Ultra-Simple Oscilloscope

Posted on Feb 4, 2014

Simple homemade oscilloscopes are not all that difficult to design and build. I have studied various designs dating back to the thirties and had an interest in developing a simple oscilloscope that the electronics hobbyist could build with readily available parts today. The first oscilloscope I ever built from scratch is the Tube Version shown aft

Ultra-Simple Oscilloscope
Click here to download the full size of the above Circuit.

er this Solid-State version on this webpage. I experimented with some solid-state designs and came up with a design shown in the schematic below. The schematic design is for a XYZ scope capable of supporting the Dutchtronix scope clock with sharp graphics and also the Version 2 TV-to-Scope converter. The Z axis design is very simple and turns the CRT grid on/off briefly. It works well with the Dutchtronix clock Z axis output and alright with NTSC video. The Z axis circuitry is definitely an area for future improvement. Before powering up the circuit for the first time, make sure the ASTIG and FOCUS pots are centered, and the INTEN pot rotated all the way towards the negative polarity of the 2. 2uF capacitor for maximum brightness. Without any inputs connected, power up the scope and adjust the X and Y position pots until a dot appears in the center of the screen, and then adjust the FOCUS pot until the dot is as sharp as possible and about 1mm in diameter. Afterwards, adjust the ASTIG pot until the dot is as round as possible, and then finally readjust all other controls to your liking. Rather than using voltage doublers directly on the mains supply like my Version 3 XY scope design, I opted to use a power transformer for isolation safety and simplicity. I personally hate power transformers because they are large, heavy, and require special considerations when placed near an electrostatic CRT. I would have opted for a...

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