• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Virtual Oscilloscope vs Digital Oscilloscope

ajawamnet

Active Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
172
Likes
239
#81
Nice setup, @ajawamnet . I always thought I'd have a nice home bench but never seem to have the time... I can bring stuff in to work but we don't have audio test equipment. I could bring a DSO home but shudder at the thought of schlepping home a 'scope worth more than my house.
Thanks - I work from home so it's actually my office. I'm on payroll for a company but I was the first hardware guy they hired 10 years ago and they had nothing (they've since tooled up a bit) so they have me work from home. I do a lot of side gigs for DC area companies so at least it pays for itself. One of my side gigs is working with Gary Stanfill of the old Vega Wireless - one hell of an analog guy. His partner Stan is a great RF guy... I've worked on about 300 designs with those guys (mainly audio comm gear fro ICRI and civil agencies).

Yea - I was just at Pax River NAS and they have spectrum analyzers in their lab that go for a few hundred grand. Just silly what some of that costs. It is nice that companies like Rigol are making it affordable for hams and audio enthusiasts to get decent equipment.

Where do you work at?
 

watchnerd

Major Contributor
Beer Hero
Joined
Dec 8, 2016
Messages
6,296
Likes
3,145
Location
Seattle Area, USA
#82
Looking at used o-scopes on eBay, it looks like all the ones nearish to me and in decent condition from a major brand, are basically the same price as newish digital scopes.

In other words, $350-450 for good used analog scopes on eBay, versus same price for new digital ones.

Given that price seems to be neutral, is there a reason to prefer old analog vs new digital?

Or vice versa?
 

Cosmik

Major Contributor
Joined
Apr 24, 2016
Messages
3,075
Likes
1,939
Location
UK
#83
Looking at used o-scopes on eBay, it looks like all the ones nearish to me and in decent condition from a major brand, are basically the same price as newish digital scopes.

In other words, $350-450 for good used analog scopes on eBay, versus same price for new digital ones.

Given that price seems to be neutral, is there a reason to prefer old analog vs new digital?

Or vice versa?
I still find that a USB scope is pretty much perfect - I can't see the point of keeping an old analogue one any more, except for the nice green trace...

You've reminded me that a few years ago I built my own USB scope - just for the challenge really. The thing I really wanted to try was achieving a simulated phosphor type display using Open GL. Some screenshots of the result:

1565648116679.png


1565648178482.png
 
Last edited:

watchnerd

Major Contributor
Beer Hero
Joined
Dec 8, 2016
Messages
6,296
Likes
3,145
Location
Seattle Area, USA
#84
I still find that a USB scope is pretty much perfect - I can't see the point of keeping an old analogue one any more, except for the nice green trace...

You've reminded me that a few years ago I built my own USB scope - just for the challenge really. The thing I really wanted to try was achieving an analogue type display, using Open GL to give a really nice, fast, trace that looked like an analogue scope. Some screenshots:

View attachment 31195

View attachment 31196
Which USB scope do you use?

The advantage I can see, for me personally, is that I want to test analog stuff. Analog tests with analog oscopes seems simpler than making everything go through ADC.
 

Cosmik

Major Contributor
Joined
Apr 24, 2016
Messages
3,075
Likes
1,939
Location
UK
#85
Which USB scope do you use?

The advantage I can see, for me personally, is that I want to test analog stuff. Analog tests with analog oscopes seems simpler than making everything go through ADC.
A Picoscope - the cheapest model. Yes, analogue scopes feel more immediate and 'connected' with what you're testing I suppose.
 

BDWoody

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
1,251
Likes
1,993
Location
Mid-Atlantic, USA. (Maryland)
#86
If you look at my workbench, I have a soundcard data acquisition system. I have a stack of AP equipment. And sitting over that... an oscilloscope. It's 30 years old, similar to this one, and gets as much use as everything else. I made an analogy earlier about a scope being like a socket wrench set for mechanics. Yes, you can own a car and not own socket wrenches. But, if you want to start playing around with valve adjustments or changing plugs, or installing accessories, or the like, you need the basic tools. A scope and multimeter are the most basic tools before trying to be anything other than a buyer of appliances.
I've been trying to figure out how to pick one...that was as good a recommendation as any. He took $100 for it. Now, it's time to learn a lot more...by no doubt confusing the hell out of myself.

Hey, as I always say...If it's worth doing, its worth overdoing!

The socket set analogy was excellent.
 

watchnerd

Major Contributor
Beer Hero
Joined
Dec 8, 2016
Messages
6,296
Likes
3,145
Location
Seattle Area, USA
#87
I've been trying to figure out how to pick one...that was as good a recommendation as any. He took $100 for it. Now, it's time to learn a lot more...by no doubt confusing the hell out of myself.

Hey, as I always say...If it's worth doing, its worth overdoing!

The socket set analogy was excellent.
What did you end up getting?
 

KSTR

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2018
Messages
321
Likes
774
Location
Berlin, Germany
#88
I'm an old-fashioned guy and mostly prefer analog scopes because it's much easier to judge noise, oscillations and edge rates visually. But digital has it's place too, mostly for convenience (readouts and math functions, averaging, etc) and when you have to look at non-repetitive events, especially slow events (diagnosing circuit start-up problems and such).
My go-to scope is the venerable Fluke/Philips PM3394B with gives me both, still is portable (though neither small nor exactly lightweight) and has a lot of nice features like auto setup and auto tracking, dual timebase and all.
For simple work with audio circuits I now use REW's scope function quite often. A very handy solution with the RME Adi-2 Pro FS as DAC and ADC (good to 100kHz).
 

SIY

Technical Expert
Technical Expert
Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
3,221
Likes
5,988
Location
Phoenix, AZ
#89
I've been trying to figure out how to pick one...that was as good a recommendation as any. He took $100 for it. Now, it's time to learn a lot more...by no doubt confusing the hell out of myself.

Hey, as I always say...If it's worth doing, its worth overdoing!

The socket set analogy was excellent.
I think the Tektronix oscilloscope handbook is probably still floating around the web somewhere. Good and useful reading.
 

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
22,603
Likes
34,880
Location
Seattle Area
#91
@amirm To sum up with a Rigol 1054z or a siglent sds1104x-e will I be able to potentially make the measurements like you do in your reviews ?
Well just potentially ofc. I'm a noob looking for an oscilloscope to measure hifi audio.
Sorry for the late reply. If someone has not already answered, you can NOT use those scopes to do what I do. Their ADC (analog to digital converter) is made for speed, not resolution. They are either 8 or 10 bits in depth compared to 24 bit in my analyzer. They also do not have oscillators synchronized to scope in the way my analyzer does.

You can do some crude measurements with them but it is not at all anything like what I do.
 

SIY

Technical Expert
Technical Expert
Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
3,221
Likes
5,988
Location
Phoenix, AZ
#93
Signal generation square wave tests in 20-20khz range should be okay, though, right?
Yes. For things like transformer loading adjustment, the o-scope is the right tool.
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
99
Likes
132
#94
@amirm
Thx for the answer. I understood that and I found that your AP 555 is just an amazing tool.
I just got back to electronics after 30 years. I'm an IT tech now.
I'm studying signal theories and amplifiers at the moment. From the beginning.
I decided for a Siglent in the end and I hope in one year to learn enough to buy and play with something like Quantasylum QA401 audio analyzer.
Seems to me a very good thing for the price.
Also the picoscopes are interresting.
I'd love to build my personal amplifier and calibrate it that way.
Can I have some fun with the QA401 in that case ?
 
Top Bottom