Rigol Ds1054z Digital Oscilloscope Quick Guide For Beginer

The Rigol DS1054Z is a 50MHz, 4-channel digital oscilloscope that offers a powerful combination of performance, functionality, and quality. And also it's an excellent value for money. Its features include; wide dynamic range, high memory depth, wide and clear display, remarkable capture rate, excellent triggering functions, numerous measurements with advanced math functions and several remote communications interfaces.

The Rigol DS1054Z is invaluable debug equipment in several fields such as communication, national defense, computer, cosmonautics, embedded system,   research and education and is one of the top oscilloscope models with the most advanced functions and most remarkable specifications.


Here is the list of specifications featured in the Rigol DS1054Z digital oscilloscope.

  • UltraVision technology, with a maximum real-time sample rate of 1GSa/s.
  • 30,000wfms/s waveform capture rate in dots display.
  • Real-time waveform capturing, recording and waveform playback function. It can record maximum 60,000 distinctive frames of the waveform.
  • Maximum memory depth of 24Mpts and standard memory depth is 12Mpts.
  • Grayscale display with multiple degrees.
  • Less noise and ultra-large vertical dynamic range 1 mV/div to 10 V/div.
  • 7 inches wide, with 800 x 480 WVGA, and 160,000 color TFT LCD screen, featuring low power consumption, vivid picture,   and long service life.
  • Brightness for analog channel waveform can be manually adjusted.
  • Auto setting mode for waveform display.
  • 15 unique types of trigger functions, which also includes multiple protocol triggers.
  • Standard parallel decoding as well as multiple serial decoding selections.
  • Automatic measurements of 32 different waveform measurement functions and parameters with statistic analysis.
  • Optimal delayed sweep function.
  • Built-in FFT function.
  • Pass or Fail test function.
  • Math operation functions for multiple waveforms.
  • Standard configuration interfaces including USB Device, LAN, USB Host and optional GPIB.
  • Enables quick, efficient and economic construction and reconfiguration of the test system.
  • Can be controlled remotely.
  • Built-in help enables easier access to information.
  • Supports multiple languages, with Chinese or English input.
  • Classy and delicate industrial design, with longer service life and easier operation.

Overview of the Basic Parts and Keys on the Front Panel

Like any other digital oscilloscope, the Rigol DS1054Z has the all most basic and also some advanced control keys on its front panel.

Power Button: Press this push button to turn the oscilloscope on or off.

Analog Channel Setting Keys: The 4 channels on the panel are marked by unique colors that also mark both the corresponding waveforms on the display and the input connectors. To turn on the corresponding channel menu, press any key and do the same to turn the channel off.

Math:  Press the Math button to open the math function menu under which  A+B,  A-B, A/B, A× B,  FFT, A||B, A&&B,  A^B,  !A,   Diff,  Intg, Sqrt, Lg,  Exp, Ln,  and  Abs are provided. Pressing the math key also allows you to open the decoding menu and adjust the decoding options.

Ref:  Press this key to enable the reference waveform function to compare the waveform actually measured with the reference waveform.

Vertical Position knob: It allows you to modify the current channel waveform's vertical position. To increase its position, turn the knob clockwise and turn it anti-clockwise to decrease.  During the modification, the channel waveform on the screen would move up and down, while the position message visible at the screen’s lower-left will change accordingly. To reset the vertical position instantly to zero, simply press down the knob.

Vertical scale knob: It enables modification of the current channel's vertical scale.  Turn the knob clockwise to decrease and turn it counterclockwise to increase. The modification would cause the amplitude of the waveform to enlarge or decrease and the scale information visible at the lower side of the display would change accordingly. You can press down the knob to instantly change the vertical scale setting modes between Coarse and Fine.

Horizontal position and scale knob: The two knobs are similar to the vertical knobs, but used for horizontal positioning and control of the waveform channel.

Trigger Level Control:

      Mode:  press the mode key to switch the trigger setting to normal, Auto or Single, and the state backlight of the current trigger setting will be illuminated.

