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Author Topic: Oscilloscope recommendation?  (Read 1805 times)

Offline jerkerub

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Oscilloscope recommendation?
« on: June 15, 2023, 2336 UTC »
I've recently gotten my technician license and will taking the general test soon.

I've made some very simple transmitters and some of the ones in this post (what's a Dutch Quad?).

I think I should get an oscilloscope. Is there a particular one that is recommended? What features should I look for?

Thanks for any help.

Offline Stretchyman

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Re: Oscilloscope recommendation?
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2023, 1751 UTC »
SIGLENT
.
Rigol are cheaper but look cheap.

Forget buying some old 80's scope, they used to be good but will be well worn by now

You wont need anything special.

100MHz B/W and 2 channels will be fine.

Str.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2023, 1756 UTC by Stretchyman »
'It's better to give than receive' so why Rx when you can Tx!

                                              ;)

Offline europirate

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Re: Oscilloscope recommendation?
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2023, 2132 UTC »
I have a Rigol - its fine

Find your local distributer and keep an eye open for offers - the UK distributer often has 'specials'.

It's a slippery slope ... multimeter, 'scope, RF signal generator, antenna analyser, spectrum analyser, SINAD meter, VNA ... I know  ;)
« Last Edit: June 16, 2023, 2140 UTC by europirate »
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Offline ~SIGINT~

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Re: Oscilloscope recommendation?
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2023, 2352 UTC »
Tektronix for me. At least 100MHz B/W and 2 channels so that you can do some direct RF sampling above HF.

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: Oscilloscope recommendation?
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2023, 1527 UTC »
I have a Rigol as well, lots of bang for the buck.
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Offline redhat

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Re: Oscilloscope recommendation?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2023, 1629 UTC »
I have two Rigols.  The later ones are software limited, but can be hacked :)

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Offline Pigmeat

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Re: Oscilloscope recommendation?
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2023, 1848 UTC »
There was a pirate known for his chanting that I was told got his feet wet in the game using a RF generator before moving on to an actual transmitter? I often wonder where he got off to?

Offline Stretchyman

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Re: Oscilloscope recommendation?
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2023, 1920 UTC »
You cant beat a good sig gen!

Yes Rigol scopes are fine, I just dont like the look of them!

Tek scopes used to be the business, no longer I'm afraid, espec at this price point.

I recently kitted out an electronics lab, just needed a half decent scope and a 4 way psu. Still had to look the business and the previous person had got a scope from RS, not only was it twice the price it looked cheap and display was poor.

Most offerings from CH are very decent and well priced.

Looks like you'll be getting a RIGOL but if you want something prettier then a SIGLENT!

Str.

Had a quick look at Rigol. DS1102Z-E, looks good....
« Last Edit: June 17, 2023, 2008 UTC by Stretchyman »
'It's better to give than receive' so why Rx when you can Tx!

                                              ;)

Offline Azimuth Coordinator

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Re: Oscilloscope recommendation?
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2023, 0137 UTC »
I still prefer a scope with a CRT. So I have all Tektronix  I use a 7904A as my goto you can still find a good 465B for a reasonable price if your so inclined.  I have HP digital scopes as well.  Signal Generators are HP and Boonton Most are Traceable still.
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Offline Rob.

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Re: Oscilloscope recommendation?
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2023, 1547 UTC »
I have both Tektronix and Rigol. I like them both. Sometimes I prefer the CRT of the Tektronix at times (usually analog signals) and the Rigol (usually with digital signals). The 100 MHz Tektronix I got for $20, the Rigol for a little bit more. Got lucky getting them at those prices.

Any working scope is better than no scope. :)
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Offline M R I

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Re: Oscilloscope recommendation?
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2023, 1951 UTC »
I still use HP and Tektronix analog scopes with storage that still are very useful. I also have a Tektronix digital that works in the gigahertz range.
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Offline Charlie_Dont_Surf

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Re: Oscilloscope recommendation?
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2023, 0102 UTC »
I'm late to the party but I will put another plug in for a Siglent. I own this model for the home lab: https://siglentna.com/digital-oscilloscopes/sds1000x-u/ Other than a two or three freeze ups where it did not respond to any button pushes or knob turns (and I had to physically unplug it from the mains to reboot it), it is has been good for 3 years of weekly - and sometimes daily - use. The GUI is quite intuitive. I don't find myself having to search very hard for functions that I want. It's not a $10,000 professional 'scope and there are limitations (especially when you come from a world of using higher-end 'scopes) but all in all, it's a good value, in my opinion.

I have not used any Rigol oscilloscopes.

Here's some unsolicited but free advice: if it comes down to a choice between more input channels and other whiz-bang features, in general I'm going to tell you to choose more input channels. This is why I bought a four-channel. I don't use all four channels every day but when I need four channels, I need four channels. The other stuff can possibly be compensated for but it's hard to compensate for not having enough channels.

For work, we have many Tektronix and Keysight oscilloscopes and I have only a few complaints about those. We also have a demonstration model of the Rohde & Schwarz RTP in our lab currently and it is very, very nice. For >$25,000 US, it had better be very nice. https://www.rohde-schwarz.com/us/products/test-and-measurement/oscilloscopes/rs-rtp-oscilloscope_63493-469056.html
« Last Edit: June 22, 2023, 0145 UTC by Charlie_Dont_Surf »
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Offline Bergante

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Re: Oscilloscope recommendation?
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2023, 0754 UTC »
Late, but I second the Siglent endorsement. I own a Siglent (SDS1202X-E 200 MHz) and a Rigol DS1000Z (100 MHz).

I prefer the Siglent because samping integrity seems to be better. If you set the display to "dots", the Rigol is still doing some sin(x)/x interpolation (which I think it shouldn't do) which can lead to some odd artifacts. The Siglent, however, only applies interpolation when in line mode (or it does it right when displaying dots).

These Siglents are also more sensitive, 500 ÁV/div. The Rigol is 1 mV/div.

As for the suitability of a digital oscilloscope for radio stuff, this is much better than getting an old analog sacred cow. These scopes (and, again, Siglent gets it right) have a persistence mode that works similarly to a phosphor screen. I have used mine successfully to adjust a microphone compressor connected to an HF transceiver, for example. I could visualise the signal envelope very well.

The only thing these units lack for some radio work is a 50 ohm impedance option for the inputs. But you can find proper terminators on eBay.

But these things have so much more. Nowadays there is digital circuitry anywhere. You can peek at I2c and other serial communication lines for example.

The best affordable Siglent options are, in my opinion:

SDS1202X-E (200 MHz, two channel)

If you want a four channel version instead (better for some digital protocol decoding):

SDS1104X-E (100 MHz)
SDS1204X-E (200 MHz).

These models are no frills, all options included unlike others that require a payment to activate "advanced features" such as decoding and some measurements.

And so far the manufacturer is being serious about bug correction and firmware updates. I own a SDS1202X-E, Rigol DS1000Z (so I can compare them) and I also got the SVA1015X VNA/Spectrum analyser. It is a very good product.


Offline NJQA

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Re: Oscilloscope recommendation?
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2023, 1632 UTC »
I ran across this site a little while ago.  I wonder if it still works for the current Rigol scopes?

http://www.n5dux.com/ham/riglol/