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Cheap Oscilloscope

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Captain Blammo, Jun 29, 2004.

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  1. I would really rather like to get myself an oscilloscope, mainly for
    capturing digital signals (though analogue would be nice too) from
    electronics. I am, however, not exactly rolling in money, and so would like
    something that is as cheap as possible without being a piece of junk.

    I have seen a couple of "PC oscilloscopes" that connect via a USB port to
    let the PC do the hard work, and was just wondering what everyone's opinion
    on them is. Specifically, I was thinking of the OPTAscope 81M. It can only
    sample waves <60kHz, does that seem like enough for most things? I'd like to
    pipe TV signals in too, what kind of frequencies are they at?

    I'd ideally like something that has flexible software (preferably allowing
    you to program your own visualisations with relative ease) if such a thing
    exists. Linux or Windows.

    Advice is greatly appreciated!

  2. (snip)

    Give us a price you might be willing to pay. There is a big
    difference between what you can buy for $10 and $100.
  3. Give us a price you might be willing to pay. There is a big
    If I can get an oscilloscope of any kind for $10, please just tell me where!
    However bad it is, for that price I'm sure I'd find *something* to do with

    I'm not wanting to pay much more than 300 or 400 Canadian, but I'd really
    prefer something that is much lower. As long as I can bung it into most
    pieces of consumer technology and record signals passing between components
    with enough accuracy to reproduce them, and use it as a volt/ammeter with a
    memory, I'm happy.



    Are you saying that you are only interested in a storage scope, not an
    analog scope? That reduces your choices.
  5. Bob Masta

    Bob Masta Guest

    Ewan, you might want to check out my Daqarta
    shareware. Daqarta for DOS will turn an old
    junk PC into a real-time scope, spectrum analyzer,
    signal generator, etc. If you have or can get
    an ISA-bus Sound Blaster card you have everything
    you need. If not, you can make an 8-bit data
    acquisition "board" for your printer port, often
    requiring no more than a handful of resistors,
    that will sample at well over 40 kHz. See the
    LPTX driver for info on this, including construction details.

    Note that Daqarta for DOS requires real-mode DOS,
    which rules out Windows systems later than Win9x.
    I'm working on Daqarta for Windows, which will be
    able to use any Windows sound card.

    Having a real-time spectrum analyzer is really useful
    if you do any audio work. You can, for example, make
    adjustments and watch the effect on distortion and
    noise floor. However, it's still a good idea to have a
    "real" scope for high-frequency stuff, even if it's a cheapie.

    Hope this helps!

    Bob Masta

    D A Q A R T A
    Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
  6. Don't know if this fits your price range, but you can save money by
    building part of it yourself
  7. Ewan, you might want to check out my Daqarta
    Sir, you are a genius and a champion of the people. I shall acquire an old
    PC forthwith. This is perfect for a low-cost way to explore all things


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