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Sound is vibration transmitted through a solid, liquid, or gas; particularly, sound means those vibrations composed of frequencies capable

of being detected by ears.[1]

Contents
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1 Perception of sound 2 Physics of sound o 2.1 Longitudinal and transverse waves o 2.2 Sound wave properties and characteristics o 2.3 Speed of sound o 2.4 Acoustics and noise 3 Sound pressure level o 3.1 Examples of sound pressure and sound pressure levels 4 Equipment for dealing with sound 5 References 6 Sound measurement 7 See also 8 External links

Perception of sound
For humans, hearing is limited to frequencies between about 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz (20 kHz), with the upper limit generally decreasing with age. Other species have a different range of hearing. For example, dogs can perceive vibrations higher than 20 kHz. As a signal perceived by one of the major senses, sound is used by many species for detecting danger, navigation, predation, and communication. Earth's atmosphere, water, and virtually any physical phenomenon, such as fire, rain, wind, surf, or earthquake, produces (and is characterized by) its unique sounds. Many species, such as frogs, birds, marine and terrestrial mammals, have also developed special organs to produce sound. In some species, these have evolved to produce song and (in humans) speech. Furthermore, humans have developed culture and technology (such as music, telephone and radio) that allows them to generate, record, transmit, and broadcast sound.

Physics of sound
The mechanical vibrations that can be interpreted as sound are able to travel through all forms of matter: gases, liquids, solids, and plasmas. The matter that supports the sound is called the medium. Sound cannot travel through vacuum.

Longitudinal and transverse waves

3 mph). Sound characteristics can depend on the type of sound waves (longitudinal versus transverse) as well as on the physical properties of the transmission medium. which means that there are nonlinear propagation effects. . For example. are waves of alternating shear stress. wavelength. so does the amount of compression in airwave that is travelling through it. which are frequency. or wavelength and direction are combined as a wave vector). and thus oscillates. Transverse waves. however. the speed of sound is proportional to the square root of the ratio of the elastic modulus (stiffness) of the medium to its density. also at 20°C.1 mph).[2] The speed of sound is also slightly sensitive (a second-order effect) to the sound amplitude. Whenever the pitch of the soundwave is affected by some kind of change. speed. intensity. while transverse waves in solids. period. also called compression waves.1 mph). In fresh water. and liquids as longitudinal waves. the speed of sound in gases depends on temperature. and direction (sometimes speed and direction are combined as a velocity vector. amplitude. When the loudness of a soundwave changes. the speed of sound is approximately 1482 m/s (3. also known as shear waves. Sound wave properties and characteristics Sound waves are characterized by the generic properties of waves. which in turn can be defined as amplitude. Matter in the medium is periodically displaced by a sound wave. In steel the speed of sound is about 5960 m/s (13. In general. causing local regions of compression and rarefaction. it can be transmitted as both longitudinal and transverse waves. Longitudinal sound waves are waves of alternating pressure deviations from the equilibrium pressure.332. Through solids. The energy carried by the sound wave converts back and forth between the potential energy of the extra compression (in case of longitudinal waves) or lateral displacement strain (in case of transverse waves) of the matter and the kinetic energy of the oscillations of the medium.Sound is transmitted through gases. resulting in a change of frequency. In 20°C (68°F) air at sea level. the distance between the sound wave maxima also changes. and is often quoted as a fundamental property of the material.315. plasma. have an additional property of polarization. such as the production of harmonics and mixed tones not present in the original sound (see parametric array). Those physical properties and the speed of sound change with ambient conditions. the speed of sound is approximately 343 m/s (767. Speed of sound Main article: Speed of sound The speed of sound depends on the medium through which the waves are passing.

