After many years of faithful service our old service department CRT Oscilloscope finally “went off to the great white laboratory in the sky”. Although we have other more modern scopes and test equipment at our office, we wanted a cheap, portable scope for service and field work and in our search came across the Hantek 6022BE a USB based Digital Storage Scope that retails online for £50 (inc VAT).
This seemed like a too good to be true price, but we read a few reviews, “bit the bullet” and ordered one from Amazon. It turned up the next day and after installing the drivers and software on an old WindowsXP netbook, we were pleasantly surprised to find that it did exactly what it said on the tin.
There are some limitations, namely;
- It can only read voltages up to 5v so you need to make sure the probes (you get two included in the price) are set to x10 attenuation, allowing you to measure up to 50v.
- No AC Coupling so if you are measuring RF or noise on a DC voltage, make sure you have a small capacitor in series (I found 1nF worked quite well).
- The software is OK but has some limitations, but check out the latest release of Open6022BE (currently PR18 14/05/2014) which has been developed by RichardK and has lots of improvements and added features.
- The unit’s ground is not isolated (connected to USB ground) so unless you are using this in a workshop where the bench PSU and the laptop’s mains adaptor are plugged in to the same mains supply, it is best to run the 6022BE on a laptop that is running just on battery power (not connected to a mains adaptor)
I would definitely recommend this scope to any of our dealers that would like to have a Digital Storage Scope in their tool kit that they can connect up to an old laptop/notebook whilst on a boat and measure NMEA data (see image below), supply voltage noise, VHF/AIS transmissions, etc. For £50 it represents excellent value and as long as you are aware of the limitations, it really does work and will be a useful addition to your tool kit.
For more information on the Hantek 6022BE, including a link to the Open6022BE software (at bottom of article), I would have a read of this article… http://pididu.com/wordpress/blog/i-dropped-an-oscilloscope-on-my-foot-hantek-6022be/