As you dive deeper into the world of electronics, a good oscilloscope quickly is an indispensable tool. However, for many use cases where you’re debugging low voltage, low speed circuits, that expensive oscilloscope is using only a fraction of its capabilities. As a minimalist alternative for these use cases [fhdm-dev] created Scoppy, a combination of firmware for the Raspberry Pi Pico and an Android app to create a functional oscilloscope.
As you would expect, the specifications are rather limited, capturing a maximum of 100 kpts at a speed of 500 kS/s shared between the two channels. Without some additional front end circuitry to protect the Pico, the input voltage is limited to 0-3.3 V. Neither the app nor the firmware is open source, and getting access to the second channel and removing ads requires a ~$3 in-app purchase. Even so, we can still think of plenty of practical uses for a ~$7 oscilloscope. If you do decide to add some front-end circuitry to change to voltage range, you can set them in the app, and switch between them by pulling certain GPIO pins high or low. The app has most of the basic oscilloscope features covered, continuous and single shot capture, adjustable trigger settings and a scalable waveform display.
Simple, cheap oscilloscopes like these have their place, but you start to understand why the “real” ones are so expensive when you see what goes into developing a high performance oscilloscope.