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Oscilloscope Tutorial

The Oscilloscope
What Can You Do With It?
Analog and Digital
How Does an Oscilloscope Work?
Oscilloscope Terminology
Measurement Terms
Types o Wa!es
Wa!eorm Measurements
"erormance Terms
Setting Up
#rounding
$etting the Controls
"ro%es
Compensating the "ro%e
The Controls
Display Controls
&ertical Controls
Hori'ontal Controls
Trigger Controls
Ac(uisition Controls or Digital Oscilloscopes
Other Controls
Measurement Techniques
The Display
&oltage Measurements
Time and )re(uency Measurements
"ulse and *ise Time Measurements
"hase $hit Measurements
What+s ,e-t?
The Oscilloscope
What is an oscilloscope. what can you do with it. and how does it work? This section
answers these undamental (uestions/
The oscilloscope is %asically a graph0displaying de!ice 0 it draws a graph o an electrical
signal/ In most applications the graph shows how signals change o!er time1 the !ertical
2Y3 a-is represents !oltage and the hori'ontal 243 a-is represents time/ The intensity or
%rightness o the display is sometimes called the 5 a-is/ 2$ee )igure 6/3 This simple graph
can tell you many things a%out a signal/ Here are a ew1
You can determine the time and !oltage !alues o a signal/
You can calculate the re(uency o an oscillating signal/
You can see the 7mo!ing parts7 o a circuit represented %y the signal/
You can tell i a malunctioning component is distorting the signal/
You can ind out how much o a signal is direct current 2DC3 or alternating
current 2AC3/
You can tell how much o the signal is noise and whether the noise is changing
with time/
Figure 1: X, Y, and Components o! a "isplayed #a$e!orm
An oscilloscope looks a lot like a small tele!ision set. e-cept that it has a grid drawn on
its screen and more controls than a tele!ision/ The ront panel o an oscilloscope normally
has control sections di!ided into &ertical. Hori'ontal. and Trigger sections/ There are also
display controls and input connectors/ $ee i you can locate these ront panel sections in
)igures 8 and 9 and on your oscilloscope/
Figure %: The T&S '() &nalog Oscilloscope Front *anel
Figure +: The T"S +%, "igital Oscilloscope Front *anel
#hat Can You "o #ith -t.
Oscilloscopes are used %y e!eryone rom tele!ision repair technicians to physicists/ They
are indispensa%le or anyone designing or repairing electronic e(uipment/
The useulness o an oscilloscope is not limited to the world o electronics/ With the
proper transducer. an oscilloscope can measure all kinds o phenomena/ A transducer is a
de!ice that creates an electrical signal in response to physical stimuli. such as sound.
mechanical stress. pressure. light. or heat/ )or e-ample. a microphone is a transducer/
An automoti!e engineer uses an oscilloscope to measure engine !i%rations/ A medical
researcher uses an oscilloscope to measure %rain wa!es/ The possi%ilities are endless/
Figure ': Scienti!ic "ata /athered 0y an Oscilloscope
&nalog and "igital
:lectronic e(uipment can %e di!ided into two types1 analog and digital/ Analog
e(uipment works with continuously !aria%le !oltages. while digital e(uipment works
with discrete %inary num%ers that may represent !oltage samples/ )or e-ample. a
con!entional phonograph turnta%le is an analog de!ice; a compact disc player is a digital
de!ice/
Oscilloscopes also come in analog and digital types/ An analog oscilloscope works %y
directly applying a !oltage %eing measured to an electron %eam mo!ing across the
oscilloscope screen/ The !oltage delects the %eam up and down proportionally. tracing
the wa!eorm on the screen/ This gi!es an immediate picture o the wa!eorm/
In contrast. a digital oscilloscope samples the wa!eorm and uses an analog0to0digital
con!erter 2or ADC3 to con!ert the !oltage %eing measured into digital inormation/ It then
uses this digital inormation to reconstruct the wa!eorm on the screen/
Figure ): "igital and &nalog Oscilloscopes "isplay #a$e!orms
)or many applications either an analog or digital oscilloscope will do/ Howe!er. each
type does possess some uni(ue characteristics making it more or less suita%le or speciic
tasks/
"eople oten preer analog oscilloscopes when it is important to display rapidly !arying
signals in 7real time7 2or as they occur3/
Digital oscilloscopes allow you to capture and !iew e!ents that may happen only once/
They can process the digital wa!eorm data or send the data to a computer or processing/
Also. they can store the digital wa!eorm data or later !iewing and printing/
1o2 "oes an Oscilloscope #or3.
