Introduction: USB Oscilloscope With Signal Generator

Picture of USB Oscilloscope With Signal Generator

in this project I want to show you how to make an easy and cheap USB Oscilloscope.

Price: 20$
Frequency: 2-20000HZ
Resolution: 16 Bit
Voltage range:  +-7V / with probe +-70V
Channels: 2
X-Y Mode
Signal generator: Sine, Square, Triangular and Sawtooth 0-20000Hz

Step 1: Material List!

Picture of Material List!

What do you need:

An USB Sound Card (10-15$ on Ebay/Amazone) Important LineIn / Stereo Microphone!!!
A Case 70x70x55mm
4 banana jacks
2 BNC sockets
luster terminals
2 Jack
cable Ties
2x 18KOhm Resistor
2x 180KOhm Resistor
and some solder


soldering iron
cutter knife


I am using Soundcard Oscilloscope by Christian Zeitnitz:

Step 2: Preparing Resistors/Box

Picture of Preparing Resistors/Box

In this step we will prepare the resistors, and the Box

With the Resistors we want to make two ten to one voltage divider (one for each channel)
Then we will Connect the Divided side to one of the jacks, and the other side will be the booth channels of our Oscilloscope.

I used the luster terminals to connect the resistors.

Just add the BNC and the banana jack how you want... Dont forget to drill a hole for the outputt wire!

Step 3: Signal Generator

For the signal generator, we will just use the seccond Jack.
Connect the GND of the Jack with two of the Banana Jacks, i prefer black for it.
Now connect one of the other two pins to the first red banana jack and the other pin to the other red banana jack.

Step 4: Put It Together

Picture of Put It Together

Now we will put it together,

there is nothing mutch to say, just install the sockets in the box solder them to the resistors and to the Jacks.
I put the jacks with cable ties together, so they fit to the Soundcard.

Then plug it into the soundcard, signal generator plug to soundcard output and Oscilloscope to LineIn /Mikrophone
(!!! Don´T confuse Signal Generator and Oscilloscope !!!)

Step 5: Software

Now Plug it into your Computer, drivers should install now....

Next go to settings and set external soundcard as standart soundcard.

Now install / Start the software i am using Soundcard Oscilloscope by Christian Zeitnitz

The Software is very easy to understand, so I will not dwell on it.

Step 6: Final Step!

Picture of Final Step!

Thank you for Reading, feel free to comment

Also feel free to visit my other sites:

it is not the best Oscilloscope but it should be a good start for your Home Workshop/laboratory

!!! Don´T use your internal sound card, it could be destroyed if there will be a voltage peak !!!

If you have ANY questions just comment, and also commment pictures if you made one too, or comment some new ideas for it/ new software....

Additional Ideas:

Add different voltage divider for a better Range
Make a better Looking case
Do the Soundcard ito the Box and use a USB cable...


ruguberto made it! (author)2014-06-08

Hey hey hey I promised some pictures but I am at finals at the moment, i just did the 2 chanels ocsi and I am missing the generator, I am just watching the signal of the led, it blinks really fast becouse i am trying to make PWM with interrupcions in the microcontroller i am using Pic 16 F886

I only have one scope but it worck kind of good, for the future i will try to make a circuit board just for it ( to avoid noises)

I made it in Colombia so its kind of easy to get the things, so dont get this to trash

I really apreciati this and i hope you keep the good work. :)
PD: srry bad english, sometimes i write when i am really ecited, and its not my foreing language

Muchas Gracias

Jan_Henrik (author)ruguberto2014-06-10

Very cool, Thank you for rebuilding it! :)

ttalley2 made it! (author)2014-02-04

Awesome Instructable!Easy to follow and build a working model in one afternoon.

Jan_Henrik (author)ttalley22014-02-05

Thank you, looks nice your oscilloscope!! :)

linobellone (author)Jan_Henrik2014-03-05

Excuse me, I have a question: I dont understand if the four banana jacks (the 2 black and 2 red) are only used for simplify the connections, or I have to use them for what? Sorry but I'am a newbie!!! Thank you in advance.


ttalley2 (author)linobellone2014-03-07

They are used as the function generator. They are connected to the speaker output of the usb sound card. The two banana plugs are for the scope inputs.

