Topics

O.T. Digital scopes versus Tek analogue.


Michael
 

I have used Tektronix scopes since the 60s. They have always been the gold standard, at least as far as I am concerned. Now my old Tek scopes, I have 4, are getting old and keep requiring service. The 465Bs are particularly hard to service. I hate having to remove the tube in order to get at parts. I have a couple of the 2000 series, which are much easier to service. I spoke with an old duffer like me who was working for Saelig. They sell test equipment. He knew all about Tek scopes and their capabilities. I told him I would like to buy their newer Siglent model 1202X-E (200 mhz dual trace), but I did not want to see steps or noise on the display. Older inexpensive digital scopes have that problem. He knew all about it and said I would love this model. Well, he (John) was right. It shows a beautiful picture, plus the DC level, voltage of the signal and frequency. It does other stuff that I keep off the display because it just confuses me. This scope cost me about $400. The price of this scope has increased a lot since last month. They are now $615. However, Circuit Specialists are still selling their stock for $379 delivered. My first 1202X-E was so good I wanted another for backup so I could give away my other analogue scopes and be done with servicing them. I managed to get an order in. I hope they actually ship it at that price. I realize that Tektronix scopes have an almost cult following. I have been part of that cult. At this point, I am moving on to cheap and powerful. The only thing I don't like about the scope is that it is too light. I will have to make some sort of frame and fasten it down to my workbench. I want to be able to plug in and remove probes without the scope moving away from me. The buttons have a light enough touch that the scope remains steady when pushing buttons. I realize that my post here might offend some, but I am just trying to let someone who might be trying to put together a good workbench that there are choices other than Tektronix. Again, I have been a believer in Tek scopes since the 60s. When I went out to work on radars and sonars, I brought the very heavy 465B. I wanted full capability when I was supposed to fix a misbehaving sonar on a ship or submarine. These blue scopes have served me very well for decades.


Sean Turner
 

Sounds like you found a great solution for you! And you found the advantage of tonnage. LOL!!

I use a couple of Keysight megazoom MSOs loaded with options at work regularly. When I need to single shot trigger off some obscure protocol feature, they are fantastic and nothing old can replace them. For what I like to do in my home lab (which is largely analog on the whole), I prefer the old boat anchors. They are infinitely more satisfying to use, IMO. :o) And I sharpen my circuit design IQ every time I perform a repair or resurrect another bit of old test gear.

Sean

On Sun, Feb 28, 2021 at 02:08 PM, Michael wrote:


I have used Tektronix scopes since the 60s. They have always been the gold
standard, at least as far as I am concerned. Now my old Tek scopes, I have 4,
are getting old and keep requiring service. The 465Bs are particularly hard to
service. I hate having to remove the tube in order to get at parts. I have a
couple of the 2000 series, which are much easier to service. I spoke with an
old duffer like me who was working for Saelig. They sell test equipment. He
knew all about Tek scopes and their capabilities. I told him I would like to
buy their newer Siglent model 1202X-E (200 mhz dual trace), but I did not want
to see steps or noise on the display. Older inexpensive digital scopes have
that problem. He knew all about it and said I would love this model. Well, he
(John) was right. It shows a beautiful picture, plus the DC level, voltage of
the signal and frequency. It does other stuff that I keep off the display
because it just confuses me. This scope cost me about $400. The price of this
scope has increased a lot since last month. They are now $615. However,
Circuit Specialists are still selling their stock for $379 delivered. My first
1202X-E was so good I wanted another for backup so I could give away my other
analogue scopes and be done with servicing them. I managed to get an order in.
I hope they actually ship it at that price. I realize that Tektronix scopes
have an almost cult following. I have been part of that cult. At this point, I
am moving on to cheap and powerful. The only thing I don't like about the
scope is that it is too light. I will have to make some sort of frame and
fasten it down to my workbench. I want to be able to plug in and remove probes
without the scope moving away from me. The buttons have a light enough touch
that the scope remains steady when pushing buttons. I realize that my post
here might offend some, but I am just trying to let someone who might be
trying to put together a good workbench that there are choices other than
Tektronix. Again, I have been a believer in Tek scopes since the 60s. When I
went out to work on radars and sonars, I brought the very heavy 465B. I wanted
full capability when I was supposed to fix a misbehaving sonar on a ship or
submarine. These blue scopes have served me very well for decades.


