Miniature USB Oscilloscope

The USB oscilloscope concept provides for a wide range of implementations.   Remember, the three key ingredients of a USB oscilloscope design includes a hardware input device, a display (such as a PC) and the software program.

To highlight this a little more we give, for your consideration,  a physically small hardware input device which is only slightly larger in size than a USB flash storage unit.  We assure you this is not an advert for the manufacturer of this unit selected; rather it is an example of an elegant USB plugin device.

Picture herein is the USBscope50.  It is courtesy of Elan Digital Systems, Elan House, Little Park Farm Road, Segensworth West FAREHAM Hants PO15 5SJ, UK.

Each end of this little scope has  a connector.  One is the standardized USB male connection for easy insertion into the female USB on the display processor unit – such as a PC.  The other end is a BNC connector for the attachment of a cable or probe which will feed the test or measurand signal for processing and eventual display.

Notice the “STACK” marking on the scope case just above an opening whereby a connector may be inserted.  This allows for stacking of additional USBScope50 units to be connected.  This provides for multi-channel applications. Four units may be stacked.

Inspite of the small size this unit, accompanied with its included application software, has a long list of measurement features and specifications.

USBscope50 JAVA Software                        Supports Windows 2K/XP/VISTA/WINDOWS 7 and LINUX

FFT                                                                         2048 point per channel

Math                                                                     2 Math channels, with FFT

Data Export                                                        Via text file to Excel etc.

Full Screen Plot                                                 Yes, for time window and FFT window

The current drain is 200ma from the host.  If more than one unit is used it may be necessary to employ a USB hub to satisfy the additional power consumption requirements.

USB oscilloscope probes and accessories are available, or course.  This USB oscilloscope example is offered as an illustration of a low cost, small size, affordable and flexible solution.

There are, of course, other makers of small, low cost USB oscilloscopes.


The above image is complements of EE Times in an article entitled “Scoping out palm-sized USB oscilloscopes.

We hope this is helpful in highlighting this category of the USB oscilloscope story.

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