Saturday, January 17, 2015

Better PC Sound Card Oscilloscope software (windows).

TL;DR - Visual Analyzer, PC Sound Card Oscilloscope software.  Nice spectrum analyzer.  Worth checking out.

Through a really good YouTube Post on using an SDR for Frequency Deviation Measurement on FM transmitters I learned about Visual Analyzer. I should probably do a separate post just on this.

Previously I used Xoscope on Linux and Zeitnitz Soundcard Oscilloscope (

I had also found, but not used Zelscope, Soundcard Oscilloscope and Spectrum Analyzer.

I originally got some pointers on sound card osclloscopes, from Virginia Tech's Introductory Electronics courses that were based on their Lab in a Box, so that students would have all of their own materials for doing the electronics work without having to be in a physical lab.   See:

Virginia Tech, Experiment 12, Calibrating a Sound Card Oscilloscope

I only went so far with sound card oscilloscopes, because shortly after I started experimenting, the Rigol DS-1052E oscilloscope became available within my budget.  I bought it for $400 direct from China.  The Rigol caused a little bit of a revolution in terms of oscilloscope availability and pricing.

That was all back in 2009 and 2010 when I started reading a lot more about electronics.  In December, 2009, I finally took the exams from my amateur radio license.  I passed both Technician and General with 100% and went back for the Extra Class at the next exam session.  I got one wrong on my Extra.

Of course, the interesting bit that got me here writing this today is that the RTL-SDR stick can be used as the analog (ok radio frequency) front end for a software oscilloscope, spectrum analyzer, deviation meter, etc.  Especially for those of us without much in test equipment.

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