RIGOL 1052E DSO (Part 1)

Part 123

RIGOL 1052E DSO review

In the 80s, I have been using the top most fancy oscilloscopes from HP. Unfortunaltely, they were heavy, mine was an analog one, without memory, and they were expensive for private use. In the 90s and Y2Ks, I have been using a basic ITT analog scope: forget it. And then came the time to own one, at my taste!

I was looking for a digital one, usable for service and also for the development of some fancy applications. So that it had to be powerful enough, compact, rugged, and … affordable! I though about a used one from top makers, and finally found this new generation of DSOs which were matching pretty well my expectations. I bought mine from eBay, after carefully checking the vendor’s evaluations.

The scope comes in a nice package which includes a power cord, two 150MHz probes, a manual and a CD. Its use is really intuitive thanks to appropriate menus, icons and popup help messages. The use the advanced parameter settings may frighten a little bit beginners; however, most of these function can be reset to default easily. I cannot remember about getting lost in the menus nor locked with my DSO.

Here is a little pros and cons of the scope:

YES
– Excellent price/quality ratio
– Very handy and rugged
– Easy to use: colors, well designed menus
– Good performances (upgradable to “surprisingly good” performances thanks to a little hack)
– Data storage on USB (data and graphics)
– Serial/USB interface

NO
– PC driver
– I hate the location of the Auto button on the dash board. Many times, after long and complex parameter settings (e.g capture of short intermittent event) I pressed the auto button instead of Run/Stop: very frustrating!

BLAH…
– It’s quite noisy
– A and B channels share the same vertical control knobs, thus the need to switch from one channel to an other before adjusting a parameter.
– Probes are pretty thick

RIGOL 1052E DSO is now available from Adafruit at a real smart price

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