Author Topic: Digital Storage Oscilloscopes for Moteino development  (Read 4623 times)

TomWS

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Digital Storage Oscilloscopes for Moteino development
« on: February 18, 2015, 09:43:24 AM »
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Scope? Somewhere in my future, hopefully, before the grave. :)  ( 73yo on 2/8)
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I'm not sure if you're aware, but USB 'scopes' are bountiful, are very useful (2CH+EXT trigger, 50-100MHz), and I've seen them as low as $70 (uses PC as 'screen').  I've used a 60MHz one for years and, while it won't do 'RF' (which is partly why I buy working modules) it will meet virtually all of my other needs (except portability  ;) .  Search on "USB Oscilloscope"...

Tom

sulterry

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Re: Digital Storage Oscilloscopes for Moteino development
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2015, 10:39:04 AM »
Thanks for your input Tom.  I'll check this out and probably invest  ;).

If you have the time and inclination would you explain:
Quote
it won't do 'RF' (which is partly why I buy working modules)

Thanks,

Terry S

TomWS

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Re: Digital Storage Oscilloscopes for Moteino development
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2015, 11:07:35 AM »
Thanks for your input Tom.  I'll check this out and probably invest  ;).

If you have the time and inclination would you explain:
Quote
it won't do 'RF' (which is partly why I buy working modules)

Thanks,

Terry S
Hi, Terry.  What I meant by the comment is that, at 50-100MHz, the scopes are inadequate to do today's radios (433MHz for the low freq I use and up to 5.2GHz for 802.11 upper bands).  However, since I buy complete modules, already tested and ready to go, all I should have to worry about is the interface to these modules and these, so far, have stayed comfortably within the capabilities of my scope.

The scope I have been using is a Vellehman PC Oscilloscope PCSU1000 and I have probably had it for 10 years.  Works well for me (has a few quirks but fewer than I do so I can't complain) and my only issue with it is that it requires my PC to use it.  When my laptop ran Windows this wasn't too much of an issue, but now my laptops are linux (I don't think this scope has linux SW) and my PC is a honkin' big workstation...

There are standalone, portable, versions and this conversation has made me reconsider what I have...

Attached are two traces I took just this morning as I was measuring the current consumption of a mote.  They show the mote waking up, drawing a residual amount of power (1mA/mV) for about 2seconds (the amount of time needed to sample the sensor) and then a big spike at the end where I transmit the sample (probably no more than 6mS long, but hefty, ~85mA, for about 3.3mS of it).

The 'immediately' trace is where I go to check for incoming messages immediately on waking up - this powers up the radio.  The 'delayed' trace is where I don't touch the radio until the sample is ready to send.  As you can see there is a significant difference in the power consumed (25.3mA vs 8.3mA) for the 2 second period.  That change will significantly improve my overall battery life (gross calculation is 3.5 years vs 1.35years for AAA lithium) and makes the CR2032 as an option (if I'm willing to change the battery every 7 1/2 months).

If you have a scope you can do fun stuff like this!   ::)

Tom


sulterry

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Re: Digital Storage Oscilloscopes for Moteino development
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2015, 12:37:01 PM »
Thanks Tom,

I'm convinced.  I'll have to do some serious shopping. 

I also have linux laptop.  Seems there are not a lot of options but I haven't been looking long.

If you are serious about looking into Linux options I'd appreciate knowing what you are finding.

Thanks, 

Terry S

TomWS

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Re: Digital Storage Oscilloscopes for Moteino development
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2015, 01:25:54 PM »
...

If you are serious about looking into Linux options I'd appreciate knowing what you are finding.

...
Sorry, I wasn't clear.  At this point, given the cost drop of portable DSOs, I'd get a standalone portable, such as, http://www.circuitspecialists.com/blog/product-review-hantek-dso5102b-100mhz-digital-storage-oscilloscope

Tom

sulterry

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Re: Digital Storage Oscilloscopes for Moteino development
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2015, 09:40:20 AM »
Hi Tom,

Looks like that Hantek DSO5102B is available from Circuit Specialists for $339.00 with free shipping.  That's almost within my budget. 

I've downloaded Tektronix's XYZs of Oscilloscopes to help me learn just what the instrument is and what it can do.

Here is a link to that download if anyone is interested:   http://www.tek.com/downloads

Just wondering if this topic would help others if it were moved and put on a standalone status. 
Done:TWS

Thanks,  Terry S
« Last Edit: February 19, 2015, 10:02:23 AM by TomWS »

TomWS

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Re: Digital Storage Oscilloscopes for Moteino development
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2015, 10:03:51 AM »
Hi Tom,

Looks like that Hantek DSO5102B is available from Circuit Specialists for $339.00 with free shipping.  That's almost within my budget. 

