Is it possible to break a display by using an oscilloscope on it?

Hi,

So I've recently finished this Arduino based multimeter of sorts, using an INA219 and a few other little features. To display the info I was using an I2C OLED 0.96" display. This worked perfectly for a few days.

Yesterday I was (stupidly) curious and I was using one of those cheap DIY DSO138 oscilloscopes to see what the I2C signal looked like. I do not recall the exact second that the screen shut off; I believe it was when I connected the positive probe to 5V, but the display just turned off.

As part of my code I had an SD card reader, which wrote data each second. When it would do this (after a button press) a light on the arduino itself would briefly flash each second. It no longer does this.

In troubleshooting I've uploaded individual codes to the arduino to test if anything else is broken; the INA219, SD card reader, arduino itself, buttons, etc all seem to work correctly.

The strangest part is when I run the I2C scanner code, it detects the address of the screen (which perhaps suggests the display isn't totally broken?), the address of the INA219 AND "Unknown errors" at either 2 or 3 other addresses, which have nothing to do with my project.

So my question really is, can using an oscilloscope mess with I2C protocol and stop a display from working?

ITregear: So my question really is, can using an oscilloscope mess with I2C protocol and stop a display from working?

Not once you disconnect it, unless you made some major blunder such as connecting a source of power to the wrong terminal. You refer to "I connected the positive probe to 5V" but fail to mention where the oscilloscope ground was connected at the time - as of course it should have been connected to the circuit ground before anything else.

You also mention a INA219 which is used to measure power consumption of other systems, so you need to explain what it was supposed to be monitoring at that time. You need to give details, circuit diagrams and pictures (that is, taken in full daylight) of your complete apparatus.