Tektronix Oscilloscopes Review

Software packages make it easy to do some really complex measurements


What is our primary use case?

We use a range of Tektronix scopes. We have a 33-gig, real-time scope, as well as some lower-end models that we use for general digital debugging. In addition, we do ISP/IO characterization and general analysis. We do high-speed serial designs that are embedded. We mainly focus on fiber-optic telecom gear.

We measure the full gamut of signals, whether it's low-speed control IO, like Is4c, all the way up to 28G certes designs. It's a full range of signals, and as far as the applications it's enabling, that's really our entire design.

We are utilizing the whole bandwidth.

How has it helped my organization?

For the high-end products, we do a lot of general analysis. We use it to verify reference plot jitter and that's very important, especially when problems come up with BER and particular types of designs.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the automation component in setting up some of these measurements. There a lot of software packages, which are a part of the 33-gig scope in particular, that make it easy to do some really complex measurements. For the most part, it's point and go.

With the lower-end scopes, we use the Is4c bus decoding. That's a very valuable feature for us. We use that on a monthly basis to debug a lot of Is4c problems that seem to pop up every so often.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is great. That's why we have been loyal to Tektronix. We have a local rep who helps us out with any problems that we have or assistance that we need in making measurements. That's really key. It's not so much the scope itself, but getting support when we need it.

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

It could always be cheaper, but I don't really get involved too much with the pricing.

What other advice do I have?

Research well what you need because, with the capabilities of the instruments, you definitely pay up for getting a very high-end piece of gear, and that might not necessarily be exactly what you need, even though the sales guys tell you that it is.

It doesn't take too long to get acclimated to the product. Whenever we do have a problem, the local rep seems to be able to help us with it. It's important too, to make sure you're doing things right, and not necessarily do them on your own, thinking you're doing things right.

The user interface is usable. It's nothing fancy.

I believe our solution is field-upgradable, especially when it comes to software packages. If there's something that we need, we can get a key for that pretty quickly.

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