Author Topic: Paul Carlson's Super Probe  (Read 12687 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline KjoTopic starter

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 80
  • Country: us
    • Hollywood Controls
Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« on: August 29, 2023, 01:23:02 am »
Funny that there is no EEVblog thread specifically for the SuperProbe after 6 years. Well I'm starting one.
After building a couple based on the hardware from Yannick99 from Instructables that I fit inside a SS cigar
tube and Hammond 1593L box, I had a lot of excess parts. I put together some kits with varying number of the parts needed
including just the 2 PCBs. They are available on eBay (a dirty word on screwtube) and on my website. It is a challenge
with all of the SMD parts, but rewarding when done. I have improved the probe PCB with better grounding and some
mounting holes, but it is Carlson's design none the less.

Screwtube would not let me add comments like these to Carlsons channel even though many of his viewers were looking
for sources of parts, kits or completely assembled probes. (My comments just got deleted after a few minutes...)

Search eBay or google for Carlsons Super Probe to get several kit sources.

I attached some pictures of the my implementation and the bags of kit parts I provide.


« Last Edit: August 29, 2023, 01:25:52 am by Kjo »
 
The following users thanked this post: Neomys Sapiens

Offline abeyer

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 249
  • Country: us
Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2023, 07:02:52 pm »
Screwtube would not let me add comments like these to Carlsons channel even though many of his viewers were looking
for sources of parts, kits or completely assembled probes. (My comments just got deleted after a few minutes...)

Are you sure it was youtube and not him? I'm pretty sure the design for this was something he always promoted as a patron benefit... so may not want people selling kits and promoting them on his channel.
 

Offline KjoTopic starter

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 80
  • Country: us
    • Hollywood Controls
Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2023, 07:41:45 pm »
Quote
Are you sure it was youtube and not him? I'm pretty sure the design for this was something he always promoted as a patron benefit... so may not want people selling kits and promoting them on his channel.

Nah… Carlson open-sourced this probe design about 5 years ago. And it only took screwbay 30 seconds to remove comment (twice). I doubt Carlson is that fast!
 

Offline KjoTopic starter

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 80
  • Country: us
    • Hollywood Controls
Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2023, 11:46:20 pm »
Edited:

If someone is interested in kits for Carlson's Super Probe design, a quick search on eBay or Google
will bring up a number of options.

Trying to sell something of interest and value to posters on these forums is always
tricky. The rules are vague, and are not much more than a collection of posts stringing
10 or more years into the past.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2023, 04:06:43 pm by Kjo »
 

Offline schmitt trigger

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2194
  • Country: mx
Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2023, 02:01:03 am »
I wish I had half your skill in building professional-looking projects.
 

Offline floobydust

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6851
  • Country: ca
Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2023, 02:20:00 am »
I thought Mr. Carlson was making a few pennies off these projects on his Patreon? They are not open source, that I know of, outside of people doing tgheir own PCB designs.

Differences in a schematic for the Superprobe has your R2, R5 as 1kΩ not 15kΩ.
The Superamp C5 is located on the output to the probe, after your light bulb. C3 is 0.1uF you have 4.7uF feeding the LM4781 input.

In my own design from years before this, I went with a JFET input stage, LM386 and 9V power instead for a super sensitive signal tracer.
I dislike grounding myself with a metal tube cigar-tube housing for the shock hazard. I just use a BNC and scope probe instead.
 
The following users thanked this post: armandine2

Offline Shock

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4194
  • Country: au
Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2023, 06:07:22 am »
It's an audible RF/AF circuit sniffer probe. It's been mentioned on the forums before. As best I can tell it's in the public domain, rather than open source or licensed.

If you are selling something we have a buy/sell/wanted section.
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 189, 87V, 117, 112   >>> WANTED STUFF <<<
Oszilloskopen: Lecroy 9314, Phillips PM3065, Tektronix 2215a, 314
 
The following users thanked this post: edavid, Kjo, abeyer

Offline KjoTopic starter

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 80
  • Country: us
    • Hollywood Controls
Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2023, 03:43:04 pm »
Quote
Differences in a schematic for the Superprobe has your R2, R5 as 1kΩ not 15kΩ.
The Superamp C5 is located on the output to the probe, after your light bulb. C3 is 0.1uF you have 4.7uF feeding the LM4781 input.

