Category: Hardware

Tutorial on Microwave and mm-Wave Components and Modules

Posted by July 29, 2013

Counter Project

Posted by July 20, 2013


Project page in the labs wiki

Funny smoke

Posted by May 22, 2013

Just burned a 10K poti … I hate when that happens, which is somehow discouraging.

I was trying to replicate my own NE555 timer circuit (see wiki page) on a breadboard. This circuit will be the central piece of a signal/function generator I’m building.

For now it is simply an oscillator, but  I will add a circuit which will convert the oscillator signal to different wave forms (sinus, triangle, saw tooth). Later on I’ll also add a micro controller to be able to have the device controlled using a serial interface or USB and give it a display and some keys.

I have already drawn a schematic and worked on a board layout, even though the thing is not totally finished. So, if you are interested, checkout the schematic and layout files from this directory in the labs repository (there is also a wiki page but its content is in a draft state).

lzoDSO – prototype demo

Posted by May 15, 2013

Demonstrates the (currently limited) capabilities of the lazlo labs digital storage oscilloscope (lzoDSO) prototype. The test probe of the scope is connected to a timer circuit in mono-stable astable configuration so that it produces a more or less defined test signal. There is also a test signal source inside the scope that we need integrate into the firmare to get it working.

Uses an ATmega644 at 16 MHz and the internal 10-bit A/D converter (only using 8 bits).

See the lzoDSO project page for more at

lzoDSO – finished prototype board assembly

Posted by May 14, 2013


Yesterday I finished the assembly of the new front panel controller board, which evolved out of the old display carrier board). The circuit signal lines have  already been tested (using continuity testing) and I’m not far away from having the prototype be contained inside its case.

In the new board I basically merged the core board with the display carrier board, since there was enough space available. A slight change I introduced is that I adjusted some pin mappings (namely we moved the LCD control lines from port B to D).

Schematic and Circuit Board

PDF files for schematic and board.

schematic board

Now I’m updating the wiki page of the prototypes to get things in sync again.

lzoDSO – new prototype board

Posted by May 13, 2013

Actually I’m right in the middle of assembling a new circuit board I have created for the oscilloscope prototype. This “new” board is nothing more but the core controller board merged with the display carrier board into one.

You can find an image of the schematic and circuit board at the prototype branch directory inside the lzoDSO projects repository.


Agile for Embedded — Impossible!

Posted by May 3, 2013

A sarcastic collection of the typical lousy excuses people come up with for why “agile” can not be applied to their project

Watch end enjoy!

Got my first scope!

Posted by May 3, 2013

A friend of mine lend me a HP 54600A (100 MHz dual channel) and I’m so happy and confident that having such a tool will help me to better understand the some electrical effects that are still mysteries to me.

Thank you tec!


Processing LHC Data

Posted by April 23, 2013

lzoDSO – DIY oscilloscopes a waste of time?

Posted by April 15, 2013

After watching the rant from Dave Jones (from the EEVblog) in his car expressing his opinion on DIY micro controller-based oscilloscopes one might think there is no merit to building such a device. Well, in my opinion there is! Okay, Dave also made this point clear: it is okay to build one for getting your feet wet in the electronics and embedded systems domain. Which is exactly what I am doing.

To further address the criticism of Dave by saying that those DIY scopes usually do not have any thought put into the analog front-end (AFE) or the trigger section. In general I’d approve his observations.

So why is the lzoDSO not going to be a simple DIY scope? Because we actually want to delve down into the dirty details of constructing an AFE and a trigger section that act just like the ones an electrical engineer would expect from a typical digital storage oscilloscope.

Even though these are two of the paramount parts of an oscilloscope, first we will bring our prototype to a state where it can be helpful in evaluation the design of an AFE and a trigger section.

UPDATE: As Dave suggested I started asking around for someone who might pass me his old oscilloscope. If you have one you want to pass on to someone who will gain from even an old analog or digital device: please contact me (see contact) and maybe I can compensate you in one way or the other. Anyways, don’t think this will stop me from continuing to work on the lzoDSO.