The DSO Nano v2 Pocket Oscilloscope Explained

Hi everybody! I have had a few request for information about the small portable pocket scope I’m using in a few of my videos, so I’m going to share it with you. In this video, I’ll walk you through installing the BenF Firmware as well take you through the menu structure and functions of the device. Seeed Studio did a fantastic job with this little device, it really is an awesome portable tool. Compared to the stock firmware, the BenF firmware has better navigation, features, and the SD card features work a lot smoother.

The Nano (DSO Nano v2) is a great tool for a great price! You can get them for under $100, they come with a case, 2 sets of probes, a stand, and it’s open source!

Below is the feature summary from the manual and the links to the scope product page, firmware manual, firmware and firmware install tool.

*UPDATE: Adafruit now sells this scope! 🙂

Thanks to Seeed Studio and its DSO forum, sufficient information has been provided to allow the stock firmware to be replaced with a custom version. Based in part on the official 2.5e source release, V3 has been developed as a complete new firmware replacement. Fixes and new features include the following:

•  Three phase sampling (pre-fetch, trigger-fetch, post-fetch) guaranteed never to miss infrequent events

•  More efficient screen update (10-100 times faster than version 2.5e)

•  Eliminate all flickering and stuck pixels

•  Code is re-written to allow full compile time optimization (much faster, compact and
more responsive code)

•  A number of overflow bugs have been fixed (calculations for large time/div settings)

•  Scan has been replaced with a proper continues real-time scan mode

•  Configuration profiles can be saved to and restored from SD card or flash memory
(default power on settings).

•  Waveforms can be saved to and restored from SD cards

•  Screen capture can be saved to bitmap files on SD cards

•  Snapshots of the full DSO sampling buffer can be exported to XML formatted files for
further processing and analysis

•  XML formatted files can be imported to both the primary channel and the reference

•  Use oversampling and averaging to detect high frequency components on lower
frequency waveforms

•  Choice of average and peak acquisition modes

•  A number of issues with incorrect SD card support and file handling in 2.5e have been

•  Files and directories will be created by the DSO Nano as needed without having to
preload template files

•  Automatic waveform tuning (FIT mode) can be selected with a dedicated key

•  The full sampling buffer can be panned left right on the Nano display

•  Control sampling buffer usage for pre or post trigger priority or fast sampling rate

•  Waveform resizing and vertical scroll capability (zoom in on area of interest)

•  A more relevant collection of information fields is selected for on screen display

•  A more relevant selection of measurements

•  Simultaneous view of all measurements

•  Use common abbreviations and terminology

•  A completely redesigned user interface (no annoying blinking or color abuse)

•  Automatic ground level calibration and manual gain calibration for all input ranges

•  User selectable grid light intensity level

•  Fine tuning of output frequency to three digits

•  Set duty cycle (PWM) of output frequency from fully-off to fully-on in 1% increments

•  Single button quick select for frequently used functions

DSO Nano v2 at Seeed Studio

BenF Firmware v3.62

BenF V3.62 firmware users guide

DfuSe (firmware update tool)

DSO Nano Google Code page

benfwaves Wiki page

24 thoughts on “The DSO Nano v2 Pocket Oscilloscope Explained

  1. HI , I am trying to download the last upgrade for DSO NANO v2 Benf firmware v3.62 and still in my DSO nano in the screen appear LIB v2.22 and APP v2.40 I don’t know what I am doing wrong I am using amazon to go 27005 USB 2.o A to mini-B cable to donw load firmware , but when I down load um0412 I see only Dfuse demo v3.0.1 Setup.exe but I dont see Dfuse demo v3.0.1 Setup x64.exe… Can you help me with this problem and tell me please what I am doing Wrong … thank you very much CIRO C

      • HI, JEREMY thank you for the link you gave me before, but still I can not donwload the new version of Benf firmware v3.62 , can you please help me with this issue , still I see in my scren of my DSO nano v2 LIB v2.22 and APP v2.40 , I don,t know what to do any more I run out of option I TRY every thing I know , thank you JEREMY for your time and help Greering CIRO

    • Hi Charlie, are you getting into DFU mode by holding the down arrow while powering the unit on? The screen should say “DSO Nano V1.1” and “” and “Please Connect to USB Host” and finally “DS0201 Device Firmware Upgrade Ver 2.0” Let me know if you are getting this screen or not, thanks.


