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Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget

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28 Jul 2017 19:55 #11442 by StepSide88
Replied by StepSide88 on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget
After reading thru the thread I'm left wondering which would work better fora novice and occasional user with an XP laptop?
XP isn't supported by Pico Auto and I'm left with their basic software but better product
Pico 2205 2 channel no probes is $200 as of post date
or the
Hantek PC USB 8CH $90 -$120
I expect cheep useless probes with that one but I have probes .
Is the software for the hantec more user friendly to the auto realm than the Pico non-auto software?

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29 Jul 2017 03:55 - 29 Jul 2017 03:57 #11443 by Andy.MacFadyen
Replied by Andy.MacFadyen on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget
The Hantek 1008 is a bargain basement scope, the hardware is limmited and the software is a pita to use, yes you get drop down menus with pre-set automotive sensor test but most of them need a lot of tweaking to give a useable capture. One major issues is the software can't invert the waveform, that might not seem a deal breaker until you try and get your head round the reversed polarity secondary waveform from a wasted spark coil. I am pretty sure the software interface was designed by a programmer who has never actually used a scope in a working environment especially for automotive work.
Hantek have no technical support --- none.
The probes and connectors bundled with the Hantek are actually quite good and would probably cost about 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of the scope even buying the parts from eBay.

The Pico2000 series aren't sold as automotive scopes which is why they aren't bundled with Picoscope Automotive software, that XP isn't supported by the very latest revision of Picoscope automotive software is different and fairly minor issue.
The non-automotive Pico scopes aren't supported by the automotive software -- although if you do an internet search may find a work around not-sanctioned by Pico who after all have invested megabucks in their automotive software and support.

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Last edit: 29 Jul 2017 03:57 by Andy.MacFadyen.
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02 Aug 2017 15:37 #11518 by MartinKuliza
Replied by MartinKuliza on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget
LOL
how are you mate, Fellow Aussie here
my name is Martin

Mate, i'm an Electrical and I.T. and Telecommunications Expert
Let me tell you what you should do .

Now.. Your budget is $500 right, AWESOME
Get yourself down to Parramatta road.. EMONA INSTRUMENTS

(78 Parramatta Rd, Camperdown NSW 2050)
buy a Rigol DS1054Z

if you shop around, you'll find it for around $400
i think Emona are doing them for around $500 or close to it

to get a review of this scope.. GO HERE


NOW LET ME GIVE YOU A TECHNICAL LESSON IN WHAT IS IMPORTANT AND WHAT IS NOT AND WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE BUYING A SCOPE

Let me only address 3 Models of Rigol Scopes
DS1000 Series Specifically DS1052E
DS2000A Series Specifically DS2072A
DS1045Z

ok, so here's the deal around 10+ Years ago
Rigol Brought out a Scope.. DS1052E.
now... it was around $800 AUD, a Bloody bargain considering.

Now before i go ahead
let's address some TECH SPEC points

BANDWIDTH = The difference between the Highest frequency and Lowest Frequency
The DS1052E had a Stock standard Bandwidth of 50MHz

this means that you can measure ANY SIGNAL up to 50 MHz, However if you wanted to measure a signal that was 60 MHz, the scope would not recognize it

what you need to consider here is.......
What sort of work are you going to be doing vs what scope do you need.
NOW.. for Automotive work, the Pico scopes don't go above 20 MHz, so basically pick what you want
but keep in mind if an engine produces an abnormal frequency above 20 MHz, YOU'LL NEVER SEE IT. so it helps to have More bandwidth
and... THERE'S A TRICK HERE and i'll get into that later
also as a standard guide, don't get anything lower than 100MHz

CHANNELS : Basically this means, how many signals do you want to look at simultaneously.
Look... I've got a 2 Channel Scope, I've had it for 5 years, Never needed anything more.
2 is fine for a beginner, 4 is better, but i doubt you'll use more than 3 at any given time.

