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Analogies to oscilloscopes

  1. Dec 23, 2013 #1
    So oscilloscopes are pretty expensive and I'm a high schools student,I don't think I'll get my hands on one of those.Are there any other ways to measure the signals(an graph it of course)?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 23, 2013 #2
    If you want to make measurements to show behaviour of a signal over short timescales, then I think an oscilloscope is probably the only way to go. What exactly do you want to do?
  4. Dec 23, 2013 #3
    I want to measure the Chua's circuit to detect a double scroll attractor.
  5. Dec 23, 2013 #4


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    If the frequencies are low enough then you can use the soundcard in your computer - it has 2 channels of A/D at audio frequencies. You can find free software online for this (google soundcard oscilloscope).

  6. Dec 26, 2013 #5
    Have you heard of the Raspberry Pi, tiny computer, costs about 25 dollars? That combined with boxes such as this:


    They have an oscilloscope package that hooks to the Pi, cost is under $300.00.

    That is a lot of money for a HS student for sure but maybe your professor can budget it in. It would help a lot of student activities, just use it with a laptop or tablet and you have instant oscilloscope.

    I also found this kit for $60.00, a lot cheaper! Basic but should work well enough for your attractor prject:

  7. Dec 26, 2013 #6


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  8. Dec 26, 2013 #7
    As for USB scopes, what cant I do with one compared to something like the OWON 5032e? I really want to be able to measure inductance (with a known cap) and design/troubleshoot RF antennas.

    owon 5032e on amazon
  9. Dec 28, 2013 #8


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    that's pretty much a job for a network analyser rather than a normal o'scope

  10. Dec 28, 2013 #9


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    The main disadvantage of computer based oscilloscopes is portability.
    Even laptops have to be booted up then a suitable program must be found and run.

    Then there is the problem of bandwidth. A sound card might have a bandwidth of 20 KHz, so waveforms above 3 KHz may look more sinusoidal than they really are.

    However, ANY kind of oscilloscope is vastly better than none at all. Try to get something if you can.

    Antenna analysers are still a fairly rare item and features in them vary a lot.
    Prices vary too, but a hunt on EBay brings up some interesting options.

    Even very basic ones are really useful.
    You can use one to test antennas and find resonant frequencies outside ham bands.

    Note that they are used to match an antenna to a feedline, not to test the antenna's performance.
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