Oscilloscope Arduino-Processing




Introduction: Oscilloscope Arduino-Processing

Oscilloscope is a device that allows us to see graphically the electrical signal.

If you want a cheap oscilloscope to learn what it is or to play with, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Have an Arduino Uno

The price of Arduino Uno is around $ 20 in internet stores.

Step 2: Install the Arduino IDE and TimerOne.h Library

  1. First, if you do not already have the Arduino IDE installed, install it from the site Arduino: click here
  2. Install the "TimerOne.h" library for the Arduino IDE, following the steps bellow
    • In the Arduino program click on "Sketch" (see the picture)
    • "Include Library ..."
    • "Manage Libraries ..."
    • On the line "Type: 'all' Topic: 'all'" has a blank search field , type "TimerOne".
    • (Information about the library will appear )
    • click over that text and the "Install" button will appear.
    • click "Install"
    • Restart the program

Step 3: Download Arduino Program and Upload It to Arduino

  1. Download and unzip the Arduino program from this link: (oscilloscope_arduino.ino)
  2. Connect the Arduino to the computer via USB port
  3. Run the Arduino IDE;
  4. Open the downloaded program "oscilloscope_arduino.ino"
  5. Adjust the COM port correctly (see picture)
  6. Upload the program to Arduino.

Step 4: Download the Oscilloscope Processing Program

  1. Download and unzip the Processing program to run on the computer. Choose the correct one below:
  2. Execute the Processing file (ex: Windows 64 bits => oscilloscope_4ch.exe)
    • Obs: lib\ folder is important, do not delete it
    • Java 8 needs to be installed

Step 5: If Oscilloscope_4ch.exe Doesn't Work...

If oscilloscope_4ch.exe doesn't work for any reason:

  1. Install the Processing IDE.
  2. Download and unzip the Processing source oscilloscope program
  3. Run Processing IDE and open the oscilloscope source program
  4. Execute the program clicking on the triangle icon

Step 6: Configure Serial Port to Connect Oscilloscope Program With Arduino

  1. You already have the oscilloscope program running and the Arduino connected to the computer by USB port. Now you have to connect to each other by "serial".
  2. In the "Configurar a serial" (Configure the Serial) box, click "select serial" until the COM where the Arduino is connected appears.(if it did not appear, click "refresh" to update)
  3. Click "select speed" until the speed 115200 appears.
  4. Click "off" to switch to "on"
  5. If everything is correct, the oscilloscope will show the 4 channels [A0 (ch-0), A1 (ch-1), A2 (ch-2) and A3 (ch-3)]
    obs: if nothing is connected you will see a noise.

Step 7: Connect the Output (~10) to Input (A0) and (~9) to (A1)

  • With wires connect the Arduino's digital output (~10) to analog input (A0) and digital output (~9) to input (A1).

You will see appear a signal like the picture.
The out (~9) and (~10) are generated by the "Ger.Sinal" box:
(~9) is PWM of 10Hz (T = 100ms) with 25% ON.
(~10) is a square of period 2T (200ms)

  • You can adjust the values on that box dragging the edge or clicking around the control.

Step 8: Tips

  1. Click "Trigger" at the Ch-0 (red) to stabilish the signals.
  2. To not read the signals of Ch-2 and Ch-3, click on the names "Ch-2" and Ch-3 ".
  3. To see the XY (Lissajous figures), click on the name "XYZ"
  4. To detect the frequencies, click on "detect freq."
  5. To measure voltage and time/frequency, click on "medir" (measure) of the desired channel then click on a point on the graph and drag to the other desired point.
  6. To change the dial control value click between vertical lines or drag the edge indicated by the triangles. (see picture)
  7. There is so much more! Explore!

Step 9: Aplication: Detecting Flash Frequency

You can find out the frequency that the flashlight is blinking using a LDR and a resistor (see the picture)

Step 10: Application: Detecting RPM of Fan

To find out the RPM of a fan use the circuit with LDR, resistor and a flashlight (not blinking).

Using the frequency value shown by the oscilloscope, apply the formula of the picture.

Step 11: Application: Analysing the Remote Control Signal

You can see the IR signal from remote control using the phototransistor TIL78.

Make the circuit of the picture, then follow the steps bellow:

  1. Adjust "dt" to 2ms (see all signal) or 100us (see details)
  2. Turn ch-0 trigger ON
  3. Increase level of trigger tension
  4. Click "UMA" (one): oscilloscope will stay waitting for the signal
  5. Press any remote control key directing it to TIL-78
  6. Analyse the graphic

Step 12: Application: Testing Components or Devices

We can use the oscilloscope to test electronic components or devices.

In this example we will test the little joystick for Arduino.

    1. Make the circuit shown in the picture.
    2. Connect the oscilloscope program to Arduino (configuring the Serial Port box)
    3. Click on "fluxo" (flow) so the Arduino sends each point right after reading.
    4. Adjust "dt" to 100ms to have a slow reading.
    5. Turn off the "ch-3" clicking over the name
    6. Adjust "v/div" to 5 (pressing the "shift" key to adjust all channels simultaneously)
    7. Change the ch-0 to up, moving the little left triangle (pressing the "shift" key)
    8. Turn on the XYZ channel and drag the "v/div", adjusting it to fill the free space.
    9. Move the joystick to all directions and press the button some times.
    10. See the curves.

    Step 13: Measure Resistors and Capacitors

    The "medir res./cap." (measure res./cap.) box is for measuring values of resistors and capacitors, but it will only work if you make the circuit of the picture.

