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, http://goo.gl/mV3fiC ) 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:


ruguberto made it!1 year ago

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

Ocsilos (1).jpgOcsilos (2).jpgOcsilos (3).jpgocsi.png
Jan_Henrik (author)  ruguberto1 year ago

Very cool, Thank you for rebuilding it! :)

ttalley2 made it!1 year ago

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

Jan_Henrik (author)  ttalley21 year ago

Thank you, looks nice your oscilloscope!! :)

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.


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)  ttalley21 year ago

Yes, thank you :)

RockQ3 months ago

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. http://www.cbtricks.com/radios/uniden/ax_144/graphics/uniden_ax_144_sm.pdf

Jan_Henrik (author)  RockQ3 months ago

There are many softwares to do so

Mazeno14 months ago

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 ?

gunnlaugursig9 months ago

Hi hi. Would this adapter work?


dudes1 year ago
what is the maximum frequency it can handle/detect?
Jan_Henrik (author)  dudes1 year ago

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. :)

gogohero1 year ago

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)  gogohero1 year ago

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

ruguberto1 year ago

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)  ruguberto1 year ago

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

omnacron1 year ago

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)  omnacron1 year ago

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

juanbedia1 year ago
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)  juanbedia1 year ago
Its a Voltage divider, it divide the incoming voltage by ten, so you can work save with a Voltage up to 7V :)
jhunmar1001 year ago
Can You Show A Video How It Works?
Jan_Henrik (author)  jhunmar1001 year ago
Sure, i will make one in a few days. :)
jmaxado1 year ago
What type of probs do you sugest for this project ?
Great instructable by the way.
Jan_Henrik (author)  jmaxado1 year ago
Just a normal one with 1:1 and 10:1
Like this: http://www.conrad.de/ce/de/product/128654/pico-250-MHz-Tastkopf-vollisoliert-Teilerverhaeltnis-10111-umschaltbar-MI145?ref=searchDetail
What is your opinion on these ones ?
Are they any good ?

Jan_Henrik (author)  jmaxado1 year ago
They look good, the probe should work :)
did you build my Oscilloscope? :0
Yes, but I am still new to the oscilloscope sciense. I already have some signal but I believe its just noise.
Jan_Henrik (author)  jmaxado1 year ago
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 :)