Review of Agilent MSOX3024A X-series InfiniiVision

Table of contents

RoadTest: Agilent MSOX3024A X-series InfiniiVision

Author: gordonmx

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Independent Products

Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True

What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: Tek & LeCroy

What were the biggest problems encountered?: Too many features

Detailed Review:

RATING - 4.9 Out of 5 Stars

One of the problems with reviewing a product as rich in features as Agilent's new MSOX3024A InfiniiVision Oscilloscope is where to begin.  It reminded me of the days when I worked for Hewlett Packard, in their calculator division, before the days of Agilent.  Their calculators, like the HP41Cx and HP1xC series, had so many features that a simple one page ad or a 30 second sound bite couldn't do them justice.  Being reverse polish notation (RPN) based their best ad simply said "HP, the calculator with no equal".

 

In the same sense, the InfiniiVision family of scopes have no equal (I looked, but in all fairness, I couldn't find an "Enter" key either).

 

(Future Feature Opportunity - Calculator GUI) Add calculator app to their scope software.

 

But back to the review ...

 

Before I begin I must offer my cautionary apology.  In all fairness to Agilent, the MSOX3024A has a great many features and functions, some that are well documented and some that are not.  If in the course of this review, I misstate the ability (or lack) of a feature or function, I apologize.  Please let me know.


"UNPACKING"

 

The scope arrived well packaged and undamaged.  Aside from the scope itself, the box included:

  •   Agilent N2863B, 300MHz Passive Probes (Qty 4)
  •   Agilent N6450-60001, 16 Channel Digital Probe Kit (Qty 1)
  •   Agilent DSOXLAN, LAN/VGA Connection Module (Qty 1), uninstalled
  •   Agilent DSOX3MEMUP, 4M Memory Upgrade
  •   Documentation CD (not shown)
  •   Calibration Certificate
  •   Power Cord             
  • In addition, much to my pleasure, the following SW applications were preloaded on the instrument:

    • DSOX3WAVEGEN - WaveGen (built-in function generator)
    • DSOXEDK - Educator's Kit
    • DSOX3MASK - Mask Testing
    •     DSOX3SGM - Segmented Memory   
    • DSOX3EMBD - Embedded Serial (I2C     & SPI) Triggering and Analysis
    • DSOX3COMP - Computer Serial (RS323/422/485/UART) Triggering and Analysis
    • DSOX3AUTO - Automotive Serial (CAN/LIN) Triggering and Analysis
    • DSOX3AUDIO - Audio Serial (I2S) Triggering and Analysis

    As mentioned above, the LAN/VGA module was not installed, but installed very quick and easy with no tools required.  See User's Guide for instructions.


    DOCUMENTATION

     

    Prior to installing any modules and/or components, I like to review any relative documentation to avoid damaging the product or assembly, but sad to say there were no written documents included in the package aside from the  calibration certificate.  All the product documentation can be found on the included CD (or at Agilent's website, www.agilent.com/find/3000X-Series-manual).

     

    Historical Note:  There was a day when you received a written operating manual with each piece of equipment you ordered (I know I'm really dating myself).  Then they changed to including a CD with a pdf file of the manual and a written quick reference manual.  Of course you could always buy a written copy of the full manual.  Soon the quick reference manual turned to a quick reference "card".  (PET PEEVE #1) Now with piece of equipment that would cost more than a few paycheck, not even a "Welcome to Agilent.  Now let's get started..." piece of paper.  Go figure.  At least we still have the CD.  Some only point you to a website.

     

    In all fairness, the documentation on the CD is well done and mostly complete.  Agilent, and before that HP, has always been very good at documenting their products.  There are advantages to the PDF format for the manuals, such as searching, but I still like a written manual.  The CD includes the User's (multiple languages), Service and Programmer's guides.  Since the Agilent N2863B, 300MHz Passive Probes, are standard with the MSO, it would have been nice to include their user's guide/data sheet on the CD (or at least a web link).  Check Agilent's website for more product and accessory documentation.

