A little bit of history

The MultiKitB is a development board for the ATMEGA164P microcontroller and a single channel MSO. This is a brief article describing the design history of the MultiKitB.

Around 2002 I built an oscilloscope project, the LPTscope from Bojan Banko. I liked this design a lot because it used only one chip, the A/D itself, and it had a decent sampling rate (at least for academic purposes). The application was on the PC, the trigger was software based.

Around 2005, I talked the company I worked for into buying the Bitscope from Bitscope Designs. It is much more complex than the LPTscope, but it also had the application on the PC.

I wanted to design a simple oscilloscope like the LPTscope with a higher sampling rate like the Bitscope, but unlike those two, it wanted it to have an LCD.

I also checked many oscilloscope projects, most of them used some kind of FPGA or CPLD, and an external memory. This is needed if you want a very high speed oscilloscope, but I wanted a medium sample rate, and it had to be cheap!

So using just a microcontroller was the approach. This would limit the sampling rate to how fast the I/Os can sample and store the data. An AVR capable of 20MIPS was my choice, the ATMEGA164P.

The design of the original MultiKit started in 2007, the idea was to make a simple oscilloscope for myself, because I didn't have one. It initially used a lot of thru hole components and a big 40 pin DIP AVR. The A/D IC I selected was the ADS931E, I originally wanted to use the TLC5540, but it required more current. One of goals was to minimize the current consumption. One disadvantage was that the package had a very fine pitch, so I couldn't do much prototyping, so I went directly to the PCB design.

The first PCB batch came in around July 2007, with a few minor cut traces and jumpers the designed worked ok. Around February 2009 I designed the MultiKitB which fixed a few issues and replaced an obsolete accelerometer with rotary encoders. The rotary encoders enhanced the user interface.

To do: Create a PC application to control the MultiKitB and receive the data.

Link to the MultiKitB product page: {product_snapshot:id=17,showimage=y}