I need a new oscilloscope - 300€?

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rock soderstrom

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My analog oscilloscope died some time ago. RIP. After an agonizingly long time I would like to end this blind flight now.

Therefore I am looking for a cheap new device in the up to 300€ class.
I want to use it for e.g. troubleshooting, PSU ripple measurements, displaying digital signals (in old effects units) and signal tracing in analog circuits. Everything that occurs in a workshop of a (tube) audio hobbyist, I think you know what I mean. No HF.

So, which way would you go? Which devices have you had good experiences with? Is it possible for under 300€ or rather invest more money or buy used?
 

abbey road d enfer

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I have found that the new cheap 'scopes are not satisfying.
The first thing is that 8 or 10bit resolution is not enough, it produces a blurred trace which could easily hide noise or distortion.
The second thing is that they don't react like an old-style analog one.
Particularly when you touch a node, the picture takes some time to appear; as a consequence, you cannot trace intermittents as easily as with an analog.
For basic signal tracing, I have bought a portable scope
I had a Hantek, then a Bitscope, both are now retired.
Daily, I use the portable, knowing it has its limitations, and when I need more, I fire the old Hameg, that still works fine, except most of the switches are not in good shape.
 
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Dualflip

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Rigol, Siglent and GW Instek seem to be the most common brands, but I prefer Tektronix thou, and I am not talking about the MSOs that cost the same as a house, I am talking the entry level scopes which are arguably less advanced than a Rigol, with less features, etc.. but, they are extremely reliable.

In a lab they used to have those very old digital Tek black and white digital scopes, and recently they bought much more modern GW Instek scopes, with color screen, more sample memory, etc.... for some signals they were completely useless whilst the old Tek scopes delivered every time.

Something like this is a good choice:

Tektronix TBS1052C Digital Oscilloscope NEW | eBay
 
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rock soderstrom

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First of all, thank you abbey and dualflip for your answers and experiences!

I will take a closer look at the devices you mentioned today.

Of the problem areas mentioned for the inexpensive devices, reliability is my biggest fear. I call it the "Behringer effect", i.e. feature-rich devices that do everything as promised in the beginning and then gradually start to bit** around and then  after medium time they are no longer usable...I had that so often in the past. I expect more durability from a brand device like Tektronix.

On the other hand, the devices from Rigol and Siglent are pretty sexy for the money at first glance. I have watched a few Youtube videos on the subject, that looks really good!

It would be interesting if there are other active users of these scopes here and if they could share their experiences with us?
 

abbey road d enfer

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I really suggest you try one for yourself. Maybe someone in your reachable neighborhood?
The two problems I already mentioned are deterrent enough for me.
 

rock soderstrom

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abbey road d enfer said:
I really suggest you try one for yourself. Maybe someone in your reachable neighborhood?
The two problems I already mentioned are deterrent enough for me.

Abbey, don't worry I noticed your relevant points and you are right; a hands on test would be very helpful!

Realistically, I am in a price range where compromises will not be avoided. I have to figure out for myself what works and what doesn't.

Edit:

Here is my current temporary solution.
😁😁😁
So far I can say it already. This is not good enough!!
 

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jacomart

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Dualflip

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rock soderstrom said:
First of all, thank you abbey and dualflip for your answers and experiences!

I will take a closer look at the devices you mentioned today.

Of the problem areas mentioned for the inexpensive devices, reliability is my biggest fear. I call it the "Behringer effect", i.e. feature-rich devices that do everything as promised in the beginning and then gradually start to bit** around and then  after medium time they are no longer usable...I had that so often in the past. I expect more durability from a brand device like Tektronix.

On the other hand, the devices from Rigol and Siglent are pretty sexy for the money at first glance. I have watched a few Youtube videos on the subject, that looks really good!

It would be interesting if there are other active users of these scopes here and if they could share their experiences with us?

The Rigol scopes have some bugs in them, some timing bugs, and so on, they may not be a problem for your everyday measurements but its something you may want to take into account. Again, Tektronix gives peace of mind.
 

rock soderstrom

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jacomart said:
There is also this PC-based oscilloscope from Analog Devices which looks very interesting, although I have never had it in my hands, it might be worth investigating.

https://it.rs-online.com/web/p/oscilloscopi/1391726/

Cheers
JM

Apparently Mouser sells for a better price: https://www.mouser.it/ProductDetail/Analog-Devices/ADALM2000?qs=%2Fha2pyFadujUw72qQcfIZk6VIm%2FsB9e2gfFO3kk4hwyeYYliriNZtA%3D%3D

Thanks JM! This is a category of oscilloscopes I have not even considered. I'll take a look at it...
 

rock soderstrom

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Dualflip said:
The Rigol scopes have some bugs in them, some timing bugs, and so on, they may not be a problem for your everyday measurements but its something you may want to take into account. Again, Tektronix gives peace of mind.

