A few days ago, I discovered I had been selected by Tektronix to review their latest MDO3054 oscilloscope.
This is indeed a privilege but also a great responsibility.
I'm aware the review may attract a sizable audience - especially as the unit is so new to the market. I know when I am looking to buy new test gear, user reviews are invaluable to my decision.
I've used scopes of such calibre before, but the MDO3054 is more just than a scope.
Tek has integrated a "spectrum analyzer, arbitrary function generator, logic analyzer, protocol analyzer, and digital voltmeter/counter", making it 6 tools in 1. (Of course this is a direct response to Agilent who have been selling their series of 5-in-1 instruments for some time.) That's a lot of functionality and I don't think it's wise to try and cover everything in the review. The question becomes "What will readers most want to know?" and there's no easy answer. The best I can do is to use the review to present the scope as I see it or to put it another way, provide a personal (opinionated!) view of the unit.
For my review of the MDO3054, I'm not planning to simply regurgitate marketing spiel (nor conversely to do a hatchet job). I will be using the scope in my daily activities and will present my findings. Additionally I hope to construct some common scenarios to see how the unit performs.
So that I can hit the ground running, I've been browsing through the marketing materials available online. So far I have learnt some things I didn't know:
- Two different serial buses can be decoded separately
- I'm going to need to find or make some near field probes or RF antennas if I want to properly test the spectrum analyser functions - no RF probes come with the unit.
This period of time before the review unit arrives is an exciting time, the "calm before the storm". The possibilities seem endless, and my mind is racing with the potential applications.