digital oscope suggestions? <500$?

Anyone got any suggestions for a good digital oscope? I have one from like the 70s and while it works well it doesn’t help much with any digital debugging or one shot kinda stuff
im looking for something with preferably 2 channels for general purpose, but definetly want digital and the ability to freeze/record

Sparkfun sells one that is aimed at what you are probably after.

https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10806

It is hard to beat the Rigol 1052 series. About $350 US

http://www.eevblog.com/2010/05/11/eevblog-86-buy-a-real-analog-oscilloscope-please/ http://www.eevblog.com/2009/04/05/eevblog-1-rigol-ds1052e-oscilloscope-reviwed/

http://www.pdamusician.com/dpscope/pictures.html 2 channel, works well. I got mine as a kit, my wife assembled it for me. ~$80, they seem to be out of stock, more available in a week or two.

Perhaps try this http://www.dipmicro.com/store/JYE-DSO082

Or Simplot http://www.negtronics.com/simplot "The Why? In my projects I needed a simple tool that could plot real time data from a microcontroller. There was no such tool available out there. There are various scripts using Processing and Python that can be used to plot the data, but nothing that is simple, easy to use and ready out of the box. The What? SimPlot is a simple plotting tool. This tool is used for visualization of real time data. The tool accepts data over serial port and plots it in real time on the screen.

Currently has following features

?Plots data from serial port ?4 Channels of data ?16bit signed data type (Arduino int datatype) ?User defined X axis length ?User defined Y axis scale"

I need something pc free, my laptop I use for this stuff is like 15 years old : / That rigol brand looks nice, pretty cheap starting equiptment, tho looks a little cheap compared to my current techtronix one but I guess this one cost alot back in the day when my dad got it, what is your experience with that rigol model? I think I may get that if its worth it

I have found it reliable and easy to use. My understanding that the comparable Tektronix scopes do not perform as well. From what I read when doing the research for this scope the Tek brand, at least their lower cost ones, aren't even manufactured by them any longer

I have the 50MHz Rigol, but a hack I found on the web turns it into a 100MHz scope by fiddling some of the firmware. From what I read the 50 and 100 MHz scopes from Rigol share the same electronics, the only difference is a firmware switch.

I still have my old analof Tek 450 scope, which I use for a few things, but the Rigol is my default instrument, used even more than my multimeters

Rigol DS1052

It is actually a scope that Agilent helped them design and build, which was sold as Agilent's DSO1000 series for a long time (and charged 3x the price.)

Yeah that particular model I saw that hack too, all the more reason it seems pretty decent for 350$, Does it tell you the peak voltages/ frequency/ duty cycle and. Any other kind of information about the waveform?

brian15co: Sparkfun sells one that is aimed at what you are probably after.

https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10806

Clearly a rebadged Rigol. But it is only 500Msa/s instead of 1000Msa/s like the 1102E (The model is 1102C which clearly is a slightly lower-end 1102E). Get the Rigol badged Rigol. I did. DS1102E, $399. Same price, twice the sample bandwidth. Should give you better waveforms.

http://www.saelig.com/product/PSPC017.htm

They are almost all the same, its mostly a matter of firmware on them.

Other than that I cant comment much, I own a 20Mhz 1987 kenwood DSO, and the one we have at work is like a 100k $ tektronics ... so a bit of a gap there

winner10920: Yeah that particular model I saw that hack too, all the more reason it seems pretty decent for 350$, Does it tell you the peak voltages/ frequency/ duty cycle and. Any other kind of information about the waveform?

Those are called measurements.

The datasheet clearly lists all of them.

I’ve got the 50MHz Rigol - don’t fancy my chances with the firmware hack though.
If I need faster / more channels, I use the ones at work.
Great bit of kit at the price, my only gripe is the fan is a bit noisy.

winner10920:
Yeah that particular model I saw that hack too, all the more reason it seems pretty decent for 350$,
Does it tell you the peak voltages/ frequency/ duty cycle and. Any other kind of information about the waveform?

This link shows a Rigol screen capture (1052) with the measurements turned on.

http://avr-hardware-random-number-generation.googlecode.com/files/rng2.png

Yeah I think im gonna get that rigol 1052e and try out that mod, its not much price difference for the one that comes 100Mhz but heck why spend the money, Those measurements are exactly the stuff I was looking for, right now with my old oscope a repetitive signal isn't bad but the only measurement I can get is frequency with a separate 2Mhz counter, and guess at the voltage noise isn't a problem, my shed had quite a few things going already that are noisy do you think it would be any more susceptible to EMI than a regular oscope? I have a 2 bulb fluorescent fixture and a big switching 13v supply that does some led lights, the latter causes alot of EMI and actually jams my FM radio entirely, my current oscope doesn't seem to mind but if this does ill have to investigate in solving the emi problem

In my opinion the probes used have more effect upon EMI and other noise than the scope. As others have said the scope was designed in conjunction with Agilent and very well designed and manufactured. However, the cheap price will mean cheap probes, so they will introduce noise and other issues. Of course a ‘good’ set of probes can exceed the cost of the scope when new. I picked up some HP probes on ebay for a good price (though still more than a new pair of cheap probes).

