Sound Card Oscope

19 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Has anyone ever run across a sound card scope (preferably free) that might work decently with an external mixer for limited RF work or looking at video signals or a USB scope using external circuitry for the same purposes??

Any hints, tips, links, or info will be much appreciated.

Edited by W3FJW-Ron

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Posted

I never say never, but I don't think you'll be happy with a sound card/mixer solution. For video, I recommend a traditional scope with at least 10MHz of bandwidth that has a video sync mode. You should be able to find a USB scope that supports that, but for the same money, I'd say go for a good used Tek analog scope (make sure it has been recently calibrated!). Most of the time I use my old 100MHz TEK2245A, which is great for video troubleshooting and microcontroller projects.

For UHF/microwave RF, I don't usually find a scope to be all that useful. Unfortunately, expensive Network/Spectrum analyzers are common tools of the trade. I use an old Tek 494 Spectrum Analyzer that works great, but I'm looking for a Network Analyzer to replace it.

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Posted (edited)

I appreciate the advice Mr RC however, I'm limited in a lot of ways. Money not being the least of them. My biggest problem is where to put my stuff. I live in a 32' motorhome and there just isn't space for everything and living at the same time. Virtually everything I have has to pull double or triple duty in order to justify having it around. That's pretty much why I asked about a PC scope knowing It'd have very limited bandwidth and it would be problematical with video. Don't know for sure if a USB setup would gain me much, more BW probably, but at any rate it would be something I'd have to build (and will check into). I can probably do that much of it without too much of a problem but the software would be a different matter entirely.

I would appreciate it very much if you and/or the other fellows who call this forum a second home would clue me in if y'all run across any info/circuits that might be of use to me in this regard.

I have a will, so there might just be a way...... somewhere...... Trouble is in finding it these days. Used to be, one only needed three or four books. Nowadays a single pair of eyes can take several years and more of searching & looking on the internet for a specific bit of info.

Edited by W3FJW-Ron

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Posted

... or a USB scope using external circuitry for the same purposes??

Any hints, tips, links, or info will be much appreciated.

HERE is a DIY PC-based digital oscilloscope that can be built for under $100. The unit shown is rated at 100 mega-samples-per-second, but there are options to go to 200MS/S. It is RS-232 based but may be used on USB with an adapter. Software is included.

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Posted (edited)

Hey Thanks Cerberus. That looks like a project I can get my fingers into. Good site in other ways also. Have it bookmarked for further study. Thanks again..

Edited by W3FJW-Ron

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Posted

I ran into this: http://www.jyetech.com/en/default.html

I think I am going to try that one. They told me by email that they are working on making it possible to show data on your PC through serial connection.

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Posted (edited)

Careful, I get a virus warning on the download file.

I've already Downloaded the PC scope demo & it did screw up my system (Vista Home Prem.) when I tried to run it, so beware again....

Everything was ok on the site a few days ago..

Edited by W3FJW-Ron

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the warning Ron! I have sent an email to the owner of that site so they can do something about it.

I am sorry that you got these troubles because of me!

CD

Edited by CrashingDutchman

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Posted

Nothing to bother yourself about Dutchman. I've been playing with these things since the 70s and now have all kinds of safeguards on my system to prevent any damage.

I think I'll try the one Cerberus linked though.. http://www.fpga4fun.com/Hands-on_Flashy.html

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Posted

Glad to hear all is ok then :)

The product you linked to needs a PC or an extra screen. That is why I like the jyetech product so much, it comes with an LCD.

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Posted

Yes. That's the reason I like it. I have a laptop dedicated for use on the workbench so it's a natural. I don't mind the other except the LCD is too small for me.

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Posted

On a lark, I bought the jyetech digital storage o-scope and checked it out. I was quite impressed with the features. Enough so, that it is now a stocked item in the USA at www.dpcav.com.

I found that it works nicely for R/C project troubleshooting. It has good resolution for measuring servo signals and such. Frankly, for the price it is quite a bargain. I only wish it had a plastic case to make it look less techie, but the exposed board looks cool as a benchtop conversation piece. :)

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Posted (edited)

Great!! I've been looking closely at it but have been procrastinating. Package one up. You'll be receiving my order next month (payday)...

BTW, what is the actual size of the display??

Edited by W3FJW-Ron

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Posted

The LCD display is 1.8" W x 1.2" high. I have good close up vision, so the little icons and such are very clear to me. But, not everyone is so lucky, especially those of us over forty. :)

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Posted

I'm over 40 by far... Too far. Maybe I can find a frenel lens to jury rig above it. Might be worth a shot... Or possibly use a larger display although I don't know how that would affect the resolution... Any Ideas on that??

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Posted

The displays on these sort of devices are quite specialized. So, finding a bigger one that is electrically compatible would probably be a chore. So, I'd vote for a lens.

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Posted (edited)

I give a lens a shot after I order one & report back with results. Now, just gotta find one to try..

Edited by W3FJW-Ron

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Posted (edited)

It came in the mail today.. Fast service. It exceeds my expectations and the Freq meter is an added plus. Now, to find a Fresnel lens to try out.. The screen is legible and easy to see if I take my glasses off but still could be larger.

I didn't expect it to be backlit. I don't remember seeing that in the specs or description. Money well spent. Thanks Mr RC. :D

Edited by W3FJW-Ron

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Posted

Glad to hear you are enjoying it. I appreciate the kind feedback. I agree, it exceeded my expectations too.

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