Bob Albert
 

Well Sean I have three scopes on my bench right now.  Two digital and one analog.  When I want to use one of them, almost invariably I turn to the analog unit.  When I want to refine or verify a measurement I will fire up one of the digitals.
Having said that, I admit that the digital units have some very interesting and useful capabilities that are lacking in the analog.  But most of what I do doesn't require those capabilities.  Then again I am still only partway up the learning curve for digital.  My two digitals have very different characteristics, with the HP 54542A being a bit more likeable than the Tek.  It's faster and offers FFT for example.  The Tek is better at displaying an AM signal, for which the others require an external trigger.  I can save a screen on the HP to floppy disk and then print it from a computer.  (Remember floppy disks?)
Bob

On Sunday, February 28, 2021, 03:26:16 PM PST, Sean Turner <sdturne@q.com> wrote:

Sounds like you found a great solution for you! And you found the advantage of tonnage. LOL!!

I use a couple of Keysight megazoom MSOs loaded with options at work regularly. When I need to single shot trigger off some obscure protocol feature, they are fantastic and nothing old can replace them. For what I like to do in my home lab (which is largely analog on the whole), I prefer the old boat anchors. They are infinitely more satisfying to use, IMO. :o) And I sharpen my circuit design IQ every time I perform a repair or resurrect another bit of old test gear.

Sean

On Sun, Feb 28, 2021 at 02:08 PM, Michael wrote:


I have used Tektronix scopes since the 60s. They have always been the gold
standard, at least as far as I am concerned. Now my old Tek scopes, I have 4,
are getting old and keep requiring service. The 465Bs are particularly hard to
service. I hate having to remove the tube in order to get at parts. I have a
couple of the 2000 series, which are much easier to service. I spoke with an
old duffer like me who was working for Saelig. They sell test equipment. He
knew all about Tek scopes and their capabilities. I told him I would like to
buy their newer Siglent model 1202X-E (200 mhz dual trace), but I did not want
to see steps or noise on the display. Older inexpensive digital scopes have
that problem. He knew all about it and said I would love this model. Well, he
(John) was right. It shows a beautiful picture, plus the DC level, voltage of
the signal and frequency. It does other stuff that I keep off the display
because it just confuses me. This scope cost me about $400. The price of this
scope has increased a lot since last month. They are now $615. However,
Circuit Specialists are still selling their stock for $379 delivered. My first
1202X-E was so good I wanted another for backup so I could give away my other
analogue scopes and be done with servicing them. I managed to get an order in.
I hope they actually ship it at that price. I realize that Tektronix scopes
have an almost cult following. I have been part of that cult. At this point, I
am moving on to cheap and powerful. The only thing I don't like about the
scope is that it is too light. I will have to make some sort of frame and
fasten it down to my workbench. I want to be able to plug in and remove probes
without the scope moving away from me. The buttons have a light enough touch
that the scope remains steady when pushing buttons. I realize that my post
here might offend some, but I am just trying to let someone who might be
trying to put together a good workbench that there are choices other than
Tektronix. Again, I have been a believer in Tek scopes since the 60s. When I
went out to work on radars and sonars, I brought the very heavy 465B. I wanted
full capability when I was supposed to fix a misbehaving sonar on a ship or
submarine. These blue scopes have served me very well for decades.


-
 

Q: Do you think that that Siglent scope will still be running in 40 or 50
years? Do you think that you'll be able to repair it when something does
happen to it?

On Sun, Feb 28, 2021 at 5:08 PM Michael <ironcoder@charter.net> wrote:

I have used Tektronix scopes since the 60s. They have always been the gold
standard, at least as far as I am concerned. Now my old Tek scopes, I have
4, are getting old and keep requiring service. The 465Bs are particularly
hard to service. I hate having to remove the tube in order to get at parts.
I have a couple of the 2000 series, which are much easier to service. I
spoke with an old duffer like me who was working for Saelig. They sell test
equipment. He knew all about Tek scopes and their capabilities. I told him
I would like to buy their newer Siglent model 1202X-E (200 mhz dual trace),
but I did not want to see steps or noise on the display. Older inexpensive
digital scopes have that problem. He knew all about it and said I would
love this model. Well, he (John) was right. It shows a beautiful picture,
plus the DC level, voltage of the signal and frequency. It does other stuff
that I keep off the display because it just confuses me. This scope cost me
about $400. The price of this scope has increased a lot since last month.
They are now $615. However, Circuit Specialists are still selling their
stock for $379 delivered. My first 1202X-E was so good I wanted another for
backup so I could give away my other analogue scopes and be done with
servicing them. I managed to get an order in. I hope they actually ship it
at that price. I realize that Tektronix scopes have an almost cult
following. I have been part of that cult. At this point, I am moving on to
cheap and powerful. The only thing I don't like about the scope is that it
is too light. I will have to make some sort of frame and fasten it down to
my workbench. I want to be able to plug in and remove probes without the
scope moving away from me. The buttons have a light enough touch that the
scope remains steady when pushing buttons. I realize that my post here
might offend some, but I am just trying to let someone who might be trying
to put together a good workbench that there are choices other than
Tektronix. Again, I have been a believer in Tek scopes since the 60s. When
I went out to work on radars and sonars, I brought the very heavy 465B. I
wanted full capability when I was supposed to fix a misbehaving sonar on a
ship or submarine. These blue scopes have served me very well for decades.






