Author: Attila Tőkés
Evaluation Type: Test Equipment
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?: Tektronix's 3 MDO Series. Maybe some MSO-s produced by Rohde & Schwarz, Teledyne LeCroy, Pico, GwInstek and B&K Precision.
What were the biggest problems encountered?: Nothing "blocker".
Hello Element14 Community,
This is my final review of the Keysight InfiniiVision MSOX3034T mixed signal oscilloscope.
Until now, I had a 20 MHz bandwidth Hantek USB oscilloscope. It was usable for low speed projects, but it really hit its limits when I tried to use for higher speed projects. Also, its PC based user interface maybe wasn't the best.
The Keysight InfiniiVision MSOX3034T is an 350 MHz bandwidth mixed signal oscilloscope. It has 4 analog and 16 digital channels, a 5 GSa/s sampling rate, 1 MSa/s waveform update rate, and a built-in function generator.
As a mixed signal oscilloscope is fairly complex instrument, I thought to structure my review in multiple blog posts, each focusing on different feature of the oscilloscope.
I received the about scope about two months ago, and I started the review by an unboxing and quick overview on what was in the box:
Next, we took a look on basic functionality of an oscilloscope, the analog specification of the MSOX3034T, and did some tests with the build-in demo signals of the scope:
This was followed by some experiments with fairly low speed signals. We analyzed a cheap lab power supply, measured the inductance of the PCB based NFC antenna, and took a look on some USB signals:
Then, we analyzed the digital channels and serial decoding capabilities of the instrument. Along an overview of the specifications, I did some experiments involving SPI / Quad SPI communication between a flash chip and an ESP32, serial communication between an Chipkit Uno32 board and a PC and scanning for I2C devices on connected to an Arduino:
In the fifth blog post, I attempted to measure the bandwidth and update rate of the oscilloscope. The measurements were done using relatively inexpensive equipment, a portable network analyzer and a multimeter:
Next, I prepared some experiments to see how well the scope can be used with high speed and RF related work. The experiments included a look on the MIPI CSI 2 communication between a Raspberry Pi and camera module, NFC antenna tuning (again ), looking at the signal produced by HackRF One and analyzing High Speed USB communication:
Finally, we took a look on the Arbitrary Function Generator and other miscellaneous functionality of the scope, such as mirroring the output to an external monitor and controlling the scope over Ethernet.
The Keysight InfiniiVision MSOX3034T is a "3000 series" mixed signal oscilloscope. Multiple manufacturers seems to use this "3000 series" terminology, and this usually means an oscilloscope series with a bandwidth in range of 100 MHz - 1GHz, a sample rate of a 1-5 GSa/s, and support for both analog and digital channels. Additional features like arbitrary waveform generator, spectrum analyzer and / or voltmeter & frequency counter are also common in these products.
Now, Tektronix and Keysight also know this, and they keep producing videos, fact sheets, blog posts comparing the two product series. Of course each company is highlighting the strengths of their product (and forgetting about the weaknesses ). It was kind of funny to watch / read these materials .
So, lets see how the two series compare to each other:
|Keysight 3000T series||Tektronix 3 series|
|Bandwidth||100 MHz to 1 GHz||100 MHz to 1 GHz|
|Sample Rate||5 GSa/s|
(2.5 GSa/s in 2 ch mode)
|2.5 GSa/s (100, 200, 350, 500 MHz models)|
5 GSa/s (1 GHz model)
|Waveform Update Rate||1M wfm/s||280K wfm/s (Fast Acq mode) / 50 wfm/s (Normal mode)|
|Analog Channels||2 / 4||2 / 4|
|Digital Channels||16 (optional)||16 (optional)|
|Sample Memory||4 MSa / ch with Segmented Memory|
(2 Msa / ch in 2 ch mode)
|10 MSa / ch|
(no Segmented Memory)
|Serial Decoding||Yes, hardware||Yes, software|
|Arbitrary Function Generator||Yes, 0-20 MHz (optional)||Yes, 0-50 MHz (optional)|
|Spectrum Analyzer||No, just FFT functionality||Yes, 9 kHz to 1 GHz |
(up to the bandwidth of the model)
up to 3 GHz (upgrade option)
|Voltmeter / Frequency Counter||Yes||Yes|
8.5'' Touch screen (capacitive)
800 x 600 (VGA) resolution
11.6'' Touch screen (capacitive)
1920 x 1080 (Full HD) resolution
Price range: ~4,000 $ - 16,000 $
(350 MHz, 4 + 16 channels):
|Price range: ~4,000 $ - 15,000 $|
(350 MHz, 4 channels):
8.350 € (Tektronix, no options)
8.900 € (Farnell, no options)
As we can see Keysight 3000T and Tektronix 3 offer similar performance, and are also similarly priced. Both have analog and digital channels, build-in function generator, voltmeter and frequency counter.
