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LeCroy vs Tektronix

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Jenalee K., Mar 12, 2006.

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  1. Jenalee K.

    Jenalee K. Guest


    What is your opinion on LeCroy oscilloscopes? I have never ever touched
    one but always supposed for some reason (the price maybe) that they
    must be very good. Is Tektronix better? Tek does have a very good
    reputation. I have experience with some Tek scopes and found that they
    work very well but have a crappy user interface. In fact of all the
    scopes I have used (Philips, Agilent, Hameg, Tek, other) I found Tek by
    far the most non-intuitive. (Is it the Tek 454 where you have to _pull_
    a switch to power it on?)

    Jenalee K
  2. Klaus Bahner

    Klaus Bahner Guest

    Well to make it short, I bought a LeCroy Waverunner 6050 about 1.5 years
    ago and I think it's the best buy I ever made when it come to measuring
    and testequipment. I really love it ...

    When I bought the LeCroy, it offered clearly more bang for the buck than
    Tek's equivalent model (for the same price you got for example the touch
    screen, no sample rate reduction when using all four channels and more
    software options, better and longer warranty.). Finally I think that in
    these days, where scopes are basically unrepairable on the spot, an
    important feature is how long the manuafacturer warrants you that they
    will be able to repair it for your after the model has become obsolete.
    LeCroy gives you a much longer timeframe here, if I remember it
    correctly 7 instead of 3 years.

    Whether a scope is regarded intuitive or not is to a very high degree a
    personal thing, get a demo and judge yourself. For what it is worth I
    can add that - although I've used it rather intensive in the past - I so
    far had to consult the manual only twice.

  3. Most annoying is that they have to swap amplitude and
    time controls. Next annoying ist that amplitude zooming
    is around screen center, not around signal zero.

  4. Jim Yanik

    Jim Yanik Guest

    (Is it the Tek 454 where you have to _pull_

    If you bump any sort of equipment,the bump should not turn it on,but turn
    it OFF,as a safety measure.Think of a power supply(or a power saw);do you
    want it to energize if the power button was inadvertently bumped?

    WRT the 453,the power switch was in the rear of the unit,and used a long
    rod to pull it ON,and push it OFF.
  5. tekamn

    tekamn Guest

    Good point Jim.

    And once used to this kind of switch, it's easy t oenjoy the 465/475
    scopes too (same technique).

    Interesting Tektronix turned away from this with the 485 and the 2xxx
    series models. There they use the push-push switch technique for

    To the OP: The Lecroy scopes are nice for their variety of mathematical
    data treatment. There is a lot you can do from math (eg. multiply "on
    the fly" for power measurement) via statistics (mean/average/rms/...)
    to limit test programming.

    The LECroys are nice, and once you get used to the way the setup works
    and the measuremnt is going, you will like these scopes.

    Same as you will like Tektronix, once you feel used to the way the
    setup works.

    I have been able to use both of these brands, and to me: It 's amatter
    of flavour and budget you decide for these scopes. If you are in heavy
    math use, go for a LeCroy. The instruments are not cheap, but they keep
    their value well on the 2nd hand market.

    The Tektronix are very comfortable for easy quick measuremnt, very
    reliabel (the 24xx series is a nice choice) and there fans are much
    quieter ,-)

  6. Paul Mathews

    Paul Mathews Guest

    I tried out comparable LeCroy and Tek models recently before purchasing
    Tek TDS5104. There's a lot to like about LeCroy: larger screen, really
    nice submini probes (spring tip), some display modes not available in
    Tek. What tipped to Tek's favor was compatibility with our existing
    current and high voltage differential probes. You have to go all LeCroy
    if you change brands. Also worth mentioning: LeCroy rate-sensitive pot
    controls and screen center zooming (mentioned in another post) take a
    LOT of getting used to...
    One other point: Both vendors play tricks with how they bundle their
    scopes, probes, and software. Also, the price is negotiable,
    particularly if they know you are considering purchasing the 'other'
    Paul Mathews
  7. If looking at new scopes you shouldn't buy before you've checked out Agilent as well.
    Generally deeper memory and more responsive then Tek whenever I've compared the 2.
    I quickly dismissed Lecroy when looking at scopes recently as I just don't like the idea of Windowes
    and a hard disk in a scope...
  8. Phil Hobbs

    Phil Hobbs Guest

    Agreed! A fast scope costs like a midrange server, but has the OS of a
    throwaway PC. I generally don't worry too much about a script kiddie
    turning my 11801B into a bot via RS232, but one of those Win things....

