Friday, March 15, 2019

Oscilloscope Shopping

Oscilloscope Shopping

I am now in the market for a new oscilloscope. I have sold my Rigol DS1054Z, it served me well. I originally purchased it stock at 70MHz and eventually did the famous hack on it and unlocked everything. Now I am looking for something that I will not outgrow as I get out of school and progress throughout my career.  I have my eye set on 3 different scopes all with their pros and cons but one of them in particular seems to address most issues at a fraction of the price. All in all, my mind is pretty set at this point, it is just a matter of coming up with the money.
My flavor of choice has ultimately come down to the Siglent SDS5034X pictured below.

I was considering the Rohde & Schwarz RTB2004 or the RTM3004, as well as a Lecroy Teledyne WaveSurfer 3034Z. I want at least 350 MHz and mixed signal options with  Logic Probes. As a student on a student budget, with all kinds of bills to pay, including tuition, rent, insurance etc., money is scarce. These scopes all come in at over $8k. Unfortunately Siglent offer no student discount or incentives. However, of the 3 scopes the Siglent comes in a half the price of the R&S and the Lecroy given the specs that I am looking for. I tried emailing them for a student discount, unfortunately I mentioned my blog and YouTube channel which I believe caused them to consider my request based on the amount of viewers and followers I have, as oppose to my original request which was for them to consider an academic discount. Nevertheless I like the company and their products. I own their bench-top multi-meter as well as their power supply. 
Here is a quick rudown of the specs taken from their website:

• 1 GHz, 500 MHz, 350 MHz models with real-time sample rate up to 5 GSa/s

• SPO technology
· Waveform capture rates up to 110,000 wfm/s (normal mode), and 480,000 wfm/s (sequence mode)
· Supports 256-level intensity grading and color temperature display modes
· Record length up to 250 Mpts
· Digital trigger system
• Intelligent trigger: Edge, Slope, Pulse, Window, Runt, Interval, Dropout, Pattern, Qualified and Video (HDTV supported). Trigger zone helps to simplify advanced triggering
• Serial bus triggering and decoder, supports protocols I2C, SPI, UART, CAN, LIN, CAN FD, FlexRay, I2S and MIL-STD-1553B
• Low background noise, supports 0.5 mV/div to 10 V/div voltage scales
• Segmented acquisition (Sequence) mode, dividing the maximum record length into multiple segments (up to 100,000), according to trigger conditions set by the user, with a very small dead time between segments to capture the qualifying event
• History waveform record (History) function, the maximum recorded waveform length is 100,000 frames
• Automatic measurement function on 39 parameters, supports statistics with histogram, Gating measurement, Math measurement, History measurement and Ref measurement
• 25 MHz function / arbitrary waveform generator, built-in multiple predefined waveforms
• Large 10.1” TFT-LCD display with 1024 * 600 resolution; Capacitive touch screen supports multi-touch gestures
• Multiple interfaces: USB Host, USB Device (USBTMC), LAN (VXI-11, telnet, socket, web), Pass/Fail, Trigger Out, 10 MHz In, 10 MHz Out, VGA output
• Built-in web server supports remote control by the LAN port using a web browser
• Supports SCPI remote control commands
Read more about it here. Also check out YouTube for some videos on its operations, there are only a few videos of it, I will post some whenever I get it.... dont hold your breath though.

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