USB/PC oscilloscopes - Electrical Product Reviews - Firebird Nation

Jump to content


FirebirdNation.com is the premier Pontiac Firebird forum on the internet. Supporting Members do not see the above ads.
Photo
- - - - -

USB/PC oscilloscopes


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 GaryDoug

GaryDoug

    Ramblin' Wreck

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5021 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • First Name:Gary
  • City:Tarpon Springs, Gulf Coast
  • State or Province:FL
  • Country:USA
  • Interests:EE from Ga Tech, but I can't fix your TV, so don't ask ;-)
  • Year: 1998
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Trans Am
  • Engine: 5.7L LS1
  • Transmission: 4L60-E Auto

Posted 20 April 2015 - 08:09 PM

I recently acquired two USB-type oscilloscopes (called "scopes") for PC use. These are basically boxes with electronics inside that preform the function of capturing signals for display on a PC screen. These differ from regular oscilloscopes which are self contained and have their dedicated display. Either type can be used to troubleshoot certain types of signals in our cars, especially the Optispark distributor, MAF sensor, Theft deterrent module, and others. Each device has two channels available for input and each includes two test probes for connecting the signals to the scope. Each device also has the USB cable to connect to the pc. The Hantek 6022BE version sells for about $70 and the Sainsmart DS120 version sells for about $65. Both are made in China. I will attempt to compare them here.

Both devices come with a CD to install the required drivers for the scope and the software program. I found nothing very unusual in either installation. The Sainsmart program and drivers must be installed manually by selecting the correct path to the drives on cd and by placing the exe file into a folder on the pc. The Hantek software was all automated for installation.

Both devices' software programs display the waveforms on the left side and the controls on the right side. once started, the user will move the baseline for each channel to a viewable position on the screen, so that they are not overlapping. Then the user sets the vertical and horizontal values. Each major division on the screen represents one increment of the selected value. For example, a 10 volt signal with a 2 volt per division setting will occupy 5 divisions vertically. The same is true for the horizontal setting. Both programs require the user to start the capture of the waveforms in some manner, Hantek has an arrow button on the top menu and Sainsmart has a Start/Stop button on the lower right. The user will select the trigger type, automatic, standard, or single; and the trigger polarity and level. Once a set of waveforms have been captured, the capture may be stopped to inspect it further or the capture may be continued.

The Hantek is a small but impressive-looking device with an aluminum case and black hard rubber end caps that serve as feet. The Sainsmart is a small simple gray box.
Attached File  Sainsmart and Hantek devices.jpg   94.61KB   1 downloads

The Sainsmart product had a great deal of trouble triggering the capture while using square wave signals (like the opti). The screen would frequently go blank and then return over and over. This happened mostly on the faster settings. on the slower settings, the screen became truncated (cut off) at the right side. the Hantek had no problems with these signals except that it would also truncate the images if very long settings (over 20 seconds) were selected.

The Sainsmart device has an interesting "zoom in" mode which displays both the original images in the lower right corner while displaying only the selected section in the regular area. This fine feature is spoiled by a bug that corrupts the images when the mouse pointer is moved over them. The Hantek has no such feature, but you can simple expand the waveform display to view a small portion anywhere. Both device have a measurement method that the user can use by drawing a box around the area of interest. Measurements include time, voltage, and frequency. The Sainsmart device has a bug that periodically restarts the capture at random times. This results in waveform corruption which could easily be cause for incorrect failure analysis.

The Sainsmart device has a bug in one version of the program that cuts off parts of the horizontal and vertical setting controls. So you have to guess at where to click to operate them properly.

The Sainsmart device has convenient voltage and timing numbers on the edge scales. The voltage numbers are for each channel, which are in different colors. The Hantek has no such feature.

The Hantek device does not show the location of the trigger event in any way, so it is not possible to accurately determine the trigger point in the waveforms. This is not always useful but I consider that a shortcoming.

For output to a printer or image file, both do a good job, except that the Hantex outputs the yellow (CH1) waveform on top of a white background, making it very difficult to see. The Sainsmart changes the yellow color to red for output which is easily seen.

All-in-all I cannot recommend the Sainsmart product because of the many bugs in the software. Although the Hantek program also has bugs and shortcomings, they are minor in comparison, and I do recommend it.

Note: The screenshots below are all using Optispark signals for display.

Hantek screens:
Attached File  Hantek 6022BE screen.png   93.26KB   1 downloadsAttached File  Hantek 6022BE screen expanded.png   67.3KB   1 downloads

Sainsmart screens:
Attached File  Sainsmart DS120 screen1.png   99.2KB   2 downloadsAttached File  Sainsmart DS120 screen2.png   100.99KB   1 downloadsAttached File  Sainsmart DS120 screen3.png   107.67KB   1 downloads
  • Injuneer likes this

gallery_14511_2130_2884.jpg
1998 Trans Am - LS1/A4 - all stock - one owner - driven daily - Scan9495 author


#2 sea dog

sea dog

    Firebird Master Tech.