Crap, Thanks for catching the errors. Copy paste sucks & I cant manage to proof read very well.
Probe still works well... I have some editing to do.

As for C5 on the Amp, it is integrated on the board, where the lamp wont fit. I doubt the cold resistance matters.
 

Offline bookaboo

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 719
  • Country: ie
Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2023, 04:27:05 pm »


Check the pinned comment, I certainly would not say that's open sourced. The design files are a Patreon perk.
Perhaps the concept is public domain? If so then design your own variant and sell that and put your own name on it, not someone else's.
 

Offline KjoTopic starter

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 80
  • Country: us
    • Hollywood Controls
Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2023, 06:03:23 pm »
Quote
Check the pinned comment, I certainly would not say that's open sourced. The design files are a Patreon perk.
Perhaps the concept is public domain? If so then design your own variant and sell that and put your own name on it, not someone else's.

Yea but Carlson recently open-sourced this design:

Quote
@carlespy7470
5 months ago
Hi, Mr. C - I would like to build your Super Probe but there is no way I could DIY a PCB.  Is it possible to build it successfully with point-to-point wiring?
1
Mr Carlson's Lab
@MrCarlsonsLab
Yes you could, this project has been open sourced, so if you look around on the internet, you will find many different versions of it.

I dont know what the legal difference between open-source and public-domain is, but I doubt it matters in this situation.
Anyone who promotes Carlson's probe design with credits is only boosting him. I don't see that he is in the business of supplying his
patrons with parts, but is encouraging them to DIY and learn electronics.

The PCBs available are not Carlson's artwork, are truly public domain with no claims of copyright.
 

Offline floobydust

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6851
  • Country: ca
Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2023, 07:02:03 pm »
His capacitor leakage tester is not open-sourced that I know of.

I had done an LTSpice sim and the voltage gain is extremely high for the Superprobe alone (no audio amp gain), around 660 and it clips with 1mV input.
I find it's better to have less or controllable gain and higher input impedance from a JFET. Signal tracing I need to cope up to line-level and have an input gain pot, and I needed low distortion to hear problems with stages. The Superprobe has no local feedback and I think would be gritty. It's a different approach.
 

Offline KjoTopic starter

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 80
  • Country: us
    • Hollywood Controls
Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2023, 09:23:04 pm »
@floobydust
Quote
His capacitor leakage tester is not open-sourced that I know of.

I think you are correct about the leak tester, but as I commented on his UT channel when he released it,
anyone with a good DMM that has a nS range, like the Fluke 87s, can do pretty much
the same thing for all practical needs.

Quote
I find it's better to have less or controllable gain and higher input impedance from a JFET.
This would be an interesting mod, but my goal was just to try to satisfy all those Carlson DIYers who
cant, won't or don't know to build the probe from scratch and source the parts. Being 95% SMD a DIYer needs a lot of SMD
stuff in bins or needs to buy 100-200 pieces of everything to be cost effective. But they almost certainly only want one probe!

They will expect it to work like his also....
« Last Edit: September 01, 2023, 12:06:43 am by Kjo »
 

Offline KjoTopic starter

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 80
  • Country: us
    • Hollywood Controls
Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2023, 06:16:43 pm »
@floobydust
Quote
I had done an LTSpice sim and the voltage gain is extremely high for the Superprobe alone (no audio amp gain), around 660 and it clips with 1mV input.

Yea that is about right, and the amp T1 adds Av=88 and the LM4871 Av=1.4 or almost 100dB!
 

Offline tooki

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 11154
  • Country: ch
Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2023, 01:37:25 am »
… They are available on eBay (a dirty word on screwtube) and on my website.

Screwtube would not let me add comments like these to Carlsons channel even though many of his viewers were looking
for sources of parts, kits or completely assembled probes. (My comments just got deleted after a few minutes...)
Youtube pretty much auto deletes any comment containing a URL (I have given up trying to link to eevblog forum posts, for example), too many numbers (!), or any text to the effect of “search the web for [relevant keywords, article title, etc]”. It makes it de facto impossible to provide sources to any information or product suppliers, even for people who ask for them.

