Rigol DS1054Z Oscilloscope under $349 (in 2024)
Rigol DS1054Z Digital Oscilloscope
The Rigol DS1054Z is one of the most popular entry-level oscilloscopes available. I use this beauty daily. With four channels, a bandwidth of 100 MHz, several built-in mathematical functions, and a 7” high-resolution screen for under $349, it is our selection for the best bang for your buck oscilloscope. Let’s take a look at the Rigol DS1054Z digital oscilloscope in more detail.
- Best value for 4 channels.
- Large bright LCD.
- Excellent build quality.
- Best 4 channels for technicians on a budget.
- The user interface may take time to figure out.
- The built-in fan can be noisy and get annoying.
- The included probes may not be of the highest quality.
- May have a learning curve for beginners.
Rigol DS1054Z Oscilloscope Features
Oscilloscopes are used to analyze electrical signals by both professionals and amateurs alike whose feature requirements will range, depending on their needs. It only makes sense that the prices of oscilloscopes range as well, depending primarily, on the bandwidth of the oscilloscope.
In all likelihood, you don’t need an oscilloscope with 1 GHz of bandwidth, for example, and a ton of other features. You may be an everyday user, student, or hobbyist who only needs a 2 – 4 channel oscilloscope with a bandwidth of 100 MHz.
Perhaps more importantly, you don’t want to spend more than a few hundred dollars. If so, then this Rigol DS1054Z digital oscilloscope is a great entry-level and affordable option that should satisfy all of your requirements.
What is best is that given its popularity, there is a ton of support on forums and YouTube to help get you started as well as troubleshoot common issues you may run into.
The best features include:
It has a beautiful and intuitive 800 x 480 resolution fast updated 7” screen that’s very intuitive. For example, you can easily tell whether or not you’re in trigger mode, the horizontal and vertical time bases will either be highlighted or not; ditto for the sample rate and memory depth.
With 64 shaded levels, its high intensity graded display allows you to see waveforms in great detail, up to 30K waveforms per second in either normal, peak and high resolution mode.
At a more fundamental level, the screen’s brightness and contrast can be adjusted for optimal viewing depending on your light conditions – aka very sunny and bright or dark interior settings.
The Rigol DS1054Z has four channels, which is great for those who know how to take advantage of the o-scopes’ full potential, for example. However, it doesn’t have an auto detect probe interface so you’ll have to manually adjust the scope in order yo use the probes with different ranges.
The Rigol DS1054Z has a 50 MHz bandwith, 1 gig sample per second for a single channel. If you use another channel, however, this bandwith is cut in half. Add a 3rd or 4th channel and the bandwidth is reduced even further down to 250 meg samples per second.
That said, the bandwidth on the Rigol DS 1054Z can be doubled as it is (relatively) easy to hack and there are a number of articles and short videos that will step you through the process.
The memory depth range on the DS1054Z scope is solid, from 12 to 24 Mpoints. This should be sufficient for most applications, but again, it starts to decline once you have all four channels turned on.
Ask yourself whether you need all four channels turned on. If so, you may need to invest in a higher-end model.
Operation and Performance
This is a fairly small and compact scope, but it has a sturdy design. The buttons for example are sensitive and pretty responsive.
The screen features tooltip-like functionality as it has big green help buttons that explain what each function can be used for.
It has several built-in mathematical operators, and you can potentially outsource some of your data analysis and gathering, FFT for example, to your PC‘s CPU via a USB connection to your o-scope.
It has trigger out and pass/fail output, serial and trigger decoding capabilities, a good range of measurement and statistic capabilities, and a USB host to store your waveforms via screen captures for further analysis.
PC Connection (USB)
As mentioned, there’s a USB port on the front so you can connect it to a laptop. You’ll need to install some software, which isn’t great but there are some 3rd party alternatives you can look into.
- 7” screen with 800 X 480 px resolution.
- Bandwidth: 50 MHz or 100 MHz, depending on model. Hackable to 100 and 200 MHz respectively.
- 4 Channels
- Memory Depth: 12 Mpts upgradable to 24 Mpts
- Sampling rate: 1G Sa/sec
- Waveform capture rate: Up to 30L waveforms/s
- FFT and built-in mathematical operators
- Triggers, Storage and more!
- All the necessary mathematical operators and horizontal and Vertical measurement functions are arranged neatly on the sides of the screen.
- See manual here for more
Upgrading And Hacking The Rigol DS1054Z Oscilloscope
Reviewer Final Comments
- This is a great-value oscilloscope with all the features one can ask for in this price range: four channels, up to 200 MHz bandwidth, a solid UI and 7” screen. Moreover, the reviews online speak for themselves.
- With its advanced triggering capabilities, waveform analysis tools, and extensive connectivity options including USB and LAN, this oscilloscope offers endless possibilities for experimentation and analysis.
- Whether you’re a hobbyist, student, or professional engineer, Rigol DS1054Z helps you to explore the world of electronics with confidence and precision.