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PICList Thread
'PICking an Oscilloscope'
1998\09\30@032116 by Nathan Hendler

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I don't know how to use an oscilloscope, but I know they are useful.  Can
anyone tell me what kind of oscilloscope is useful to debuging PIC
projects?  How many Mhz, and any other features?  Maybe even how they are
commonly used with PIC designing?

Thanks,
Nathan Hendler

1998\09\30@071930 by Pavel Korensky

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At 00:19 30.9.1998 -0700, you wrote:
>I don't know how to use an oscilloscope, but I know they are useful.  Can
>anyone tell me what kind of oscilloscope is useful to debuging PIC
>projects?  How many Mhz, and any other features?  Maybe even how they are
>commonly used with PIC designing?

Scopes strikes back :-)))

But really, oscilloscopes are very usefull in any kind of electronic design.
If you plan to do electronic seriously, you should buy the oscilloscope as
soon as possible.
Although I am not from your country, I am sure that you can find some used
scope in a good condition very cheaply.
For your purposes, you need some analog oscilloscope with bandwidth at
least 50 MHz. Of course, more bandwidth (Mhz) is better but more expensive.
You did not mentioned your budget, so look what can afford. Dual trace is
also very usefull. Most scopes at a given price level are very similar,
with almost same  capabilities and same bandwidth.
IMHO, you should prefer the brand name scope, because old (sometimes REALLY
old) scopes from HP, Tektronix or LeCroy are far much better than new
scopes from companies like Huag-Chang or similar.
How you can use it for PIC design ? Milions of ways. From simple check that
oscillator is generating clock pulses to complex debugging. I am using
scope for example as a real debugger tool. I have set of PIC routines which
are generating pulses of different lengths. I am calling those routines in
different parts of my program and I can "see" how my program is flowing in
subroutines.
Oscilloscope is also usefull for checking if your pins are changing states
as you suppose etc. etc.
Actually, when you will use oscilloscope for some time, you will find
another milion of possibilities how to use it.

Best regards

PavelK

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1998\09\30@090845 by lilel

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I think it was Andy Kunz that wrote "Any scope is better than No
scope"

A scope is essential for designing anything, even a power supply.
How are you going to know how much ripple it has without a scope?
Almost any old used Techntronics or HP scope will do, if you don't
have much money to spend.   Save up your cash for
a decent, new mixed signal digital scope after you've made a few
million $$$  designing PICs  <sarcastic Grin>





> I don't know how to use an oscilloscope, but I know they are useful.
>  Can anyone tell me what kind of oscilloscope is useful to debuging
> PIC projects?  How many Mhz, and any other features?  Maybe even how
> they are commonly used with PIC designing?
>
> Thanks,
> Nathan Hendler
-- Lawrence Lile

"Nyquist was an optimist."

=> Median Filter Source Code
=> AutoCad blocks for electrical drafting

at:  http://home1.gte.net/llile/index.htm

1998\09\30@091405 by Clewer,Brian

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At 00:19 30.9.1998 -0700, you wrote:
>I don't know how to use an oscilloscope, but I know they are useful.
Can
>anyone tell me what kind of oscilloscope is useful to debugging PIC
>projects?  How many Mhz, and any other features?  Maybe even how they
are
>commonly used with PIC designing?


Analogue debug devices are great, but as the PIC is more of a digital
device. Why not go for a more cheaper solution like a parallel port logic
analyser?  Or if you have a C++ compiler, you could program your PC's
parallel port yourself!  There is code on my web site that you can use to
read the inputs from your parallel port in C++.  The down side is,  your
port wouldn't go fast enough for the clock speed of the PIC (usually max
speed is about 5mhz) so it would only be ok for looking at the status of
the pins of your PIC.  If you don't fancy programming your parallel port
yourself, then search the web for ' parallel port logic analyser '.
I have done a small search for you and there is a FREE demo version of a
logic analyser on the web.  The full version has many channels but the
demo version only supports one.  All you need is a connector to plug into
the back of your PC and a couple of leads...  goto
http://www.logixell.com for the download.


C++ code for the parallel port is on my web page at:
http://www3.mistral.co.uk/brian.clewer/

Brian.

1998\09\30@113156 by Dave VanHorn

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>
>Analogue debug devices are great, but as the PIC is more of a digital
>device. Why not go for a more cheaper solution like a parallel port
logic
>analyser?

They are fine for just watching the bits toggle, but you'll never
debug ground bounce with it, power supply glitches.. It's not an
analog tool.

One thing that I made, a long time ago, was a simple "logic analyzer"
from an HC688 chip (8 bit magnitude comparator).  8 leads out to
micro-clips with 100k pulldowns, and on the other side, a dipswitch
with 10k pulldowns.

Using the dipswitch, you set the logic state you want to detect, the
unused inputs fall to zero.
You connect the micro-clips to the circuit, and if that state occurs,
then the output of the 688 pulses.
This can trigger a scope, or just a 1-shot into an LED to indicate "it
happened"
Even a cheap scope gets a lot more powerful with this sort of trigger
front end.

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