Another Arduino Oscilloscope

On a bit of a tangent from my Home Easy hacking, I’ve been experimenting with an alternative to the poorman’s oscilloscope. The arduino + processing hack is brilliantly simple but it wasn’t much use with the signals I was trying to look at.

Zelscope looks quite interesting but it’s a trial download, plus I wanted to keep the arduino end of the poorman’s oscilloscope hack the same if possible. The Universal Real-Time Software Oscilloscope GUI DLL Library didn’t initially look as interesting since I was hoping not to have to write any code. On closer inspection, it does have a test .exe which will import data, which only needed a tiny change to the arduino sketch from the original hack:

Serial.print( val );

So just get the data from the serial port, into a file and import it… either I’m missing something or getting data from a serial port on Windows is a bit of a pain. I ended up using PowerShell to do the job, starting with some instructions for reading from a serial port on the PowerShell blog. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to work, but getting rid of the add_DataReceived line and using ReadLine() did the job:

[string]$str = $port.ReadLine()
Add-Content “C:\Temp\Data.txt” $str

I do wonder if I could use the oscilloscope GUI DLL library directly from PowerShell. I get the impression that might be possible- I expect Dale will know the answer! For now, here are the results importing a file:


Not bad, although I’ve yet to see if it makes finding the signal I want any easier. Next week I’ll be at my mum’s house trying to find an actual oscilloscope which I used to have!

Navigating with baked beans

Very pleased with my new high tech sat nav cradle attachment:


Fits my car’s cup holder perfectly and keeps the screen in just the right spot. Plan A had been to use an old plastic bottle with some stones in, but that wasn’t quite so stable. (Might have worked better with a different size bottle, or in a different cup holder for that matter.) Using a tin also means I have some emergency rations in the event of any really bad traffic jams!

Must have gifts for anyone with a sat nav next Christmas?

Flashing light

Roo’s been doing some open circuit board surgery on a doorbell so his house can twitter when it has visitors. By a stoke of luck (they were in the bargain bin when I needed one!) my doorbell flashes a light as well sounding a bell when it goes off:

Flashing. Lights.

Hopefully making it easy to hook up to one of these (when they’re available) with no chance of breaking the doorbell!