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Oscilloscope Purchasing Advise

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zombieball

New Member
Hi all, I am an EE student looking to purchase an entry level oscilloscope. I am interested in a digital oscilloscope (I think they are referred to as DSO's?) as I have found functions they have to be quite handy (mainly ability to read off peak voltages, periods, etc).

I will be using the scope mainly to work with various micro controller based projects.

One scope I had in mind was the Rigol DS1052E. It sells for about $550 CDN on ebay. I am not quite sure I could afford +$1000 scopes for brand names such as Tektronix.

Does anyone have experience with Rigol scopes? Or perhaps the DS1052E in particular? Anyone have experience with other similar brands (Owon, etc.)?


Thanks for your help!
 

crutschow

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Looks like a good scope for the money with a lot of features, but I know nothing about it's quality.
 

Sceadwian

Banned
You might be better off buying a cheaper general purpose analog scope on e-bay and picking yourself up a inexpensive logic analyzer. DSO's are nice and all but for micro controllers a logic analyzer is more useful.
 

zombieball

New Member
You might be better off buying a cheaper general purpose analog scope on e-bay and picking yourself up a inexpensive logic analyzer. DSO's are nice and all but for micro controllers a logic analyzer is more useful.
Thanks for the advice. I am just curious as to what type of situations one often uses a logic analyzer for (as I often see them advertised for sale)? The best scenario I can conjure up in my mind is programming a chip to work as a JK flipflop and monitoring the input signals :p

I have only recently started using micro controllers in the past few months so forgive my naivety!
 

DirtyLude

Well-Known Member
Logic analyzers are used for any digital logging. One of their main benefits is protocol analysis. For protocols like SPI, I2C, RS232, One Wire.... they will decode the transmission so you can see what should be transferred. So you get a log that looks like the attached image.

Logic analyzers are almost always PC based, so you can save and retrieve captures. It's easy to scale and look through large samplings of data. They also usually have many connections so you can log quite a few channels at a time.

The one I use is just a hobby one, but it's pretty nice, and I certainly haven't hit any limits with it. http://www.saleae.com/ The LogicPort is also a popular one and more advanced. Intronix 34 Channel 500MHz PC-Based Logic Analyzer Just $389 - Includes CAN, I2C, SPI, RS232 Interpreters

The software for the Saleae Logic is freely downloadable, so you can check it out before hand.
 

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Sceadwian

Banned
That Saleae one does look nice, for the price you can't beat the speed and features. With voltage protection circuitry the logic analyzer can be used for tons of stuff, from AC mains phase/frequency monitoring to generic frequency counters, zero crossing detector. If you think of an Pc based logic probe more along the lines of a direct logic to PC interface you should be able to think up quiet a few more applications.

Add a cheap analog scope to that, and you should be more than set for a long time. If you find you need a higher frequency range than the scope you buy you can use mixers to reduce the frequency to what your scope can pick up, it's how just about every single RF receiver you'll ever see uses at higher frequencies.
 
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Willbe

New Member
an entry level oscilloscope.
a digital oscilloscope (I think they are referred to as DSO's?) as I have found functions they have to be quite handy (mainly ability to read off peak voltages, periods, etc).

work with various micro controller based projects.

One scope I had in mind was the Rigol DS1052E. It sells for about $550 CDN on ebay. I am not quite sure I could afford +$1000 scopes for brand names such as Tektronix.

Does anyone have experience with Rigol scopes? Or perhaps the DS1052E in particular? Anyone have experience with other similar brands (Owon, etc.)?
Plot a graph of price vs. [the] performance [features] you want. I found a scope that was 3% cheaper with the same bandwidth as the next costlier model. Use enough datapoints to establish a trend line.
 
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zombieball

New Member
Plot a graph of price vs. [the] performance [features] you want. I found a scope that was 3% cheaper with the same bandwidth as the next costlier model. Use enough datapoints to establish a trend line.
I like your way of thinking, very scientific!

Thanks for the input everyone, I shall definitely take a look at logic analyzers. I know one I tend to see in magazines a lot is USBee brand also.
 
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