DS1054Z tricks, less known or undocumented (Part 2)

DS1054Z is LXI compliant. What I like the most at any LXI ready instrument is that it can be operated over LAN without installing any drivers, and without any dedicated software.

Want to save a screenshot from your oscilloscope? You don’t need to install anything. No VISA, no IVI, no Rigol drivers, no UltraScope or any other application, nothing. Just plug the LAN cable, open a Terminal and type:

# save a screenshot from the oscilloscope's display to the file 'image.png'
echo ":DISPLAY:DATA? ON,OFF,PNG" | nc -w1 5555 | dd bs=1 skip=11 of=image.png

Now, this is beautiful, isn’t it? All the credit for the above command goes to S Clark, thank you!

Of course, you need to replace “” with your oscilloscope’s IP address, and it should work with any Rigol oscilloscope model from the series DS1000Z, DS2000, DS4000 and DS6000, not only the DS1054Z. It should also work under Windows using Cygwin, but I didn’t test it.

You can always use Telnet or Netcat (AKA ‘nc’) to send SCPI commands to any Rigol oscilloscope using the oscilloscope’s IP address and port 5555. Telnet is not recommended when binary data is expected because Telnet might mangle some characters (see RFC854 page 10). For text only it’s OK.

Netcat is safe for both text or binary data, and there is a free standalone Netcat for Windows that does not require any Cygwin installation. Please be advised that Windows might consider ‘nc’ as a potential threat and block it, so you need to add ‘nc.exe’ to the safe programs list in order to run it under Windows.


DS1054Z tricks, less known or undocumented (Part 1)



DS1054Z is a digital oscilloscope made by Rigol. This particular model is very popular now. It is so popular because it has tons of features and it is

  • hackable:
    This model was designed to be upgradable by buying unlocking codes from Rigol, without adding or modifying the oscilloscope’s hardware. Bandwidth upgrade from 50MHz to 100MHz, advanced triggers, memory depth, serial decoding protocols and so on, are all possible by simply typing a code on the oscilloscope’s screen. There is a free tool that can generate the upgrading codes: it’s called riglol.
  • built very well:
    Rigol used to be a manufacturer for Agilent. Agilent was just re-branding the Rigol oscilloscopes and sell them as Agilent oscilloscopes.
  • cheap:
    Only USD $400 for a 4 channels oscilloscope is affordable even for hobbyists and makers.

I am not affiliated or payed by Rigol in any way, just a happy DS1054Z owner.


Here is some less known info about DS1054Z

  1. Any DS1054Z can be turned into the highest model of the DS1000Z family, the DS1104Z. All you need to do is to simply type a code on the oscilloscope’s screen. The hardware for the DS1054Z, DS1074Z and DS1104Z is the same. DS1054Z is just a software limited version of a DS1104Z. DS1104Z is the top of the DS1000Z series, and is 2-5 times more expensive than a DS1054Z.
  2. Being LXI ready, the scope can be controlled by SCPI commands sent over LAN without installing any drivers on the PC side. No NI VISA, no IVI drivers and no Rigol drivers are required when controlling the oscilloscope over LAN.
  3. All you need when controlling the scope over LAN is simply a TCP socket using port 5555. You can even send SCPI commands manually, by using Telnet or NetCat. NetCat (AKA ‘nc’) is recommended, since Telnet protocol might filter out some characters, like i.e. chr(0). There is a NetCat version for Windows too.
  4. The SCPI programming manual for DS1000Z series scopes is incomplete. If you feel like some SCPI commands are missing, like e.g. MASK:DATA?, then check the programming manuals from the higher models (like DS2000 or even DS4000) in order to find out the correct syntax. Most of them will also work for DS1000Z series too.
  5. To check the firmware version normally, press UTILITY -> SYSTEM -> SYSTEM INFO in the “MENU” buttons group, but to check for more software details (undocumented):
    Quickly press buttons MENU -> MENU -> FORCE -> MENU on “TRIGGER” buttons group, then go to info panel by pressing buttons UTILITY -> SYSTEM -> SYSTEM INFO in the “MENU” buttons group.
  6. To find out the manufacturing date by serial number:
    DS1ZA yy ww xxxxx
    yy: 15=2013, 16=2014, 17=2015, 18=2016
    ww: week number in indicated year
  7. The latest firmware update can be downloaded without registration from:
    or from http://int.rigol.com/Support/SoftDownload/3



MHz – Megahertz
PC – Personal Computer
LXI – LAN Extensions for Instrumentation
SCPI – Standard Commands for Programmable Instruments
LAN – Local Area Network

NI – National Instruments, http://www.ni.com
VISA – Virtual Instrument Software Architecture
IVI – Interchangeable Virtual Instrument
TCP – Transmission Control Protocol
AKA – Also Known As

Notepad++ Easter Eggs

Open a file with Notepad++.
Type ‘Chewbacca’.
Select ‘Chewbacca’.
Press ‘F1’.

