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Many people who do electronics as a hobby or in education (where funds are notoriously tight) don't need
Certain features I consider key parameters for such an instrument, which gave a baseline for this effort:

  • Two input channels; many of the low-end scopes on the market have only a single channel which
    makes them little more than a toy - too often you need to display one signal with respect to an other
    (e.g. clock vs. data) and or trigger on a signal different to the one you want to look at.

  • Triggering on either channel, rising or falling edge (selectable), or free running.

  • Pre-trigger capability to see what happened before and at the trigger event.

  • Datalogger mode (roll mode) to visualize and record slower changing signals.

  • Covers the typical applications in a hobby environment - things like audio (0 - 20 kHz), ultrasound
    (< 200 kHz) and infrared (38 kHz), servo motor control (a few kHz), common data transmission
    protocols (RS-232, CAN, I2C, SPI, one-wire), requiring an analog bandwidth of at least 1 MHz. This
    clearly precludes any sound-card based solution.

  • Spectrum Analyzer functionality (real-time Fast Fourier Transformation) so one can look at things
    like distortion in an audio amplifier.

  • Sample rate up to 20 million samples/sec - the sample rate must be about 10x the analog
    bandwidth to allow meaningful display without very advanced filtering.

  • Fast and smooth acquisition - shows the signals "as they happen", with a screen update rate up to
    40 frames/sec.

  • Wide input range (from Millivolts to several 10 Volts).

  • Low-cost and easy to assemble, so any moderately skilled hobbyist can build his/her own.

  • Small and easy to use so even a user without much experience with oscilloscope gets a quick
    start, and compact so it doesn't use much desk space.

  • Uses USB to connect to a computer as well as for power supply.

If all of that got you all excited, check out the
"Buy It" section where you can order the scope fully assembled
and tested, or as a complete kit for less than you could procure the parts yourself.

For questions, suggestions, feedback etc. please do not hesitate to
contact us.
DPScope
Disclaimer: The author of these pages does not assume any responsibility whatsoever regarding the
design, construction or use of the described circuit. The author cannot be held responsible for any
damage to persons or property connected with the described design. This includes (but is not limited
to) damage to you or your computer, fitness for a specific task, and specified performance.
If you
decide to build the oscilloscope or use it, you do so at your own risk. Observe safety guidelines when
soldering. Never apply any voltage exceeding 20V to the oscilloscope inputs.

Copyright Notice: Circuit schematics, layout files, PC software etc. on this siteare intended for use with
our DPScope only. The only exception to this is their use (or use of portions of them) for private,
non-commercial projects.
Any commercial use is strictly prohibited without explicit, prior, written
consent by us. That means that you can't for example sell or even distribute your own version of
oscilloscope which runs with our PC software, or sell any instrument, circuit or kit whose design is
substantially based on the DPScope schematic and/or layout without prior permission from our side.
DPScope - Low-Cost USB Oscilloscopes
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