Ramón Calvo's picture
Ramón Calvo
Robotics Engineer

Rigol DS1052E Hack with Linux terminal

Published on 14 Feb 2019

So I had a second hand Rigol DS1052E laying around for some months and I always wanted to do the hack to evolve it to a DS1102E. Basically the latter model can measure rise times down to 3.5 ns (100MHz), and some users on the EEVBlog forum mentioned that the FFT now is more precise.

A quick glance to the info screen of the scope (Utility → System Info) showed my scope had the firmware version 00.02.02 SP2. Great! That means I don’t have to do the downgrade to hack it. If you have a firmware greater than 00.02.02 SP2, please visit the EEVBlog Forum topic and follow the instructions there.

When I connected the scope to a Linux laptop through USB, dmesg showed that the connection was made (mount point /dev/usbtmc0), but I couldn’t find a way to talk to the scope (tried minicom, GNU screen and PuTTY), so I booted up Windows and the problem persisted: Windows couldn’t stablish a COM port connection altough it recognized the scope.

So, out of options, I decided to try and send the commands using tee. The man pages say that tee is a simple program to read from the standard input and write to standard output and files. /dev/usbtmc0 is a file, and we can send our messages through echo and Unix pipes. The downside is that we can’t read from the scope (for example when sending “*IDN?” to receive the model info).

The first step is to change the Rigol model, to do this, connect the scope, make sure it is recognized and mounted at /dev/usbtmc0, open a terminal and type:

    echo ":INFO:MODEL DS1102E" | sudo tee /dev/usbtmc0

When I sent the command, the letters RMT appeared at the top-right corner of my scope.

Now, you need to change the serial number. You can find it on the back of your scope or at the info screen previously mentioned. You need to change the x’s with your serial number.

    echo ":INFO:SERIAL DS1EBXXXXXXXXX" | sudo tee /dev/usbtmc0  

Reboot your scope, and if everything went OK, now you are the owner of a DS1102E!