Text On An Oscilloscope


This is an interesting little toy. A tiny board that can display text on an oscilloscope. The components, or rather just component, is a PIC16F628A. Aside from a power supply, that’s it. It can display 10 characters at a time and, as you can see above, scroll them as well. We don’t really know of a practical use for this, but it would make a nice practical joke tool. If you want some more complicated oscilloscope effects, check out Tennis for Two.

[via HackedGadgets]

18 thoughts on “Text On An Oscilloscope

  1. Could someone explain how this works ? , He connects the oscilloscope to the VPP and VDD connections of the pic and I’m not sure how the pic varies this voltage .

  2. that pic has a reference voltage module, that is a 16 step resistor ladder, he uses it.
    i tried his code and i couldn’t see anything but lines, maybe because i was using a digital oscilloscope, i don’t know.

  3. The easiest way to try vector displays is to make stereo WAV’s from vector graphics and feed them to an analog scope in X-Y mode. Soundcard already has all that’s necessary. The slower you go, the brighter the trace, this can be used to work around the lack of Z (brightness) input.

    This one is cool however because it’s standalone and uses no extra parts.

  4. Ive seen some great clock software running off pics as well.

    any micro with two dac like (voltage ladder) outputs can do this. if not, then two dacs will do the job as well.

    Since there is no blanking, I am guessing you have to snap the ray to the next location quickly, and draw slowly the vector you want to be visible.

    History note: not only was the first pong played on an o-scope, but the first asteroids arcade was a televesion modified to act like an o-scope, and it ran on an analog computer.

  5. Neat project. I’ve been working a scope clock project myself. I’m not using a oscilloscope but instead I built deflection amplifiers based on another scope clock design. I wrote all of the firmware in assembly for an atmega168 chip. I also added a real time clock to have battery backup and a Maxim ds32khz temperature compensated crystal for accurate timekeeping. I’m still adding more code but for right now it only displays the time. My progress can be seen here: http://www.derivedlogic.com/Scope%20Clock/scopeclock.html

  6. has anyone else noticed that he is only sending the y axis to the scope? looks like he is synching the program code to the timebase of the oscope X axis scan 2ms/div.

    not overly useful, but pretty clever.

  7. Hmm, it’s possible I guess glen, 2 mirrors, connect each on one side to a ‘hinge’ (the 2 tilted compared to eachother to get x and y) and the other end of the mirror to a speakercoil so it moves in 2 dimension only due to the hinge and then point a laser and use some clever software like used for the oscilloscope experiment to drive the speakers.
    Speakers and mirrors and not servos because then you can do it cheap and have it move fast, would be too expensive to get highspeed stepper motors or high speed very precise servos, and then you might as well buy a ready-made laseraim system.

    I bet someone tried it already long ago though.

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