Interesting editorial by Michael Dunn over at ScopeJunction:
You know what? I can buy an entire oscilloscope (USB module or standalone) — one that includes serial decodes and FFT — for less than the cost of one of those software options on many higher-end units! Does that seem reasonable?
I’m sorry, but FFT just isn’t that big a deal any more. Free code has been floating about for decades, and it isn’t suddenly worth $1,000, just because it’s running on a scope. That just makes customers feel taken advantage of.
Similar story for simple serial decodes. I won’t repeat myself.
Is there a downside to my feature comforts? Well, some pretty sophisticated entry-level scopes are now available at nice price points. You can probably end up doubling their cost by loading up on features. Would making more of those features standard raise the price of entry? Maybe. But, as I implied above, getting a second, lower-end scope with those features as standard would give you two scopes for less than the price of one.
Personally, I’m inclined to agree with him, especially about the serial options. Many of the serial options mentioned in the poll are native to $2 microcontrollers, and none are particularly fast (except I2S, sometimes), so why do the software-only upgrades cost so much?
What do you think?