  • Administrator
  • 3112 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • First Name:Robert
  • City:Fruitland Park
  • State or Province:FL
  • Country:USA
  • Interests:cars, guitars, women, firearms,
  • Year: 1995
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: transam
  • Engine: 5.7 lt1
  • Transmission: 4l60e

Posted 21 April 2015 - 03:14 AM

What is the input voltage limit on the 2 scopes?

#3 GaryDoug

GaryDoug

    Ramblin' Wreck

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5021 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • First Name:Gary
  • City:Tarpon Springs, Gulf Coast
  • State or Province:FL
  • Country:USA
  • Interests:EE from Ga Tech, but I can't fix your TV, so don't ask ;-)
  • Year: 1998
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Trans Am
  • Engine: 5.7L LS1
  • Transmission: 4L60-E Auto

Posted 21 April 2015 - 05:16 AM

What is the input voltage limit on the 2 scopes?


Both limits are +-5 volts in the probe's X1 position and +-50 volts in the probe's 10x position. With a 100x probe (not included) the input range is +-500v. A 100x probe could be made by using a 100M ohm resistor on the input.
  • Injuneer likes this

gallery_14511_2130_2884.jpg
1998 Trans Am - LS1/A4 - all stock - one owner - driven daily - Scan9495 author


#4 Injuneer

Injuneer

    Just Trying to Help

  • Administrator
  • 13868 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • First Name:Fred
  • City:Central NJ
  • State or Province:NJ
  • Country:USA
  • Interests:Licensed Professional Engineer (Mechanical)
  • Year: 1994
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Firebird Formula
  • Engine: 381ci LT1 stroker
  • Transmission: TH400 + GV O/D

Posted 21 April 2015 - 07:40 AM

Looks like a nice toy..... :)

Seems like a very reasonable price for a highly useful tool. Tempting.

1994 FIREBIRD FORMULA
FRED

 
381ci all-forged stroker (Callies Stealth, Oliver billet rods, BME 2618-T61 nitrous pistons) - 10.8:1 - CNC LT4 heads/intake - Comp Cams solid roller - MoTeC M48 Pro engine management - 8 LS1 coils - 58mm TB - 74#/HR injectors - 300-shot dry nitrous - TH400 - Gear Vendors 0.78:1 O/D - Strange 12-bolt - 4.11 Pro-Street gears - AS&M headers - true duals - Corbeau seat - AutoMeter gauges - roll bar - Spohn suspension - QA1 shocks - a few other odds 'n ends. 800HP / 800lb-ft at the flywheel, on a 300-shot. 11.5 @ 117 MPH straight motor
 
https://www.firebird...9_698_32777.jpg

 


#5 GaryDoug

GaryDoug

    Ramblin' Wreck

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5021 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • First Name:Gary
  • City:Tarpon Springs, Gulf Coast
  • State or Province:FL
  • Country:USA
  • Interests:EE from Ga Tech, but I can't fix your TV, so don't ask ;-)
  • Year: 1998
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Trans Am
  • Engine: 5.7L LS1
  • Transmission: 4L60-E Auto

Posted 03 May 2015 - 09:33 AM

I will also be reviewing this one soon: http://www.aliexpres...2032097092.html
Single channel only, but I rarely need two channels.

Edited by GaryDoug, 03 May 2015 - 09:41 AM.

gallery_14511_2130_2884.jpg
1998 Trans Am - LS1/A4 - all stock - one owner - driven daily - Scan9495 author


#6 taman76

taman76

    Firebird Master Tech.

  • Administrator
  • 2917 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • First Name:Dan
  • City:East Pennsboro
  • State or Province:PA
  • Country:USA
  • Interests:God, Cars, Planes, Music
  • Year: 1976
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Trans Am
  • Engine: 400
  • Transmission: Auto

Posted 17 March 2017 - 08:35 AM

Very good info. thanks.



#7 Injuneer

Injuneer

    Just Trying to Help

  • Administrator
  • 13868 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • First Name:Fred
  • City:Central NJ
  • State or Province:NJ
  • Country:USA
  • Interests:Licensed Professional Engineer (Mechanical)
  • Year: 1994
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Firebird Formula
  • Engine: 381ci LT1 stroker
  • Transmission: TH400 + GV O/D

Posted 17 March 2017 - 08:58 AM

SPAM deleted..... first time I've ever seen it come from Macedonia per IP address.  User ("Pcm") claimed he was from London, CA, UK....... suspicious, no?


1994 FIREBIRD FORMULA
FRED

 
381ci all-forged stroker (Callies Stealth, Oliver billet rods, BME 2618-T61 nitrous pistons) - 10.8:1 - CNC LT4 heads/intake - Comp Cams solid roller - MoTeC M48 Pro engine management - 8 LS1 coils - 58mm TB - 74#/HR injectors - 300-shot dry nitrous - TH400 - Gear Vendors 0.78:1 O/D - Strange 12-bolt - 4.11 Pro-Street gears - AS&M headers - true duals - Corbeau seat - AutoMeter gauges - roll bar - Spohn suspension - QA1 shocks - a few other odds 'n ends. 800HP / 800lb-ft at the flywheel, on a 300-shot. 11.5 @ 117 MPH straight motor
 
https://www.firebird...9_698_32777.jpg

 





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users