     Trigger level knob:  The trigger level can be modified using this knob.  Turn it clockwise to increase the level and turn the knob counterclockwise to minimize the level.  During the modification,   the line of trigger level will move up and down and the value of the trigger level indication box located at the screen's lower-left corner will change accordingly.  Press down the knob to reset the level quickly to zero.

     Menu:  Press this push button to view the trigger operation menu. The Rigol DS1054Z provides numerous trigger types.

     Force: If you want to create a trigger signal forcefully then pressing this key will enable you to do so.

Clear: The clear key should be pressed if you want to remove the waveforms on the display. In case the oscilloscope is still in “RUN” mode, new waveforms would still be displayed.

Auto: Pressing the auto key enables the waveform automatic setting function. The oscilloscope will then be able to adjust the horizontal time base, trigger mode and vertical scale automatically based on the input signal to obtain optimum waveform display.

Run/Stop: This key is pressed to run or stop the sampling of the waveform. In the run mode, the key is illuminated by yellow light, and in the stop state, a red color is illuminated.

Single: To set the trigger mode to single, you need to press this button.

Multifunctional Knob:

This one specialty knob is designed to control and adjust a few different functions on the oscilloscope.

       Adjust the brightness of waveform: In the non-menu-operation mode, you can turn the knob to adjust the waveform display brightness. It has a wide adjustable range of 0% to 100%. To increase the brightness, turn it clockwise and turn counterclockwise to decrease it. Simply press down the knob to obtain default brightness of 60%.  You can also push the display button, followed by the intensity key and use the multifunctional knob to adjust the brightness.

      Other function: This knob can also be used to modify the parameters.

Common Operation Keys:

Measure: This key allows you to open the parameter measurement setting menu. The measurement source can be set and you can turn on or off the frequency counter, statistic function, all measure, etc.

Press the menu button located on the left of the display to switch measurement menus of the 33 waveform parameters. Then, press the corresponding menu soft-key to quickly obtain the one-key measurement and the result will be finally displayed at the screen's bottom.

Acquire: Press this button to enter the menu for sample setting to set the acquisition status, Sin(x)/x and the memory depth of your oscilloscope.

Storage: Press the key to enter the file storage and recall interface. Storable file types include traces, picture, waveforms, CSV, setups, and parameters. It supports internal and external storage as well as disk management.

Cursor: Press the cursor key to go to the cursor measurement menu. This oscilloscope offers four cursor modes, which includes track, manual, auto and XY. Remember that XY cursor state is only available when you have set horizontal time base to XY.

Display: By pressing this key you can go to the display setting menu and set the desired display type, wave intensity,  persistence time, grid type and grid brightness.

Utility:  This enables you to skip to system function setting menu to adjust and set the system-related parameters or functions, like the I/O, sound and language. Besides these, some advanced functions such as the waveform record, pass/fail test, etc. is also supported in this scope.

Print: Pressing this key will allow you to print the screen or save it to a USB storage device.  

Rear Panel Overview

The back panel of the Rigol DS1054Z has the following features for different functions;

Handle: The handle can be pulled up vertically and it allows for easy carrying of the device.  Press it down when not needed.

LAN: For controlling remotely you can connect the oscilloscope to the network via this interface.

USB Support: You can connect the scope to a printer or PC via this interface.

Trigger Out: The device can output a signal reflecting the current capture rate of the instrument at each trigger through this interface. You can connect the signal to a display device and measure its frequency.  The measurement result will be equal to the present capture rate.

Pass/Fail test: The oscilloscope can send out a positive pulse through this connector when it detects a failed waveform during the pass/fail test.

Source Output: This features the output terminals of the dual-channel built-in source of the oscilloscope.

Lock Hole: You can lock the device to a fixed location by using the security lock.

AC Power Socket: The socket allows connection of the instrument to the power socket via an AC power cord

Stands: Two pull-up stands for stability.


The Rigol DS1054Z has every feature that an enthusiast or professional may seek for in a good oscilloscope. The best part is that it's available at a very affordable price. I hope you are now as well familiar with the operational keys and functions of this instrument.


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