Turn Your iOS Device into an Oscilloscope

Computers & Mobile Craft & Design Technology
Turn Your iOS Device into an Oscilloscope

iPad Oscilloscope

For iOS device owners that mess around with electronics, Oscium recently announced the release of the iMSO-104 mixed signal oscilloscope for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. The hardware, which connects via the dock connector, doesn’t ship until the end of April, but you can download the iMSO app from the App Store now and try it out in demo mode. And if you’re unfamiliar with oscilloscopes, this primer by MAKE’s own Collin Cunningham is the perfect place to start. [via Engadget]

60 thoughts on “Turn Your iOS Device into an Oscilloscope

  1. Matt Arlauckas says:

    I now think an iPad is in my future.

    1. Matt Richardson says:

      I think an iPad is inevitable for me. Every day that goes by it gets just a little harder to resist. Maybe when my hackintosh netbook eventually craps out on me.

  2. Sean Cohen says:

    This is a toy. If you want and oscope, but a real one…

    1. Dino Segovis says:

      Agreed..a toy, just like the iPad.

    2. Peter Hansen says:

      I would hesitate to call, it a toy, but the limited bandwidth (5MHz) seriously limits its usefulness.

      The iPad is a natural for the user interface. Pinch zoom for amplitude and frequency are seriously cool. There’s a lot of potential here.

      1. Ren Tescher says:

        That bandwidth is sufficient for checking sensor signals and voltages under the hood of a car, but I wouldn’t want the fan blade to hit it…

    3. l says:

      it’s not even a toy, it is an excuse to get an ipad

    4. Anonymous says:

      I have a real scope, a 4-channel 60MHz space heater, and it’s a PITA to drag it to the basement where my CNC machines are, or to a friend’s place to look at something. As a result, I only haul it out when I really need it. This gizmo is overpriced, but love the idea of a very small, portable mixed-signal rig like this. Most hobbyist work, particularly basic debugging, working with sensors, etc., probably doesn’t even require 500KHz to see what’s going on.

        1. Anonymous says:

          Yes, that’s an interesting piece. I’ll get more excited when they start shipping non-beta units.

          1. Anonymous says:

            What really irritates me is that Rigol sells their 1052D scope which has 2x50MHz analog and 16(!) digital channels for around $500 in China, while here in the US you can’t get it for much less than $900. You used to be able to get them for the domestic price from some of the direct-from-China sites but Rigol seems to have cut them all off. eBay China has them, but if I’m going to gamble $500, I want cocktail waitresses bringing me free drinks while I do it…

  3. Bill Porter says:

    Cool, but how about for the more open and maker friendly Android OS?

    1. Jerry Isdale says:

      Yes! an android version that works with a rooted Nook!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I do a fair amount of utility field work that requires a recording analyzer, if this thing had 3 analog channels instead of the one I’d be sold.

  5. Anthony Gilberti says:

    Does it pass the data into the iDevice through a serial connection or the microphone port?

    1. Bryan Lee says:

      The data passes through the 30-pin dock connector (same place you charge the device).

  6. mpechner says:

    I like the concept. $297 for a single trace 5Mhz, 12MSPS capability is very expensive. Plus the probe connector is proprietary.

  7. Steroids says:

    i wouldn’t buy it but i love the idea of adding external extra hardware functions to the ipad.

  8. riley porter says:

    This is really cool. However I do agree that for 5 Mhz at $300 its a bit of a novelty. Love the idea however. But I think that if you are ok with sub 5Mhz then its a pretty cool little device. :)

  9. Richard Sewell says:

    That does look lovely (albeit a bit expensive).

    A possible alternative might be the Seeed Studio DSO Nano:
    I have one, and it is cheap, tiny, and wonderful. Not quite so much bandwidth, and a small non-touch screen, but it does its job very well.

    I’m tempted by their next model, currently in beta:
    which has two analogue channels at 72MHz

  10. Anonymous says:

    Very nice, but $300? Too high by half for what it does. The DSO Quad was pre-sold at $200, and it’s a complete instrument with grossly similar specs. The iPad UI is an awesome idea, but the hardware is overpriced.

  11. Anonymous says:

    $300 for this is ridiculous. You can get a *real*, self-contained digital oscilloscope that goes to 25MHz for $350, e.g. the Instek GDS-1022: http://www.tequipment.net/InstekGDS-1022.html

    If you want portability, the SeedStudio DSO Quad at $200 is a much better deal: http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/preorder-dso-quad-beta-test-p-736.html?cPath=174

    If there were an Android version, and if it were less than $100, I might buy one.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The wires to the probes look too short. If i were to use this (and i’m probably not) i would want the Ipad in some kind of stand, and then the wires to the probes would be too short.

  13. Ren Tescher says:

    As my wife is the owner of the iPad in our house,
    I doubt if she’d let me use hers for this…
    But I LIKE it!

  14. Maxime Boudrie says:

    5MHz???? You can have a 20MHz PC-based Logic Analyzer only for 59EUR here : http://ikalogicstore.com/

  15. Brady Schuller Mr. says:

    Wow that’s absolutely amazing and I don’t even know what an oscilloscope is! But it looks pretty hardcore like something you’d see at a hospital. The things people come up with these days, just amazing.

  16. Best iPod docking station says:

    Wow that’s absolutely amazing and I don’t even know what an oscilloscope is! But it looks pretty hardcore like something you’d see at a hospital. The things people come up with these days, just amazing.

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Matt Richardson is a San Francisco-based creative technologist and Contributing Editor at MAKE. He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone.

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