To %etter understand the oscilloscope controls. you need to know a little more a%out how
oscilloscopes display a signal/ Analog oscilloscopes work somewhat dierently than
digital oscilloscopes/ Howe!er. se!eral o the internal systems are similar/ Analog
oscilloscopes are somewhat simpler in concept and are descri%ed irst. ollowed %y a
description o digital oscilloscopes/
&nalog Oscilloscopes
When you connect an oscilloscope pro%e to a circuit. the !oltage signal tra!els through
the pro%e to the !ertical system o the oscilloscope/ )igure < is a simple %lock diagram
that shows how an analog oscilloscope displays a measured signal/
Figure (: &nalog Oscilloscope 4loc3 "iagram
Depending on how you set the !ertical scale 2!olts=di! control3. an attenuator reduces the
signal !oltage or an amplifier increases the signal !oltage/
,e-t. the signal tra!els directly to the !ertical delection plates o the cathode ray tu%e
2C*T3/ &oltage applied to these delection plates causes a glowing dot to mo!e/ 2An
electron %eam hitting phosphor inside the C*T creates the glowing dot/3 A positi!e
!oltage causes the dot to mo!e up while a negati!e !oltage causes the dot to mo!e down/
The signal also tra!els to the trigger system to start or trigger a 7hori'ontal sweep/7
Hori'ontal sweep is a term reerring to the action o the hori'ontal system causing the
glowing dot to mo!e across the screen/ Triggering the hori'ontal system causes the
hori'ontal time %ase to mo!e the glowing dot across the screen rom let to right within a
speciic time inter!al/ Many sweeps in rapid se(uence cause the mo!ement o the
glowing dot to %lend into a solid line/ At higher speeds. the dot may sweep across the
screen up to >??.??? times each second/
Together. the hori'ontal sweeping action and the !ertical delection action traces a graph
o the signal on the screen/ The trigger is necessary to sta%ili'e a repeating signal/ It
ensures that the sweep %egins at the same point o a repeating signal. resulting in a clear
picture as shown in )igure @/
Figure 5: Triggering Sta0ili6es a 7epeating #a$e!orm
In conclusion. to use an analog oscilloscope. you need to adAust three %asic settings to
accommodate an incoming signal1
The attenuation or ampliication o the signal/ Bse the !olts=di! control to adAust
the amplitude o the signal %eore it is applied to the !ertical delection plates/
The time %ase/ Bse the sec=di! control to set the amount o time per di!ision
represented hori'ontally across the screen/
The triggering o the oscilloscope/ Bse the trigger le!el to sta%ili'e a repeating
signal. as well as triggering on a single e!ent/
Also. adAusting the ocus and intensity controls ena%les you to create a sharp. !isi%le
display/
"igital Oscilloscopes
$ome o the systems that make up digital oscilloscopes are the same as those in analog
oscilloscopes; howe!er. digital oscilloscopes contain additional data processing systems/
2$ee )igure C/3 With the added systems. the digital oscilloscope collects data or the
entire wa!eorm and then displays it/
When you attach a digital oscilloscope pro%e to a circuit. the !ertical system adAusts the
amplitude o the signal. Aust as in the analog oscilloscope/
,e-t. the analog0to0digital con!erter 2ADC3 in the ac(uisition system samples the signal
at discrete points in time and con!erts the signal+s !oltage at these points to digital !alues
called sample points/ The hori'ontal system+s sample clock determines how oten the
ADC takes a sample/ The rate at which the clock 7ticks7 is called the sample rate and is
measured in samples per second/
The sample points rom the ADC are stored in memory as waveform points/ More than
one sample point may make up one wa!eorm point/
Together. the wa!eorm points make up one wa!eorm record/ The num%er o wa!eorm
points used to make a wa!eorm record is called the record length/ The trigger system
determines the start and stop points o the record/ The display recei!es these record points
ater %eing stored in memory/
