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Best Oscilloscope for $3k

Started by ChesterW August 26, 2014
On 8/28/2014 3:22 PM, ChesterW wrote:
> On 8/26/14, 11:21 AM, ChesterW wrote: >> Dear Group, >> >> I can finally afford a new oscilloscope to supplement my trusty >> TEK 465M. My budget is around $3k. I like the newer Agilent scopes, >> which I have used when someone else was paying. I do mostly low >> frequency high-precision instruments (analog signals less than about 1 >> MHz). >> >> The pretty lower-end Agilent scopes are in reach, but I'm tempted >> to use one of these: >> >> http://tinyurl.com/k88x74r >> >> which is driven internally with an FPGA and one of these ADCs: >> >> http://www.mouser.com/catalog/specsheets/DataSheetASD5020HS_v2.0.pdf >> >> I make out the ENOB to be 11.6 bits at 125 MSPS with 14 bit samples >> using 4 channels, and 13.2 bits with 16 bit samples at 62.5 MSPS using >> one channel. It will also go out to 1 GSPS with 8 bit samples. Analog BW >> is 200 MHz. >> >> I like the serial decoding for free and the ability to stream data to an >> external application for creating custom processing. I'm thinking this >> would be good for prototyping AFEs with signal processing via the PC. >> >> So my thinking is that using this rather obscure configurable ADC that >> these guys improve performance over the big manufacturers ASICs for my >> particular applications niche. >> >> What do you think? >> >> ChesterW >> > Thanks everyone for your comments. Especially useful were the reminders > of how unwieldy virtual controls are on a scope and the great bargains > available for older but top-notch gear. > > I've decided to purchase the Picoscope, specifically the 5444B. The main > driver for me is the high precision at low frequencies which has direct > applicability for my particular area. > > The main drawback of no physical controls I'll fix using encoders and a > controller emulating a USB keyboard. You can see one idea for an encoder > enclosure that sits just below the computer monitor here: > > http://tinyurl.com/kblkukg > http://tinyurl.com/kag2xwq > > The same control software is used across the Pico line of products, so I > think I should be OK on software updates. If it turns out poorly, I'll > sell it (maybe to Klaus ;), and go the route of a nice used system. > > ChesterW
If it comes out well, you might OEM those to Pico. Cheers Phil Hobbs -- Dr Philip C D Hobbs Principal Consultant ElectroOptical Innovations LLC Optics, Electro-optics, Photonics, Analog Electronics 160 North State Road #203 Briarcliff Manor NY 10510 hobbs at electrooptical dot net http://electrooptical.net
On 8/29/14, 6:48 AM, Phil Hobbs wrote:
> On 8/28/2014 3:22 PM, ChesterW wrote: >> On 8/26/14, 11:21 AM, ChesterW wrote: >>> Dear Group, >>> >>> I can finally afford a new oscilloscope to supplement my trusty >>> TEK 465M. My budget is around $3k. I like the newer Agilent scopes, >>> which I have used when someone else was paying. I do mostly low >>> frequency high-precision instruments (analog signals less than about 1 >>> MHz). >>> >>> The pretty lower-end Agilent scopes are in reach, but I'm tempted >>> to use one of these: >>> >>> http://tinyurl.com/k88x74r >>> >>> which is driven internally with an FPGA and one of these ADCs: >>> >>> http://www.mouser.com/catalog/specsheets/DataSheetASD5020HS_v2.0.pdf >>> >>> I make out the ENOB to be 11.6 bits at 125 MSPS with 14 bit samples >>> using 4 channels, and 13.2 bits with 16 bit samples at 62.5 MSPS using >>> one channel. It will also go out to 1 GSPS with 8 bit samples. Analog BW >>> is 200 MHz. >>> >>> I like the serial decoding for free and the ability to stream data to an >>> external application for creating custom processing. I'm thinking this >>> would be good for prototyping AFEs with signal processing via the PC. >>> >>> So my thinking is that using this rather obscure configurable ADC that >>> these guys improve performance over the big manufacturers ASICs for my >>> particular applications niche. >>> >>> What do you think? >>> >>> ChesterW >>> >> Thanks everyone for your comments. Especially useful were the reminders >> of how unwieldy virtual controls are on a scope and the great bargains >> available for older but top-notch gear. >> >> I've decided to purchase the Picoscope, specifically the 5444B. The main >> driver for me is the high precision at low frequencies which has direct >> applicability for my particular area. >> >> The main drawback of no physical controls I'll fix using encoders and a >> controller emulating a USB keyboard. You can see one idea for an encoder >> enclosure that sits just below the computer monitor here: >> >> http://tinyurl.com/kblkukg >> http://tinyurl.com/kag2xwq >> >> The same control software is used across the Pico line of products, so I >> think I should be OK on software updates. If it turns out poorly, I'll >> sell it (maybe to Klaus ;), and go the route of a nice used system. >> >> ChesterW > > If it comes out well, you might OEM those to Pico. > > Cheers > > Phil Hobbs > >
I was thinking along the same lines. I'll let you know how it works out. ChesterW
On 8/29/14, 5:12 AM, Klaus Kragelund wrote:
> On Friday, August 29, 2014 5:01:32 AM UTC+2, ChesterW wrote: >> On 8/28/14, 4:20 PM, Klaus Kragelund wrote: >> >>> On Thursday, August 28, 2014 11:19:16 PM UTC+2, Klaus Kragelund wrote: >> >>>> On Thursday, August 28, 2014 9:22:48 PM UTC+2, ChesterW wrote: >> >>>> >> >>>>> On 8/26/14, 11:21 AM, ChesterW wrote: >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> Dear Group, >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> I can finally afford a new oscilloscope to supplement my trusty >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> TEK 465M. My budget is around $3k. I like the newer Agilent scopes, >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> which I have used when someone else was paying. I do mostly low >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> frequency high-precision instruments (analog signals less than about 1 >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> MHz). >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> The pretty lower-end Agilent scopes are in reach, but I'm tempted >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> to use one of these: >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> http://tinyurl.com/k88x74r >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> which is driven internally with an FPGA and one of these ADCs: >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> http://www.mouser.com/catalog/specsheets/DataSheetASD5020HS_v2.0.pdf >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> I make out the ENOB to be 11.6 bits at 125 MSPS with 14 bit samples >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> using 4 channels, and 13.2 bits with 16 bit samples at 62.5 MSPS using >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> one channel. It will also go out to 1 GSPS with 8 bit samples. Analog BW >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> is 200 MHz. >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> I like the serial decoding for free and the ability to stream data to an >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> external application for creating custom processing. I'm thinking this >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> would be good for prototyping AFEs with signal processing via the PC. >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> So my thinking is that using this rather obscure configurable ADC that >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> these guys improve performance over the big manufacturers ASICs for my >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> particular applications niche. >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> What do you think? >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> ChesterW >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> Thanks everyone for your comments. Especially useful were the reminders >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> of how unwieldy virtual controls are on a scope and the great bargains >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> available for older but top-notch gear. >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> I've decided to purchase the Picoscope, specifically the 5444B. The main >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> driver for me is the high precision at low frequencies which has direct >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> applicability for my particular area. >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> The main drawback of no physical controls I'll fix using encoders and a >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> controller emulating a USB keyboard. You can see one idea for an encoder >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> enclosure that sits just below the computer monitor here: >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> http://tinyurl.com/kblkukg >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> http://tinyurl.com/kag2xwq >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> The same control software is used across the Pico line of products, so I >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> think I should be OK on software updates. If it turns out poorly, I'll >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>>> sell it (maybe to Klaus ;), and go the route of a nice used system. >> >>>> >> >>>>> >> >>>> >> >>>> >> >>>> >> >>>> Please don't sell it to me. I have 3 different scopes allready (Pico, Tektronix and Hameg), and I really cannot bear to part with any of them :-) >> >>>> >> >>>> >> >>>> >> >>>> The Hameg 205-3 was my first scope, my late mother bought it for me. I power it up once per month just to keep it running, although for long durivity it would probably be better to have it powered 24/7 >> >>>> >> >>> It's 29 years old, got it when I was 12 years or so.... >> >>> >> >> That's a very nice scope for a beginner, especially a 12 year old one. >> >> Your mother must have had real faith in you. At 12 I was mainly >> >> interested in fishing and hunting and almost certainly would have ruined >> >> such nice gear. >> > > I spend a lot of time tinkering, going to the library, bought my first databook, RCA 4000 series logic. A lot of details in that one back then > > If only I had better access to good books and the internet was invented a lot more could have been gained > > And today if you have a computer you can buy a eval board for 5 bucks and be up and running. Back then I spend 1 year designing my own 8051 system with an EEPROM emulator. > > Cheers > > Klaus >