     

    The unit does come with a built-in Quick Help feature.  The user can retrieve a brief description of any key by simply pressing and holding the key down.

     

    NOTE:  I did make hard copies of both the user's and service guides, but held off on the 970 page programmer's guide


    UPDATES

     

    When I unpack a new piece of equipment (and after I reviewed the documentation and pushed all the buttons), I head to the company web site to check for any firmware/software updates.  In the case of the MSO, there was indeed a newer FW release.  Of the 22 changes, only 6 were defect fixes.  16 updates were feature improvements or additions.  As an example, the number of waveform generator shapes increased from 6 to 11.  Agilent must have been listening to someone, so there may be hope for the Future Feature Opportunity (see rest of review).


    LOOK & FEEL FEATURES

     

    One of the first things you notice about the MSOX3024 is the large (true) 8.5" full color WVGA (800x480) display.  Agilent claims to have the largest display for this class of scope with up to 50% more viewing area than competitors' WQVGA (480x234) displays.  The sharp, clear display is truly impressive and very fast.

     

    The front panel is well organized and the buttons have a very good tactile feel (not a bunch of mushy, no feel keys).  I found the [Back] button very useful to easily back out of changes you may have made, no matter how deep.  The [Back] button is well placed and clearly marked.

     

    (Future Feature Opportunity - Keyboard/Mouse input) The MSO already has 2 USB ports, why can't I plug in my mouse and interface with the display (i.e. add markers, select waveform, expand waveforms, etc.)?  Why can't I type waveform labels through a USB keyboard?  Just a thought.

     

    Aside from the low cost industrial and engineering markets, this product family has many features that make it a good fit for educational use.  The optional DSOXEDK, Educator's Kit, ($500 list, check with Agilent for possible promotional deals), offers both instructors and students access to an array of built-in training signals, downloadable comprehensive lab guide, tutorials and classroom slide set.

     

    The DSOXLAN, LAN/VGA Connection Module ($395 list) allows the high resolution display to be "displayed" on a monitor or projector screen with very little lost of detail.  Very easy to setup, just plug in the VGA cable and turn on the monitor.
    The LAN module also allows you to display and control (with your mouse) the MSO from a web browser.


    FUNCTIONAL FEATURES

     

    The web site for the MSOX3024A states "... the power of 4 instruments in 1..." with:

    • Best-In-Class Oscilloscope (a given)
    • Integrated Logic Timing Analyzer (what makes it a MSO - Mixed Signal Scope)
    • Hardware-Based Protocol Analyzer
    •   Built-In 20MHz Function Generator

     

    Although the first 2 features are standard, the latter 2 will cost you a little more.  For example, even though the hardware is there, to enable the function generator you must order option MSOX3000-001 for $715.

     

    (PET PEEVES #2)  I can understand that some software features have some development costs and offer unique features that they may be able to charge a little extra.  For an example, a particular protocol (i.e. I2C, CAN, etc.) for the protocol analyzer.  But what about a piece of hardware that is already installed in the product and which only requires a license key to enable.  The function generator is one example, but what about the 100 to 200MHz oscilloscope upgrade.  All the HW is already shipped with the scope and only a software key is needed to upgrade.  Be bold and just enable the product to its fullest capability at the lowest cost.  Maybe the loss in per unit revenue will be made up in additional units sold at a great price.

     

    (PET PEEVES #3)  Limited USB printer support.  I have a very basic B&W HP LaserJet 1000 USB printer that is detected by the MSO, but not supported by the product's internal drivers.  I can't add drivers to the unit and it does not have a generic driver.

     

    (Possible Bug) Since the printer was recognized, I pressed the "print" button and the MSO hung.  I pressed a number of buttons in hopes of freeing the unit, but finally had to power cycle the product.  This is repeatable.