Instead of ‘Chewbacca’, try ‘random’.

const int nbQuote = 205;
Quote quotes[nbQuote] =
{"Notepad++", "I hate reading other people's code.\nSo I wrote mine, made it as open source project, and see others suffer."},
{"Notepad++ #2", "Good programmers use Notepad++ to code.\nExtreme programmers use MS Word to code, in Comic Sans, center aligned."},
{"Richard Stallman?", "If I'm the Father of Open Source, it was conceived through artificial insemination using stolen sperm without my knowledge or consent."},
{"Martin Golding", "Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live."},
{"L. Peter Deutsch", "To iterate is human, to recurse divine."},
{"Seymour Cray", "The trouble with programmers is that you can never tell what a programmer is doing until it's too late."},
{"Brian Kernighan", "Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it."},
{"Alan Kay", "Most software today is very much like an Egyptian pyramid with millions of bricks piled on top of each other, with no structural integrity, but just done by brute force and thousands of slaves."},
{"Bill Gates", "Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight."},
{"Christopher Thompson", "Sometimes it pays to stay in bed on Monday, rather than spending the rest of the week debugging Monday's code."},
{"Vidiu Platon", "I don't care if it works on your machine! We are not shipping your machine!"},
{"Edward V Berard", "Walking on water and developing software from a specification are easy if both are frozen."},
{"pixadel", "Fine, Java MIGHT be a good example of what a programming language should be like. But Java applications are good examples of what applications SHOULDN'T be like."},
{"Oktal", "I think Microsoft named .Net so it wouldn't show up in a Unix directory listing."},
{"Bjarne Stroustrup", "In C++ it's harder to shoot yourself in the foot, but when you do, you blow off your whole leg."},
{"Mosher's Law of Software Engineering", "Don't worry if it doesn't work right. If everything did, you'd be out of a job."},
{"Bob Gray", "Writing in C or C++ is like running a chain saw with all the safety guards removed."},
{"Roberto Waltman", "In the one and only true way. The object-oriented version of \"Spaghetti code\" is, of course, \"Lasagna code\". (Too many layers)"},
{"Gavin Russell Baker", "C++ : Where friends have access to your private members."},
{"Linus Torvalds", "Software is like sex: It's better when it's free."},
{"Cult of vi", "Emacs is a great operating system, lacking only a decent editor."},
{"Church of Emacs", "vi has two modes - \"beep repeatedly\" and \"break everything\"."},
{"Steve Jobs", "Picasso had a saying: \"Good artists copy, great artists steal.\".\nWe have always been shameless about stealing great ideas."},
{"brotips #1001", "Do everything for greatness, not money. Money follows greatness."},
{"Robin Williams", "God gave men both a penis and a brain, but unfortunately not enough blood supply to run both at the same time."},
{"Darth Vader", "You don't get to 500 million star systems without making a few enemies."},
{"Doug Linder", "A good programmer is someone who always looks both ways before crossing a one-way street."},
{"Jean-Claude van Damme", "A cookie has no soul, it's just a cookie. But before it was milk and eggs.\nAnd in eggs there's the potential for life."},
{"Michael Feldman", "Java is, in many ways, C++--."},
{"Don Ho", "Je mange donc je chie."},
{"Don Ho #2", "RTFM is the true path of every developer.\nBut it would happen only if there's no way out."},
{"Don Ho #3", "Smartphone is the best invention of 21st century for avoiding the eyes contact while crossing people you know on the street."},
{"Anonymous #1", "An opinion without 3.14 is just an onion."},
{"Anonymous #2", "Before sex, you help each other get naked, after sex you only dress yourself.\nMoral of the story: in life no one helps you once you're fucked."},
{"Anonymous #3", "I'm not totally useless. I can be used as a bad example."},
{"Anonymous #4", "Life is too short to remove USB safely."},
{"Anonymous #5", "\"SEX\" is not the answer.\nSex is the question, \"YES\" is the answer."},
{"Anonymous #6", "Going to Mc Donald's for a salad is like going to a whore for a hug."},
{"Anonymous #7", "I need a six month holiday, TWICE A YEAR!"},
{"Anonymous #8", "Everything is a knife if you're strong enough."},
{"Anonymous #9", "I just read a list of \"the 100 things to do before you die\". I'm pretty surprised \"yell for help\" wasn't one of them..."},
{"Anonymous #10", "Roses are red,\nViolets are red,\nTulips are red,\nBushes are red,\nTrees are red,\nHOLY SHIT MY\nGARDEN'S ON FIRE!!"},
{"Anonymous #11", "We stopped checking for monsters under our bed, when we realized they were inside us."},
{"Anonymous #12", "I would rather check my facebook than face my checkbook."},
{"Anonymous #13", "Whoever says Paper beats Rock is an idiot. Next time I see someone say that I will throw a rock at them while they hold up a sheet of paper."},
{"Anonymous #14", "A better world is where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned."},
{"Anonymous #15", "If I didn't drink, how would my friends know I love them at 2 AM?"},
{"Anonymous #16", "Q: How do you generate a random string?\nA: Put a Windows user in front of vi, and tell him to exit."},
{"Anonymous #17", "All you need is love,\nall you want is sex,\nall you have is porn.\n"},
{"Anonymous #18", "Never get into fights with ugly people, they have nothing to lose."},
{"Anonymous #19", "F_CK: All I need is U."},
{"Anonymous #20", "Never make eye contact while eating a banana."},
{"Anonymous #21", "I love my sixpack so much, I protect it with a layer of fat."},
{"Anonymous #22", "\"It's impossible.\" said pride.\n\"It's risky.\" said experience.\n\"It's pointless.\" said reason.\n\"Give it a try.\" whispered the heart.\n...\n\"What the hell was that?!?!?!?!?!\" shouted the anus two minutes later."},
