Note that although the “run oneshot” button was used in this example, we could have used “run norm” for most things. Basicscope is able to scroll and zoom a trace while it is running.
BasicScope can seem daunting initially because of the lack of familiar knobs and labels. But once you understand the basic layout of the program, everything should be simple.
Time/Div (Sweep) Slider: This is like the sweep rate knob on a classic oscilloscope. It sets the time per division. When the cursor is positioned over this slider, the present setting pops up as a tooltip. Any displayed trace is magnified to match the time setting. If the scope is running, the next trace is captured at the selected time setting.
Channel 1 Controls
Items associated with channel 1 are generally yellow.
Channel 1 Volts/Div: This slider controls the input sensitivity for channel 1. When the cursor is positioned over the slider, the present setting pops up as a tooltip. Any displayed trace for channel 1 is magnified to match the voltage setting. If the scope is running, the next trace is captured at the selected voltage setting.
Channel 1 Position: This slider controls the vertical position of the trace for channel 1. When the cursor is positioned over the slider, the present setting pops up as a tooltip. As this slider is moved, a faint line appears on the Display Window to graphically indicate the zero level for the channel 1.
Channel 1 as Trigger Source: When checked, channel 1 is selected as the trigger source. When unchecked, the channel 1 Trigger Slope and Trigger Level controls below disappear, as they are no longer relevant. Note: Channel 1 and Channel 2 cannot be simultaneously selected as the trigger source, however, it is possible to deselect both, resulting in a free-running trace based on no trigger condition at all.
Channel 1 Trigger Level: This slider sets the trigger level for channel 1. When the cursor is positioned over this control, a tooltip pops up indicating the present voltage level for the trigger. As this slider is moved, a faint line appears on the Display Window to graphically indicate the trigger level.
Channel 2 Controls
Controls associated with channel 2 are generally cyan in color.
Channel 2 Volts/Div: This slider controls the input sensitivity for channel 2. When the cursor is positioned over the slider, the present setting pops up as a tooltip. Any displayed trace for channel 2 is magnified to match the voltage setting. If the scope is running, the next trace is captured at the selected voltage setting.
Channel 2 Position: This slider controls the vertical position of the trace for channel 2. When the cursor is positioned over the slider, the present setting pops up as a tooltip. As this slider is moved, a faint line appears on the Display Window to graphically indicate the zero level for the channel 2.
Channel 2 as Trigger Source: When checked, channel 2 is selected as the trigger source. When unchecked, the channel 2 Trigger Slope and Trigger Level controls disappear, as they are no longer relevant.
Channel 2 Trigger Level: (not shown) This slider sets the trigger level for channel 2. When the cursor is positioned over this control, a tooltip pops up indicating the present voltage level for the trigger. As this slider is moved, a faint line appears on the Display Window to graphically indicate the trigger level.
This is, of course, the display of the waveforms. There are 8 vertical divisions for voltage, and 10 horizontal divisions for time. The waveform may be moved right or left simply by dragging it with the mouse cursor. Additionally, it can be scrolled right or left with the scroll bar below the display. To zoom in on a particular part of the display, position the cursor over the point of interest, and push the mouse wheel forward to zoom in. The zoomed display will be centered about the point where the cursor was. Similarly, the mouse wheel can be pulled back to zoom out. If there is no mouse wheel available, the ‘+’ and ‘-‘ keys may be used to zoom in and out, respectively.
At the bottom of the display is a legend that shows the present settings of the trace being viewed, and the position of the markers (see below) if enabled.
When BasicScope is initially installed, every single button is on the toolbar at the bottom of the program. Don’t be overwhelmed – only a few of these buttons are commonly used, and you can hide the ones you don’t need, and rearrange the remainder to suit your taste (see Change Buttons below).
If there are more buttons on the toolbar than can be displayed, there will be a little paging arrow on the right or left of the toolbar to move to the next or previous page of buttons.
Run Normal: This tells the scope to capture data continuously. Click on it to start capturing; click on it again to stop. You can tell that the scope is running because this button will look like it’s pushed in. Each time a trigger is received for a trace, the Trg label for the channel will briefly flash red. If triggers are received continuously, the Trg label will be solid red.
Run Oneshot: Capture exactly one trace, then stop. When this button is pushed, it will stay in until the trigger condition is met. At that time, the button pops out automatically, and the trace is displayed. To cancel capture, simply push the button again.
Enable Markers: There are four markers – a square and circle for each of two channels. This button enables their display. To move a marker, simply drag it with the cursor. Except when moved, markers are fixed with respect to the waveform, and will scale and pan along with the waveform. If a marker would have been drawn off-screen, it is instead shown at the nearest edge of the screen. The legend area below the waveform display reports the positions of the markers, if they are enabled.
Park Markers: Sometimes the markers can be hard to see on the display. Pushing this button puts the markers in a fixed location near the upper left of the display, ready to drag to the desired location.
ScreenShot: This saves the Waveform Display, along with its legend, to a PNG file. The default file name is a the current date and time, but can be changed. Note: to get an image of specific dimensions, drag the border of the main program window to size. In the top left corner of the Waveform Display will be a readout of the image dimensions. This is very handy if you want to generate a picture of exact size for a blog or document.
Unzoom: Restore the original voltage and time settings under which the displayed trace was captured. This is useful when the scope is not running, you have zoomed in on some detail, and want to reset the zoom.
Enable Software Trigger Detection: The main advantage of this feature is that the trace preceding the trigger event can be displayed – something the Hantek trigger won’t do. Also, Software Trig must be enabled, if triggering on both edges is desired. As the overhead is relatively low, the Author recommends keeping this feature enabled at all times.
Enable Data Acquisition Mode: When pushed in, this button enables Data Acquisition Mode. Every trace taken is written to a target CSV file, if that file does not already exist. If the file does exist, nothing is written. The default target filename is data.csv, but can be changed through the “Data Acquisition File…” selection under the File menu.
The idea is that a third party program can process or display the information in the data.csv file, for example, as x-y mode, a Fourier transform, persistent phosphor scope, heat map, and so forth. When the third party program wants more data, it will delete the existing data.csv file, which causes BasicScope to write another with the next trace taken.
This feature was added in BasicScope 1.3, to implement a cheap data recorder. There is a performance impact, as the entire output file must be written before the next trace is taken. This could lead to a delay of milliseconds up to several seconds between traces, depending on the size of the capture. The author recommends turning this feature off unless it is actually being used.
To turn off Data Acquisition Mode, simply push the button again.
Change Buttons: This brings up a dialog that can be used to hide unwanted buttons, and change the order of existing ones. Should this button itself be deleted, the Change Buttons functionality can be accessed from BasicScope’s regular menu, or simply by double-clicking a vacant part of the toolbar. Experts can rearrange buttons by Shift-dragging them around on the toolbar, or Shift-dragging buttons completely out of the toolbar in order to delete them. Have no fear about experimenting; it is impossible to delete a button permanently.