Depending on the capa%ilities o your oscilloscope. additional processing o the sample
points may take place. enhancing the display/ "retrigger may %e a!aila%le. allowing you
to see e!ents %eore the trigger point/
Figure 8: "igital Oscilloscope 4loc3 "iagram
)undamentally. with a digital oscilloscope as with an analog oscilloscope. you need to
adAust the !ertical. hori'ontal. and trigger settings to take a measurement/
Sampling Methods
The sampling method tells the digital oscilloscope how to collect sample points/ )or
slowly changing signals. a digital oscilloscope easily collects more than enough sample
points to construct an accurate picture/ Howe!er. or aster signals. 2how ast depends on
the oscilloscope+s ma-imum sample rate3 the oscilloscope cannot collect enough samples/
The digital oscilloscope can do two things1
It can collect a ew sample points o the signal in a single pass 2in real-time
sampling mode3 and then use interpolation/ Interpolation is a processing
techni(ue to estimate what the wa!eorm looks like %ased on a ew points/
It can %uild a picture o the wa!eorm o!er time. as long as the signal repeats
itsel 2equivalent-time sampling mode3/
7eal9Time Sampling 2ith -nterpolation
Digital oscilloscopes use real0time sampling as the standard sampling method/ In real0
time sampling. the oscilloscope collects as many samples as it can as the signal occurs/
2$ee )igure D/3 )or single0shot or transient signals you must use real time sampling/
Figure :: 7eal9time Sampling
Digital oscilloscopes use interpolation to display signals that are so ast that the
oscilloscope can only collect a ew sample points/ Interpolation 7connects the dots/7
Einear interpolation simply connects sample points with straight lines/ $ine interpolation
2or sin x over x interpolation3 connects sample points with cur!es/ 2$ee )igure 6?/3 Sin x
over x interpolation is a mathematical process similar to the 7o!ersampling7 used in
compact disc players/ With sine interpolation. points are calculated to ill in the time
%etween the real samples/ Bsing this process. a signal that is sampled only a ew times in
each cycle can %e accurately displayed or. in the case o the compact disc player.
accurately played %ack/
Figure 1,: ;inear and Sine -nterpolation
<qui$alent9Time Sampling
$ome digital oscilloscopes can use e(ui!alent0time sampling to capture !ery ast
repeating signals/ :(ui!alent0time sampling constructs a picture o a repetiti!e signal %y
capturing a little %it o inormation rom each repetition/ 2$ee )igure 66/3 You see the
wa!eorm slowly %uild up like a string o lights going on one0%y0one/ With sequential
sampling the points appear rom let to right in se(uence; with random sampling the
points appear randomly along the wa!eorm/
Figure 11: <qui$alent9time Sampling
Oscilloscope Terminology
Eearning a new skill oten in!ol!es learning a new !oca%ulary/ This idea holds true or
learning how to use an oscilloscope/ This section descri%es some useul measurement and
oscilloscope perormance terms/
Measurement Terms
The generic term or a pattern that repeats o!er time is a wave 0 sound wa!es. %rain
wa!es. ocean wa!es. and !oltage wa!es are all repeating patterns/ An oscilloscope
measures !oltage wa!es/ One cycle o a wa!e is the portion o the wa!e that repeats/ A
waveform is a graphic representation o a wa!e/ A !oltage wa!eorm shows time on the
hori'ontal a-is and !oltage on the !ertical a-is/
Wa!eorm shapes tell you a great deal a%out a signal/ Any time you see a change in the
height o the wa!eorm. you know the !oltage has changed/ Any time there is a lat
hori'ontal line. you know that there is no change or that length o time/ $traight diagonal
lines mean a linear change 0 rise or all o !oltage at a steady rate/ $harp angles on a
wa!eorm mean sudden change/ )igure 6 shows common wa!eorms and )igure 8 shows
some common sources o wa!eorms/
Figure 1: Common #a$e!orms
Figure %: Sources o! Common #a$e!orms
Types o! #a$es
You can classiy most wa!es into these types1
$ine wa!es
$(uare and rectangular wa!es