1-1994. Such a tiny (relative to atmospheric) variation in air pressure at an audio frequency will be perceived as quite a deafening sound. Noise is a term often used to refer to an unwanted sound.6 and 101326. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has defined several weighting schemes. that is between 101323. are 20 µPa in air and 1 µPa in water. and reflection of sound waves is called acoustics.e. and a square root of such average is taken to obtain a root mean square (RMS) value. a square of the deviation from the equilibrium pressure) is usually averaged over time and/or space. defined in the standard ANSI S1.Acoustics and noise The scientific study of the propagation. noise is an undesirable component that obscures a wanted signal. Without a specified reference sound pressure. sound pressures are often frequency weighted so that the measured level will match perceived levels more closely. Sound measurements Sound pressure p Particle velocity v Particle velocity level (SVL) (Sound velocity level) Particle displacement ξ Sound intensity I Sound intensity level (SIL) Sound power Pac Sound power level (SWL) Sound energy density E Sound energy flux q Surface S Acoustic impedance Z Speed of sound c v•d•e As the human ear can detect sounds with a very wide range of amplitudes. Since the human ear does not have a flat spectral response. Sound pressure level Main article: Sound pressure Sound pressure is defined as the difference between the average local pressure of the medium outside of the sound wave in which it is traveling through (at a given point and a given time) and the pressure found within the sound wave itself within that same medium. a value expressed in decibels cannot represent a sound pressure level. In science and engineering. absorption. A-weighting attempts to match the response of the human ear to noise and A- . Commonly used reference sound pressures. For example.4 Pa. 1 Pa RMS sound pressure in atmospheric air implies that the actual pressure in the sound wave oscillates between (1 atm Pa) and (1 atm Pa). The sound pressure level (SPL) or Lp is defined as where p is the root-mean-square sound pressure and pref is a reference sound pressure. A square of this difference (i. and can cause hearing damage. according to the table below. sound pressure is often measured as a level on a logarithmic decibel scale.

1 m distant / discotheque hearing damage from long-term exposure traffic noise on major road.325 191 1883 Krakatoa eruption approx 180 at 100 miles 170-180 approx. 100 m distant jackhammer. Examples of sound pressure and sound pressure levels RMS sound pressure Pa Theoretical limit for undistorted sound at 1 atmosphere environmental pressure Source of sound sound pressure level dB re 20 µPa 101.weighted sound pressure levels are labeled dBA.6 134 approx. C-weighting is used to measure peak levels. 100 approx. 10 m distant . 120 110–140 approx.2–0.6 0. 85 80–90 Stun grenades rocket launch equipment acoustic tests threshold of pain hearing damage during short-term effect jet engine. 165 100 20 6–200 2 0.

3. calm human breathing auditory threshold at 2 kHz – undamaged human ears 0.00002 0 Equipment for dealing with sound Equipment for generating or using sound includes musical instruments.2 0.002–0. sonar systems and sound reproduction and broadcasting equipment. hearing aids. Focusing coil. Electron gun. Electron beam. 60 40–60 20–30 10 0. 4.02 0. Many of these use electro-acoustic transducers such as microphones and loudspeakers.00006 60–80 approx.0002–0.02 0.02–0. 2.0006 0. see Liquid Zen. 5.moving automobile. 10 m distant TV set – typical home level. Phosphor-coated inner side of the screen . 1 m distant normal talking. the free encyclopedia (Redirected from Cathode ray oscilloscope) Jump to: navigation. Deflection voltage electrode. Numbers in the picture indicate: 1. Oscilloscope From Wikipedia. Illustration showing the interior of a cathode-ray tube for use in an oscilloscope. 1 m distant very calm room quiet rustling leaves. search For the album.