I've downloaded Tektronix's XYZs of Oscilloscopes to help me learn just what the instrument is and what it can do.

Here is a link to that download if anyone is interested:   http://www.tek.com/downloads

Just wondering if this topic would help others if it were moved and put on a standalone status. 
Done:TWS

Thanks,  Terry S
Yes, this is the one I'm looking at and I like the fact that they provide support here in the US.

Tom

TomWS

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Re: Digital Storage Oscilloscopes for Moteino development
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2015, 01:53:23 PM »
After this discussion and 'mentioning it' to my wife, my wife surprised me by getting the Hantek scope for me as a birthday present.  Pretty cool, huh?

As a result, I no longer need my Velleman PCSU1000 Two Channel 60MHz scope and have listed it on eBay.  I thought I'd post a link to the auction in case anyone is looking for a scope.  http://www.ebay.com/itm/Velleman-PCSU1000-Two-Channel-60MHz-USB-PC-Digital-Storage-Oscilloscope-/191553677100?

Tom

ColinR

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Re: Digital Storage Oscilloscopes for Moteino development
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2015, 12:02:56 AM »
I meant to post this earlier but didn't.

I have a bitscope Micro and really like it. Very cheap, serial analysis, used it some slow SPI recently.

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jra

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Re: Digital Storage Oscilloscopes for Moteino development
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2015, 02:15:28 PM »
After this discussion and 'mentioning it' to my wife, my wife surprised me by getting the Hantek scope for me as a birthday present.  Pretty cool, huh?

As a result, I no longer need my Velleman PCSU1000 Two Channel 60MHz scope and have listed it on eBay.  I thought I'd post a link to the auction in case anyone is looking for a scope.  http://www.ebay.com/itm/Velleman-PCSU1000-Two-Channel-60MHz-USB-PC-Digital-Storage-Oscilloscope-/191553677100?

Tom

Pretty cool indeed, happy birthday!  I've got a Tektronix 468 that I haul out of the garage from time to time.  Size-wise it's kind of inconvenient but I don't really use it enough to justify replacing it with something smaller/lighter.  Are you happy with the quality of the Hantek and the probes that come with it?

TomWS

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Re: Digital Storage Oscilloscopes for Moteino development
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2015, 07:20:21 AM »
The 468 is a good scope, it would be hard to justify replacing it.

I love the Hantek.  It has features galore and trivial to take screen caps.  Very lightweight but feels solid and, while I'm still on the learning curve, I've found it very easy to use and set up.  I haven't used all the modes yet, but have used enough to know that I'm glad to have it.

I'd certainly recommend the scope and would also recommend buying it from Circuit Specialists if you're in North America.

I've attached a sample capture where I was chasing down an I2C communication problem...

Tom

jra

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Re: Digital Storage Oscilloscopes for Moteino development
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2015, 07:51:48 AM »
I suppose it's a silly question since the scope is only a few days old but have you considered voiding the warranty and applying the hack to bump it to 200MHz?  Apparently the 60/100/200MHz DSO 5000's are all the same hardware and use configuration files to adjust the feature set.

http://www.circuitsathome.com/measurements/hantek-dso5000-series-oscilloscope-modifications-part-1-doubling-the-bandwidth-of-dso5102b

TomWS

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Re: Digital Storage Oscilloscopes for Moteino development
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2015, 09:01:52 AM »
I suppose it's a silly question since the scope is only a few days old but have you considered voiding the warranty and applying the hack to bump it to 200MHz?  Apparently the 60/100/200MHz DSO 5000's are all the same hardware and use configuration files to adjust the feature set.

http://www.circuitsathome.com/measurements/hantek-dso5000-series-oscilloscope-modifications-part-1-doubling-the-bandwidth-of-dso5102b
Fascinating!  Thanks for the tip.  For the moment, I'm satisfied with the 100MHz bandwidth, but I'll keep this in mind and might download the files in case I want to make the change in the future (after the warranty has expired, probably).

Tom

EloyP

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Re: Digital Storage Oscilloscopes for Moteino development
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2015, 06:01:46 PM »
Sorry for the late reply but I just got a BitScope Micro (USB oscilloscope) and so far am liking it. I'd say it's an entry-level device but it seems "decently capable" (I'm still learning, and this is the first DSO that I use, so I can't provide a very deep review at the moment).

Something I like about this device is its portability -- for example, I am currently troubleshooting a project (Tom, a sprinkler valve controller [DC latching solenoid], of all things ;-) ) located in my backyard, and the BitScope Micro is in my crawlspace connected to a Raspberry Pi. The BitScope Micro's probes go from the crawlspace into the backyard and to my circuit through a vent, and I am able to connect remotely to the Bitscope from inside the house by running a server on the Raspberry Pi and then pointing the Bitscope software to that server. Beats having to work in the crawlspace.

