Electronic Measurements

Electronic Measurements with BitScope & Raspberry Pi

Karl-Ludwig Butte from Butte Verlag has written a highly accessible series about how to get the best from BitScope Micro and Raspberry Pi to make electronic measurements. Part 3 is now available in this month's MagPi magazine so we thought it timely to provide a roundup of the first three instalments. We'll add to this post as more are published!

Part 1 - An Introduction BitScope Micro & Raspberry Pi

Electronic measurement with BitScope Micro

In the first instalment Karl-Ludwig explains what BitScope Micro is and how to set it up with Raspberry Pi.

He takes you through downloading and installing the software and how to use BitScope Micro to perform some simple debugging of an "electronic circuit" by looking at the signal produced by putting your finger on the probe!

Karl-Ludwig provides a very good beginner level introduction to using an oscilloscope with BitScope DSO which is the premium test & measurement software that comes with BitScope Micro on Raspberry Pi.

Karl-ludwig also introduces the BitScope Micro Diagnostic Port pinout and explains the range of analog and digital input and output signals it supports.

Part 2 - Understanding a NE555 Timer Circuit with BitScope Micro

Electronic measurement with BitScope Micro

In this instalment Karl-Ludwig explains in a little more detail how to make voltage measurements starting with the 5V rail provided by the Raspberry Pi.

On to a real circuit, Karl-Ludwig wires up and explains an NE555 timer circuit using a breadboard and a few simple passive components. The object of the exercise is to build a simple digital clock circuit around the 555 to check the circuit and the chip itself are working.

Conveniently the Raspberry Pi again provides the necessary power to run the circuit which starts producing the square wave output expected from the 555 timer.

Karl-Ludiwg uses this to show how BitScope Micro can take period and frequency measurements from a typical clock signal.

Part 3 - Debugging a pre-amplifer using the waveform generator

Electronic measurement with BitScope Micro

Having now explained how to make AC and DC voltage measurements and how to measure periods and frequencies, Karl-Ludwig uses this knowledge to hunt for some bugs in an electronic circuit.

Using the 555 timer circuit built in the previous instalment, Karl-Ludwig modifies the circuit adding a potentiometer to explain how frequency (and duty-cycle!) can be varied and how this can be observed using BitScope Micro.

However, as Karl-Ludwig then explains, building your own waveform generator is not necessary as BitScope Micro has one!

Karl-Ludwig uses the waveform generator to find a miscalculated resistor value in the design of a pre-amplifier circuit. Using BitScope Micro to see where the in the signal path the waveform "breaks" (it clips) he shows you how to locate the suspect component and replace it with a value that works.

To learn more about BitScope Micro, see the tutorial videos. Karl-Ludwig has more instalments planned for MagPi too.

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