August 14, 2009

Jyetech oscilloscope DIY KIT

A while back on gizmodo they had this oscilloscope kit for $33 from SeedStudio, which I had planed to purchase and try my hand at putting together for a while now. If it worked, although simple, it would work well for the basic circuit projects I occasionally work on. Also it may allow me to finally use the coin and dollar bill collector I have laying around. Oh, and if your are not sure what an oscilloscope is or why you would want one, click here

So after two weeks of shipping from Hong Kong it arrived and I got to work. First off I had to break down and buy some thin solder (0.32), as the thick kind (if you know me you have probably seen it) I am used to using for everything just would not cut it this time. Looking back I probably should have gone with an even thinner diameter and also grabbed some liquid flux as well, as there where a few places that the solder just refused to stick to easily. However the hardest part of the whole project was the tiny components. It was almost frightning how small most of the resistors and capacitors where when I opened the kit, and there are a lot of them to solder in very small places very close together. Going slow it took over nine hours to get everything connected and working, but was worth it in the end. Check out the picture below to see what I am talking about!

When everything was in place on the back of the board I plugged it in and checked the voltage and everything looked okay, but it was slightly unnerving as there was no way to completely tell if it would work when the panel was connected. Luckily after finishing the front side and adding the covers, I powered it up and low and behold the boot loader showed up and started graphing. Then after playing with it for a while I was satisfied that I had connected everything correctly and it was functional.

The image below is what the finished back may look like, however my kit was slightly different in that it had a few changed parts. I must confess that my connections where less nice and more painful spiky, but for my first big SMD soldering job I think I did quite well.

You can grab your own kit from SeedStudio in do it all yourself ($33), do only a little of it ($36), or already done ($49) flavors. Also I highly recommend looking at this site for more detailed pictures. I know I would have been in worse shape with out them. My final advice, you should to go with the SMD exempt kit for 3 dollar more unless you really want bragging rights. ^_^ as it quickly gets very annoying for several hours.


MacJediMatt said...

Holy crap those are epicly small!

Efeion said...

Yep, which is why I am still a little surprised that it all worked out fine when I finished. I guess these parts are a bit sturdier then must people like to give them credit.

Mike said...

I bought the kit. Gave up after a few components. Just not worth it.

I bought the version with the smt on already. I used a bnc instead of the rca for the probe. This allowed me to buy a nicer probe. Most things I do require a probe or miniclips.

To test and play, get this as well A function generation that work at the same signal scales.

Efeion said...

While I am proud of finishing the full experience, I completely agree that the full kit is not worth it for all the work, especially because the SMT done one is only three dollars more and will save you several hours. Oh, and the use of bnc is a smart idea.