Introduction: Portable Prototyping Lab With Oscilloscope and Arduino

About: I like everything from wood to plastic, all materials are good.

Hey all together I'm back, with a new project. I was quiet busy with my wonderful newborn daughter (just 7 weeks old) when I start to wrote this it is 00:00 in Germany and my daughter is finally sleeping and I found some time to present you a new project. This will be more like a Story of building it, it is not like I will tell you how to solder how to make it. I want to inspire you to build your own just give you an idea how it can look and how it grow. Like my daughter my projects are never totally finished they are growing.

BMAOPP this sounds great, remember me the time at the German army, a good army has always a shortcut for really complicated names that makes it even more complicated.

The question is what is it? Here a few ideas what I would think when I would't make it by myself.

1. a named that guarantee a lot of traffic on your website, like the old kind of "Search Engine Optimization" SEO I'm sure I hit some of the most important keywords for electronic hobbyist.

2. It is what the name say.

Battery Powerd - Yes it has a build in LiIon Battery with charging unit and a step up converter.

Mobile - Why not, you can take it with you and of course with the battery it will work almost everywhere.

Arduino - Hey every good gadget has something to do with an Arduino.

Oscilloscope - that it where it start I got those nice Kit from and I like it for short measurements nothing fancy pansy but good enough to figure out signal and I wanted a case or something else for it with battery.

Prototype - Sure I attached two standard prototype boards there. Very usefull and handy when testing some electronic.

Platform - I think another word for a wood board is platform and of course platform sounds better then wooden board.

Step 1: The Evolution of a Project From an Idea to a ...

Here is the Story behind this project and how it evolved.

After I got those nice oscilloscope kit from I was thinking what I can make with it, so I soldered it together and was impressed from the functionality of those little kit it is really good enough to check some signals like from a MCU and simple circuits.

I just think what I still have in my part boxes from old projects or broken parts / gadgets just what else is laying around.

First guess was I want it battery powered, and I have had the parts from a broken mobile power bank, it was one with 5 16850 cells each with 2000mAh, so not bad as all. 2 of it I used in another project so 3 of it was left still 6000mAh of pure power.

From banggood I still have had DC-DC step up converter and a nice little volt- ampmeter I could use.

Then there was 2 or 3 prototype boards laying around and I thought it would be nice to use it. Say it do it.

At least there was some place left of my piece of wood so I just put an arduino clone board there.

Some Switches and all was done.

To be honest I'm very proud of the main switch it is one of those really old "clunky" loud switches, and the best is it is a leftover from my first project I build with my uncle when I was about 11 Years old. Now I'm 39 and still like a kid when I do my Hobby. Ohh the Project 28 years ago was a Desktop Power Supply. But after about 25 years it really fall apart some of the caps was gone and dry the case was rusty, lucky me could rescue the "cool" power switch.

After I put all together in about a half hour I made a short video and put it to Youtube I could not believe that so many people watch it, I think it is terrible and my English is very "funny", but hey if they like it, it is OK. Now I have some subscriber in Youtube and that is funny and make me feel I have to make more. ;)

Because it was so successful and useful I decided to rebuild this little project into a more nicer case. Not just hot glued it on a piece of scrap wood.

And this is where we start now, please enjoy and vote for me maybe I can win one of those cool nice shirts with the funny robot, I think my Daughter will like it, you can never start early enough with DIY. While I wrote this she is listen to me and look's quiet happy.

My little made in china girl.

Step 2: Get the Parts.....

As written before all the parts was laying around here already. Of course you can use whatever you have at home, but it should be not totally something else, hope you know what I want to say, sometimes I'm not sure what I say. If you want to buy part's I wrote down all the electronic parts here and where you can buy them and the average cost.

