Electronics World articles Popular Electronics articles QST articles Radio & TV News articles Radio-Craft articles Radio-Electronics articles Short Wave Craft articles Wireless World articles Google Search of RF Cafe website Sitemap Electronics Equations Mathematics Equations Equations physics Manufacturers & distributors Engineer Jobs LinkedIn Crosswords Engineering Humor Kirt's Cogitations RF Engineering Quizzes Notable Quotes Calculators Education Engineering Magazine Articles Engineering software RF Cafe Archives RF Cascade Workbook 2018 RF Symbols for Visio - Word Advertising RF Cafe Forums Magazine Sponsor RF Cafe RF Electronics Symbols for Visio RF Electronics Symbols for Office Word RF Electronics Stencils for Visio Sponsor Links Saturday Evening Post NEETS EW Radar Handbook Microwave Museum About RF Cafe Aegis Power Systems Anritsu Alliance Test Equipment Amplifier Solutions Anatech Electronics Axiom Test Equipment Berkeley Nucleonics Bittele Centric RF Conduct RF Copper Mountain Technologies Empower RF everything RF Exodus Advanced Communications Innovative Power Products ISOTEC KR Filters Lotus Systems PCB Directory Rigol RF Superstore San Francisco Circuits Reactel RFCT TotalTemp Technologies Triad RF Systems Windfreak Technologies Withwave LadyBug Technologies Wireless Telecom Group Sponsorship Rates RF Cafe Software Resources Vintage Magazines Thank you for visiting RF Cafe!

How far can a soundcard based test & measurement system - RF Cafe Forums

RF Cafe Forums closed its virtual doors in 2010 mainly due to other social media platforms dominating public commenting venues. RF Cafe Forums began sometime around August of 2003 and was quite well-attended for many years. By 2010, Facebook and Twitter were overwhelmingly dominating online personal interaction, and RF Cafe Forums activity dropped off precipitously. Regardless, there are still lots of great posts in the archive that ware worth looking at. Below are the old forum threads, including responses to the original posts.

NOTICE: The original RF Cafe Forum is available again for reading, and the new RF Cafe Blog is an active board.

-- Amateur Radio

-- Anecdotes, Gripes, & Humor

-- Antennas

-- CAE, CAD, & Software

-- Circuits & Components

-- Employment & Interviews

-- Miscellany

-- Swap Shop

-- Systems

-- Test & Measurement

-- Webmaster

 Post subject: How far can a soundcard based test & measurement system
Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 3:33 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 6:10 am

Posts: 1

Almost every PC or Pocket PC have a built-in sound card. Sound cards

are usually treated as an audio input and output devices for recording,

synthesizing, and replaying speech, music and songs. However, sound

cards can do more than that.

From instrumentation and control point of view, a sound Card is a dual

-channel A/D and dual-channel D/A device, which has a flat frequency

response in audio frequency range and have a sampling rate of up to

192kHz, sampling depth of up to 24 bits. Even without any external

attenuation circuit, it is able to measure a signal from down to 1 uV

to 1V, thanks to its built-in gain control (like Mic Boost, Mic Volume

and Line Volume).

Measurement accuracy depends on its hardware quality. Normally, an

internal standalone sound card is better than an on-board sound card (

chip), and an external sound card is the best. Professional grade sound

card is better than consumer grade sound card. In terms of price, even

the professional grade sound card is much cheaper (a few times

normally) than its peers in A/D and D/A cards.

The accuracy of the clock reference is 0.00x% typically for an ordinary

sound card. For example, a 0.003%'s inaccuracy in a sampling rate of

44100 Hz means an error of only 1.3Hz. The noise level of a good sound

card can be below -100dB, THD below 0.0029%.

So, what can be measured by a sound card. Well, it can measure any

signal perfectly within audio frequency range, like vibration signal,

rotational speed, heat and Lung sound, ECG....., depending on the

sensor used, and of course, depending on the software used. A good one

can be found at: http://www.virtins.com. It is FREE to download and


website: http://www.virtins.com

PC version: http://www.virtins.com/SCMISetup.exe

Pocket PC version: http://www.virtins.com/PocketINSSetup.exe

Virtins Sound Card MultiInstrument consists of a sound card dual trace

oscilloscope, a real time spectrum analyzer, and a signal generator and

can run them concurrently. It features a specially designed data

acquisition approach, which is able to monitor the input signal

continuously without missing any trigger event before a frame of data

is collected. It has a very fast screen refresh rate. It supports

sophisticated triggering method including pre-trigger and post-trigger.

A comprehensive range of functions are provided, including waveform

addition and subtraction, Lissajous Pattern, transient signal

recording, voltmeter, RMS amplitude spectrum, relative amplitude

spectrum, octave analysis(1/1,1/3,1/6,1/12,1/24),THD, THD+N, SNR,

SINAD, peak hold, phase spectrum, auto correlation, cross correlation,

function generation, multitone generation, arbitrary waveform

generation, white noise and pink noise generation and sweep signal

generation. It Supports 8, 16, 24 bits and multilingual user interface,

including English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguess,

Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Korean



 Post subject:
Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 1:08 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2006 6:10 pm

Posts: 20

Interesting. Thanks! I've been looking for something like this.

Posted  11/12/2012

Boonton RF Power Measurement
RF Electronics Shapes, Stencils for Office, Visio by RF Cafe
Windfreak Technologies Frequency Synthesizers - RF Cafe
PCB Directory (Manufacturers)
Innovative Power Products Passive RF Products - RF Cafe

Please Support RF Cafe by purchasing my  ridiculously low−priced products, all of which I created.

These Are Available for Free


About RF Cafe

Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe Webmaster

Copyright: 1996 - 2024


    Kirt Blattenberger,


RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the RF Cafe website are hereby acknowledged.

My Hobby Website: