My SIGLENT scope log

Started 30Jan2019. Updated 2Feb2019. In work.

Fig.0 – My home lab with two XMOS boards (press for more pixels)

Newest log entries at the bottom. However, I will update points already written to fil in the gaps.  Therefore the themes would be colured red. This is not a review, but a lab log of what I stumble upon. Standard disclaimer. I do this fo fun, that is all.

Intro

  1. Of course this is a dream come true. I had built one oscilloscope that worked in 1964 (I was 14 then) and started a larger one (that I failed): see Radiobyggboken

Fig.00 – I still have the CRT that I used with the 1964 scope. 2 inches. 150 kHz! (Press to enjoy further)

2019.01

  1. I was pointed to SIGLENT’s scopes by a guy I worked with for years, whom I trust
  2. It was the SDS1204X-E scope plus an SLA1016 16 channel logic analyzer module + license key that I was looking at
  3. The Norwegian distributor is in the area, so I went to have a look at it. Nice. He had them in stock.
  4. I was especially wary of the sound of the fan noise. It’s fair enough, neither silent nor like a hair dryer with bad bearings (like on one of the scopes at work)
  5. I bought it and brought it home on the same trip. I avoided an extra van at  my door to deliver it from some internet shop. Besides, when bought it in the country, the law on guarantee is five years. That’s for faults that may be traced to production or unexpected faults by normal usage. SIGLENT has a generous three years, but a Norwegian distributor must do the extra two years
  6. More coming, like why I decided to give up on BitScope BS10 first an PicoScope 2208BMSO recently
  7. The distributer (and several YouTube videos) showed the web server on board. I needed to buy a proper length cable for it (it didn’t come with any). Just typing in the ip address and the scope comes up in my browser. Be it Mac or Windows. This is really the functionality that I wanted the PicoScope client to have. I realise that sending much data over a USB (that the SIGLENT may do; it even came with the proper USB cable) and sending screen html page are of course different. But when I want to see curves on the screen these two are pretty much the same to me. Also, the screen resolution in the webserver image would be like on the scope’s screen (800×480, ok there, but somewhat coarse in the browser), while the USB scopes’ client screens could use the screen resolution the designers wanted. You can’t get them all! (The BitScope sceen was however, not as nice as PicoScope’s)

Here is one of my first webserver usages. I pressed the Single sweep button once and saw the scope catch and display the data:

Fig.1 A first use of the built-in webserver

2019.02

  1. For web page I get from the scope Safari tells me that This webpage is using significant energy. Closing it may improve the responsiveness of your Mac. Fair enough!
  2. I had to tell the scope to accept DHCP ip address assignments. The guy who showed it to me used hard coded ip, but I’m not certain if he were on a network. I think he had a point-point(?)
  3. (I will use aha-experience when I see something new to me that I like. I did not use much of my last years at work with new scopes, so I may just be late at it. It may not be any first as such. I wouldn’t know. And I wouldn’t know if it’s genuine IP, licensed or stolen. To me it’s the fact that I have it on my desk that counts)
  4. Aha-experience: The vertical level resolution is standard 1, 2, 5 & 10 etc. per part. How much have I struggled with laying out a screen nicely! SIGLENT calls this Course adjustment. However, if I press the button I can get Fine adjustment. So I may now get gain like 3.02V/part. Great! There is no 3.0, but 2.96V/part is the next level down. However the fine adjustment is not saved, a 3.02 V/part would be recalled as 5 V/part. Is the export format standardized and would not allow it? I have no idea
  5. I like the looks of this scope. I was looking at some of the competitors just now, and this is rather one of the nicest, with no silly-factor. And I haven’t fallen in love yet, so rather trust me. But I do like what I see. The designers have used straight lines, rectangular fields around buttons (not golf courses). The look and feel is of high quality. One knob had a small sound when I turned it – it was the button that had a piece of plastic that touched the base. A small cut with a scalpel fixed the problem. Yes, I could hear it through the fan. Good
  6. The Menu On/Off button is rather nice when screen real estate is sparse. I had positioned the four curves for SPI decoding, but when the SPI data table was switched on it was placed on top of the bottom curve. I had in addition done a zoom by pressing the Horizontal Time Base knob. This in effect doubles the amount of curves, so they become smaller in height. I could either reposition the bottom curve to make space or just remove the menu. There also is new paint of the picture when Menu On/Off is pressed. The screen layout manager is rather good from a usage perspective. Below is an example. The png-file is as saved to the USB memory stick. Observe that the data curves look thick because there is real noise shown. That’s why we use a scope: to see what’s on the probe tips. Other lines are of course hairline thin.

Fig.2 – SPI decode and zoom, with Menu Off gives more screen real estate

  1. I like it when I move the cursors in the top overview field during zoom. When a cursor is moved into the zoomed area it would also appear in the lower zoomed-into field. I guess it must be like that, but I still like it
  2. I haven’t found any system clock, so the files I store (with, like the One-Button Shortcut for Save) would all be dated 1980.01.01 00:00:00. I guess I can live with that, as it would require an internal battery of some type. But I would like it. After all, this is 2019
  3. The Power Button is a push-only button. You must hold it for some while (a second) but then the scope goes black. I’d really like it to be press, hold then release button for my taste

Resources

  1. User manual – SDS1000X-E Series Digital oscilloscope UM0101X-E02A (171 pages 1Feb2019)
  2. First, try [3]. Downloads – Firmware | Oscilloscopes | SDS1004X-E Firmware (4-Channel Model) – 6.1.26 (Release Date 09.26.18 ) (This matches my number 8.1.6.1.26 anyhow. As seen on 1Feb2019)
  3. Supposedly most updated downloads page: https://www.siglentamerica.com/service-and-support/firmware-software/digital-oscilloscopes/#sds1000x-e-series. Search for “SDS1xx4X-E Firmware (4-Channel Models)”. It also has 8.1.6.1.26 as seen on 6Feb2019