  2. Jeremy, like the folks above, just received new nano v2, followed all steps you outline in your video. All steps appear to have worked exactly as you described, with DfuSe Demo showing successful downloads of both “app” and “lib” v3.62 files, but after turning the nano off and back on, splash screen still shows original firmware. Guidance? Thanks so much.

    • Hi Parris, I’m not sure as I have not received any errors while upgrading firmware. I have upgraded about 4 times trying to generate these errors, but have not gotten any. The only thing I can think of is making sure you are uploading the library and the app files and loading them in internal flash and not the SPI flash. Outside of that I can’t think of anything else at the moment. Let me know if this works!

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  4. I think I found the solution. I was using an older copy of WinZip to extract the archive. The result was as above, update just would not stick. I tried extracting with 7Zip and had much joy, am running the BenF v3.62 now. Must be something in the way WinZip unpacks binary files…………

  5. I had a similar problem to Parris’s and finally debugged it. The dfuse program’s UI isn’t very clear, and there may be a slight problem in the video explanation, or maybe I just didn’t understand it correctly. At 2:42, you seem to choose a file using a button in the “upload” section (on the left), and this button is to upload from the DSO to the PC. That’s why the dialog box pops up asking if you want to overwrite a file — you’re taking the firmware from the DSO and overwriting the file on your PC. This results in the files in your PC containing the original Seeed firmware. The buttons which download from the PC to DSO are at lower right (one needs to use “Upgrade”, not “Upload”…easy to get confused).

    I tried both buttons, but when I uploaded from the DSO to the PC, I overwrote the BenF files with the Seeed firmware. Then I tried using the correct “Upgrade” button, which re-wrote the Seeed firmware back to the DSO. Still no upgrade! Only when I re-un-zipped the BenF files into a fresh directory and upgraded with those did the process succeed.

    Never would have gotten this far without your tutorial and file links, though, so thanks for the help! The scope with BenF firmware is really nice.

    • Thanks Nierschmideughe, that’s a great observation! Thanks for the feedback, this helps me as well as others. Yeah, the firmware is great, really great for file handling. 🙂

  6. Jeremy, do you know if there is a hack or patch to the BenF firmware that changes the square wave signal generator into sine wave, or adds that function? I use my Nano for mostly audio work where sine wave or even triangle would be preferable to square. Thanks!

    • Hi Mike, I don’t think there is firmware out there that generates anything outside the square wave. That would be an awesome feature to have though!

  7. I really appreciate the BenF firmware download for my new DS0201 scope. I have only one problem that I can’t seem to solve. After inserting a 1G SD card, the scope will not store any traces–just gives me an error message. I first thought that it may be because it was not formatted right so I reformatted it (both FAT and FAT32) but to no avail. Can you tell me what I am doing wrong?
    Keep up the good work

    • Hi Alan, I can’y think of any reason it would not work, but one mistake I made was creating folders on the SD card. I was pulling my hair out trying to figure out why it wasn’t working and then put a formatted SD card without any directories, and that did the trick. I am using a SanDick 1GB card formatted to FAT16. Maybe trying FAT16 would do the trick? I hope this helps.

      • Hi–plugged in the ds201 to my Windows 7 PC and it is indicating “firmware uploading” right away and “please wait” but this is now over 30 minutes. 201 was working fine before I tried to get to installing new firmware. It is not the Seed version but is a Nano v1 of the DS201 and should take the upgrade. But the PC does not seem to see it, are there some drivers I need to install?? JD

  8. Finally uploaded Upgraded to the Ben F firmware.
    I was really frustrating after i tried to upgrade as shown in the video.
    I finally did it from the info from comments from Nierschmideughe.
    It was really helpful.
    Is there any way to view the waveforms on the DSO NANO on PC in real time????
    I have seen that function in a DSO on my college. They have “Aplab 4 Channel Color Digital Storage Oscilloscope – Model D36000CA4”

  9. I just got one of these, and after reading the comments about the uploading, finally got it to work with the BenF update. My question is this… I can’t get the signal generator to work. Is there a way to turn it on/off, or did I get a bad unit?

    Also… Seeed should include an SD card with the scope, or better yet, make it work with SDHC cards. No place local sells non- SDHC cards anymore. Luckily I found one or I would be paying shipping again, just to get an outdated card.

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    • Not sure, I don’t mess with modifying the firmware, but it’s a great idea. I wonder if the Nano processor has the horsepower to do the math..

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