PCB scope

Product Details

Many people who enjoy electronics as a hobby or in education (where budgets are always tight) don't always need a super-high-end oscilloscope but instead rather require something that is very affordable yet highly usable in practice.

The PCB-scope is just that - simple to use, yet with a full feature set as you will find on professional instruments. The Windows software is free of charge and the PCB-scope connects via a standard micro-USB cable (as used by most cameras, mobile phones and e-readers, not included).

PCB-scope grew out of the earlier DPScope project to see how a PCB based scope design could be simplified yet still give the functionality, look and feel of a real oscilloscope. It is primarily geared towards education and beginners and is ideal for use within PICAXE microcontroller projects.

PCB-scope highlights:

  • Oscilloscope, logic analyzer and datalogger in one instrument.
  • Two analogue input channels (for scope and datalogger modes) - many of the low-end scopes on the market only have a single channel which makes them very limited as you often need to display one signal with respect to another (e.g. clock vs. data), or trigger on a signal different to the one you want to look at.
  • Four digital input channels (for logic analyzer and datalogger modes)
  • Triggering on CH1, a dedicated trigger channel, or free running. (Logic analyzer can trigger on any of the digital channels).
  • Trigger on rising or falling edge (selectable), or free running.
  • Covers the typical applications in a hobby/PICAXE environment: Analogue signals like audio (0 - 20 kHz), ultrasound, infrared sensors (38 kHz), servo motor control (a few kHz). Logic signals like e.g. RS-232, CAN, I2C, SPI, one-wire. Slow changing signals like temperature sensors etc.
  • Spectrum analyzer functionality (real-time Fast Fourier Transformation) so one can look at things like 50 (or 60) Hz interference, distortion in an audio amplifier or look for oscillations in a power supply.
  • Fast and smooth acquisition - shows the signals "as they happen", with a screen update rate up to 20 frames/sec.
  • Wide input range - from millivolts to > 20V (> 200V with an optional 1:10 scope probe)
  • Very low-cost
  • 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 standard micro USB to connect to a computer as well as for power supply
  • Dual connectors (supplied) for easy breadboard connection.


PCB-scope Specifications

Feature PCB-scope
Number of analogue (scope) channels 2 signal channels + external trigger input
Number of digital (logic analyzer) channels 4
Analogue bandwidth (scope channels) > 300 kHz
Input impedance

Scope channels: 1 Mohm || 15 pF 
Ext. trigger: high impedance
Logic analyzer: high impedance

Signal connection Scope: 0.1" jumper posts
Logic analyzer: 0.1" jumper posts
Vertical sensitivity (analog channels) 50 mV/div to 2 V/div (1:1 probe)
Logic threshold (logic analyzer channels) TTL (also works for 5V / 3.3V / 2.5V CMOS, RS-232)
Vertical resolution 8 bits (scope mode) 10 bits (datalogger mode)
Vertical offset +/-6 divisions
Maximum voltage range Scope inputs: -24V ... 24V (1:1 probe)
External trigger input: -1 ... +6V
Logic analyzer: -1 ... +6V
Offset adjustment yes
Max. sample rate (single shot) Scope: 50 kSample/sec
Logic analyzer: 1 MSamples/sec
Max. sample rate (repetitive signals) 2 MSamples/sec (scope mode only)
Timebase settings Scope: 5 usec/div ... 1 sec/div
Logic analyzer: 10 usec/div ... 1 sec/div
Datalogger: 0.5 sec/div ... 1 hr/div
FFT (frequency spectrum) frequency range up to 25 kHz
Trigger source Scope mode: CH1, external, auto (free run)
Logic analyzer: any of the 4 digital channels
Trigger polarity rising edge, falling edge
Max. trigger rate Scope: ~60 kHz
Logic analyzer: > 1 MHz
Record length (normal mode) Scope mode: 200 points/channel FFT (frequency spectrum): 400 points/channel
Logic Analyzer: 850 points/channel
Datalogger (roll) model: unlimited
Max. screen refresh rate up to 20+ frames/sec (both channels on) (sufficiently fast PC required)
Datalogger mode (roll mode) yes (data can be logged to file in real time)
Real-time FFT yes
FFT filters Rectangular, Hanning, Hamming, Blackman
Averaging yes (1 / 2 / 5 / 10 / 20 / 50 / 100)
Display styles (can be combined) Points, Vectors (Lines), Infinite Persistence
Fully automated measurements Level: low, high, mid level, amplitude, DC average, AC
RMS Time: period, frequency, duty cycle, pos. width, neg. width, rise time, fall time
Waveform cursors yes (horizontal and vertical pairs)
Waveform export (e.g. to Excel) yes (CSV format)
Save/restore of scope setups yes
PC connection USB (HID device), no special driver needed
PC software Windows 2000, XP (SP3), Vista, 7, 8
Minimum screen size 1024 x 768 pixel
Power supply through USB (5V / 70mA)
Microcontroller and USB interface Fully pre-programmed; no programming required


PCBscope Software v1.04 (approx 3MB, Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8) PCBscope Software
PCBscope Manual PCBscope Manual
PCBscope Schematic PCBscope Schematic
PCBscope Design History PCBscope Design


Revision History

1.0.4 ' 2013-12-15 fixed bug - at 50 kSa/sec with one channel turned on, averaging did not work 1.0.3 ' 2012-06-22 now writing logic analyzer channel when exporting data (logic analyzer mode and roll mode) Archive: ' 2012-02-08 fized bug: contents/settings of DMM window got lost when window closed and opened again ' 2012-02-05 implemented DMM display window ' 2012-02-05 several small GUI fixes from JW's feedback ' 2012-02-05 leave current mode radio button enabled ' 2012-02-05 prevent both lines and dots turned off ' 2012-01-13 added "trig'd" indicator ' 2012-01-13 explicitly calling Draw_Cursors in click of Cursors/CursorCh1/CursorCH2, Scope/Datalogger/LA-Mode ' 2012-01-13 reduced LA record length to 840pts (smaller record because of ETS firmware changes) ' 2012-01-12 fixed vertical position of logic analuzer traces (were off due to grid change from 2011-12-31) ' 2012-01-11 changed VID/PID to values sublicensed from Microchip ' 2012-01-08 added Playground panel, added snd tested read/write RAM, read/write EEPROM ' 2011-12-31 UpdatePlot: second half of grid -1 not +1, otherwise last line is off screen ' 2011-12-31 UpdatePlot: also when turning on/off bold, points even when acq stopped ' 2011-12-30 finished logic analyzer mode, triggered, up to 1 MSa/sec ' 2011-12-29 clock output through trigger pin; a lot of jitter when acquisition is running ' 2011-12-27 logic analyzer mode (untriggered) & necessary GUI extensions and changes ' 2011-12-26 added logic analyzer channel display in roll mode ' 2011-12-25 bug fix - start/stop button caption did not revert to "Start" in single shot mode

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