{"Anonymous #23", "Everybody talks about leaving a better planet for the children.\nWhy nobody tries to leave better children to the planet?"},
{"Anonymous #24", "An Architect's dream is an Engineer's nightmare."},
{"Anonymous #25", "In a way, I feel sorry for the kids of this generation.\nThey'll have parents who know how to check browser history."},
{"Anonymous #26", "I would never bungee jump.\nI came into this world because of a broken rubber, and I'm not going out cause of one."},
{"Anonymous #27", "I don't have a problem with caffeine.\nI have a problem without caffeine."},
{"Anonymous #28", "Why 6 afraid of 7?\nBecause 7 8 9 (seven ate nine) while 6 and 9 were flirting."},
{"Anonymous #30", "Why do Java developers wear glasses?\nBecause they don't C#."},
{"Anonymous #31", "A baby's laughter is one of the most beautiful sounds you will ever hear. Unless it's 3 AM. And you're home alone. And you don't have a baby."},
{"Anonymous #32", "Two bytes meet. The first byte asks, \"You look terrible. Are you OK?\"\nThe second byte replies, \"No, just feeling a bit off.\""},
{"Anonymous #33", "Programmer - an organism that turns coffee into software."},
{"Anonymous #34", "It's not a bug - it's an undocumented feature."},
{"Anonymous #35", "Should array index start at 0 or 1?\nMy compromised solution is 0.5"},
{"Anonymous #36", "Every single time when I'm about to hug someone extremely sexy, I hit the mirror."},
{"Anonymous #37", "My software never has bugs. It just develops random features."},
{"Anonymous #38", "LISP = Lots of Irritating Silly Parentheses."},
{"Anonymous #39", "Perl, the only language that looks the same before and after RSA encryption."},
{"Anonymous #40", "People ask me why, as an atheist, I still say: OH MY GOD.\nIt makes perfect sense: We say \"Oh my God\" when something is UNBELIEVABLE."},
{"Anonymous #41", "1. Dig a hole.\n2. Name it love.\n3. Watch people falling in love.\n"},
{"Anonymous #42", "Don't think of yourself as an ugly person.\nThink of yourself as a beautiful monkey."},
{"Anonymous #43", "Afraid to die alone?\nBecome a bus driver."},
{"Anonymous #44", "The first 5 days after the weekend are always the hardest."},
{"Anonymous #45", "Rhinos are just fat unicorns."},
{"Anonymous #46", "Sometimes when I'm writing Javascript I want to throw up my hands and say \"this is bullshit!\"\nbut I can never remember what \"this\" refers to."},
{"Anonymous #47", "Kids are like farts.\nYou can only stand yours."},
{"Anonymous #48", "If you were born in Israel, you'd probably be Jewish.\nIf you were born in Saudi Arabia, you'd probably be Muslim.\nIf you were born in India, you'd probably be Hindu.\nBut because you were born in North America, you're Christian.\nYour faith is not inspired by some divine, constant truth.\nIt's simply geography."},
{"Anonymous #49", "There are 2 types of people in this world:\nPeople who say they pee in the shower, and the dirty fucking liars."},
{"Anonymous #50", "London 2012 Olympic Games - A bunch of countries coming across the ocean to put their flags in britain and try to get a bunch of gold... it's like history but opposite."},
{"Anonymous #51", "I don't need a stable relationship,\nI just need a stable Internet connection."},
{"Anonymous #52", "What's the difference between religion and bullshit?\nThe bull."},
{"Anonymous #53", "Today, as I was waiting for my girlfriend in the street, I saw a woman who looked a lot like her. I ran towards her, my arms in the air ready to give her a hug, only to realise it wasn't her. I then had to pass the woman, my arms in the air, still running. FML"},
{"Anonymous #54", "Today, I finally got my hands on the new iPhone 5, after I pulled it out of a patient's rectum. FML"},
{"Anonymous #55", "Violent video games won't change our behaviour.\nIf people were influenced by video games, then the majority of Facebook users would be farmers right now."},
{"Anonymous #56", "Religion is like circumcision.\nIf you wait until someone is 21 to tell them about it they probably won't be interested."},
{"Anonymous #57", "No, no, no, I'm not insulting you.\nI'm describing you."},
{"Anonymous #58", "I bought a dog once. Named him \"Stay\".\n\"Come here, Stay.\"\nHe's insane now."},
{"Anonymous #60", "Yesterday I named my Wifi network \"hack me if you can\"\nToday when I woke up it was changed to \"challenge accepted\"."},
{"Anonymous #61", "Your mother is so fat,\nthe recursive function computing her mass causes a stack overflow."},
{"Anonymous #62", "Oral sex makes my day, but anal sex makes my hole weak."},
{"Anonymous #63", "I'm not saying I am Batman, I am just saying no one has ever seen me and Batman in the same room together."},
{"Anonymous #64", "I took a taxi today.\nThe driver told me \"I love my job, I own this car, I've got my own business, I'm my own boss, NO ONE tells me what to do!\"\nI said \"TURN LEFT HERE\".\n"},
{"Anonymous #65", "A man without God is like a fish without a bicycle."},
{"Anonymous #66", "I hate how spiders just sit there on the walls and act like they pay rent!"},
{"Anonymous #67", "Whenever someone starts a sentence by saying \"I'm not racist...\",they are about to say something super racist."},
{"Anonymous #68", "I'm not laughing at you, I'm laughing with you, you're just not laughing."},
{"Anonymous #69", "Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place."},
{"Anonymous #70", "If abortion is murder then are condoms kidnapping?"},
{"Anonymous #71", "Men also have feelings.\nFor example, they can feel hungry."},
{"Anonymous #72", "Project Manager:\nA person who thinks 9 women can deliver a baby in 1 month."},
{"Anonymous #73", "If you try and don't succeed, cheat. Repeat until caught. Then lie."},
{"Anonymous #74", "Olympics is the stupidest thing.\nPeople are so proud to be competing for their country.\nThey play their stupid song and raise some dumb flags.\nI'd love to see no flags raised, no song, no mention of country.\nOnly people."},
{"Anonymous #75", "I think therefore I am\nnot religious."},
