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DIYstompboxes.com  |  DIY Stompboxes  |  Building your own stompbox  |  Cheap oscilloscopes for everyone! (JYE Tech Review) 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Cheap oscilloscopes for everyone! (JYE Tech Review)  (Read 31804 times)
Taylor
Posts: 3919

The clean energy source of the future.


Cheap oscilloscopes for everyone! (JYE Tech Review)
« on: September 19, 2009, 04:57:54 PM »

I recently bought one of these:

http://jyetech.com/en/default.html

Because I've been wanting a scope but am currently unable to drop a couple hundred to a couple thousand on one.

I bought it from Seeed Studio, but they appear to drop ship from the maker in Hong Kong, which took several weeks to get here. Now that I know this, I would instead recommend buying from here, because they stock it and are based in the US.

http://www.nkcelectronics.com/digital-storage-oscilloscope-very-low-cost.html

The scope is $50 built. It's also available as a kit for about $15 less, but it involves soldering surface mount chips and resistors, and to me that wasn't worth it. $50 for a brand new scope is a steal, anyway, IMO.

It is a cool design: it's basically 3 circuit boards mounted together with spacers. The center board has the circuit, including the LCD, and the outer 2 boards serve as the "case". It's about the size of a cassette tape, but 1" thick. For life-proofing, adding some kind of sides might be smart, since the circuitry is otherwise exposed to the elements. The functions are all labeled using the silkscreen layer of the top board. It comes with a little switch mode supply, but can use a 9vdc center positive supply, or a 9v battery if you work out a suitable adapter. It also includes a detachable probe with gator clip ends, probably pretty standard for scopes.

Performance, the part you're waiting for:

I haven't used a real analog scope. I'm guessing that those fortunate enough to have nice ones would not want to downgrade to this, but for building pedals, this is a gigantic step up from just a multi-meter. It even has a built-in oscillator, putting out a constant 500hz 5vpp square wave. This is a very cool addition and allows you to probe through a circuit without a separate function generator or plucking a guitar string over and over.

Previous reviews elsewhere complained about the screen's refresh rate being around 2-3 fps, but this has been significantly upgraded. It's still not instantaneous like a more expensive scope should be, but it's generally around 6 frames per second. Certainly good enough for my purposes (tweaking pulse width trims, that kind of thing).

The bandwidth and screen resolution are perfectly usable for audio, and I would think probably still usable beyond that (1Mhz). Of course, you can change the time scale and level sensitivity, vertical and horizontal position, etc. It's also got a frequency counter. Max input voltage is 50v, so fine for stompboxes; I don't know what the actual audio voltages are in amps, so I don't know (but kind of doubt) that this would be usable there.

I wanted a little handheld scope for peering more deeply into circuits, seeing what exactly each part was doing so I could get a better understanding of electronics. I also wanted to be able to debug with greater clarity than an audio probe, and to be able to see oscillator waveforms to tweak the more precisely. This scope does all that perfectly. Although I love old equipment, and having an old analog scope would be really neat aesthetically, at this point I'm not sure I have any real technical need for anything beyond this JYE scope.
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George Giblet
Posts: 742


Re: Cheap oscilloscopes for everyone! (JYE Tech Review)
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2009, 09:04:35 PM »

Not bad at all.   Good enough performance to tinker around and a cheap enough price.
You look at high-end test equipment where technology brings awesome performance at equally
awesome price tags (beyond many companies budgets).
That's an example where technology can help the smaller player.

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brett
Posts: 3816


Re: Cheap oscilloscopes for everyone! (JYE Tech Review)
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2009, 06:16:59 PM »

Hi
this is a bargain.
You can spend hundreds of $$$ and not get features like:
# Save up to 6 captures to EEPROM and retain after power down
# Retrieve and display saved captures
# Transfer its screen to PC as bitmap file via serial connection

thanks for the information.
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Brett Robinson
Let a hundred flowers bloom, let a hundred schools of thought contend. (Mao Zedong)
rnfr
Posts: 341



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Re: Cheap oscilloscopes for everyone! (JYE Tech Review)
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2009, 09:27:14 AM »

this looks really cool! thanks for the tip!  i've been thinking about getting a scope for a while, and this looks like a great way to get one on the cheap.
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wavley
Posts: 1919


Staunton, VA


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Re: Cheap oscilloscopes for everyone! (JYE Tech Review)
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2009, 11:00:57 AM »

I have a few scopes but I might buy one of the kits just for fun, maybe I'll put it on my pedal board Shocked
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Ripthorn
Posts: 1175

Brian T.


Re: Cheap oscilloscopes for everyone! (JYE Tech Review)
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2009, 12:06:27 PM »

I'm just getting into tube amp building, so this might not work there.  Of course, with a 10x probe, it might... Thanks for the post, I was totally unaware of this scope.
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Exact science is not an exact science
flo
Posts: 415


Re: Cheap oscilloscopes for everyone! (JYE Tech Review)
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2009, 04:34:07 PM »

The kit has the SMD components pre-soldered:

The new version features a PCB with all the SMD components pre-soldered
Digital Storage Oscilloscope with Panels DIY KIT (SMD pre-soldered)
Item#: TST-0002
$35.95
http://www.nkcelectronics.com/digital-storage-oscilloscope-diy-kit.html
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oldrocker
Posts: 1686


R. Barnett - Leonard Mich.


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Re: Cheap oscilloscopes for everyone! (JYE Tech Review)
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2009, 05:32:41 PM »

I'm on a very limited budget so I can't get the oscilliscope yet.  I did order the capacitor meter kit though for about $13.50 with shipping.  I have some hard to read caps and this is a nice cheap price.  It ranges from 1pf to 500uf for testing.  I'll let y'all know how it works when I'm done.  It should take 3 days to receive it.
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Paul Marossy
Posts: 12527


