Usually, when we hear the words “clock” and “oscilloscope” in the same sentence, we will think of measuring the image of a stable and repeated square wave, which acts as the heartbeat of the system. Of course, this is not the only meaning – there is a more interesting and useless meaning: using an oscilloscope to display time.
This is what Wolfgang Friedrich started to do when he pieced together some prototype boards, probes and FPGA in the clock of multicolor oscilloscope. Each number on the clock is regarded as a seven segment display, which consists of three horizontal bars and four vertical bars. The horizontal pole is generated by constant voltages at different levels, and the vertical pole is generated by rapid switching between the two voltages. [Wolfgang] decided to use the R-2R resistive ladder DAC to create an appropriate analog signal from the digital output of the FPGA. For reward points, each group of numbers (hours, minutes and seconds) are output simultaneously through separate channels, so they can be displayed in different colors on the screen of its four channel oscilloscope (the fourth channel is used for points between numbers).
Abusing the oscilloscope in the name of entertainment has become a long-standing tradition – from the two person tennis match in 1958 (later became people’s favorite table tennis) to the excessive analog oscilloscope clock we saw, it is obvious that hackers can not make full use of the unique vector display style provided by the oscilloscope. We like the idea of using the channel of oscilloscope to make multi-color display. We want to know what kind of strange waveform we will see next.