[sdiy] What test gear do you use?

sleepy_dog at gmx.de sleepy_dog at gmx.de
Mon May 7 00:35:42 CEST 2018


 >> I have found the Rigol products to be completely unusable compared 
to quality ‘scopes. The encoders are useless, for all intents and 
purposes. There’s a reason these ‘scopes are cheap, and hacking one to a 
higher base model does not make up for the poor overall design quality.
<<

Do you have anything concrete about that "poor overall design quality"?
I have seen teardowns and extensive tests done by several EEs, and they 
were quite impressed with the quality, even though there have initially 
been some firmware bugs.

Apparently many people finding them quite usable, some of them smaller 
companies, not just hobbyists.
When I bought my Rigol of the newer generation when it had just come 
out, its specs - and they are real specs - completely dwarfed the back 
then basic Tek DSO model, especially its laughable point memory size 
(and the "1 elephant tooth per kpoints" they were asking for extra). For 
what was it, 1/3 the price or less? I don't remember exactly.

Now take it with as many tablespoons of salt as you like as I'm no EE, 
but there are not just a few EEs who do approve of that product line :-)

I'm not sure what exactly is your beef with the encoders. That they're a 
bit slow?
At least they have push function (for instant, accurate 
re-centering/zeroing and other things you'd contextually expect a push 
to do),
which Tek hadn't discovered when I bought my Rigol, kinda annoying / 
silly, b/c so damn obvious (even the crappy Hantek of 2011 I once had 
had that).

Compared to a USD 350,- scope that has better specs than the average Tek 
DSO say from 2014,
some used "bargain" that will cost you $100 servicing to make it usable 
again (if there isn't some other nasty flaw the seller did not tell and 
that you discover too late - too bad, no warranty), doesn't seem such a 
bargain after all. It is a bit of a bet, not everyone likes to play.

Are the current models (of below motorcycle price) of big name brands 
still made for this longevity you referred to? It's not my impression, 
but I haven't looked at it in depth.
And I for one would not get some scope so old that it's "digital and 
analog hybrid", as their memory size must be so ridiculously small that 
there's hardly any point to it even pretending to be a DSO at all.

I do get your point in your next message (which I just saw),
about the importance of quality equipment, as bad tools cost time and pain.

But from all  I read about people dissecting Rigol scopes - even if it's 
not top notch in all regards, they seem to be far from being toys anymore.

- Steve


> I have found the Rigol products to be completely unusable compared to quality ‘scopes. The encoders are useless, for all intents and purposes. There’s a reason these ‘scopes are cheap, and hacking one to a higher base model does not make up for the poor overall design quality.
>
> Before you say you can’t afford a higher quality ‘scope, don’t forget about the used market.
>
> I have a Tektronix 2213A 60 MHz analog ‘scope and a Tektronix 2230 100 MHz DSO that’s actually an analog and digital hybrid. These were $100 to $300 each on the used market. That’s less than a Rigol, and you’ll actually be able to use it. Not only that, but the parts are made to be serviceable for decades to come, and that’s an advantage that Tektronix has over many ‘scope manufacturers. I recently paid a mere $100 to have one of them repaired, and I didn’t even have to mess around with high voltages myself.
>
> I also have cheaper tools like Gadget Factory's Open Logic Sniffer, a 16-channel digital analyzer, and the Bus Pirate. Of course, these cheaper tools are digital, not analog.
>
> I built my own bench power supply with adjustable bipolar outputs from Craig Anderton’s Electronic Projects for Musicians in the early eighties, and it still works today. I use it to power Euro modules. It doesn’t have a fancy digital display, so I just connect a nice Fluke 87 meter, adjust the desired voltages, and then screw the cover on the unit and it is reliable.
>
> Brian
>
>
> On May 6, 2018, at 1:12 PM, sleepy_dog at gmx.de wrote:
>> Yes, you can hack the Rigol not only to a higher base model, but also unlock protocol analyzers, extra trigger modes etc, probably nothing an analog synth kit builder desperately needs, though.
>>
>> - Steve
>>
>> On 5/6/18, Jimmy Moore <jamoore84 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> I didn't mean to clutter up Quincas' thread with the scope conversation,
>>> but I'd love to hear more about what test gear people use.
>>>
>>> I've recently gotten back into kit building, and Quincas' video on the kit
>>> scope looked fun and useful -- Do people have other equipment that
>>> similarly fills a similar purpose that is worth its while? Space is at a
>>> premium in my apartment, which is why I'm interested in hearing about these
>>> small kit things.  I don't have much room for a dedicated test bench!
>>>
>>> Steve's comment about the DSO112
>>> <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGU9LoEpQFw> brought me further down the
>>> rabbit hole.
>>>
>>>
>>>   What's everyone use?
>>>
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