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USB Oscilloscope

Anthony P

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Has anyone tried this PC based oscilloscope: https://www.ebay.com/itm/OWON-VDS1022I-USB-Isolation-PC-Digital-Storage-Oscilloscope-25MHz-2-1-Ch-100MS-S/262550547085?epid=24027789765&hash=item3d213b6a8d:g:rFkAAOSwXrhXmlFh🇸🇨USPSPriorityFlatRateBox!43449!US!-1:rk:1🇵🇫0

I have a couple of analog scopes I have used for years... thought it was time to move into 21st century. I would be willing to spend a bit more if someone has a better recommendation.
 



Immo1282

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I've personally never much liked USB scopes - they're convenient if all you do is capture waveforms and traces for documentation etc. but physical knobs and dials are FAR easier to use when you're troubleshooting something. An excellent compromise is a regular scope with data capture options - Most digital storage scopes will do this (either capturing a screenshot, or capturing raw data into a .csv file etc.

My personal scope (and I know it's 3-4x your price range, and a few years old now, but hear me out :p) is the Rigol DS1054Z with the "Riglol" licence key crack to unlock all of it's functionality. It has USB and Ethernet for capturing data on a computer if you really wanted to, and all the physical controls you'd be used to from your analog scopes. I usually end up bringing my scope into work and using it in preference to the older Tektronik ones that are there.

There might be more recent better options at your price-range - but I have to concede that is the advantage of a USB scope - You don't have to pay for a screen or control knobs, just for the measurement hardware...
 
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Cyparagon

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I second everything said above, including the model recommendation. Having used both, a dedicated bench unit has far more advantages.

Buying the cheapest bare-bones pile-o-junk you can find is not the ideal "moving into the 21st century" strategy.
 

Anthony P

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OK, OK you don't have to yell...lol. I will get the Rigol. Did some research into it. I found out that it can be hacked to 100MHz, not that I would try that. Now I have to get rid of one of my old scopes. It is an old Hitachi V-151F. Occasionally I have to feed the little dinosaur bird that lives inside it and chisels waveforms into slate tablets.
 

Immo1282

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The hack is useful if you want the extra triggering features, decoders and memory depth - but basically nothing the hobbyist is doing on a $300 scope needs the extra bandwidth :) I usually find i'm turning the B/W limit to 20MHz anyway to make the traces clearer!

A couple of caveats to the hack though - It might be a bit dicey getting a calibration house to cal a hacked scope... There's also one of the options that adds a 500uV range - but this is no good as it's not fully supported and doesn't work so well on the 1054z.

The fan's pretty annoying but fairly easy to replace with a quieter one if you don't mind slicing the warranty sticker...

I believe there's a decent digital Siglent that's 2 channel, but 200MHz for a similar price now as well.
 

kecked

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The hack no longer works. I tried on one I got two years back.
 

Anthony P

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Thanks for your help, gentlemen. I did in fact order the Rigol DS1054Z . I am 50 years old. Now I can spend the 2nd half of my life figuring out how to use it.
 

Immo1282

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The hack no longer works. I tried on one I got two years back.
A shame. Still a great scope though.

Good luck with figuring it out - it's not that tricky once you get a handle on some of the menus etc. The help button's pretty useful (if you press it and then press anything else, it'll pull up the documentation for the second thing on screen
 

kecked

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I got all the features with it but not the bandwidth upgrade. None of the codes were accepted
 

Anthony P

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Just set up the Rigol DS1054z scope. I am currently going through operating manual line by line. It is very simple to figure out. This scope is exactly what I was looking for.
Thanks again for everyone's advice. BTW the fan is not really that loud.
 

lasersbee

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You did good to get the Rigol DS1054z. I bought one for the shop
a while back and it was upgraded to the DS1104Z. I should have
bought it as soon as it came out. Great little scope and takes up a
lot less work bench space compare our older CRT analog scopes .

Jerry
 

Immo1282

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Glad you're getting along with it okay :)

Fan was loud for me as I was trying to use it in a lab that did double-duty as a silent study area!
 

Benm

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Even without the hack those scopes can be work their money, and i'd definitely get one of them or an analog scope instead of something that is only readable by USB. Apart from taking less bench space compared to CRT scopes they also have nice features like single shot capture which can be really useful to investigate power-up behavior of drivers and such.

The ability to export data to a computer without a requirement to have one connected is also good, especially if you can first capture a a sample and later on export it to a pc for further investigation.

Downside is that these things are not all that cheap. If you have the budget go for them, but if not i still prefer al old used analog scope over something that is usb-only. Good old analog scopes have the advantage of lots of settings to get a good look at a signal, though "exporting" that signal may require simply taking a photo of the display ;)
 

kecked

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They still can’t replace analog. The trace has no persistence. I tried doing some vector stuff and it just can’t keep up.
 

Immo1282

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They're good enough for most jobs, and replace and exceed analog scopes in many ways (single pulse triggering & display, all storage features, capture, decoding, being small enough to not take up the whole bench etc.). Much more comprehensive measurement tool than an analog scope, and the persistence might not be perfect - but it's getting there.
 




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