Tag Archives: Test Equipment

Inexpensive DIY Digital Oscilloscope Kit

I came across a DSO138 DIY Digital Oscilloscope Kit (SMD Soldered Version) on the Internet recently that looked like a fun project for the kids and me to work on together.  The price didn’t seem bad at $24 w/free shipping.  I ordered the optional clear acrylic case to go with it for another $7.50 more.

Basic specs (from the supplier site):

  • Maximum real-time sampling rate: 1Msps
  • Accuracy: 12Bit
  • Sampling buffer depth: 1024 bytes
  • Analog bandwidth: 0 – 200KHz
  • Vertical Sensitivity: 10mV / Div – 5V / Div (1-2-5 progressive manner)
  • Adjustable vertical displacement, and with instructions
  • Input impedance: 1MΩ
  • Maximum input voltage: 50Vpp (1: 1 probe), 400Vpp (10: 1 probe)
  • Coupling modes: DC / AC / GND
  • The horizontal time base range: 10μs / Div – 50s / Div (1-2-5 progressive manner)
  • With automatic, regular and one-shot mode, easy to capture the moment waveform
  • Available rising or falling-edge trigger
  • Adjustable trigger level position, and with instructions
  • Observable previous trigger waveform (negative delay)
  • Can freeze at any time waveform display (HOLD function)
  • Comes with a 1Hz /3.3V square wave test signal source

It came in the mail this weekend.  In the box was the case kit, bag of parts, main board, display board, test cable, assembly checklist, and a basic how to use guide:

Oscilloscope Kit

Oscilloscope Kit Oscilloscope Kit

Oscilloscope Kit Oscilloscope Kit

Oscilloscope Kit Oscilloscope Kit

Oscilloscope Kit Oscilloscope Kit

I plan to post updates on the build experience with photos along the way.  Stay tuned!

Wayne,  AG1A


Show Your Love for Amateur Radio on Feb. 14

February 14, 2017, now represents two important days: Valentine’s and Nashua ARC’s Feb Tech Night! Nothing else says love like telling that special someone — you want to solder some electronics 🙂

Back by popular demand (and good reviews from others) is our kit building night. Everyone had a blast on Election Night building the Pixie kits, and on V-day, we are going to work on a DIY oscilloscope known as the DSO138. (It is mere coincidence FYI that our kit building nights have fallen on holidays, of sorts).

The nice thing about this kit, of course, is being able to visualize some of the basic waveforms used in electronics. The kit does come with a square-wave test signal, but we will also have a signal generator present to visualize more complicated waveform.

Building this kit is an excellent opportunity to hone those soldering skills, brush up on electronics theory, and add another fun toy to your growing (or perhaps overflowing) collection. The price point is definitely fair for an oscilloscope and may help you figure out if you’ll want a more sophisticated one down the road.

We had about 15 people last time, so I think this time, it’d be great to expand that number to 20 (or more)! Buy a kit here, and join us in February! Looking forward to seeing you.

Brian, AB1ZO

Feb 18 DSO138 Kit Building Tips

Hi DSO138 kit builders,

I wanted to share some tips to follow for our 18 Feb Kit Build from 1-4pm. As I already built my own kit, I wanted to share some advice.
I know not all of you can attend, but for those of you who can, please read below. I’ll also post on the website along with some pics.
  1. Make sure you bring a magnifying glass AND a multimeter. Also, might help to bring an LC meter too (though I didn’t have one at the time) The color bands on the resistors are particularly impossible to see, so I had to measure the resistance of every one. I even did it 2-3 times to make sure I was right.
  2. To test your kit at the end of the night, you need to supply it with power. You can do this 2 different ways. The first is bringing a 9V battery along with 9V battery leads terminating at the end of a female port as shown below. The second is grabbing a power adapter rated for no higher than 12 V again terminating on a female port with pic shown below.
  3. You might want to bring a small Phillips head screwdriver (for eye glasses) in order to perform probe calibration.
  4. If you want, bring your laptop so you can download some signal generators (using your sound card) in order to play with the oscilloscope. In order to do this, I ended up using a BNC to an audio adapter which I purchased off of Amazon Prime. I’ll bring mine in case you don’t have one
  5. If you have a standalone signal generator, please bring it, along with BNC wire connections for the o-scope.
DSO138 kit power supply port
DSO138 power supply port
9V battery adapter
9V battery adapter
12V power supply (stolen from a Linksys router) with port (top-middle)
12V power supply (stolen from a Linksys router) with port (top-middle)

In order to do some testing, we are going to want to use either signal generators that club members graciously bring in, or you can use your laptop’s sound card. To that end, Mike (K1WVO) suggested a really nice link to do this.

I’ve tested most of these and they work fine on my scope.

If I have any other thoughts, I will update this post.

Thanks and 73,

Brian, AB1ZO