Would You Be Interested in an Affordable DIY Lock-In Amplifier?

Thread Starter


Joined Nov 16, 2023
During my PhD, I spent countless hours conducting optical experiments, where lock-in amplifiers became an integral part of my research. Their precision and effectiveness were unmatched, but so was their cost.

Recently, while doing a personal optics project, I found myself in need of a lock-in amplifier but was deterred by the high cost of commercial lock-in amplifiers. This sparked a question: could I develop a low-cost yet effective lock-in amplifier myself?

Inspired by many academic papers on the subject I've developed a device that I'm incredibly proud of. It offers a digital dual-phase lock-in detection at multiple harmonic frequencies, adjustable input gain levels, internal and external reference, noise estimation, and a range of filtering options – all in a compact 3D printed body.

Here's where I need your insight, I'm considering making this a product for DIY enthusiasts like us. Would you be interested in an affordable, high-quality lock-in amplifier? What features and price points are you looking for?

I'm all ears for your feedback, suggestions, or even words of caution. Your input is invaluable as I ponder turning my personal passion project into something that could benefit others.


Joined Jan 27, 2019
Welcome to AAC.

Congratulations on your success. From the sound of it you’ve come up with something that will be very attractive to a very small group. I don’t want to discourage you but I suspect the population here that would have a reason to build and use your device is vanishingly small.

I assume you have are trying on other sites as well, but the one I know of that might be a good shot is physicsforum.com where the focus is in students of physics and there is an EE forum among the others. The device might find a home among instructors in schools without a large budget, or where a demo with a lock-in amp would be desired but the cost would prohibit it.

Have you considered open sourcing the project? That could (potentially) get you a lot of help in development.

Good luck!

Thread Starter


Joined Nov 16, 2023
Hi Ya'akov,

Thank you for the warm welcome and your insightful feedback!

You don't discourage me at all, it's a valid point, I know that this is a niche device and for that reason, I first try to understand if it's required.

Thank you also for the recommendation of physicsforum.com – that's a great suggestion. Reaching out to an audience of students and instructors in physics could indeed be very beneficial, especially considering budget constraints in educational settings.

Regarding open sourcing the project, it's definitely on the table. I agree that it could be a great way to foster community involvement and accelerate development.

Thanks again for your advice and encouragement. It's greatly appreciated!


Joined Jan 23, 2018
I would be interested in seeing the circuit of a "not high priced" lock in amplifier. The immediate interest is for my education, the long term interest is some application that I have not needed it for just yet. Learning is always rewarding somehow.