Simple DIY Oscilloscope [Plans]

DIY Oscilloscope Plans

​​We've collected a list of the 20 best oscilloscope DIY blueprints from around the internet. ​Scroll down to check out the project plans. 

These do-it-yourself blueprints are great if you're short on money- because we all know how expensive buying a Rigol, Hantek or Tektronix brand o-scope can be. Or, you might be an electronics hobbyist that just enjoys hacking together a functioning o-scope. ​

The oscilloscope plans we've assembled range from simple, hacked circuit boards, to the more robust kits. If you're handy with code, you'll find that the ​firmware can be modified to your heart's content.​

​These laboratory instruments are frequently employed to analyze and display electronic waveform signals. They're great for instanteously graphing signal voltage as a function of time (Source).

20 DIY Oscilloscope Plans

1. The Arduino PC Oscilloscope Design

The Arduino PC Oscilloscope Design

If you want to know how to make a basic oscilloscope, then this design will be of immense help. This pc oscilloscope has some excellent features like an auto trigger, a frequency counter, a 50k sample/seconds, and selectable voltage range - 5V, 6.6 V, 10 V, and 20 V.

To make this DIY oscilloscope, you'll need an Arduino Leonardo/Arduino Micro, two crocodile clamps, and a PC with processing. If you want to measure more than 5V, you'll have to add voltage dividers. Don’t worry. There are instructions how to do it. The builder warns that you shouldn't exceed 5V on the Arduino pins to avoid damage.

2. The Physicist 's Fast Arduino Oscilloscope Blueprint

The Physicist 's Fast Arduino Oscilloscope Blueprint

This oscilloscope plan will come in handy if you need a fast Arduino oscilloscope for your projects. To make this advanced scope, you'll need Arduino board and an ATMega328P datasheet.

Another interesting thing is that the builder designs the oscilloscope using lower level functions to make the program run faster. The Arduino sketch and the schematics of the circuit that you'll need are attached.

However, the builder warns that you should double and triple check everything, verify his information and follow proper safety precautions. There are plenty of step-by-step instructions, but still, this is not a project for an amateur.

3. The USB Matchbox Oscilloscope Build

The USB Matchbox Oscilloscope Build

This oscilloscope design could be perfect for students, engineers, and DIY fans. What’s special about this simple oscilloscope is that it’s powered and controlled by a USB port.

Another good feature of the digital storage oscilloscope is that five integrated circuits (5V) provide full functionality. And to spice things up, the portable oscilloscope is enclosed in a large cardboard matchbox with the USB connection on one end and the audio jack for monitoring the signals on the other.

If that’s not enough, it won’t cost you a fortune to build it. For less than $15 you’ll have a fully functional oscilloscope at your disposal.

4. The Fully Functional Converted Television Oscilloscope Design

The Fully Functional Converted Television Oscilloscope Design

Are you looking for a cheap oscilloscope? Then you can use this oscilloscope plan to turn your television into a fully functional, lab worthy oscilloscope device. It features an optimal audio output, variable input voltage, and manual horizontal frequency locking.

However, keep in mind that this television oscilloscope can display up to 20-20k HZ. Also, you'll have to modify the plan to suit your TV, and the builder warns that his instructions might not apply to your TV set.

You shouldn't try this model if you don't have the solid understanding of electronics because you'll be working close to the high voltage capacitors.

5. The $25 Oscilloscope Plan

The $25 Oscilloscope Plan

To make this oscilloscope, you'll need an oscilloscope DSO 138 Kit. It has only one channel and a small LCD screen, but it's everything a beginner might need. It runs on 9V, and due to its size, you can carry it with you.

Moreover, there are step-by-step instructions how to solder the components and verify the voltage. To remove any excess solder flux, you have to clean the board with an isopropyl alcohol. The builder tests the functionality of this portable oscilloscope by putting together a PWM circuit.

6. The Wave Viewing Mechanical Oscilloscope Project

The Wave Viewing Mechanical Oscilloscope Project

This simple oscilloscope project is perfect for teachers who want to show their students the wave phenomena and help them understand better how an oscilloscope works.

It's not a complicated plan - you need a bucket with a lid, a thick, black, elastic cord, a 6" lazy Susan turntable bearing and some tools to make a U-shape wood frame.