Just Another Guitarhead


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Re: Cheap oscilloscopes for everyone! (JYE Tech Review)
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2009, 07:20:35 AM »

Wow.  icon_eek That's a pretty good buy. It's also a very compact unit, too. It probably outperforms my old Tektronix 453 in some respects. It doesn't have the problem with the vertical legs on square waves that a CRT does, either. I'm tempted to buy one of these. Building a little enclosure for it wouldn't be hard to do.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2009, 07:26:05 AM by Paul Marossy » Logged

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oldrocker
Posts: 1686


R. Barnett - Leonard Mich.


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Re: Cheap oscilloscopes for everyone! (JYE Tech Review)
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2009, 04:56:28 PM »

Sorry for hi-jacking again.  I received and built the capacitance meter kit.  It works pretty good.  I tested many caps and I think it's fairly accurate.  I need to make a metal enclosure for it now.  I can't wait to get some bucks together for the oscilliscope too.  Except for a transistor tester I'll have all the debug equipment I'll need for a while.
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Taylor
Posts: 3919

The clean energy source of the future.


Re: Cheap oscilloscopes for everyone! (JYE Tech Review)
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2009, 05:34:04 PM »

Yeah, I wish I had seen that cap meter when I was making my order. Would be nice to have.

How did you know that the meter is accurate? Seems like the sort of thing where you kind of have to take the meter's word for it.   icon_lol
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liveloveshare
Posts: 52


Re: Cheap oscilloscopes for everyone! (JYE Tech Review)
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2009, 05:49:46 PM »

Can you explain some of the pracitcal functions something like this can serve?  I have a 5 dollar DMM but .. wow--complete garbage.  Maybe it's the fact that it's a piece of crap from some hobby store combined with the fact that I really, to be quite blunt, don't know how to use it--partially because it's hard to read.

But ya, what could I do with this?  Would it check continuity?  Would it tell me how many volts are going through a particular component?  What note it might be?
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oldrocker
Posts: 1686


R. Barnett - Leonard Mich.


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Re: Cheap oscilloscopes for everyone! (JYE Tech Review)
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2009, 05:56:25 PM »

I tested a bunch of known caps first to see how well it matched.  Then I tested the unknown or the not too sure caps.
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Taylor
Posts: 3919

The clean energy source of the future.


Re: Cheap oscilloscopes for everyone! (JYE Tech Review)
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2009, 06:01:45 PM »

I have a $5 multimeter too and I think it's perfectly fine. If you think the problem may be that you don't know how to use it, that's probably the problem.  icon_wink A multimeter is what you want for checking continuity and DC voltage, and a cheapie should get the job done just fine, albeit with a low refresh rate.

An oscilloscope is good for looking at the waveform of a signal. You can use it to see what effect each component has on the actual audio signal. Probe in front of a transistor, and you'll see the clean audio signal. Probe after the transistor, and you'll see its waveform much bigger, and possibly clipped. It's not much use if you don't know what a waveform means.

Technically, it does show continuity. No sound? Poke your probe through the circuit, while you have some audio (a cd, the built-in oscillator, a guitar) playing through it. If you see the waveform on one side of a component, but not on the other side, this can alert you to a cold solder joint (assuming that audio's supposed to go through that point).
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Taylor
Posts: 3919

The clean energy source of the future.


Re: Cheap oscilloscopes for everyone! (JYE Tech Review)
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2009, 06:02:21 PM »

I tested a bunch of known caps first to see how well it matched.  Then I tested the unknown or the not too sure caps.

But how did you know the known caps? Do you have another cap meter?
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oldrocker
Posts: 1686


R. Barnett - Leonard Mich.


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Re: Cheap oscilloscopes for everyone! (JYE Tech Review)
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2009, 06:22:20 PM »

Oh I see what you're saying.  No I don't have another meter.  I was reading the value stamped on the cap.  The reason I built it is because I bought a variety pack of caps.  There were many caps where the stamped values were either faded or absent.
So as for complete accuracy it looks good on the cap stamps that I can read in comparison with the meter readout.
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cathexis
Posts: 182


Re: Cheap oscilloscopes for everyone! (JYE Tech Review)
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2009, 12:27:18 PM »

Done! Works fine. It doesn't make my analog scope useless, but surprisingly much bang for the buck here. Absolutely useful for debugging, trimming etc. Nice with the frequency counter function (slow update though). Something for the flanger fiends, maybe, or if you're into compact living. Inexpensive for sure.



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oldrocker
Posts: 1686


R. Barnett - Leonard Mich.


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Re: Cheap oscilloscopes for everyone! (JYE Tech Review)
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2009, 04:49:41 PM »

Wow that's awesome.  I've got to get me one of those osc kits.
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xdissent
Posts: 16


Greg Thornton - Nashville


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Re: Cheap oscilloscopes for everyone! (JYE Tech Review)
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2009, 05:13:46 PM »

If I had seen this a few years ago I definitely wouldn't own my BitScope. Of course, with the $600 price tag comes a lot of WAY COOL features that I don't think I could live without now that I have them, but this kit looks solid - and what a bargain!

If this thing was dual trace, I'd have to get one just for the times when I don't feel like firing up Parallels to run the BitScope software. Hell I might anyway just for the frequency counter.
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Paul Marossy
Posts: 12527


Just Another Guitarhead


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Re: Cheap oscilloscopes for everyone! (JYE Tech Review)
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2009, 07:11:23 PM »

Very cool. Yeah, I'd say that it definitely is a lot of bang for your buck.
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"Tone is in the fingers."
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