Tools & Hardware from Amazon.com
BusPirate: A small open source device that connects a USB host device
(PC, MAC, or cellphone / tablet via USB OTG) to electronic stuff. It can
speak with several different busses (I2C, SPI, UART, etc...) and devices
(LCDs, servos, AVRs, FPGAs, CPLDs, etc...) and can inject signals, or measure
voltages. It's a little test bench in your pocket for less than $30. WIth
you can use an Andriod phone as a very easy User Interface.
Signal viewers: oscilloscopes, logic analyzers, spectrum analyzers
In-Circuit Signal Viewers - Comparison
SX based O'Scope from Alberto Geraci
of BTX Systemas
The Xprotolab is the first mixed signal oscilloscope with an arbitrary waveform
generator in a DIP module. It measures only 1 x 1.6 inches, and can be mounted
directly on a breadboard. The Xprotolab can also be used as a development
board for the AVR XMEGA microcontroller. $50 as of 2012/10/18
2MHz x 2channel +-8volts with bluetooth to Andriod device for display and
control. All source code and schematics open sourced.
$0 Android O'scope using headphone / mic jack for audio frequency bandwidth.
PIC based O-Scope
PIC based Mixed Signal Capture Engine called
Bitscope. Captures analog and 8 digital channels at 25 Mhz (3kHz min) in
a 16K deep buffer so you get an oscilloscope and logic analyzer in one package.
Uses a host computer for control and display through USB. A nice piece of
engineering and the design is "open" so you can build as much or as little
as you want. $150-$245, full on scope, signal gen, decent 20MHz, USB
256K samples/sec, 2 channel, trigger, XY storage oscilloscope also functions
as a graphics terminal. PIC 18F14K22 drives a 128 x 64 LCD-19-HG1286418C-VA
under RS232 control
32M samples/sec for $50 controller chip (fob Netherlands) and cost of PCB,
5MHz analog bandwith
DSO Nano 3, $100 very slow scope 200KHz, built in display
DSO Quad, $200, scope 10MHz, "interesting" documentation?, built in display
$230 full on scope, very limited 8 bit resolution, but good decoders for
signal analysis, 30MHz, lovely user interface via USB
http://redpitaya.com Red Pitaya $260-$300,
full on scope, signal gen, spectrum, etc... good 14 bit resolution, 50MHz,
open source, USB
An oscilloscope is often called an o'scope or simply a scope. One discussion
of low-cost scopes:
Cheap PC Oscilloscopes - Any Recommendations?
Another discussion of low-cost scopes and open-source, open-hardware scopes:
Open Circuits wiki: oscilloscope
ICE - In Circuit Emulator
Simulators (why not to use)
Meters (Todo: move "meters you can build for yourself" to
Analog Devices AD9850 DDS has been used to design (Documentation, schematics,
sources available at
a signal generator with the following features:
Uses two 16F84 microcontrollers, one for a 4x4 keyboard, the other for LCD,
encoder, DDS, shift-register as DAC
Range 0.1 - 40MHz
Steps selectable from 1, 10, 100Hz, 1, 10kHz
Step multiplier selectable from 1-9
Frequency entry through keyboard in 1Hz precision
Keyboard commands to sweep frequency up or down
Keyboard command to 'wobble' frequency in 250 steps, with corresponding DAC
voltage for oscilloscope X-input which is particularly useful for making
measurements on filters.
Output level from 0 - +10dBm, level is held constant within 1dB over range.
"Digital Frequency Synthesis" by Tom Napier in issue 99 (October 1998) of
Circuit Cellar INK. Uses a PIC as a Digital Frequency Synthesizer. Richard
Ottosen has developed an improved version for the
April 2004 Newletter discussed other means of generating sine waves.
The PIC source code for a single chip frequency divider that takes a 10 MHz
input and produces 9 square wave outputs - one for each frequency decade
from 100 kHz to 0.001 Hz (1000 s period), courtesy of Tom Van Baak,
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