You must paint the bucket black with white pinstripes so that the students can observe the oscilloscope effect and the bucket's handle has to spin freely. The builder also offers you some additional ideas how to use an oscilloscope in the classroom.

7. The Cheap & Easy USB Oscilloscope Plan

The Cheap & Easy USB Oscilloscope Plan

You can use this plan to make an easy USB oscilloscope in just six steps. It features a frequency of 2-20000HZ, a 16bit resolution, +-7V voltage range, two channels, X-Y mode, and a single generator.

If you add a probe, you can increase the voltage range up to +-70V. You need a USB sound card, a linein/stereo microphone, and a 70 x 70 x 55 mm case. As for the software, the builder recommends the Soundcard Oscilloscope by Christian Zeitnitz. He warns that you shouldn't use your internal sound card or it could get damaged.

8. The DIY Arduino Digital Oscilloscope Plan

The DIY Arduino Digital Oscilloscope Plan

If you want to build a simple digital oscilloscope, you can use this plan. To make it, you'll need Arduino Pro mini, an LCD12864, electrolytic capacitors, a 50k potentiometer, and a case. The oscilloscope features a 10Hz-50Hz frequency response, 5V power supply, and a 128x64 screen.

This is a very basic scope, and the builder points out that you can improve it further. However, keep in mind that the instructions are not very well-written, and it might be difficult for a novice to follow them or understand what the builder means.

9. The Ultra-Fast & Portable Oscilloscope and Inductance Meter Design

The Ultra-Fast & Portable Oscilloscope and Inductance Meter Design

This oscilloscope kit is a combination of an oscilloscope and an inductance meter. It can measure inductances over 100uH, display both analog and digital signals up to 1.7MS/s, frequency, voltage, and duty cycle. In addition to this, it features a temperature and pressure sensing.

There is an extensive list of the necessary materials and step-by-step instructions so that you can build this mini oscilloscope easily. Also, the code is open so that you can add or remove anything you want. And the cool thing is that this oscilloscope looks just like a mini toy car when it’s turned off.

10. The DIY Smartphone Oscilloscope Build

The DIY Smartphone Oscilloscope Build

You might use your smartphone for more than talking or surfing the Net. Thanks to this smart design, you can turn your phone into an oscilloscope and signal generator for electronic circuits.

It will be able to visualize signals (150 Hz to 50 kHz) and generate sinusoidal, square and triangular signals (50 kHz at max). To make this portable scope, you need at least basic understanding of soldering and woodworking.

The builder provides a list of materials and makes suggestions which apps to use for generating waveforms. Also, he offers simple answers to the questions every novice has: "What is oscilloscope?" and "How to use oscilloscopes?"

11. The LCS-1M Robust Low-Cost Hobby Oscilloscope Idea

The LCS-1M Robust Low-Cost Hobby Oscilloscope Idea

If you are looking for an easy to make oscilloscope, this plan will come in handy. This is a cheap but full-featured digital oscilloscope that you can use to study electrical signals that change in time. You can also monitor/observe/troubleshoot electronic devices.

Even though this is not a professional oscilloscope, it has some excellent features like two independent input channels, up to 1 Ms/S sample rate, and an analog bandwidth of 400 kHz. In addition to this, you can connect this portable scope to a PC through a serial port or USB, and it will run on Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP, and Vista. You can control all settings from you PC and export the waveforms to an Excel file.

12. The Poorman's Oscilloscope Plan

A low-cost oscilloscope is perfect if you want something simple but functional to sample analog signals and display them on a TV.

Unfortunately, this small scope plan will work only on 625 line PAL standard TVs, and it can show signal up to a few kHz. To make it, the builder uses a small 8-pins micro controller and writes the software for the scope.

He advises that you build the circuit for your scope on a piece of test PCB. It's also possible to record the image from the oscilloscope on a VCR if you happen to have one.

13. The Upcycled CRT TV Oscilloscope Project

The Upcycled CRT TV Oscilloscope Project

If you have an old TV lying around, you can turn it into an oscilloscope for half an hour thanks to this plan. And you don't need any fancy tools - just some wire, a soldering gun, a rubber gripped pliers and a screwdriver.

It's a simple process where you just have to desolder the vertical and horizontal coil. Then you attach a wire to the vertical coil and connect it to a voltage source. The builder also includes instructions how to connect an MP3 player to the TV oscilloscope so that you can watch the waves created by the music.

