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  • Hantek6022BE USB Scope + OpenHantek6022 Fills a Useful Niche

    Posted on December 29th, 2022 Iain No comments

    I’ve been looking for a scope that can be always on my bench for making quick assessments of circuits running at low frequencies. My electronics bench is also my work desk, so space is very much at a premium. My full-size analog and digital scopes are too big to leave set up there permanently (PS, a personal annoyance with modern digital scopes is that their shape means you can’t stack other equipment on top of them). I do have a little DSO Shell kit-scope which is OK, but a bit fiddly to operate and only has a single, very low frequency, channel.

    There are of course various handheld scopes and scope-meters on the market, and maybe they would be a good option, but they need to be positioned in prime desk space to reach, and that would be awkward for me.

    So far, my Sinclair/Thandar SC110A has been the best bet, but the small screen means it needs to be carefully adjusted to get a good view of a signal, and that’s not helpful when you are probing around a circuit.

    I did look at other small analog scopes (I like analog for quick exploratory tests), but didn’t find anything that had a combination of price, size and capabilities that worked for me.

    I started to wonder if I wasn’t better off going a different route and instead of looking for a small scope, I should make use of the PC and 4K monitor that’s always part of my workstation. I’ve resisted PC scopes on the assumption that the software will be grim, and the whole experience will be klunky. I’ve not had a good experience with test equipment integration with computers since using HP-IB and HP Basic to automate test systems back in the 1980s.

    However, I was intrigued when I saw a cheap Hantek6022BE scope on eBay, and finding out that there is a well-liked, lightweight, and Open Source software platform for it. It was cheap enough that I was willing to give it a go and see whether this device could become my everyday scope.

    When the unit came I was impressed. The box that needs to sit on the desk is fairly small, and can be easily tucked-away. It can even be stood in its side for a smaller footprint. Getting the open source drivers and OpenHantek6022 application installed was easy on Windows 10 using the instructions on the GitHub ReadMe. OpenHantek6022 has a level of maturity not often seen on niche open source applications. In particular, the documentation is very comprehensive.

    In use I find the combination of hardware and software basic, but effective. OpenHantek6022 is very usable, though there are a few UI things I would tweak. Everything is visible and you don’t have the feeling of “menu diving” like you do on a lot of digital scopes. It’s also very responsive (due to a small memory depth I suppose) in a way that feels a lot like an analog scope.

    I was also interested to see that the scope was compatible with Sikrok’s Pulseview software. I had some trouble getting the driver installed to work with Pulseview. The 6022 and similar devices have a slightly odd way of managing USB firmware (explained in this video) which can easily trip you up. I found Windows 10 was picking up the wrong driver once Pulseview was run. To get the right driver for Pulseview I had to:

    • Start Pulseview with the 6022 connected
    • Find the device in the Windows Device Manager
    • Right-click and choose Update Driver
    • Click “Browser My Computer”
    • Click “Let Me Pick From A List of Available Drivers On My Computer”
    • Then I was able to choose the driver from the install package. Ignore the warning about the driver not being optimal (or some such wording)

    Pulseview ran fine, and might be a useful alternative to OpenHantek6022 if you want to do long captures, or to do protocol decoding on signals. One annoyance is that Pulseview doesn’t seem to allow you to configure x10 probes, so to get the right voltage scale you have to use the probes in the x1 setting. The wrong voltage on the display wouldn’t matter too much, except that having the wrong voltages then messes up the process of protocol decoding by stopping the conversion of analog captures to digital equivalents for further processing.

    Overall I think this is a great package at the price. With the open source software it’s no fuss, and super-usable. Great for doing quick checks on circuits, and with the advantages of a big display I can even see myself using it for more demanding measurements.


    One potentially serious disadvantage of the 6022 is that the ground terminals are connected to the ground on your PC. If you connect the probe’s ground lead to something at a different voltage then there is a risk of damage to at least the USB port and potentially the whole PC.

    For me, this is a risk I can live with, but it does depend on your use-cases, experience, and approach to risk whether this is an acceptable situation. It’s certainly something to consider.