The Keysight 3000T excels with its higher update rate, segmented memory and hardware based serial decoding functionality.
On the other hand the Tektronix 3 offers a bigger and higher resolution screen, has a built in spectrum analyzer and slightly bigger sample memory (although does not support segmenting).
Along the big names, we can also get mixed signal oscilloscopes (in the 0.1-1Ghz range) from manufacturers like Rohde & Schwarz, Teledyne LeCroy, Pico, GwInstek or B&K Precision. Some of these are priced similar to the big names and also offer competitive features. Others target lower price segments while also offering slightly less features.
The performance of the Keysight InfiniiVision MSOX3034T is probably one of the best we can get in its price range. It offers the best waveform update rate, very good sampling rate, and a lot of useful features (many of them hardware accelerated).
The user interface of the is most of the times very intuitive. Controlling the scope was easy both with the knobs, buttons and the touch screen.
As additional "extras" we get a arbitrary waveform generator, and a voltmeter & frequency counter.
The biggest weakness of the scope in my opinion is its display. Yes, it is a capacitive touch screen, but the 800x600 (WGA) resolution is too low for a 8.5-inch display operated from ~0.5m distance (so the interface is in reach of your hands). A higher resolution, maybe slightly bigger display would be better option in my opinion. Also, that VGA output is outdated, and could be replaced with HDMI or DisplayPort. Is anybody still using VGA in 2020?
I found the touch screen based user interface generally good, most of the time it is easy to use . But, because the screen is not in-level with the casing, an area of about 5mm along the borders simply can't be comfortably used (and there are buttons there). I know it is a legacy from the MSOX-A non touch screen series, but with touch screen operated devices I like more the ones that are designed properly for touch screen operation.
A slightly more sample memory would be cool, but I think that's a limitation of the MegaZoom IV SoC the scope uses. Not that I found an use case where 4 MSa wouldn't be enough , but competitors tend to have bigger sample memory (10 MSa, or even 100+ MSa).
A spectrum analyzer would also be a good inclusion in my opinion. The scope has functionality, but although it works it offers just basic RF features.
So, what is my opinion about this scope? Does it worth buying?
But, does it worth buying? This probably depends on your budget and needs.
In this price range (if you have that budget ) it will probably be a choose between Keysight InfiniiVision 3000 and the Tektronix 3 series. If you want the best performance, the Keysight is probably better. If you want nice big touch screen, or you work with RF stuff the Tektronix may be better because it has the built-in spectrum analyzer.
For hobby use both the Keysight and the Tek may be a little bit pricy, and may not offer the most value for the price. Depending on you needs, there may better value options from less known manufacturers (ex. GW Instek seem to have some interesting ones).
The second thing would be the user interface. The Keysight felt very intuitive most of the times. I did not used a scope with similar capabilities before, so could not really tell what the Keysight does better or worst than others manufacturers.
On the complaints side the biggest thing was the display, which just feels inferior to what you get on modern devices like smartphones, tablets or better notebooks. The resolution is just too low, you can see this on the screenshots. At a second look, maybe the lack of anti-aliasing on texts also added to this feeling.
You make some points about the scope.
How about some tests to show us the limitations and your favorite capabilities?