I am looking to purchase a new oscilloscope (digital storage oscilloscope type, or DSO) for the ERP lab. Hopefully you find this idea to be as exciting as I do! First off, you may be wondering why I think we should get a new one. Here’s why: our current analog unit belongs to a series that first came to market in 1980(!). While the physics of electricity has never changed, technology for measuring it certainly has. The capabilities of modern DSOs over their analog brethren really shine in their analysis of digital circuits and buses which is the majority of the types of circuits people work on in our makerspace. Given that our unit is so far out of calibration and is unlikely to ever be calibrated again means that it’s really only useful for rough analysis of repetitive signals, and practically useless for digital circuits - particularly with spurious events - which is another thing a DSO excels at since it’s able to record events which can then be viewed later, rather than analog units which are limited to real time viewing. There are numerous other benefits to DSOs which probably explains why they almost entirely replaced analog units in manufacturer’s lineups - limiting analog types to specialty uses. In fact, DSOs can perform functions that historically required discrete equipment (spectrum analysis, digital protocol decoding, etc)
So this is all fine and dandy, but all that fancy tech must certainly be expensive, right? While there are certainly units that cost 10s of thousands of dollars, there are entry level types that start at roughly $200 which can still blow our old scope out of the water in most ways. I’m not looking at going that low, but neither am I thinking about going that much higher than that. So here’s what I have in mind:
I am willing to spend $250 of the ERP budget towards the purchase of a $350 Rigol DS1054Z (https://www.rigolna.com/products/digital-oscilloscopes/1000z/). This is an excellent 4-channel unit (our current unit is 2ch) for the money and while it is labeled as a 50MHz DSO, it shares the internals with the equivalent 100MHz device, and thus can be converted to the latter via a soft mod, which is frequently done and partially explains why this model is so popular.
However, if I had my way, I would opt for a Siglent SDS1104X-E (https://www.siglentamerica.com/digital-oscilloscopes/sds1000x-e-series-super-phosphor-oscilloscopes/) which is quite a bit better than the Rigol in most ways for a mere $150 more, such as more robust decoding of a larger variety of digital buses. I’m not willing to purchase that out of the limited budget, so here is where you come in! I’m requesting pledges to go towards purchasing this. I’ll start off by pledging $100 which puts us at enough to to purchase the Rigol.
Can we raise the remaining $150? Please pledge!
What if we raise even more? If any of you are familiar with KickStarter then you know all about stretch goals, and I have a few. To go along with our shiny new DSO, I’d also like to purchase a FeelTech FY6600 function generator (http://en.feeltech.net/html/Signal%20generator/show_59.html). Admittedly, this is a ~$100 chinese special, but to be fair it is pretty well regarded with a large user base that has come up with numerous mods that substantially increase the device’s already quite impressive performance. This is unit is a pretty good bargain considering the next step up in the market would be $300.
Therefore, the total I’m looking to raise is $250. That’s not much! Anything we raise over that will go towards reducing the amount that has to come out of the ERP budget, which allows us to make other purchases down the road (many things that shouldn’t be considered consumables tend to be). I’m hoping to raise this in 2 weeks.
With a new multi-function scope and function generator, that will give us a decently equipped electronics lab that substantially increases our circuit analysis capabilities. I’m hoping you see the value in having this equipment available to members, and in turn pledge what you can! Please help make this happen!
ERP Area Lead