Author Topic: Something to see my signals with?  (Read 3724 times)

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Offline Cody Turner OKC

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Something to see my signals with?
« on: August 28, 2018, 04:51:00 pm »
Hi guys, so I have been wanting to have a oscilloscope for a very long time now and I promise that some day I will have one hopefully in the next 2 years, so I am not looking for a alternative to a oscilloscope, but I have been very interested in seeing signals from the little circuits I build up and stuff, and never really thought of a way,

Well yesterday I was at a local Goodwill store and found one of those Arduino uno things that was 4 dollars so I ran home and scooped up my saving jar and got the 4 dollars and went and bought it luckily it was still there!

So now I am wondering if maybe I could use it some way to be able to view my signals graphically kind of like a oscilloscope, I don't really care about the frequency I just want any way at all to see just for fun to exoirement and learn and I am really excited feeling I might finally have a chance to, hopefully at least!

I thought maybe someone could give me advice, not on how to build it because I can research it maybe, but if 1, it's even possible, and two is there any like circuit I could build for the input to maybe help or make it possible, if not it's okay but I would like to know, thank you guys so much!!
 

Offline darrellg

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Offline rstofer

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2018, 05:58:21 pm »
The Arduino has multiple ADC inputs so, yes, it is 'possible'.  The limiting factor will be the sample rate.  I don't know for sure how fast the Arduino can sample 1 or more inputs but apparently, that maximum is around 10 kHz.  Therefore, the maximum signal you can properly sample is around 5 kHz (Nyquist/Shannon Sampling Theorem).  What you probably can't do is display while sampling.  You would need to take a bunch of samples (the Arduino Uno can only take 2k 8-bit samples and that's making some assumptions about memory use).  Maybe you can take 1024 samples in about 0.1 seconds and then figure out how to display them.  If you use the Mega 2569, you have much more memory.

There are a LOT of resources via Google - you can just buy the shield:
https://www.instructables.com/id/Make-an-Oscilloscope-Using-the-SainSmart-Mega2560-/

 

Offline rstofer

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2018, 06:01:06 pm »
If it's digital you want to see, a cheap logic analyzer will work better.

https://www.saleae.com/
 

Offline Cody Turner OKC

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2018, 06:05:04 pm »
Okay cool I see, great! It is analog signals and I think 5khz would be plenty like I said I just want to see for fun because it would be kind of like owning a oscilloscope in a way! I will look through those links , I don't know anything about the Arduino yet so I will have a lot of research to do I suppose and dang that "shield" would be awesome! I unfortunately can't order stuff online or buy stuff except what I can find in local stores within walking distance,  but thank you guys so much it gives me something to work off of!
 

Offline daybyter

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2018, 12:30:11 am »
http://www.stm32duino.com/viewtopic.php?t=107

Lots of scope know how in this thread, although not for the UNO...
 
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Offline JS

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2018, 04:40:57 am »
A PC soundcard would be a better scope in many aspects than the UNO, AC coupled would be the only dropback, but as you're likely to be using it connected to your PC you need a way to be safe anyway, and that usually means protecting the inputs in some way, plus adding an attenuator.

JS
If I don't know how it works, I prefer not to turn it on.
 
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Offline Cody Turner OKC

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2018, 06:36:30 pm »
Hi JS, I am not sure what a PC sound card can connect to, but I have a box of old PC cards from a garage sell and found a few "sound" cards, but I only have a laptop computer, does this matter? and what kind of attentuator so that I can research on it! thank you for the responses!
 

Offline rstofer

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2018, 09:50:42 pm »
Hi JS, I am not sure what a PC sound card can connect to, but I have a box of old PC cards from a garage sell and found a few "sound" cards, but I only have a laptop computer, does this matter? and what kind of attentuator so that I can research on it! thank you for the responses!

Well, it's unlikely you can plug as ISA sound card into a laptop.  OTOH, the laptop probably already has a microphone input and that's what you are looking for.

Resistors are attenuators.  You just need to build a voltage divider to scale the voltage down.  You would obviously want to check the voltage with a DMM before plugging it into a working laptop.  Otherwise, it will become the 'used to work' laptop.

I am 100% against using a sound card oscilloscope on a PC I care about.  Maybe on a junker but never on one of my important machines.

https://www.instructables.com/id/Use-Your-Laptop-as-Oscilloscope/
 
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Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2018, 10:09:28 pm »
Hey Cody, did you ever get that multimeter going?
 

Offline Gyro

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2018, 09:17:41 am »
I'd avoid using the microphone input on your laptop. If you did have an accident, it would probably screw it forever and you'd loose it for skype or whatever. It doesn't sound as if there's much chance of you replacing the laptop at the moment.

A USB soundcard would be an option, depending on what you can turn up in the neighborhood. There's always a small risk of damaging things by putting high currents into the USB ground but it wouldn't be any more risk than using the Arduino. As rstofer said, checking with a DMM first should keep you safe.

Don't give up on using the Arduino as a 'scope' though - there must be loads of projects on the web.
Chris

"Victor Meldrew, the Crimson Avenger!"
 