Special-purpose oscilloscopes may be used for such purposes as adjusting an automotive ignition system. usually as a two-dimensional graph of one or more electrical potential differences (vertical axis) plotted as a function of time or of some other voltage (horizontal axis). In addition to the amplitude of the signal.The Agilent InfiniiVision 7000 Series is a digital storage oscilloscope which can capture and analyze analog and digital signals A Tektronix model 475A portable analogue oscilloscope. [1] Oscilloscopes are widely used when it is desired to observe the exact wave shape of an electrical signal. medicine. but modern digital oscilloscopes use high-speed analog-to-digital converters and computer-like display screens and processing of signals. Oscilloscope peripheral modules for general purpose laptop or desktop personal computers can turn them into useful and flexible test instruments. Contents [hide] • 1 Features and uses o 1. General-purpose instruments are used for maintenance of electronic equipment and laboratory work. and show the relative timing of two related signals. an oscilloscope can measure the frequency. Oscilloscopes are used in the sciences. a very typical instrument of the late 1970s An oscilloscope (commonly abbreviated to scope or O-scope) is a type of electronic test equipment that allows signal voltages to be viewed. telecommunications. Originally all oscilloscopes used cathode ray tubes as their display element. show distortion. and industry. or to display the waveform of the heartbeat. engineering. The oscilloscope is one of the most versatile and widely-used electronic instruments.1 Description .

1.1.5 Mixed signal oscilloscope o 2.4 Software 2 How it works o 2.1 Exterior 1.• • • • • • • 1.6 X-Y mode 1.6 Tektronix o 3.2 Inputs 1.3 Analogue storage oscilloscope o 2.2 Automatic paper-drawn oscillograph o 3.1.1 Cathode-ray oscilloscope (CRO) o 2.4 Digital storage oscilloscope o 2.1 Hand-drawn oscillograms o 3.1.1.7 PC-based oscilloscope (PCO) 3 History o 3.4 CRT Invention o 3.3 The trace 1.7 Other features o 1.5 Bandwidth 1.6 Hand held oscilloscope o 2.2 Dual beam oscilloscope o 2.7 Digital oscilloscopes 4 Washing 5 Use as props 6 See also 7 References        8 External links [edit] Features and uses .3 Selection o 1.4 Trigger 1.5 The triggered oscilloscope o 3.1.1.2 Examples of use o 1.3 Photographic Oscillograph o 3.

To aid measurement. Today even a very capable laboratory instrument can be lifted by a single person. Binding posts or banana plugs may be used for lower frequencies. General-purpose oscilloscopes have a standardised input resistance of 1 megohm in parallel with a capacitance of around 20 picofarads. If the input voltage departs from zero. Another control. One of the controls. Special purpose 'scopes may be permanently mounted in a rack. with the more distant past on the left and the more recent past on the right. then a nearly stable trace can be obtained just by setting the timebase to match the frequency of the input signal. Miniaturized oscilloscopes were of great value for field service equipment repair. Digital 'scopes generate the graticule markings on the display in the same way as the trace. is used. and control knobs and buttons on the front panel. On old lowcost CRT 'scopes the graticule was a printed piece of plastic. If the input signal is periodic. numerous input connectors.[edit] Description [edit] Exterior A typical oscilloscope has a display screen. the vertical control. otherwise. to eliminate parallax errors. and is calibrated in seconds per division. sets the scale of the vertical deflection. Scopes for use with very high frequencies may have 50ohm inputs. are bench-top devices. a grid called the graticule is drawn on the face of the screen. This allows the use of standard oscilloscope probes. [edit] Inputs The signal to be measured is fed to one of the input connectors. the timebase control. higher-cost instruments have the graticule printed on the face of the CRT. and is calibrated in volts per division. Laboratory grade 'scopes. then a simple coaxial cable is used. which is usually a coaxial connector such as a BNC or N type. and hand-held digital oscilloscopes are made by several manufacturers. The resulting trace is a plot of voltage against time. sets the speed at which the line is drawn. especially old instruments using vacuum tubes. which must be either connected directly to a 50-ohm signal source or used with Z0 or active probes. a specialised cable called a "scope probe". the trace is deflected either upwards or downwards. so the timebase should be adjusted so that the time between successive horizontal sweeps is 20 ms. if the input signal is a 50 Hz sine wave. [edit] The trace In its simplest mode. Large bench-top oscilloscopes were sometimes mounted on carts to allow sharing one expensive instrument by several work areas. If the signal source has its own coaxial connector. supplied with the oscilloscope. Each square in the graticule is known as a division. then its period is 20 ms. the oscilloscope repeatedly draws a horizontal line called the trace across the middle of the screen from left to right. This mode is called continual . For example. Portable instruments are small enough to carry to a work site and may even be battery operated.

