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Thread: Hacking a Rigol 1052e to 100mhz?

  1. #11
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    Thanks!

    I was really reluctant to buy one of these until recently because I felt it was like Grade 12 Calculus again (that didn't end well). I've been watching EEVblog and some other channels to get fundamentals while checking out the manual. I'm hoping to deploy this thing on my Dynalogic, although I still am not quite sure I'm understanding what I'm looking for. But we'll get there I guess. I wasn't too worried about mhz, I just assumed 50mhz was more than enough to deal with vintage equipment from before 1989. I just noticed a lot of postings about 'upgrading' to 100mhz and wondered if that really worked or if there were likely side effects the boosters did not mention.

    Almost kind of wish I'd waited some more... I see the 4 channel version of this is now down at that price I paid for the 2 channel.

  2. #12

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    For your peace of mind I have a 4 channel unit and rarely use even 2 channels at once, most stuff I do only requires me to do just 1.

    Btw, if you intent to use it as a logic analyzer I recommend you look into something else eg: Saelae logic analyzers, their 8 channel unit and software is great for hobby uses and everything is done from the PC/MAC. The Chinese clones are ridiculous cheap and a good way to try it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by falter View Post
    Thanks!

    I was really reluctant to buy one of these until recently because I felt it was like Grade 12 Calculus again (that didn't end well). I've been watching EEVblog and some other channels to get fundamentals while checking out the manual. I'm hoping to deploy this thing on my Dynalogic, although I still am not quite sure I'm understanding what I'm looking for. But we'll get there I guess. I wasn't too worried about mhz, I just assumed 50mhz was more than enough to deal with vintage equipment from before 1989. I just noticed a lot of postings about 'upgrading' to 100mhz and wondered if that really worked or if there were likely side effects the boosters did not mention.

    Almost kind of wish I'd waited some more... I see the 4 channel version of this is now down at that price I paid for the 2 channel.

  3. #13

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    I've been trouble shooting things for a number of years. I've only used a logic analyzer once for a particularly difficult design problem ( not my design ). Even on the analyzer it took several days of looking at things because of the poor event triggering of the analyzer ( I suspect they are better today ). I needed to trigger on a series of events that needed to happen in sequence. Like a lock, if the sequence was broken it needed to reset and start over again. The analyzer didn't do that complicated thing. It meant that I had to capture a lot of false evens.
    In all the cases, the setup time of the analyzer could have been better spent creating more test to find the problem. I'm not saying you should never use an analyzer only it should really be a last thing you reach for when you believe its unique abilities will better show what is the problem. Often times one can do as good using a scope input and a trigger. This is good with two channel scopes as you can both see the trigger and the data being probed at the same time if needed ( this isn't always as good as one might think on an analog scope, think chopped verses alternating ). I still prefer an analog scope for older computers. One has one less thing to try to interpret on the screen. With a digital scope, things like under sampling can mislead a person to look for issues that are really in the scope and not the circuit. Having a digital scope with a lot of data buffer is quite valuable at times. Things like looking at data before the trigger is quite valuable at times. Big data buffers are the one thing that makes me want to use a digital scope. Just being digital is not enough of an advantage.
    Dwight

  4. #14
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    Like any tool, logic analyzers are only as good as the application (e.g. using a pipe wrench to repair a watch) and planning.

    If you're setting up a 32-channel LA, it's going to take some time, but it is the correct tool for some jobs and can save you a lot of head-scratching. It's one of those things--you get all the probes set up and the triggering and timing conditions entered, which can take hours and you get your answer in five minutes. Fortunately, you can save the setup for similar tasks to be performed later.

    I vividly recall one of the HP sales guys showing up with a new 1611 logic analyzer for evaluation. I was blown away at how simple it made some tasks, particularly its "glitch detection" feature.

  5. #15
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    Basically using a scope to troubleshoot a computer involves monitoring the outputs of various ic pins to judge whether they're delivering the goods. In accordance with how they're wired together with other chips (using a schematic), hopefully the availability of timing diagrams, and knowledge of the ic's themselves (using data books). What makes most sense is to examine the waveforms of a fully working computer and taking notes.

    Generally speaking though you'll want to start the troubleshooting procedure by checking power, and substituting components where appropriate, looking for common failure points. In my experience the uP is one of the last things you have to worry about. Ram chips are easily the most common failure points, other then power issues, including Mobo capacitors.

    When it comes time to use a scope, sometimes you have to create a situation to monitor a chips output, setting something in motion, a disk read or write for example. Using BASIC commands. A once popular troubleshooting tool was the logic probe. I think there was also a logic pulser device, never saw one. For the most part though a scope will be useful when the operator had a decent working knowledge of the workings of various digital ic's.

    Art Margolis had a number of computer troubleshooting books back in the day. I don't recall him going into scopes to any depth. But his books are fairly useful. And there's always YouTube video imagine.

    Of course a logic analyzer is the most useful item, but you need a lot of crap to get all that going. You can simulataneously monitor as many outputs as the unit allows, and say compare that with timing diagrams if you have them. Chances are all that is more trouble then it's worth.

  6. #16
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    The old HP Logic Dart was a very ingenious tool, but for whatever reason, HP dropped it.

    Suppose you have some unknown lump of silicon with a 16 bit + clock external interface with control lines and you'd like to figure out exactly what the chip is doing; that is, you want to know the details of the interface. The chip is either a custom bit of undocumented silicon or a programmable device with the privacy fuses blown. A decent logic analyzer can tell you this; I shudder at having to use even a 4-channel DSO to do the same thing.

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