Jan_Henrik (author)ttalley22014-03-10

Yes, thank you :)

saithal (author)2016-09-30

firstly i thank u for posting this article..

i have a question regarding the function generator in this device that likwise the software sound oscilloscope which you are using for oscilloscope in this model what software is to be used for function generator and till how much max voltage i.e amplitude vp-p and max frequency is waveform generated in this function generator model and is the amplitude and frequency is variable in this model ??and if so how can it be varied please explain me briefly??

Eng HowT (author)2015-11-24

Thanks to share this great project! very helpful! can i use this circuit to use on Andriod with this Apps ? --> Oscilloscope Pro

Jan_Henrik (author)Eng HowT2015-11-28

Jep, it does

Eng HowT (author)Jan_Henrik2015-12-08

thank you Sir! :)

Eng HowT (author)2015-11-25

Thanks for the great project! can we use them on Andriod Osc Apps?

Eng HowT (author)2015-11-24

Thanks to share this great project! very helpful! can i use this circuit to use on Andriod with this Apps ? --> Oscilloscope Pro

DanielK69 (author)2015-09-18

Hey, thanks for your toutorial. But I have one question. I bought the same adapter you used but on the Oscilloscope I get the same reading on both channels.

robbietrumpet. (author)2015-08-11

RockQ (author)2015-05-21

I am looking at getting back into radio and want to tune / align my old radios. Test equipment is expensive and want to try and use my PC as much as possible for things like an Oscilloscope and Signal Generator etc. Would I be able to utilize yours and how to connect to PC.

Jan_Henrik (author)RockQ2015-05-22

There are many softwares to do so

Mazeno1 (author)2015-04-13

that's a very interesting project..very nice work :) ..i just have a question on the voltage range : it says from 7 to 70 V!!! wouldn't that damage the electronics of the laptop ?

gunnlaugursig (author)2014-12-05

Hi hi. Would this adapter work?

dudes (author)2014-07-14

what is the maximum frequency it can handle/detect?

Jan_Henrik (author)dudes2014-07-14

The most sound carts can handle 20Hz to 22kHz, but also some start at 2-4Hz and end at 198kHz, what would then be the maximum frequency. :)

gogohero (author)2014-06-14

plz is that the same one you used
as it the same every thing but with mono microphone i dont know if it would work good ??

Jan_Henrik (author)gogohero2014-06-15

It will work, but you will only have a 1 channel oscilloscope :)

ruguberto (author)2014-06-04

I did a test and i am having issues with the earth i see a really bad signal, but thanks gotta post images at night do you have any idea ?

Jan_Henrik (author)ruguberto2014-06-04

By now not, maybe bad connections or a bad probe, I will wiat for the photos :)

omnacron (author)2014-05-21

i was wondering i have a logitec usb microphone like the one for the wii its hand held. can i us that as the input for the osilloscope?

Jan_Henrik (author)omnacron2014-05-22

sure, but after that it may dont work as microphone anymore ;)

juanbedia (author)2013-11-17

I don´t understand the connections betwen the resistor the bananas and the jacks coming from the USB Sound card. Please, could you explain it?

Jan_Henrik (author)juanbedia2013-11-18

Its a Voltage divider, it divide the incoming voltage by ten, so you can work save with a Voltage up to 7V :)

jhunmar100 (author)2013-11-11

Can You Show A Video How It Works?

Jan_Henrik (author)jhunmar1002013-11-12

Sure, i will make one in a few days. :)

jmaxado (author)2013-11-05

What type of probs do you sugest for this project ?
Great instructable by the way.

Jan_Henrik (author)jmaxado2013-11-07

Just a normal one with 1:1 and 10:1
Like this:

jmaxado (author)Jan_Henrik2013-11-07

What is your opinion on these ones ?
Are they any good ?

Jan_Henrik (author)jmaxado2013-11-07

They look good, the probe should work :)
did you build my Oscilloscope? :0

jmaxado (author)Jan_Henrik2013-11-07

Yes, but I am still new to the oscilloscope sciense. I already have some signal but I believe its just noise.

Jan_Henrik (author)jmaxado2013-11-07

Cool, can you post a picture of your oscilloscope? :)
get your mp3 player search and download a Sin mp3 file, play it to test the oscilloscope :)

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