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Suggestions for PC Oscilloscope

Discussion in 'General Electronics' started by Chris Cooper, Sep 24, 2003.

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  1. Chris Cooper

    Chris Cooper Guest

    It would be helpful for some of my electronic projects to have a simple
    oscilloscope, and I'm thinking the easiest thing there would be to have some
    sort of ADC that could be picked up and displayed by some Windows software.
    I've seen various commercial products to do this, but they tend to be much
    faster than I need (100 MHz) and much more than I want to spend ($200+).

    I don't even need sophisticated software, I'm perfectly happy (for now at
    least) with a system that dropped its results into a text file that I could
    import into Excel when I wanted to see pretty graphs.

    Has anybody seen such a beast?

  2. CWatters

    CWatters Guest

    There are some that use your sound capture card
  3. Hi,

    Some older non PC computers have A/D built into joystick ports or sound
    capture ports. The Acorn BBC and Amiga computers I think. You could look at
    getting an old one cheap. They can be programmed in basic for the graphics

    Or just buy a used audio scope. 10Mhz 1 Channel.

  4. kony

    kony Guest

    It's not just older, non PC computers, the typical "standard" joystick
    port found on most if not all PCs is analog, then A/D converted.
    However the range might be poor enough to make the resulting readings
    too inaccurate? Here's an application to do it with the sound "card"
    analog audio input instead:

  5. Surfer

    Surfer Guest

    It would be helpful for some of my electronic projects to
    An old, old issue of Probe magazine (perhaps 1990 or so) had
    plans for an o-scope circuit that fed the parallel port,
    including the matching software. It could be easily modified to
    do what you need. Perhaps a library would have these magazines
    on microfilm.
  6. Gary Tait

    Gary Tait Guest

    Whereas On Wed, 24 Sep 2003 09:47:58 +0100, "Geoff Hackett"
    For most A/D joystick type ports, the are mostly an R/C pulse
    generator, with the R component supplied by the pot in the joystick.
    Hardware or software would time the width of the pulse, and report
    that to the user program.
  7. I was also looking for PC-based oscilloscope, one such is available at

    Also have a look at

    Animesh Maurya
  8. The resulted treading from the PC joystick port is quite inaccurate.
    The A/D converter system used in PC joystick hardware is very
    simple. It is basically a one-shot multivibrator that is
    triggered by software, and then software loop counts the pulse
    length. This system is not particularly accurate (variation
    between different ports, between differenc changes, PC temperture
    has it's effects), the software measurin has it's limits
    (in practice less than 8 bits of resolution) and the measuring
    is slow for most oscilloscope applications (conversion time
    can be up to 2 milliseconds, typically around 1 ms, so
    sample rate can't be higher than 1 kHz, usually less than this).

    You can find circuit to convert voltage to signal that can be connected
    to PC joystick port input with the plans presented at

    This is a worth to check option if the soundcard performance
    is enough (limited only to AC measurements at audio frequencies).
  9. Yukio YANO

    Yukio YANO Guest

    I seems to me that there is software available to use Sound Cards as an A/D
    interface for a PC scope. Why re-invent the wheel ! when all you really
    want is a place sit and think !

    Yukio YANO
  10. Nick Hull

    Nick Hull Guest

    Anybody have a scope program/attachment for a Mac?
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