Add a touchscreen to your oscilloscope


This Maker replaced his oscilloscope’s knobs and buttons with a touch interface. 


Igor, the author of the “More Than User” blog, decided that his unwieldy button and knob interface on his oscilloscope wasn’t good enough. He chose to enhance it with a touchscreen ripped out of a Preistigo 7” tablet, using an Arduino Nano (ATmega328) to convert these signals into something that the scope could understand.

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This stated goal of this project was to “remove keyboard completely, instead add touch screen to control oscilloscope.” As seen in the video below, the project is a success, and Igor can control quite a few scope parameters with the press of an onscreen button or the swipe of a finger. As he puts it, he “managed to emulate keyboard data with ATmega328, then I just mapped all the codes that was used to control DSO [digital storage oscilloscope], and bascially that’s all.”

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Despite his humble description of the project, actually implementing this solution involved quite a bit of work. The COM port wasn’t working correctly, so he had to find and analyze the keyboard interface pins and revers-engineer the protocol for it. He recommends getting a logic analyzer for tasks like this, as the job will be much easier, especially since he was working on the same scope that he was using for analysis!

If that weren’t enough, the touchscreen itself had to be set up, including multiple broken component issues that had to be dealt with. In the end, it now works well, and is mounted on a nice wooden stand. The Nano is displayed proudly on the front, with wires radiating toward the touchscreen, which should be useful for troubleshooting and modification in the future!

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