Manuals, Timing, Ham Radio, Test Equipment

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TDS2xx Screen Dump - Release Notes


The download comes in 3 pieces, the base install which includes either a non-functional or an older version of the program's exe and all the dlls and controls, the latest version of the executable and a configuration file that contains customizations for various instruments.
Once you have done the base install once, you only need to download the new executable for upgrades (unless advised differently below.)

Download base install

Download current exe (copy to your install directory and change extension from .bin to .exe)

Current version is 2.0.4.

Download the default configuration file and save it in the same folder as the program's exe file (in the C:\Program File (x86) folder.)

The configuration file can be edited manually using a text editor, see below.

Software License available here.


Unzip the file in a temporary directory and run the Setup.exe program.
Unless you change the default settings, the program will install in C:\Program Files\KO4BB Software\TDS2xxDump and create an entry in the Start menu.
If you select another directory, make a note of it.
Then download the TDS2xxDump.bin file directly into the program's installation directory.
Delete the existing TDS2xxDump.exe file created by the base install and rename the new file TDS2xxDump.exe.

Download the TDS2xxDump.cfg file and copy it into the program folder (with the exe file).

Make sure the exe and cfg files have the same base name and are in the same folder. For instance, if the exe file has the version number in it, like TDSDumpxxx_v204.exe and the config file is TDSDump.cfg, rename the exe TDSDump.exe otherwise the program will not find the configuration file.


This program has been tested under Windows XP through Windows 10, 32 and 64 bits. The program should but may not work under other versions of Windows. Being aware of the significant differences between the various operating system versions, I have observed significant difficulties sometimes installing it on a fully patched and secured Windows 10 machine. Some of it may have to do with the fact that the program was developped under Visual Basic 6.0 Professional, a development tool that has been obsolete for at least 20 years.

Setup and Operation

Using the oscilloscope serial port

Select the serial port connected to the oscilloscope, and make sure the oscilloscope is configured as shown in the Help->Scope Setup menu.

The program only shows the COM ports that are installed when you run the program.

If you use a USB-serial converter, it may not be showing up as the same COM port each time.

Using a Prologix GPIB-USB adapter

The Prologix adapter should be configured to talk to your instrument. This is done using John Miles' Configuror software. Information on the setup and use of the Prologix adapter can be found on their web site,

Using another GPIB adapter

When using GPIB, make sure to enter the address of the instrument in the GPIB Address menu.

After changing the settings, you may need to close the program and restart it. Some settings are only read at power up.

Testing communication

Click on the "ID" button first. It allows a quick check that the scope and the program are talking. If it works, the scope's ID string will print on the screen. Example:

*IDN?>TEKTRONIX,TDS 3014B,0,CF:91.1CT FV:v3.41 TDS3GM:v1.00 TDS3FFT:v1.00 TDS3TRG:v1.00

To acquire a waveform, click on "Acquire" and wait (could take up to 30 seconds for a TDS 210 at 9600 bauds)

You can save the image by right-clicking on it and selecting Save As after it is loaded on screen.

Configuration File

The program now uses a configuration file in order to account for slight variations in the command set and features of the various scopes in the expanding TDSXXXX family.

If you have a Tektronix TDSXXX scope that is not currently recognized by the software, you can add it to the configuration file TDS2xxDump.cfg. The file format is explained below and most scopes will work with one of the settings already there. Just add a new section for your instrument.

Example entry for a TDS 3014 family scope:

 [TDS 3014]  this will work with all scopes in the TDS3014X series (note 1)
 NumChannels=4  4 channels oscilloscope. Default is 2.
 BMPWidth=9660  width in pixels of the picture returned when querying a hard copy (note 2). Default is 4800.
 BMPHeight=7260  height in pixels of the picture returned when querying a hard copy (note 2). Default is 3630.
 PictureSize=308278  number of bytes in the hard copy picture (note 2). Default is 308278.
 HardCopyFormat=BMPCOLOR  this tells the scope to send the picture in color. This varies by instrument, most scopes want simply "BMP" (note 3) but others do not support this function (TDS5054) so enter NONE for those (and you do not need the BMP... and PictureSize entries for those.)
 DataSourceRefFormat=NUM  Use "NUM" for scopes that use REF1, REF2, etc and use "ALPHA" for scopes that use REFA, REFB, ... (note 3). Default is NUM.
 WaveformBeforeXINCR=FALSE  Use "TRUE" for scopes that require a waveform specifier before the XINCR command, and use "FALSE" for those that don't (note 4). Default is FALSE.


  1. Make sure to include a space between TDS and the number if it is present in the string returned from the *IDN? command. You should use the same format as returned by the *IDN? command. For instance, the TDS 3014 includes a space but the TDS5054 does not. The letter at the end of the model number (i.e. TDS 3014B) is automatically stripped by the program, so no need to include it in the section header.
  2. This information is not in the manual, it has to be determined experimentally after the program downloads a picture from the scope. Once you enter this information in the configuration file, you will not need to resize the window after downloading a hard copy. Note that this information is optional, the program will work if it's missing or wrong.
  3. This information can be found in the Programmer's manual for the scope in question
  4. For example, to query the time interval between samples, the TDS754 wants WFMPRE:CH1:XINCR but the TDS3014 wants WFMPRE:XINCR. Some scopes will work with either command but not all. This information can normally be found in the Programmer's manual for your scope.

Here is the file TDS2xxDump.cfg included with the program's install archive. It is located in the Program folder.

[TDS 3014]
[TDS 754]
[TDS 210]
[TDS 2014]

Run time issues

The program has been tested on Win7 and Win 10, 32 and 64 bits. However, Windows 7 and 10 do not always play nice with Visual Basic 6.0 and in some cases dll or ocx files may not register properly.

Here are some suggestions of things to try if an OCX file fails to register.

Problem with MSCOMM32.OCX:

This object file allows access to the COM port. Pretty basic for this application :) 

If you installed the program using the setup.exe program, it should have installed this object. I know Visual Basic 6.0 and Windows 7 do not always play nice, and on occasion I had to register it by hand.

Click on Start->All Programs->Accessories then press Shift while you right-click on Command Prompt and select "Run as administrator". Alternately, you may also right-click on the Windows start button and select "PowerShell (Admin)"

The command window should open on C:\Windows\System32

If you have Win 7 32 bits, check that the file is there:
dir mscomm32.ocx

If you have the 64 bit Windows variant, change to:
cd ..\syswow64 and then type the "dir" command there

If it does not find the file in either directory, you can copy it from the install directory (when you expanded the zip file) to the respective directory (system32 for Windows 32 bits, syswow64 for Windows 64 bits)

Once you find it (or copy it), enter the following command from the command prompt in the directory where the file is located:
regsvr32 mscomm32.ocx

If you get a window that says "Success", you are good.

If it gives you an error message (like it failed to register), I suggest you look at the last suggestion on this page:

To the best of my knowledge, this last fix has been successful in every case not fixed by the steps above, but you have to try the others first.

Note that this works on Windows 7 and Windows 10.

Important Note:

As always, there are no guarantees. If you have questions, I will do my best to address them.


Bugs?? Nah!!!