SAMPLING RATE : here is the simplest way to understand this
1. Sampling Rate is measure in SAMPLES PER SECOND (Sa/s)
2. That means..... Imagine you have a Volt meter
Now imagine you want to measure the Power in your wall outlet (240 V AC) ok.
Now imagine You want to get regular readings so that you could see CHANGE OVER TIME.
Now imagine that you decide you will take 1 READING PER SECOND... got that.

that would be called "A Sample Rate of 1 Sa/s" 1 (Sample Per Second)
got that

ok, so
The PicoScope 4225 has 400MS/s (Mega Samples Per Second) Mega = 1 Million

so what
The Rigol DS1052E, as a minimum has 1GSa/s (1 Giga Sample per Second)
Giga = !,000 Million Samples per second
now is this important.. YES
Why is it important

well. when you take a SHOT of a waveform and freeze it for analysis

if your scope has 400 MSa/s vs 1 GSa/s
and you want to zoom .. RIGHT IN and really see what's going on.
it's going to look really squared off and really shit,
so, if you are viewing a SINE WAVE , which is supposed to be rounded off.
if you have a bad sampling rate, the rounded peaks will look like Sharp Triangular mountains.
Trust me, you don't want this
but.. it does depend now whether you are zooming in or not
i have found that a High Sample Rate is invaluable
My scope has 3GSa/s
i feel that 1GSa/s is a minimum , even with Automotive, because at 1 GSa/s you won't miss things that a scope at 400MSa/s will miss

MEMORY DEPTH - ok, ... so the best way to explain this is this, the More Memory depth you have the deeper your scope can zoom in, it's really that simple

a Low memory depth would be 28 Mpts (Mega Points) 52 Mpts is good


BEYOND THIS, YOU PLAY WITH YOUR SCOPE AND YOU FIGURE IT OUT

now back to the story of the 3 scopes


so.... the DS1052E was made by Rigol as an Entry level BUDGET SCOPE that was pretty well built and well priced
ok... that's great (do not buy this scope)

WHY ???
well. if you shop around , you'll find it for around $350 - $450
Remember
it has
2 channel Input
50 MHz Bandwidth
1GSa/s Sampling Rate
and a pretty small screen that no one ever liked

BUT, you can get the DS1054Z for around $400
the specs of the DS1054Z are

4 Channel input
50 MHz Bandwidth
1GSa/s Sampling Rate
12 Mpts Memory Depth (upgradeable to 24 Mpts )
and a bloody huge widescreen display
so why bother with the other one

I saw a guy on Gumtree 2 days ago... hehe
he's selling his DS1052E for $460
Clearly he wants to get rid of since it's around 6 years old and he wants to upgrade to a brand new DS1054Z

who can blame him

lastly , i own a DS2072A

2 Channel input
70 MHz
3GSa/s
56 Mpts Memory Depth
and the same size screen as the DS1054Z

at the time of buying it
it was a choice between the DS1052E for around $800
or fork out $1,100 for the better one
i went for the better option, and i see now (5 years later) if i had taken the other one, I'D REGRET IT

NOW... YOU CAN THANK ME FOR THIS LATER

You know how i said that the DS1052E with the small screen
has 50MHz Bandwidth
but you can pay Emona instruments or Rigol to upgrade to 100MHz ?

and you'll probably pay a few hundred dollars for it

WELL. YOU CAN DO IT FOR FREE. hehe

HERE'S THE TRICK
rigol have been sneaky about this
Rigol decided that in order to cut costs, they would create a DS1000E Series and ALL OF THE SERIES WOULD BE THE SAME SCOPE........ Exactly the same one

The only difference is.....
the bandwidth is limited by software
aparently when you pay , they insert a USB stick and it runs an Encryption key which then UNLOCKS YOUR SCOPE TO THE FULL 100MHz

so with the DS1000E
this was just a matter of going to You Tube and getting the key from someone because they were all the same
HOW STUPID.. huh
as if someone's not going to share it around

so they stuffed up with that

then on the DS2000A (my one) that came stock standard with 70MHz,
but UPGRADEABLE TO 300MHz

you bet your arse i did hehe

however, this time, it's not as simple as just a key, it's an encryption algorithm
i had HARDWARE VERSION 1.0
and this would only work on Version 1.0 or 2.0
the current version is 3.0

WHAT HAPPENED WAS THIS
a bunch of guys using Logic analyzers , Accessed the ROM chip internally and found that rigol were being sneaky again
and they didn't build a new scope for the 300 MHz model but instead limited the software

so, long story short, it was cracked and a software solution was released to everyone who had a scope

