137 of 142 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2011
This is a nice scope and probably the best value out there for someone without a large budget. The 50MHz model and 100MHz models share the same internal guts so you can convert the cheaper model into the more expensive one by reprogramming the model number. There is a large hobby / hacker community that has numerous posts on these scopes which is good -- because you often don't get much information from the user manuals. If you are looking for a real bargain and don't care about the warranty, these things are available directly from China via priority post and can arrive duty free since the invoices are in Chinese and not understandable by customs -- so do some web searches if you cant afford regular retail prices.
The color screen is somewhat grainy but easy to read, and color is great for separating waveforms. The buttons work well, the plastics are good quality, there is some built in help, the fan is a little noisy. I haven't used every feature on it but I have probably covered most of it and have had no problems. I have no doubt that the FFT is primitive compared to professional scopes and that it wouldn't be much use for glitch finding or looking for really subtle problems but then you are looking at something that costs less than a tenth of professional equipment like something from LeCroy. I have an analog scope too and it never gets used now that this one is along side of it.
From what I have read elsewhere, these Rigol scopes are the absolute best value for amateur experimenters or electrical engineering students and one of the few really inexpensive scopes that isn't junk.
75 of 79 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2013
I have had owned three analog scopes in the past twenty years, with the one that I just replaced with this Rigol being a professional-grade instrument. I also used to use a Tektronix THS720 fairly scope fairly regularly at work, so I do have some small basis of comparison for digital scopes.
This is the first digital scope that I have personally owned and I did a fair bit of research into scopes in this general price range before buying this one. One of the things you might notice in doing the same type research is that for similarly-priced, obviously competing products, there will be a number of reviews that say something along the lines of “nice, except for…” or “DOA” or “PC software doesn’t work”, etc. I would have to say it is somewhat unusual to see any current piece of tech that doesn’t have any detracting reviews. However, for this particular product, essentially all of the reviews (even non-Amazon reviews) say something very much like “it works perfectly”, or “it’s a Rigol, of course it works”. This was what tipped the balance for me to spend the extra $75-$100 and get this one.
I have used the unit quite a bit now and used a lot of the features. My impressions so far are as follows:
The general “feel” of the unit (housing, buttons, power cord, screen etc.) is very good and I have no complaints about any of it.
I found the operation of the various features to be very logical, consistent, and easy to use. Everything I have done so far (with the unit itself) has worked fine without any glitches whatsoever. It produces a LOT more information than a typical analog scope. I did have a small issue with the included software on getting the correct driver loaded, but that is covered in an FAQ on the Rigol web site and I just had to download a more current driver from National Instruments. While I have not done a great deal with the PC software, what I have done so far seemed to have work well and was also fairly intuitive.
I was a little concerned about the stated (320x200) resolution of the screen but, now that I have been using it, that was an unfounded concern and the screen is just fine for this application.
A number of the online reviews (not just on Amazon) mention fan noise. It does have a fan but, in my opinion, it is not very loud at all. In fact, if anything else is going on in the room you probably won’t even notice it.
The probes that come with it are adequate (and they do work ok) but, in my opinion, they don’t have the same quality “feel” as the rest of the unit. That being said, the probes are not proprietary and if you have existing probes that you like, they should also work fine. The menu selection for probes is per-channel and accommodates a very wide range of probe values.
In conclusion, if you need a 100Mhz scope that works, this one would be a very safe choice.
64 of 67 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2012
I bought a DS1102E which is a 100 MHz, 1 GS/sec 2 channel scope. It's fantastic for $399. I use much more expensive scopes at work and I also had a Tektronix digital 2 channel that died that set me back 1k$ a few years ago. This scope is better then the Tektronix. I had one glitch with the scope. One time it booted up and seemed confused. There was a long lag and then it was very slow to respond to the keyboard. I cycled the power and the problem was gone and so far it works fine.
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2014
Ok, about this scope. . .
I come from the analog era. . ..I love my balantine and tektronix 2215. but I wanted a faster scope with frequency readout, as well as more capability. . .
So I purchased this unit. . .
Menu was hard to get used to. .but once you did, it was a breeze.
I enjoy everything about it, except for one thing. . the frequency readout.
