Watch Video On A Oscilloscope With An ESP32

[bitluni] got a brand new scope, and he couldn’t be happier. No, really — check the video below; he’s really happy. And to celebrate, he turned his scope into a vector display using an ESP32.

Using a scope in X-Y mode is nothing new, of course. The technique is used to display everything from Lissajous patterns from an SDR to bouncing balls from an analog computer. Taken on as more of an exercise to learn how to use his new tool than a practical project, [bitluni]’s project starts by using two DACs on an ESP32 to create simple Lissajous patterns to learn about the scope’s controls. Next he built some code to display 3D point clouds, but learned that the native DAC code wasn’t up to the job. A little hacking improved the speed 27-fold, which was enough for great 3D images and live video from an I²S camera module. The latter was accomplished by grabbing frames from the camera and rendering them pixel by pixel, CRT style. The results are pretty clean, and there’s a lot to be learned about both using scopes as X-Y displays and tweaking the ESP32 for maximum performance.

Need more background on the ESP32? Start by checking out these ESP32 tutorials.


18 thoughts on “Watch Video On A Oscilloscope With An ESP32

  1. Who will be first to implement on this hardware the original vector-graphics video game classic “Space War” (I have the original Space War FORTRAN source code around here somewhere buried under decades of ancient technological treasures) that ran on minicomputer vector displays back in the early 70s? You could port Space War from the Apple2, or other home computer architectures.

    1. I used to Spacewar! at University of Minnesota, Institute of Technology, Physics Department, back in 1973 and 1974, on a large 3-foot diameter vector display then common at airport flight control towers (and some universities).

    2. I just came across some old video from ’91 of my classmates and I presenting our keystone project where we recreated hardware and software to make our version of spacewar so this seems timely. Now where is that code…

  2. Looks a lot more usable xy display than on my 1054z sw version 00.04.03. Maybe more recent firmware changes its behavior. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to switch off the voltage over time display above a tiny xy window.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.