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Old 22nd August 2005, 09:00 PM   #1
percy is offline percy  United States
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Default PC O'scope/analyser

I am looking for a good PC based oscilloscope/spectrum analyser software that is freeware or shareware.
Any good ones out there that are worth trying ? Something that uses the sound card would be great, but if there is an external acquisition unit that could be built or bought for cheap that is fine too.
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Old 22nd August 2005, 09:11 PM   #2
sam9 is offline sam9  United States
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http://www.audiotester.de

http://audio.rightmark.org
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Old 23rd August 2005, 12:00 AM   #3
Jorge is offline Jorge  Brazil
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What he said.
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Old 23rd August 2005, 12:25 AM   #4
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If you're just looking for a cheap non-recording 'scope, make sure you check the local classifieds, ham swap meets, etc.

My first scope was a 35 year old model I picked up (along with a bunch of spare tubes and a 4.5" needle bench multimeter) for twenty bucks. It was made for colour television repairmen, so although the bandwidth wasn't written on it, I'm pretty sure it's good to at least 4.7 MHz.

The only problem with old 'scopes is that they're full of old capacitors and dirty knobs. Mine still has a ~60Hz waggle that is about 10mV high. No big deal, as long as I have a good strong signal (i.e. audio line level) to beat it into submission with.

I have a new 'scope now (120Mhz Phillips) courtesy of my dad, but I haven't had to use it yet. Fixed everything on my "must fix" list with the old 'scope, but I'm sure the new one will come in handy when I build my chip amp next month.. or when I finally get that other formerly -stereo-now-mono amp in my living room cracked open.

Wes
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Old 23rd August 2005, 05:02 AM   #5
percy is offline percy  United States
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I will check out the audiotester.

Has anybody used any of these -
http://www.dazyweblabs.com/shannonsoft/page3.html
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Old 23rd August 2005, 05:04 AM   #6
sam9 is offline sam9  United States
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Yup. I forgot about them because a few months ago they dissapeared. It looks like they are back again. -- Interesting ---
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Old 23rd August 2005, 05:07 AM   #7
percy is offline percy  United States
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and http://www.dsoworld.co.uk/
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Old 23rd August 2005, 05:46 AM   #8
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All the soundcard based o'scopes or FFTs are restricted in their bandwidth due to the sample rate of the soundcard, which is generally around 44KHz - 48KHz so you cannot do 10K THD or square waves which require 100KHz min and pref >>1MHz.

A 20MHz analogue CRO is a bare minimum for viewing parasitics on square waves.

Cheers,
Greg
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Old 23rd August 2005, 07:09 AM   #9
zinsula is offline zinsula  Switzerland
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See this thread:

http://www.diyhifi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=302

I find this software pretty good for signals frequencies up to the soundcard limits.
You'll not see if an amp oscillates though, but it's useful anyway.

Tino
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Old 23rd August 2005, 04:45 PM   #10
sam9 is offline sam9  United States
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Quote:
All the soundcard based o'scopes or FFTs are restricted in their bandwidth due to the sample rate of the soundcard, which is generally around 44KHz - 48KHz so you cannot do 10K THD or square waves which require 100KHz min and pref >>1MHz.
I recently ran across this:

http://www.esi-pro.com/viewProduct.php?pid=43&page=1

Appearently the 24/192 capability is for both in- and out-put and is done in gardware unlike some others. I googled for reviews and at least one reported <.001% THD+N using thr RightMark loop back test. It's not all one would want but should resilve out to the 7th harmonic for a 10kHz test. I've seen street prices as low as $125. This doesn't refute what was written above, but it indicates that the limits are not quite as bad a formerly.

Quote:
A 20MHz analogue CRO is a bare minimum for viewing parasitics on square waves.
Agree. Fortunately you can get this on E-bay pretty cheap.

The cheapest spectum analyser (I know of) that reads in Mhz, that I know, is the Velleman (for some reason ElectronixExpress carries it much cheaper than anyone else). Unfortunately, it only has 8-bit resolution which limits the lowest distortion figures youi can measure without bulding some of your own external fixtures.

It looks like one really need at least 2 instruments at6 this point in time. Even the PicoTech 16-bit resolution (which is beyond my current budget) has bandwidthy limits.
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