Harvey White
 

I have three places where I might work, perhaps four:  (and before anyone asks, my wife has 3 where she can work).

I use the lab for the heavy duty projects (hardware wise).  7904, 7104, TDS-540 as needed if I need digital, otherwise analog is good.

Library, possibly two locations, one is a recliner with an HP digital scope.  Used for software/hardware debugging.  The other is the audio editing setup which may or may not have a scope nearby (for now.... nope).

Family Room, time for sharing the space with my wife.  She has her laptop, I have mine, and there is another HP digital scope, Fluke meter, and a utility power supply, for more software/hardware projects..

I use what I want to use, where I want to use it, but do try to match the project with the equipment.

Harvey

On 2/28/2021 6:39 PM, Bob Albert via groups.io wrote:
Well Sean I have three scopes on my bench right now.  Two digital and one analog.  When I want to use one of them, almost invariably I turn to the analog unit.  When I want to refine or verify a measurement I will fire up one of the digitals.
Having said that, I admit that the digital units have some very interesting and useful capabilities that are lacking in the analog.  But most of what I do doesn't require those capabilities.  Then again I am still only partway up the learning curve for digital.  My two digitals have very different characteristics, with the HP 54542A being a bit more likeable than the Tek.  It's faster and offers FFT for example.  The Tek is better at displaying an AM signal, for which the others require an external trigger.  I can save a screen on the HP to floppy disk and then print it from a computer.  (Remember floppy disks?)
Bob
On Sunday, February 28, 2021, 03:26:16 PM PST, Sean Turner <sdturne@q.com> wrote:
Sounds like you found a great solution for you! And you found the advantage of tonnage. LOL!!

I use a couple of Keysight megazoom MSOs loaded with options at work regularly. When I need to single shot trigger off some obscure protocol feature, they are fantastic and nothing old can replace them. For what I like to do in my home lab (which is largely analog on the whole), I prefer the old boat anchors. They are infinitely more satisfying to use, IMO. :o) And I sharpen my circuit design IQ every time I perform a repair or resurrect another bit of old test gear.

Sean

On Sun, Feb 28, 2021 at 02:08 PM, Michael wrote:

I have used Tektronix scopes since the 60s. They have always been the gold
standard, at least as far as I am concerned. Now my old Tek scopes, I have 4,
are getting old and keep requiring service. The 465Bs are particularly hard to
service. I hate having to remove the tube in order to get at parts. I have a
couple of the 2000 series, which are much easier to service. I spoke with an
old duffer like me who was working for Saelig. They sell test equipment. He
knew all about Tek scopes and their capabilities. I told him I would like to
buy their newer Siglent model 1202X-E (200 mhz dual trace), but I did not want
to see steps or noise on the display. Older inexpensive digital scopes have
that problem. He knew all about it and said I would love this model. Well, he
(John) was right. It shows a beautiful picture, plus the DC level, voltage of
the signal and frequency. It does other stuff that I keep off the display
because it just confuses me. This scope cost me about $400. The price of this
scope has increased a lot since last month. They are now $615. However,
Circuit Specialists are still selling their stock for $379 delivered. My first
1202X-E was so good I wanted another for backup so I could give away my other
analogue scopes and be done with servicing them. I managed to get an order in.
I hope they actually ship it at that price. I realize that Tektronix scopes
have an almost cult following. I have been part of that cult. At this point, I
am moving on to cheap and powerful. The only thing I don't like about the
scope is that it is too light. I will have to make some sort of frame and
fasten it down to my workbench. I want to be able to plug in and remove probes
without the scope moving away from me. The buttons have a light enough touch
that the scope remains steady when pushing buttons. I realize that my post
here might offend some, but I am just trying to let someone who might be
trying to put together a good workbench that there are choices other than
Tektronix. Again, I have been a believer in Tek scopes since the 60s. When I
went out to work on radars and sonars, I brought the very heavy 465B. I wanted
full capability when I was supposed to fix a misbehaving sonar on a ship or
submarine. These blue scopes have served me very well for decades.








Harvey White
 

I have a very nice Mazda where the main display has failed for the second time.  You don't buy the board, you buy the screen, board, housing and the like.  Don't ask how much.

Not only does the dealership not have the people to actually fix the boards, they don't have the people who could just install the boards.  Something, that apparently your average phone shop could do....

I brought out an example of a 40 year old Tektronix (or 30), and mentioned that it was not only still running, but with the exception of certain parts, could be repaired down to the component and fixed for another however many years.....