14. The DIY Kit Oscilloscope Design

The DIY Kit Oscilloscope Design

You can make this scope from a DSO 062 LCD Oscilloscope kit. Since the package comes with step-by-step instructions, the builder offers some additional tips on things not mentioned in the manual.

He advises that you start with the quick reference, download all necessary files and print them so that you can have them at arm's length during the assembly process. There are also steps how to make a portable power supply for your oscilloscope and probe.

15. The Raspberry Pi Based Oscilloscope Design

The Raspberry Pi Based Oscilloscope Design

An oscilloscope is essential for any digital project where timing between the signals is crucial. You can build this Raspberry Pi based oscilloscope without any special hardware.

Of course, you'll need Rasberry Pi, an SD card with a Raspbian image, Adafruit PiTFT, a breadboard, CA3306, TXB0108, and a jumper wire. You also must have access to a computer. For the software, the builder recommends PuTTY (SSH client) and FileZilla (FTP client). If you want to turn the Piscope into a portable oscilloscope, you must use pi TFT to display the data.

16. The Arduino Nokia 5110 LCD Oscilloscope Build

The Arduino Nokia 5110 LCD Oscilloscope Build

In just four steps, you can create a small oscilloscope with minimal efforts. You need an Arduino board, 2*10k ohm potentiometers, a breadboard, and jumper wires.

As an oscilloscope display, you can use Nokia 5110 LCD. There is an image that shows you how to connect the LCD, and the builder provides additional information how to connect the potentiometers.

For the code, you have to download Adafruit Pcd8544.h and Adafruit Gfx.h Library. However, since the assembly instructions are on the scant, this mini oscilloscope is more suitable for experienced DIY or professionals.

17. The 16 MHz Nokia Oscilloscope Design

The 16 MHz Nokia Oscilloscope Design

If you are in need of an oscilloscope, but you don't have the budget for a professional one, this plan will help you. You can connect this oscilloscope to your laptop screen and use data acquisition macro to log the incoming data into an Excell spreadsheet.

What's more, you can also have the information displayed on a chart. Another excellent thing about this 16MHz oscilloscope is that if it gets damaged or malfunctions you can fix it because you know how it works.

The builder highly recommends that you get the book "Arduino Oscilloscope Projects" to help you customize your own scope.

18. The Digilent Zybo Board Oscilloscope Idea

The Digilent Zybo Board Oscilloscope Idea

This oscilloscope is designed to meet the basic need of any electricians or scientists who want to diagnostic electric circuits. It uses a standard 10:1 probe, an input voltage range from -10V to +10V, a 1000 kHz bandwidth, and a VGA monitor display with a resolution of 640 x 480.

What's more, it has a user input through a rotary encoder. The oscilloscope is made of several key parts including an analog front end, ADC buffer/trigger, user input processing, processing system, and a video driver. There are detailed instructions and schematics, but this plan is more suitable for an experienced engineer or electricians.

19. The Digital Oscilloscope DIY Kit Design

This digital oscilloscope kit will help you build a fully-functionally DIY oscilloscope. It features an 8-bit resolution, a 5Ms/S, an input voltage up to 50Vpp, and a 9VDC power supply voltage (the power supply is not included in the package).

The surface mount components are already soldered, and you have to solder only the through-hole ones. This oscilloscope kit for sale also has a 256 sample memory depth, an analog bandwidth of 1MHz, DC/AC coupling, backlit LCD display, and a BNC connector.

In addition to this, this cheap oscilloscope can save and display up to six captures of memory. This is an excellent option for those who want something cheap but functional.

20. The Open Electronics DIY Oscilloscope Blueprint

This DIY oscilloscope is constructed with the help of an open-source electronics prototyping platform called Freeduino, and a PC. First, the signal gets transformed from analog to digital in the board by the ADC and then it's outputted to the PC. To read the signal, you'll have to install MATLAB software.

This homemade oscilloscope features a max frequency of 7 kHz, up to four channels, a variable trigger voltage, and an 8-bit resolution. There are schematics and diagrams provided to make it easy for you. What's more, the plan is available as a PDF file so that you can print it and consult with it during the assembly process.

Summary

There you have it- our list of the best oscillscope blueprints on the internet. If you end up making one of these o-scopes, comment below and we'll feature your creation on our site. 

We also created a fun DIY oscilloscope slideshow of our plans above- click the video to watch an overview of the blueprints we've profiled here!