I am convinced it’s their spam filters, which disallow all that while still allowing all manner of junk.
 

Offline KjoTopic starter

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 80
  • Country: us
    • Hollywood Controls
Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2024, 04:20:51 pm »
Carlson appears to follow the "give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime". He has a large base of followers who are DIYers but it is hard to divine haw many actually follow through and complete his projects. Completing some of these as a one-off build requires quite an array of resources and components. So I often wonder what percentage of his followers go unsatisfied by not having the required skill set & resources.

I happen to like his Super Probe concept. But the original PCB design with 0602 SMD components was a daunting build. Others created more reasonable 0805 PCB designs opening the project to to more amateur kit builders. The design is 6-7 years old now, and he has a newer design in the works, but the old one is just really popular!

There is quite a pent up interest in assembling one of these probes based on the response to the kits I have put together. And designing, procuring and assembling quality kits for the DIY community is not a trivial project. I'd like to think that I have helped quite a few people accomplish something that would otherwise never have happened.

This thread is not intended to be an advertisement for these kits but rather a discussion area for anyone who has built them. But I also find that the rules in the Buy/Sell/Wanted section are vague, arbitrarily applied, and come without warnings. I have been a forum member for going on 10 years, but I have not posted there (B/S/W) for fear of being banned.
 

Offline abeyer

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 249
  • Country: us
Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2024, 12:24:56 am »
This thread is not intended to be an advertisement for these kits but rather a discussion area for anyone who has built them. But I also find that the rules in the Buy/Sell/Wanted section are vague, arbitrarily applied, and come without warnings. I have been a forum member for going on 10 years, but I have not posted there (B/S/W) for fear of being banned.

IMHO, a post in a discussion thread outside of B/S/W that doesn't really add much to the conversation besides vague allusions to something you sell seems to be potentially more likely to be taken the wrong way than just posting a FS in B/S/W and taking it down if someone complains.

And really, if you're that concerned why not just message the mods and ask?
« Last Edit: February 21, 2024, 12:28:34 am by abeyer »
 

Offline Calambres

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 344
  • Country: es
    • Piso-Tones
Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2024, 08:25:51 am »
I'm afraid this design is superseded by a newer and recent "Mr. Carlson's Ultra Probe".

Instructions available from his Patreon channel.
 
The following users thanked this post: abeyer

Offline tszaboo

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7216
  • Country: nl
  • Current job: ATEX product design
Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2024, 08:34:55 am »
So what's this for, hunting for ghosts?
 

Offline tooki

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 11154
  • Country: ch
Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2024, 10:01:06 am »
I happen to like his Super Probe concept. But the original PCB design with 0602 SMD components was a daunting build. Others created more reasonable 0805 PCB designs opening the project to to more amateur kit builders. The design is 6-7 years old now, and he has a newer design in the works, but the old one is just really popular!
People really think there’s a make-or-break difference in difficulty between 0603 and 0805?!? I can’t decide whether the  :-DD smiley or the  |O one is more appropriate here.

Maybe other aspects of the PCB layout make a real difference in assembly difficulty. But surely the size of passives isn’t one of them.

Me, I actually prefer 0603 because of the aspect ratio.

Regardless, SMD soldering is now an absolutely inescapable part of electronics, and I can’t say I have much sympathy for people who don’t want to learn it. It’s not that hard.
 

Offline floobydust

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6851
  • Country: ca
Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2024, 01:56:37 am »
It's difficult to discuss Mr. Carlson's custom test gear inventions - he rolls them out, there's no schematic etc. unless you are a Patreon subscriber. It's a strange way to earn revenue, instead of him offering kits or finished boards. In time, docs leak out... so IP theft happens, as he's trying to keep it exclusive I guess.

