Monday, August 3, 2009

Officially a Nerd!

Most people agree that you are officially an nerd when you get an oscilloscope. Well... I just got a Rigol DS 1052E, 50 MHz, 2 Channel Digital Storage Oscilloscope. I'm really having fun learning to use it. The manual is very good and has some fun Chinese to English translations! For example the warranty card is addressed to the "Honorable Customer."

Its an award winning scope because of its combination of low price and advanced performance at an entry level price. The 50-MHz portable oscilloscope provides a 1 Gsample/s rate, which puts it in the same category as big-name competitors. It then surpasses them by providing a full 1-Msample memory — as much as 40 times more than competing units.

The unit has a very bright, full color 5.7-in. liquid-crystal display, USB host and device ports, and a range of advanced triggering functions (such as edge, slope, pulse, alternate, and video) and mathematical signal-manipulation capabilities (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and fast Fourier transforms). All things you would expect in much more expensive scopes.

The real surprise is the price - the 50-MHz version is priced at just $595 (retail). I got mine on E-bay from mib_instruments shipped for free directly from Hong Kong for just $420 (plus $10 insurance)! I also have a soft case coming, which I ordered elsewhere.

The scope comes with power cord, two probes and a CD with the manual (in pdf) and PC interface software. Here are the specs:

Here is an online review from the EEVblog (Electronics Engineering Video Blog) on YouTube: