I’ve been thinking about playing with an oscilloscope for years. I’ve finally pulled the plug. I looked at used Tektronix oscilloscopes for a long time. The more I thought about it I decided to dump that option. These scopes are getting on in years and though they would meet the requirements they have much less features and have the potential to break and I’d note be in a position to fix them like some folks. Since this is the once piece of test equipment I was thinking I’d buy, I figured I’d go with something new and modern. Being a tightwad, this was a hard fought decision that required my wife’s encouragement to clear my guilt. (Yeah, she’s a good one.)
So, the budget was set at $400. (A price that would make engineers a few years back laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.) I also read around and it seemed the best advice was to go no lower than 100Mhz Bandwidth. As best I understand it, this is about how much signal it can handle at once. Apparently, 100Mhz means it can’t handle UHF/VHF activity as well, but it should handle the HF stuff and Audio frequency well.
The other thing that seems to be a factor is the sample rate. It seems this is recorded in the samples per second. I didn’t set a requirement for my own. The oscilloscopes I chose to consider ended up being 1GSa/s and when I looked around, this seems like it was sufficient.
Rigol is, of course, a well respected brand. Their 100Mhz, 1GSa/s scope is the DS1102E. It hits the price at $400 on the nose and clearly.
Siglent was the other brand that made the short list. The SDS1102CML is their entry. It has the better price at $359. As a guy who sits in front of computers all day and values large clear screens, the larger 7″ screen and resolution of 480×234 resolution is a very attractive feature. Also, the reviews all seem to be pretty positive that it is a great value, has a great collection of features and Siglent as a brand seems to be a rising star in the industry.
So I went with the Siglent SDS1102CML. It arrives tomorrow if Amazon and the USPS are to be believed. Yeah, I’m a little excited.
Next step, learn how to properly use it and scope all the things!