This is a project that I’ve been planning on putting together for a long time. After creating an oscilloscope using a PIC12F675, I wanted to create a simple and effective USB oscilloscope using the higher performance PIC18F2550. During the development of this project, I learned quite a bit about USB HID communication, which allows me to quickly and effectively communicate with the desktop computer. Using HID means that this oscilloscope does not require drivers (only the oscilloscope software).
The source and firmware for the circuit can be found at the bottom of the page. Each section of the circuit is labeled in the schematic. All of the sections and their components are described and discussed below. The part numbers for the components are linked to websites for data and more information when available.
The analog input for the oscilloscope is connected to the A0 pin, which is configured to be an analog input. Please note that “The source impedance affects the offset voltage at the analog input (due to pin leakage current). The maximum recommended impedance for analog sources is 2.5 kÎ©” (PIC18F2550, pp. 260).
The microcontroller used is a Microchip PIC18F2550. I modified the PIC18F2550 Tiny PIC Bootloader assembly file so I could use a 20MHz crystal/resonator at 115,200 baud (the modified bootloader can be found at the bottom of the page). The PIC18F2550 runs at 48MHz using the internal PLL. R1 is a pull-up resistor necessary for operation. C1 is a stabilizing capacitor that is used for the onboard USB voltage regulator, which is used in this project. The component marked ‘RES’ is a 20MHz resonator.
RS232 Level Converter
The microcontroller USART pins need to be connected to a RS-232 Level Converter to connect to a PC for firmware updates using the Tiny PIC Bootloader. Otherwise, after initial programming they can be left disconnected.
The PIC is connected to the computer through a USB port and is bus-powered.
Source and Firmware
The PIC must initially programmed with the ‘SAC_tinybld18F2550usb _20MHz_115200_48MHz’ hex file to program the bootloader on the PIC. Then, using Tiny PIC Bootloader, the hex file can be placed on the chip using the Tiny PIC Bootloader frontend with ’12h 34h 56h 78h 90h’ in the ‘List of codes to send first:’ in the ‘Options’ menu. Please feel free to contact me if you have any problems.
– 18F2550 USB HID CRC Oscilloscope.c (hex)
– usb_desc_hid 8-byte.h
– Visual Basic example oscilloscope software with DFT: PIC18F2550 USB HID Oscilloscope DR1r1 VB Example.zip
Example Oscilloscope Images