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January 4, 2010
about 7 years ago
Hey Mike -- yup same Jesse Gordon! How are you? As to purchasing this device again -- I'm not sure. It's a really neat idea. And the hardware is extremely capable. However, at the time I got it, the firmware had some serious issues that limited its usability. One was that it's got a nice long capture buffer that holds 10 or 20 screens full or whatever. Very nice - but in the version of firmware I have, it insists on filling the buffer every time before showing the waveform -- which means your screen refresh rate is 20 seconds when it should be 1-second (for example, if you're viewing one second of audio per screenfull, it takes 20 seconds to update.) The other problem I remember is that it would wrap around in the buffer and show on the screen the overlap as if it was the trace you wanted, which could look just like a glitch.
I really haven't used it in a long time, but just now I used it to debug some 19200Kbit/sec RS232 and it worked great -- which prompted me to check for new firmware -- and I see that there is new firmware, so maybe they fixed some of these problems!
I'll try to upgrade my firmware soon and report back on how it works.
The user interface seems rather unintuitive to me, but I'm not complaining -- the power to measure things as it does in such a portable way is worth a weird UI.
about 8 years ago
Okay, mine arrived with some older firmware, and I upgraded, and a few bugs are gone, namely calibration now has an auto calibrate feature for offset nulling, and the calibration is now saved (COOL!)
Here are good instructions for upgrading: (You can download the latest firmware files right from the chart -- just pick the bottom most firmware type for any column.)
Note: The order may matter. Here's the order I used: sys_141, then app_245(b), then FPGA_25 (those were the latest at the time of this writing.) If later firmware are there, just use the latest, but you probably want to do SYS before APP.
Also read the "Quick guide of upgrading firmware" that's listed above the chart. It is helpful. You have to copy the FPGA files in a certain order when you upgrade that.
Also note that while booting the new firmware, a red warning may flash momentarily on the screen saying something about invalid parameter loading. This just means that the settings saved file from the old firmware is incompatible with the new firmware and that your settings are lost, so just click the O save button and it'll overwrite your old file and the error will go away.
Well, the second two channels are just 1 bit.. They are still channels, though :-)
(And to be honest, a lot of the time when I'm using a $4k+ DSO, I'm just using at least half the channels to check timing on a digital signal..)
Yeah, mine arrived today and it too seems to have been opened. The clear plastic screen protector had been peeled off and stuck back on wrinkled.
Sparkfun, do you know about that? Probably routine quality control checks.
Firmware does seem a little buggy, specifically the really slow update at low sample rates -- but that's probably because it's filling its 4096 byte sample buffer -- and then displaying about a tenth of it.
For example, at 100mS/div and 10 divisions, it should update once a second.. But no, it records for around 13 seconds I suppose, capturing 13 times the needed data, before displaying any of it.
It'd be good to be able to set the buffer size.
What sort of trouble am I likely to get in if I upgrade to Benf firmware? (If it exists for the quad?) Will I be able to go back, and am I likely to brick it?
No public wish lists :(
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