{"Anonymous #76", "Even if being gay were a choice, so what?\nPeople choose to be assholes and they can get married."},
{"Anonymous #77", "Governments are like diapers.\nThey should be changed often, and for the same reason."},
{"Anonymous #78", "If you expect the world to be fair with you because you are fair, you're fooling yourself.\nThat's like expecting the lion not to eat you because you didn't eat him."},
{"Anonymous #79", "I'm a creationist.\nI believe man create God."},
{"Anonymous #80", "Let's eat kids.\nLet's eat, kids.\n\nUse a comma.\nSave lives."},
{"Anonymous #81", "A male engineering student was crossing a road one day when a frog called out to him and said, \"If you kiss me, I'll turn into a beautiful princess.\" He bent over, picked up the frog, and put it in his pocket.\n\nThe frog spoke up again and said, \"If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will stay with you for one week.\" The engineering student took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it; and returned it to his pocket.\n\nThe frog then cried out, \"If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I'll stay with you and do ANYTHING you want.\" Again the boy took the frog out, smiled at it, and put it back into his pocket.\n\nFinally, the frog asked, \"What is the matter? I've told you I'm a beautiful princess, that I'll stay with you for a week and do anything you want. Why won't you kiss me?\" The boy said, \"Look I'm an engineer. I don't have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog is cool.\"\n"},
{"Anonymous #82", "Programmers never die.\nThey just go offline."},
{"Anonymous #83", "Copy from one, it's plagiarism.\nCopy from two, it's research."},
{"Anonymous #84", "Saying that Java is nice because it works on all OSes is like saying that anal sex is nice because it works on all genders."},
{"Anonymous #85", "Race, religion, ethnic pride and nationalism etc... does nothing but teach you how to hate people that you've never met."},
{"Anonymous #86", "Farts are just the ghosts of the things we eat."},
{"Anonymous #87", "I promised I would never kill someone who had my blood.\nBut that mosquito made me break my word."},
//{"Anonymous #88", ""},
{"Anonymous #89", "I'm drunk and you're still ugly."},
{"Anonymous #90", "Clapping:\n(verb)\nRepeatedly high-fiving yourself for someone else's accomplishments."},
{"Anonymous #91", "CV: ctrl-C, ctrl-V"},
{"Anonymous #92", "Mondays are not so bad.\nIt's your job that sucks."},
{"Anonymous #93", "[In a job interview]\nInterviewer: What's your greatest weakness?\nCandidate: Honesty.\nInterviewer: I don't think honesty is a weakness.\nCandidate: I don't give a fuck what you think."},
{"Anonymous #94", "Hey, I just met you\nAnd this is crazy\nHere's my number\nPing me maybe?"},
{"Anonymous #95", "YES!\nI'm a programmer, and\nNO!\nIt doesn't mean that I have to fix your PC!"},
{"Anonymous #96", "Code for 6 minutes, debug for 6 hours."},
{"Anonymous #97", "Real Programmers don't comment their code.\nIf it was hard to write, it should be hard to read."},
{"Anonymous #98", "My neighbours listen to good music.\nWhether they like it or not."},
{"Anonymous #99", "I've been using Vim for about 2 years now,\nmostly because I can't figure out how to exit it."},
{"Anonymous #100", "Dear YouTube,\nI can deal with Ads.\nI can deal with Buffer.\nBut when Ads buffer, I suffer."},
{"Anonymous #101", "It's always sad when a man and his dick share only one brain...\nand it turns out to be the dick's."},
{"Anonymous #102", "If IE is brave enough to ask you to set it as your default browser,\ndon't tell me you dare not ask a girl out."},
{"Anonymous #103", "Turn on your brain, turn off TV."},
{"Anonymous #104", "The main idea of \"Inception\":\nif you run a VM inside a VM inside a VM inside a VM inside a VM,\neverything will be very slow."},
//{"Anonymous #105", ""},
{"Anonymous #106", "When I die, I want to go peacefully like my grandfather did, in his sleep\n- not screaming, like the passengers in his car."},
{"Anonymous #107", "Remember, YOUR God is real.\nAll those other Gods are ridiculous, made-up nonsense.\nBut not yours.\nYour God is real. Whichever one that is."},
{"Anonymous #108", "I hope Bruce Willis dies of a Viagra overdose,\nThe way you can see the headline:\nBruce Willis, Died Hard"},
//{"Anonymous #109", ""},
{"Anonymous #110", "A programmer had a problem, so he decided to use threads.\nNow 2 has. He problems."},
{"Anonymous #111", "I love how the internet has improved people's grammar far more than any English teacher has.\nIf you write \"your\" instead of \"you're\" in English class, all you get is a red mark.\nMess up on the internet, and may God have mercy on your soul."},
{"Anonymous #112", "#hulk {\n height: 200%;\n width: 200%;\n color: green;\n}"},
{"Anonymous #113", "Open source is communism.\nAt least it is what communism was meant to be."},
{"Anonymous #114", "How can you face your problem if your problem is your face?"},
{"Anonymous #115", "YOLOLO:\nYou Only LOL Once."},
{"Anonymous #116", "Every exit is an entrance to new experiences."},
{"Anonymous #117", "A Native American was asked:\n\"Do you celebrate Columbus day?\"\nHe replied:\n\"I don't know, do Jews celebrate Hitler's birthday?\""},
{"Anonymous #118", "I love necrophilia, but i can't stand the awkward silences."},
{"Anonymous #119", "\"I'm gonna Google that. BING that, Bing that, sorry.\"\n- The CEO of Bing (many times per day still)"},
{"Anonymous #120", "Life is what happens to you while you're looking at your smartphone."},
{"Anonymous #121", "Thing to do today:\n1. Get up\n2. Go back to bed"},
{"Anonymous #122", "Nerd?\nI prefer the term \"Intellectual badass\"."},
{"Anonymous #123", "How can you face your problem if your problem is your face?"},
{"Anonymous #124", "You don't need religion to have morals.\nIf you can't determine right from wrong then you lack empathy, not religion."},
{"Anonymous #125", "Pooping with the door opened is the meaning of true freedom."},