Triangle and sawtooth wa!es
$tep and pulse shapes
Sine #a$es
The sine wave is the undamental wa!e shape or se!eral reasons/ It has harmonious
mathematical properties 0 it is the same sine shape you may ha!e studied in high school
trigonometry class/ The !oltage in your wall outlet !aries as a sine wa!e/ Test signals
produced %y the oscillator circuit o a signal generator are oten sine wa!es/ Most AC
power sources produce sine wa!es/ 2AC stands or alternating current. although the
!oltage alternates too/ DC stands or direct current. which means a steady current and
!oltage. such as a %attery produces/3
The damped sine wave is a special case you may see in a circuit that oscillates %ut winds
down o!er time/
)igure 9 shows e-amples o sine and damped sine wa!es/
Figure +: Sine and "amped Sine #a$es
Square and 7ectangular #a$es
The square wave is another common wa!e shape/ Fasically. a s(uare wa!e is a !oltage
that turns on and o 2or goes high and low3 at regular inter!als/ It is a standard wa!e or
testing ampliiers 0 good ampliiers increase the amplitude o a s(uare wa!e with
minimum distortion/ Tele!ision. radio. and computer circuitry oten use s(uare wa!es or
timing signals/
The rectangular wave is like the s(uare wa!e e-cept that the high and low time inter!als
are not o e(ual length/ It is particularly important when analy'ing digital circuitry/
)igure G shows e-amples o s(uare and rectangular wa!es/
Figure ': Square and 7ectangular #a$es
Sa2tooth and Triangle #a$es
$awtooth and Triangle waves result rom circuits designed to control !oltages linearly.
such as the hori'ontal sweep o an analog oscilloscope or the raster scan o a tele!ision/
The transitions %etween !oltage le!els o these wa!es change at a constant rate/ These
transitions are called ramps/
)igure > shows e-amples o sawtooth and triangle wa!es/
Figure ): Sa2tooth and Triangle #a$es
Step and *ulse Shapes
$ignals such as steps and pulses that only occur once are called single-shot or transient
signals/ The step indicates a sudden change in !oltage. like what you would see i you
turned on a power switch/ The pulse indicates what you would see i you turned a power
switch on and then o again/ It might represent one %it o inormation tra!eling through a
computer circuit or it might %e a glitch 2a deect3 in a circuit/
A collection o pulses tra!elling together creates a pulse train. Digital components in a
computer communicate with each other using pulses/ "ulses are also common in -0ray
and communications e(uipment/
)igure < shows e-amples o step and pulse shapes and a pulse train/
Figure (: Step, *ulse, and *ulse Train Shapes
#a$e!orm Measurements
You use many terms to descri%e the types o measurements that you take with your
oscilloscope/ This section descri%es some o the most common measurements and terms/
Frequency and *eriod
I a signal repeats. it has a frequency/ The re(uency is measured in Hert' 2H'3 and e(uals
the num%er o times the signal repeats itsel in one second 2the cycles per second3/ A
repeating signal also has a period 0 this is the amount o time it takes the signal to
complete one cycle/ "eriod and re(uency are reciprocals o each other. so that 6=period
e(uals the re(uency and 6=re(uency e(uals the period/ $o. or e-ample. the sine wa!e in
)igure @ has a re(uency o 9 H' and a period o 6=9 second/
Figure 5: Frequency and *eriod
=oltage
&oltage is the amount o electric potential 2a kind o signal strength3 %etween two points
in a circuit/ Bsually one o these points is ground 2'ero !olts3 %ut not always 0 you may
want to measure the !oltage rom the ma-imum peak to the minimum peak o a
wa!eorm. reerred to at the peak0to0peak !oltage/ The word amplitude commonly reers
to the ma-imum !oltage o a signal measured rom ground or 'ero !olts/ The wa!eorm
shown in )igure C has an amplitude o one !olt and a peak0to0peak !oltage o two !olts/
*hase
Phase is %est e-plained %y looking at a sine wa!e/ $ine wa!es are %ased on circular
motion and a circle has 9<? degrees/ One cycle o a sine wa!e has 9<? degrees. as shown
