Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Scope En-Route!

I'm a little embarrassed to say, but I don't own an oscilloscope.  That changed last night when I pulled the trigger on a Rigol DS1052E from DealExcel.  This scope is a dual channel unit with a 1 GS/sec sample rate, 1 MS of memory, and 50 MHz of analog bandwidth.

But it gets better.

As you can see on this video on Dave Jone's excellent video blog, this scope can be hacked in software to bump its analog bandwidth to 100 MHz.  Since then, there has been a cat and mouse game between Rigol and the hackers to shut this hack down.  The release of Rigol's 2.05 firmware held up for a while, but hackers got the best of it again yesterday.  That, combined with a price of $349 and free EMS shipping, made this an opportunity I couldn't pass up.

I did go back and forth between DealExcel and DealExtreme.What swayed me to DealExcel was:
  • they are an authorized Rigol dealer.  Whether this means anything or not if the unit should fail, I don't know.  But it can't hurt.
  • they actually have stock.  With DX, you never know whether something is in stock or not, and delays can be very lengthy.
I did read on the eevblog forum that some people were less than thrilled with DealExcel's customer service.  Hopefully I won't need it.  What I am pleased with is that I just ordered the scope last night, and I have a tracking number already this morning.  So I am probably looking at around ten days or so before I get my new toy.

It is about time.

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