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Oscillscope Probe

  1. Apr 23, 2003 #1
    Any one ever use a sound card + software as an oscillscope?
    I just want to know how i can make a probe to use as an oscillscope probe that can be plugged into the Input of a sound card.

    Thanks
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 23, 2003 #2

    emu

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    For audio frequencies, the probe from a multimeter will be fine. That is to say, a piece of wire will do. However, at radio frequencies, you would require a good oscilloscope with some decent probes. But for a sound card and some software, 2 wires will be sufficient.
     
  4. Apr 23, 2003 #3
    emu,
    I haven't seen a sound card thingy before, but I have seen special made PCI cards that come with all the needed cables/probes to take measurements with. The problem I have with those things is that they still cost you hundreds and hundreds of dollars, at least the ones I saw ($300 U.S. and up). For that kind of money I'd rather spend a few hundred more and get a stand alone unit.
     
  5. Apr 23, 2003 #4
    Yeah thatnks that is what i figured is that i can use just wires
     
  6. Apr 24, 2003 #5

    emu

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    When I was 16, I managed to salvage a nice B&K oscilloscope, good to about 20 MHz. It's a pain in the ass to lug around but when I need it, it's the only tool I trust. I've tried some software for use with soundcards using the line-in as a scope but there are limitations.
    I use mine mostly for audio testing, and often for bass frequencies. I doubt a sound car will read flat down to about 10 Hz while a good scope will.

    What are you going to use it for?
     
  7. Apr 24, 2003 #6
    Im going to use it for mainly audio purposes. So i can repair audio equipment and design audio as well.
     
  8. Apr 25, 2003 #7

    emu

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    If you have an old pentium 133 or something low-level with a soundcard, use that as your test machine. You can afford to fry the soundcard a few times while learning. However, be careful using this scope to repair active components. I don't even know what kind of voltage a soundcard can endure. I'd imagine the input impedance is the standard 10K so keep that in mind. A scope is in the Megaohm range.
     
  9. Apr 25, 2003 #8
    Where might I download a trial version of the 'sound-card software' so as to experiment with it?
     
  10. Apr 25, 2003 #9
    I download a program called WinScope but there are plenty of oscilloscope programs out there that use your sound card and a computer. Most I've seen are either freeware or shareware. But i havent tested any of the programs yet so i dont know how good they are but im going to eventually go out and purchase a scope.
     
  11. Apr 25, 2003 #10
  12. Apr 26, 2003 #11

    megashawn

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    Science Advisor

    Just to add in that Mandrake Linux (and probably other distribs) come with it as an option to install. Would be nice to get a decent O scope for less then $1000.
     
  13. Apr 26, 2003 #12
    It would but that damn scopes are so expensive.
     
  14. Apr 26, 2003 #13
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