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Rigol DS1074Z Oscilloscope Review

Here’s my long-overdue review of the Rigol DS1074Z four-channel oscilloscope, which I purchased a couple of months ago. At around $550, the DS1074Z occupies a unique place in today’s oscilloscope market between the $300 entry-level scopes, and the $850+ higher end scopes like Rigol’s new DS2000 series. It’s also one of the only scopes in this range to offer four channels.

I felt a little unprepared to do a review, since during the time that I’ve had the scope,  I’ve really only scratched the surface of its features. If there’s something not covered in the video or something else you’d like me to test, leave me a note in the comments. A quick summary of what’s covered in the video:

Likes – display, menus, measurement features, memory size, SPI decoding
Dislikes – fan noise

If you’re shopping for a new oscilloscope and can stretch your budget beyond the entry-level choices, the DS1074Z is definitely worth a look.

Read 13 comments and join the conversation 

13 Comments so far

  1. Mitch - December 9th, 2013 3:22 pm

    Good little review. I’ve had this same scope for about a month now and keep finding cool little hidden things here and there. Have you seen the table you can view to see all of your data? You can then export this to a csv file so you can look at it on your computer. Also instead of moving the zoomed out version left to right, push down on that button to bring up a nice zoomed view interface.

  2. Steve Chamberlin - December 13th, 2013 8:40 am

    Hey, that zoom interface is pretty cool – thanks for the tip! I also discovered you do fine adjustment of the vertical scale by pressing in the vertical knob, so you’re not limited to 1/2/5 scales for volts/division. Where is the table view of the data?

  3. Mitch - December 13th, 2013 4:58 pm


    When you have the decode settings up on the right hand bar, press the down arrow two times and you should see “Event Table”. Click the button next to it to turn it on. Can also have it display different things. Hard to find, but may come in handy sometime.

  4. jwlighting - December 22nd, 2013 11:45 am

    how did you get the triggering and decode options for the scope? are they included or did you have do buy them extra as an software option (like additional 12M mermory) ?

  5. Steve Chamberlin - December 22nd, 2013 12:14 pm

    They are free for the first 50 hours of the scope’s use – or something like that, I don’t remember the exact number. After that you can purchase them as add-on options, or search for a key generator tool if you’re in to that.

  6. Dat - December 27th, 2013 8:40 pm

    Hi Steve, nice review. I just bought the same scope thanks to your review. You mentioned there were hacks for this scope. Can you give me some references. Mainly I am looking to increase the bandwidth and memory.


  7. Steve Chamberlin - December 27th, 2013 8:59 pm

    It’s somewhere in the first 40 pages or so of this EEVBlog thread. I haven’t followed the more recent discussions, though.'s-internal-i2c-bus/

  8. Martin Forest - March 1st, 2014 6:16 am

    Hi Steve,
    Thanks for your great review, this has been very useful to me. I am also coming to similar conclusion and leaning towards the DS1074Z. I was wondering if you could share the place you bought it from including the 5% discount.

  9. Steve Chamberlin - March 1st, 2014 6:44 am

    I bought it from, while they were offering a 5% discount for eevblog members. Not sure if that still applies, though.

  10. Neal - May 19th, 2014 4:51 pm

    Steve Thank you for your review. Based on you review I purchased a DS1074z and am very happy with it.

    I have a decode question for you.

    I am decoding I2c successfully however the event table only shows the last packet (Since last Start Bit).
    Each successive packet overwrite the first (id 1) line of the Event Table.
    Is this the way the event table works for you or am I doing something wrong?

    Thanks in advance.

  11. Steve Chamberlin - May 19th, 2014 6:16 pm

    I haven’t used the I2C decoding or the event table, but that doesn’t sound right. Are there different trigger options for the i2c framing?

  12. Neal Zipper - May 19th, 2014 6:25 pm

    Thank for getting back to me.

    Yea it doesn’t seem right to me either. I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong, code bug etc.

    I asked on Eevblog and see if anyone else uses that function.

    Maybe I’m better off with a usb protocol decoder?

    Love the scope but I’m unsure of the decode function.

  13. Neal Zipper - May 19th, 2014 6:40 pm

    I just went back and watched you video again.
    I appears you captured your data to the memory buffer then decoded the data. That may do the trick. I
    ‘ll try that tomorrow night.

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