Hantek 3-in-1 Instrument Reviewed

What kid doesn’t want a Swiss Army knife? Maybe that was the idea behind Hantek’s 3-in-1 instrument that [Rui Santos] reviewed in a recent blog post. You can also watch the video version, below. The instrument is a combination oscilloscope, multimeter, and signal generator. The device is pretty inexpensive and comes in 40 MHz and 70 MHz versions. You can also get versions that drop the function generator if you want to save a little bit more.

The multimeter does 4000 counts and has the usual scales along with capacitance measurements. Rechargeable batteries make it portable, and the signal generator is capable up to 25 MHz. The scope is dual channel, but the sampling drops in half (125 megasamples per second) when using both channels.

The 2.8 inch color screen isn’t as big as your bench scope, but it’s good for a portable device. The review also mentions that there are few buttons so many operations require a lot of menu navigation, but — again — that’s a function of being small. Overall, [Rui] seemed to like the meter well enough. We’ve spent more on a good digital meter, so if this can do that function plus also give you a reasonable scope and signal generator, it seems like a fair deal.

This reminded us of a very polished version of the EM125 we took a look at a few years ago, although that didn’t have a color screen, a second channel, or a signal generator. Of course, signal generators are cheap enough if you want to keep it separate.

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Part Soldering Iron, Part Hand-Held Oscilloscope

If you are in the market for a temperature controlled soldering iron, an attractive choice of the moment is the TS-100 iron available by mail-order from China. This is an all-in-one iron with a digital temperature controller built into its handle, featuring a tiny OLED display. It’s lightweight, reasonable quality, and all its design and software are available and billed as open source (Though when we reviewed it we couldn’t find an open source licence accompanying the code.) This combination has resulted in it becoming a popular choice, and quite a few software hacks have appeared for it.

The latest one to come our way is probably best described as coming from the interface between genius and insanity without meaning to disparage the  impressive achievement of its author. [Befinitiv] has implemented a working oscilloscope on a TS-100, that uses the soldering iron tip as a probe and the OLED as a display. It requires a small modification to the hardware to bring the iron contact into an ADC pin on the microcontroller, and there is currently no input protection on it so the iron could easily be fried, but it works.

It is strongly suggested in the write-up that this isn’t a production-ready piece of work and that you shouldn’t put it on your iron. At least, not without that input protection and maybe a resistive divider. But for all that it’s still an impressive piece of work, a working soldering iron that becomes a ‘scope on a menu selection. Take a look at the ‘scope-iron in action, we’ve posted a video below the break.

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