Ugh, O'scope died. Thinking about upgrade. Siglent 1202XE thoughts?

Thread Starter

philba

Joined Aug 17, 2017
959
Last night I sat at my bench and clicked on my Tek 2225 to look at a waveform on a circuit I was fussing with. Nothing. Nada. No Joy. Did all the requisite checks (plugged in, breaker, wiggle stuff,..). Nothing. It worked fine when I used it last and no abuse happened. Downloaded the service manual. Started reading it. Complex beast. Might be something easy but need to block out some time to start looking. Probably the power supply.

I've been thinking of upgrading for a while now and maybe this is nature's way of telling me (yes, the song has been stuck in my head). The Tek 2225 has been a great little scope but it's just a no frills 50 mhz analog scope. Kind of an old friend.

The Siglent SDS1202XE caught my eye. 200 mhz, 2 channel $380. 7" display. Fairly deep memory. Seems like a pretty good scope. Any experience? Does the software not suck?

I'm also looking at the Rigol 1102E. 100 mhz, 2 channel. Seems like it's a decent candidate. $370-400. Lots of people seem to like it. Respected brand. Is there a better model to consider?
Then there is the Hantek 5202P 200 Mhz, 2 channel $300. Could be a winner except memory depth looks small. Is this a deal breaker? Any experience with this model or Hantek in general? I've heard negatives on the software.

As background, I mostly do digital stuff and a lot of microcontroller based projects. Some analog but nothing exotic.

Also, I've thought about used scopes, anything comparable to the siglent out there you would recommend?
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
19,270
I can only make comparisons with what I have work with in the past.

Used analog scopes from HP and Tektronix are your basic dependable work horses. If you can find one that suits your needs that is always a good backup scope, such as a Tektronix 2213 or 2225.

In digital scopes, Tektronix TDS210 and 220 are solid dependable scopes.
TDS1002 start to have problems with the VOLTS/DIV and SEC/DIV controls. I have five of these that exhibit the same problem.

Siglent SDS1202XE is a nice scope at the right price but it is not without some quirky behavior.
Digital measurements don't always appear to be correct.
Triggering is quirky some of the time.
Color screen is nice. However, they do not superimpose CH1 and CH2 trace properly on the screen.
The units received had a software bug. After contacting Siglent they pointed me to the site to download the latest firmware. Upgrading the firmware is easy and straight forward.
On the plus side, SDS1202XE is color, 200MHZ and affordable.
Note that these newer digital scopes have a cooling fan where as TDS210, TDS220 do not have a cooling fan.
I like the layout of the SDS1202XE, except I have been accustomed to having the Y-position above the VOLTS/DIV as on the TDS220.
The other nice thing is when you adjust any control you receive a momentary prompt at the center of screen as to the setting. This goes away after 2 seconds but is still viewable on another part of the screen. The soft menu buttons at the bottom of the screen makes sense to me.
Also you can select any digital measurement to be displayed or you can display all (which is a large number, about 30, of various parameters).

Hope this helps.
 

Thread Starter

philba

Joined Aug 17, 2017
959
Yes, that is very helpful. Thanks!

Could you expand on the digital measurement and quirky triggering issues?
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
19,270
Yes, that is very helpful. Thanks!

Could you expand on the digital measurement and quirky triggering issues?
When we received the scopes they did not take into account when the scope probe was x1 versus x10. Hence the digital measurements were incorrect.
This was fixed in the firmware upgrade.

On measurement digital readout, Ampl and RMS values don't appear to be correct. This is likely a software bug.

On some units, the scope does not trigger when trigger source is set to AC Line.
 

Thread Starter

philba

Joined Aug 17, 2017
959
btw, I have some experience fixing Tektronix scopes so I may be able to lend a hand.
Thanks! It doesn't power on when I press the power button but when I turn the power off, the power LED flickers for about 1/4 second. I'm betting power supply.
 

Ahope42

Joined Sep 17, 2017
5
I just bought the Siglent 1202x-e.
I am very happy with the scope so far. Upgrading the software was extremely simple - dump the files on a usb stick, plug it in the scope and press update. Job done in a few seconds.

I like the build quality. Feels nice and solid. Fan can be heard, but not a nuisance - my computers make more noise. Buttons feels solid. I love the soft keys at the bottom of the screen.