a circuit that extracts synchronizing pulses from video formats such as PAL and NTSC and triggers the timebase on every line. an edge-detector that generates a pulse when the input signal crosses a specified threshold voltage in a specified direction. but a trigger delay circuit extends this delay to a known and adjustable . or every frame. Types of trigger include: • • • • external trigger. edge trigger. In this way.sweep. a pulse from an external source connected to a dedicated input on the scope. Since the calibrated oscilloscope timebase may not exactly match the period of the input signal. so there is always a certain delay. video trigger. If the time base is adjusted to stabilize the trace. delayed trigger. which waits a specified time after an edge trigger before starting the sweep. The trigger event is usually the input waveform reaching some user-specified threshold voltage in the specified direction (going positive or going negative). No trigger circuit acts instantaneously. To provide a more stable trace. every field. preventing horizontal drift of the trace. the trace will drift across the screen making measurements difficult. triggering allows the display of periodic signals such as sine waves and square waves. modern oscilloscopes have a function called the trigger. Trigger circuits also allow the display of nonperiodic signals such as single pulses or pulses that don't recur at a fixed rate. the time per horizontal division is altered. The scope then waits for a specified event before drawing the next trace. When using triggering. and usually uncalibrated. the scope will pause each time the sweep reaches the extreme right side of the screen. The effect is to resynchronize the timebase to the input signal. [edit] Trigger Type 465 Tektronix oscilloscope. a specified line. This circuit is typically found in a waveform monitor device.

Better quality general purpose oscilloscopes include a calibration signal for setting up the compensation of test probes. The bandwidth is defined as the frequency at which the sensitivity is 0. The bandwidth of the 'scope is limited by the vertical amplifiers and CRT (in analog instruments) or by the sampling rate of the analog to digital converter in digital instruments. Lissajous figures are an example of how an oscilloscope can be used to track phase differences between multiple input signals. [edit] Bandwidth Bandwidth is a measure of the range of frequencies that can be displayed. as well as Lissajous patterns.interval. To catch these events. This is very frequently used in broadcast engineering to plot the left and right stereophonic channels. the operator can examine a particular pulse in a long train of pulses. This is especially useful for graphing I-V curves (current versus voltage characteristics) for components such as diodes. Sometimes the event that the user wants to see may only happen occasionally. a rule of thumb is that the continuous sampling rate should be ten times the highest frequency desired to resolve. which are lines that can be moved about the screen to measure the time interval between two points. Oscilloscopes may have two or more input channels. The rise time of the fastest pulse that can be resolved by the scope is related to its bandwidth approximately: Bandwidth in Hz x rise time in seconds = 0. or the difference between two voltages. but only one triggering system and timebase. and thus can be used to plot one varying voltage versus another. [edit] Other features Some oscilloscopes have cursors.707 of the sensitivity at lower frequency (a drop of 3 dB). a 'scope intended to resolve pulses with a rise time of 1 nanosecond would have a bandwidth of 350 MHz. In this way. for example a 20 megasample/second rate would be applicable for measuring signals up to about 2 megahertz. Usually the oscilloscope has a separate set of vertical controls for each channel.35 [2] For example. to ensure that the stereo generator is calibrated properly. For a digital oscilloscope. known as "storage scopes". some oscilloscopes. [edit] X-Y mode Most modern oscilloscopes have several inputs for voltages. allowing them to display more than one input signal on the screen. this is (often) a 1 kHz square-wave signal available at a test terminal on the front panel. preserve the most recent .

