The Windows PC as an Electronics Test Bench 

Some very talented people have come up with software (sometimes requiring a little auxiliary hardware) that enables a Windows PC to do many of the tests that required hardware test instruments in the past. This is particularly true for testing in the audio frequency range as the PC sound-card/device is the basis for most of the applications. Listed below are links to some of these PC test instrument applications for Windows. Look around on these sites as some of them list other software that may be of interest. Many thanks to the authors of these applications for all their work and for making them available free of charge. 

To the best of my knowledge at the time of the creation of this page all of the links are to freeware or free for non-commercial use sites. As I have only used a few of these I make no recommendations - the listing order does not indicate any preference. You are on your own in choosing those which best meet your needs and work ok on your computer.  

The PC Sound Card as a Signal Generator or Oscillator: 

    Audio Frequency Signal Generator - 100Hz to 15 KHz sine waves only 

    Digital Signal Generator - sine wave, square wave, trigon wave, beat wave, swept sine & white noise

    FreeSound Test Tones.mp3 - Login required to download    

    Fluent Oscillator 1.0 - Multiple waveforms and duty cycles
    
    The Audio Test File Generator - sine, sweep, pink and white noise

    The NCH Tone Generator v1.03 - Later versions are not freeware

    SigJenny - a flexible and powerful audio signal generator 

PC Based Oscilloscopes: 

    BIP Electronics Lab Oscilloscope - 3.0 - small file, low freq. scope

    Two Scope download links on this page - No details shown

    Christian Zeitnitz's PC based Soundcard Oscilloscope and Function Generator

Spectrum Analyzers for the PC: 

    Spek – Acoustic Spectrum Analyzer

    RightMark Audio Analyzer - tests the quality of analog and digital paths of audio devices

    EIS Spectrum Analyzer - a program for analysis & simulation of impedance spectra

    Baudline - A time-frequency browser designed for scientific visualization of the spectral domain.

    Spectrogram - an audio frequency spectrum analyzer - Be sure to get the freeware v. 5.17    

    DL4YHF's Spectrum Analyzer with Waterfall Display & real-time audio processing 

    Zelscope - a low-frequency oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer

PC Based Test Meters: 

    RLC Meter - Requires minimal external hardware

Multi functional ++: 

    Visual Analyzer - It can't solder, but otherwise it should be a really great electronics helper.

    Cobracom - Oscilloscope, Realtime spectrum analyzer, Impedance meter, RLC bridge & signal generator
    
Multiple Offerings: 

    electronics-lab.com - Four pages of test gear downloads. Somethat like this site.

    Andrew Steer's Soundcard Audio Tools and Toys - Audio Generator, Freq. Meter and Spectrum Analyzer

    ADIGA - Software for radio spectrum measurements

    David Taylor's Audio Oscillator and Sweep Generator - and a tone burst generator on the same page    

     Weak Signals - Spectran and TCube

Other:     

    On-line Tone Generator - Select four different waveforms: Sine, Square, Sawtooth and Triangle

    WaveSurfer - an Open Source tool for sound visualization and manipulation

    Frequency Analyzer - analyzes a sound and splits it into its component frequencies

    Simply Noise - White noise on line 

    Autocord - the environmental audio monitor

Please contact me about other applications of this type and about any corrections to the information on this page.

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Links checked and updated on 12/07/2016

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