{"Anonymous #126", "Social media does not make people stupid.\nIt just makes stupid people more visible."},
{"Anonymous #127", "Don't give up your dreams.\nKeep sleeping."},
{"Anonymous #128", "I love sleep.\nNot because I'm lazy.\nBut because my dreams are better than my real life."},
//{"Anonymous #129", ""},
{"Anonymous #130", "Common sense is so rare, it's kinda like a superpower..."},
{"Anonymous #131", "The best thing about a boolean is even if you are wrong, you are only off by a bit."},
{"Anonymous #132", "Benchmarks don't lie, but liars do benchmarks."},
{"Anonymous #133", "Multitasking: Screwing up several things at once."},
{"Anonymous #134", "Linux is user friendly.\nIt's just picky about its friends."},
{"Anonymous #135", "Theory is when you know something, but it doesn't work.\nPractice is when something works, but you don't know why.\nProgrammers combine theory and practice: nothing works and they don't know why."},
{"Anonymous #136", "Documentation is like sex:\nwhen it's good, it's very, very good;\nwhen it's bad, it's better than nothing."},
{"Anonymous #137", "Home is where you poop most comfortably."},
{"Anonymous #138", "Laptop Speakers problem: too quiet for music, too loud for porn."},
{"Anonymous #139", "Chinese food to go: $16\nGas to go get the food: $2\nDrove home just to realize they forgot one of your containers: RICELESS"},
{"Anonymous #140", "MS Windows is like religion to most people: they are born into it, accept it as default, never consider switching to another."},
{"Anonymous #141", "To most religious people, the holy books are like a software license (EULA).\nNobody actually reads it. They just scroll to the bottom and click \"I agree\"."},
{"Anonymous #142", "You are nothing but a number of days,\nwhenever each day passes then part of you has gone."},
{"Anonymous #143", "If 666 is evil, does that make 25.8069758011 the root of all evil?"},
{"Anonymous #144", "I don't want to sound like a badass but...\nI eject my USB drive without removing it safely."},
{"Anonymous #145", "feet (noun)\na device used for finding legos in the dark"},
{"Anonymous #146", "Buy a sheep\nName it \"Relation\"\nNow you have a Relationsheep\n"},
{"Anonymous #147", "I dig, you dig, we dig,\nhe dig, she dig, they dig...\n\nIt's not a beautiful poem,\nbut it's very deep."},
{"Anonymous #148", "UNIX command line Russian roulette:\n[ $[ $RANDOM % 6 ] == 0 ] && rm -rf /* || echo *Click*"},
{"Anonymous #149", "unzip, strip, top, less, touch, finger, grep, mount, fsck, more, yes, fsck, fsck, fsck, umount, sleep.\n\nNo, it's not porn. It's Unix."},
{"Anonymous #150", "To understand what recursion is, you must first understand recursion."},
{"Anonymous #151", "Q: What's the object-oriented way to become wealthy?\nA: Inheritance."},
{"Anonymous #152", "A SQL query goes into a bar, walks up to two tables and asks, \"Can I join you?\""},
{"Anonymous #153", "You are not fat, you are just more visible."},
{"Anonymous #154", "Minimalist\n (. .)\n ) (\n ( Y )\nASCII Art"},
{"Internet #1", "If you spell \"Nothing\" backwards, it becomes \"Gnihton\" which also means nothing." },
{"Louis C.K.", "I'm a good citizen. I'm a good father. I recycle and I masturbate."},
{"Mary Oliver", "Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness.\nIt took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift."},
{"Floor", "If you fall, I will be there."},
{"Simon Amstell", "If you have some problem in your life and need to deal with it, then use religion, that's fine.\nI use Google."},
{"James Bond", "James, James Bond."},
{"Albert Einstein", "Only 3 things are infinite:\n1. Universe.\n2. Human Stupidity.\n3. Winrar's free trial."},
{"Terry Pratchett", "Artificial Intelligence is no match for natural stupidity."},
{"Stewart Brand", "Once a new technology starts rolling, if you're not part of the steamroller,\nyou're part of the road."},
{"Sam Redwine", "Software and cathedrals are much the same - first we build them, then we pray."},
{"Jan L. A. van de Snepscheut", "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is."},
{"Jessica Gaston", "One man's crappy software is another man's full time job."},
{"Barack Obama", "Yes, we scan!"},
{"George W. Bush", "Where is my Nobel prize?\nI bombed people too."},
{"Gandhi", "Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed."},
{"R. D. Laing", "Life is a sexually transmitted disease and the mortality rate is one hundred percent."},
{"Apple fan boy", "I'll buy a second iPhone 5 and buy a lot of iOS applications so that Apple will be able to buy Samsung (this shitty company)\nto shut it down and all the Apple haters will be forced to have an iPhone. Muhahaha..."},
{"Hustle Man", "Politicians are like sperm.\nOne in a million turn out to be an actual human being."},
{"Mark Twain", "Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it."},
{"Friedrich Nietzsche", "There is not enough love and goodness in the world to permit giving any of it away to imaginary beings."},
{"Dhalsim", "Pain is a state of mind and I don't mind your pain."},
{"Elie Wiesel", "Human beings can be beautiful or more beautiful,\nthey can be fat or skinny, they can be right or wrong,\nbut illegal? How can a human being be illegal?"},
{"Dennis Ritchie", "Empty your memory, with a free(), like a pointer.\nIf you cast a pointer to a integer, it becomes the integer.\nIf you cast a pointer to a struct, it becomes the struct.\nThe pointer can crash, and can overflow.\nBe a pointer my friend."},
{"Chewbacca", "Uuuuuuuuuur Ahhhhrrrrrr\nUhrrrr Ahhhhrrrrrr\nAaaarhg..."},
{"#JeSuisCharlie", "Freedom of expression is like the air we breathe, we don't feel it, until people take it away from us.\n\nFor this reason, Je suis Charlie, not because I endorse everything they published, but because I cherish the right to speak out freely without risk even when it offends others.\nAnd no, you cannot just take someone's life for whatever he/she expressed.\n\nHence this \"Je suis Charlie\" edition.\n" }