Granted, a Tektronix scope cost what a new car would cost at the time (one truly outstanding reasons why I never owned a new Tektronix piece of equipment).  Still, one wonders about quality.

Harvey

On 2/28/2021 7:52 PM, - wrote:
Q: Do you think that that Siglent scope will still be running in 40 or 50
years? Do you think that you'll be able to repair it when something does
happen to it?

On Sun, Feb 28, 2021 at 5:08 PM Michael <ironcoder@charter.net> wrote:

I have used Tektronix scopes since the 60s. They have always been the gold
standard, at least as far as I am concerned. Now my old Tek scopes, I have
4, are getting old and keep requiring service. The 465Bs are particularly
hard to service. I hate having to remove the tube in order to get at parts.
I have a couple of the 2000 series, which are much easier to service. I
spoke with an old duffer like me who was working for Saelig. They sell test
equipment. He knew all about Tek scopes and their capabilities. I told him
I would like to buy their newer Siglent model 1202X-E (200 mhz dual trace),
but I did not want to see steps or noise on the display. Older inexpensive
digital scopes have that problem. He knew all about it and said I would
love this model. Well, he (John) was right. It shows a beautiful picture,
plus the DC level, voltage of the signal and frequency. It does other stuff
that I keep off the display because it just confuses me. This scope cost me
about $400. The price of this scope has increased a lot since last month.
They are now $615. However, Circuit Specialists are still selling their
stock for $379 delivered. My first 1202X-E was so good I wanted another for
backup so I could give away my other analogue scopes and be done with
servicing them. I managed to get an order in. I hope they actually ship it
at that price. I realize that Tektronix scopes have an almost cult
following. I have been part of that cult. At this point, I am moving on to
cheap and powerful. The only thing I don't like about the scope is that it
is too light. I will have to make some sort of frame and fasten it down to
my workbench. I want to be able to plug in and remove probes without the
scope moving away from me. The buttons have a light enough touch that the
scope remains steady when pushing buttons. I realize that my post here
might offend some, but I am just trying to let someone who might be trying
to put together a good workbench that there are choices other than
Tektronix. Again, I have been a believer in Tek scopes since the 60s. When
I went out to work on radars and sonars, I brought the very heavy 465B. I
wanted full capability when I was supposed to fix a misbehaving sonar on a
ship or submarine. These blue scopes have served me very well for decades.








John Miles
 

Q: Do you think that that Siglent scope will still be running in 40 or 50
years?
No real reason why it shouldn't be, if it receives reasonable care in operation and storage.

Do you think that you'll be able to repair it when something does
happen to it?
If it breaks, the culprit will more than likely be an aluminum electrolytic cap that can be R&R'ed easily enough. Maybe an LCD backlight, although the recent move to LED backlights will probably extend their service lives greatly. As for *replacing* a Siglent DSO in 40-50 years, my guess is that will be either trivially cheap, or completely impossible. :)

Seriously, consider that you can buy a serviceable 3 GHz VNA for about $100 now. Fast DSOs with awesome performance by today's standards are not going to be a problem for anyone who wants one in 50 years... and rest assured, nobody is going to care about fixing up an old Siglent, one way or the other.

-- john, KE5FX


Sean Turner
 

That or bitrot. Or failing flash memory (it's cheap and ubiquitous now).

Sean

On Sun, Feb 28, 2021 at 05:26 PM, John Miles wrote:


If it breaks, the culprit will more than likely be an aluminum electrolytic
cap that can be R&R'ed easily enough.


John Miles
 

That or bitrot. Or failing flash memory (it's cheap and ubiquitous now).

Sean
My guess is that bit rot will indeed start to become a concern by then, for those instruments that can't be as easily replaced as a DSO.

You can buy NV memory parts with 100-year retention ratings. But whether anyone spends an extra $0.50 to buy them is another question. The garden-variety parts are rated at 10-25 years. Like the older EPROMs and mask ROMs, they will probably last 3x-5x their rated service life in typical use. That will be good enough for most engineers to specify, and for most manufacturers to pay for.

-- john, KE5FX


Glenn Little
 

How many times has the digital scope lied to you because the glitch you were looking for was between samples?