g. electronic mixers. the signal scrolls across the screen from right to left. If the expected signal is absent or incorrect. the connections between stages (e.g. In other cases the precise shape of a pulse is important. with 90 degrees phase difference between x and y inputs. but the dot cannot be seen. for example. Some digital oscilloscopes can sweep at speeds as slow as once per hour. One of the advantages of a scope is that it can graphically show signals: where a voltmeter may show a totally unexpected voltage. Many oscilloscopes have different plug-in modules for different purposes. [edit] Examples of use Lissajous figures on an oscilloscope. In more recent times digital signal sampling is more often used for all but the simplest models. which would retain the image of even a very brief event for a long time. Since most failures occur because of a single faulty component. Oscilloscopes were originally analog devices. Most oscilloscopes with this facility switch from a sweep to a strip-chart mode at about one sweep per ten seconds. using the scope as a simple signal tracer. a scope may reveal that the circuit is oscillating. In a piece of electronic equipment. That is. highsensitivity amplifiers of relatively narrow bandwidth. amplifiers) may be 'probed' for the expected signal..sweep on the screen. a "storage tube". the scope looks broken: it's collecting data. sampling plugins for repetitive signals of very high frequency. This is because otherwise. emulating a strip chart recorder. each measurement can prove that . some preceding stage of the electronics is not operating correctly. e. One of the most frequent uses of scopes is troubleshooting malfunctioning electronic equipment. electronic oscillators. and special-purpose plugins. amplifiers with 4 or more channels. differential amplifiers. This was originally achieved by using a special CRT.

The chief benefit of a quality oscilloscope is the quality of the trigger circuit. AM signal. Bad filter on sine. Dual trace. showing different time bases on each trace. Pictures of use Heterodyne AC hum on sound. If the trigger is unstable. so a dual-trace scope which shows both the clock signal and a test signal dependent upon the clock is useful. electrical noise etc. further probing can usually tell a skilled technician exactly which component has failed. the unit can be restored to service. Digital electronics usually operate from a clock. Another use is to check newly designed circuitry. A useful sweep range is from one second to 100 nanoseconds. Often a scope is the only way to see if the software is running the electronics properly. or probably did not cause the fault. [edit] Selection Oscilloscopes generally have a checklist of some set of the above features. Once the component is replaced. "Storage scopes" are helpful for "capturing" rare electronic events that cause defective operation. . Typical scopes for general purpose use should have a bandwidth of at least 100 MHz. the display will always be fuzzy. with triggering and delayed sweep. Another use is for software engineers who must program electronics. The basic measure of virtue is the bandwidth of its vertical amplifiers. bad voltage levels. although much lower bandwidths are acceptable for audio-frequency applications. The quality improves roughly as the frequency response and voltage stability of the trigger increase. or at least the next fault can be isolated. Once the faulty stage is found. Very often a newly designed circuit will misbehave because of design errors.half of the stages of a complex piece of equipment either work.

