Crowdfunding: A Wireless Oscilloscope

One of the most ingenious developments in test and measuring tools over the last few years is the Mooshimeter. That’s a wireless, two-channel multimeter that can measure voltage and current simultaneously. If you’ve ever wanted to look at the voltage drop and power output on a souped up electrified go-kart, the Mooshimeter is the tool for you.

A cheap, wireless multimeter was only the fevered dream of a madman a decade ago. We didn’t have smartphones with Bluetooth back then, so any remote display would cost much more than the multimeter itself. Now this test and measurement over Bluetooth is bleeding over into the rest of the electronics workbench with the Aeroscope,  a wireless Bluetooth oscilloscope.

[Alexander] and [Jonathan], the devs for the Aeroscope got the idea for this device while debugging a mobile robot. The robot would work on the bench, but in the field the problem would reappear. The idea for a wireless troubleshooting tool was born out of necessity.

The specs for the Aeroscope are about equal to the quite capable ‘My First Oscilloscope’ Rigol DS1052E. Analog bandwidth is 100MHz, sample rate is 500 Msamples/second, and the memory depth is 10k points. Resolution per division is 20mV to 10V, and the Aeroscope “Deluxe Package” that includes a few leads, tip, clip, USB cable, and case is about the same price as the Rigol 1052E. The difference, of course, is that the Aeroscope is a single channel, and wireless. That’s fairly impressive for two guys who aren’t a team of Rigol engineers.

As is the case with all Bluetooth test and measurement devices, the proof is in the app. Right now, the Aeroscope only supports iOS 9 devices, but according to the crowdfunding campaign, Android support is coming. Since the device is Open Source, you can always bang something out in Python if you really need to.

While this is a crowdfunding campaign, it’s hosted on Crowd Supply. Crowd Supply isn’t Indiegogo or Kickstarter; there are people at Crowd Supply vetting projects. The campaign still has a month to go, but the first few pledges are putting the Aeroscope right on track to a successful campaign.

51 thoughts on “Crowdfunding: A Wireless Oscilloscope

  1. “That’s fairly impressive for two guys who aren’t a team of Rigol engineers.”

    So I’m guessing you missed the Team bio part that mentioned that Alexander and Jonathan are both former Keysight (Agilent) engineers?

    1. Hi Brain,

      I was not particularly concerned if HaD was tracking cookies or not. I own a couple of websites and I do make use of the aggregated data some companies provide, I would expect HaD to do the same.
      Anyway, it is your moronic reply that made me investigate further. You asked for proof, so here it is:

      http://pastebin.com/ALgDNC1y

      PS: I had to delete cookies and post comment in another thread, it was being filtered.

        1. Brain to jump on the back of this.

          In the wild wild web the onus is on the user to reduce the amount of tracking. On the web you can’t trust anyone to be who they say they are or to act they way you expect (or hope) them to. Nor can you even detect if they are screwing you over.

          Even if HaD were run by angels and privacy evangelists. It’d still be worth browsing the web with something like the tor browser bundle.

          Unlike reddit or some other sites HaD doesn’t require you to sign up to see some posts or even verify an email address to do so. And the core functionality requires relatively few JS sources to be whitelisted.

          It runs fine on the tor browser bundle.

          So use it.

    1. Red displays are usually used in low light environments. I even have an app for Windows that turns off the blue and green pixels on your laptop for night astronomy use.

    1. Actually they are not that bad.
      Some of them has a small grove at the top. The PCB can sit there with very little clamping force (so the PCB won’t bend).
      The weight is really what makes them attractive. The PCB won’t just slide away when applying pressure with a probe, but you can still re-position the vice easily

      1. I would add something like rubber strips to soften the force of the jaws. The leverage you have makes it oh so easy to apply too much force and fracture all the vias on multi layer boards.

    1. The 40V input limit and non-standard impedance (so no standard attenuating probes) make it kinda useless for anything but logic breadboard stuff. 40V would be alright if we could add an external 10x probe. Non standard impedance (looks like they have a 10x attenuator internal to the device) would be alright if it had a 600V or 1kV input range.

      1. Should be pretty easy to make an external 10x attenuator. A board-edge male SMA, 90Mohm input resistor, parallel 0.5-3pf trimmer cap, and a 35V TVS diode/thyristor to protect the meter all on a tiny PCB.

        1. BTW a 35V TVS doesn’t means that the input will be clamped to 35V. It only means that the nominal working voltage will be 35V. Typically the diode clamps to a few times its working voltage depending on the spike and layout parameters. Your circuit still have to survive what’s left of the spike.

          http://www.onsemi.com/pub_link/Collateral/ESD7461-D.PDF
          This is a 16V TVS. See page 5. It doesn’t even start conducting until it is above 25V. Most probably, you’ll still see 30+V.

