is not my native language so maybe I misunderstood.
When I read you, it seems like R&S introduced a game chnger by offering a package with serial protocol decoding.
And this is not the case at all, all manufacturers offer serial decoding for several years, sometimes even without having to buy an additional option.
There are even oscilloscopes with serial decoding included that cost less than the R&S decoding option alone ;D

And I am very aware of the prices thank you very much.
I was aware of the R&S bundle promotion before it was introduced thanks to Rich on this forum.
Great oscilloscope by the way, no problem on this, but nothing new either.

 

Offline nicnac117

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Re: Need advice on Oscilloscope purchase
« Reply #95 on: March 04, 2020, 11:52:48 pm »
Ok Fair enough about the language ! You did pick me up wrong !! I was saying that the RTB2K-COM4 promotion package was good value whereas the normal pricing of the options is prohibitive . I was also saying that all the options should be standard in a modern scope or at least reasonably priced . Ihave a HMO1232 which does nothave any options . It would cost more than the scope to add all the protocols.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2020, 11:54:25 pm by nicnac117 »
 


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