Author Topic: Paul Carlson's Super Probe  (Read 53412 times)

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Offline KjoTopic starter

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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 »
 
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Offline abeyer

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.
 
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Offline Shock

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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
 
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Offline KjoTopic starter

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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!
 

Online tooki

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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

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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

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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

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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.
 
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Offline tszaboo

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Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2024, 08:34:55 am »
So what's this for, hunting for ghosts?
 

Online tooki

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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

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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

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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.
 
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Online Bud

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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.
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Online Bud

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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 »
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Offline ebastler

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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

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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.
 

Online Bud

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Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2024, 01:26:26 am »
I think, given the scale of Mr Carlson's activities, managing a small scale production of assemblies or kits would get on his way. I changed from selling kits to selling PCBs only to selling only licenses, and cannot be happier. Sure things I may have lost a buck or two in revenue but now all I need to do is just watch my bank account balance growing, no any of that pain anymore.
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Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2024, 05:50:03 pm »
Presbyopia reached me a few years ago in my mid 40's, so any SMD regardless of size is equally impossible to the naked eye. I got myself one of those Aliexpress head loupes with multiple lenses that allow me to perform these tasks quite easily. Given my current work in RF related designs, I was thrusted into the world of 0402 and 0201 immediately and, while 0201 is quite obnoxious due to its pesky ability to bond/tombstone to anything metallic such as tweezers and exacto knives, it is quite doable. Practice, practice, practice is what makes you minimally good at it.
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Offline floobydust

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Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2024, 10:45:30 pm »
I think, given the scale of Mr Carlson's activities, managing a small scale production of assemblies or kits would get on his way. I changed from selling kits to selling PCBs only to selling only licenses, and cannot be happier. Sure things I may have lost a buck or two in revenue but now all I need to do is just watch my bank account balance growing, no any of that pain anymore.

I don't follow your new model, licensing a hardware design? I have no idea if this is remotely enforceable, a guy changes a few parts and calls it their own. This is a very common IP ripoff I see cheezeball bloggers doing.

Mr. Carlson I can't figure out his approach:
"Building and selling the Carlson Super Probe without permission from Mr Carlson's Lab is strictly forbidden. This is not an item for you to build a business around, this is for personal use only, meaning: You build this for yourself and no one else."

This is fine assuming you can get a PCB/Gerbers/Drill file BoM etc. and don't have to reinvent the wheel for yourself.

I see an eBay seller of Super Probe kits, MK1 or MK2:
https://www.ebay.ca/itm/155677682908
https://www.ebay.ca/itm/155730926542
 

Online Haenk

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Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #28 on: February 29, 2024, 04:10:40 pm »
https://www.instructables.com/Carlsons-Super-Probe/

Is probably where the seller got his "idea" from.
I'm not sure, if that is the original PCB design, which certainly should be considered copyrighted. I'm pretty confident the circuit design itself does not fall under copyright regulations; so creating your own PCB should be fine.
At least legally, but not morally, of course.
 

Online tooki

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Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #29 on: February 29, 2024, 06:57:35 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.
I’m already 44, so not very far away from that.

Not that it matters: My over-50 colleague routinely uses 0402 parts in his designs.

The key is to use magnification appropriate to the size and to one’s eyesight. I would certainly struggle to place 0402 components without magnification. But with it, it’s fine. 0603 parts are no trouble without it.

I also cannot emphasize enough the importance of good lighting.
 

Offline KjoTopic starter

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Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #30 on: March 01, 2024, 04:46:02 pm »
Quote
quote from haenk
 I'm not sure, if that is the original PCB design, which certainly should be considered copyrighted. I'm pretty confident the circuit design itself does not fall under copyright regulations; so creating your own PCB should be fine.
At least legally, but not morally, of course.

When making judgmental comments rather than factual ones, please at least acknowledge that you have reviewed related comments in the thread as it is not that long (see #9).