    "I'm sorry, sir, but the Windows version in your oscilloscope is older
    than 6 months, so Microsoft no longer supports it...we recommend
    restoring from a backup and never connecting it to anything else ever
    again. Could we sell you a newer model with liquid-sodium cooled
    digitizers? Sir? Sir? What was that about Redmond freezing over? Not
    interested? Well, have a nice day."


    Phil Hobbs
  9. You consider a selfwitten piece of code to support
    the scope functionality to be more solid than
    windows ? The chances of a software upgrade for
    the scope are close to zero anyway, even though
    there usually are tons of bugs. Regardless of
    the operating system. No, I wouldn't load internet
    explorer to browse the porn community
    with the scope.

  10. Phil Hobbs

    Phil Hobbs Guest

    You bet I would. I've never had an insurmountable s/w bug in a decent
    instrument, and I've upgraded the firmware on a few. What instruments
    have you had bug problems with?

    The drivers are going to be self-written anyway.


    Phil Hobbs
  11. Yes, because it is written by the people that designed the hardware, and contains just the code
    necessary to do the job, not a huge hunk of other unused junk that comes along for the ride.
    Incidentally the Agilent 6000 is based on VxWorks, which is designed for this sort of thing.

    Actually it's the hard disk I was more worried about.
    When I spend several thousand on a scope I want it to last at least 10 years.
  12. Guest

    I like Lecroy's the best, followed by Tek and HP (Agilent).

    Lecroy has the edge overall, especially in user interface, they
    specialize in scopes and you get the feeling the founder will still
    kick someone's a$$ if they proposed some of the weird interfaces that
    Tek made, HP has great logic analyzers but not so good scopes.
  13. If Tek are the most non-intuitive scope you have used then you truely
    haven't used a Lecroy before!
    Lecroy have the hard earned reputation for being the most convoluted
    and non-intuitive scopes on the market by a long shot.
    Yes, they are very powerful, and yes, they perform well, but they are
    absolutely horrible to use.
    At our former company we had lots of mega dollar ($50,000) Lecroy
    scopes around, but they sat on the shelf gathering dust simply because
    no one knew how to drive the things. Most of the time you want to
    measure somethign simple, and a Lecroy scope was useless for this.
    Lecroy used to be streets ahead of everyone else on performance, with
    mega deep sample memories, well before the other players were still
    mucking around with 10KB memory. But now the others have caught up and
    Lecroy no longer has a performance advantage.

    Lecroy have recently come out with new models with supposedly a new
    user interface, but I haven't seen these so can't comment.

    IMHO the newer Agilent scope 54600 and 6000 series are the easiest to
    use DSO's.

    Tek's aren't too bad really.

    Dave :)
  14. John  Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    The new Tek scopes I recently saw at a trade show were really Windows
    PCs with an acquisition board and an display program you run after it
    boots. So you can run Internet Explorer and LabView and Norton
    Anti-Virus and Donkey Kong and stuff on it, too. And right, you can
    re-install Windows as often as you like.

    11801's are beautiful, no?

    I won't buy LeCroy on principle (Walter did me dirty once) but my
    TDS2012 follows the 80/20 rule: it does 80% of what the high-end
    scopes do and costs 20% as much.

  15. Paul Mathews

    Paul Mathews Guest

    Good point about Agilent, but I'm not worried about Windows support.
    Tek will support the scope for its practical life in the type of work I
    do. I'd make a different decision for a hobby.
    Paul Mathews
  16. Phil Hobbs

    Phil Hobbs Guest

    Depending on which of us dies first, mine will be pried from my dead
    fingers, or wind up stuffed in my living room like Trigger (a good name
    for a scope, now that I think of it).

    It has very low jitter, pinpoint triggering, and lotsa useful plugins
    that you can get for reasonably cheap.

    Its only significant warts show up in low duty cycle situations--no
    real-time update during trace averaging and no way to acquire fewer than
    512 points. At a 20 Hz rep rate, needing to average a few traces,
    that can get slow.

    You can tell I'm still in love, can't you?


    Phil Hobbs
  17. HP scopes may not be that good, but the more recent Agilent ones are great, and easily better than
    Teks in their class in terms of user interface.
  18. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    Better than Nelly Belle for sure.

    I'm a polygamist. I have six of them.

  19. All my HP stuff is not properly done. These are the Mixed
    signal scope HP54645, and the E4402 3GHz spectrum analyzer.
    Both were shoved out the door before beta testing completed,
    if there was any beta testing at all.

    The spectrum analyzer has WinNT as OS, IIRC.
    Sure, but if you can concentrate on the hardware
    functionality instead of on the basics as well,
    then the device has the chance to be better.

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  20. I used one of these pretty much daily for 8 years - never had a problem with it.
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