Contest Winner
I present a "BEST OF CLASS", "Full-Featured"  DIY-USB OSCILLOSCOPE which is  "Truly DIY".

My aim is to provide a cheap  Digital-Storage-Oscilloscope for Students,  Budding Engineers and the Hobbyist.

This USB-Oscilloscope could be part of the laboratory equipment in educational establishments.

Build this DIY-Oscilloscope for just $15

I wish to acknowledge the inputs from the following designs which have led to this optimized solution:

DPScope SE - the simplest real oscilloscope/logic analyzer on the planet, by womai,

DPScope - Build Your Own USB/PC-Based Oscilloscope,by womai

LCS-1M - A Full-Featured, Low-Cost Hobby Oscilloscope,by womai


Universal Analog Hardware Testbench, by me

Analog Experiments Anywhere,by me

Two-Channel PC Based Oscilloscope USB, by Gaurav Chaudhary
Responding to comments and suggestions from many members :
I am sharing the micro-controller fuse .Hex file for the dsPIC30F2020.
The Host PC software has been written in both 'Visual Basic.Net' and open source 'Python' providing a cross-platform GUI based solution for both  Windows and Linux platforms.

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Step 1: Specifications

Picture of Specifications
No of Channels Two
Analog bandwidth (Large Signal), 0.30/0.30/0.70 MHz ,For Gain 1/2/5
Analog bandwidth (Small Signal), 12/6/7 MHz ,For Gain 1/2/5
Input impedance 1 Meg Ohm
Input connection  3 mm Audio Jack
Vertical Scale 
+12.5V to -12.5V , Gain 1
+6.25V to - 6.25V, Gain 2
+2.50V to -2.50V,  Gain 5
 -12.5V to +7.50V ,  Gain 1
 -6.25V to +13.75V, Gain 2
-2.50V to +17.50V,  Gain 5
Sampling Rate  
1 Mbps to 20  Mbps ,1 uses/sample to 0.05usec/sample ,ETS  Mode (repetitive signals)
10bps to 500 kbps, 100ms/sample to 2uses/sample , Normal Mode
Ch1 / Ch2 / Auto

Trigger Polarity
Rising / Falling edge

Trigger Range
+12.5V to -12.5V, Gain 1
+6.25V to - 6.25V, Gain 2
+2.50V to -2.50V,  Gain 5
Display Modes
Ch1 + Ch2  vs. time 200 Samples each
Ch1 vs. time 200 Samples
Ch2 vs. time 200 Samples
XY Ch1 + Ch2 vs. time 200 Samples each
DFT Ch1 400 Samples
DFT Ch2  400 Samples
Capture Modes 
Single / Repeat / Store
Save Modes
Data to CSV Fig to multiple formats
PC Software
VB.Net 2.0  / Python 2.6/2.7 Virtual Com Port 115200 bps
Power Supply
USB +5V , 150 mA
ajoyraman (author) 1 month ago

JHx who has built a smd version of this scope says:

"i build your matchbox osciloscope and it worked ok from the begining. thank you."

He uses it as a automotive diagnostic tool.

The Gerber files are available on request.

Thanks JHx.


I would love a copy of your GBL files!

ajoyraman (author)  stuffdone20 hours ago

I have sent you the Gerber files. Both my design and those kindly shared by JHx for the SMD version.

This project has now been successfully built by several members!!

Just in case someone needs to view gerber give this open source viewer a try.

How about this little gem?

It is a complete controller board using the USB chip that is used in this project. $13.00

ajoyraman (author)  paulckruger20 hours ago

Thanks for the gem!

The design files shared by JHx who has built an SMD version has been done in a professional way. I can send them to any member who desires.

Eternal666 months ago
thats cool, i think using analog buffer in input will be helpful and handle high voltage in input!
ajoyraman (author)  Eternal666 months ago
Currently the input handles +/- 12.5V range which could be increased to +/- 25V if we add another 1 Mega Ohm resistor in series with a corresponding compensating capacitor in parallel.

