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colour digital CROs

Discussion in 'Hobby Electronics' started by bruce varley, Jul 13, 2005.

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  1. bruce varley

    bruce varley Guest

    I was considering treating myself and buying a colour LCD screen digital CRO
    to replace my 25 year old Tektronix, but the prices have set me back on my
    Well over $5000 for a 2-channel device. Are people really buying these
    devices at that price????
  2. Check out the new Agilent 3000 series, they start from US$1000. These
    are actually (shock horror) a re-badged Rigol unit which is designed
    and made in China. The DS-5102 100MHz 1GS/s 4KB colour model under the
    Rigol brand name is around $1700 from Emona, slightly higher price for
    the Agilent branded unit of course.
    I played with the Rigol unit the other day and I must say that I was
    impressed with the value for money, better than the equivalent
    Tektronix base model unit. The colour screen is large and clear, the
    operation intuitive, the response was quick, and it had plenty of cool
    features. Stuff like adjustable digital filtering was very nice. The
    masking features were impressive, horizontal and vertical adjustment
    along with 4000 samples allowing full replay capability.
    USB port for uploading to PC, sadly though it didn't support USB keys
    for screen capture.
    Needless to say with Agilent rebadging it, quality looked very good
    I was told that Rigol actually roll their own ADC/memory front end
    which is why they can meet this price point.

    With real-time DSOs what you are paying for is mostly the amount of
    sample memory. The base model units ($1500-$3000) have 2-10KB, the next
    price bracket (like the Agilent 54600 or 6000 series at $3000-$6000)
    have 1MB+ sample memory. The next price bracket again gets you the
    insanely high analog bandwidth as well.

    There are definite markets for all 3 price points.

    For general use, <10KB sample memory is fine, but you can't beat having
    several MB of sample memory if your budget can stretch that far.

    Dave :)
  3. Phil Allison

    Phil Allison Guest

    "bruce varley"

    ** If you are used to using an analogue CRO and need one mainly for
    analogue circuit work - then be VERY careful about replacing it with a
    digital sampling one.

    LCD sampling CROs have a number of drawbacks, some quite serious, that make
    them all but useless for normal analogue service and design work - IMO.

    ............... Phil
  4. KLR

    KLR Guest

    $5000 isn't really that much :) I recall a very very nice TEK (colour)
    one reviewed in EA/SC a couple of years ago, was around the $20,000
    mark :). It even had a B&W CRT, with an LCD filter over the front
    that changed colour as needed, to give a perfect, high resolution
    display with no purity/convergance errors etc.

    If you have the use for the features of the scope, and it can help you
    a lot in your work, or improve your technical abilities then its
    worth spending the money on. I was always told when starting out,
    that you can never spend too much money on tools of your trade, and I
    have never found this to be bad advice :). If what you are looking at
    is a good quality unit - has features you need and will use and will
    last you for another 25 years (as your old one did) then its worth the
  5. Depends on how much you want to spend :) Please explain the
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