Friday, December 09, 2011

Turn an iPad Into an Oscilloscope

Imagine replacing these …


with these …


From Brian McLaughlin – Oscilloscope Turns iPad Into a Serious Science Tool:

[The] iMSO-104 oscilloscope. What makes this scope so different? It is a very small module, smaller than the Arduino Uno sitting next to it on my desk, that plugs into your iOS device and your iOS device handles all of the display and heavy duty work for the oscilloscope! I usually have my iPad or iPhone with me when I am working so this seemed like an ideal solution. I was rather reserved about my expectations. I had used some awesome high-end scopes at work and I wasn’t sure how this would stand up to my expectations. I have to say, I am impressed.


I really didn’t mean to write such a glowing review but I have to say that I am very impressed with this scope. There are only a couple of things I would say could use improvement. The zoom function, as I mentioned above, works with the normal iOS finger swipes but sometimes you may inadvertently change a scale you didn’t mean to change if you aren’t pinching close enough to horizontal or vertical on the display. This got me a couple of times. There is also the location of the trigger point. A quick button on the scope to recenter this marker when you zoom would be a useful feature. Those are the only two real issues I found in my operations and I did a great deal of exploring. The amazing thing is that those and many other enhancements are fixed with software updates to the iOS app. You can check out the app itself for free and take the interface for a spin. It has a demo mode that lets you see what the scope can do.

The Oscium iMSO-104 is available directly from the Oscium website as well as a few other retailers such as ThinkGeek for $299.99. Oscium also makes an iOS-enabled RF Power Meter, Spectrum Analyzer, and combined Power Meter/Spectrum analyzer. I love this idea of using iOS devices to drive instrumentation!

Oscilloscope photo via realblades

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