PC-based oscilloscope


Thread Starter


Hello list, I would like to replace my current oscilloscope with a data acquisition board and a software application. It must deal with typical automation servicing check of encoder signals, detect spikes on encoder or serial/network cables, sampling and storaging on hard disk of large quantities of data, continuous or triggered measures, etc.), must fit on a PCI slot of a desktop PC and must provide at least two input channels. I am looking for flexible (and possibly cheap)solution. I was told that some National Instruments cards combined with the use of LabView, or similar solutions, are the best since they offer a programmable system for data acquisition and presentation. Any opinion or suggestion is welcome, thanks in advance. Luca Gallina [email protected]

Curt Wuollet

Check out the big software archives. There are many scope programs that use the sound card. That's cheap. And I believe radio shack and others carry reasonable daq front ends for your PC with scope software. I haven't used them much. Scopes with decent feature sets are becoming reasonable. It would be handy for occasional use and for travel, I suppose. DSO technology suffers from lack of demand. They could be made extremely affordable at commodity volumes. The average PIM gadget has just about as much stuff in it. Regards cww

Fred A. Putnam

Anyone considering this type of application should consider USB data acquisition devices in addition to PCI. We recently tested the new USB line from Data Translation (http://www.datx.com/dahw.asp), and were surprised by good they are. In PC-based data acquisition, for years we had a difficult dilemma, as follows: - Plug-in ISA and PCI bus boards are good for high speed, but bad for signal quality and isolation because they are located in a noisy environment inside the PC. Also, you need to open up your PC to install them. - External "boxes" offer much better signal quality and isolation. They are also easier to plug in to a PC. However the throughput to the PC over standard serial and IEEE-488 interconnects is slow. Also, have their own power supplies, which increases their cost and weight. We just couldn't get all of (1) high speed (2) excellent signal quality (3) ease of use and (4) portability from *any* device on the market. USB solves this dilemma by increasing the speed of the serial bus to permit ~50 k samples/second for data acquisition, and by insisting on excellent isolation specs. 24 bit resolution is available. They are light in weight, and work especially well with portable PCs as they are powered over the USB. Now that Plug and Play finally works at last, they are also exceedingly easily to plug in and out of PCs, and self-configuring. This is a real advance in data acquisition technology. Best Regards and Happy Data Acquisition,, Fred Putnam 4/24/2001
We design and manufacture a range of PC based motion control and position measurement products.
The Deva 001 PCI encoder interface is available, 3 axis with a max count rate 10Mhz. Differential or single ended inputs, 8 stage digital filters, Renishaw probe input, 32 bit PCI 2.2 plug and play compatible, drivers for Windows 9x/NT4/2000.
For demonstration software and manual visit our website at www.deva.co.uk.