Open source pocket USB oscilloscope; 30 MHz, multi-platform

September 22, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Running on Apple iPad, Android, Microsoft Windows and Linux, LabNation’s (Antwerp, Belgium) open source USB oscilloscope, SmartScope, is the result of a Kickstarter campaign commenced in 2014 - the project raised 645% of the funding goal within 30 days.

Believed to be the first test equipment designed to run on multiple operating systems and platforms such as smartphones, tablets and PCs, the lightweight SmartScope is powered directly from the host’s USB interface suiting it for many test and measurement applications far from the workbench.

SmartScope combines the multiple functions of an oscilloscope, logic analyser and a waveform generator in an aluminium case measuring 110.0 x 64.0 x 24.2mm and weighing 158 grams. The software provides the user interface and functionality, and can be downloaded from the SmartScope web site. It is available for Android (Google Play Store or LabNation website), Apple Mac OS X, Apple iOS (jailbroken), Microsoft Windows 7, 8 and 10, and Ubuntu and Debian Linux distributions.

The oscilloscope provides two analogue channels with a sample rate up to 100 Msample/sec that provides a -3dB bandwidth of 30 MHz. Input signal range is ±35V with a 1 MΩ / 1 pF impedance and has an 8-bit precision and a maximal resolution of 2.5 mV. The software provides a set of on-screen functions, either by touch, mouse or keyboard controls, for voltage scaling, timebase scaling, panning, input coupling, triggering and simple voltage measurements.

The logic analyser offers 8 input channels with a user selectable logic level of 3.3 or 5 VDC. The SmartScope application includes a number of standard protocol decoders such as for I ²C and SPI in addition to allowing custom decoders to be created. The single channel waveform generator can create arbitrary waveforms with a data rate up to 50 Msample/sec and an output level from 0 to 3.3 V. A digital output generator provides four channels, up to a rate of 100 Msample/sec at either 3.3 or 5V.

The SmartScope is suitable for the growing numbers of makers using small board computers such as Raspberry Pi and Arduino to enable them to diagnose faults and learn more about basic electronics, and how their