Rigol caught on and Released HARDWARE VERSION 3.0
which
a) Stops you from rolling back to version 2.0
b) does not allow the encryption program to run
hehe.. Smart arses

BUT, IF YOU GET THE DS1054Z
a) it's the cheapest bloody thing on the market right now
b) Everyone is going nuts over it, Mainly because it has 4 Inputs
c) YOU CAN UPGRADE IT AS FOLLOWS. FOR FREE, AND IT'S EASY TO DO

50 MHz bandwitdh up to 100 MHz after upgrade
12 Mpts Memory depth Unlock up to 24 Mpts Memory depth
The sampling rate stays the same

you can also unlock higher functions that i won't go into
it's really cool stuff

Bottom line
Spend like $400 - $500 on a kick arse scope that will outmatch any of the Pico, hantek, Vellerman and the rest of the Automotive ones
it's my understanding that the mechanics like to use the FLUKE 123 Scopemeter.
now.. Fluke is a kick arse brand.. no question

but , these handheld scopes and PC Powered scopes are built pretty poorly to be honest
and if they have Frequency Aquistion, i can assure you it's Software based calculations, it's not Hardware Aquisition (big Difference)

so.. yeah. Much cheaper scope and does more
what more do you need ?

Hope that helped you pick a scope and understand the basics of it
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30 Oct 2017 17:26 - 31 Oct 2017 12:58 #14350 by Secondwind
Replied by Secondwind on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget
No eBay APP ID défined in Kunena configurationA really low cost option for an oscilloscope if you have a soldering iron is this kit from ebay. It is less than $30 and is surprisingly good. I bought mine several months ago and am amazed at its features including storing the trace and calculating max, min, avg voltage in the trace as well as duty cycle, frequency etc. I have not had an occasion to use it on my cars yet but did diagnose and fix problems on a powered loudspeaker and a signal generator. You can find several listings on ebay but here is one:
Attachments:
Last edit: 31 Oct 2017 12:58 by Secondwind. Reason: Deletes my link to ebay
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12 Nov 2017 08:02 #14765 by bruce.oliver
Replied by bruce.oliver on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget
I know this topic is about budget scopes, but ill add this anyway.

If you are a technician and do a lot of diag or want to do a lot of diag, just buy a pico. Yes it is more expensive, but it is so much better than even a snapon scope. But think about this, how much was your toolbox? Youll spend $10k+ on a box but complain about spending $2-3k on a scope kit. When you get the pico set it up on a smaller box or cart, that way it is always ready to go, you will use it more that way
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19 Nov 2017 10:03 #15034 by wes p
Replied by wes p on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget
I found a cheap power probe like the p100 on line for 60 dallars I havnt used it yet but I been studying sample rates . I think snapon samples at 200 times per second I had bought a dso pocket scope similar to that one ,gave to my son in Sweden everything high dallar in Europe. I suppose be great for checking for signals but not fast enough to catch fall outs or spikes on intermittents. but u got the old ford Wiggle test for grounds and opens.

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22 Nov 2017 17:46 #15135 by the cogster
Replied by the cogster on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget
I purchased a sainsmart 2 channel dso for quickness,i have a 20:1 antenuator and wanted to get an opionion before i try it on c.o.p. testing

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23 Nov 2017 02:53 - 23 Nov 2017 02:56 #15147 by Andy.MacFadyen
Replied by Andy.MacFadyen on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget
The Sainsmart should be Okay although like most of these Chinese scope I think you find the software is a pain in the neck to use and it won't have a setting for an x20 attenuator as these are only really used for automotive work so you will need to use the x10 setting and multiply by 2.
Thr alternative is to buy an x100 attenuator for coils and an x10 for normal gasoline injectors.

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Last edit: 23 Nov 2017 02:56 by Andy.MacFadyen.
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23 Nov 2017 03:39 #15148 by Andy.MacFadyen
Replied by Andy.MacFadyen on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget

I found a cheap power probe like the p100 on line for 60 dallars I havnt used it yet but I been studying sample rates . I think snapon samples at 200 times per second I had bought a dso pocket scope similar to that one ,gave to my son in Sweden everything high dallar in Europe. I suppose be great for checking for signals but not fast enough to catch fall outs or spikes on intermittents. but u got the old ford Wiggle test for grounds and opens.