Carlson never described making more than a home-made PCB, and Yannick99 designed and fabed one commercially, so the PCB artwork does not belong to Carlson. The component selection is not Carlsons either as they are 0805/1206 sized. Carlsons use of the term “open sourced” has to be taken literally as the digital version of the schematics and component layout. Meaning one can take and fork and use in any way. And instructables.com is a quintessential “open-source” site.

Carlson has a a lot of supporters that are delighted to have a path to building this particular design without starting from scratch. And Yannick99’s choice of 0805/1206 means you can actually assemble it without a microscope. (Well maybe an eye loupe would be a help!)
« Last Edit: March 01, 2024, 04:48:00 pm by Kjo »
 

Offline ebastler

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Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #31 on: March 01, 2024, 04:53:14 pm »
Mr. Carlson I can't figure out his approach:
"Building and selling the Carlson Super Probe without permission from Mr Carlson's Lab is strictly forbidden. This is not an item for you to build a business around, this is for personal use only, meaning: You build this for yourself and no one else."

That "strictly forbidden" claim is strictly meaningless. Carlson does not have a patent on the technical design. He would have copyright protection if people copied his exact text or video instructions or his exact PCB layout as part of a commercial build or kit, but that is not what people do.

I don't see why Carlson thinks he can restrict use in this way. And I don't see why he believes he is doing himself (and many potential users who don't feel comfortable making this from scratch) a favor by trying to restrict the distribution of kits or ready-made probes.
 

Offline floobydust

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Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #32 on: March 01, 2024, 11:48:35 pm »
Creative types, inventors- they crater when it comes to manufacturing and assembly. They really don't like doing that at all. Let alone be on social media getting roasted about their creation.
If only there was a way to toss it over the fence for someone else to deal with it.

No patents on signal tracers, they were popular starting in the mid 1940's radio boom.

Mr. Carlson's works all kinda behind a paywall as a paid Patreon subscriber then you get access to some docs I guess. At the end of the day, still have to make a PCB, parts kit, enclosure - ain't nobody got time for that.

The Super Probe being housed in a metal (cigar tube or pipe) enclosure I really don't like because I'm not potentially grounding myself (hand) when working on mains/HV tube stuff. Also the case can short to things as well. ICK.
Really need someone to make a 3D printed plastic probe housing and then add some foil shielding or just go for a 4-layer board and put parts on both sides, it's all hand-soldered anyway. That would make it small.

The Ultra Probe might be interesting if more was known about it and the module add-ons it seems to have.
 

Online Bud

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Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #33 on: March 02, 2024, 06:24:08 am »
I also cannot emphasize enough the importance of good lighting.
This one is interesting, I heard people saying this but myself never had much of a need in bright lighting. Could be one of those personal things.
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Offline abeyer

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Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #34 on: March 02, 2024, 07:16:22 am »
Carlsons use of the term “open sourced” has to be taken literally as the digital version of the schematics and component layout. Meaning one can take and fork and use in any way. And instructables.com is a quintessential “open-source” site.

I think that's all false. Someone just mentioning something being open source doesn't mean you can assume the terms and materials applied. Being open source explicitly means it can not be forked and used in any way, only in ways that comply with the terms that make it open source in the first place. And instructables.com does not seem to apply any default license nor take ownership of posted content, so someone can post anything under any (or no) license there.
 
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Online tooki

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Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #35 on: March 02, 2024, 07:41:43 am »
I also cannot emphasize enough the importance of good lighting.
This one is interesting, I heard people saying this but myself never had much of a need in bright lighting. Could be one of those personal things.
The finer the work, the more important it becomes, for simple reasons of optics: dim light = pupils wide open = reduced sharpness and reduced depth of field. When one is young and the eyes can focus well, it’s easy to compensate for this, but as presbyopia sets in with age, it becomes harder and harder.
 

Offline ebastler

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Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #36 on: March 02, 2024, 07:59:54 am »
I think that's all false. Someone just mentioning something being open source doesn't mean you can assume the terms and materials applied. Being open source explicitly means it can not be forked and used in any way, only in ways that comply with the terms that make it open source in the first place. And instructables.com does not seem to apply any default license nor take ownership of posted content, so someone can post anything under any (or no) license there.