     

    Although the feature is not new, the user can save and recall setups through the use of multiple key presses and menus.  The unit has a "Quick Action" function which allows you to perform at a single touch a user preselected operation.  The operation may be complex, but only one operation at a time can be assigned to the [Quick Action] button.  As an example, I assigned a "Quick Recall" operation to the QA button, to restore my base setup of the MSO.

     

    (Future Feature Opportunity - Power On To Measurement (POTM) time vs. Last Setup Recall)  I've seen this issue in other pieces of equipment also.  As they get more and more complex, the POTM time can become annoying.  I'm not just talking about the 28 seconds for the MSO3024A to boot, but the time to setup for the measurement.  Could an option be added that stores the current setup at power down and automatically recalls that state (or at least prompt you) at turn on? Sort of like "sleep" mode on my PC.

     

    (Future Feature Opportunity - Sequence Recorder and Playback) Could an option be added that would record a sequence of steps (i.e. button presses, etc.), then offer a playback (and maybe some prompts) through a single button.


    BEST-IN-CLASS OSCILLOSCOPE -

     

    The larger display is only one of the technology features that makes the InfiniiVision 3000 X-series an amazing oscilloscope.  The 4 Mpts deep memory allows for a longer capture window than other MSOs in its class.  Coupled with a 1 mega-waveforms per second update rate (up to 200 times faster than other similar MSOs), the MSOX3024A can increase the chance of finding and displaying non-repeating signals.  This is made possible through Agilent's custom ASIC technology, MegaZoom IV.  NOTE:  The deep memory of channels 1 and 2 is shared, meaning if both channels are active the true mega points per channel is only half the maximum (2 instead of 4 Mpts).  This also true for channels 3 and 4.  If 2 channels are needed, use channels 1 and 3 (or 2 and 4) to maintain maximum Mpts.

     

    From the 3000 X-Series data sheet, the 3024A "offers 33 automated measurements, nine parametric triggers, 6 serial protocol triggers, as well as 7 waveform math functions including FFT."  Particularly useful is the search and navigation feature of the scope, where the user can specify a number of search criteria, then find and tag an event to quickly navigate to.

     

    An optional analysis tool available for the oscilloscope is the Limit Map testing ($715 list) for capturing signals that appear outside a set of user-defined limits.

     

    The 3000 X-Series supports both passive and active "Smart" probes.


    INTEGRATED LOGIC TIMING ANALYZER -

     

    The integrated logic timing analyzer is what makes the MSOX3024A a mixed signal oscilloscope (MSO) by adding 16 digital timing channels to the existing 4 analog inputs.  Aside from user definable threshold triggering, predefined TTL, CMOS and ECL levels are also available.  The digital channels have a 1GSa/s sample rate with a 50 MHz toggle rate.

     

    Use of the digital channels only can reduce the memory depth to 2Mpts, while combining with the analog inputs can further reduce record length to 500Kpts.


    HARDWARE-BASED PROTOCOL ANALYZER -

     

    The 3000 X-series comes standard with a hardware-base (i.e. fast) serial protocol decoder for I2C and SPI triggering and analysis.  The integrated analyzer increases the probability of catching errors in serial communication packets.  The hardware allows the decoding of 2 serial buses simultaneously and the deep memory allows more details for your analysis.

     

    Additional protocol can be added to the decoder for a price ($715 list/ea) through optional software applications.  Optional serial protocols include triggering and analysis for:

    •   Computer (RS232/422/485/UART)
    •   Automotive/Industrial (CAN     & LIN)
    •   Audio (I2S)     

    Surprisingly, the one interface that seems to be missing is USB.


    BUILT-IN 20MHZ FUNCTION GENERATOR -

     

    Although the function generator capability is built into the MSO, you will need to order option WGN or the DSOX3WAVEGEN upgrade ($715 list).  The generator offers a number of waveform types from the basic sine, square, ramp and pulse to some more exotic shapes, such as noise, sine cardinal and cardiac.  For most waveforms, frequency and amplitude ranges run from .1Hz to 20MHz and 20mVpp to 5Vpp, respectively.  The waveform may be sync'd by way of an external trigger output on the rear of the unit.

