Review of Agilent U1620A 200MHz Handheld Oscilloscope

Table of contents

RoadTest: Agilent U1620A 200MHz Handheld Oscilloscope

Author: migration.user

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?:

What were the biggest problems encountered?:

Detailed Review:

Hi all,

 

I'll start my review as usual with the basic hands on and package content with some photos included, I will continue later on with more usage details etc.

 

 

Here is the first view of the nicely packed box after it arrived.

 

I do always prefer to have the contents padded on each side but the package was marked fragile so it should be safe.

 

 

Next box

 

Product box itself opened, neatly packed and the meter is very well cushioned.

 

 

The paperwork, calibration certificate is included.

 

 

Overview of the rest of the box contents. The powercable is old UK/South Africa style if I'm not mistaken and not very usable here, but as it is a standard 3-prong cable that is not a problem.

 

 

The heart of the box itself in it's comfortable cradle... First impression: It's bigger than I expected

 

 

The meter on hand, the strap is quite comfortable.

 

 

Look of the buttons, nicely placed, not too crowded. The buttons feel good, they can be pressed from any angle and work fine. Plus they make a comforting "click"-sound when pressed so you really feel that the button was actually pressed

 

 

View of the top connectors, the trigger input is also used for calibrating the probes.

 

 

Side port cover and locking cable hole.

 

Rear of the meter

 

The rear of the meter with the stand "leg" out. The latch that holds the leg is quite stiff, the leg bent quite a lot until it lets go properly. Probably it will get looser in use.

 

The meter with the stand open. Sits in a good comfortable angle.

 

The view with the stand open.

 

The hand-strap tightening system, easy to use for sure and well adjustable.

 

The side USB and power connectors under the cover, well protected by the thick rubber.

 

The power supply, hefty piece.

 

Instructions for the power supply

 

 

BNC to probe adapter for adjusting the probes.The thickness of the ground side is a bit too much for the ground alligator-clips of the probes so it easily slips off.

 

DMM side test leads

 

Package opened. Everything is plugged with good quality banana connectors and the wires are nice and flexible, good quality stuff.

 

Two packs of 1:10 probes wer included.

 

Package opened, again very good quality.

 

And parts put together.

 

And paperwork of the probes, first side.

 

Second side.

 

 

 

Clip from the manual (http://cp.literature.agilent.com/litweb/pdf/U1610-90040.pdf):

 

Before using the handheld scope for the first time, fully charge the

battery for at least 5 hours, with the handheld scope turned off, using

the AC/DC adapter provided.

The power key will turn constant yellow when the battery is fully

charged.

 

Looks quite green to me.

 

 

 

 

Ok that's the first part, more to follow of course with the actual usage part of the review.

 

 

 

Elias

 

 

 

Update: Problems with the USB connectivity were on my PC side, now it works perfectly. The meter mounts as a windows mobile device, which was quite unexpected, the ScopeLink works perfectly and basically shows realtime screen from the meter!

 

Update2: Rest of my review is on hold unti further notice as the meter broke down. I was measuring a simple crystal when the screen went blurry all of a sudden. I tried to reboot with the same result, except this time the meter couldn't be turned off either. Removing the battery shut the device down but when trying to turn it on now only the power button lights up, nothing else happens. I contacted Agilent and they told be to contact Farnell for a replacement. So the meter is officially bricked. I'm currently waiting for info from Christian.

 

Update3:

I just had a conversation with a very nice guy from Agilent, going through the specifics of the issue.

A replacement will be arranged so I can continue my review within couple of weeks or so.

Alltogether very good communication from Agilent so I can only recommend them as a company, as after-sales services are working very well.

Though it wasn't really a planned part of the review, this has also now been tested and I can give 10/10 to Agilent in that area

 

 

 

Part 2:

 

Hi everyone. Sorry for the delays, damn work taking time...

 

I have done some usage testing and have no major complaints, I like the way the scope and the software work in general.

 

The biggest shortcomings are in the logging capabilities as I think the functionality is not enough to have good data to analyse.

 

The attached image shows the logged waveform, realtime data and the logging window.

 

Image of the scope itself in use:

 

So it seems we can't just log raw waveform but only statistics of the measurements that are set in the measure menu, when using the scope itself.

 

With the scope link software one can save a snapshot of the waveform but it is just the current view and nothing else, also, I didn't see any way of doing measurements with the saved waveform so it is more or less a screenshot but can be adjusted a bit.

 

On the other hand I do like that you can fully remote control the scope with the software so it is definitely handy.

 

 

 

The screen clarity is very good with each of the display modes so I have nothing to complain about that.

 

After about 30min of usage I measured about 41 degrees celsius on the back side of the scope, so it definitely needs the internal fan to keep the running temperature in spec. After 1.5h hours of continuous use the max temperature on the back side has reached 50 degrees celsius.

 

 

 

All in all, the only negative sides I have found that the logging capabilities are more dumbed down then was expected, and that the battery runs out when the scope is not used. Plus that it mounts a WindowsCE device and drive to my computer

 

 

 

 

Thanks again to Agilent and Element14 for the opportunity, I will keep updating the review if something new comes up!

 

 

 

Regards,

 

Elias

Anonymous
  • I definitely have not had any fan noise issues so I can't say that it would be normal.

  • Does anyone has this scope with fan noise described here?

    Agilent Technical Forums : U1620A Fan Noise Issue ...

    I am not sure if this normal or not.

  • Thanks Rahul!

     

    And I agree on what you said, this is of course an issue that nobody wants to see happening and I'm sure element14 is doing everything to prevent it.

     

    Unfortunately in an open community it is hard. But at least the people who abuse the system don't get to do so ever again.

     

     

    Of course some of the missing reviews can be explained by the users posting the review as a forum entry (like I did first...) and not sending the review in via the road test page. But it would be good for those users to copy the review to the correct place also to avoid confusion.

     

     

    Elias

  • Great review, I like it

     

    Pretty comprehensive, and you clearly took the time to test out the product thoroughly.

     

    ...but it's annoying how only 2 out of the 5 people who got it actually reviewed it (at least from what I can see - apologies if this isn't the case). Abusing the system like this, especially for something this expensive, is really not acceptable and a waste of time and money

     

    It's important to understand that road tests are about providing information to the community for everyone's benefit, and not just getting free stuff.

  • Thanks Evan,

     

    I will continue the review as soon as possible for more usage experiences that hopefully will give you more complete picture of the scope.

     

     

    Elias

  • Great review!  Awesome start.  These poratable ocsilloscopes are really expensive so it's nice that I can find great reviews to make sure I'm getting a good quality scope.  I would hate to pay $3000 plus to find out I could have gotten a better one for a better price.  Thanks for your contributions.  Hope you enjoy your scope

  • i have had the oppertunity to try bolth the fluke scopemeter 190 and tektronix ths3000, while these are bolth 4ch scopes neither had the option of ext trigger, or an actual dmm input.

     

    if your looking for somthing portable for field use go with one that has the dmm built in, it will make your tool bag happier.

  • Hi guys,

     

    I just had a conversation with a very nice guy from Agilent, going through the specifics of the issue.

     

    A replacement will be arranged so I can continue my review within couple of weeks or so.

     

    Alltogether very good communication from Agilent so I can only recommend them as a company, as after-sales services are working very well.

     

     

    Though it wasn't really a planned part of the review, this has also now been tested and I can give 10/10 to Agilent in that area

     

     

    To be continued!

     

     

    Elias

  • Hi guys,

     

    See my update2 added to the review. Unfortunately my meter is bricked so the rest of my review is on hold until further notice.

     

     

    Elias