  2. I simply cannot think of a case where this would be useful, why would I not need the screen visible to me doing the measurement. I mean, they show it right there all the time: there is a tiny distance between the screen and where they are using it. How is wireless relevant or needed? Why would i pay the same money for half the channels and no screen compared to a stand alone one?

    Don’t get me wrong, the design looks great and very professionally done. But if I were in the situations they were, i bet an Xmega Protolab or one of those $20 oscilloscopes would have been a better option.

    1. Being isolated from mains is a huge deal. I would take a battery operated scope over a normal bench scope in some applications.

      Very decent and portable scopes are made by Owon. They even have a pen shaped oscilloscope the RDS1021, but not wireless. In most cases it can be powered and controlled just like this project. It has worse specs, when I started even a 15MHz analog scope was good enough.

      I’m not in need of another scope. I have a Rigol and (sadly) never get to use it.

      1. You can always hack your DSO to run from battery pack. Rigol DS1000Z series of scopes doesn’t take more than 50W, so you could probably either make your own PSU to run from Li-Po battery pack or use boost/forward converter to switch it from 9-12V to 120V DC…

        For me this scope is pointless – 1 channel for the price of decent 2-4 channel DSO and the only selling point is portability, which is unnecessary for most people. There are some decent scopometers on the market. For example check out Hantek DSO1060. For 100 dollars more than Aeroscope you get two channels at 60MHz, 32ksamples, multimeter and no Bluetooth bull***t. There are other, better or worse scopometers like that so why bother with this one?.

        1. Okay, so I get… roughly 2x less bandwidth, roughly 3x less sampling speed… why exactly is this better? 60 MHz/150 Msps is a toy, not an oscilloscope – EE students build those for projects in college. You can sample the flash ADC to handle that for free. 100 MHz/500 Msps really is what I would consider the minimum usable scope specs. It’s certainly the minimum that I couldn’t build myself trivially. What 2-4 channel scope has specs within shooting range of this for $400?

          That being said, being only a 1 channel scope is really a giant limitation, and I agree the sample depth is small. But the price isn’t bad.

          1. Rigol DS1052E – 329USD – 2 channels, 50MHz, hackable to 100MHz with all features unlocked.
            Rigol DS1054E – 399USD – 4 channels, 50MHz, hackable to 100MHz with all features unlocked.
            About that Hantek scopometer, you are of course right. I just wanted to point out that there are better alternatives to Aeroscope. For me it’s a well-designed joke of a scope created to solve problems no one really has…

          2. You can’t include scopes that can be hacked and compare them to base specs of another. First, Rigol has been actively trying to eliminate those hacks, and second, hacking them immediately eliminates support and possibly warranty. So now you’re comparing a support-less, warranty-less solution with a supported, warranted solution.

        2. I plug a LeCroy 500MHz scope into an unplugged 750kVA UPS all the time to get places without a good power source, and it provides isolation. haven’t had it shut down on me yet, but I don’t run it more than a few minutes at a time. They make ISO transformers as well you know…

    2. We have a couple of demos where the scope is embedded inside a robot. You can think of it as a really small all-in-one oscilloscope probe or a remote data capture device.

    3. Ok, to be fair i did once need a “far away” oscilloscope and I did try my Analog Discovery with the router with USP/IP but it seems there was no driver for the usb-serial chip used in it. So i just extended the cable.

  3. Open-source ? Link to the schematic and program ? I do have some doubts about the open-source aspect of this. Right now it is only compatible with iOS 9 and Apple is known for locking the Apple Bluetooth compatibility (special chip, must be licensed by apple etc…)

    1. My Mooshimeter works just fine with my iPhone and my Galaxy 5. These things probably run on BTLE and don’t need authentication chips. The Mooshimeter, by the way, is a splendid tool that just paid for itself when I was able to troubleshoot a tractor with a very weird battery issue.
      I was alone and could crank the tractor and watch the voltage take a dive. The tractor had an interlock on the seat, so without running long wires , which I didn’t have, I couldn’t crank it without sitting in the seat.

      To wholesale dismiss a wireless tool like this or the mooshi is pretty obtuse. I have no use for you.
      I carry my mooshi to work along with other EDC stuff. I have a FLUKE 289 and 87. this one fills a niche that those two will not.