     

    Although the generator offers some very complex waveforms, it still has very limited functionality.  As some examples:

    •   The output cannot be modulated, either externally or internally, through the MSO.
    •   The MSO has no input for an external frequency reference for improved accuracy.
    •   Arbitrary waveforms cannot be created.     

    Overall, the MSOX3024A is a great addition to a lab bench, as well as an exceptional value.  As mentioned earlier, there are many functions not completely covered in this review.  I plan to add to the review as I explorer additional features.  If there are corrections to or questions about any features mentioned in this review, please let me know.

    For an additional review by the always entertaining David L. Jones:

    http://www.eevblog.com/2011/02/25/eevblog-149-agilent-infiniivision-3000-x-series-oscilloscope-review
      http://www.eevblog.com/2011/02/21/eevblog-148-agilent-3000-x-series-infiniivision-oscilloscope-teardown
      http://www.eevblog.com/2011/02/25/eevblog-150-agilent-easter-egg
      http://www.eevblog.com/2011/08/05/eevblog-192-agilent-oscilloscope-lost-easter-egg
    http://www.eevblog.com/2011/02/17/eevblog-145-agilent-lanvga-module-teardown

Anonymous
  • Hi

    I have a mso-x-3024a but doesn´t boot. I push the power up botton but the bottons of oscilloscope starts flashing and it´s stay there. What Can I do for made a hard reset or cao you explain me this issue.

     

    Thanks a lot for your help.

  • Good news! Check for updates and you'll find a lot of these issues have been addressed

    • USB keyboard support (no mouse)
    • Modulation on Wave Gen
    • Arbitrary waveforms on Wave Gen
  • Great review, Thanks!

    I was interrested in the built-in function/arbitrary waveform generator.

     

    Dan

  • Hi Gordon,

     

    A very well written review from you as usual. Excellent information about the prooduct. It seems from your review that this product has a lot of features and definetely worths to buy. Unfornutely, i will never be able to buy it, Since its cost equals almost my annual income. Having one would be very amazing.

     

    Thank you very much for youur review.

     

    Firat

  • Excellent review.

    I also liked your product improvement suggestions.  These are the user type of options that manufacturers need to hear.  Given the availability of EEPROM, most of what you asked for could be easily implemented.  I also agree about the printer port.  Everyone should have a default basic printer driver.  Basic graphics printing has been standard for more than 30 years.  There is no excuse to omit this capability.

     

    You provided the community with some very good examples on which they could base their purchasing decisions.

     

    Thanks,

    DAB

  • My detailed review comments were not displayed.  I will try to add it below.

    --------------------------------------------------

     

    RATING – 4.9 Out of 5 Stars

    One of the problems with reviewing a product as rich in features as Agilent’s new MSOX3024A InfiniiVision Oscilloscope is where to begin.  It reminded me of the days when I worked for Hewlett Packard, in their calculator division, before the days of Agilent.  Their calculators, like the HP41Cx and HP1xC series, had so many features that a simple one page ad or a 30 second sound bite couldn’t do them justice.  Being reverse polish notation (RPN) based their best ad simply said “HP, the calculator with no equal”.

     

    In the same sense, the InfiniiVision family of scopes have no equal (I looked, but in all fairness, I couldn’t find an “Enter” key either).

     

    (Future Feature Opportunity – Calculator GUI) Add calculator app to their scope software.

     

    But back to the review …

     

    Before I begin I must offer my cautionary apology.  In all fairness to Agilent, the MSOX3024A has a great many features and functions, some that are well documented and some that are not.  If in the course of this review, I misstate the ability (or lack) of a feature or function, I apologize.  Please let me know.


