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PICList Thread
'PC_Based Oscilloscopes'
1997\03\01@101225 by MSI: Sean Cunningham

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Can anyone recommend a low-cost (under $500) PC-based oscilloscope?
Just plan to use it to help debug PIC circuits, especially serial comms.

1997\03\01@105211 by Matt Calder

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On Sat, 1 Mar 1997, MSI: Sean Cunningham wrote:

> Can anyone recommend a low-cost (under $500) PC-based oscilloscope?
> Just plan to use it to help debug PIC circuits, especially serial comms.
>

Sean,
       I just bought at $70 from radio shack, an oscilloscope
that attaches to a PC. It's more a heavy duty graphical logic
probe than a true oscilloscope but for simple timing or waveform
viewing it works like a charm. It also is poortable with a tiny
LCD display. Woth every penny I'd say.

Matt

/*****************************************/
/* Matt Calder, Dept. of Statistics, CSU */
/* http://www.stat.colostate.edu/~calder */
/*****************************************/

1997\03\01@152246 by John Payson

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>         I just bought at $70 from radio shack, an oscilloscope
> that attaches to a PC. It's more a heavy duty graphical logic
> probe than a true oscilloscope but for simple timing or waveform
> viewing it works like a charm. It also is poortable with a tiny
> LCD display. Woth every penny I'd say.

One thing I've been wondering about, but not had time to test with mine: is
the RS232 ground the same as the probe ground, or was Radio Shack kind enough
to opto-isolate the thing (which is surprisingly easy if the PC sets DTR and
CTS to opposite states)?

1997\03\01@180827 by simon

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On Sat, 1 Mar 1997 07:14:17 -0800, you wrote:

>Can anyone recommend a low-cost (under $500) PC-based oscilloscope?
>Just plan to use it to help debug PIC circuits, especially serial comms.

There are a few written for linux that are very lo-cost(free). There
is usually a fairly simple circuit to go with them, that should pose
no building problems. I never actually tried to get one going but just
remembered it being interesting. I think they are somewhere on
http://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux

Might not be exactly what you are after but worth a look.

Regards
Simon

1997\03\01@231003 by wfdavis

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Permit me to add the following suggestion for inexpensive PC
oscilloscope packages:

BSOFT Software, Inc.
444 Colton Road
Columbus, OH 43207

Tel. 614-491-0832
FAX 614-497-9971

The package that I use includes their ANA150 analog/counter PC
compatible board, which the product sheet describes as follows:

"The ANA150 is a low-cost, fast, reliable, and easy to program (you
don't have to do this if you use PC-SCOPE described below) 8-bit
(flash) data acquisition board that is a perfect industrial or
laboratory tool for students, educators and engineers.  It features
eight analog input channels with a conversion time of 2.5
microseconds and 3 individual 16-bit counters.

"The ANA150 can accurately digitize a single channel of 0 to +5 volt
signal to a 19.5 millivolt resolution in only 2.5 microseconds, for a
throughput of 400,000 samples per second.

"The 3 16-bit counters can be used for generating square waves,
providing an accurate time base for data acquisition and/or numerous
counting operations."

Integrated with the ANA150 board is BSOFT's PC-SCOPE software.  The
following PC-SCOPE features are listed:

"1, 2, 4 or 8 channel operation.
Complete sample data files can be saved for future viewing.
Optional selection of a channel's trace color.
Optional selection of a channel's trigger edge (rise or falling).
On screen time base divisions from 1 usec to 500 hours.
45 time base settings (usec/div, msec/div, sec/div, min/div, hr/div).
Any part of signal can be zoomed in or out.
A/D conversion rates selectable from 1/minute to 500 kHz.
Long duration of 42 days for data logging function.
Automatic calibration of PC time base settings."

A year or so ago, the prices of the components were as follows:

PC-SCOPE software (executable only)  $49.00
ANA150 board  $119.
PC-SCOPE (source code)  $149.00

I found that the package was easy to install, worked as advertised
and was, in my opinion, well worth the rather low price.

Warren F. Davis
================================================
Davis Associates, Inc.
43 Holden Road
West Newton, MA 02165  U.S.A.

Tel: 617-244-1450        FAX: 617-964-4917
Visit our web site at:  http://www.davis-inc.com
================================================

1997\03\01@231014 by wfdavis

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Oops!  The price I just posted for the BSOFT ANA150 board was
incorrect.  BSOFT offers two boards, both of which are compatible
with the PC-SCOPE software, as follows:

ANA100   $119.00
ANA150   $ 89.00

I had inadvertently quoted the ANA100 price, when I meant to quote
the ANA150 price, which is (was) only $(US)89.00.

Because the price of the ANA100 is a bit higher, I presume it is a
somewhat more capable board, but I do not have any specifications I
can pass on here.  You might want to check with BSOFT.

Warren Davis
================================================
Davis Associates, Inc.
43 Holden Road
West Newton, MA 02165  U.S.A.

Tel: 617-244-1450        FAX: 617-964-4917
Visit our web site at:  http://www.davis-inc.com
================================================

1997\03\01@231234 by Christian Becerra

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MSI: Sean Cunningham wrote:
>
> Can anyone recommend a low-cost (under $500) PC-based oscilloscope?
> Just plan to use it to help debug PIC circuits, especially serial comms.

I've been using a pc-based logic analyzer (28 inpyts for a couip[le of
weeks now, Logicmaster 6.7 50 MHz 24 channel for $199.

Contact ProBoard Circuits
100 Market St., Unit 16
Galveston, TX 77550
Phone : 409.762.5436
Fax : 409.762.4167

Altough it can capture signals in the TTL range (0 to 5V)only, it can
help you spot very hard to diagnose problems.

Good Luck,

Christian

=========================CB TECHNOLOGY==========================
Christian Becerra       Product Development and Failure Analisys
spam_OUTcbecerraTakeThisOuTspamcsn.net        Custom Test Equipment for Manufacturing
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