Owon HDS2102S Handheld 2-Channel 100 MHz Oscilloscope, Multimeter & Signal Generator (Review)

    • by Clemens Valens
    • Reading time: 4 min

    The Owon HDS2102S is a versatile handheld device that combines a two-channel 100 MHz oscilloscope, a multimeter, and an arbitrary waveform generator all in one compact unit. The addition of 'S' in its model name signifies the inclusion of the signal generator functionality. A dedicated Mode button allows users to switch between the oscilloscope, multimeter, and signal generator, although the signal generator can remain active for concurrent signal tracing with the oscilloscope or multimeter functions.

    Oscilloscope Capabilities

    The oscilloscope feature boasts two channels with a 100 MHz bandwidth and a sampling rate up to 500 Msps. Time intervals range from 2 ns/div to 1,000 s/div, and voltage sensitivity from 10 mV/div to 10 V/div. The unit can handle up to 400 VPP input voltage. It includes various triggering options like auto, normal, and single for both falling and rising edges, although it lacks an external trigger input. Cursors enable manual time and voltage measurements, while automatic measurement options include period, frequency, mean, peak-peak, min, max, and amplitude values. A frequency counter feature is also available for real-time data.

    Detailed oscilloscope measurements display
    Simultaneous display of various parameters and measurements.

    Multimeter Functionality

    In multimeter mode, the HDS2102S functions as a precise 5-digit multimeter. It supports DC voltage measurements from 200 mV (with 10 µV resolution) up to 1,000 V and TRMS AC measurements from 40 Hz to 1 kHz, ranging from 200 mV to 750 V. It measures both AC and DC current up to 10 A and includes resistance measurement from 10 mΩ to 100 MΩ, capacitance from 1 pF to 2 mF, and can perform diode and continuity tests.

    Arbitrary Waveform Generator

    The integrated Arbitrary Waveform Generator (AWG) operates with a sampling rate of 125 Msps and can generate sine waves up to 25 MHz, square and pulse waves up to 5 MHz, and ramps up to 1 MHz. It offers additional waveforms like staircases, two Bessel functions, a sinc function, and amplitude-modulated sine waves.

    Unpacking the Owon HDS2102S

    Unboxing the HDS2102S, you will find a protective black pouch containing the unit, two BNC-to-crocodile clips, a pair of multimeter probes, a battery charger with a USB cable, and a passive oscilloscope probe (OW3100, 100 MHz). The included documentation covers operation in English. The device itself is surprisingly hefty for its size, weighing just over 500 grams, including its two replaceable 18650-type, 2600 mAh lithium-ion batteries.

    Design and Connectivity

    Examining the device, three BNC connectors are located at the top, designated for the oscilloscope inputs and signal generator output. A hidden panel on the side reveals a USB-C connector for battery charging and data transfer, enhancing its functionality with PC connectivity and calibration capabilities.

    Owon HDS2102S front view
    The compact and functional design of the HDS2102S.

    User Experience

    The interface of the HDS2102S is user-friendly, with a clear and accessible power button. Upon turning on, it resumes in the last used mode and becomes ready within seconds. Its dedicated buttons, which are primarily labeled for oscilloscope use, make navigating the oscilloscope functions straightforward. Switching between modes involves a brief loading period, the details of which are not specified in the manual.

    Advanced Oscilloscope Features

    In oscilloscope mode, a menu bar appears at the screen's bottom when a button is pressed, with blue function keys to navigate through options. This menu auto-hides after a period of inactivity, which is adjustable, or it can be closed manually. Notably, some advanced functions may require both channels to be active. The extensive time base range up to 16 minutes and 40 seconds is exceptional for capturing slow-evolving signals, typically beyond the capability of standard oscilloscopes.

    Data Management

    The Save function is not just for screenshots; it also allows saving up to four preset configurations, facilitating quick setup changes. Although its primary features will be familiar to experienced oscilloscope users, the HDS2102S simplifies many processes, making it accessible for beginners and professionals alike.

    Detailed multimeter function display
    Displaying True RMS values in AC measurement mode.

    Multimeter Enhancements

    While the multimeter functionality is robust, offering extensive range and measurement options, its settings reset to default upon each power cycle, a design choice likely intended to protect against incorrect settings on startup. Notably, it has dedicated inputs, allowing for continuous oscilloscope connectivity.

    Expanding Capabilities

    The signal generator mode is simplified, using only function and cursor keys for setup. While it doesn’t support user-created waveforms, it offers a versatile range of pre-defined shapes. This mode's programmable output impedance is a unique feature, adjustable from 10 Ω to 10 kΩ, providing flexibility for various test scenarios.

    Practical Applications and Recommendations

    The Owon HDS2102S is ideal for field applications requiring a portable, all-in-one device. Its combination of oscilloscope, multimeter, and signal generator makes it a powerful tool for on-site diagnostics, maintenance, and testing. For bench use, while it may not replace a dedicated bench oscilloscope, its portability and unique features provide significant advantages, particularly in its ability to perform isolated and differential measurements safely.

    In conclusion, the Owon HDS2102S is an invaluable tool for professionals who need a reliable, versatile instrument capable of handling a wide range of testing and diagnostic tasks in various environments.



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