200 samples per second is a graphing volt meter a useful tool but not a scope , actually most automotive work can be done with a fairly low spec scope, although my own scope samples at 100gs/s I would trade most that speed for memory depth which is one of the many areas Pico scores top marks. Where Pico falls down is it is tied to a Notebook/Laptop. Hand held and tiny palm sized scopes including the uScope and DSO Nano are super handy for working away from base or when working under the dash.
The cheapest scope I have seen that I think could do useful work is USB scope called the "SimpleScope" it is made in the Ukraine it occasionally appears on eBay and sells in £20/25$/22 Euro price I think I will buy one just to see if it could be a useful tool.

" We're trying to plug a hole in the universe, what are you doing ?. "
(Walter Bishop Fringe TV show)



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05 Dec 2017 00:42 #15551 by MuhammadAli89
Replied by MuhammadAli89 on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget
I'm willing to buy Launch ScanPadII and it's Labscope; are you aware that Launch's Labscope is pretty well or PicoScope is more better?
Im giving more value to Launch over Verus because Launch allowed much extra access to resets.
Give your suggestion please

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07 Dec 2017 22:38 #15656 by bruce.oliver
Replied by bruce.oliver on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget
The launch is a hantek. Pico is go to be a lot better
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07 Jan 2018 10:50 #16520 by SailorBob
Replied by SailorBob on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget
I have a Hantek 1008C and when I turn on a third channel it freaks out. You can see a video here:


I was thinking about getting a Pico 2204a, but shipping and customs is a big issue. But since the hantek works ok with two channels, I'll probably just wait.

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07 Jan 2018 12:19 #16527 by Andy.MacFadyen
Replied by Andy.MacFadyen on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget
All multi-channel DSO work by splitting the bandwidth between channels. The Hantek is not a very fast scope to start with but if you try looking at a fastish signal with multiple channels the scope won't keep up also I noticed some channels on the 1008 are just noisy than others.
A faster scope not only collects more data points but each data point is an average of x number of readings. My own scope is rated at 1giga Samples/second and 100mhz bandwidth. I truth each channel will only give 1/4 of that but compare that 25mhz with the performance of the Hantek 1008. The 1008 also lacks filters in the software so any high frequency noise can be an issue -- the easy answer to is to make a simple low pass hardware filter that connects between the scope and the signal you looking at.

Having said all that the Hantek 1008 is quite useable tool but with major limitations. Hantek make better scopes although like most Chinese made oscilloscopes they have major limitations and the software has limitations.

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07 Jan 2018 13:55 #16533 by SailorBob
Replied by SailorBob on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget
I was also looking at the hantek 6074BE which is a 4 channel 100mhz scope for about $200. The problem is that it seems to more or less use the same crappy software as the 1008c.

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07 Jan 2018 14:30 #16534 by arbez
Replied by arbez on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget
All the Hantek scopes use similar versions of the same crappy software. Seems like they could make some big improvements relatively easily.

A friend picked up a 6074 scope & it kept locking up on him. I tried it out & it locked up the two computers that I tried it on also. He returned it.

If you do pick one up, make sure that you get from someone that has a good return policy. Don't buy from over seas. Return shipping can be cost prohibitive.

You can download & install the Hantek software & run it in "demo" mode. Limited, but gives you an idea of what it can & can not do.

Avoid the 1008 scope. It is an OK 2-channel scope, but after that it falls on it's face. Don't know what they were thinking making it an 8 channel scope.

The kit's that Hantek sell are pretty nice, for the price. A lot of leads & adapters for the money. Cables are of surprisingly good quality. Avoid their amp clamps, they are as cheap as they come.

I've had a DSO-3064 scope for more than five years & it works OK. There is hope.
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07 Jan 2018 14:39 - 07 Jan 2018 14:42 #16535 by arbez
Replied by arbez on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget
Also, the 6074BE scope is a 70MHz scope. Still more than enough, if it works properly.

www.hantek.com/en/ProductDetail_13_10163.html
Last edit: 07 Jan 2018 14:42 by arbez. Reason: Still cant spell

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07 Jan 2018 16:20 #16537 by SailorBob
Replied by SailorBob on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget
What about some of the discontinued Pico models:

www.picotech.com/discontinued

Can a decent discontinued 4ch usb scope be picked up cheap?

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