Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Oscilloscope Artist

The Oscilloscope Artist originally appeared in the November, 1975 issue of Popular Electronics. It creates all sorts of fascinating moving geometric patterns on an oscilloscope screen.

All you need is a low bandwidth 'scope with horizontal and vertical (XY) inputs.

A reconstruction of the complete article is in a pdf file. All the original parts are still available!

The original block diagram is a bit confusing so I redrew it. Oscillators A & D create a Lissajous figure baseline from triangle/square waves. Oscillators B & C are multiplied and summed with A & B.

To make things interesting, C is 90° out of phase between the multipliers. All the oscillators are sync'd to A, which is ~60Hz. All of this produces complex patterns which move and shift.

I've also used it with a laser projection system with X and Y galvos and it works although the corners aren't too sharp.