Glenn

On 2/28/2021 7:54 PM, Harvey White wrote:
I have three places where I might work, perhaps four:  (and before anyone asks, my wife has 3 where she can work).
I use the lab for the heavy duty projects (hardware wise).  7904, 7104, TDS-540 as needed if I need digital, otherwise analog is good.
Library, possibly two locations, one is a recliner with an HP digital scope.  Used for software/hardware debugging.  The other is the audio editing setup which may or may not have a scope nearby (for now.... nope).
Family Room, time for sharing the space with my wife.  She has her laptop, I have mine, and there is another HP digital scope, Fluke meter, and a utility power supply, for more software/hardware projects..
I use what I want to use, where I want to use it, but do try to match the project with the equipment.
Harvey
On 2/28/2021 6:39 PM, Bob Albert via groups.io wrote:
  Well Sean I have three scopes on my bench right now.  Two digital and one analog.  When I want to use one of them, almost invariably I turn to the analog unit.  When I want to refine or verify a measurement I will fire up one of the digitals.
Having said that, I admit that the digital units have some very interesting and useful capabilities that are lacking in the analog. But most of what I do doesn't require those capabilities.  Then again I am still only partway up the learning curve for digital.  My two digitals have very different characteristics, with the HP 54542A being a bit more likeable than the Tek.  It's faster and offers FFT for example.  The Tek is better at displaying an AM signal, for which the others require an external trigger.  I can save a screen on the HP to floppy disk and then print it from a computer.  (Remember floppy disks?)
Bob
     On Sunday, February 28, 2021, 03:26:16 PM PST, Sean Turner <sdturne@q.com> wrote:
  Sounds like you found a great solution for you! And you found the advantage of tonnage. LOL!!

I use a couple of Keysight megazoom MSOs loaded with options at work regularly. When I need to single shot trigger off some obscure protocol feature, they are fantastic and nothing old can replace them. For what I like to do in my home lab (which is largely analog on the whole), I prefer the old boat anchors. They are infinitely more satisfying to use, IMO. :o) And I sharpen my circuit design IQ every time I perform a repair or resurrect another bit of old test gear.

Sean

On Sun, Feb 28, 2021 at 02:08 PM, Michael wrote:

I have used Tektronix scopes since the 60s. They have always been the gold
standard, at least as far as I am concerned. Now my old Tek scopes, I have 4,
are getting old and keep requiring service. The 465Bs are particularly hard to
service. I hate having to remove the tube in order to get at parts. I have a
couple of the 2000 series, which are much easier to service. I spoke with an
old duffer like me who was working for Saelig. They sell test equipment. He
knew all about Tek scopes and their capabilities. I told him I would like to
buy their newer Siglent model 1202X-E (200 mhz dual trace), but I did not want
to see steps or noise on the display. Older inexpensive digital scopes have
that problem. He knew all about it and said I would love this model. Well, he
(John) was right. It shows a beautiful picture, plus the DC level, voltage of
the signal and frequency. It does other stuff that I keep off the display
because it just confuses me. This scope cost me about $400. The price of this
scope has increased a lot since last month. They are now $615. However,
Circuit Specialists are still selling their stock for $379 delivered. My first
1202X-E was so good I wanted another for backup so I could give away my other
analogue scopes and be done with servicing them. I managed to get an order in.
I hope they actually ship it at that price. I realize that Tektronix scopes
have an almost cult following. I have been part of that cult. At this point, I
am moving on to cheap and powerful. The only thing I don't like about the
scope is that it is too light. I will have to make some sort of frame and
fasten it down to my workbench. I want to be able to plug in and remove probes
without the scope moving away from me. The buttons have a light enough touch
that the scope remains steady when pushing buttons. I realize that my post
here might offend some, but I am just trying to let someone who might be
trying to put together a good workbench that there are choices other than
Tektronix. Again, I have been a believer in Tek scopes since the 60s. When I
went out to work on radars and sonars, I brought the very heavy 465B. I wanted
full capability when I was supposed to fix a misbehaving sonar on a ship or
submarine. These blue scopes have served me very well for decades.








--
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Glenn Little ARRL Technical Specialist QCWA LM 28417
Amateur Callsign: WB4UIV wb4uiv@arrl.net AMSAT LM 2178
QTH: Goose Creek, SC USA (EM92xx) USSVI, FRA, NRA-LM ARRL TAPR
"It is not the class of license that the Amateur holds but the class
of the Amateur that holds the license"


Harvey White
 

relatively few times, although I might have looked at it for runt pulses.  I'll generally use the analog scope for that, know that one.  That's why I have a digital and an analog scope.  Since the analog scope is a 7000 series, it's far more versatile.  However it falls down on low repetition rate events hence the digital scope.

Harvey

On 2/28/2021 9:01 PM, Glenn Little wrote:
How many times has the digital scope lied to you because the glitch you were looking for was between samples?

Glenn

On 2/28/2021 7:54 PM, Harvey White wrote:
I have three places where I might work, perhaps four:  (and before anyone asks, my wife has 3 where she can work).

I use the lab for the heavy duty projects (hardware wise). 7904, 7104, TDS-540 as needed if I need digital, otherwise analog is good.