const int nbWtf = 6;
char* wtf[nbWtf] =
"Husband is not an ATM machine!!!"



Zero Parts Thermostated Soldering Station

A quick and dirty temperature controller for a soldering iron. It is made out of lab test equipment and a Python script.


Usually a dedicated soldering station is used to control the temperature of a soldering iron, but this time, a PC, a DP832 power source, a DS1054Z oscilloscope, and a Python script were all used together to control a soldering iron.

Why use $3k+ lab equipment instead of a $30 soldering station?

Because I have a few cheap ($3-$4) soldering iron handles and a bag of fake Hakko 900M tips, but no soldering station for them, and I was curious to see how well these can perform in comparison with the other type of the fake Hakko tips that I have, the T12 series.

T12 type are definitely better then 900M type. T12 are also five to ten times more expensive then 900M, but how worst the 900M series can be? Does the 900M deserve their space on a workbench?



There are some very cheap soldering iron handles available as spare parts. They usually work with 900M type tips, the heating element has 50W at 24V, and the temperature sensor is a 40uV/*C type K thermocouple integrated into the heating element. Mine were Gordak type handles.


These cheap soldering irons use Hakko 900M series type of tips, but despite their similar heating element and similar soldering tips, the temperature sensor is different between the Hakko and the clones. Hakko uses an RTD, while the rest of the other producers are using a K type thermocouple.

The total cost for a non-Hakko complete handle with one tip included and free shipping is about 3-4 USD, and a pack of 10 soldering tips is about 2-3 USD with free shipping.


To test these soldering irons, an adjustable power source (Rigol DP832) and an oscilloscope (Rigol DS1054Z) were used. Both the source and the scope have LXI, meaning they are remote controllable from a PC via SCPI commands sent over LAN (for acronyms please see the end section, ‘Acronyms’).



The oscilloscope probe is connected to the soldering irons thermocouple. The power source is connected to the heating element of the soldering iron.


How it works

The PC runs a Python script that sends commands to the oscilloscope and to the power source, in order to implement a PID temperature control loop.


Temperature can be changed in steps of five degrees Celsius by pressing the Up/Down arrow keys. Python source code is available at https://github.com/RoGeorge/SCPI_solder_station.

The PC reads the thermocoulpe voltage from the oscilloscope, calculates the thermocouple temperature and sends commands to adjust the voltage of the power source that feeds the heating element. The temperature is kept stable enough to make a first impression about the heating power of these kind of soldering irons.


This solution was implemented mostly for testing purposes, to see how well various soldering irons and tips performs. It can be used for real soldering too, but not recommended.



If something goes wrong, this setup might become a fire hazard.
Just in case you want to replicate it, do not leave it unattended.


– Does this setup works?
– Yes.

– Does these soldering handles needs a PID control loop?
– No. For 900M soldering tips, the sensor is too loosely coupled with the tip. The sensor is inside the heating element, so keeping the heating element at a constant temperature does not imply the soldering tip will stay at a constant temperature too.

– Can the tip temperature be properly calibrated?
– No. The handle temperature can easily vary within 10-20*C from the room temperature, but there is no cold junction compensation for the thermocouple inside the handle. Assuming you measure the room temperature, and the sensor is perfectly coupled with the tip, the temperature offset can still vary in a range of 20*C from the set temperature, depending of the handle temperature variations.

– Can these handles be used for occasional/hobby soldering?
– Yes.

– Can these handles be used for heavy work or precision soldering?
– No. The soldering tip arrives at the working temperature only 10-20 seconds later after the sensor temperature has stabilized, which makes any temperature control pretty useless. It seems that the 900M soldering is based mostly on the heat accumulated into the metal of the tip, but the temperature sensor is in the heating element, so the tip can not be maintained at a precise temperature during soldering. Also, no matter which tip model from the 900M series I choose, it can not provide enough heat to solder on a big ground plane.


