The Rigol DS1054Z – 4Channel Digital Oscilloscope Under EUR400

The rigol ds1054z  is one of the most popular 4channel digital oscilloscopes under EUR400. It is a well-balanced combination of spec and price and offers many features you’d expect on more expensive devices, such as a high real-time sample rate (1 GSa/s), large 12 Mpt memory and a clear 7′′ WVGA display.

But how does it compare to the competition? And which one should you pick if you’re a beginner who wants to get started with the exciting world of electronic measurement and analysis?

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First, let’s look at the technical specifications. The DS1054Z comes with four channels and has a bandwidth of 50 MHz. The signal processing technology is based on FPGA, which ensures that the data are transmitted to the display in real time and at a very high level of resolution.

Moreover, the DS1054Z has a number of impressive trigger functions and protocol decoders. These make the scope a powerful tool for production tests, field service, research, design and all other analog/digital circuit test and troubleshooting applications.

The only drawback I found was the less smooth shape of sine waves at 70MHz and higher, compared to the other models (Hantek DSO4084C, GW Instek GDS1054B). This is probably due to subtle differences in input sampling/smoothing algorithms and may not be a problem for most users.

In any case, the DS1054Z is still my recommended 4channel budget scope. However, if you can afford a little more, the Siglent 1104x-e is even better with a faster UI and better analog performance (plus it’s hackable to 200MHz). But if you’re tight on budget, the DS1054Z is an excellent choice!