Library, possibly two locations, one is a recliner with an HP digital scope.  Used for software/hardware debugging.  The other is the audio editing setup which may or may not have a scope nearby (for now.... nope).

Family Room, time for sharing the space with my wife.  She has her laptop, I have mine, and there is another HP digital scope, Fluke meter, and a utility power supply, for more software/hardware projects..

I use what I want to use, where I want to use it, but do try to match the project with the equipment.

Harvey


On 2/28/2021 6:39 PM, Bob Albert via groups.io wrote:
  Well Sean I have three scopes on my bench right now.  Two digital and one analog.  When I want to use one of them, almost invariably I turn to the analog unit. When I want to refine or verify a measurement I will fire up one of the digitals.
Having said that, I admit that the digital units have some very interesting and useful capabilities that are lacking in the analog.  But most of what I do doesn't require those capabilities.  Then again I am still only partway up the learning curve for digital.  My two digitals have very different characteristics, with the HP 54542A being a bit more likeable than the Tek.  It's faster and offers FFT for example.  The Tek is better at displaying an AM signal, for which the others require an external trigger.  I can save a screen on the HP to floppy disk and then print it from a computer.  (Remember floppy disks?)
Bob
     On Sunday, February 28, 2021, 03:26:16 PM PST, Sean Turner <sdturne@q.com> wrote:
  Sounds like you found a great solution for you! And you found the advantage of tonnage. LOL!!

I use a couple of Keysight megazoom MSOs loaded with options at work regularly. When I need to single shot trigger off some obscure protocol feature, they are fantastic and nothing old can replace them. For what I like to do in my home lab (which is largely analog on the whole), I prefer the old boat anchors. They are infinitely more satisfying to use, IMO. :o) And I sharpen my circuit design IQ every time I perform a repair or resurrect another bit of old test gear.

Sean

On Sun, Feb 28, 2021 at 02:08 PM, Michael wrote:

I have used Tektronix scopes since the 60s. They have always been the gold
standard, at least as far as I am concerned. Now my old Tek scopes, I have 4,
are getting old and keep requiring service. The 465Bs are particularly hard to
service. I hate having to remove the tube in order to get at parts. I have a
couple of the 2000 series, which are much easier to service. I spoke with an
old duffer like me who was working for Saelig. They sell test equipment. He
knew all about Tek scopes and their capabilities. I told him I would like to
buy their newer Siglent model 1202X-E (200 mhz dual trace), but I did not want
to see steps or noise on the display. Older inexpensive digital scopes have
that problem. He knew all about it and said I would love this model. Well, he
(John) was right. It shows a beautiful picture, plus the DC level, voltage of
the signal and frequency. It does other stuff that I keep off the display
because it just confuses me. This scope cost me about $400. The price of this
scope has increased a lot since last month. They are now $615. However,
Circuit Specialists are still selling their stock for $379 delivered. My first
1202X-E was so good I wanted another for backup so I could give away my other
analogue scopes and be done with servicing them. I managed to get an order in.
I hope they actually ship it at that price. I realize that Tektronix scopes
have an almost cult following. I have been part of that cult. At this point, I
am moving on to cheap and powerful. The only thing I don't like about the
scope is that it is too light. I will have to make some sort of frame and
fasten it down to my workbench. I want to be able to plug in and remove probes
without the scope moving away from me. The buttons have a light enough touch
that the scope remains steady when pushing buttons. I realize that my post
here might offend some, but I am just trying to let someone who might be
trying to put together a good workbench that there are choices other than
Tektronix. Again, I have been a believer in Tek scopes since the 60s. When I
went out to work on radars and sonars, I brought the very heavy 465B. I wanted
full capability when I was supposed to fix a misbehaving sonar on a ship or
submarine. These blue scopes have served me very well for decades.












Dave Seiter
 

A recliner with a scope, that's cushy!  I don't even have a recliner in the living room!
-Dave

On Sunday, February 28, 2021, 04:54:42 PM PST, Harvey White <madyn@dragonworks.info> wrote:


Library, possibly two locations, one is a recliner with an HP digital
scope.  Used for software/hardware debugging.  The other is the audio
editing setup which may or may not have a scope nearby (for now.... nope).


Harvey White
 

Ah, it's on a table next to the recliner, both the library and the family room.....

Harvey

On 2/28/2021 10:10 PM, Dave Seiter wrote:
A recliner with a scope, that's cushy!  I don't even have a recliner in the living room!
-Dave
On Sunday, February 28, 2021, 04:54:42 PM PST, Harvey White <madyn@dragonworks.info> wrote:

Library, possibly two locations, one is a recliner with an HP digital
scope.  Used for software/hardware debugging.  The other is the audio
editing setup which may or may not have a scope nearby (for now.... nope).








