PCB scope

Product Details

Many people who enjoy electronics as a hobby or in education (where budgets are always tight) don't always need a super-high-end oscilloscope but instead rather require something that is very affordable yet highly usable in practice.

The PCB-scope is just that - simple to use, yet with a full feature set as you will find on professional instruments. The Windows software is free of charge and the PCB-scope connects via a standard micro-USB cable (as used by most cameras, mobile phones and e-readers, not included).

PCB-scope grew out of the earlier DPScope project to see how a PCB based scope design could be simplified yet still give the functionality, look and feel of a real oscilloscope. It is primarily geared towards education and beginners and is ideal for use within PICAXE microcontroller projects.

PCB-scope highlights:

  • Oscilloscope, logic analyzer and datalogger in one instrument.
  • Two analogue input channels (for scope and datalogger modes) - many of the low-end scopes on the market only have a single channel which makes them very limited as you often need to display one signal with respect to another (e.g. clock vs. data), or trigger on a signal different to the one you want to look at.
  • Four digital input channels (for logic analyzer and datalogger modes)
  • Triggering on CH1, a dedicated trigger channel, or free running. (Logic analyzer can trigger on any of the digital channels).
  • Trigger on rising or falling edge (selectable), or free running.
  • Covers the typical applications in a hobby/PICAXE environment: Analogue signals like audio (0 - 20 kHz), ultrasound, infrared sensors (38 kHz), servo motor control (a few kHz). Logic signals like e.g. RS-232, CAN, I2C, SPI, one-wire. Slow changing signals like temperature sensors etc.
  • Spectrum analyzer functionality (real-time Fast Fourier Transformation) so one can look at things like 50 (or 60) Hz interference, distortion in an audio amplifier or look for oscillations in a power supply.
  • Fast and smooth acquisition - shows the signals "as they happen", with a screen update rate up to 20 frames/sec.
  • Wide input range - from millivolts to > 20V (> 200V with an optional 1:10 scope probe)
  • Very low-cost
  • Small and easy to use so even a user without much experience with oscilloscope gets a quick start, and compact so it doesn't use much desk space.
  • Uses standard micro USB to connect to a computer as well as for power supply
  • Dual connectors (supplied) for easy breadboard connection.

Specification

PCB-scope Specifications

Feature PCB-scope
Number of analogue (scope) channels 2 signal channels + external trigger input
Number of digital (logic analyzer) channels 4
Analogue bandwidth (scope channels) > 300 kHz
Input impedance

Scope channels: 1 Mohm || 15 pF 
Ext. trigger: high impedance
Logic analyzer: high impedance

Signal connection Scope: 0.1" jumper posts
Logic analyzer: 0.1" jumper posts
Vertical sensitivity (analog channels) 50 mV/div to 2 V/div (1:1 probe)
Logic threshold (logic analyzer channels) TTL (also works for 5V / 3.3V / 2.5V CMOS, RS-232)
Vertical resolution 8 bits (scope mode) 10 bits (datalogger mode)
Vertical offset +/-6 divisions
Maximum voltage range Scope inputs: -24V ... 24V (1:1 probe)
External trigger input: -1 ... +6V
Logic analyzer: -1 ... +6V
Offset adjustment yes
Max. sample rate (single shot) Scope: 50 kSample/sec
Logic analyzer: 1 MSamples/sec
Max. sample rate (repetitive signals) 2 MSamples/sec (scope mode only)
Timebase settings Scope: 5 usec/div ... 1 sec/div
Logic analyzer: 10 usec/div ... 1 sec/div
Datalogger: 0.5 sec/div ... 1 hr/div
FFT (frequency spectrum) frequency range up to 25 kHz
Trigger source Scope mode: CH1, external, auto (free run)
Logic analyzer: any of the 4 digital channels
Trigger polarity rising edge, falling edge
Max. trigger rate Scope: ~60 kHz
Logic analyzer: > 1 MHz
Record length (normal mode) Scope mode: 200 points/channel FFT (frequency spectrum): 400 points/channel
Logic Analyzer: 850 points/channel
Datalogger (roll) model: unlimited
Max. screen refresh rate up to 20+ frames/sec (both channels on) (sufficiently fast PC required)
Datalogger mode (roll mode) yes (data can be logged to file in real time)
Real-time FFT yes
FFT filters Rectangular, Hanning, Hamming, Blackman
Averaging yes (1 / 2 / 5 / 10 / 20 / 50 / 100)
Display styles (can be combined) Points, Vectors (Lines), Infinite Persistence
Fully automated measurements Level: low, high, mid level, amplitude, DC average, AC
RMS Time: period, frequency, duty cycle, pos. width, neg. width, rise time, fall time
Waveform cursors yes (horizontal and vertical pairs)
Waveform export (e.g. to Excel) yes (CSV format)
Save/restore of scope setups yes
PC connection USB (HID device), no special driver needed
PC software Windows 2000, XP (SP3), Vista, 7, 8
Minimum screen size 1024 x 768 pixel
Power supply through USB (5V / 70mA)
Microcontroller and USB interface Fully pre-programmed; no programming required

Resources

PCBscope Software v1.04 (approx 3MB, Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8) PCBscope Software
PCBscope Manual PCBscope Manual
PCBscope Schematic PCBscope Schematic
PCBscope Design History PCBscope Design

Video

Revision History

1.0.4 ' 2013-12-15 fixed bug - at 50 kSa/sec with one channel turned on, averaging did not work 1.0.3 ' 2012-06-22 now writing logic analyzer channel when exporting data (logic analyzer mode and roll mode) Archive: ' 2012-02-08 fized bug: contents/settings of DMM window got lost when window closed and opened again ' 2012-02-05 implemented DMM display window ' 2012-02-05 several small GUI fixes from JW's feedback ' 2012-02-05 leave current mode radio button enabled ' 2012-02-05 prevent both lines and dots turned off ' 2012-01-13 added "trig'd" indicator ' 2012-01-13 explicitly calling Draw_Cursors in click of Cursors/CursorCh1/CursorCH2, Scope/Datalogger/LA-Mode ' 2012-01-13 reduced LA record length to 840pts (smaller record because of ETS firmware changes) ' 2012-01-12 fixed vertical position of logic analuzer traces (were off due to grid change from 2011-12-31) ' 2012-01-11 changed VID/PID to values sublicensed from Microchip ' 2012-01-08 added Playground panel, added snd tested read/write RAM, read/write EEPROM ' 2011-12-31 UpdatePlot: second half of grid -1 not +1, otherwise last line is off screen ' 2011-12-31 UpdatePlot: also when turning on/off bold, points even when acq stopped ' 2011-12-30 finished logic analyzer mode, triggered, up to 1 MSa/sec ' 2011-12-29 clock output through trigger pin; a lot of jitter when acquisition is running ' 2011-12-27 logic analyzer mode (untriggered) & necessary GUI extensions and changes ' 2011-12-26 added logic analyzer channel display in roll mode ' 2011-12-25 bug fix - start/stop button caption did not revert to "Start" in single shot mode

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