      1. I wish Mooshimeter have better support for Win10 tablets with built-in Bluetooth using Windows API. Right now the Win32 side is almost non-existence. I don’t count python as native win32 software. The iPad support is also not working well as the graph is in portrait mode.

    1. Well, my Nokia 6230i (bought in 2005) was able to use Bluetooth handsfree and had the ability to run J2ME programs. It had MIDP 2.0, it had JSR-75 (able to access files – thus able to log onto internal/MMC memory). It had JSR-82 (thus able to communicate over Bluetooth – not BLE 4.0, but still connectable to modern devices). It had IrDa, sort of data port, camera, buttons, microphone and loudspeaker. It could even run 1st gen Pokémon under GB emulator (though slowed down and with frameskip) and Doom RPG. I read over 30 books (Pratchett, King, Adams, …) on it using TequilaCat Reader and ReadManiac (not sure about the name). Battery lasted a week, 4 days with Bluettoth still on. Weight just under 100g. And it could access internet and play porn in 3GP format.
      Hell, tell me it was not a smartphone and a perfect data logger at the same time. And that was 2005!

      Even back in 1986, you could get Psion Organiser II, which was able to communicate over RS-232, expansion bus, print on printer, store a lot of data (mine has 32K RAM and slots for exchangeable ROMs/RAMs), execute programs in BASIC/assembly and battery life in standby mode (periodically waking up to update time with ability to execute own routine as well) up to several months. External companies even made ADCs for it. And you know how easy it is to transfer RS-232 using analog wirelss modules.

      Wireless multimeters were possible for decades. However, they were not practical because of price and the fact that in a lab, you often need to measure RF devices. Which is not an easy task if you place a few transmitters less than meter away from it.

      1. There was a time when folks who knew morse code could communicate with other folks on the other side of the world with their coherers and spark gaps. Thank fucking god times have changed.
        I don’t know why, but people that rave about their nokia linux phones cojures up a mental image of a guy who collects his own poo.

  4. Single channel and with such sample rate: this must be a joke.
    As mentioned above You can get a Rigol DS1054 for 399€ with 4 channels, 50MHz, hackable to 100MHz.
    But portability is premium, if someone ever heard of a hack to replace a Rigol PSU with a battery pack, and use an external wall wart to charge it?

  5. You can keep your cheap Chinese made, wholy stolen designed o-scopes. You can find way better scopes, used on fleabay for the same if not a better price than the Rigol bandwidth bandwagon. 100MHz is shit, really, when you start getting into more complex stuff, which for me is all the time. People seem to mistake their o-scopes for logic analyzers for some unknown reason. I mean if everything you do is audio spectrum, I guess you won’t be hindered. But 500MHz really shines for my needs. Having all the important electronics in the pen with this thing and simply updating a display via BT is going to run into a brick wall pretty quick.

      1. He left you some clues there…

        “100MHz is shit, really”
        “People seem to mistake their o-scopes for logic analyzers”

        I’m reading between the lienes that this guy is into RF work and either doesn’t do much with digital devices or has a separate tool for that. He probably isn’t using an Oscilloscope in quite the same way as many people here on HaD are. So… he probably doesn’t need a digital oscilloscope with storage capabilities. Bandwidth is the key feature for him.

        “used on fleabay for the same if not a better price than the Rigol”

        I’m guessing he is buying old CRT scopes which were considered high end in their day thus have high bandwidths. If that’s what you need then EBay does indeed have tons of them and there is your answer.

        1. The point I was trying to make is that there may be an offer here and there, but not enough to cover the whole market that rigol did.

          as for the 100MHz is shit…… i know people who would find a 4GHz scope shit and useless. So it depends on needs.

          At this moment, 100MHz is in a very good point: enough to cover a very wide range of things people might do as hobby and in a point where giving up on performance does not save that much money.

    1. That’s pretty cool.

      Everybody is doing super small stuff these days though. If I could get something less than $50 that is actually reasonably acurate… I wouldn’t mind it being a size that it has a permanent home on the shelf above my workbench. I can take most of my projects to it.

  6. “A cheap, wireless multimeter was only the fevered dream of a madman a decade ago. We didn’t have smartphones with Bluetooth back then, so any remote display would cost much more than the multimeter itself.”

    I think I remember Forrest Mimms doing some remote logging of voltages by using a voltage controlled oscillator. I don’t remember if the actual output frequency of the transmitter was varying or if he actually modulated a steady carrier with a baseband signal of varying frequency. I imagine the first would be easier to build on the remote side but the latter would be a whole lot easier to track on the receiving side. Recording could be a simple tape recorder and playback could be into a frequency counter.

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