LabtoolTo debug digital circuits (mostly I2C, I2S and SPI communications between chips), I still use my old LogicPort 34-channel logic analyzer. When I bought it several years ago, it was a real bargain. There where no comparable logic analyzer available in this price range. However today, there are alternatives. One that I found today is LabTool from Embedded artists. It is not only a logic analyzer, but also features an oscilloscope, a logic level signal generator, and an analog signal generator.

The specs are not very impressive: 100MHz samples rate only with 2 channels used, only 20MSamples/s per channel with all 11 channels used. Also the integrated oscilloscope has a bandwidth of 6MHz and a max. sample rate of 60Ms/s – even cheap DSOs have much more impressive specs. However, I like this board. First it is inexpensive: €99 for a device with so many used is a very attractive price point. Also the software is open source. If I look at the software of my LogicPort, there are so many things I would like to change. However, the vendor does not seem to be interested in further development. With an open-source software there is at least a chance, that people from the community will expand the software.

This is not a top-notch device for professional use, but I is interesting for hackers and makers that do not want to spend too much money and want to use it to design digital circuits. I’m not sure about the analog part. 6MHz bandwidth  should be enough to debug audio circuits. I’m interested if somebody is using it for audio – leave a comment about your experiences if you do.

1 thought on “A scope, logic analyzer and signal generator for hackers

  1. Sean O'Byrne

    One point you seem to be neglecting is the dynamic range. Most cheap oscilloscopes are 8-bit. This is 12-bit. How many 12-bit oscilloscopes can you find for that price? It certainly has its limitations, but it seems like a nice piece of kit at this price point.


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