Thinking about a new scope

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I've got a 50 MHz Rigol that seems to be failing. Controls often don't perform as expected. Voltage selector often either doesn't change or changes overall scale.

Some similar issues with timebase.

 

If it was an old time Tek, I'd probably try cleaning contacts. Not sure how well the relatively frail switches on this one would respond to that - nor am I sure of how easy it is to disassemble.

 

If somebody has experience about possible issues, I'd like to hear it. I'm by no means positive that it is the actual switches. 

 

So, I'm looking about. Sigalent has a 2 channel 50 MHz for about $250 - and they even offer separate voltage knobs for each channel ( something that always drove me nuts with the Rigol.

 

Anybody have any thoughts on Sigalent stuff?

 

Also a general question. For some reason my Rigol wouldn't always show the a signal at the start of the display -- it would be in the middle area and no control would get that to change ( yes I could move it with the position knob, but if I had cranked up the time, it wouldn't be on screen). I could move it over and THEN crank up the time, but there was no way to get the display to start with what was obviously triggering it.

 

COmments appreciated,

 

hj

 

 

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but there was no way to get the display to start with what was obviously triggering it.

 

On most digital scopes you can move the trigger point ahead or after what is displayed...sometimes by a very large amount (delay time base & trigger position)..That lets you show what happened/happens after or before the actual trigger event.  Not sure about the Rigol, but most scopes can be set to show a "T" or other mark at the actual trigger point (assuming it is within the range of the display window's memory).

 

Maybe one of these Hantek's...cheap but maybe better luck...a roll of the dice at that price point

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Hantek-DSO4104B-Oscilloscope-100MHz-4Channels-1GSa-s-64K-Digital-Storage-NEW/332782836473?hash=item4d7b671af9:g:Q4EAAOSwrQRZulb4

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

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There is a control, but it doesn't do much -- I've run it in either direction.

 

Is there any particular reason to like Hanted? For channels would be nice, but not if the scope is unreliable.

 

Thanks,

 

hj

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I have a Rigol DS1052E myself and the rotary encoders started malfunctioning after a year or so.

I do not use my scope much, so in that year it had maybe 20 hours of real use.

I've read plenty of storys of the rotary encoders failing.

Some claim it is not really the encoders themself, but with a combination of crappy debounce algorithms.

I did not have a working scope to check it at that moment so I don't know.

 

I replaced one of the encoders, and it works now without any trouble.

The scope is fairly easy to take apart.

 

There are some threads with reviews and opinions on EEVblog, and the Siglent scopes get quite good reviews.

Especially the newer series the X-E have a better price/performance ratio then the budget Rigol scopes.

(I have not looked at EUR1000+ scopes)

 

The spectrum analyser in my Rigol is a joke, but the spectrum analyser in the newer Siglents are amazing, with about 140dB or more between big signals and the noise floor.

Don't ask me how they do that with an 8 bit adc, plenty of oversamplin helps, but there must be more to it.

I've seen a review of a German guy with a review of a Siglent scope. He just puts a wire in the input and picks up radio transmitters with the spectrum analyser.

 

Siglents SDS1104X-E is  a 4 channel 100MHz scope which can also be used as a 4 channel mixed signal logic analyser (on it's 4 inputs).

Software decoders for some common protocols are also built in ( I2S, Serial).

Siglent scopes (often ?) have a rise time which suggest a higher input bandwith than what is printed on the box. The SDS1104X-E has a -3dB bandwith of around 150MHz to 170MHz, according to reviews I read.

SDS1104X-E also has an amazing amount of built-in features, measurement modes, bells & whistles. So much that it gets quite easy to get lost in the menu's, but there is a button to  turn exotic features off and reset them back to basic measurement mode. 

 

A disadvantage of Siglent seems to be that there are (still?) some software bugs in their scopes. Rigol has apparently ironed out the bugs in the last 5 years, that their budget scope is on the market, but Siglent hasn't managed to do that yet. One of the biggest Bugs in the Siglent is a very slow update via the built in Ethernet interface. It has a http interface so you can use the scope over Ethernet but the screen update and response time is abysmal in this mode. Think about several seconds for a screen update or for settings to get through. Not usable for measurements, but good enough for easy screenshots without fiddling with USB sticks and saving files that way.

 

About half a year ago I was thinking about buying a better replacement for my Rigol. The Siglent SDS1104X-E was a clear winner for me, but eventually I decided to not buy a new scope because the Rigol I have is adequate for most of my measurements and I do not use it enough anyway to warrant an EUR500 investment. In the last half year the older Siglent models seem to have been mostly sold out. (You do not want those old models, even if they're cheap).

 

I would be very carefull with Hantek.

Some of the lesser known brands have horrible user interfaces that do not work properly.

If the combined vertical axis of the Rigol already drove you mad you surely don't want to go that route.

But I have to say I'm not sure if it was Hantek where the UI was so horrendous.

 

The MicSig tablet scopes might be worth checking out.

They are from the ground up built to work with a touch screen interface and can be battery powered.

They would be high on my list if I wanted to be able to take a scope with me on the job.

Doing magic with a USD 7 Logic Analyser: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment/2421756#comment-2421756

Bunch of old projects with AVR's: http://www.hoevendesign.com

Last Edited: Mon. Oct 1, 2018 - 04:43 AM
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Thanks for the details Paul. The specific info is very helpful.

 

 

hj