in )igure C/ Bsing degrees. you can reer to the phase angle o a sine wa!e when you
want to descri%e how much o the period has elapsed/
Figure 8: Sine #a$e "egrees
"hase shit descri%es the dierence in timing %etween two otherwise similar signals/ In
)igure D. the wa!eorm la%eled 7current7 is said to %e D?> out o phase with the
wa!eorm la%eled 7!oltage.7 since the wa!es reach similar points in their cycles e-actly
6=G o a cycle apart 29<? degrees=G H D? degrees3/ "hase shits are common in electronics/
Figure :: *hase Shi!t
*er!ormance Terms
The terms descri%ed in this section may come up in your discussions a%out oscilloscope
perormance/ Bnderstanding these terms will help you e!aluate and compare your
oscilloscope with other models/
4and2idth
The %andwidth speciication tells you the re(uency range the oscilloscope accurately
measures/
As signal re(uency increases. the capa%ility o the oscilloscope to accurately respond
decreases/ Fy con!ention. the %andwidth tells you the re(uency at which the displayed
signal reduces to @?/@I o the applied sine wa!e signal/ 2This @?/@I point is reerred to
as the 709 dF point.7 a term %ased on a logarithmic scale/3
7ise Time
*ise time is another way o descri%ing the useul re(uency range o an oscilloscope/
*ise time may %e a more appropriate perormance consideration when you e-pect to
measure pulses and steps/ An oscilloscope cannot accurately display pulses with rise
times aster than the speciied rise time o the oscilloscope/
=ertical Sensiti$ity
The !ertical sensiti!ity indicates how much the !ertical ampliier can ampliy a weak
signal/ &ertical sensiti!ity is usually gi!en in milli!olts 2m&3 per di!ision/ The smallest
!oltage a general purpose oscilloscope can detect is typically a%out 8 m& per !ertical
screen di!ision/
S2eep Speed
)or analog oscilloscopes. this speciication indicates how ast the trace can sweep across
the screen. allowing you to see ine details/ The astest sweep speed o an oscilloscope is
usually gi!en in nanoseconds=di!/
/ain &ccuracy
The gain accuracy indicates how accurately the !ertical system attenuates or ampliies a
signal/ This is usually listed as a percentage error/
Time 4ase or 1ori6ontal &ccuracy
The time %ase or hori'ontal accuracy indicates how accurately the hori'ontal system
displays the timing o a signal/ This is usually listed as a percentage error/
Sample 7ate
On digital oscilloscopes. the sampling rate indicates how many samples per second the
ADC 2and thereore the oscilloscope3 can ac(uire/ Ma-imum sample rates are usually
gi!en in megasamples per second 2M$=s3/ The aster the oscilloscope can sample. the
more accurately it can represent ine details in a ast signal/ The minimum sample rate
may also %e important i you need to look at slowly changing signals o!er long periods o
time/ Typically. the sample rate changes with changes made to the sec=di! control to
maintain a constant num%er o wa!eorm points in the wa!eorm record/
&"C 7esolution >Or =ertical 7esolution?
The resolution. in %its. o the ADC 2and thereore the digital oscilloscope3 indicates how
precisely it can turn input !oltages into digital !alues/ Calculation techni(ues can
impro!e the eecti!e resolution/
7ecord ;ength
The record length o a digital oscilloscope indicates how many wa!eorm points the
oscilloscope is a%le to ac(uire or one wa!eorm record/ $ome digital oscilloscopes let
you adAust the record length/ The ma-imum record length depends on the amount o
memory in your oscilloscope/ $ince the oscilloscope can only store a inite num%er o
wa!eorm points. there is a trade0o %etween record detail and record length/ You can
ac(uire either a detailed picture o a signal or a short period o time 2the oscilloscope
7ills up7 on wa!eorm points (uickly3 or a less detailed picture or a longer period o
time/ $ome oscilloscopes let you add more memory to increase the record length or
special applications/
Setting Up
This section %riely descri%es how to set up and start using an oscilloscope 0 speciically.