The current real-time analog bandwidth record. The cathode ray tube is an evacuated glass envelope. [edit] How it works [edit] Cathode-ray oscilloscope (CRO) The earliest and simplest type of oscilloscope consisted of a cathode ray tube. the cathode ray tube had already been in use as a measuring device. A potential difference of at least several hundred volts is applied to make the heated plate (the cathode) negatively charged relative to the deflection plates. which is a heated metal plate with a wire mesh (the grid) in front of it. a horizontal amplifier and a power supply. These are now called 'analogue' scopes to distinguish them from the 'digital' scopes that became common in the 1990s and 2000s. as of June 2006. The kinetic energy of the electrons is converted by the phosphor into visible . a vertical amplifier. increasing the energy (speed) of the electrons that strike the phosphor. However it is becoming more difficult to obtain replacement parts for these instruments and repair services are generally unavailable from the original manufacturer. a positive post-deflection acceleration voltage of over 10. Before the introduction of the CRO in its current form. is held by the LeCroy WaveExpert series with a 100 GHz bandwidth. similar to that in a black-and-white television set. A small grid potential is used to block electrons from being accelerated when the electron beam needs to be turned off.5 giga-samples per second (GS/s). is held by the Tektronix DPO70000 and DSA70000 oscilloscope families with a 20 GHz BW (non-interleaved) and a sample rate of 50 GHz. as of February 2007. For higher bandwidth oscilloscopes where the trace may move more rapidly across the phosphor target. with its flat face covered in a phosphorescent material (the phosphor). a timebase. and USB. known as "aliasing". particularly on-line auction venues. much smaller than the one in a television set. serial port. a 350 MHz bandwidth (BW). [edit] Software Many oscilloscopes today provide one or more external interfaces to allow remote instrument control by external software. that was sometimes present in the first generation of digital scopes.Analog oscilloscopes have been almost totally displaced by digital storage scopes except for the low bandwidth (< 60 MHz) segment of the market. As of 2007. as during sweep retrace or when no trigger events occur. The used test equipment market. The current equivalent time sampling bandwidth record for sampling digital storage oscilloscopes. In the neck of the tube is an electron gun.000 volts is often used. typically have a wide selection of older analog scopes available. Greatly increased sample rates have eliminated the display of incorrect signals. The screen is typically less than 20 cm in diameter. These interfaces (or buses) include GPIB. Ethernet. 2. dualchannel digital storage scope costs about US$7000 new.

Meanwhile. When switched on. The amplifier drives the vertical deflection plates with a voltage that is proportional to the vertical input. Its effect is to sweep the electron beam at constant speed from left to right across the screen. The timebase is an electronic circuit that generates a ramp voltage. Between the electron gun and the screen are two opposed pairs of metal plates called the deflection plates. and is different from the electromagnetic deflection system used in television tubes. giving rise to a vertical electric field through which the electron beam passes. The horizontal amplifier does a similar job with the other pair of deflection plates. the beam is deflected downwards. This is a voltage that changes continuously and linearly with time.light at the point of impact. The timebase voltage usually drives the horizontal amplifier. then quickly return the beam to the left in time to begin the next sweep. causing the beam to move left or right. In comparison to magnetic deflection. with the voltage reestablishing its initial value. electrostatic deflection can more readily follow random changes in potential. A positive input voltage bends the electron beam . The amplifier has a very high input impedance. but the dot can be moved about electrostatically or magnetically. When it reaches a predefined value the ramp is reset. This deflection system is called electrostatic deflection. when the field is reversed. the beam is deflected upwards. When the plate potentials are the same. Because the electrons have already been accelerated by hundreds of volt. The vertical amplifier generates a potential difference across one pair of plates. typically one megohm. The timebase can be adjusted to match the sweep time to the period of the signal. this amplifier also has to deliver almost hundred volts. a CRT normally displays a single bright dot in the center of the screen. so that it draws only a tiny current from the signal source. When a trigger event is recognized the reset is released. the vertical amplifier is driven by an external voltage (the vertical input) that is taken from the circuit or experiment that is being measured. When the top plate is positive with respect to the bottom plate. The gain of the vertical amplifier can be adjusted to suit the amplitude of the input voltage. allowing the ramp to increase again. The CRT in an oscilloscope uses electrostatic deflection. but is limited to small deflection angles. the beam is not deflected. and this with a very high bandwidth.