Ok, thanks for info!👍
 

jacomart

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rock soderstrom said:
Thanks JM! This is a category of oscilloscopes I have not even considered. I'll take a look at it...

it is remarkable that the ADALM2000 (12 dB sampling) is not strictly an oscilloscope: https://www.analog.com/en/design-center/evaluation-hardware-and-software/evaluation-boards-kits/adalm2000.html#eb-overview
You can find here the data sheet https://www.analog.com/media/en/news-marketing-collateral/product-highlight/ADALM2000-Active-Learning-Module.pdf
The drivers and (free) software Scopy are downloadable from AD site.

As an alternative (with 14 dB sampling) you can consider this: https://store.digilentinc.com/analog-discovery-2-100msps-usb-oscilloscope-logic-analyzer-and-variable-power-supply/

Cheers
JM
 

abbey road d enfer

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rock soderstrom said:
Thanks JM! This is a category of oscilloscopes I have not even considered. I'll take a look at it...
I have been tempted by this type of solution. So I bought a BitScope, and I have found that I sorely miss the front-end, with the level and time-base knobs.
In order to keep size within limits, I use it with a 10" tablet. The virtual buttons are so small it's a permanent hit-and-miss. Adding a mouse is not practical because it takes a lot of space. Touchpad is not an improvement over the tactile screen.
Imagine you're playing a pinball machine with a mouse instead of the flipper buttons!
 

jacomart

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abbey road d enfer said:
I have been tempted by this type of solution. So I bought a BitScope, and I have found that I sorely miss the front-end, with the level and time-base knobs.
In order to keep size within limits, I use it with a 10" tablet. The virtual buttons are so small it's a permanent hit-and-miss. Adding a mouse is not practical because it takes a lot of space. Touchpad is not an improvement over the tactile screen.
Imagine you're playing a pinball machine with a mouse instead of the flipper buttons!

I strongly agree in case of on field measurements but in the lab, considering the variety of measurement options made available by ADALM, it might be worth to use a larger and comfortable monitor.
 

abbey road d enfer

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jacomart said:
I strongly agree in case of on field measurements but in the lab, considering the variety of measurement options made available by ADALM, it might be worth to use a larger and comfortable monitor.
I have considered a similar product, that you mentioned, the Anolog Discovery 2 (unavailable yet AFAIK), in order to also replace the soundcard, but the 14-bit performance is far from usable.
 

jacomart

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abbey road d enfer said:
I have considered a similar product, that you mentioned, the Anolog Discovery 2 (unavailable yet AFAIK), in order to also replace the soundcard, but the 14-bit performance is far from usable.

Tektronix TBS1052c is 8 bit resolution priced around 500€. I find interesting FFT, Bode, Nyquist, Nichols, THD (and so on) offered by AD product and would love to try it. Possibly the problem could be that 25MHz bandwidth.
Cheers
JM
 

jacomart

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squarewave said:
That's not possible. That would be like the Atari game of oscillosopes.

https://www.mouser.it/datasheet/2/403/Tekronix_TBS1000C_09082020-1894344.pdf

R&S RTB2000 ADC res. 10bit 1540USD
https://www.rohde-schwarz.com/us/product/rtb2000-productstartpage_63493-266306.html
 

shot

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A friend of mine has this one
https://www.picotech.com/oscilloscope/2000/picoscope-2000-overview

From what I've seen it's bang for the buck. I was impressed how noiseless his display of audio signal was.
 

Gold

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abbey road d enfer said:
I have considered a similar product, that you mentioned, the Anolog Discovery 2 (unavailable yet AFAIK), in order to also replace the soundcard, but the 14-bit performance is far from usable.

I recently got an Analog Discovery 2. I found a dealer who had them in stock. I got an email last week saying the manufacturer would have them to sell direct soon or now.

I find the Waveforms software to be easier to navigate than some of the others I’ve tried. The Waveforms software will also recognize any USB software interface.

I’m still getting the hang of it but i like it better than anything I’ve tried so far. I don’t need a low noise floor for a lot of measurements. I figure i can use the dedicated interface most of the time and switch to a soundcard when i need a low noise floor.
 
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