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Oscilloscope Turned into an Awesome Clock

by Conner Flynn

Vintage oscilloscopes are amazing devices. It turns out that they make great clocks too. It was around 1960, when Aaron’s grandfather purchased an Heathkit OR-1 oscilloscope, which he passed down in his family in excellent condition. Aaron later used his electronic hacking skills to turn the oscilloscope into a clock.


Turning an oscilloscope into a clock is no easy task. It takes some interesting control circuitry to get its display to show anything other than waveforms. So Aaron created a custom control board that can draw any shape on the CRT screen using just circles. It also squashes circles to draw a line, and cuts the beam entirely to slice a circle in half.


The end result looks spectacular and I bet you want one now. So do I. The good news is that Aaron sells custom-built oscilloscope clocks, as well as circuit boards for you to convert your own scope with. For more information, check out his website,

[via Hack A Day]

Comments (1):

  1. So how do you analyze the results from the Emulator? Well, each of the I/O pins on the GreenPAK Emulator board has an associated “hook” to which you can attach an oscilloscope or logic analyzer probe. Of course this immediately reminded me of that very cool iPad-iPhone-iPod-based oscilloscope from Oscium that I looked at a couple of months ago.

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