I agree that the "open source" designation alone does not define clear usage terms; these will need to be set out in a specific license. But again, which rights and what protection does Mr. Carlson hold for his design, i.e. to what extent can he legally restrict usage rights?

In my understanding, the only protection is via copyright. Which protects Carlson's creations in their specific form: Instruction text and pictures, videos, original design drawings and layouts. He is free to state that these works cannot be used in conjunction with a commercial product or kit.

But if someone creates their own PCB layout and instructions based on Carlson's circuit, they are free to do with those what they like, including commercial use. The functional circuit alone, or the idea to put everything into a cigar tube, are not protected. (This type of technical solution could be protected in principle, via a patent, if it were new and inventive and if Carlson had filed a patent application before publishing. Both of which do not apply here to my knowledge.)
« Last Edit: March 02, 2024, 08:05:28 am by ebastler »
 

Offline floobydust

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Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #37 on: March 02, 2024, 08:40:04 pm »
Strange- if I use samples or portions of a song in making my own music, it causes lawsuits. Youtube even scans audio as well for copyright I believe.
But if I take someone's design/circuit it's nothing unless a patent exists.
 

Offline abeyer

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Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #38 on: March 02, 2024, 09:55:04 pm »
I agree that the "open source" designation alone does not define clear usage terms; these will need to be set out in a specific license. But again, which rights and what protection does Mr. Carlson hold for his design, i.e. to what extent can he legally restrict usage rights?
As long as it's his design, he can license it however he likes, but yeah, he may not be able to stop people who don't choose to license it, though. Those details are beyond my ken of IP law (which isn't my expertise to start with) so not gonna assert one way or another if he can enforce them... but he can certainly offer licenses even if they may not be enforcable.
 

Offline ebastler

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Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #39 on: March 02, 2024, 10:16:09 pm »
As long as it's his design, he can license it however he likes, but yeah, he may not be able to stop people who don't choose to license it, though. Those details are beyond my ken of IP law (which isn't my expertise to start with) so not gonna assert one way or another if he can enforce them... but he can certainly offer licenses even if they may not be enforcable.

Sure. But since a "license" means granting someone the right to use something (within certain constraints, possibly for a certain remuneration) -- what is the point of a license on something everyone has the right to use anyway?

Carlson could choose to offer licenses for "officially authorized" versions maybe, which would be allowed to carry his signature, channel logo or some other copyrighted mark. But his "it is strictly forbidden to use this design commercially" statement does not carry any weight or meaning at all, from what I can see.
 

Offline abeyer

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Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #40 on: March 03, 2024, 12:33:17 am »
Sure. But since a "license" means granting someone the right to use something (within certain constraints, possibly for a certain remuneration) -- what is the point of a license on something everyone has the right to use anyway?

Carlson could choose to offer licenses for "officially authorized" versions maybe, which would be allowed to carry his signature, channel logo or some other copyrighted mark. But his "it is strictly forbidden to use this design commercially" statement does not carry any weight or meaning at all, from what I can see.
I assumed mainly just as a more tangible kind of patreon benefit. It makes patrons feel like they're "getting something" even if there isn't any real requirement to do so. Who knows, though, the licensing situation with it all is kind of unclear in general and I certainly don't have any inside info.  :-//
 

Offline ebastler

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Re: Paul Carlson's Super Probe
« Reply #41 on: March 03, 2024, 07:43:25 am »
I assumed mainly just as a more tangible kind of patreon benefit. It makes patrons feel like they're "getting something" even if there isn't any real requirement to do so. Who knows, though, the licensing situation with it all is kind of unclear in general and I certainly don't have any inside info.  :-//

He may want to make his patrons feel like they are "getting something" -- but I don't see what he is actually giving them in this case, beyond what everybody else gets.

The intellectual property rights situation seems pretty clear here (copyright applies, but no patent protection), so it's clear what can be used freely and what is protected. The whole "strictly forbidden" and "license" thing is just smoke and mirrors -- either to make his paying patrons feel better, or because he is annoyed by the kit sales and hopes to discourage some sellers.
 


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