Offline Zero999

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2018, 02:11:02 pm »
Okay cool I see, great! It is analog signals and I think 5khz would be plenty like I said I just want to see for fun because it would be kind of like owning a oscilloscope in a way! I will look through those links , I don't know anything about the Arduino yet so I will have a lot of research to do I suppose and dang that "shield" would be awesome! I unfortunately can't order stuff online or buy stuff except what I can find in local stores within walking distance,  but thank you guys so much it gives me something to work off of!
Note that 5kHz would be the highest harmonic visible to the oscilloscope. If you're looking at a square wave, the maximum usable frequency will be much lower, as a square wave is full of harmonics.
 

Offline Cody Turner OKC

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2018, 04:14:06 pm »
Hey Cody, did you ever get that multimeter going?



Hi Mr. Scram, I actually did! when i got it going the next day my parents stole my laptop and sold it to a pawn shop to get money for something bad (im guessing....) They said they havent seen it but no one enters the house and it has never left the house and I am very clean and organized kid.

I told my teacher since my homework was on it and she felt reallybad and a few days ago gave me her old laptop and a locking chain thing! Very nice, so thankful, but when i came back to the forum and got logged back in finally I couldnt find my post anywhere or figure out how to get to it, I am missing something in plain sight i bet!

Anyway, i used a razor blade and cut the 4 legs of the smd bridge diode and it works perfect now!! I have been looking through stored junk PCBs i have scavanged for a new bridge rectifier but no luck yet unfortunatly, so I havent ussed current measurment since for saftey as advised on the posts except for initial test to confirm that it worked!
 

Offline Cody Turner OKC

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2018, 04:18:03 pm »
Rstofer, thanks a lot for that link! I didnt know I could do that, but my new laptop, well new to me at least is a old model is is running windows Vista still and quite slow, it does great for me to research and stuff but as Gyro said below, I better not use my laptop as it is the most valuable thing I havee and I really dont want to mess it up!
 
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Offline JS

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2018, 02:59:45 am »
  Too bad to hear that man! Pay attention to Dave's giveaways, he sometimes does one pick based on a story and you can probably qualify for it! Same thing can happen in other places, you could get a nice gift someday. Keep your projects well organized to show people, like the meter repair, or this project, they can help you at some point, it's important for people to see what you've done. This forum can be a good place, just don't loose track of your posts.

  Here's your old post, so you can upload your results there. For the diodes, there's probably enough space there to fit a few diodes to protect the inputs, but you could also use external resistors to measure current.
  You could get 1% resistors or even better, a broken meter could give you what you could need. If you prefer to work a bit more, you can use ten 10Ω resistors, measure them in series and note the value, then connect them in parallel and you will get an 1Ω resistor with 1/100th the value you measured in series with better tolerance than the components have. And you will be getting your toes wet in metrology, the 100Ω is easier to measure. For the 0.01Ω get's trickier but having the known 1Ω resistor you are half way to it.
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/repair/fluke-87iii-broken-current-input/

  Coming back to the Arduino to look at signals, if you don't want to get to your computer you will need some sort of display, other option, you might be able to find a cheap wifi module, those ESP8622 are everywhere now. From there you could pick the signal from the computer without any risk for the computer, and if you run from batteries or even a power bank you will have a floating scope which is great! Be careful with it. Also, you will have much more memory, like a few MB and the sampling freq is likely to be higher.
  If you go back to the computer idea, or the arduino to the computer, there are ways to protect the channels pretty well, a fuse, a few resistors and diodes can get you a very long way there. A well protected circuit for the computer isn't unreasonable, the thing is you need to protect not only the signal input but the common, using a low current fuse, a 1k resistor or something and a pair of diodes to ground would do a pretty decent job. For the signal you want a high value resistor, at least 1M, if you can get a ~5V zener diode great, or a few in series. That after the resistor will limit any signal going to the next stage, the resistor would only let pass 100µA at 100V, so hard to damage anything. After that, an attenuator, which could be a 100k or greater potentiometer.

  I have to tell you, when I started, 15 years ago or something, I wouldn't even dream in getting an scope, arduinos weren't available and I was far from using pic or getting a programmer for it, I think it could be done with parallel ports back then though. Long story short, I only got my scope a few month ago, now I work and can justify expending real money on it, so far I was getting away without seeing the signals, which can teach you a lot on how to know what's going on without looking at it. It's much harder but you can do a lot of things without one, don't hurry into it, as I mostly did audio, a small amplifier did the trick, also should be protected but damaging the power stage of a scavenged radio isn't a big deal, and hearing can tell you a lot from the signal, like if there is just noise or has some oscillation, if there is signal still present in the path or you loose it in the previous stage, etc. If you can build something would be great and really useful, but don't think that till you don't have it you can't do anything with electronics.

JS
If I don't know how it works, I prefer not to turn it on.
 
