For a couple weeks now I have this Hantek 2D42 handheld oscilloscope, multimeter and generator and it is time to start a review.

Hantek 2D42 is a battery powered three-in-one, consisting of:

  • a 2 channel, 2 × 250 MSPS / 40 MHz bandwidth Digital Storage Oscilloscope (DSO)
  • an independent, isolated 3½ digits (4000 count), autoranging Digital Multimeter (DMM)
  • a 512 points, ± 2.5 V Arbitrary Wave Generator (AWG)

There are also devices specified with 70 MHz DSO bandwidth I do not believe in (2x72) and without AWG (2Cxx). Hantek 2D42 is currently available for 120-150 $/€ and sounds like an cool little device for portable use, simple measurements and beginners.

Features and accessories include:

  • 2.8" color screen, small but well readable
  • a 80 MHz 10:1/1:1 probe
  • 2 1:1 BNC cables with crocodiles (quickly replaced them with 2mm banana jacks)
  • DMM measurement probes
  • 2 × 18650 batteries, seem sufficient for quite a few hours of work
  • USB type C power supply. Time for new USB cables... It shows up as HT2xxLxx VID_0483&PID_2D42 - which is actually STMicroelectronics
  • Convenient bag, may be too soft for an electrician, but ok for me
  • Fast boot time - about 3 seconds
  • Silent, no fan - compared to other oscilloscopes and power supplies

The functions are fairly simple, but not intuitive. A scope needs knobs.

There is an interesting thread on EEVblog with many insights. AD9288, a dual 8 bit, 100 MSPS ADC is already overclocked 5×, so I do not care much about 70 MHz bandwidth, which can be enabled via software update. I have other scopes for that.

The AWG function requires to draw the signal with a mouse - a joke! CSV import/export is badly needed here implemented now. The AWG staurates at about -2.3V - pity the output amplifier is not rail-to-rail (EL5166 is a current feedback amplifier powered with +5/-3.3V and needs 1V to rails). I wish the AWG could do -5..5V, sufficient to drive a 3.3 or 5V ADC or a power MOSFET.

The PC Software Hantek 2xx2 gives only 1 Hz update rate, also on the device, making it hardly usable. It saves BMPs even if JPG chosen. PNG would be optimal, 10 kB instead of 1.5 MB.

Their software is lacking. It would be much better if Hantek released their protocol, so that 2xx2 can be suported by Sigrok and other open source tools. Would make a good selling argument.

The real strength of Hantek 2Dx2 is, it combines 3 very important devices everybody doing electronics needs in one compact, affordable and portable unit. Just a PSU and you are good to go on many projects. Speaking of PSU, one can verify its voltage, current, noise and load response with just this device and a power MOSFET - provided its Vgs(th) is well under 2V, and this is not easy to find.

I didn't expect precision and quality, so I like my Hantek so far. It invites one to experiment and improvise.

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