The extra features that this system provides include: . so that the vertical deflection of the dot shows the value of the input. due to non-stable or changing triggering threshold which makes it hard to "freeze" the waveform on the screen. in its basic form it has no means of recording that signal on paper for the purpose of documentation. but the electron beam was controlled by digital circuitry that could display graphics and text mixed with the analogue waveforms. and the horizontal distance that corresponds to a given time interval. especially non-repetitive signals. This often requires the room to be darkened or a special viewing hood to be placed over the face of the display tube. Voltage is on the vertical axis. To aid in viewing such signals. [3] The response of this system is much faster than that of mechanical measuring devices such as the multimeter. Although a CRO allows one to view a signal. and time on the horizontal. where the inertia of the pointer slows down its response to the input. vertical and horizontal amplifiers . When all these components work together. the result is a bright trace on the screen that represents a graph of voltage against time. and the vertical and horizontal amplifiers. The power supply is an important component of the scope. while in the 1970s Polaroid instant cameras became popular. High voltages are needed to drive the electrostatic deflection plates. with a conventional CRO is difficult. Later analogue oscilloscopes added digital processing to the standard design. Therefore. It provides low voltages to power the cathode heater in the tube. Observing high speed signals.cathode ray tube. Any variations will cause errors in the position and brightness of the trace. The same basic architecture .upwards.was retained. special oscilloscope cameras were developed to photograph the screen directly. These voltages must be very stable. employing a microchannel plate in the tube face to amplify faint light signals. Early cameras used roll or plate film. special oscilloscopes have borrowed from night vision technology. and a negative voltage bends it downwards. Tektronix Model C-5A Oscilloscope Camera with Polaroid instant film pack back. The vertical amplifier and timebase controls are calibrated to show the vertical distance on the screen that corresponds to a given voltage difference.

capturing the entirety of both signals. Similarly for channel B. as it was then possible to display two truly simultaneous signals from memory using either the ALT or CHOP display technique. There were two beams produced in a special type of CRT. The electrons from the flood guns are more strongly drawn to the areas of the phosphor screen where the writing gun has left a net positive charge. they display only one dot at a time. not only does it momentarily cause the phosphor to illuminate. voltage cursors . [edit] Analogue storage oscilloscope An extra feature available on some analogue scopes is called 'storage'. on-screen menus for trigger settings and other functions. Instead. true dual beam oscilloscopes became obsolete. or even possibly a raster display mode. Two pairs of vertical plates deflect the beams. Thus one could look at a very fast signal on one beam and a slow signal on another beam. Very few actual dual beam oscilloscopes were built. On some scopes the time base. separate vertical plates existed which deflected the beam B only. a dual beam oscilloscope simultaneously produced two separate electron beams. An electrical circuit can then be deliberately activated to store and erase the trace on the screen. horizontal plates and horizontal amplifier were common to both beams.adjustable horizontal lines with voltage display. The storage is accomplished using the principle of secondary emission. [edit] Dual beam oscilloscope A dual beam oscilloscope was a type of oscilloscope once used to compare one signal with another.• • • • on-screen display of amplifier and timebase settings. With the advent of digital signal capture. This can leave a net positive charge. time cursors . Vertical plates for channel A had no effect on channel B beam. Unlike an ordinary "dual-trace" oscilloscope (which time-shared a single electron beam. but the kinetic energy of the electron beam knocks other electrons loose from the phosphor surface. on more elaborate scopes like the Tektronix 556 there were two independent time bases and two sets of horizontal plates and horizontal amplifiers. in this . but switch the dot between one channel and the other either on alternate sweeps (ALT mode) or many times per sweep (CHOP mode).adjustable vertical lines with time display. thus losing about 50% of each signal). This feature allows the trace pattern that normally decays in a fraction of a second to remain on the screen for several minutes or longer. When the ordinary writing electron beam passes a point on the phosphor surface. Storage oscilloscopes then provide one or more secondary electron guns (called the "flood guns") that provide a steady flood of low-energy electrons traveling towards the phosphor screen. Most multichannel 'scopes do not actually have multiple electron beams.

