Recently I became the owner of Digilent’s OpenScope MZ measuring board. Every electronics, whether amateur or professional, needs to measure different electrical values. Sometimes it needs to generate a waveform at a given frequency. And even if he is a professional, he does not always need professional oscilloscopes or generators for such things. Sometimes simpler solutions are enough. For such solutions, in my opinion, it is the Open Scope MZ.
What is OpenScope MZ?
Let’s call it a measuring board, because it is its purpose and designed for such use. The heart of the board is the PIC32MZ2048EFG124 microcontroller. The board is powered from the USB port. You can communicate with it either via a USB port or via WiFi. OpenScope is handled via a website.
How to connect to the PCB at the beginning, and how to calibrate it, was very well discussed here:
Now let’s look at what the designers have equipped the board with:
- 2 Channels
- 12-bit resolution per channel
- 6.25 MS/s sample rate
- Flat bandwidth up to 1 MHz at ±0.5dB
- 2 MHz of bandwidth at -3dB
- 1 MΩ of input impedance
- ±20 V input voltage range
- Maximum buffer size of 32640 samples per channel
Arbitrary Waveform Generator
- Sine, triangle, sawtooth, square and DC outputs
- 10-bit resolution
- 1 Hz to 1 MHz frequency
- 3 V pk2pk output with ±1.5 V offset
- 10 mA output current
- 25000 sample buffer size
Logic Analyzer and GPIO
- 10 Channels multiplexed between the Logic Analyzer and as general purpose IO
- 3.3V CMOS logic for both the Logic Analyzer and GPIO
- 7 mA source and 12 mA sink when used as GPIO
- Logic Analyzer has a sample rate of 10 MS/s
- Maximum buffer size of 32640 samples per channel for the Logic Analyzer
- 2 Channels
- ±4 V output voltage
- 50 mA per channel
In fact, we are limited only by our imagination and electrical limitations. The biggest advantage is undoubtedly communication via wifi. We can connect the Open Scope to the circuit under test, by itself moving away to a safe distance and observing the electrical waveforms from this distance. For example, we can place the OpenScope MZ in the engine compartment in the car and watch the engine’s control sequences while driving.
The possibilities are huge. Also in professional applications.
When working professionally, long-term tests are carried out where the test room is away from the daily workplace. In this case, we can pin the Open Scope to the system under test and remotely observe the system status from the desk.
As I said, only the imagination limits us.
As you can see, great possibilities lie in such an inconspicuous board. Electrically, the board does not knock down the parameters. Even compared to cheap Chinese oscilloscopes. Nevertheless, we do not always need to study waveforms in hundreds of MHz in everyday duties. Sometimes it is simply observing waveforms on the UART line. Sometimes it is controlling a few GPIOs and observing the response time of the system for extortion. And sometimes just supplying the microcontroller with 3.3 volts. In such cases, OpenScope can be an invaluable help. Especially thanks to communication via wifi or USB.
I personally recommend the OpenScope MZ to everyone. An electronics enthusiast and professional engineer. Everyone will find use for it.