That sounds like a nice and fun way to start out. I believe digital is especially suited, since you can do a lot without much formal training. I wonder if the internet makes it easier or harder for newbies nowadays. It's very distracting, and one needs to discount a lot of what's found. Also, easy access to information is not the same as easy access to understanding, which seems to take its own time and not be in a particular hurry about arriving. I have to think that the 5 buck eval modules must take out some of the adventure, or that it's a different kind of adventure. Here are some photos of my heirlooms from back then. Purchased with 16th birthday money: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/33776033/8080/bugbook.jpg Three years later this was finally running: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/33776033/8080/8080A_front.jpg https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/33776033/8080/8080A_back.jpg A friend and I hand-assembled code and found some big (so we thought) prime numbers. We worked until we dropped. It was fun! ChesterW
[snip]
> > > That sounds like a nice and fun way to start out. I believe digital is > > especially suited, since you can do a lot without much formal training. > > > > I wonder if the internet makes it easier or harder for newbies nowadays. > > It's very distracting, and one needs to discount a lot of what's found. > > Also, easy access to information is not the same as easy access to > > understanding, which seems to take its own time and not be in a > > particular hurry about arriving. > > > > I have to think that the 5 buck eval modules must take out some of the > > adventure, or that it's a different kind of adventure. >
Yes, you don't get into the hardware stuff much, but can quickly combine building blocks to really cool systems
> > > Here are some photos of my heirlooms from back then. > > > > Purchased with 16th birthday money: > > > > https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/33776033/8080/bugbook.jpg >
Nice
> > > Three years later this was finally running: > > > > https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/33776033/8080/8080A_front.jpg > > > > https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/33776033/8080/8080A_back.jpg > >
Is it still hanging on the wall as a reminder of the first project? Cheers Klaus
On 8/30/14, 5:59 AM, Klaus Kragelund wrote:
> [snip]
> Is it still hanging on the wall as a reminder of the first project? > > Cheers > > Klaus >
Yes. Reminders of humble beginnings and construction methods using recycled telephone-wire may prevent swollen-head syndrome. It's not always completely effective ;) I think the first project was before the 8080. It was a tic-tac-toe game using combinational logic constructed using wire-wrap. Of course it was a disaster and never worked. I remember being happy upon realizing the symmetry of the problem reduced the complexity. I had not yet heard of Boolean algebra. What was your first project, way back then? ChesterW
On Sunday, August 31, 2014 6:57:50 PM UTC+2, ChesterW wrote:
> On 8/30/14, 5:59 AM, Klaus Kragelund wrote: >=20 > > [snip] >=20 >=20 >=20 > > Is it still hanging on the wall as a reminder of the first project? >=20 > > >=20 > > Cheers >=20 > > >=20 > > Klaus >=20 > > >=20 > Yes. Reminders of humble beginnings and construction methods using=20 >=20 > recycled telephone-wire may prevent swollen-head syndrome. It's not=20 >=20 > always completely effective ;) >=20 >=20 >=20 > I think the first project was before the 8080. It was a tic-tac-toe game=
=20
>=20 > using combinational logic constructed using wire-wrap. Of course it was=
=20
>=20 > a disaster and never worked. I remember being happy upon realizing the=20 >=20 > symmetry of the problem reduced the complexity. I had not yet heard of=20 >=20 > Boolean algebra. >=20 >=20 >=20 > What was your first project, way back then? >=20 >=20
The first was actually not an electronics project. My dad is an electrical = engineer (high voltage) and he taught me the basics when I was about 9. So I made a simple "notify" system for my room. A push button along side th= e door to my room was hooked up to a switch inside my room. So my family to= push the button and depending on the state of the switch a light would ind= icate "not at home" / "do not bother" / "please come in" Quite simple, not really advanced at all :-) Cheers Klaus
On 8/31/2014 1:26 PM, Klaus Kragelund wrote:
> > The first was actually not an electronics project. My dad is an electrical engineer (high voltage) and he taught me the basics when I was about 9. > > So I made a simple "notify" system for my room. A push button along side the door to my room was hooked up to a switch inside my room. So my family to push the button and depending on the state of the switch a light would indicate "not at home" / "do not bother" / "please come in" > > Quite simple, not really advanced at all :-)
I'm not so sure, sounds like multi-valued logic to me. :) -- Rick
On 8/31/14, 12:26 PM, Klaus Kragelund wrote:
> On Sunday, August 31, 2014 6:57:50 PM UTC+2, ChesterW wrote: >> On 8/30/14, 5:59 AM, Klaus Kragelund wrote: >> >>> [snip] >> >> > The first was actually not an electronics project. My dad is an electrical engineer (high voltage) and he taught me the basics when I was about 9. > > So I made a simple "notify" system for my room. A push button along side the door to my room was hooked up to a switch inside my room. So my family to push the button and depending on the state of the switch a light would indicate "not at home" / "do not bother" / "please come in" > > Quite simple, not really advanced at all :-) > > Cheers > > Klaus >
That's very cool. I remember another project from about that time, constructed from a Radio Shack book, of a 3 or 4 transistor audio amplifier. I put the microphone at the focus of a dish-pan and used it to spy on my sister. I try to be more nice to her now that we are grown. ChesterW