Tektronix Oscilloscopes Review

Mixed Domain scope provides spectrum analyzer and regular scope together


What is our primary use case?

We're using the MDO3000 or MDO4000 series. They're very similar. We use them for making measurements or working on testing electrical signals. We use them for general purpose.

I'm working on computer motherboards. It's a different type of signal. The good thing is that it's very general-purpose. In most cases, the frequencies are up to six gig for the spectrum analyzer. For example, I measure I2C5 and USB. It cannot go into superspeed. But for superspeed I can look at the frequency. That's useful at times.

At times I'm almost using the full bandwidth of the product. For example, if I want to look at a USB clock, if it's Gen 1 it would be about five gigs. Sometimes I use that to see if the clocking has an issue.

How has it helped my organization?

Because it can detect both frequency and time domains simultaneously, if I want to check I send a command to the device and I can look at the frequency output. I can observe them and see the latencies together at one time. I don't need to use two pieces of equipment. That's the cool part.

What is most valuable?

I haven't seen anything similar where it has a spectrum analyzer and regular scope together. They work simultaneously, so they call it "mixed domain."

What needs improvement?

Tektronix sells a lot of options. Those options are a bit of confusing at times. It would be nice if the package included everything so I wouldn't have to figure out what I need to buy.

In terms of room for improvement, it's a powerful scope. But, the power of the computer inside is weak. Sometimes I send a lot of data and I'll feel the lag. The computer is slow. Eventually it provides the answer. I would like to see them improve the processing power.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

How are customer service and technical support?

The company has a direct contact. I know the person I need to call, so it is very easy.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

Tektronix came to our company and demoed it and I saw that it was useful. We work with them frequently so when they have a new product it comes to us.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The lower the better, that would be my suggestion.

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely recommend this scope to colleagues.

There was a little bit of a learning curve regarding the menu, but I eventually figured out how to get multiple windows or single windows and how to turn on a given domain. Overall, it's really quick. The front panel, the operational panel, is very straightforward. It has the scope plus a regular spectrum analyzer, with keys for the numbers.

I rate the product at ten out of ten. If someone needs a general-purpose scope, it's a good one.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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