I was looking at the Rigol 1054z which everyone is praising, but choose the Siglent for several reasons:
-It is brand new, so software will continue to develop and improve. Maybe a little raw today, but I expect this to just get better and better. The Rigol is old, probably not much more happening on the software side
-serial decode. I really appreciate the possibility to decode serial comms.
-Everything comes included, no need to hack the scope to improve frequency, memory or serial decode functionality.
 

Thread Starter

philba

Joined Aug 17, 2017
959
Thanks. How long have you had it? Also, how is the pc software? I've not seen any discussion of it.
 

Ahope42

Joined Sep 17, 2017
5
I have had the scope for 2 weeks.
I have downloaded and tried the PC software, so far without luck. But will have another go tonite. Its a matter of finding time and getting the stack installed on my machine. The scope connects to ethernet just fine and can check for software upgrades directly.
 

Wuerstchenhund

Joined Aug 31, 2017
187
I've been thinking of upgrading for a while now and maybe this is nature's way of telling me (yes, the song has been stuck in my head). The Tek 2225 has been a great little scope but it's just a no frills 50 mhz analog scope. Kind of an old friend.
Understandable, but then a DSO will have so much to offer that you're unlikely to look back.

The Siglent SDS1202XE caught my eye. 200 mhz, 2 channel $380. 7" display. Fairly deep memory. Seems like a pretty good scope. Any experience? Does the software not suck?
The Siglent SDS1202XE is a pretty decent scope. Nice screen, fast, lots of memory. There seem to be a few remaining bugs but those are minor.

I'm also looking at the Rigol 1102E. 100 mhz, 2 channel. Seems like it's a decent candidate.
Yes, maybe >5yrs ago. These days it's just slow, has a shitty low-res display, and very limited measurement capabilities. As scopes are concerned, it's almost an antique.

$370-400. Lots of people seem to like it. Respected brand. Is there a better model to consider?
Yes, the Rigol DS1054z. Same price range but 4 channels, and all functions incl. 100MHz BW can be unlocked for free (search for 'Riglol'). You get a much better screen, serial decode, decent measurements and FFT.

As to Rigol being a respected brand, I'd not go as far but rather say that as far as Chinese B-brands are concerned, Rigol and Siglent are known entities.

Siglents Strenght has been the hardware (the build quality, especially when considering the price) while in the past they used to struggle a lot in the software (although that has improved a lot). Siglent also co-operates with Teledyne LeCroy ("Mercedes amongst scopes") and is learning a lot.

Rigol was traditionally a bit better with software but they made some silly hardware design desicions. They got their scope design knowledge from it's cooperation with Agilent which has since ceased. Some of Rigols products are great (like the DS1054z, can't get any better at that price) while it's more expensive scopes (DS4000 and DS6000 Series) are between 'mediocre' and 'buggy crap'.

Neither Siglent nor Rigol can be seen at the same level as the known A-brands like Keysight, LeCroy, R&S or even Tek (which these days is trailing pretty much everyone else).

You know that Keysight recently came out with a new low-cost entry-level scope called the DSO-X 1000?

http://www.keysight.com/en/pcx-2759552/infiniivision-1000-x-series-oscilloscopes?nid=-32110.0.00&cc=GB&lc=eng

It's a nice scope with some interesting features.


Then there is the Hantek 5202P 200 Mhz, 2 channel $300. Could be a winner except memory depth looks small. Is this a deal breaker? Any experience with this model or Hantek in general? I've heard negatives on the software.
The Hantek is a cheaply made (in terms of build and software quality, less so in terms of price) buggy scope that can't hold a candle even to Rigol and Siglent. I'd not go there. It's money flushed down the toilet.

As background, I mostly do digital stuff and a lot of microcontroller based projects. Some analog but nothing exotic.

Also, I've thought about used scopes, anything comparable to the siglent out there you would recommend?
2nd hand can be a great alternative (especially if you need larger BW, advanced math/analysis or decode for less widely known standards), but frankly if you're fine with 100MHz and your budget is limited to somewhere around $400-600 or so then I'd say forget 2nd hand and go for either the Keysight DSO-X1102A, Siglent SDS1202XE or the Rigol DS1054z which will all do what you need.
 
