Oscilloscope recommendations
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Oscilloscope recommendations

by sirket on Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:22 pm

I'm not sure this is the right forum to discuss oscilloscopes but I didn't see a more appropriate forum. Perhaps it would make sense to create a general tools and equipment forum where people can go for recommendations and advice? Anyway...

I'm in the market for a 500MHz scope- 4 channel preferably mixed signal. I'm basically down to the Tektronix MSO4054 and the Agilent MSO7054a. Each has their pro's and cons. I'm curious if anyone has used these scopes and can offer some feedback. I'd also love to know if there are alternative scopes I should look into.

Thanks!
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Re: Oscilloscope recommendations

by adafruit on Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:35 pm

hmm that is a good idea (on the forums thing) we'll think about it. we were going to have just p&p talk but then we kinda wanted to branch a little bit to stuff like ovens and routers. :D
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Re: Oscilloscope recommendations

by sirket on Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:40 pm

Yeah it would be _really_ helpful.

I've never been able to find good, independent reviews of some of this equipment. Obviously I can go to the Agilent and Tek forums- but that's hardly independent and unbiased. I'd like to know what real people think and what they've experienced.

For example- do you use an oscilloscope and what have you found to be the most useful features?
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Re: Oscilloscope recommendations

by chumbud on Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:56 pm

This doesn't meet your needs by a long shot but others may be coming across this thread as I did who may be looking for their first scope so I thought I'd mention a review I saw of an MP3 sized digital storage scope (1MHz) for only $90 new that just came out this month. Seeed Studio DSO Nano. Same people who make some arduino compatible boards. The scope is even an open source platform.
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Re: Oscilloscope recommendations

by sirket on Mon Nov 09, 2009 6:07 pm

chumbud wrote:This doesn't meet your needs by a long shot but others may be coming across this thread as I did who may be looking for their first scope

I'd love to see a tools section added to the site. People could post reviews of equipment, get recommendations, provide insight into their purchases, etc. I've got a lot of great tools- but there are definitely things I wouldn't buy again. I'm sure other people have had similar revelations.

I'd imagine you could create an entire forum in the tools section just for oscilloscopes.
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Re: Oscilloscope recommendations

by elwing on Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:09 am

chumbud wrote:This doesn't meet your needs by a long shot but others may be coming across this thread as I did who may be looking for their first scope so I thought I'd mention a review I saw of an MP3 sized digital storage scope (1MHz) for only $90 new that just came out this month. Seeed Studio DSO Nano. Same people who make some arduino compatible boards. The scope is even an open source platform.


it seems quite good, it's unfortunally only 1channel...
I'll still use my old GBDSO
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Re: Oscilloscope recommendations

by Stay@HomeElectronics on Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:49 am

Those oscilloscopes have a pretty hefty price on them. Have you tried to get the manufacturer or distributor to give you a demo of each?

You may also want to look into LeCroy oscilloscopes. I am sure they probably also have one with similar specifications.

The company that I am at always chose Tektronics because more engineers like the feel of the equipment over that of the Agilent. We picked the one that was the most intuitive, since both pieces of equipment where easily capable of doing the tasks we would ask of them.
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Re: Oscilloscope recommendations

by sirket on Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:25 pm

Stay@HomeElectronics wrote:Those oscilloscopes have a pretty hefty price on them. Have you tried to get the manufacturer or distributor to give you a demo of each?

I actually did test drive both of them- I was curious if anyone else had any insights.

You may also want to look into LeCroy oscilloscopes. I am sure they probably also have one with similar specifications.

*shudder* - must not use oscilloscope that runs Windows XP ....

The company that I am at always chose Tektronics because more engineers like the feel of the equipment over that of the Agilent. We picked the one that was the most intuitive, since both pieces of equipment where easily capable of doing the tasks we would ask of them.

I ended up going with the Tektronix. The screen is plenty large enough- and the Agilent, while beautiful, would have taken up even more room. So far- no regrets. The Agilent has a fast signal processor, but the Tek has a faster capture rate. It's all a bit of a wash in the end. I chose Tek because I've used them before and never regretted it.
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Re: Oscilloscope recommendations

by Entropy on Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:35 pm

We have a LeCroy SDA9000 at work. I've had to use the restore partition at least once already - that thing likes to hang on bootup a LOT.

Unfortunately, many of Agilent's products (like the PNA-L series RF network analyzers) are also going the Windows route. :( At least they seem to boot far more reliably than LeCroy's stuff.
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Re: Oscilloscope recommendations

by sirket on Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:26 pm

Entropy wrote:We have a LeCroy SDA9000 at work. I've had to use the restore partition at least once already - that thing likes to hang on bootup a LOT.

Not only that- but the LeCroy scopes have a very poor waveform/sec number. The Agilents are fast- but I trust Tektronix.
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Re: Oscilloscope recommendations

by Entropy on Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:34 am

The LeCroy is one of the nicest scopes I've worked with... When it actually boots up and doesn't crash. :)
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Re: Oscilloscope recommendations

by Stay@HomeElectronics on Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:47 am

I just thought I would throw "LeCroy" out there since it was a thread on "Oscilloscope Recommendations" and they are another major manufacturer of them. I have not used one since the early 90's and thought they might have corrected some of these issues.
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Re: Oscilloscope recommendations

by sirket on Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:56 am

I use to like LeCroy. The problem is that one of the main criteria for a DSO is how quickly it can process the waveform. The LeCroy's don't even come close to the Agilent numbers. The Tek's aren't quite as fast as the Agilent, but they offer some other nice features that make up for it.

I also really hate Windows as an oscilloscope OS :)
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Re: Oscilloscope recommendations

by rct on Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:29 am

Anyone try a PropScope yet? Any opinions for a first hobbyist scope? It's a USB oscilloscope based on the propeller platform. It looks interesting. I have no delusions about it competing with a real purpose built hardware scope.

http://www.parallax.com/Store/Microcont ... roductName

It appears to be fairly open. I first learned about it from this discussion

http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2009/12/09 ... illoscope/
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Re: Oscilloscope recommendations

by sirket on Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:06 pm

You may want to start a new thread for lower cost oscilloscope recommendations- I'm sure a lot of people would be interested in discussing it and they would be able to avoid having to read through the high end scopes being discussed at the beginning of this thread.
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