The BitScope Micro seems to be very featureful -- it is actually a mixed signal oscilloscope (digital and analog inputs), and can (in theory, I haven't used that feature yet) perform logic analyzer tasks.

There's an API that should allow one to automate some tasks (for example, for my sprinkler valve project, I'm interested in capturing the voltage across the solenoid when opening or closing; I am thinking I may be able to use this API to automatically save to disk a screenshot of the event).

That the BitScope software runs on Linux is a plus for me.

I think USB oscilloscope have this stigma that they are toys but depending on one's needs the BitScope Micro might not be the oscilloscope to get, but I think it's worth checking it out.

Cheers,

Eloy Paris.-

TomWS

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Re: Digital Storage Oscilloscopes for Moteino development
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2015, 10:51:27 PM »
Good review, thanks!

A couple of questions/comments below...
Sorry for the late reply but I just got a BitScope Micro (USB oscilloscope) and so far am liking it. I'd say it's an entry-level device but it seems "decently capable" (I'm still learning, and this is the first DSO that I use, so I can't provide a very deep review at the moment).

Something I like about this device is its portability -- for example, I am currently troubleshooting a project (Tom, a sprinkler valve controller [DC latching solenoid], of all things ;-) ) located in my backyard,
this project is probably best debugged on the bench WITHOUT water!  DAMHIKT!  :D
and the BitScope Micro is in my crawlspace connected to a Raspberry Pi. The BitScope Micro's probes go from the crawlspace into the backyard and to my circuit through a vent, and I am able to connect remotely to the Bitscope from inside the house by running a server on the Raspberry Pi and then pointing the Bitscope software to that server. Beats having to work in the crawlspace.
Sure does!  What's the transport between the Pi and your system in the house?  This is probably the most interesting feature I've seen in some time!  What connection speed does it require?  How do you tell it to move the probes to new contact points? (just kidding!).

The BitScope Micro seems to be very featureful -- it is actually a mixed signal oscilloscope (digital and analog inputs), and can (in theory, I haven't used that feature yet) perform logic analyzer tasks.

There's an API that should allow one to automate some tasks (for example, for my sprinkler valve project, I'm interested in capturing the voltage across the solenoid when opening or closing; I am thinking I may be able to use this API to automatically save to disk a screenshot of the event).

That the BitScope software runs on Linux is a plus for me.
I'll second that!

I think USB oscilloscope have this stigma that they are toys but depending on one's needs the BitScope Micro might not be the oscilloscope to get, but I think it's worth checking it out.

Cheers,

Eloy Paris.-
Like I said, thanks for the valuable review!

Tom

ColinR

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Re: Digital Storage Oscilloscopes for Moteino development
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2015, 04:18:39 AM »
The other great part about the micro (and USB in general), is that there is no depth limit. Record as much as you want and analyze it later.

I have used the logic features for serial and (slow) SPI and they're great for analysis. A bit of a learning curve, but anything powerful has one.

I forked out the $30 for the bnc probe breakout and use standard 1x/10x probes. I highly recommend some better clips as well.

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EloyP

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Re: Digital Storage Oscilloscopes for Moteino development
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2015, 02:51:07 AM »
The other great part about the micro (and USB in general), is that there is no depth limit. Record as much as you want and analyze it later.

I have used the logic features for serial and (slow) SPI and they're great for analysis. A bit of a learning curve, but anything powerful has one.

I forked out the $30 for the bnc probe breakout and use standard 1x/10x probes. I highly recommend some better clips as well.

C

No kidding regarding the learning curve; I'm still struggling. The BitScope DSO manual is okay, but not so great. The software also seems to have so bugs, but I think it is headed in the right direction.

I also bought the darn Hammerhead (BNC probe for the BitScope Micro). I think it's overpriced but I could not find a better option.

One thing in particular I am struggling a lot with is figuring out how to obtain accurate voltage readings. I don't know if I am using the software incorrectly or if my measurements are somehow affecting circuit behavior.

Cheers,

Eloy Paris.-

EloyP

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Re: Digital Storage Oscilloscopes for Moteino development
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2015, 04:06:33 AM »
Hi Tom,

this project is probably best debugged on the bench WITHOUT water!  DAMHIKT!  :D

You are absolutely right, but I had some bare spots on my lawn so I reseeded about a month ago and needed to start watering ASAP to keep the seeds wet. I had left two of the old and discontinued Orbit valves (for which I had a working Orbit timer) but I decided to bite the bullet and accelerate completion of my project to control the new generation valves with the end goal of only using the new generation valves starting this watering season. That left me with no option to put in place my controller and debug it while in production  ;)

Sure does!  What's the transport between the Pi and your system in the house?  This is probably the most interesting feature I've seen in some time!  What connection speed does it require?  How do you tell it to move the probes to new contact points? (just kidding!).