  1. The Oscilloscope Board DSO 138 Kit, now the have one with allready soldered SMD parts. -> LINK -> 23€
  2. Arduino board I got one called Fubduino it is OK. -> LINK -> 7 €
  3. Volt- Ampmeter -> LINK -> 5 €
  4. Powerbank -> with at least 6000 mAhm it also bring the charging unit and protection-> LINK -> 15€
  5. DC-DC Step UP Converter give us 9V for the Arduino and the Oscilloscope. -> LINK - for 3x 5€
  6. Some wires and switches I guess it would be not easy to get the "cool" "clunky" main power switch
  7. Prototype Boards. -> LINK -> 3x for 8€
  8. Wood, I used 2x 20cmx30cm plywood with 4mm thickness.

Use whatever tools you like if you have a laser cutter you are happy and it will be very easy to made the case, but I does't have so I used ruler and cutter knife to cut out the plywood.

Step 3: Make the Case, Cut Our and Sanding

I just make a little pdf cut out plan, but normal I just cut it out and did not measure it, but for you I just draw this pdf, it is made in power point.

Cut out all the parts and before you glue them together check where you want to put the electronic parts like the voltmeter and the switches and drill some holes in the wood.

After you get a nice box without the bottom just sand the whole box to get a nice smooth finish.


Step 4: Paint It

Just plywood don't look so good so I decided to give it a nice brown finish. I used this color for other projects already I bought it in our local IKEA, yes IKEA those Swedish shops for Girls.

Before the paint is dry I just polish it with an old towel to give it a nice shiny look. Good that I just have some of those "golden" Standoff's in my "screwbox" I think I salvaged it from old computers. They give a nice contrast to the brown wood.

I just place the oscilloscope and the Arduino on the box to see where I have to drill the holes for their stand off's.

Step 5: Put All Parts Together

After all parts have found a good place it is time to turn the whole box around to start soldering. I don't wanted to see the connection to the oscilloscope and then Arduino so I soldered the wires underneath the PCB.

Picture Number 4 and 5 show a connection Terminal where I can just get the Output Voltage.

  1. 3,7 V from the Battery
  2. 5,0 V from the Powerpank
  3. 9,0 V from the step up converter

The schematic is easy and depends what parts you used, I just go from the battery to the main switch and then to the original board from the powerbank..... you want I will try to paint a schematic but with Hand don't except that I will draw in the computer hand drawn is more old school and old school is cool.

I used the 3 Switches like this but you can even use more or less.

  1. Switch the Voltmeter between 3,7 V battery output and the 9,0 V step up converter output.
  2. Switch on the Arduino.
  3. Switch on the Oscilloscope

Step 6: Photo Shooting With the Finished Project

Just enjoy....

The Main part is finished now, just a few additional parts will steps will follow.

Step 7: BONUS Part 1 (ONE) a Badge

While searching the stand off's in my box with salvaged parts I just found those nice cool original plate from a Machine I have no Idea what it was but I liked the look of It so I just drill holes in the corner and screwed it to the board it goes very nice with the brown box....

Makes now sense but looks cool.

Step 8: BONUS Part 2 (TWO) Remainig Energy Monitor

The PCB from the powerbank has those four LED's to show the remaining power, I thought t would be better if you can see the remainig energy without turning around the case. So I removed the SMD LED's on the board and just soldered wires there. I soldered 3 LED's on a little perfboard and connect it with the wires coming from the powerbank PCB. Because my Plywood is only 4mm I just doubled the place where the LED's go through the case so they did not some out so far in the front of the box.

Step 9: BONUS Part 3 (THREE) Less Noise at the 9V Power Rail.

I have had a terrible noise from the step up converter at the 9V rail for the oscilloscope and the arduino it was about 400mV.

So I searched my desk again for salvaged parts and I found a common choke and some bad ass caps from an old computer power supply 2x 25V 3300uF should help with this noise. :)

The last picture show that the noise is now down to less the 50mV not bad for just guessing some parts. :)

Hey all pictures I Have are used now, so this is over now. Hope you enjoyed this short instructable .... and will visit me again. Now it is 23:19 and my daughter is still listing to me.

Step 10: Last Word

HAVE FUN and DIY.........

Thorsten & Sophia

proud dad & little daughter

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