    “UNPACKING”

     

    The scope arrived well packaged and undamaged.  Aside from the scope itself, the box included:

    •  Agilent N2863B, 300MHz Passive Probes (Qty 4)
    •  Agilent N6450-60001, 16 Channel Digital Probe Kit (Qty 1)
    •  Agilent DSOXLAN, LAN/VGA Connection Module (Qty 1), uninstalled
    •  Agilent DSOX3MEMUP, 4M Memory Upgrade
    •  Documentation CD (not shown)
    •  Calibration Certificate
    •  Power Cord

    In addition, much to my pleasure, the following SW applications were preloaded on the instrument:

     

    •  DSOX3WAVEGEN - WaveGen (built-in function generator)
    •  DSOXEDK - Educator’s Kit
    •  DSOX3MASK - Mask Testing
    •  DSOX3SGM - Segmented Memory
    •  DSOX3EMBD - Embedded Serial (I2C & SPI) Triggering and Analysis
    •  DSOX3COMP - Computer Serial (RS323/422/485/UART) Triggering and Analysis
    •  DSOX3AUTO - Automotive Serial (CAN/LIN) Triggering and Analysis
    •  DSOX3AUDIO - Audio Serial (I2S) Triggering and Analysis

     

    As mentioned above, the LAN/VGA module was not installed, but installed very quick and easy with no tools required.  See User’s Guide for instructions.


    DOCUMENTATION

     

    Prior to installing any modules and/or components, I like to review any relative documentation to avoid damaging the product or assembly, but sad to say there were no written documents included in the package aside from the  calibration certificate.  All the product documentation can be found on the included CD (or at Agilent’s website, www.agilent.com/find/3000X-Series-manual).

     

    Historical Note:  There was a day when you received a written operating manual with each piece of equipment you ordered (I know I’m really dating myself).  Then they changed to including a CD with a pdf file of the manual and a written quick reference manual.  Of course you could always buy a written copy of the full manual.  Soon the quick reference manual turned to a quick reference “card”.  (PET PEEVE #1) Now with piece of equipment that would cost more than a few paycheck, not even a “Welcome to Agilent.  Now let’s get started…” piece of paper.  Go figure.  At least we still have the CD.  Some only point you to a website.

     

    In all fairness, the documentation on the CD is well done and mostly complete.  Agilent, and before that HP, has always been very good at documenting their products.  There are advantages to the PDF format for the manuals, such as searching, but I still like a written manual.  The CD includes the User’s (multiple languages), Service and Programmer’s guides.  Since the Agilent N2863B, 300MHz Passive Probes, are standard with the MSO, it would have been nice to include their user’s guide/data sheet on the CD (or at least a web link).  Check Agilent’s website for more product and accessory documentation.

     

    The unit does come with a built-in Quick Help feature.  The user can retrieve a brief description of any key by simply pressing and holding the key down.

     

    NOTE:  I did make hard copies of both the user’s and service guides, but held off on the 970 page programmer’s guide


    UPDATES

     

    When I unpack a new piece of equipment (and after I reviewed the documentation and pushed all the buttons), I head to the company web site to check for any firmware/software updates.  In the case of the MSO, there was indeed a newer FW release.  Of the 22 changes, only 6 were defect fixes.  16 updates were feature improvements or additions.  As an example, the number of waveform generator shapes increased from 6 to 11.  Agilent must have been listening to someone, so there may be hope for the Future Feature Opportunity (see rest of review).


    LOOK & FEEL FEATURES

     

    One of the first things you notice about the MSOX3024 is the large (true) 8.5” full color WVGA (800x480) display.  Agilent claims to have the largest display for this class of scope with up to 50% more viewing area than competitors’ WQVGA (480x234) displays.  The sharp, clear display is truly impressive and very fast.

     

    The front panel is well organized and the buttons have a very good tactile feel (not a bunch of mushy, no feel keys).  I found the [Back] button very useful to easily back out of changes you may have made, no matter how deep.  The [Back] button is well placed and clearly marked.