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Wuerstchenhund

Joined Aug 31, 2017
187
I was looking at the Rigol 1054z which everyone is praising, but choose the Siglent for several reasons:
-It is brand new, so software will continue to develop and improve. Maybe a little raw today, but I expect this to just get better and better. The Rigol is old, probably not much more happening on the software side
Not sure I get that. Are you saying you specifically bought a new model scope so that you can live through all the software issues that are typical for Chinese B-brands and which have allready been fixed in the Rigol because it's been on the market for longer?

I also don't know what development you expect but firmware for scopes will rarely see any feature upgrades, mostly bugfixes only. And once the manufacturer considers the firmware mature enough then development will stop, unless a new showstopper bug appears.

-serial decode. I really appreciate the possibility to decode serial comms.
Both scopes do serial decode so that's hardly a selector.

-Everything comes included, no need to hack the scope to improve frequency, memory or serial decode functionality.
Indeed, but since the "hack" means entering a serial number in a key generator and then a key in the scope it's hardly a lot of effort.

The biggest advantage of the DS1054 however is that is has 4 channels, which is very convenient.
 

Ahope42

Joined Sep 17, 2017
5
"Wuerstchenhund, post: 1193576, member: 471615"]Not sure I get that. Are you saying you specifically bought a new model scope so that you can live through all the software issues that are typical for Chinese B-brands and which have allready been fixed in the Rigol because it's been on the market for longer?

Yes. I am a software engineer originally and are used to "fresh" software. I am more worried about old software and old drivers becoming obsolete, than suffering through some bugs. Also - the build quality is excellent and it´s all new design internally (watch eevblog teardown). I like new stuff, more afraid of so called "tried and tested". To me that sounds like "soon obsolete".

To be what you label "chinese B brand" it is pretty amazing build quality and and software. There is nothing that feels "B" about it.

I also don't know what development you expect but firmware for scopes will rarely see any feature upgrades, mostly bugfixes only. And once the manufacturer considers the firmware mature enough then development will stop, unless a new showstopper bug appears.

I don´t expect many new features. What I do expect is that all drivers remain current to match up with pc and networks, and that bugs are still fixed asap. Thats all I ask.

Both scopes do serial decode so that's hardly a selector.
Indeed, but since the "hack" means entering a serial number in a key generator and then a key in the scope it's hardly a lot of effort.

Wrong. Legally it is $189 option on the Rigol, included on the Siglent. I know everyone hacks the Rigol, but I like to stay legal even if this is my hobby and not my work. It is not the effort, it is the legality.

The biggest advantage of the DS1054 however is that is has 4 channels, which is very convenient.

If you need it. I dont.
 

Wuerstchenhund

Joined Aug 31, 2017
187
"Wuerstchenhund, post: 1193576, member: 471615"]Not sure I get that. Are you saying you specifically bought a new model scope so that you can live through all the software issues that are typical for Chinese B-brands and which have allready been fixed in the Rigol because it's been on the market for longer?

Yes. I am a software engineer originally and are used to "fresh" software. I am more worried about old software and old drivers becoming obsolete, than suffering through some bugs.
Well, there isn't much (external) software in the first place, and what there is (like EasyScope from Siglent) usually follows the same principle - updates only if there are major bugs.

To be what you label "chinese B brand" it is pretty amazing build quality and and software. There is nothing that feels "B" about it.
Sure, but that doesn't change the fact that both Rigol and Siglent are still B-brands, even though as you say (and I also already stated in my last posting) that the build quality is pretty good.

But there's more than just mechanical build quality that makes the difference between an A-brand like Keysight and a B-brand. For example, there's quality control, customer support, life cycle management, documentation and many others.

Neither Rigol nor Siglent can even tell you how long a particular scope model will be supported by them.

I don´t expect many new features. What I do expect is that all drivers remain current to match up with pc and networks, and that bugs are still fixed asap. Thats all I ask.
I'm sure Siglent will fix most of the remaining bugs, but I would not expect many new versions of external software or drivers (which are often written once and then abandoned), but then none of the programs are particularly good or well designed anyways.

The important bits is that the SCPI command set is implemented correctly, which with B-brand devices often isn't the case right from the start.

Wrong. Legally it is $189 option on the Rigol, included on the Siglent. I know everyone hacks the Rigol, but I like to stay legal even if this is my hobby and not my work. It is not the effort, it is the legality.
Fair enough. Although considering that Rigol has neither tried to close the hole in their firmware nor even attempted to get the Riglol website taken down it's questionable if entering a code is really illegal. But that also depends a lot of your jurisdiction.
 