I don't have an Ethernet drop in my crawlspace so the Raspberry Pi is connected to my home network via wi-fi (the Raspberry Pi has a wi-fi USB adapter). The actual transport protocol is UDP. I have not seen any problems with the connection over wi-fi. The DSO software for the BitScope Micro has a bandwidth indicator and I don't think I've seen it above 100 KBytes/second. Somewhere I read (can't find the reference now that I am looking for it) that the BitScope Micro doesn't send all samples to the host (connected via USB or through the network via the BitScope Server component). Instead, it sends only the data needed to display the signal.

Yes, I am going into my crawlspace more than ever these days that I am troubleshooting my water valve controller. Fortunately I don't really have to crawl to get where all the stuff is so I can move probes around ;-)

Like I said, thanks for the valuable review!

Least I can do given how willing people are to share knowledge here ;-)

Cheers,

Eloy Paris.-

TomWS

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Re: Digital Storage Oscilloscopes for Moteino development
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2015, 10:20:25 AM »
<snip>... (connected via USB or through the network via the BitScope Server component). <snip>
So the software running at the BitScope interface is a 'Server Component' that comes with BitScope and you just connect your BitScope client to it via IP?

Cool...

Tom

EloyP

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Re: Digital Storage Oscilloscopes for Moteino development
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2015, 12:30:30 PM »
Hi Tom,

<snip>... (connected via USB or through the network via the BitScope Server component). <snip>
So the software running at the BitScope interface is a 'Server Component' that comes with BitScope and you just connect your BitScope client to it via IP?

Cool...

Yes, I think so, if I am understanding you correctly. But just in case I misunderstood...

The "BitScope Server" executable is a command-line interface program that runs on the Raspberry Pi. Then the "BitScope DSO" executable is a GUI application that can communicate with the actual BitScope Micro either via direct USB connection, or via IP when the BitScope Micro is connected to a remote computer. In other words, the server component ("BitScope Server") doesn't have a GUI and you don't interact with it for anything other than starting it, and the client component ("BitScope DSO") is what you actually interact with and what display signals, measurements, etc.

On an unrelated note, I'm having problems getting reliable voltage measurements with my BitScope Micro, though. It seems like as soon as I switch the scope probe to 10:1 attenuation the voltage reading changes completely and instead of reading (voltage at the tip)/10 on the scope display I read something completely different, like if the attenuation is not 10:1 but some other factor. I'm currently sitting on my crawlspace investigating ;-)

Cheers,

Eloy Paris.-

TomWS

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Re: Digital Storage Oscilloscopes for Moteino development
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2015, 01:02:49 PM »
<snip>
On an unrelated note, I'm having problems getting reliable voltage measurements with my BitScope Micro, though. It seems like as soon as I switch the scope probe to 10:1 attenuation the voltage reading changes completely and instead of reading (voltage at the tip)/10 on the scope display I read something completely different, like if the attenuation is not 10:1 but some other factor. I'm currently sitting on my crawlspace investigating ;-)

Cheers,

Eloy Paris.-
Did the 10X probe come with BitScope or was it a probe you bought elsewhere?  The reason I ask is that, typically, 10X probes rely on the input impedance of the 'scope', which is normally 1M Ohm.  If BitScope has a different input impedance then the probe attenuation will not be 10X, but something else...

Tom
BTW, your answer re BitScope server was just what I was looking for, thanks!

EloyP

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Re: Digital Storage Oscilloscopes for Moteino development
« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2015, 01:16:52 PM »
Hi Tom,

Thanks for your comment...

<snip>
On an unrelated note, I'm having problems getting reliable voltage measurements with my BitScope Micro, though. It seems like as soon as I switch the scope probe to 10:1 attenuation the voltage reading changes completely and instead of reading (voltage at the tip)/10 on the scope display I read something completely different, like if the attenuation is not 10:1 but some other factor. I'm currently sitting on my crawlspace investigating ;-)

Did the 10X probe come with BitScope or was it a probe you bought elsewhere?  The reason I ask is that, typically, 10X probes rely on the input impedance of the 'scope', which is normally 1M Ohm.  If BitScope has a different input impedance then the probe attenuation will not be 10X, but something else...

The probe didn't come with the BitScope Micro but it is a standard oscilloscope probe. It is actually this one (the PP150 model):

http://www.hantek.com/en/ProductDetail_15_73.html

According to product specifications, the BitScope Micro is fully compatible with standard oscilloscope probes, i.e. input impedance is 1 MOhm  (it's actually one of their selling points).

I am currently doing a variety of tests (measuring known DC voltages, measuring the signal generated by the BitScope internal wave generator, etc.) with and without the probes and with and without attenuation. I think I will have to contact BitScope support to see what they say and recommend.
Cheers,

Eloy Paris.-