Electronic DIY Project: Building Your Own Oscilloscope

Here comes on of the more exciting and useful DIY project of this year: An oscilloscope.

Before we start working on this project, I would also like to state that this is the best way to own your first oscilloscope and to start enjoying the power of having one. A professional oscilloscope will cost around $300 but you can get this kit for less than $15 and this will serve you well for all your education project and prepare you to know what to do when you start working with a pro oscilloscope if your future ever goes that direction.

There are lots of components to solder in this project. I believe that is the most complex project we have done on the site so far, so, if you are on your first project, I will suggest starting from one of our other projects and coming back to this one later on.

Here is what is in the box:

electronic components

As said earlier, there are lots of components here.

On the picture above, you can see that there are some small SMD components that are already soldered on the board so you don’t have to deal with super small and hard to solder components, that’s a very good thing!

You can also find very good instruction in the kit, everything is well explained. A Schematic and troubleshooting guide are included too. There is a step by step guide on the soldering order of component on the board.

I did it slightly differently.

Let’s start with resistors. there are lots of them and you will need a multimeter to measure their values so you know where which one of them goes on the board.

To solder, you can use schematic, find a resistor labeled as R1 check its value and put this resistor on the PCB where R1 is labeled. You can also use the table with resistor values. There is also one mistake on the schematic. R11 is labeled as 150 Ohms but you should solder a 1.5K Ohm resistor there.

soldering electronic components

My advice is to not solder all of the resistors at once, put one in place, solder it, cut the leads off before moving to the next one.

main circuit board
main circuit board

After the resistors, I soldered all of the capacitors, that’s what I usually do. Make sure to not mess up the values there and double check the polarities of the electrolytic capacitors.

mounted component on the mother board

Now, we can solder the 8mhz crystal, the buttons, and the USB socket. Make sure to solder those pins on the side of the USB socket, those are there to hold it in place strongly when you connect or disconnect the cable.

mounted components on the circuit board

It’s time to solder the transistors, the regulators, and the trimmers. Transistor and regulators look almost exactly the same, the only way to distinguish them is by the name written of their packages.

circuit board

Now, we need to solder some connectors and switches to the main board and connectors to the LCD. You should also solder one of the leads that you cut to J2 connector so that later we are able to test our oscilloscope.

mother board
pins of the circuit board

Once everything is ready, put LCD on the top of the main PCB.

lcd mounted on the circuit board
lcd and the mother board

To test it, we have to power it with 9V and connect the red clip to J2 and leave the black clip unconnected. Power it and you should see square wave on the screen.

DIY Oscilloscope

And that’s it for this project.

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