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,025
I bought the cheap Hantek 8ch USB scope for some low-bandwith readings I needed to take on multiple channels. It was almost unusable the software was so bad. I know it's from the bottom of the bottom barrel, but it reflects poorly on Hantek. I would not buy another of their products.
 

Wuerstchenhund

Joined Aug 31, 2017
187
I bought the cheap Hantek 8ch USB scope for some low-bandwith readings I needed to take on multiple channels. It was almost unusable the software was so bad. I know it's from the bottom of the bottom barrel, but it reflects poorly on Hantek. I would not buy another of their products.
To be fair, pretty much the only USB scopes that aren't complete shit are the PicoScopes. Everything else just sux.
 

Ahope42

Joined Sep 17, 2017
5
Well, there isn't much (external) software in the first place, and what there is (like EasyScope from Siglent) usually follows the same principle - updates only if there are major bugs.



Sure, but that doesn't change the fact that both Rigol and Siglent are still B-brands, even though as you say (and I also already stated in my last posting) that the build quality is pretty good.

But there's more than just mechanical build quality that makes the difference between an A-brand like Keysight and a B-brand. For example, there's quality control, customer support, life cycle management, documentation and many others.

Neither Rigol nor Siglent can even tell you how long a particular scope model will be supported by them.



I'm sure Siglent will fix most of the remaining bugs, but I would not expect many new versions of external software or drivers (which are often written once and then abandoned), but then none of the programs are particularly good or well designed anyways.

The important bits is that the SCPI command set is implemented correctly, which with B-brand devices often isn't the case right from the start.



Fair enough. Although considering that Rigol has neither tried to close the hole in their firmware nor even attempted to get the Riglol website taken down it's questionable if entering a code is really illegal. But that also depends a lot of your jurisdiction.
True, nobody seems to care if you hack the Rigol. Maybe its just me, I like to try new stuff or something different from what "everyone else" is doing. In this case "everyone else" seemed to go for the Rigol. I looked at hantek for a moment, but read too many negative reviews. Seems like a "C brand" from what many write. It was the eevblog teardown that impressed me. I like my instruments to feel solid and quality, not cheap plastic. I sure I would have been happy with the Rigol as well. For now I am very happy with my Siglent.
 

Wuerstchenhund

Joined Aug 31, 2017
187
True, nobody seems to care if you hack the Rigol. Maybe its just me, I like to try new stuff or something different from what "everyone else" is doing. In this case "everyone else" seemed to go for the Rigol.
Indeed, but this is probably because for that price it's really hard to beat.

But I can see why you prefered the Siglent (and it's not that the Rigol DS1054z doesn't have its weak points, which are its sometimes slow UI, only 16kpts FFT, and the low sample rate in 4ch mode; FFT and general processing are much better on the Siglent).

I looked at hantek for a moment, but read too many negative reviews. Seems like a "C brand" from what many write. It was the eevblog teardown that impressed me. I like my instruments to feel solid and quality, not cheap plastic. I sure I would have been happy with the Rigol as well. For now I am very happy with my Siglent.
Neither the Rigol DS1054z nor the Siglent SDS1202XE is a bad choice, they are both very good entry-level scopes with a very reasonable price tag.
 

OBW0549

Joined Mar 2, 2015
2,982
This discussion has stirred my interest in getting a more modern (i.e., more capable) DSO to replace my ancient Tektronix 40 MHz TDS1001B-- something I've thought of from time to time in the last few years, but never pursued very seriously. After nearly 50 years in the "will do electronics for food" racket, I'm now retired and therefore once again a hobbyist-- and living on a fixed income. As much as I would love to have one of LeCroy's latest and greatest scopes, those are WAY outside my budget; in my circumstances, $400 is more to my liking.

Both the Rigol DS1054Z and the Siglent SDS1202XE seem like suitable replacements, and the price is right. The wider bandwidth of the Siglent appeals to me, as do the 4 channels of the Rigol (although not as important in what I do), but I'm currently leaning toward the Siglent.

Can anyone point to a compelling reason to choose the DS1054Z over the SDS1202XE? Does either of them offer any nifty feature(s) that the other lacks? Does either one present any major annoyances that the other does not?
 
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