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Online BravoV

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2018, 04:09:35 am »
About US$50 shipped ...

https://youtu.be/fGU9LoEpQFw

Offline rjp

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2018, 04:14:28 am »
its cheap and easy to see your digital signals at reasonable quality, analog not so much.

https://www.banggood.com/USB-Logic-Analyzer-24M-8CH-Microcontroller-ARM-FPGA-Debug-Tool-p-1177821.html?rmmds=search

or cheaper

https://www.ebay.com/bhp/usb-logic-analyzer

then you hook up https://sigrok.org/wiki/Windows and you can see all the different protocols live.
 

Offline JS

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2018, 05:28:39 am »
About US$50 shipped ...
its cheap and easy to see your digital signals at reasonable quality, analog not so much.

https://www.banggood.com/USB-Logic-Analyzer-24M-8CH-Microcontroller-ARM-FPGA-Debug-Tool-p-1177821.html?rmmds=search

or cheaper

https://www.ebay.com/bhp/usb-logic-analyzer

then you hook up https://sigrok.org/wiki/Windows and you can see all the different protocols live.

Maybe you haven't seen other posts from the OP but he's a young guy who doesn't have access to a credit card, even if he could pay for something it should be cash only, so local distributors from his area would be the only option.

Would be nice if he can find someone nearby belonging to the forum who could help him with all this.

JS
If I don't know how it works, I prefer not to turn it on.
 
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Offline Cody Turner OKC

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2018, 05:50:36 pm »
Hey JS, thanks for your response! I have seen the give aways many times but I never try to post a commet or try to win, I always feel like theres no way that I could be that lucky to win something and it feels kind of like if i did win i would feel guilty like i was stealing it becausee i didnt work for it if that makes sense, but i think i will try the next one because yeah that would be so so cool, and thank you verymuch for linking my post in!

As far as organizing my projects and and even my ideas and notes, this will probably sound very silly but I havee been try to learn the whole computer file system like the documents folder, program files like where its all stored etc( i just touched my first computer ever mayb 2 years ago) so that i can make a folder to save stuff or something where i can always know where it is.

I have been looking for a app or something to that i can keep track of my ideas and my thought of what to look up later or what to do whn i get home, ive always just used a piece of paper but its so unorganized and spread all overr the place i cant find anything when i need to and im just tired of trying to keep a binder organized with my electronnics hobby stuff you know? or any solution.

Am at school right now we are taking a algerbra basics test on the computers and i finishd it in minitues didnt need clulator or anything so i dont havve enough time right now to finish my response until i get home  but today is my 13 birthday so my teacher let me use her computer to come to forum while the other finish there tests. my parents have been gone for 4 days now just dissapeared no idea where they went so I have been in a much more relaxed mind and thank you guys so much talking to you guys seriously the last weeks has made me feel like a different person and it is awesome, i will finish responding and to others after i get home from school, good bye!
 

Offline HB9EVI

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2018, 06:24:32 pm »
As far as I remember the guys here already told you in another thread, so I may repeat something of that:

I think you're doing well the way you go; and there's no need to feel in any way guilty for something, especially not for who you are, although others might make you feel opposite.
Just keep going on, keep attending school, be eager to open your mind for the new, the unknown; knowledge is priceless, it's the currency for your future.
 
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Offline JS

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2018, 02:52:32 am »
Happy birthday! And keep going! I'm glad to be helpful!

You should try those giveaways, you deserve it!

One thing about computers, don't fully trust them, I walked away from windows at your age, never looked back. I don't remember what I ended up using back then, I tested every open operative system at the time I could find. The thing here, it's a great tool but try to keep backup online of the important stuff, google drive for your private documents and the forum for the publics could be a good idea, don't loose your passwords!

Good luck man!

JS
If I don't know how it works, I prefer not to turn it on.
 

Offline Eka

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2018, 05:31:43 am »
Hey JS, thanks for your response! I have seen the give aways many times but I never try to post a commet or try to win, I always feel like theres no way that I could be that lucky to win something and it feels kind of like if i did win i would feel guilty like i was stealing it becausee i didnt work for it if that makes sense, but i think i will try the next one because yeah that would be so so cool, and thank you verymuch for linking my post in!
No need to feel guilty, feel thankful. I have no idea where I'd be if I hadn't had help from non family members back when I was your age. I wasn't getting the help I needed from my parents, and what they were doing was actively hurting me. That outside help kept me going.
As far as organizing my projects and and even my ideas and notes, this will probably sound very silly but I havee been try to learn the whole computer file system like the documents folder, program files like where its all stored etc( i just touched my first computer ever mayb 2 years ago) so that i can make a folder to save stuff or something where i can always know where it is.
Google drive gets you a gigabyte, or maybe more now. It's online, and you can accesses it from any networked computer you use. If your computer vanishes again, it will still be there. Just don't loose the password.
I have been looking for a app or something to that i can keep track of my ideas and my thought of what to look up later or what to do whn i get home, ive always just used a piece of paper but its so unorganized and spread all overr the place i cant find anything when i need to and im just tired of trying to keep a binder organized with my electronnics hobby stuff you know? or any solution.
One thing I was taught very early on was to keep my notes in a bound engineering notebook. The composition books used in school work. You leave the pages in it, and it serves as a record of what you've done. In the back you can index the projects with project name, then a list of the pages where notes on it show up. I keep the notes on even the failed ideas.