RTD – Resistance Temperature Detector
PC – Personal Computer
LXI – LAN Extensions for Instrumentation
SCPI – Standard Commands for Programmable Instruments
LAN – Local Area Network
PID – Proportional-Integral-Derivative


The Wireless Protocol of a Sports Wrist Watch

The “Crivit Sports” wrist watch HRM (Heart Rate Monitor)


MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a wrist watch that can also display the heart rate BPM (Beats Per Minute).


MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThe complete specs and the user manual can be found at http://www.lidl-service.com/cps/rde/xchg/SID-648946E8-5F850FDD/lsp/hs.xsl/product.html?id=47039228


MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThe heart beats are detected by a chest strap included with the watch.

The chest strap have two conductive rubber pads that senses the electrical signals produced by the heart beats. No contact gel is required for the rubber pads.

The link between the chest strap and the wrist watch is wireless, by an RF (Radio Frequency) signal.


Missing features

Being a very cheap item, it does not have any kind of connectivity, it can not log data, and it can not make charts. It would have been way more interesting to be able to see a ECG (ElectroCardioGram) or a BPM chart for the whole day. Could it be possible?

Couldn’t find any online technical documentation about this ‘Crivit Sports’ model.


Reverse engineering the RF signal


MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERATo receive the RF, a one loop coil was wrapped around the chest strap, by simply clipping the oscilloscope GND (GrouND) wire alligator to the tip of the probe, and around the chest strap transmitter.


20160813-05-DS1104Z_DS1ZA164658712_2016-08-14_04.18.15This is the signal received from the chest belt HRM for a constant heart rate of 100 BPM. The RF carrier is at 110 kHz, 100% AM (Amplitude Modulated) by a digital signal.

By looking at the received signal for various heart rates, it turns out that the BPM rate is computed by the chest wrap by averaging the last few heart beats, then the resulting number is used to modulate the RF signal like this:

  • chest strap monitor’s RF carrier is at 110 kHz, 100% AM modulated
  • a bit of 1 is made by a 3 ms ON (100% RF) followed by a 4.8 ms OFF (0% RF)
  • a bit of 0 is made by a 7.8 ms OFF (0% RF)

The BPM data is constantly sent about 0.5 to 2 times per second. The delay between two data packets is unrelated with the heart beat. The structure of a packet is:

  • one start sync bit with 5ms ON (100% RF) and 4.8ms OFF (0% RF)
  • next 6 bits encode the chest strap ID (IDentification). The ID changes randomly each time the battery is disconnected. The observed IDs were all bigger then 48 (first two bits 11)
  • the remaining 13 bits encodes the BPM.

This stream of data is received and decoded by the wrist watch, which then display one number, the BPM. Observed BPM displayed range was between 30 and 233. The watch displays the BPM no matter what ID the chest belt randomly picked.


I tried to look at the carrier waveform corresponding to a couple of different BPM numbers, by doing push-ups in order to accelerate the heart beat. My intention was to understand the correspondence between the last 13 bits sent by the chest strap and the BPM number displayed by the wrist watch.

Counting bits after making push-ups is not easy. I couldn’t figure out the encoding scheme.


MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAAnother more rigorous testing way was necessary. Instead of using real heart signals, a signal generator (RIGOL DG4102) was used to simulate the electrical signals coming from the heart. By contrast with a real heart, the generator can produce any BPM number with high accuracy.

The output from the signal generator was connected to the two conductive rubber pads of the chest strap. An one wire loop antenna was wrapped around the chest belt, and the received RF signal was displayed on the oscilloscope (RIGOL DS1054Z).


20160813-07-DS1104Z_DS1ZA164658712_2016-08-14_04.17.48Also, another signal was generated by the second channel of the generator, and was added as a grid (the magenta signal), to ease the task of counting consecutive bits of zero. Each magenta spike is now pointing to a zero or a one bit. The yellow signal in this capture is:

S  111001  0101000100011

Where ‘S’ is the Sync bit, ‘111001’ is the chest strap ID and ‘0101000100011’ is the BPM. For this particular signal, the wrist watch will display one hundred BPM.


By varying the period of the fake heart beat generated signal, all possible heart rates were browsed.

The following table contains the encoding bits sent by the chest strap for each possible BPM number displayed by the wrist watch.

If someone recognizes this encoding scheme, then please let me know, because I still can not figure out the formula between the last 13 RF bits and the displayed BPM number.
(LATER EDIT: Thank you all for the proposed encoding algorithm, it is described and tested in The Wireless Protocol of a Sports Wrist Watch (Part 2))


