Wednesday, 28 October 2015

DIY Digital Oscilloscope Kit

So, I've been buying a load of equipment from Bang Good. It really is a great site, with a lot of electronic equipment at a great price.

My latest piece of equipment is my DIY Oscilloscope. As most hobbyists know, oscilloscopes can be expensive to purchase, but this little beauty comes in around $24. Like the DIY Adjustable Voltage Power Supply in my last blog post, it comes unassembled. Well except for the 48 pin Cortex M3 processor from ST Micro Electronics, which would be difficult for most hobbyists. All the other components are straightforward enough to attach and connect to the right place. There is less documentation with this device than there is in the DIY Power Supply. This is slightly annoying when trying to figure out what components go where. There's also a lot more components on the board, so it will take longer to build. 

The device itself comes with a 2.4" TFT screen. Unfortunately it's not a touch screen interface and the 4 buttons have to be used to navigate the settings on the screen, which is a little awkward to use. It also comes with a BNC connector cable with crocodile clips. There are also 3 switches to select between GND/AC/DC coupling, voltage divisions and amplitude magnification. It does not come with it's own power supply and the 9V input must be supplied externally. It also does not come with a case, which would have been nice. 

It is fun to build these devices, although not trivial, it's even better when they can be used as a tool to verify all of our other projects. It's not a full on professional Oscilloscope, but it does have quite a number of useful features. There's Automatic and Normal sampling as well as the single shot. It can capture on either rising or falling edges. We can change the trigger level as well and change time division from 500s down to 10us. I have to admit anything above 1s is a little excessive for capturing on a scope of this type.

You can see the working oscilloscope in the 2nd attached photo, powered by the previously mentioned DIY Voltage Adjustable Power Supply. 

If anyone else has ever bought this and had issues with it, comment below and let me know what you think or if there's anything else you would change about it. 

If you're looking to purchase this kit, check out the following link at Bang Good.com: DIY Digital Oscilloscope Kit