I'd bet google has a way to search documents stored on google drive. You can store them in various folders by subject or project. I always kept copies of all papers, files and specifications sheets used for projects in folders specific to that project, and also kept copies of specifications sheets in a common folder tree of parts I've used and looked at for use. Decades ago these were all in paper in file cabinets, but now are digital. I keep them backed up multiple ways including a zipped archive copy on my cell phone, and another on google drive. It only takes up a few GB. The zipped archive copies are encrypted.

I still keep the bound engineers notebooks in paper form because they are a legal record of what I've done. I make all my notes in them in ink, and sign and date the entries. I also have the pages numbered for indexing.
Am at school right now we are taking a algerbra basics test on the computers and i finishd it in minitues didnt need clulator or anything so i dont havve enough time right now to finish my response until i get home  but today is my 13 birthday so my teacher let me use her computer to come to forum while the other finish there tests. my parents have been gone for 4 days now just dissapeared no idea where they went so I have been in a much more relaxed mind and thank you guys so much talking to you guys seriously the last weeks has made me feel like a different person and it is awesome, i will finish responding and to others after i get home from school, good bye!
Happy birthday!!!
 

Offline JS

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2018, 05:47:07 am »
  Something that came to mind, given your situation, hard to source parts for your projects so having an updated post with your parts could be useful for us to help you pick from your bin what you could use for a given project, as well as tools.

JS
If I don't know how it works, I prefer not to turn it on.
 

Offline abraxa

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2018, 08:44:36 am »
For someone in your situation, I'd say it would be very beneficial to join a hackerspace. You can find a list here: https://wiki.hackerspaces.org/Oklahoma

Is there one that is close enough to visit?
 

Offline Karlo_Moharic

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2018, 11:19:52 am »
How old are you ?
 

Offline Eka

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2018, 06:34:08 pm »
Age is mentioned in the last post.

I was just remembering I started my first company at his age. Ended up an emancipated minor less than two years later because between that and my art sales I was making more than the parents were.
 

Offline JS

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2018, 06:57:52 pm »
Age is mentioned in the last post.

I was just remembering I started my first company at his age. Ended up an emancipated minor less than two years later because between that and my art sales I was making more than the parents were.
I was going to mention than with this skills he could start fixing some things and make some money in a short time, then things will keep getting easier to stay in electronics and getting better at it.

JS
If I don't know how it works, I prefer not to turn it on.
 

Offline Eka

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2018, 08:04:43 pm »
Age is mentioned in the last post.

I was just remembering I started my first company at his age. Ended up an emancipated minor less than two years later because between that and my art sales I was making more than the parents were.
I was going to mention than with this skills he could start fixing some things and make some money in a short time, then things will keep getting easier to stay in electronics and getting better at it.

JS
That is a very good possibility. I think I should bring in Louis Rossmann as a role model. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCl2mFZoRqjw_ELax4Yisf6w It is interesting some of the adversities he had to overcome while growing up. He talks about them in some of his videos, but he kept trying and now he has a thriving business and a bunch of employees.
 

Offline JS

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #28 on: September 01, 2018, 08:11:49 pm »
That is a very good possibility. I think I should bring in Louis Rossmann as a role model. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCl2mFZoRqjw_ELax4Yisf6w It is interesting some of the adversities he had to overcome while growing up. He talks about them in some of his videos, but he kept trying and now he has a thriving business and a bunch of employees.
  What I admire is the few tools he uses, a microscope, a DMM, soldering tools (iron and air) and stop counting, pliers and misc but no fancy stuff at all. And that's all he needs for the repairs, I haven't seen him using a scope, someone sent him an expensive thermal camera and he compared it with a bottle of isopropyl  :-DD
  I think one of the most valuable tools he has are the database of circuits (PCB+SCH), but that's very specific to what he mostly does and in some cases he didn't even have that.

JS
If I don't know how it works, I prefer not to turn it on.
 

Offline Karlo_Moharic

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #29 on: September 01, 2018, 08:54:46 pm »
OK , so from what I understand , this is a 13 year old kid. My advice to him would be to give it a couple more years before getting into
practical application of electronics. The most important part of electronics is really the math and physics , so keep on learning.

Arduinos and similar kits are fun but they don't really teach you electronics.

Oscilloscope is just a paperweight if you don't have a good theoretical foundation.
 

Offline JS

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #30 on: September 01, 2018, 09:08:13 pm »
OK , so from what I understand , this is a 13 year old kid. My advice to him would be to give it a couple more years before getting into
practical application of electronics. The most important part of electronics is really the math and physics , so keep on learning.

Arduinos and similar kits are fun but they don't really teach you electronics.

