Toy O-Scope Is Dope

Not many of our childhood doll and action figure’s accessories revolved around lab equipment except maybe an Erlenmeyer flask if they were a “scientist.” No, they tended to be toasters, vehicles, and guns. When we were young, our heroes made food, drove sexy automobiles, and fought bad guys. Now that we’re older, some of our heroes wield soldering irons, keyboards, and oscilloscopes. [Adrian Herbez] made a scale model oscilloscope that outshines the beakers and test tube racks of yesteryear. Video also shown below.

On the left side of this ‘scope is a twistable knob that actuates a couple of internal levers to bend a neon green rubber band. The levers and background are black, so it all blends to look like a screen while the band approximates a sine wave. [Adrian]’s scope will up the game of any bread toasting, Lambo driving, tacti-cool ninja hunter. The thin rubber band would look more like a sawtooth than a sine at larger scales, but maybe that’s perfect for your Viking-cyborg-DJ-hairdresser. What would a miniature version of you have in their lab?

We love seeing new toys with a modern appeal like this ‘scope, but we respect vintage toys. Hacker parents do a fine job keeping things fresh and lively for their wee ones.

12 thoughts on “Toy O-Scope Is Dope

    1. It’s a throwback to the days when consumer electronics used analog mechanical means to provide the kind of UI that would be done digitally now.

      For example, some old Grundig radios from the 1950s had a graphic EQ display implemented with a red string. As you moved the adjustment slider for a frequency band a corresponding point on the cord would move up or down.

      And in the 1970s a Bang & Olufsen stereo console implemented various displays using clear plastic strips printed with a pattern of black lines or clear squares, attached to adjustment sliders. (https://youtu.be/7fzmdC0KAMc?t=930) As you move the sliders a red light shines more brightly through the clear squares, which “move” in a relevant way.

  1. Thought coming to mind is maybe rig a speaker or earphone coil to drive a piece of string, line or elastic band with an input frequency and freeze the motion with a strobe LED or something. Maybe need to adjust tension for range of inputs or vary strobe speed manually.

  2. Major Matt Mason had technical equipment, even if kind of vague. I made cardboard accessories full of screens of some kind.

    I built a mansion for my troll, and it had a swimming pool on the roof, and some sort of computer.

    Tom Swift had a soldering iron, and oscilloscope and other technical gadgetry.

    I think Captain Action had some scientific tools.

    Various comic book characters had laboratories.

    But this was all fifty years ago, when for most people “technology” wasn’t something for tye home.

  3. Fun and unusual little toy, nice work!
    The only change I’d suggest would be to fix the case halves together with self-tapping csnk screws rather than gluing, so the rubber band can be replaced later.

  4. With proliferation of ESP-32 with .91″ color OLED displays slapped on, was actually expecting something different but this project is nice too. No batteries needed for this project to work.
    I guess Dr. Frankenstein isn’t considered a hero by some and to date no one has made an action figure of Tesla but someone should have. Did read a kicksarter showing some bad carictures but ew.

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