how to ground the oscilloscope. set the controls in standard positions. and compensate the
pro%e/
/rounding
"roper grounding is an important step when setting up to take measurements or work on a
circuit/ "roperly grounding the oscilloscope protects you rom a ha'ardous shock and
grounding yoursel protects your circuits rom damage/
/round the Oscilloscope
#rounding the oscilloscope is necessary or saety/ I a high !oltage contacts the case o
an ungrounded oscilloscope. any part o the case. including kno%s that appear insulated. it
can gi!e you a shock/ Howe!er. with a properly grounded oscilloscope. the current
tra!els through the grounding path to earth ground rather than through you to earth
ground/
To ground the oscilloscope means to connect it to an electrically neutral reerence point
2such as earth ground3/ #round your oscilloscope %y plugging its three0pronged power
cord into an outlet grounded to earth ground/
#rounding is also necessary or taking accurate measurements with your oscilloscope/
The oscilloscope needs to share the same ground as any circuits you are testing/
$ome oscilloscopes do not re(uire the separate connection to earth ground/ These
oscilloscopes ha!e insulated cases and controls. which keeps any possi%le shock ha'ard
away rom the user/
/round Yoursel!
I you are working with integrated circuits 2ICs3. you also need to ground yoursel/
Integrated circuits ha!e tiny conduction paths that can %e damaged %y static electricity
that %uilds up on your %ody/ You can ruin an e-pensi!e IC simply %y walking across a
carpet or taking o a sweater and then touching the leads o the IC/ To sol!e this
pro%lem. wear a grounding strap 2see )igure 63/ This strap saely sends static charges on
your %ody to earth ground/
Figure 1: Typical #rist Type /rounding Strap
Setting the Controls
Ater plugging in the oscilloscope. take a look at the ront panel/ It is di!ided into three
main sections la%eled ertical. !ori"ontal. and Trigger/ Your oscilloscope may ha!e
other sections. depending on the model and type 2analog or digital3/
,otice the input connectors on your oscilloscope/ This is where you attach pro%es/ Most
oscilloscopes ha!e at least two input channels and each channel can display a wa!eorm
on the screen/ Multiple channels are handy or comparing wa!eorms/
Figure %: Front *anel Control Sections o! an Oscilloscope
$ome oscilloscopes ha!e an ABTO$:T or "*:$:T %utton that sets up the controls in
one step to accommodate a signal/ I your oscilloscope does not ha!e this eature. it is
helpul to set the controls to standard positions %eore taking measurements/
$tandard positions include the ollowing1
$et the oscilloscope to display channel 6
$et the !olts=di!ision scale to a mid0range position
Turn o the !aria%le !olts=di!ision
Turn o all magniication settings
$et the channel 6 input coupling to DC
$et the trigger mode to auto
$et the trigger source to channel 6
Turn trigger holdo to minimum or o
$et the intensity control to a nominal !iewing le!el
AdAust the ocus control or a sharp display
These are general instructions or setting up your oscilloscope/ I you are not sure how to
do any o these steps. reer to the manual that came with your oscilloscope/ The Controls
section descri%es the controls in more detail/
*ro0es
,ow you are ready to connect a pro%e to your oscilloscope/ It is important to use a pro%e
designed to work with your oscilloscope/ A pro%e is more than a ca%le with a clip0on tip/
It is a high0(uality connector. careully designed not to pick up stray radio and power line
noise/
"ro%es are designed not to inluence the %eha!ior o the circuit you are testing/ Howe!er.
