DIY oscilloscope voice control using a RPi


This is a small project I’ve been working for about a month. Lots of times I wish I could yell at the scope to make stop the capture, or change settings, so I built a voice assistant using Snips on a Raspberry Pi 3A+. I learned about Snips at a Maker Faire a couple years ago and I really like their platform since it’s partially open-source and free for individual use, it can run on the Pi, and it runs everything completely on-device — there’s no network connection or cloud BS involved! Total cost: $25 (RPi 3A+) + $7 (Adafruit case) + $11 (microphone hat) = $44.

I tried hooking up the Pi to the Rigol 1054Z we have in the space; unfortunately, I found using most of the commands out of Rigol’s own programming guide just caused the scope to crash necessitating a power cycle. So for now I’m sticking to the more reliable Keysight I have.

The Youtube link is 1-min video of me probing the FET turn-off in a power supply I built for Nixie tubes. The current sense node is low-level and next to an inductor, so there’s no way to obtain good signal integrity without carefully holding the probe and using a ground spring. With my hands full, the voice control really helps when I need to stop the scope or change the view. The Pi is in the lower right corner, and the LEDs blink when the speech processing is active. “Hey Snips” is the wake word to activate speech processing. There is a pause required after speaking the wake word, and between commands, so it’s not as snappy as I’d like, but hopefully the Snips developers will improve this over time.

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