Fundraising for new oscilloscope

Fellow ERPicans,

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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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!

Mark Satoria
ERP Area Lead


A very worthy cause…I’m in for $50. For everyone else, please be sure to mark “ERP Scope Fund” on your envelope if you make a donation. Donations can be made either in the regular payments box or put into the box in the ERP lab.


Tracy and I will donate $100 and we’re glad to see the Electronics area getting some needed love and attention.

I would also suggest 1 or more of these multi-function devices be considered for future purchase ($279 ea):



Mark I don’t want to be a debbie downer but I’m showing that the ERP budget was $0 for new equipment. There’s budget for operations (solder, heat shrink, class materials) and some “misc parts” but there is no $250 to put towards this.

We could fundraise for the whole thing (possible!) re-allocate at the next board meeting, maybe is there old stuff to sell off? (favorite!)

We really did not budget for equipment in many places. Trying to get that new building fund.

I think a class about oscilloscope usage would be fascinating, btw! Could even be a fundraiser in and of itself.

Not sure how the new tariffs on Chinese stuff works but I was looking through a list yesterday on what is included and most equipment that makeict has/uses was on the list.

Edit: looks like they are paid at the port of entry by the importer. I believe a couple of the companies you linked to have a US headquarters so those are likely already here or they paid the duties already, but stuff coming directly from China might incur an additional 25% at port.

Good thing we got the laser when we did. That one would’ve added up.

It looks like a moot point… I can’t imagine that we won’t raise enough for this in short order. The additional items Curt suggested may wait until ERP’s turn for the $1k bonus comes around. They haven’t had a turn yet, right? Or did I just forget? I can go look it up, but the computer is a couple of rooms from me right now, so by the time I get there, I’ll have forgotten what I was doing, anyway.

Hey Mark,
Do you have a box in the lab to drop donations in? Oops! I see that we just put it in the regular drop box… :slight_smile: gotta read to the bottom before I reply…

The $1000 per area is coming up soon for ERP. Some of the “areas” on the list are no longer areas, so that needs cleared up to be sure. I am hoping after the auction in September we will reach them. Don’t let that stop anyone from donating now.

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I will donate a $100 also.


To everyone who has donated so far, you guys/gals rock!

There sure is a donations box! It’s on the right hand side when you enter the ERP. I have printed out my post and put it on the front bench along with envelopes and instructions on how to make the deposit.

The analog discovery devices are pretty neat. This may be a good candidate to replace our BusPirate PC-USB logic analyzer. This is certainly something I’m considering for the future. Other than that, a new scope and function generator will pretty much close the loop.

I was under the impression, and I’d love to be told I’m wrong, but equipment sold from any area just goes to the general fund, and not back to the area the piece of equipment came from.

I am looking into building rudimentary O-scopes that utilize computer soundcards and software for those willing to teach introductory classes. But re-organizing and trying to furnish the lab with crucial electronic test equipment, as well as bringing the remaining CNC equipment online takes precedence.

Lastly, check your PM for additional concerns and comments.

ERP has not had their turn at the fundraising list, true! Last year they asked for a professional board milling machine but if Mark wants tp change that I see no issue.

I kinda wish equipment sold could go to a purpose recommended by the person who does the work selling it but we never cemented that. It would provide incentive for people to sell stuff, for sure. Let’s just say as a board member with a vote, I’d personally be very likely to vote to increase your budget if you’d been selling stuff.

These are really neat little devices and they can do a surprising
amount. There does exist a bundle that includes some very handy extra
items that was put together for the “Ham Radio Workbench Podcast”

I also know a coupon code that knocks $100 of the $339 price for this
bundle, thus making the bundle less than the base unit list price. Or
better yet, you can listen to the podcast to find out for yourself :wink:


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There has also been a private PayPal donation of another $50, so we’re at $300 as of right now. Anyone else want to kick in a bit so we can get this 100% fundraised? We’ve got $200 to go for the Siglent SDS1104X-E scope.

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Actually, shouldn’t we be at $400?

Me . . . 50

  • Curt & Tracy . . . 100 = 150
  • Paul . . . 100 = 250
  • private donation . . . 50 = 300

Am I missing something?

Mark offered 100 in his original email.

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Oopsie. It got lost in the long email. New limit. 14 words. Problem solved.

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You can n put me down for $50

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I’ll match Jerry. Put me down for $50.


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Thank you, everyone! It is this kind of thing that makes MakeICT a pretty special group of folks.