2022 Cyberdeck Contest: The Oscilloscope Deck

When [Jak_o_Shadows] Siglent Oscilloscope died, he didn’t just mourn the loss, he saw an opportunity. See, he had a Raspberry Pi 400 already set aside for a cyberdeck build, and he just scored a novel case. Most of the insides of the old scope came out, but the screen and control knobs live on in the new build. An HDMI-to-LVDS adapter brought the screen back to life, and the control knobs are a work-in-progress. Added to the case are some fun goodies, like a LimeSDR, connected to the old scope inputs. A PL2303 is wired to the serial port, making that functional, too. It’s a very nice touch that the build retains the original scope’s functions this way.

There’s plenty of 3d-printed goodness, like some internal brackets to hold things in place. The real star of the show is a 3d-printed hinge, holding the scope and Pi 400 together and making the whole package portable. There’s a neat tip, too, in that the Pi 400 has a huge integrated heat sync under the keyboard. It’s just a sheet of metal, so you can drill and tap it as mounting points. Cool!

This is a nifty build, and certainly a worthy deck for jacking-in to whatever you’re working on. And re-purposing an oscilloscope is a nice aesthetic. If [Jak_o_Shadows] can just get the front array of buttons and knobs working with his STM32, this will be a killer deck, the envy of console cowboys everywhere.

27 thoughts on “2022 Cyberdeck Contest: The Oscilloscope Deck

  1. Nice. One of my concepts came out looking a lot like this… but it was based on a DollarTree “toolbox” and a keyboard that fits into the lid, and a 7″ eReader screen. Nothing got past concept as my last week of August until this week got evaporated into “random crap”. i.e. things I didn’t want to be doing. Anyway, anyone who wants a similar form factor should take a look at that toolbox, it’s possibility dense…. and a lot cheaper than pelican cases if you’re only gonna swiss cheese it anyway.

    1. BTW the keyboard that “fit” the lid, though there are some adjustments to be made is the Targus AKB33USX Bluetooth tablet keyboard which has weights and dimensions given here https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/905296-REG/targus_akb33us_bluetooth_wireless_keyboard_for.html/specs
      I have that, but also a physical clone of it, with no model or manufacturer markings that is USB wired, I was probably going to be using that, but if you wanna have it clip in so you can type untethered there’s the BT option as well. I dunno about paying retail on that though, looks a bit steep where I’m seeing it at $70, maybe find it at a thrift, eBay, surplus store, local amazon returns box sale dude etc.

      Tool Box is “Tool Bench Hardware” “Tool Box” Distributed by GreenBrier.

      1. Thanks for the tip. I have an old “suitcase” electronics trainer that I’ve been considering using for a cyberdeck. I’ll have to get over the fact my build wont look like many that get featured, but what the heck? It will still impress the ladies, right?

  2. > One day my oscilloscope died.

    Hold on a minute. I have scopes that are older than me and work flawlessly. Is this a Siglent problem? Did the scope just die, or did you somehow kill it.

    I’ve been thinking of buying a Siglent and now I have questions.

    What was the problem? Did you try any troubleshooting? Have others had their Siglent scopes just die?

    I think the cyberdeck is very creative, but please give us some background on the untimely death of the scope.

      1. Also don’t forget the “you get what you pay for” and “MTBF is a MEAN time, not a certainty” – even the greatest brands do have quality control failures on the odd unit.

    1. Me too, but then you couldn’t run most Linux applications on it. A vector display (and keep in mind, since an LCD panel is still inherently a raster display) is cool, until you try using it for practical things. Best you could do is the sort of work that was being done on Tektronix 4010 series terminals in the 1970s.

  3. Honestly this isn’t very good. Just used a scope case as a bulky LCD. If it was me I would put the Pi inside and to keep it as a scope toss in a hantek USB scope or something similar to use with the Pi.

    1. My idea too.
      Actually, I find it quite strange that companies of PC based scopes do not sell control panels with a bunch of rotary encoders and buttons to get a more intuitive interface, or just an extra interface that sits on the other side of your desk to operate their things.

      1. So you’re suggesting conglomerating three units to form an oscilloscope? The capture device, the computer, and the control surface? Seems like it would make more sense to incorporate the control surface into the capture device. Oh, right. Already done.

  4. Some kind of software issue… one day, after a few months of no use, it wouldn’t boot anymore. Siglent support were very good with providing support – I was instructed to try using a recovery SD card boot image. Just didn’t work though.

    1. Great project – well done! Based on the delaminations in the layers of your 3D printed parts, it looks like your machine is possibly under-extruding and/or the extruder temperature isn’t high enough. But keep at it – it can take several tries to get good prints.

  5. Exactly why I didn’t feel too bad reusing the bits. I used a LimeSDR instead of a USB scope – gives me the functionality of a Spec An / very poor VNA without the cost.

  6. On the one hand, neat that you managed to repurpose a ‘broken’ scope. On the other: How the hell did it die? Plus while it’s neat you’re using the knobs andstuff for video control. you pretty much just made brackets for the 400. I don’t really consider this portable or on the whole that interesting. I get you want to evoke the osbourne-1 feel, but it just kinda falls apart here.
    Sorry but I’m out on this.

    1. Slap a handle on top of the ‘scope, and it’s portable, at least. And I think the design of the brackets was nice, blending the esthetics of the Siglent with the Pi nicely.

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