And before you consider the hack to increase bandwidth, beware that some folks have reported that their attempts to perform the hack caused the scope to brick. No idea if that is a change in firmware (copy protection) or simply a mistake in implementation, but the risk should be considered before the attempt.

BTW, the hack worked fine for me, but I have a version of the scope from before the hack was published…

In all the years I worked for a living I never saw a digital scope that I liked... the digitizing artifacts annoy me somehow. I own a Tektronics 2213 dual trace 60 Mhz BW scope that I used (not the same one) for 10 years at work and except for the sample storage of a good digital scope I don't miss or want one. It was my experience that failures i that required Digital O'scopes could have been better engineered from the start. On the 3 or 4 times I thought I needed and in fact rented and used... A more carful read of the data sheets and some common sense was the fix and the scope was of little use except to verify what I already knew... I'd made a design error or worse forgot a bypass capacitor or placed it too far from the noise source.

Doc

Docedison: In all the years I worked for a living I never saw a digital scope that I liked... the digitizing artifacts annoy me somehow. I own a Tektronics 2213 dual trace 60 Mhz BW scope that I used (not the same one) for 10 years at work and except for the sample storage of a good digital scope I don't miss or want one. It was my experience that failures i that required Digital O'scopes could have been better engineered from the start. On the 3 or 4 times I thought I needed and in fact rented and used... A more carful read of the data sheets and some common sense was the fix and the scope was of little use except to verify what I already knew... I'd made a design error or worse forgot a bypass capacitor or placed it too far from the noise source.

Doc

Just out of curiosity, were you working predominantly with digital or analog circuitry in your work? The reason I ask is that I to think analog scopes work better than digital when dealing with analog circuits. For digital, though, I do prefer them over the tricks that were needed to see certain types of problems; ie, using a trigger circuit to snap a photograph of the path trace... :)

That's one reason why im looking into getting a digital scope, so I can also use it for digital circuits and to verify timing, as well as simplify analyzing analog signals

Most of my work was mixed signal from DC to daylight... really low frequency analog FSK type encoding and decoding... Sensors of all types from hand carried soil measurement devices to large Center Pivot control systems single and multiple radio controlled remote valve control from 1" to 36" valves from 27 to 800 MHz RF control... An analog scope is great for analog signals and a digital scope is BEST for digital stuff. trying to extrapolate an analog signal from the digital "Artifacting" that occurs when a signal is rapidly chopped can be a real issue... is that "noise" an artifact or a harmonic from a frequency multiplier (RF Transmitter Vcc). I use and used an analog scope for many years for RF development, Audio or low frequency data voice and basic control stuff. When looking at a square wave signal on a digital scope is that spike on the leading edge of the waveform an artifact or a Power Supply issue??? The chioce is really simple, good digital scopes (Rigol) can be had for less than $500.00 fully loaded. A Good Used analog Tek scope (2235) can be had "Certified, Calibrated and guaranteed for about $150-$200 MAX used and the 2235 is a 100 MHz dual channel scope... I saw 4 or 5 on a quick Ebay scan @ approx $125.00 (AVG) price. The 100 Mhz bandwidth is the 3DB point... They're as a class good to 150 MHz or more... easily meeting the Rigol [u]analog[/u] measurement spec's. Both types of scopes are valuable for the things they do best... However there is no scope (affordable by most of us) that will do both well... I see Digital "USB" "Scopes"??? with 10 - 20KHz effective vertical bandwidth's for $150 + dollars... Junk for anything but an Arduino and not very good even for that purpose. A scope is a serious investment. If all you want to do is digital work then BUY Digital... But buy the very BEST you can afford. [u]If your scope and your [u]EXPERIENCE in properly using it is good[/u] you have a fine instrument...[/u] [u]But IF you have little experience in digital scopes you can spend a lot of time fixing both Digital AND Analog things that ain't broke....[/u] [u]Perhaps the easiest comparison would be a fine target competition Rifle... is NO BETTER than the man pointing it...[/u]... IMNSHO

Doc

Docedison,

I don't disagree with anything you said; however, I personally have had one solely analog scenario that I much prefer the digital scopes in.

I have an interest in high speed photography (Doc Edgerton, microsecond duration flashes). When attempting to determine the duration of a particular test flash, I ended up having to construct a microcontroller circuit to perform a series of actions to essentially capture the flash durations waveform.

The uC would first open the shutter of a digital camera. Then it would trigger the analog scope to start a sweep. It would then fire the flash. Finally it would close the shutter.

It was while performing that sequence, repeatedly, that I purchased the Rigol.

Walt