allowing the preservation (albeit invisibly) of the latent stored image for later viewing. small imbalances in the secondary emission ratio cause the entire screen to "fade positive" (light up) or cause the originally-written trace to "fade negative" (extinguish). The data set is processed and then sent to the display. It is these imbalances that limit the ultimate storage time possible. The data set can be sent over a LAN or a WAN for processing or archiving.way. which in early DSOs was a cathode ray tube. which can store data as long as required without degradation. If the energy of the flood gun electrons is properly balanced. rise time. thus preserving the net positive charge in the illuminated areas of the phosphor screen. with the flood guns off. The screen image can be directly recorded on paper by means of an attached printer or plotter. Certain oscilloscopes also allowed the partial or complete shutdown of the flood guns. without the need for an oscilloscope camera. the image originally written by the writing gun can be maintained for a long time. . The vertical input.g.) [edit] Digital storage oscilloscope A digital storage oscilloscope manufactured by Agilent Technologies The digital storage oscilloscope. only leakage of the charges on the phosphor screen degrades the stored image. In this way. but is now more likely to be an LCD flat panel. is now the preferred type for most industrial applications. Others permitted a constant series of short. or DSO for short. the electrons from the flood guns re-illuminate the phosphor in these positivelycharged areas of the phosphor screen. Eventually. incomplete erasure cycles which created the impression of a phosphor with "variable persistence". each impinging flood gun electron knocks out one secondary electron from the phosphor screen. It replaces the unreliable storage method used in analogue storage scopes with digital memory. instead of driving the vertical amplifier. The scope's own signal analysis software can extract many useful time-domain features (e. DSOs with color LCD displays are common. pulse width. Some oscilloscopes used a strictly binary (on/off) form of storage known as "bistable storage". (Fading positive or fading negative only occurs when the flood guns are "on". It also allows complex processing of the signal by high-speed digital signal processing circuits. although simple analogue CROs are still used by hobbyists. is digitised by an analog to digital converter to create a data set that is stored in the memory of a microprocessor.

frequency spectra. persistence maps. To sum this up: Advantages over the analogue oscilloscope: • • • • • • • • Brighter and bigger display with color to distinguish multiple traces Equivalent time sampling and Average across consecutive samples or scans lead to higher resolution down to µV Peak detection Pre-trigger Easy pan and zoom across multiple stored traces allows beginners to work without a trigger o This needs a fast reaction of the display (some scopes have 1 ms delay) o The knobs have to be large and turn smoothly Also slow traces like the temperature variation across a day can be recorded The memory of the oscilloscope can be arranged not only as a one-dimensional list but also as a two-dimensional array to simulate a phosphorus screen. The digital technique allows a quantitative analysis (E. thus building up the picture of the signal over the subsequent repeats of the signal. Both of these difficulties have been overcome recently by "digital phosphor oscilloscopes. the screen looks exactly the same for any signal rate which exceeds the screen's refresh rate. . On an analog oscilloscope. histograms and statistics. the sampling frequency should be at least the Nyquist rate. the user can get an intuitive sense of the trigger rate simply by looking at the steadiness of the CRT trace.g." which store data at a very high refresh rate and display it with variable intensity. This requires that either a clock or repeating pattern be provided. the equivalenttime sample scope. though most models lock the access to their software A disadvantage of digital oscilloscopes is the limited refresh rate of the screen. it is sometimes hard to spot "glitches" or other rare phenomena on the black-and-white screens of standard digital oscilloscopes. to simulate the trace persistence of a CRT scope. and a large number of parameters meaningful to engineers in specialized fields such as telecommunications. Additionally. the slight persistence of CRT phosphors on analog scopes makes glitches visible even if many subsequent triggers overwrite them. Eye diagram) Allows for automation.amplitude). double the frequency of the highest-frequency component of the observed signal. However. only one sample is taken. For a digital oscilloscope. Digital storage also makes possible another unique type of oscilloscope. Instead of taking consecutive samples after the trigger event. In general. the oscilloscope is able to vary its timebase to precisely time its sample. Digital oscilloscopes are limited principally by the performance of the analogue input circuitry and the sampling frequency. This type of scope is frequently used for very high speed communication because it allows for a very high "sample rate" and low amplitude noise compared to traditional real-time scopes. otherwise aliasing may occur. disk drive analysis and power electronics.