The scope, with new knobs and stickers on it, front panel renovated

Explosion-Scarred Scope Gets Plastic Surgery Hackerspace Style

Some equipment comes with a backstory so impressive, you can’t help but treat it with reverence. For instance, this Hantek scope’s front panel and knobs have melted when a battery pack went up in flames right next to it. Then, it got donated to the CADR hackerspace, who have in turn given us a scope front panel refurbishing master class (translated, original), demonstrating just how well a typical hackerspace is prepared for performing plastic surgery like this.

All of the tools they used are commonplace hackerspace stuff, and if you ever wanted to learn about a workflow for repairs like these, their wiki post is a model example, described from start to end. They show how they could use a lasercutter to iterate through figuring out mechanical dimensions of the labels, cutting the silhouette out of cardboard as they tweaked the offsets. Then, they designed and printed out the new front panel stickers, putting them through a generic laminator to make them last. An FDM printer helped with encoder and button knob test fits, with the final version knobs made using a resin printer.

Everything is open-source – FreeCAD knob designs, SVG stickers, and their CorelDraw sources are linked in the post. With the open-source nature, there’s plenty of room to improvement – for instance, you can easily put these SVGs through KiCad and then adorn your scope with panels made out of PCBs! With this visual overhaul, the Hantek DSO5102P in question has gained a whole lot more character. It’s a comprehensive build, and it’s just one of the many ways you can compensate for a damaged or missing shell – check out our comprehensive DIY shell guide to learn more, and when you get to designing the front panel, we’ve highlighted a few lessons on that too.

$60 PC Oscilloscope Review

Owning an oscilloscope is a real gamechanger and these days, scopes are more capable and less expensive than ever before. However, there is a big difference between scopes that cost several hundred dollars which are usually quite good and many of the very inexpensive — below $100 — instruments that are often — but not always — little more than toys. [Adrian] looks at a PC-based scope from Hantek that costs about $60. Is it a toy? Or a useful tool? He answers the question in the video below.

The Hantek 6022BE sports two channels with a 20 MHz bandwidth and 48 million samples per second. The device included probes, too. Of course, you also need a PC, although there is apparently third-party software for Android if you don’t want to lug a laptop around.

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[Kerry Wong] Is Really Into Scope Meters

If a combination multimeter and oscilloscope is on your holiday shopping list this year, you might want to have a look at some of [Kerry Wong’s] recent videos on the subject. Over several videos he looks at — inside and out — an OWON HDS272S and a Hantek 2D72, both reasonably inexpensive entries in the field. Both instruments are similar and have a few variants depending on the frequency capability and the addition of a waveform generator.

There are several videos on the Hantek device that are a few months old, then some recent videos — like the one below — on the OWON device along with some comparison videos.

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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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