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Santa brought a DSO Nano


#1

…now the only question is what to scope first? :slight_smile:


#2

I got same for my birthday month ago!

It has built-in function generator you can scope that.


#3

@ Architect,

Yup…figured that out shortly after I posted. I also briefly tried scoping the IR receiver on one of my fake Syma 107 helis…got a decent signal, but I think I need to learn more about capturing before I’ll be able to interpret it. Still, not bad progress for my first couple of attempts.

Did you update to the BenF firmare I’ve seen written about all over the place?

Also, have you seen this video series about the DSO Nano?

http://www.youtube.com/user/lwgraves?feature=mhum#p/c/9AD248A6B1BE27D6/0/fL1eIyCpnvE


#4

No I haven’t. I’ll check it out when I come back home. Thanks for pointing out.


#5

Sweet! Let me know after a few days of use if you’ve found any shortcomings. Can you get a screenshot directly from the device to the PC or do you have to take pics of the screen?


#6

Just updated the DSO Nano to the latest (I think) BenF firmware, v3.62, found at:

http://www.seeedstudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=1793

Update process was pretty straightforward, and is documented here (via link to the DSO docs):

http://www.seeedstudio.com/wiki/index.php?title=DSO_Nano#Upgrading_the_firmware

Makes the UI more intuitive and easy to work with, and fixes some significant issues with the default firmware. Will post more when I’ve had a chance to do some scoping with the new firmware. Liking what I see based on the built-in signal generator.


#7

Cool. I have upgraded mine as well. UI is better for sure!


#8

[quote]Can you get a screenshot directly from the device to the PC or do you have to take pics of the screen?
[/quote]

I would like to know that as well :slight_smile:


#9

With the benf firmware, you can capture screen images onto a microSD card. You can also save and export XML formatted data as well.


#10

So, here’s the $250 question…which you may not be able to answer yet but hopefully within a week you can :slight_smile: Are you satisfied with the Nano or do you wish you had spent another $250 on the desktop model Gus referenced?


#11

I can answer this one, cause I have nano for year now (last christmas gift).

I am satisfied with my nano, but I will buy entry level desktop scope.

Thing is nano good for some quick job: check if there is some activity, messure voltage (I often use it instead of multimeter), etc… But I found 1 chanell is too little for me. Its the main drawback. There is moment when I wish sampling rate was biger, but rare. Actualy more often I use 1s/div or 500ms/div (nano then captures not sample, but draws line over time).


#12

@ Ian

So far, so good. Just completed my first scoping project with the Nano, testing the voltage output signal from a Sparkfun breadboard power supply I just put together over the last couple of nights (would’ve had it done last night, but the kit had an incorrect resistor included, so I had to pick up some additional resistors and ended up wiring up a couple in series to get close enough to the specified value).

As you can see in the pic below, the signal is nice and flat, no visible ripple, and while it’s a bit overvoltage at 5V, it’s probably close enough for my needs.

I’m still learning my way around the menu system, but I am finding the benf firmware pretty easy to work with. I still need to run through the video series that I posted earlier, which will probably help a bunch in terms of learning to use it.

Just want to say “thanks” again to the great community here. I’m definitely learning a lot with your help…wouldn’t have thought that a few short months ago, I didn’t even own a soldering iron (unless you count the ancient one I got from my dad…not even sure that puppy still works).


#13

Looking good. Glad you’re liking it. I’ll probably end up with a Nano this month but if bonuses work out then hopefully there will be an upgrade coming a few months later. I’ve been working on figuring out I2C the past few days and I can really see where it would be nice to be able to see multiple signals at once. Maybe the DSO Quad but that’s getting pretty close to the desktop price…


#14

FWIW, one thing that the Nano (and presumably the Quad) has going for it is extreme portability. This thing is smaller than a 2.5" portable hard drive, and not as heavy. If you’re only ever going to use a scope at your workbench, then a desktop scope may be the right call, but given that you’re working on a quad copter, and may have need to do some scoping in the field, portability might be a nice bennie.

Just sayin’…


#15

Agreed. Ultimately, I think I’ll end up with both considering how cheap the Nano is :wink:


#16

So, some more observations, based on my first attempt at scoping the output of an IR remote control for one of my helis:

[ulist]Setting up the scope to work with the IR remote was simple, just jumpered an IR Receiver eblock to my breadboard, and scoped from the signal pin to VCC on the board, and it worked the first time. Guess there’s hope for me to understand this electronics stuff after all. :slight_smile:
Unfortunately, with the Nano as it ships, all you can do is look at the waveforms on the screen. Though the Nano is billed as a storage oscilloscope, it requires a separate microSD card to store anything, at least if I’m understanding correctly. Not that big a deal, but the unit doesn’t support SDHC, so I’m going to have to find a 2GB or less card, since 4GB and above are all HC, and < 4GB are getting somewhat rare.
With a little more use, I’m realizing that it would be VERY convenient to have knobs to use for some of the adjustments. Obviously knobs would reduce the portability, but using buttons for V/div and T/div is kind of a pain when you’re trying to view an entire waveform on the screen or zoom into a specific portion.
Given the lack of knobs, I’m thinking that for a task like the one I’m currently working on, it would be better to capture the waveforms and save them to the microSD (there’s an export to XML option in the benf firmware), and then analyze them on my laptop. Of course, I can’t actually do that until I have a microSD card. :frowning: [/ulist]

So while I’m still pleased with the DSO Nano (particularly since it was a gift), it is clear there are some drawbacks to the tiny package.


#17

Thanks for the info. That’s good to know. Is there any kind of interface through USB that might allow a PC based UI to control the device? That might help get around some of the button limitations. If not, then given that it’s an open-source firmware I suppose one could probably be added if one was inclined to do so.


#18

@ Ian

I believe, but could be mistaken, that the only thing you can do with USB is charge it, update the firmare, or access files on the microSD. That said, the only thing I’ve done via USB is charge and update the firmware. I’m not aware of any way to control the device or access live data via USB.


#19

There is this warning on the seeedstudio website

[quote]The “-” pole of proble is directly connected to GND of PC when USB connected.

  • Never use the Nano for measurements when connected to PC via USB unless the measurement target and Nano/USB port shares a common ground.

  • Avoid touching the Nano when test leads are exposed to a high ground level offset and keep the Nano at a safe distance from other conductive material.[/quote]

Which could well scupper any live control of the device from a pc.


#20

Doesn’t sound very promising but it does sound like you could get around it by adding a ground clip.