View Full Version : Low cost test equipment for the home work bench

12-20-2011, 07:22 PM
Found this little 5MHZ function generator (from many sellers) on ebay. http://www.ebay.com/itm/5MHz-DDS-Function-Signal-Generator-Source-60MHz-Frequency-Counter-DDS-Module-/160702187538?pt=BI_Signal_Sources&hash=item256a98c812

It looks pretty slick but I'm waiting on a reply to some questions before buying.

In the mean time, I thought it would be great to start a discussion on low cost solutions for test equipment. Oscilloscopes, Spectrum Analyzers, Function generators, etc.. What do you use now, and what's on your wish list for teh work bench?

I have an ancient Tektronix O'scope and some day I'd like to add a spectrum analyzer. It'd be nice to have a counter and a couple of ARB's too.

12-20-2011, 07:36 PM
I have the following:

Tek 2235 100 MHz 'scope
Two Marconi 2019A signal generators
1.2 GHz counter
Home-made function generator (AVR and DDS software)

I'm thinking of buying a Rigol DS1052E 50MHz digital 'scope in the new year (250). I'll use a simple software hack to get 100 MHz bandwidth.

Mike Cook
12-20-2011, 07:41 PM
@Leon check to see if the DS1102E is on sale in your area:


I've got the Rigol 1052E and have done the software mod, seems to work well.

12-20-2011, 07:48 PM
The DS1102E is available, but costs a lot more.

Mike Cook
12-20-2011, 07:54 PM
In the link I posted above, This dealer is selling the 1102 for the price of the 1052e

This might also be happening in your area, you might want to check out the following link for more info:


12-20-2011, 08:02 PM
Holy cow... THANK you guys. I was just about to ship out my Tektronix scope for calibration at a cost of $500... I think I'll pick up that DSO instead for that price. WOW!

12-20-2011, 08:17 PM
Leon or Mike,

Could you say more about the software hack on the 1052E?

Mike Cook
12-20-2011, 08:20 PM

Go over to www.eevblog.com (http://www.eevblog.com), and search the fourm area, you'll find out all about the software mod.

12-20-2011, 08:58 PM
After the thread on the poor mans Oscilloscope I made a simple Prop based scope that uses a very simple Flash ADC for sampling rates up to 20Ms/s. This has become my primary Oscilloscope.

Also my function generator is an AVR32 and a RDAC.

The combined cost to build both was under $40.00 USD. I still have my analog scope for situations where higher sampling speeds are needed.

12-20-2011, 09:08 PM
I bought a DS1052E a few months ago. I did the software hack to 100MHz in about 30 minutes total.

I'm very pleased with the scope.

12-21-2011, 08:40 AM
Funny thing, recently my boss went out to buy a simple scope for us. He came back with a MATRIX MOS626F. Seems to have been the last analog scope with a good old green CRT you could buy in Finland. He just had to have it:)

12-21-2011, 12:13 PM
Also my function generator is an AVR32 and a RDAC.

Can you tell me more about your function generator?

That seems similar to the product I posted originally. I've seen others as well.

WRT the DS1102, I noticed that they mention the capability to display an FFT of the signal being monitored. Does this mean it provides a spectrum analyzer display (freq domain) as well? If so what's the bandwidth and sweep rates??