    That function has the hability to discover by itself if the component connected is a capacitor or a resistor, and to choose the better result using 3 scales (low, middle or high values)

    Step 14: Do You Want More Fun?

    You can download the entire project directly from the GitHub site clicking here

    Watch the video on Youtube (turn on closecaption and translate to english!)

    Please, let me know if you liked that project or if you had any trouble to follow the steps.

    I will apreciate any help to develop that project. Programmers, users, curious, dreammers, etc.., will be welcome! ;)

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    15 days ago

    I post a request with a pic and remove it because the problem was the Java version.....Haaaa! Everything work fine


    7 months ago

    Great Arduino project as learning curves. i hope there is improvement for maximum frequency capabilities.


    3 years ago

    I did what you said above ..but I'm not getting output in ide.can u plzz explain how u interfaced aurdino and processing 3.we are doing the same project can u plzz help me out....


    Reply 3 years ago

    Did you do Step 6 ? You have to configure Serial clicking mouse on "select serial" (com1, com2,...) and clicking "select speed" (115200), and then click "off" to change it to "on".


    Reply 1 year ago

    yes, it crashes when i click OFF to make it ON


    Reply 1 year ago

    Please have a look at my comment in the comment section, i included a fully working step-by-step for everything to work perfectly


    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks, so like, , what is the fastest frequency this could detect?


    Tip 1 year ago

    Little tip for anyone having troubles where it crashes upon turning on the device, or if it works with the source but displays nothing in the test:

    Delete everything until now, except the processing IDE program itself.
    Go to the github page https://github.com/rogeriobego/oscilloscope-arduin...
    On the right side, click the latest release shown (1.3 in my case).
    Download the application.windows64.zip file and unzip both folders inside to somewhere you'll remember them (separately on desktop maybe).
    Upload the arduino sketch. Don't change anything, just upload it.
    In the application.windows64 folder, rename the source folder to EXACTLY oscilloscope_4ch
    Open that folder.
    Open the oscilloscope_4ch.pde file.
    Run the program, without changing anything. Just run it.
    Do the rest like normal. It'll work, AND it'll actually work CORRECTLY.
    You don't need the arduino IDE open anymore. You can run this program purely from the processing IDE from now on, so you'll have two windows when you use this, but at least you'll have a working oscilloscope.

    For those wondering, the issue is with a serial communications library in Java or some shit. For most people, it seems like using java 8 32bit solves problems with that library, but seeing as it's hard to choose which version of Java you open a .exe file with, it's easier to just go the IDE way.

    And if anyone has a shitton of money and they're allergic to paper, I'm extremely broke and in debt, so feel free to let me know if you're feeling especially thankful :)

    EDIT: Just realized, after the step where you've opened oscilloscope_4ch.pde in the Processing IDE (which you just download from first result on google and then double click the .pde file, works despite not installing), you can go straight to file in the top right, click export, make sure include java is checked and also windows, then just export and it'll make a fully working .exe file for you. No need for any other stuff, now you just need the arduino and the .exe file it made (in a new folder inside that oscilloscope_4ch folder).


    Question 1 year ago on Step 4

    Hi, I have a problem with run the communication in a linux 32, my arduino is conected but the programm dont run, this freezed


    Question 1 year ago on Step 13

    I followed instructions for downloading the Processing source, because the 'oscilloscope_4ch.exe' did not work. When I select the triangle on the Processing window, The app shown is 'BegOscopio 1.2', not version 1.3 as shown in the instructions. The controls are similar enough that I can operate it OK. However, when I try the first test using Output (~10) to Input (A0) and (~9) to (A1), there is no signal display on my screen. Can you please help me troubleshoot? The port is configured correctly, because I ran some other programs on it last night. Thank you!


    Answer 1 year ago

    Oops. I can answer my own question. After doing a deep dive into the comments, I found that dfurtek had a similar problem and switched to the 32-bit version of the Processing program. It works now. Thank you for a great effort here!


    Question 1 year ago on Step 4

    Is the oscilloscope GUI available in English? Can you tell me if I can change its language?


    1 year ago on Introduction

    Parabéns pela iniciativa. Por enquanto é o melhor programa de Scope feito em Processing. Muito 10. Parabéns... Orgulho do Brasil...


    1 year ago

    Hello there,
    I'm having some problems trying to get my oscilloscope to work, I don't know exactly what's going on but when I turn the oscilloscope on (after choosing the Arduino port and setting the speed) it just crashes. The error message it gives me says: "EXCEPTION_ACCESS_VIOLATION". When I use the other option (step 5) it does turn green when I press "on" but nothing happens when I connect the cables as instructed. I hope you can help me, anyways thanks for your time.


    Reply 1 year ago

    Hi Mecar,
    Please, did you find the trick !?!!!
    I'm having EXACTLY same both issues.
    Crash or Green
    (connected) but no signal, flat curve for all 4 CH.


    Question 2 years ago

    What is the maximum voltage can be measure using this ?


    Answer 2 years ago

    Most arduino boards are limited to 5V for inputs, some are 3.3V. However, you can always use a voltage divider to measure higher voltages. I didn't do this instructable yet, but it looks like you can set in the PC software the voltage divider you are using so it will show the proper voltage reading.


    Reply 1 year ago

    In which pc software should i set the voltage divider ?


    Question 3 years ago

    Hi, i was doing a experiment where i use a function generator to display a sin wave . but when i do this, the negative half cycle of the wave clipped off . it happent to all the other wave. why it happent???? should i add 2.5V to the signal from function generator????
    what should i do to prevent clipping of the signal ????....plz help me..... i don't get a clear idea from the previous comment ..... plz help me with this................