An Alternative Oscilloscope (AlternaScope)

An Alternative Oscilloscope (AlternaScope)


Category: Uncategorized

Created: May 30, 2005

Updated: January 27, 2020

Language: Verilog

Other project properties

Development Status: Beta

Additional info: FPGA proven

WishBone compliant: No

WishBone version: n/a

License: n/a


AlternaScope provides a cheap alternative to expensive oscilloscopes; Using a VGA display and a simple mouse interface, a user can use this scope to look at and measure signals up to about 80Mhz.
This kind of scope would be ideal for hobbyists and students looking to learn and debug circuits.

Development is based on the Spartan III Starter Kit from Xilinx. The ADC is simply controlled by an MCU (another starter kit: the ATK500 from Atmel) but will soon be controlled by the FPGA (to achieve the faster speeds).
In the future, schematics and PCB layout binaries will be available.

NOTICE: I have started working on a 'BMP Picture' style of exporting data via RS-232 or USB, but do not have the time to write a Win-32 application to interpret the data. Anybody interested?

I aplogize for the bad quality of the snapshot. This is why I need screenshot support 😊


- Timescale selection
- Selectable trigger (Rising, Falling / Normal, Single, Auto)
- Horizontal and Vertical position offsets
- Grid Display On/Off/Outline
- Semi-standard Oscilloscope look and feel
- VGA display; drives a standard computer monitor
- PS/2 Mouse User Interface
- 9-bit input data width
- Developed specifically for the Spartan III devleopment kit from Xilinx (for now)


Soon to come

(Not necessarily in this order)
- FFT display
- Measurement Display (amplitude, frequency)
- Cursors
- Vectors
- Multi channel display (up to 8+)
- Channel Math
- UART or USB computer communication (data export)

IMAGE: BlockDiagram_small.GIF

FILE: BlockDiagram_small.GIF

IMAGE: OpenCores.JPG

FILE: OpenCores.JPG