     

    (Future Feature Opportunity – Keyboard/Mouse input) The MSO already has 2 USB ports, why can’t I plug in my mouse and interface with the display (i.e. add markers, select waveform, expand waveforms, etc.)?  Why can’t I type waveform labels through a USB keyboard?  Just a thought.

     

    Aside from the low cost industrial and engineering markets, this product family has many features that make it a good fit for educational use.  The optional DSOXEDK, Educator’s Kit, ($500 list, check with Agilent for possible promotional deals), offers both instructors and students access to an array of built-in training signals, downloadable comprehensive lab guide, tutorials and classroom slide set.

     

    The DSOXLAN, LAN/VGA Connection Module ($395 list) allows the high resolution display to be “displayed” on a monitor or projector screen with very little lost of detail.  Very easy to setup, just plug in the VGA cable and turn on the monitor.
    The LAN module also allows you to display and control (with your mouse) the MSO from a web browser.


    FUNCTIONAL FEATURES

     

    The web site for the MSOX3024A states “… the power of 4 instruments in 1…” with:

     

    • Best-In-Class Oscilloscope (a given)
    • Integrated Logic Timing Analyzer (what makes it a MSO – Mixed Signal Scope)
    • Hardware-Based Protocol Analyzer
    • Built-In 20MHz Function Generator

     

    Although the first 2 features are standard, the latter 2 will cost you a little more.  For example, even though the hardware is there, to enable the function generator you must order option MSOX3000-001 for $715.

     

    (PET PEEVES #2)  I can understand that some software features have some development costs and offer unique features that they may be able to charge a little extra.  For an example, a particular protocol (i.e. I2C, CAN, etc.) for the protocol analyzer.  But what about a piece of hardware that is already installed in the product and which only requires a license key to enable.  The function generator is one example, but what about the 100 to 200MHz oscilloscope upgrade.  All the HW is already shipped with the scope and only a software key is needed to upgrade.  Be bold and just enable the product to its fullest capability at the lowest cost.  Maybe the loss in per unit revenue will be made up in additional units sold at a great price.

     

    (PET PEEVES #3)  Limited USB printer support.  I have a very basic B&W HP LaserJet 1000 USB printer that is detected by the MSO, but not supported by the product’s internal drivers.  I can’t add drivers to the unit and it does not have a generic driver.

     

    (Possible Bug) Since the printer was recognized, I pressed the “print” button and the MSO hung.  I pressed a number of buttons in hopes of freeing the unit, but finally had to power cycle the product.  This is repeatable.

     

    Although the feature is not new, the user can save and recall setups through the use of multiple key presses and menus.  The unit has a “Quick Action” function which allows you to perform at a single touch a user preselected operation.  The operation may be complex, but only one operation at a time can be assigned to the [Quick Action] button.  As an example, I assigned a “Quick Recall” operation to the QA button, to restore my base setup of the MSO.

     

    (Future Feature Opportunity - Power On To Measurement (POTM) time vs. Last Setup Recall)  I’ve seen this issue in other pieces of equipment also.  As they get more and more complex, the POTM time can become annoying.  I’m not just talking about the 28 seconds for the MSO3024A to boot, but the time to setup for the measurement.  Could an option be added that stores the current setup at power down and automatically recalls that state (or at least prompt you) at turn on? Sort of like “sleep” mode on my PC.

     

    (Future Feature Opportunity – Sequence Recorder and Playback) Could an option be added that would record a sequence of steps (i.e. button presses, etc.), then offer a playback (and maybe some prompts) through a single button.


    BEST-IN-CLASS OSCILLOSCOPE –

     

    The larger display is only one of the technology features that makes the InfiniiVision 3000 X-series an amazing oscilloscope.  The 4 Mpts deep memory allows for a longer capture window than other MSOs in its class.  Coupled with a 1 mega-waveforms per second update rate (up to 200 times faster than other similar MSOs), the MSOX3024A can increase the chance of finding and displaying non-repeating signals.  This is made possible through Agilent’s custom ASIC technology, MegaZoom IV.  NOTE:  The deep memory of channels 1 and 2 is shared, meaning if both channels are active the true mega points per channel is only half the maximum (2 instead of 4 Mpts).  This also true for channels 3 and 4.  If 2 channels are needed, use channels 1 and 3 (or 2 and 4) to maintain maximum Mpts.

