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Rigol DS1102E 100MHz Digital Oscilloscope
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Specifications for this item
|Import Designation||Made in USA and Imported|
|Item Weight||5.291 pounds|
|Number of Items||1|
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This Rigol DS1102E Model is economical digital oscilloscope with high-performance, which is designed with dual channels and 1 external trigger channel. It provides 20 types of wave parameters for automatically measuring, which contains 10 Voltage and 10 Time parameters. In cursor mode, users can easily measure by moving cursor. Besides, 3 types of cursor measurement are optional: Manual, Track and Auto. This DS1102E DSO provides powerful PC application software: UltraScope, which enables to: Capture and measure wave; Perform local or remote operation; Save waves as ".bmp" format; Save files as ".txt" or ".xls" format; Print waveforms.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
I have a fan blowing over my workbench to carry off solder fumes and such. It is fairly quiet itself, but when it is running I don't even notice the Rigol's fan. If the room is quiet it is noticeable, but not to the point of being a nuisance.
On reviewer mentioned the probes being prone to change from the divide-by-10 to the divide-by-1 position with use. That seemed like a nitpick when I read it. I have since found this annoying enough to glue the switches in the divide-by-10 position with a dab of super glue. I have other probes around the shack if I need unity probes, but honestly I either use divide-by-10 probes or feed it directly from some other piece of gear with a jumper.
The screen is smaller than some others, but it is the same size as the one on my Tek 7615 so I really can't complain. I had read that with the software you could increase resolution when viewing on the PC. One of the major reasons (and I know it sounds like a silly one) I wanted a digital scope was so I could do professional looking screen captures for the various ham radio books I write. The ones you snag on a USB stick will probably need to be magnified 2x to look right in a report or book. The screen is a bit higher resolution on the computer, but still not what I would consider high resolution. It is fine for general screen shots, but in something like a professional report I would probably capture the data in a CSV format file and graph it using some other program.
The only truly frustrating thing I have run into is around persistence settings. In the X-Y mode being used as the display for things like a curve tracer, it would be nice to be able to set the persistence to a few seconds. You can't do it. Persistence is either on or it is off in the X-Y mode. If it is off, you tend to get a scatter of random points around the screen. If it is on, you tend to get a bit of "fuzzy" distortion over time and you have to hit the run/stop button twice to clear the display. With something like a Lissajous pattern that might be shifting and changing slowly over time, there is no easy way to watch what is going on.
Being able to set the persistence so that point gathered 2 or 5 seconds ago were dropped would have got this a five star rating. As it is, there are times I have to pull out the Tek analog scope to do certain things.
But other than that, it does what I want. It is well built and feels sturdy. It is easy to use. The software control is okay. The lack of a persistence setting for the x-y mode is there and I'm not sure if any other scopes in this price range have that feature in a state I would consider "properly implemented". Maybe a future firmware upgrade will address it--that is the great thing about a DSO compared to a traditional analog scope. Who knows what features might get thrown in over time.