Sep 022016

Some time ago Caius made a post regarding a cheap alternative to the very expensive curve tracer equipment called ‘Octopus’.
I’ve always meant too build one of these myself but never did get around to it.
Recently I came across this website where a guy called Jason Jones has designed a USB powered curve tracer circuit.
All the files required to build one yourself have been released on github here

Its easy enough to put together. I used a Pickit 3 to program the PIC in circuit which was painless enough once I had the .hex file sent to me by Jason as I couldnt work my way around the new MPLAB software. The header allows the Pickit 3 to plug straight on. I did have to power the circuit via USB as well while programming as my Pickit complained the voltage was too low if I used the Pickit itself to power it.

Jason has also made PC software in Python to remove the need to have an oscilloscope which works well enough but you can easily use a scope and works very well using my Rigol DS1054 scope.

Im very happy to have this in my ever growing collection of test equipment.
Thanks very much to Jason Jones for the project and for the help with the firmware.

 Posted by at 4:54 pm

  2 Responses to “Curve Tracer alternative”

  1. If I understand this board does the same as the built-in “component tester” of Hameg oscilloscopes like HM203, 303, … ?

  2. Yes, it’s the same.

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