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