The four-channel Siglent 1104X-E was on sale for Prime Day and so I decided to upgrade from my two-channel 1202X-E. This scope has many favorable reviews, and I have been happy with the 2-channel model. Furthermore, I knew from reading on EEVBlog there exist methods to hack the 4-channel scopes to enable additional features like WiFi, and increase the bandwidth. However, much of the material in those threads is outdated and better methods have been developed in later posts. So I’m distilling all of that down to the latest (as of 2021) methods to manage these features on this scope, here. Some of these steps also apply to other models in the SDS2000X-E, SDS2000X+, and SDS5000X series scopes but that will not be covered here.
By making this tutorial, I am in no way recommending you do any of what follows. This is intended to be for educational purposes only. You could brick your machine. You could void your warranty. You could mess up the scope’s calibration. The included probes may or may not be accurate at frequencies appreciably higher than 100Mhz. Some of this is probably unethical since Siglent sells some of the unlock keys for some of the features we will be exploring below. But if you’re curious about these features, and would like to test them out, follow along at your own risk. My scope came with firmware version 6.1.35R2 installed, so the procedures documented here assume you’ve got that or similar installed (you can downgrade firmware on these scopes if it ever becomes necessary for some reason – I’ve done it multiple times).
The first task is to get your oscilloscope onto your network. Plug the LAN port into a switch or router, and navigate to Utility -> I/O -> IP Set. Then use the soft button to toggle the DHCP Field from “Disabled” to “Enabled.” The scope should then pull an IP address from your router. Make note of the IP (10.0.0.58 in my case, as you can see below). You are going to use it to remotely connect to the oscilloscope, next.
With the IP address in hand, get to a computer on the same network and point a web browser at it. You’ll see something very similar to this:
Now, navigate to the icon on the bottom left, labelled “SCPI”. In the SCPI Command box, type the command “SCOPEID?” and press the “Send” button. You’ll see something like this:
In the Response field, there will appear a unique string that is your scope’s unique Scope ID (conversely do not use any of the numbers you see in this blog post – those only apply to my scope). Copy this string and paste it somewhere safe, like a notepad window. Then, EDIT THE STRING so that there are no more dashes (“-” characters). When we go to use the Scope ID, there can be no dashes present.
Armed with your serial number and scope id, you are now ready to find, edit, and run the keygen python script. This can be found in EEVBlog Forum posts, or in this commented script on pastebin, here. After you download this script, put your serial number and edited scope id string (no dashes) into the locations specified at the top of the script. Then, run it. You’ll see output similar to below. Note that many of the listed feature/code pairs only apply to the higher-end scopes. Only a few of them (explained in more detail below) apply to the entry-level SDS1104X-E:
The 16-digit hashes in column 2 are the relevant codes. To hack the 100MHz 1104X-E scope up to 200MHz, for example, copy the code next to “200M” in the script output. Then, navigate back to the SCPI tool in the Siglent web interface as described above and run the command “MCBD <your 200M code>”:
Now, run the command “PRBD?” and send it. If you’ve done everything correctly, it should return “200M” indicating that the scope is now set to a maximum bandwidth of 200MHz. To put it back to factory settings, simply use the MCBD command to enter the code for 100M operation. Voila. Power-cycle the machine to fully enable the selected bandwidth. If you’ve left it at 200MHz, your “System Status” screen will now display the model number SDS1204X-E reflecting the 200MHz bandwidth change.
The 1104X-E also supports the MSO, AWG, and WIFI features. The MSO code unlocks the scope’s ability to use the SPL1016 Logic Probe. The AWG code unlocks the ability to use the SAG1021 function generator. The WIFI code unlocks the ability for the scope to use a particular TP-Link USB-WiFi adapter to connect your scope to the LAN for remote monitoring/control functions. Note that each of those features requires separate hardware in order to function. This procedure only unlocks the software features in the scope (codes for which Siglent sells on their website). To enable any of these features, enter the corresponding codes from the front panel of the scope by navigating to Utility -> Options. Then select the option you want and (tediously) follow the onscreen instructions, entering the 16-digit code(s) using the Intensity/Adjust knob. I believe you need to power cycle after each one of these as well. When you are done, pressing the “Information” button will show you a screen like this, indicating that you now have perpetual access to those firmware features:
That’s how to unlock the full potential inside your SDS1104X-E four-channel scope! If you are not comfortable with any of those steps for any reason, you should purchase the codes from Siglent (except for the bandwidth update) and have official support.