Beyond this, we need to keep in mind that the ground is common with the PC/Laptop and the corresponding safety considerations would apply.

How about a opto-isolater to separate the PC from the inputs?

ajoyraman (author)  stuffdone20 hours ago

Yes, this would isolate the PC inputs but would not isolate power and ground as the scope runs off the PC USB supply.

ajoyraman (author) 27 days ago

Many thanks gandalfit for the positive comments!

I wish many more Instructable members would make this!

gandalfit made it!28 days ago

I built a mostly SMD version of the scope. As can be seen from the image I made a few rookie mistakes. Apart from this the scope is working very well.

I use it for debugging other test setups and I am collaborating with some students that might use it for their projects.

If anyone are interested in the diagram in Eagle format or the gerber files I am happy to share them.

Thank you very much for the project.

abuhafss3 months ago

Dear Ajoyraman, it is really a simple and wonderful project. I am planing to build it but, the PIC30F2020 is not available in my area. Can I use some other PIC?

madhavdivya4 months ago
Dear Ajoyraman, Congrats and kudos for the wonderful project. It is an inspiration for all students / hobbyists and hardware engineers to make and use one. I would be pleased to provide whatever necessary support in my own small way to bring it as a kit so that everyone can benefit. Please let me know how we can proceed further. Madhav / 9849169056 /
ajoyraman (author)  madhavdivya4 months ago
Dear Madhavdivya, Thank for your interest.

I am in this activity on a totally non-commercial mode providing these instructables with full technical data and software to benefit the student and hobby community.

I encourage anyone including yourself to build a prototype and then if you consider it useful propagate this project in any way you feel fit.

I can provide any technical clarifications and email based help required.

Best Wishes !

Ajoy Raman
pityukecske5 months ago
To my great-great surprise: this isn't among the finalists in the microcontroller contest. I found it weird that the complexity and usability of this project hasn't been appreciated enough. It doesn't really matter, but it's a grand prize winner from my point of view.

keep up the good work!
ajoyraman (author)  pityukecske5 months ago
Dear Pityukecske,

Thank you for your kind words ! They encourage me to keep up this activity.

Yes, it is a bit sad not to make the finalists. Possibly the entry did not meet the overall criteria.

Thanks again and best wishes,

Ajoy Raman
Drillbert5 months ago
This is a great design. Did you consider a SSOP to DIP adapter for the FT chip? Also, is a Gerber file available?
ajoyraman (author)  Drillbert5 months ago
Thanks ! I will consider your suggestion. Message me your email address and I will send the Gerber.
Light_Lab5 months ago
It would be really cool if someone made this into a kit, I no longer have the facilities to etch boards and get the parts. I can drill and solder though.
I would really like my son who is disinterested in nearly everything to see an oscilloscope display the waveforms from my old synthesizer.
ajoyraman (author)  Light_Lab5 months ago
Great Thought !
I could provide any help required if someone wants to convert it to a kit. This would indeed benefit the worldwide student community.
pityukecske6 months ago
I haven't run a check on the others here, but i think i can say, this certainly will be among the winners. Useful, simple enough to build, well described.
Special thanks for not using an arduino, like most of the contestants here! :)

One thing i really didn't like: the way you connected your FT chip, that looks really bad in a really nice project like this. Even so, i wish you all the luck you need to win this contest!

What did you use to design your PCB?

ajoyraman (author)  pityukecske5 months ago
Thanks for the critical comments ! Yes, the FT chip looks unprofessional but it was the only DIY solution I could think of compatible with the toner transfer method.

I have a very old version of Orcad for the PCB design.
ASCAS6 months ago
That's great, and really useful! But why not use arduino? It's readymade, and easier to use.
ajoyraman (author)  ASCAS6 months ago
Firstly 'Truly DIY' which I was aiming for requires full control of the HW & SW.
Next I wanted a minimum chip count solution. These were some of the drivers for my approach.

The Arduino Due is an excellent piece of HW and could be an alternate approach if an analog interface is added to increase input impedance to 1 Mega Ohm.

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