Vote to get oscilloscope for lab

I gave a tour tonight and realized that we no longer have a (not vintage) oscilloscope for the electronics lab.

I recently did some shopping for my personal lab at home and there are some amazing scopes out there for reasonable prices.

This vote would be for $1000 for a new scope.

I would like to get us a 4 channel 100MHz scope (Rigol, Owon, Hantek) that could be used for microcontroller work along with basic electronic testing.

I am leaning toward one of the mixed ones that also have a logic analyzer built in but I wanted to chirp the other electronic folks out there if they think that is worth it.

For my lab at home I have the logic analyzer separate and hooked up to my computer. (Saleae Logic 8). I really like having the huge computer screen to look at the different channels and to decode stuff but I don’t think we have a computer setup for the lab right now. The mixed ones are nice because everything is just there in one package.

I’m also open on the bandwidth. I’ve read that 100MHz is a great place for microcontroller work but if a slightly lower bandwidth is OK, Rigol has a nice 70MHz model for $835

I could have sworn there were/was a scope/s in the electronics area, Were they loaned equipment that went away?


I remember Shaddox using one for a talk, but that was a while ago.

I was going to propose this as well. I will post more later, as there is lots to consider.

The short of it is, raise the vote to $2000 (we’ll probably only be just over $1000, though). $1000 is the threshold for usable for almost anything reasonable and not. Some of us do some RF, analog, low noise, etc. At this point, I can only trust good analog scope for that, but a better DSO would be ideal.


Please provide a plan for securing this so that it doesn’t walk off. :wink:

Good input. I noticed $1,000 was right at the price point so I will change the vote for “up to $2000” with it probably coming in the $1500 range.

Do you have some guidance for capabilities? When you say RF work, what is required?

Bandwidth (MHz):
Channels (2 or 4):
Mixed mode (logic analyzer):
Sample Rate (GSa/sec):
Memory Depth (M):
Screen size:
VGA output:
USB interface:
Network interface:
Built in signal generator:

Any other capabilities.

The Rigol MSO1104Z-S looks pretty interesting ($1300)

I love Tektronix stuff but they are just on the high range.

Yes. Most of them have the locking cable mount.

Keysight DSOX2012A

Rigol MSO2102

Various others. Could get a Rhode and Schwartz as well, which is German made. Siglents are okay too. It really depends. I’d stay away from instek, owan, etc. As far as budget brands go, rigol seems to be the one.

I’d probably go with the Keysight, as it’s Agilent after all. The screen is much larger. It is beefy, and seems more durable. I’ve seen blowouts and refurbs and barely used too, as this was a top-of-the-line a few years ago, and now rigol and others have imitated it.

I’d be happy with a 1GaS / Sec scope, I guess, but the 2 GaS 2000 models in both rigol and keysight do show much more via oversampling.

It’s hard to say. Do we want basic digital functionality, or something that approaches the visibility of an analog scope.

Finally we need a function generator too. That wavetek is not doing great. Also, it’s so useful with the logic analyser.

Anybody chime in if I’m being too discriminating here… If nobody is going to use the extended functionality except me, then it is not worth it.


To answer you Brad:

Bandwidth (MHz): 100
Channels (2 or 4): better scope is more important than # of channels. 2 is good.
Mixed mode (logic analyzer): Yes.
Sample Rate (GSa/sec): 2GSa/sec +
Memory Depth (M): they all seem to have good depth 1M +
Screen size: I like bigger, but not a deal breaker
VGA output:
USB interface:
Network interface:
Built in signal generator: Nice to have


Note to self: “steal fancy plastic nail gun and sell on ebay”

But, yes, they all lock down.

So noted, so now when it walks I know who to talk too. :wink:

All joking aside I’d add whatever I could to make sure we could easily track stuff, or lock it down. Obviously it’s more challenging in some cases than others.

OTOH, I wonder how hard it is to setup inventory rfid such that we could ping major items and find out where in the Hive they had migrated too. It would be really cool if I could go to a PC, ask about the nail gun, and get told it was currently in the bathroom or under the kitchen sink, or wherever.

I do not believe it walked away. I believe it was member, not Hive owned. We have video to be able to see things like that if it were to happen. If I’m incorrect someone please correct me.

I believe the scope we had belonged to Dave B who recently left.

Ha! I embedded a proximity charge so if it leaves the Hive . . . . .

Note: probably should mention that somewhere in case someone wants to borrow it . . . .

For my part, the comments about the nail gun are purely jokes, and should be taken as such.

To the best of my knowledge the only thing that might be missing are some clamps, 4 HDDs, and a second set of Bosch drill/impact drivers. The clamps and drill/impact drivers are so long gone that looking at the security footage is not useful. There’s also some disagreement on whether they were actually in the Hive in the first place.

The 4 HDDs were in a part of the Hive where there are no cameras, and were gone long enough that looking through the security footage would be tedious.

All of which is why I’m suggesting that if we can make it a bit harder for things to walk off we should. We’re open to the general public, and anybody who wants to could probably walk home with a number of valuable, but easily concealed tools. A $1-2K scope that can be put under and arm seems like a more tempting target than say the $4K metal lathe.

I suspect that any member who wanted something could easily overcome any security mechanism put into place, and walk out with it undetected, including a scope that was strapped to a bench. Which doesn’t mean we should not spend a few minutes, and a few bucks securing it.

Yes I think it was Dave’s scope. I just noticed we didn’t have one anymore.
We should get a Hive scope.

This is my favorite scope at home:

I have parts of one of these, but this is definitely the best digital scope ever:

100GSa/sec via a scan converter tube… Really interesting technology.

Also beware the fine print on many of these scopes that states 1GSa/Sec (one-channel), 500MSa/Sec (dual channel).

Halving your sample rate per channel is lame.

Also, on the not so much money angle tek and HP used scopes are available:

Agilent 5465 is classic for mixed signal
Tek TLS series is quite powerful.

Not as graceful, but they are capable and available used.

BTW, have you guys passed the hat to pay for this yet? I’m willing to donate $1 to the cause, assuming the vote passes.

We are in the “discussion” phase where we dream about buying Ferrari’s and end up getting a Toyota. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I appreciate all the input. I’m imagining we’ll end up with the nice Rigol for around $1000.