[Craig] has taken his gameboy hackery to the next step, using an oscilloscope as an external display. Back in November of 2010 [Craig] showed us how to extract the video data from a classic gameboy’s screen, armed with that information, and a pretty powerful XMega128A1 controller it seems straightforward to process that data and output it onto a oscilloscope that is in XY(z) mode, especially since he has done all of the hard work for us.

Scopes that feature XY mode typically have a Z input on the back, X controls where the beam is positioned from left to right, Y controls the beam from top to bottom, and Z controls the intensity of the beam. By sweeping the X and Y to act as lines, and Z to control the shade of the beam, its fairly easy to reuse your typically vector display as a raster display similar to televisions or computer monitors (as long as you have your math and timing right), making scopes very useful as output displays for devices like the gameboy, which do not have “standards” friendly display systems.

Join us after the break for a short video, and also check out the scope terminal, or the VGA-to Sope converter for more examples of how to use your oscilloscope as a raster display.


  1. holly_smoke says:

    When I saw the title, I had visions of someone using a Nintendo as an Oscilloscope. The way it stands, this is more of a “ScopeTendo” than a “NintendOscope”.

  2. llort says:

    VGA-to-Sope converter? You mean I can plug soap into a VGA port and it will display stuff now?

  3. aztraph says:

    Seriously, Me too. that would be way more useful than playing Nintendo on an oscilloscope.

  4. Cricri says:
  5. third says:

    The NintendOscope you’re referring to has existed for a while now in the form of Elektor’s Gameboy Digital Sampling Oscilloscope. Note the date (2000)!

    Still, very cool project! It even has proper green-on-green Gameboy colours. ;)

  6. third says:


    Beat me to it! For those interested, Elektor still sells the kits. Quite expensive though…

  7. rusty says:

    that link is to the opposite of what he did. juss saying.

  8. third says:


    Yeah, that link was meant for holly_smoke and aztraph, who mentioned the opposite version.

  9. Maave says:

    I hope the guy who did VGA-to-oscilloscope submitted it for the 555 contest :)

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