Precautions to maintain before using a PC oscilloscope

In every stage of designing a circuit you need an oscilloscope to see whether you are getting the desired output signal or not, and if you are reverse engineering a circuit then oscilloscope is very much essential tool for that. A wide variety of oscilloscopes are available in the market and they are very expensive so most of the hobbyist choose to buy a PC oscilloscope. After some research I bought a cheap one for my basic experiments it’s a Hantek 6022BE, it has 20MHz of bandwidth and 48MSa/s of real time sampling rate. But before using it we have to cope with some problems that can blow this device in seconds.

Here is a awesome video by Dave from EEVBlog on this purpose.

Many of us use a computer SMPS as power supply personally I also use, but when you are probing a circuit with your PC oscilloscope which is powered by the SMPS you need to do a small and simple hardware hack in the power supply. At first there are two sections present in the SMPS, high voltage(HV) side and low voltage(LV) side. HV side and LV side are isolated either by isolation transformer or by opto-couplers.

But in most cases the ground of the LV side is connected with the earthing of the HV side and this is quite dangerous so our hack will be to isolate ground form earthing in HV side.

Now, we have to test the continuity to be sure that ground and earthing of LV side and HV side are connected. Probe the multimeter in the continuity mode if there is no continuity then the HV and LV side is isolated otherwise we have to connect the earth wire of the LV side to the HV side or the circuit

The metallic casing of the SMPS is earthed, so the screw mounts of the LV side needs to be isolated form the LV side circuitry by isolation tape I’ve used thick double sided tape.

From these pictures we can see that the earthing is attached only with the HV side screw terminal which is isolating the the earth and ground and after the hack in working condition a 5V output is tested.

I added a buck converter circuit to +12V output so that I can use it as a variable voltage output between 0-12 volts also drilled the casing and attached banana connectors to make the supply more portable.

Hacked! power supply from old SMPS
Written by : Subhadeep Biswas

 

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