Ed Breya
 

One thing to remember, is that right from the beginning, the main goal of DSO design has been to emulate an analog scope, and take advantage of digital capability.

DSOs offer all kinds of nice capability not available in analog, yet lack that feel and confidence in basic, simple (and most common) measurements. I'm not familiar with the latest kinds of DSOs, which should be much better - my newest ones are at least twenty years old. I'd think the latest ones are closer to that ideal. The choice of one or the other depends as always, on what you're doing with it, and what you have.

My rule of thumb is quite simple. If you CAN use analog, then do that. If you MUST use digital, then do that. If you have only one or the other, then make the best of it.

Ed


Sean Turner
 

Ed,

The newest high end ones (I'd say within the last 10 years) definitely are very nice. I'd love to have one for my lab, but I'm going to have to wait till used units start showing up. I can't justify the expense for my personal lab since it isn't a business venture.

I actually quite enjoy using the aforementioned megazoom scopes at work. The distinct lack of latency in control responses is a real treat for someone who likes their boat anchors. People like to hammer on them for a focus on waveform update rate and lower memory depth than the competition, but excellent triggers and excellent UX make up for that IMO.

The highest end modern machines (like the Teledyne LeCroy "Labmaster" series, and the Keysight UXR) are simply mind blowing in capability (mind blowing price too!) The highest end UXR is a 110 GHz _real time_ oscilloscope that has some serious mmwave ASIC black magic on the frontends (see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXYje2B04xE).

Ultimately, today's fundamentally not a whole lot different than the environment that the Tek we know and love was born into. Howard Vollum and company made an oscilloscope that blew the recurrent-sweep oscillographs of their competition (particularly Dumont) out of the water. Tek couldn't make them fast enough once word got out! Designers used them to build faster circuits and those demands beget a furious development cycle of faster and faster oscilloscopes to satisfy the requirements of faster and faster electronics. Nowadays we've got 5G and mmWave electronics dominating the space and now becoming commodity goods (phones+5G infrastructure, integrated radars in automotive, and probably more). What's next? Who knows? But hopefully some of today's gear will both tumble in price and still be serviceable for the hobbyist.

I won't hold my breath though. I'd bet my Tek scopes will still be working though. :o)

Sean

On Sun, Feb 28, 2021 at 08:38 PM, Ed Breya wrote:


One thing to remember, is that right from the beginning, the main goal of DSO
design has been to emulate an analog scope, and take advantage of digital
capability.

DSOs offer all kinds of nice capability not available in analog, yet lack that
feel and confidence in basic, simple (and most common) measurements. I'm not
familiar with the latest kinds of DSOs, which should be much better - my
newest ones are at least twenty years old. I'd think the latest ones are
closer to that ideal. The choice of one or the other depends as always, on
what you're doing with it, and what you have.

My rule of thumb is quite simple. If you CAN use analog, then do that. If you
MUST use digital, then do that. If you have only one or the other, then make
the best of it.

Ed


 

Guessing, without the benefit of actual knowledge (other than what I've seen from tear-downs on YouTube) but modern DSOs, at least the lower end units, seem to be very mixed beasts for repairability:

1. The front ends still seem to be largely discrete, judging at least by what I've seen of tear-downs of Siglent and Rigol scopes. Granted, those discrete components are much smaller than they were in the heyday of analog scopes, but if one of those tiny capacitors, resistors, or transistors needed to be replaced you could still technically do it.

2. Immediately behind the discrete front ends, however, things get very non-serviceable very quickly. Expensive, high speed DACs and black-box FPGAs seem to be the order of the day, and I don't see that trend reversing (if anything, I would expect it to become more pronounced, maybe even overtaking some of the front end. Why don't we have cheap, OTS, high-bandwidth, three-stage cascode pre-amps in a small outline package? Why didn't se have such things 30 years ago?). If the FPGA or high-speed DAC gets fried, or loses its configuration, then you are, I think, dead in the water (barring the extreme good will of the current manufacturers, and their suppliers).

3. All the digital stuff on the back end is simultaneously unobtainium, and eminently replaceable. In theory there is not reason that the back end couldn't be completely swapped out for more modern parts, even if you needed to craft some custom FPGA to emulate the hardware interfaces (which, we presume, would have become thoroughly obsolete in the intervening quarter to half century). It would be significantly easier to do, say, than building a full replacement for a dead CRT would be today.

Of course it's very likely that any of the current DSOs will be more thoroughly obsoleted by their successors than our analog scopes are by the current crop of DSOs. There are still a few things that an analog scope can do better than most DSOs (e.g. X-Y mode). Some of that is probably due to remaining technological limits (which we presume will be conquered with time), but some is probably due to lack of interest on the part of either customers or manufacturers (does anyone really care about X-Y mode? enough to spend time and money building a comparable capability into a scope?).

