We’ve written about cheap oscilloscopes before, but this one uses two tools we blog about a lot here (Arduino and Processing) to visualize an analog signal on your computer. The resolution is 10 bits, so it’s not perfect, but it is pretty useful nevertheless with the code available from the link below.
4 thoughts on “Cheap oscilloscope built from Arduino and Processing”
“real” (i.e. commercial) digital oscilloscopes usually have an 8 bits resolution, so it’s not that bad in that regard. Oscilloscopes are made to look at the shape and frequency of the signal, not to measure precise values.
However at 9600bps and 3 bytes per sample the sampling rate is 400Hz, which is barely enough to look at 50Hz signals.
“Real” oscilloscopes are calibrated and can measure precise voltages and timings. It’s a shame the it’s so difficult to make a good ‘scope out of commonly-available parts. Many years ago, companies like Heathkit sold scope kits — does anyone still do that?
But, how about re-using old scopes? I’m currently arranging a FreeCycle pick-up for a scope, to help out an enthusiast who fixes up 1970s-era electronics. It seems a shame that so much good test equipment is disposed of as WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment), when it could be put to good use by makers. But then, there’s all the liability issues, too…
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