     

    From the 3000 X-Series data sheet, the 3024A “offers 33 automated measurements, nine parametric triggers, 6 serial protocol triggers, as well as 7 waveform math functions including FFT.”  Particularly useful is the search and navigation feature of the scope, where the user can specify a number of search criteria, then find and tag an event to quickly navigate to.

     

    An optional analysis tool available for the oscilloscope is the Limit Map testing ($715 list) for capturing signals that appear outside a set of user-defined limits.

     

    The 3000 X-Series supports both passive and active “Smart” probes.


    INTEGRATED LOGIC TIMING ANALYZER –

     

    The integrated logic timing analyzer is what makes the MSOX3024A a mixed signal oscilloscope (MSO) by adding 16 digital timing channels to the existing 4 analog inputs.  Aside from user definable threshold triggering, predefined TTL, CMOS and ECL levels are also available.  The digital channels have a 1GSa/s sample rate with a 50 MHz toggle rate.

     

    Use of the digital channels only can reduce the memory depth to 2Mpts, while combining with the analog inputs can further reduce record length to 500Kpts.


    HARDWARE-BASED PROTOCOL ANALYZER –

     

    The 3000 X-series comes standard with a hardware-base (i.e. fast) serial protocol decoder for I2C and SPI triggering and analysis.  The integrated analyzer increases the probability of catching errors in serial communication packets.  The hardware allows the decoding of 2 serial buses simultaneously and the deep memory allows more details for your analysis.

     

    Additional protocol can be added to the decoder for a price ($715 list/ea) through optional software applications.  Optional serial protocols include triggering and analysis for:

     

    •  Computer (RS232/422/485/UART)
    •  Automotive/Industrial (CAN & LIN)
    •  Audio (I2S)

     

    Surprisingly, the one interface that seems to be missing is USB.


    BUILT-IN 20MHZ FUNCTION GENERATOR –

     

    Although the function generator capability is built into the MSO, you will need to order option WGN or the DSOX3WAVEGEN upgrade ($715 list).  The generator offers a number of waveform types from the basic sine, square, ramp and pulse to some more exotic shapes, such as noise, sine cardinal and cardiac.  For most waveforms, frequency and amplitude ranges run from .1Hz to 20MHz and 20mVpp to 5Vpp, respectively.  The waveform may be sync’d by way of an external trigger output on the rear of the unit.

     

    Although the generator offers some very complex waveforms, it still has very limited functionality.  As some examples:

     

    •  The output cannot be modulated, either externally or internally, through the MSO. 
    •  The MSO has no input for an external frequency reference for improved accuracy.
    •  Arbitrary waveforms cannot be created.

     

    Overall, the MSOX3024A is a great addition to a lab bench, as well as an exceptional value.  As mentioned earlier, there are many functions not completely covered in this review.  I plan to add to the review as I explorer additional features.  If there are corrections to or questions about any features mentioned in this review, please let me know.

     

    For an additional review by the always entertaining David L. Jones:

     

    http://www.eevblog.com/2011/02/25/eevblog-149-agilent-infiniivision-3000-x-series-oscilloscope-review
    http://www.eevblog.com/2011/02/21/eevblog-148-agilent-3000-x-series-infiniivision-oscilloscope-teardown
    http://www.eevblog.com/2011/02/25/eevblog-150-agilent-easter-egg
    http://www.eevblog.com/2011/08/05/eevblog-192-agilent-oscilloscope-lost-easter-egg
    http://www.eevblog.com/2011/02/17/eevblog-145-agilent-lanvga-module-teardown