Oscilloscope last 13 pulses (BPM) Number displayed by Wrist Watch Number displayed (binary)
0010101110010 30 00011110
0010101111100 31 00011111
0011000010011 32 00100000
0011000010101 33 00100001
0011000011001 34 00100010
0011000011110 35 00100011
0011000100011 36 00100100
0011000100101 37 00100101
0011000101001 38 00100110
0011000101110 39 00100111
0011001000011 40 00101000
0011001000101 41 00101001
0011001001001 42 00101010
0011001001110 43 00101011
0011001100110 44 00101100
0011001101010 45 00101101
0011001110010 46 00101110
0011001111100 47 00101111
0011100100110 48 00110000
0011100101010 49 00110001
0011100110010 50 00110010
0011100111100 51 00110011
0011101000110 52 00110100
0011101001010 53 00110101
0011101010010 54 00110110
0011101011100 55 00110111
0011110000110 56 00111000
0011110001010 57 00111001
0011110010010 58 00111010
0011110011100 59 00111011
0011111001100 60 00111100
0011111010100 61 00111101
0011111100100 62 00111110
0011111111000 63 00111111
0100010010011 64 01000000
0100010010101 65 01000001
0100010011001 66 01000010
0100010011110 67 01000011
0100010100011 68 01000100
0100010100101 69 01000101
0100010101001 70 01000110
0100010101110 71 01000111
0100011000011 72 01001000
0100011000101 73 01001001
0100011001001 74 01001010
0100011001110 75 01001011
0100011100110 76 01001100
0100011101010 77 01001101
0100011110010 78 01001110
0100011111100 79 01001111
0100100010011 80 01010000
0100100010101 81 01010001
0100100011001 82 01010010
0100100011110 83 01010011
0100100100011 84 01010100
0100100100101 85 01010101
0100100101001 86 01010110
0100100101110 87 01010111
0100101000011 88 01011000
0100101000101 89 01011001
0100101001001 90 01011010
0100101001110 91 01011011
0100101100110 92 01011100
0100101101010 93 01011101
0100101110010 94 01011110
0100101111100 95 01011111
0101000010011 96 01100000
0101000010101 97 01100001
0101000011001 98 01100010
0101000011110 99 01100011
0101000100011 100 01100100
0101000100101 101 01100101
0101000101001 102 01100110
0101000101110 103 01100111
0101001000011 104 01101000
0101001000101 105 01101001
0101001001001 106 01101010
0101001001110 107 01101011
0101001100110 108 01101100
0101001101010 109 01101101
0101001110010 110 01101110
0101001111100 111 01101111
0101100100110 112 01110000
0101100101010 113 01110001
0101100110010 114 01110010
0101100111100 115 01110011
0101101000110 116 01110100
0101101001010 117 01110101
0101101010010 118 01110110
0101101011100 119 01110111
0101110000110 120 01111000
0101110001010 121 01111001
0101110010010 122 01111010
0101110011100 123 01111011
0101111001100 124 01111100
0101111010100 125 01111101
0101111100100 126 01111110
0101111111000 127 01111111
1000010010011 128 10000000
1000010010101 129 10000001
1000010011001 130 10000010
1000010011110 131 10000011
1000010100011 132 10000100
1000010100101 133 10000101
1000010101001 134 10000110
1000010101110 135 10000111
1000011000011 136 10001000
1000011000101 137 10001001
1000011001001 138 10001010
1000011001110 139 10001011
1000011100110 140 10001100
1000011101010 141 10001101
1000011110010 142 10001110
1000011111100 143 10001111
1000100010011 144 10010000
1000100010101 145 10010001
1000100011001 146 10010010
1000100011110 147 10010011
1000100100011 148 10010100
1000100100101 149 10010101
1000100101001 150 10010110
1000100101110 151 10010111
1000101000011 152 10011000
1000101000101 153 10011001
1000101001001 154 10011010
1000101001110 155 10011011
1000101100110 156 10011100
1000101101010 157 10011101
1000101110010 158 10011110
1000101111100 159 10011111
1001000010011 160 10100000
1001000010101 161 10100001
1001000011001 162 10100010
1001000011110 163 10100011
1001000100011 164 10100100
1001000100101 165 10100101
1001000101001 166 10100110
1001000101110 167 10100111
1001001000011 168 10101000
1001001000101 169 10101001
1001001001001 170 10101010
1001001001110 171 10101011
1001001100110 172 10101100
1001001101010 173 10101101
1001001110010 174 10101110
1001001111100 175 10101111
1001100100110 176 10110000
1001100101010 177 10110001
1001100110010 178 10110010
1001100111100 179 10110011
1001101000110 180 10110100
1001101001010 181 10110101
1001101010010 182 10110110
1001101011100 183 10110111
1001110000110 184 10111000
1001110001010 185 10111001
1001110010010 186 10111010
1001110011100 187 10111011
1001111001100 188 10111100
1001111010100 189 10111101
1001111100100 190 10111110
1001111111000 191 10111111
1100100100110 192 11000000
1100100101010 193 11000001
1100100110010 194 11000010
1100100111100 195 11000011
1100101000110 196 11000100
1100101001010 197 11000101
1100101010010 198 11000110
1100101011100 199 11000111
1100110000110 200 11001000
1100110001010 201 11001001
1100110010010 202 11001010
1100110011100 203 11001011
1100111001100 204 11001100
1100111010100 205 11001101
1100111100100 206 11001110
1100111111000 207 11001111
1101000100110 208 11010000
1101000101010 209 11010001
1101000110010 210 11010010
1101000111100 211 11010011
1101001000110 212 11010100
1101001001010 213 11010101
1101001010010 214 11010110
1101001011100 215 11010111
1101010000110 216 11011000
1101010001010 217 11011001
1101010010010 218 11011010
1101010011100 219 11011011
1101011001100 220 11011100
1101011010100 221 11011101
1101011100100 222 11011110
1101011111000 223 11011111
1110000100110 224 11100000
1110000101010 225 11100001
1110000110010 226 11100010
1110000111100 227 11100011
1110001000110 228 11100100
1110001001010 229 11100101
1110001010010 230 11100110
1110010000110 231 11100111
1110001011100 232 11101000
1110010001010 233 11101001