Friday, April 16, 2010

How To Use PC as Oscilloscope

Every elctronic students uses oscilloscope in the laboratory and they get stuck in the projects they do in their home due to unavailability of an Oscilloscope. Usually CRO is very costly and we cant buy it only for home use. But many of us have a pc and usually we use it only for gaming, cahtting... Do you ever think of your pc that works as an oscilloscope?Not a joke. It is possible.

There is a windows software called Zelscope that convert PC into a dual channel oscilloscope.
- A pc oscilloscope- It can also be used as a spectrum analyzer. This software can be installed in any pc with a soundcard and should have a windows OS and can be downloaded from here.It also need a Buffer amplifier to isolate sound card from large voltages.

How Zelscope Works

Zelescope recieves the low frequency (AF) signals from sound card line input or microphoneinput and samples the given signals to digital and display. We can set the voltage/division,time/division etc as same as in the ordinary oscilloscope. However it needs a Buffer amplifier circuit to protect sound card from over voltages since typical input voltage should be about 1 volt AC at the line-in jack of the sound card. You may get the buffer amplifier circuit from here. Note that two buffer amplifiers (two channel) should be needed to connect two input channels.


  • Cant display Dc voltages (due to input capacitor of sound card blocks DC)
  • Measurement is not so accurate
  • Low frequency range (10Hz-20Khz)
  • Buffer amplifier is required

However this setup can be used effectively in small physics experiments,tuning music instruments, adjusting audio circuits.See the Zelescope FAQ for more information

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