I have no data on the new "Carlson Ultra Probe "Simplified Version" For Thru-Hole And SMD Construction V1B-EXP". The schematic would be nice.
I did look at predecessor "Super Probe", did LTSpice sim etc. and somewhat did not like it. I'd made my own, with my own circuit around 1980 lol.

So what's this for, hunting for ghosts?

It's a very high gain probe so you can track or find very interesting signals.
Audio, RF, EMI, wire tracing, VLF, perhaps ghosts - not unlike old vacuum tube signal tracers could do. An invaluable tool to have. I look forward to what updates he's done.
 

Offline Infraviolet

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 983
  • Country: gb
Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2024, 10:14:12 pm »
Make or break surely occurs between 0603 and 0402 instead?

0603 passives are feasible even with a not-particularly-pointy iron and with normal solder wire (paste is better here ofcourse) so long as it is wire in the 0.3 to 0.4mm diameter range.

When I occasionally use 0805 in one or two spots in a design, it feels very easy by comparison to 0603, which is already fairly easy.

Almost every passive I put on a PCB is 0603, just lets one cram so much more in to a given board area (small area = good , when designing boards to integrate with systems of moving mechanical parts). I've always avoided 0402 and below, even at times when I've had good microscopes to hand and measured dispensing of solder paste.
 

Offline Bud

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6807
  • Country: ca
Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2024, 10:24:20 pm »
People really think there’s a make-or-break difference in difficulty between 0603 and 0805?!? I can’t decide whether the  :-DD smiley or the  |O one is more appropriate here.

You can decide when you hit your 50th birthday.
Facebook-free life and Rigol-free shack.
 
The following users thanked this post: ebastler, Jacon

Offline Bud

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6807
  • Country: ca
Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2024, 10:27:42 pm »
It's difficult to discuss Mr. Carlson's custom test gear inventions - he rolls them out, there's no schematic etc. unless you are a Patreon subscriber. It's a strange way to earn revenue, instead of him offering kits or finished boards. In time, docs leak out... so IP theft happens, as he's trying to keep it exclusive I guess.
Because there is no physical product to deliver, no associated time spent for managing the assembly supplier,parts, shipping, customs, etc. No need to deal with returns and asshole buyers. Would you rather managing licenses vs physical product?
« Last Edit: February 27, 2024, 10:31:46 pm by Bud »
Facebook-free life and Rigol-free shack.
 

Online ebastler

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6197
  • Country: de
Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2024, 10:33:43 pm »
People really think there’s a make-or-break difference in difficulty between 0603 and 0805?!? I can’t decide whether the  :-DD smiley or the  |O one is more appropriate here.

Maybe other aspects of the PCB layout make a real difference in assembly difficulty. But surely the size of passives isn’t one of them.

Me, I actually prefer 0603 because of the aspect ratio.

Regardless, SMD soldering is now an absolutely inescapable part of electronics, and I can’t say I have much sympathy for people who don’t want to learn it. It’s not that hard.

My personal pain threshold is between the 0603 and 0402 sizes. 0603 is fine, 0402 is "oh no, do I really have to?", and I don't design them in when I can possibly avoid it. That's today, but I am fully prepared to see that threshold shift over the years.

Where is the limit for you at the moment? Happy with hand-placing 0201s? Can you imagine that things might change as you get older?
 

Offline floobydust

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6851
  • Country: ca
Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2024, 11:46:06 pm »
It's difficult to discuss Mr. Carlson's custom test gear inventions - he rolls them out, there's no schematic etc. unless you are a Patreon subscriber. It's a strange way to earn revenue, instead of him offering kits or finished boards. In time, docs leak out... so IP theft happens, as he's trying to keep it exclusive I guess.
Because there is no physical product to deliver, no associated time spent for managing the assembly supplier,parts, shipping, customs, etc. No need to deal with returns and asshole buyers. Would you rather managing licenses vs physical product?

I don't always have the time to put together a build and do pay for the convenience of a kit. I thought his custom test equipment H/W sells (could) earn some profit verses him selling IP.
It's too hard to manage a build of a few dozen parts? Or are we saying leave it to china to rip it off and profit?
Tindie still goin' although most stuff looks priced too low for sellers to stay alive.
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf