Monday, March 11, 2013

Revisiting Projects - Oscilloscope Graphics

Over the past few years I have developed a keen interest in working on small projects in my spare time. They typically involve a microcontroller or some fun analog circuitry. This blog will revisit an old project of mine from circa August 2010. I had just received my first oscilloscope and decided that it would be fun to show some graphics on it in X-Y mode.

The Mohawk College Logo
The Mohawk College Logo

I had a goal in mind, I wanted to display graphics of some sort. I picked up the closest piece of technology that I thought would do the job. This was my ATmega Butterfly development board. I assembled an R/R2 DAC on a breadboard and attached some LM358 op-amps as buffers.

The ATmega Butterfly and a lone DAC
The ATmega Butterfly and a lone DAC
Once I had the hardware configured it was only a matter of time before I would have crisp graphics on the screen. I was just becoming proficient in programming at the time and a friend of mine created a python script to convert the pixel data into a series of 'PORTB = ' statements which I then compiled and downloaded into the AVR program memory. The python script also took into account grayscale by spending more time on certain pixels to increase intensity. One of the first tests that I did was with the classic image of Lenna, a standard image processing test image.


Lenna
Lenna
Finally, I threw up some nice images of various blogs that I read to get some well deserved blogger credit.

Makezine, and the complete setup.
Makezine, and the complete setup.

The Ubuntu Logo
The Ubuntu Logo

Hack a Day
Hack a Day

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