Oscilloscope is just a paperweight if you don't have a good theoretical foundation.
I couldn't disagree more with you, I started at about 12, at 15 I was dealing with tube circuits and designing my own modifications. A scope like he's trying to get will be a great tool to check the precense of signals at least and start looking better what he's doing. Such simple aproaches wasn't available that easy when I was his age, but darn I would have tried it!

JS

If I don't know how it works, I prefer not to turn it on.
 
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Offline HB9EVI

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #31 on: September 01, 2018, 10:17:32 pm »
I agree, playing with Arduinos doesn't normally lead you to profound electronic knowledge; that really requires working with transistors, opamps and all what you can do with them in the analog sphere.

Next to my tic for chemistry at about the same age, I started with electronics at maybe 11-12. I saved my money for a 2000 count DMM, no chance for a scope - this I did not even get to use at the radio/tv repair-workshop, where I often hung out on my schoolfree afternoons. That was also, where I built my first transistor detector. I cannot say, that I understood every aspect of the circuits I built at that age, but I've always been the type for learning by doing - and really, I don't see, why that should be different these days.

The curiousity to understand things and how they work on their inside, has its origin in getting in touch with them first.
 

Offline Karlo_Moharic

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #32 on: September 02, 2018, 04:15:17 am »
I'm not saying that he shouldn't be curious and play with batteries ,  arduinos , dc motors, ...ect (I did that when I was his age , I'm 25 so not that long ago) , but at his age he is not going to understand how to properly measure different voltages (specialy with a scope) or for that matter what a waveform on screen actually represent.

I understand that some of the older members on this forum , started by playing with tube equipment and I respect that , but electronics has advanced quite a bit from that. These days most of the stuff is in discrete packages or in SMD form. Not really meant to be repaired.

If he buys himselfe a scope , for him it's most likely  going to be a fancy toy , so I'm just trying to tell him that at his age he should really be focusing on his school.

I know that is boring but companies these days are not really looking for guys with great soldering skills  or guys that build circuits in their garage (they have Chinese for that  :)). If he wishes to make electronics his career , he is gonna have to do it the hard way , by getting college degree.
 

Offline JS

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #33 on: September 02, 2018, 04:52:41 am »
I'm not saying that he shouldn't be curious and play with batteries ,  arduinos , dc motors, ...ect (I did that when I was his age , I'm 25 so not that long ago) , but at his age he is not going to understand how to properly measure different voltages (specialy with a scope) or for that matter what a waveform on screen actually represent.

I understand that some of the older members on this forum , started by playing with tube equipment and I respect that , but electronics has advanced quite a bit from that. These days most of the stuff is in discrete packages or in SMD form. Not really meant to be repaired.

If he buys himselfe a scope , for him it's most likely  going to be a fancy toy , so I'm just trying to tell him that at his age he should really be focusing on his school.

I know that is boring but companies these days are not really looking for guys with great soldering skills  or guys that build circuits in their garage (they have Chinese for that  :)). If he wishes to make electronics his career , he is gonna have to do it the hard way , by getting college degree.
  I think you should think it backwards. If he starts playing with a $10 scope now, like what he's planning, and even better, if he puts something together by himself, by the time he has your age (or mine FWIW, I'm 28) he will dominate scopes if he keeps at this. He's planning to use an arduino to capture some data, and display it somehow, add some attenuator at the input, if you want, call it a scope.

  And no, when I was his age µC were already a thing and tubes already were museum pieces, but as I'm a guitar player with 15yo I built a tube amp for my self with the help of a friend, and right after finishing it disassembled completely and assembled it again with some mods but this time alone.

  Coming back to "you have to think it backwards", if he starts soldering components and building simple stuff now, and getting things to work by intuition, he will develop a skill that's very hard to develop the other way around, and that's the feel of a ball park, eye ball, rule of thumb or what you wanna call it. Takes a lot of experience to get that, and once you are in the university you put all your time in theory, for the time you finish you have to take the calculator out to choose a base resistor for a single transistor amplifier. If you had to do it by guess before learning the theory, and then you learn the theory that gets much easier. That's my experience, and my surrounding fellows who needed to take the calculator out to guess a few polarization resistors to get a single transistor to work.

  SMD packages are totally solderable, if he learns to solder now, at you age will make BGAs with a hot knife on the stove. And again we should call Rossmann who's been mentioned here, and in some other topics, you can repair the smallest stuff around, if for the owner it's worth paying a few hundred bux for your work. I charged that for a PCB swap last week, could got more for myself and less for the PCB manufacturer if I repaired the thing but I don't have the tooling, and the costumer would payed less, I desperately need a hot soldering station!
  I'm just putting together a pro lab, going to get some gear tomorrow I bought online but it will pay for itself in a few jobs I get, aside for my day job from where I'm taking the money to buy the things.

@Eka: sorry, I messed names...
@Cody: Don't let people take you down on this, it will become an income before you think! And for your situation I know that's a good thing, I'm not telling quit school and put yourself to this but you could be repairing some stuff (like swap TV caps) maybe in a year and get money back in your spare time! Family, neighbors, etc. will be your first costumers. If you are known for knowing electronics you will start getting calls for really simple stuff and people will be more than willing to pay for your time. Someone could call you just to connect his new media center!

JS
« Last Edit: September 02, 2018, 01:32:53 pm by JS »
If I don't know how it works, I prefer not to turn it on.
 

Offline Eka

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #34 on: September 02, 2018, 06:51:03 am »
OK , so from what I understand , this is a 13 year old kid. My advice to him would be to give it a couple more years before getting into
practical application of electronics. The most important part of electronics is really the math and physics , so keep on learning.

Arduinos and similar kits are fun but they don't really teach you electronics.

Oscilloscope is just a paperweight if you don't have a good theoretical foundation.
He can handle it. Back in the '70s when I was 8 or 9 my dad gave me the task of repairing an old dead computer that he got surplus from work for scrap metal prices. I knew nothing about digital logic, let alone electronics. My dad knew house wiring, not electronic circuit design. The most important thing is we knew somebody had made it, so the knowledge to make and repair it was out there somewhere. We just had to find or rediscover it. With some advice on what topics to read up on, and a practical debugging demo from a physicist who lived down the block, I had the computer fully operational in a few months. Dad only ordered the parts. Within a few years I'd fully rebuilt it using TTL logic chips with SRAMS for the memory to replace the resistor transistor logic, and core memory. I also gave it a PROM burner, and a bank switchable PROM memory bank where I could store programs in. The diagnostic equipment I used was nothing more complex than LEDs with resistors to set their current. I placed them at various points so I could observe the logic circuits as they operated, and find the dead components. Modern computers lack sufficient blinky lights.

I'm not saying that he shouldn't be curious and play with batteries ,  arduinos , dc motors, ...ect (I did that when I was his age , I'm 25 so not that long ago) , but at his age he is not going to understand how to properly measure different voltages (specialy with a scope) or for that matter what a waveform on screen actually represent.

I understand that some of the older members on this forum , started by playing with tube equipment and I respect that , but electronics has advanced quite a bit from that. These days most of the stuff is in discrete packages or in SMD form. Not really meant to be repaired.

If he buys himselfe a scope , for him it's most likely  going to be a fancy toy , so I'm just trying to tell him that at his age he should really be focusing on his school.

I know that is boring but companies these days are not really looking for guys with great soldering skills  or guys that build circuits in their garage (they have Chinese for that  :)). If he wishes to make electronics his career , he is gonna have to do it the hard way , by getting college degree.
I don't see why he can't understand what voltages and oscilloscope plots mean. I was crunching timing charts for a redesign of a CPU from resistor transistor logic to TTL logic at 10. That allowed me to take a reference 68000 design and change it allow it to run off of batteries for a couple hours when I was 16.

Soldering SMD is easy with the right tools, and they are much cheaper than they were two decades ago when I first used SMD parts in my designs. I've done lots of surface mount work with a 13 watt soldering iron, and a toaster oven with a home made PID temperature controller.

 

Offline rjp

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #35 on: September 02, 2018, 08:12:57 am »
in the vast array of electronics and computer layers between learning javascript inside a web browser , all the way down to strapping a magnet to your forehead and manually tapping out the bits against a  wall.

arduino is a perfectly sensible place to start that will teach you more than it hides.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2018, 08:15:20 am by rjp »
 
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Offline Cody Turner OKC

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #36 on: September 02, 2018, 06:04:38 pm »
Hi guys, I have been offline for a few days, I will respond to all of your responses in about 3 hours once i walk home from the local library, its a long walk so I need to start now, i wanted to get some books, and I don t get much time on these librarys computer, so I am not ignoring everything! will see you guys soon thanks you
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #37 on: September 02, 2018, 10:29:24 pm »
School is important, but it's also the minimum required. Going out and discovering how things work for yourself is what ends up getting you an interesting job and fun projects, rather than mundane middle of the road employment. You will be much more versatile. Google doesn't hire people who strictly followed the curriculum. Few of the fun employers do.

It's ridiculous to say that you won't understand when you're young. Cody has gotten further with his troubleshooting than most adults would with or without help. I started programming at 12 and even though I committed every programming atrocity known to man, I also learnt many lessons that still serve me today. Besides, it's fun. I remember the excitement of compiling the first program. A world of possibilities had just opened!
 

Offline Mario87

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #38 on: September 03, 2018, 11:17:32 am »
Get yourself a DSO 150 Oscilloscope. Only $21 for the DIY version you solder yourself or $27 for the ready to go version. You can get a probe for $5 and a 9v PSU for $4, it comes with crocodile clips instead of a proper probe in the box, so I would get a probe for the sake of $4.

For everything it will be $30 for the DIY version or $36 for the ready to go version.

DIY Version..... https://www.banggood.com/Orignal-JYE-Tech-DS0150-15001K-DSO-SHELL-DIY-Digital-Oscilloscope-Kit-With-Housing-p-1093865.html?rmmds=search

Ready Assembled Version.... https://www.banggood.com/Original-JYE-Tech-Assembled-DSO-SHELL-DSO150-Digital-Oscilloscope-Module-9V-p-1211151.html?rmmds=search

Probe.... https://www.banggood.com/DANIU-P6100-Oscilloscope-100MHz-PKCATI-BNC-Clip-Probes-Clip-Cable-p-1157611.html?rmmds=detail-top-buytogether-auto

9v PSU.... https://www.banggood.com/Dfg-p-953414.html?rmmds=search

It won't be spectacular, but for the price it will be better than the arduino for scoping small circuits and you can even make it portable if you add a 9v battery which could be a a side project for you.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #39 on: September 03, 2018, 11:23:03 am »
Get yourself a DSO 150 Oscilloscope. Only $21 for the DIY version you solder yourself or $27 for the ready to go version. You can get a probe for $5 and a 9v PSU for $4, it comes with crocodile clips instead of a proper probe in the box, so I would get a probe for the sake of $4.

For everything it will be $30 for the DIY version or $36 for the ready to go version.

DIY Version..... https://www.banggood.com/Orignal-JYE-Tech-DS0150-15001K-DSO-SHELL-DIY-Digital-Oscilloscope-Kit-With-Housing-p-1093865.html?rmmds=search

Ready Assembled Version.... https://www.banggood.com/Original-JYE-Tech-Assembled-DSO-SHELL-DSO150-Digital-Oscilloscope-Module-9V-p-1211151.html?rmmds=search

Probe.... https://www.banggood.com/DANIU-P6100-Oscilloscope-100MHz-PKCATI-BNC-Clip-Probes-Clip-Cable-p-1157611.html?rmmds=detail-top-buytogether-auto

9v PSU.... https://www.banggood.com/Dfg-p-953414.html?rmmds=search

It won't be spectacular, but for the price it will be better than the arduino for scoping small circuits and you can even make it portable if you add a 9v battery which could be a a side project for you.
Please read the post linked below. :)

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/beginners/something-to-see-my-signals-with/msg1787081/#msg1787081
 

Offline HB9EVI

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #40 on: September 03, 2018, 11:30:08 am »
Not to talk about, how lousy those "DSOs" really are; they aren't worth the bucks the cost - it's just a toy without practical use.

I think, we already talked about that in another thread; the much idea is to get an old CRO somewhere from the local market; even just a 10MHz version is doing a tousand times better job than those cheapie pocket-DSOs
 

Offline Johnboy

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #41 on: September 03, 2018, 01:40:55 pm »
Cody, I recently acquired a Tektronix 310 in working condition that I'm willing to donate to your school's science department. It's only 4 MHz, and it's ancient, but it would allow you to mess around with a very limited scope under some supervision. Ask your science teacher if the school would like to have it, and if they do, you can PM me the school's contact info and I'll figure out how to get it there. Be advised, though, that they may not want it.
 

Offline Mario87

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #42 on: September 03, 2018, 01:45:46 pm »
Please read the post linked below. :)

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/beginners/something-to-see-my-signals-with/msg1787081/#msg1787081

My bad, didn't see that he couldn't order online. However looking through the old posts his teachers seem to be willing to help (lending him a laptop, etc). So maybe they would be willing to order stuff for him which is educational if he can give them the cash for the items??

Not to talk about, how lousy those "DSOs" really are; they aren't worth the bucks the cost - it's just a toy without practical use.

I think, we already talked about that in another thread; the much idea is to get an old CRO somewhere from the local market; even just a 10MHz version is doing a tousand times better job than those cheapie pocket-DSOs

Those pocket DSO's are not great, I'll admit, but it should work better than the Arduino he was originally planning to use and will even be suitable to show him the signals present on any Arduino projects he builds. Also, the old CRO's weigh about a metric ton, not something a 13 year old lad could easily lug about or store. The pocket DSO will probably work just good enough for his needs at the moment, but is in no way, shape or form a replacement for a proper scope (be it CRO or DSO).
« Last Edit: September 03, 2018, 01:47:40 pm by Mario87 »
 

Offline Old Printer

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #43 on: September 03, 2018, 01:48:08 pm »
I think it is totally dependent on the youngster as to what age is viable. If he has the interest and perseverance he will only be limited by his math skills, which are probably better than mine. Feed a fertile mind. If he is only interested in shinny toys, that will be obvious soon enough. With access to a computer he can tinker in LTSpice and look at the wave forms. That and a DMM will do him for now if he has the hunger to learn.
 

Offline Cody Turner OKC

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #44 on: September 05, 2018, 02:03:22 pm »
Hi guys, i am sorry for the laate response. I have read all of the responses and thank you guys so much for alll the info and ideas! I didnt even know about those DSO thingies they seem very cool, but they are really expensive at the same time, as I said in my post I am building little op amp circuits, and fixing things to learn and just ttrying to learn and gain expriance and wanted something i could afford to see my signals with, i dont think i should "focus on school and not on playing with electronics" i am in 7th grade .... I have a A in every single class I take and breeze through everythinng, because of my tinkering with electronics actually, i have spent hundreds of hours researching reaading up more and more and more because of the curiosity to learn and be able to do more, I could barely read before i started and now i can read incredibly fast, but anyways just wanted to get that out for the guy who was saying that.

to Johnboy, thank you very much for your kind offer, but I am in 7th grade, in science I am "learning" almost embarassingly simple stuff haha, we have no test instruments at all, we do no experiments etc, very basic bookwork.. trust me I cant wait until high school where i can get into some advance classes and start to have stuff to challenge me to learn and study, its so exciting! but I have almost 2 more years to go unfortunatly!

and abraxa, thanks for the info on the hackerspaces, i didnt know about them! unnfortunatly they all closed about 6 years go except one which costs 50$ a week to have acces or go to any meetings, and is about 6 miles away, which would be worth it for the cool stuff but it just costs way to much! I looked them all up and one after another they were like permanetly closed , darn!

oh yeah and in JS and the other posts about soldering, I have been working on surface mount for months now and am getting pretty good at it, since i scavenge all my parts from trash teardowns i find i had to learn, my soldering iron thats really a woodworking burning tool is pretty rough and limits me in a lot of aspects but i find a way and have only once destroyed a part with it, thanks for al the nice things you guys
 

Offline abraxa

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #45 on: September 06, 2018, 05:05:13 am »
Is there someone near OKC who can meet Cody Turner in person? He sent me a rather worrying PM and I'm not sure what to do. I'm halfway across the globe. He appears to be in urgent need of assistance from an adult and I'd also like to make sure he's not an adult pretending to be a child in need in order to obtain money and/or items for free. (No offense Cody but it's something that must unfortunately be considered these days.)
« Last Edit: September 06, 2018, 05:42:57 am by abraxa »
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #46 on: September 07, 2018, 03:15:46 pm »
Is there someone near OKC who can meet Cody Turner in person? He sent me a rather worrying PM and I'm not sure what to do. I'm halfway across the globe. He appears to be in urgent need of assistance from an adult and I'd also like to make sure he's not an adult pretending to be a child in need in order to obtain money and/or items for free. (No offense Cody but it's something that must unfortunately be considered these days.)
It might pay to contact Dave. He's halfway accross the globe too, but he'll be able to verify some of the details and can maybe also coordinate consequent actions.
 

Offline Cody Turner OKC

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #47 on: September 07, 2018, 03:55:57 pm »
Is there someone near OKC who can meet Cody Turner in person? He sent me a rather worrying PM and I'm not sure what to do. I'm halfway across the globe. He appears to be in urgent need of assistance from an adult and I'd also like to make sure he's not an adult pretending to be a child in need in order to obtain money and/or items for free. (No offense Cody but it's something that must unfortunately be considered these days.)
It might pay to contact Dave. He's halfway accross the globe too, but he'll be able to verify some of the details and can maybe also coordinate consequent actions.


Hi Mr. Scram, I talked to abraxa and gave him my info to talk and explain I had just typed my messege fast and think that he misunderstood it, i was NOT asking for money or items or anything by any means, so everything is all okay now, i told him that i had 20$ on pay pal and asked if he knew if there was a way to withdraw it like through the mail or anything, and that it wasnt really a appropriate forum post as has nothing to do with electronics and since he is the only one that has messaged with me i just asked him!
 

Offline Eka

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #48 on: September 08, 2018, 11:58:33 am »
is it $20 or $44
is it 13yo or is it much older?
Starving or not?
Three hours to walk from the library home? Please, in my poor health I could have walked from the closest university one to the gi       ven address in less than 2 hours. There are other libraries that are closer.

I contacted abraxa after he asked for help because I'm significantly closer to Cody. At this point I'd just assumed OKC stood for Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA. It matches information in Cody's profile. I suggested a few ways of sending food because of the desperate situation Cody told abraxa Cody was in. He provided some information Cody told him. I did a bit of google search checking of public records. I easily found public records of a Cody Turner at the shipping address given, but not close to 13 years old. I found older adults who either still live at the address, or did at one time that share the Turner last name, and who's ages are consistent with having an offspring who's age could easily have been the age of the Cody I found. There were other details I found that made me sure the Cody I found tied to that address was their offspring.

Cody, if you are really needing food, do you realize you are able to go to food banks and get free food?
 

Offline Peabody

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Re: Something to see my signals with?
« Reply #49 on: September 08, 2018, 02:44:56 pm »
I Googled Oklahoma City Child Protective Services, and found this:

"If you believe a child is being abused or neglected, you have a legal responsibility to report it. Reports can be made at any time to the DHS Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-800-522-3511. The hotline is available 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week."

I haven't followed all of this, and may be over-interpreting what's been posted publicly, but maybe it's time that someone who has had direct contact with him and has his address will consider making that call.  If he's saying his parents have disappeared, and he has no relatives or others he can stay with in Oklahoma City, then CPS probably needs to be involved.

 
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