If you want a frequency readout, you are far better off ëyeing the waveform, multiplying by the timebase and inverting it. You probably will be just as accurate or better than what the scope puts out.
the Frequency readout is worthless to most all degrees. If you want a hap-hazard readout that is accurate to (seems like) plus or minus 10 percent, you will be happy. It will jump around on 455kc from 454.5 to 456.8 and sometimes more. My fluke stays steady on 455 with the exact same signal, as well as my cheapy 30 dollar VOM. When you go higher in frequency, expect even greater differences. . . and this is without noise.
Other than that. . ..
The unit is an excellent unit. . Software that comes with it is basically useless. . .It doesn't tell you that you must purchase the REAL software, and it does not come with a windows driver. . .(that comes with the purchase.) But, I don't use the software, so this is where my evaluation stops with the software stuff.
Nice probes come with it. . .Kinda cheap, but they work nicely. I would purchase a 100x probe, and use that permamently. . .This unit has an math function that allows you to choose your probe times, and the unit will adjust the output to match your probe. . .eliminating you having to multiply everything by 10,100,1000, or 10,000.
All in all I would recommend this scope to anyone who does not need an accurate freq counter display. I would have given this scope an EASY 5 star (without blinking an eye) if it had a decent frequency counter display that didn't jump around. When I want 455kc, I don't want 454 to 456.5, and have to guess where the other 1500hz remain. Even hooked up to a HP8640 signal generator, it was pathetic.
Nice controls, nice screen, light weight, small footprint, (a little noisy on the fan, but who cares. . .at least you will not leave it on accidently), I would say Buy this scope for everyone except those who really need the faster high end scopes that are used for extreme precision.
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2013
This o-scope is great competition with the $1000 Tektronix in the same class. The menu options on the Rigol are easier to understand than the Tektronix which I'm use to using in the lab. Another feature which I like is the ability to see where in a digitally saved signal function you are with the easy to understand graphical interface at the top. The main complaint I've heard online is the fan noise. Well, they've either fixed the issue, or it's nowhere near as loud as implied. I won't call it whisper quiet, but it's hardly noticeable.
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2013
This is great for general purpose testing. We use it in a university where budgets are tight. It picks up signals down to about 10mV, and it allows for storage of the probe data on a USB stick, which is a really easy way to get data off the scope.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2013
Comming from a 20mhz CRT O-scope from the 80's, this thing is a dream.
I saw another reviewer on a similar item, not a Rigol, and they said "just spend the extra couple of bucks for the Rigol and you'll be happy."
Without an experience with the other machine I cant say for sure, but I have been very impressed with this 100Mhz DSO for $450.
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2013
I've always been more of a software guy than a hardware guy so when I found myself in need of a scope, I did a lot of research and chose this one. I'm glad I did. The company has a good reputation, this model met my technical needs (I needed to monitor a single signal on a device that clocks at 32MHz) and right out of the box I was up and running. The on-line help looks pretty good, but frankly I never looked at it that hard becuase the basics are pretty intuitive even for somebody who's never used a scope before.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2013
For a cheap scope, it does ok. . .The Frequency counter on it is worthless. the accuracy of the Frequency counter is way below sub-par. (If you can get any kind of stable measurement out of it). I like the automatic button. I like MANY of the features this scope has.
Bottom line. . .a Scope is a scope. . .they all measure basically the same things, they all have their menu's and knobs, but what sets them apart is the ease of use, as well as the stability and accuracy. This Scope is a replacement for my Ballantine 10mhz scope. Both are extremely easy to use, but the ease, portability, different features, menu driven usage, and added accuracy of this scope at higher frequencies is extremely nice.
Like I said before. . .a frequency counter that says 455KC and bounces up and down Plus/Minus 5KC to 8KC is not very good. At higher frequencies, you will be bouncing up and down 20KC or more. This makes a difference when you are aligning a radio that is a 3 stage receiver. . .one at 64KC, 455KC, and 3.032 MC.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2013
Likes: Very easy to use, very intuitive.
Dislikes: still trying to figure out how to remove the measurements screen without removing the measurements...but that's just me refusing to read manuals.
Concerns: None so far, but I've only had it for about a week. Will update if something weird happens.