TOOLS: Atten ADS1062CA oscilloscope

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The Atten ADS1062CA is a dual channel digital storage oscilloscope capable of 1Gsamples a second, and an analog bandwidth of 60Mhz. An oscilloscope is a useful piece of equipment when we work on hardware. We use it to find optimal component values, watch reset pins on microcontrollers, or find the source of unwanted noise.  See Make’s take on oscilloscopes.

The ADS1062CA was much more affordable at$325US with shipping, than an equivalent used model from a better known manufacturer. It has features similar to a Rigol DS1052e, and it uses the same Analog Devices Blackfin DSP and ADCs.

We picked this scope up on eBay, and it shipped directly from China. It came with two 60Mhz 1x/10x probes, manuals, software, USB cable, and a power cord for Asian outlets.

The control panel is in English,  but the manual was only printed in Chinese. We learned the functions and settings through experimentation, and that gave the Atten a higher learning curve than expected.  When first powered on the scope went directly to the setup menu, changing the language to English was very strait forward.

The features of the ADS1062CA include: math functions add, subtract, divide, multiply, FFT, triggering rising/falling edge, video, pulse, slope, averaging, the ability to save/print a bitmap of the display with a single press of a dedicated button, XY mode, automatic measurement and portability.

The large dials have indents to give feed back when adjusting the horizontal and vertical ranges. The smaller dials have a smooth motion.  The auto setup feature is a little sluggish, but acceptable. The interface even has four themes.

A full list of specifications can be found here.

Overall this is a good scope for its price range, we get lots of use out of it.

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10 Comments

  1. The “Make’s take” on scopes link is broken. In case the original author is reading this, can you comment on the analog p-p noise level of this scope? If you put the scope at maximum sensitivity, what is the Vpp reading measurement? For reference, with no averaging, 1x probe setting, 2 mV/div, my Tek TDS-220 “measure” mode says between 1.5 and 2.0 mVpp. Note, the “bandwidth limit” setting does not affect this measurement, and whether a probe is connected, open, or shorted to ground, also does not affect this.

    (I know that all digital scopes are noisy, but some are worse than others)

    My other question, some scopes include cooling fans which make an audible noise; is this such a unit? I like the fan-less aspect of the TDS200 series.

  2. with supplied probe connected and grounded the noise is about 1.8mVpp, while measuring the noise, i found a pattern and unplugging a debugger 30cm away, just about removed all the noise. about 40mVpp without a noise source.

    This unit does have a cooling fan, and i have not heard it while running yet, however i can feel a extremely small amount of air being moved.

  3. thanks for checking! …but wait, it is 40 mVpp (much higher) without a noise source present? Did you mean 0.4 mVpp ? Or that it was 1.8 mVpp after you turned off the debugger, and 40 mV when the noise source was on?

  4. oops.
    yea i meant 0.4mVpp, sorry

    the probes were actually picking up a data stream from the jtag cable.

  5. “power cord for Asian outlets”
    What are Asian outlets? Korea and China use 220v like Europe, Japan and Taiwan use 110v like the US.

    1. I think (not certain), that some southern Asian areas use the Australian / NZ type of plug, so this may be what it is.

  6. the certs on the plug indicate it is for 250VAC

    the scope is rated 45-440Hz and 100-240V 50VA

  7. Ah, ok. Thanks for the help. I’m thinking about getting the Rigol DS1052E or this Atten ADS1062CAL…I’m leaning towards the Rigol because you can hack it to be 100MHz. But the Atten has a bigger screen. (Originally I was set on getting an Owon SDS6062 for it’s gigantic 8″ screen, but it seems it’s firmware is pretty crappy.) What would you suggest?

    1. @Michael – Silicon Chip (Australian Electronics Magazine) has done reviews on a number of cheapy chinese scopes and I think they have done both of these (though not certain). Probably worth looking through their articles, because I recall a few surprises with some scopes. For instance, I recall one model that had a widescreen, but it also had menu selections on the side which couldn’t be turned off and so negated the usefulness of the widescreen. Others had crappy screen resolution which made some measurements difficult. They have done a number of articles on these over the last few years, so worth a hunt around. On the site they only show you the first part of the article – Unfortunately you do have to pay for full access to their articles on the site (otherwise people wouldn’t buy their mag), but I have the mags.
      Site is http://www.siliconchip.com.au

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