Again, speaking from an admitted wealth of ignorance.

-- Jeff Dutky


Bert Haskins
 

On 3/1/2021 11:46 AM, Jeff Dutky wrote:
Guessing, without the benefit of actual knowledge (other than what I've seen from tear-downs on YouTube) but modern DSOs, at least the lower end units, seem to be very mixed beasts for repairability:

1. The front ends still seem to be largely discrete, judging at least by what I've seen of tear-downs of Siglent and Rigol scopes. Granted, those discrete components are much smaller than they were in the heyday of analog scopes, but if one of those tiny capacitors, resistors, or transistors needed to be replaced you could still technically do it.

2. Immediately behind the discrete front ends, however, things get very non-serviceable very quickly. Expensive, high speed DACs and black-box FPGAs seem to be the order of the day, and I don't see that trend reversing (if anything, I would expect it to become more pronounced, maybe even overtaking some of the front end. Why don't we have cheap, OTS, high-bandwidth, three-stage cascode pre-amps in a small outline package? Why didn't se have such things 30 years ago?). If the FPGA or high-speed DAC gets fried, or loses its configuration, then you are, I think, dead in the water (barring the extreme good will of the current manufacturers, and their suppliers).

3. All the digital stuff on the back end is simultaneously unobtainium, and eminently replaceable. In theory there is not reason that the back end couldn't be completely swapped out for more modern parts, even if you needed to craft some custom FPGA to emulate the hardware interfaces (which, we presume, would have become thoroughly obsolete in the intervening quarter to half century). It would be significantly easier to do, say, than building a full replacement for a dead CRT would be today.

Of course it's very likely that any of the current DSOs will be more thoroughly obsoleted by their successors than our analog scopes are by the current crop of DSOs. There are still a few things that an analog scope can do better than most DSOs (e.g. X-Y mode). Some of that is probably due to remaining technological limits (which we presume will be conquered with time), but some is probably due to lack of interest on the part of either customers or manufacturers
(does anyone really care about X-Y mode?
Yes, big time.

I almost always have at least one of my scopes setup in X-Y for curve tracing.



enough to spend time and money building a comparable capability into a scope?).

Again, speaking from an admitted wealth of ignorance.

-- Jeff Dutky




 

Bert Haskins responded to:
(does anyone really care about X-Y mode?
Yes, big time.

I almost always have at least one of my scopes setup in X-Y for curve tracing.
Okay, I'm not disagreeing with you (I'm kind of interested in a good X-Y mode too), but, for curve tracing, aren't there any good, modern, purely digital (as in all data collected by a DAC and then displayed on a simple raster display) curve tracers? Does curve tracing require high bandwidth? My impression was that the X-Y modes of even fairly high bandwidth scopes were relatively low bandwidth (my impression, again, based on a wealth of ignorance).

I'm not asking this question in a purely academic sense: I'm kind of interested in curve tracing myself. I'm just not able to justify the price of a 576 or 577 for my hobby.

I'm also kind of surprised that modern DSOs seem to have such a hard time doing a good X-Y mode. I would think that it would be fairly simple to render the full screen based on sample X and Y inputs at a healthy refresh rate (e.g. 60 Hz) and still have lots of bandwidth to spare on the front end to get a highly accurate integration of the X-Y image. From what I've seen online, however, the X-Y modes of the hobbyist level scopes is kind'a punk (in the 50s sense of the word, not the 80s sense).

-- Jeff Dutky


Michael
 

I figured that I would not even try to repair it when it fails. I would just replace it. I am 78 years old. I am not particularly worried about whether these Siglent scopes are running in 40 or 50 years. :-)


Sean Turner
 

Jeff,

An instrument called a "source measure unit" is what is typically sold these days as an instrument for curve tracing (and other purposes). Keithley (which is a Tektronix/Danaher subsidiary now) offers them, and they are ruinously expensive for the hobbyist (at least new). They have computer interfaces and programmability. I don't think any of the big T&M manufacturers offer a curve tracer any more. Since everything is either tiny surface mount or an ASIC or an FPGA nowadays, there's no demand. Logic analyzers are headed the same way. I think Keysight is the only company that offers a true benchtop logic analyzer anymore. Tek discontinued the TLA series and directs you to buy a mixed signal scope instead.

Sean

On Mon, Mar 1, 2021 at 01:55 PM, Jeff Dutky wrote:


Okay, I'm not disagreeing with you (I'm kind of interested in a good X-Y mode
too), but, for curve tracing, aren't there any good, modern, purely digital
(as in all data collected by a DAC and then displayed on a simple raster
display) curve tracers?