A scope for the C64

The Commodore C64 was probably the most versatile computer of the 80s thanks to, amongst others, a robust I/O with its numerous peripherals. It also provided a cheap alternative to many rather expensive electronics devices, such as scopes.

Most of you that have been in contact with electronics, know that a good scope costs quite a lot, so it was no surprise that sooner or later someone would come up with the idea to turn the C64 into a full-blown professional scope.

Enter the company Rex Data Technics, with the OSCAR 64 scope, designed to fit into the I/O port of your breadbox.

For little under 150 Euro, you had a scope capable of measuring voltages up to a thousand Volts (although it was not recommended to actually go as high as this, as the connectors on the scope were insufficiently shielded, potentially causing an electric shock if touched).

The sensitivity could be set from 0.1 to 500 Volt/unit along with the 0 Volt line offset directly on the scope.

The accompanying software further allowed you to choose from 16 color schemes and divide the timeline in units of 30ms to 5000s.

Measurements could be initiated in 3 ways: manually, triggered on the scope (i.e. change in voltage) and triggered when a certain threshold voltage was reached.

The scope supported 3 modes of operation:

Direct – basically displaying the measurement in real-time on the C64
Storing – putting all the data direct to disk. This mode made it also possible to retrieve previous measurements and put them back on the screen.
Trace – making 2 measurements and showing the results on screen allowing you to compare both measurements with each other.

To top it off, the scope was further equipped with 8 TTL inputs, allowing you to perform measurements on digital circuits.

Thanks to the C64, you got a professional scope for again, a fraction of the cost.

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