no measurement de!ice can act as a perectly in!isi%le o%ser!er/ The unintentional
interaction o the pro%e and oscilloscope with the circuit %eing tested is called circuit
loading/ To minimi'e circuit loading. you will pro%a%ly use a 6?4 attenuator 2passi!e3
pro%e/
Your oscilloscope pro%a%ly arri!ed with a passi!e pro%e as a standard accessory/ "assi!e
pro%es pro!ide you with an e-cellent tool or general0purpose testing and
trou%leshooting/ )or more speciic measurements or tests. many other types o pro%es
e-ist/ Two e-amples are acti!e and current pro%es/
Descriptions o these pro%es ollow. with more emphasis gi!en to the passi!e pro%e since
this is the pro%e type that allows you the most le-i%ility o use/
Using *assi$e *ro0es
Most passi!e pro%es ha!e some degree o attenuation actor. such as 6?4. 6??4. and so
on/ Fy con!ention. attenuation actors. such as or the 6?4 attenuator pro%e. ha!e the 4
ater the actor/ In contrast. magniication actors like 46? ha!e the 4 irst/
The 6?4 2read as 7ten times73 attenuator pro%e minimi'es circuit loading and is an
e-cellent general0purpose passi!e pro%e/ Circuit loading %ecomes more pronounced at
higher re(uencies. so %e sure to use this type o pro%e when measuring signals a%o!e >
kH'/ The 6?4 attenuator pro%e impro!es the accuracy o your measurements. %ut it also
reduces the amplitude o the signal seen on the screen %y a actor o 6?/
Fecause it attenuates the signal. the 6?4 attenuator pro%e makes it diicult to look at
signals less than 6? milli!olts/ The 64 pro%e is similar to the 6?4 attenuator pro%e %ut
lacks the attenuation circuitry/ Without this circuitry. more intererence is introduced to
the circuit %eing tested/ Bse the 6?4 attenuator pro%e as your standard pro%e. %ut keep
the 64 pro%e handy or measuring weak signals/ $ome pro%es ha!e a con!enient eature
or switching %etween 64 and 6?4 attenuation at the pro%e tip/ I your pro%e has this
eature. make sure you are using the correct setting %eore taking measurements/
Many oscilloscopes can detect whether you are using a 64 or 6?4 pro%e and adAust their
screen readouts accordingly/ Howe!er with some oscilloscopes. you must set the type o
pro%e you are using or read rom the proper 64 or 6?4 marking on the !olts=di! control/
The 6?4 attenuator pro%e works %y %alancing the pro%e+s electrical properties against the
oscilloscope+s electrical properties/ Feore using a 6?4 attenuator pro%e you need to
adAust this %alance or your particular oscilloscope/ This adAustment is called
compensating the pro%e and is urther descri%ed in the ne-t section/ )igure 9 shows a
simple diagram o the internal workings o a pro%e. its adAustment. and the input o an
oscilloscope/
Figure +: Typical *ro0e@Oscilloscope 1,9to91 "i$ider Aet2or3
)igure G shows a typical passi!e pro%e and some accessories to use with the pro%e/
Figure ': & Typical *assi$e *ro0e 2ith &ccessories
Using &cti$e *ro0es
Acti!e pro%es pro!ide their own ampliication or perorm some other type o operation to
process the signal %eore applying it to the oscilloscope/ These types o pro%es can sol!e
pro%lems such as circuit loading or perorm tests on signals. sending the results to the
oscilloscope/ Acti!e pro%es re(uire a power source or their operation/
Using Current *ro0es
Current pro%es ena%le you to directly o%ser!e and measure current wa!eorms/ They are
a!aila%le or measuring %oth AC and DC current/ Current pro%es use Aaws that clip
around the wire carrying the current/ This makes them uni(ue since they are not
connected in series with the circuit; they. thereore. cause little or no intererence in the
circuit/
#here to Clip the /round Clip
Measuring a signal re(uires two connections1 the pro%e tip connection and a ground
connection/ "ro%es come with an alligator0clip attachment or grounding the pro%e to the
circuit under test/ In practice. you clip the grounding clip to a known ground in the
circuit. such as the metal chassis o a stereo you are repairing. and touch the pro%e tip to a
test point in the circuit/
Compensating the *ro0e
Feore using a passi!e pro%e. you need to compensate it 0 to %alance its electrical
properties to a particular oscilloscope/ You should get into the ha%it o compensating the
pro%e e!ery time you set up your oscilloscope/ A poorly adAusted pro%e can make your
measurements less accurate/ )igure > shows what happens to measured wa!eorms when
using a pro%e not properly compensated/
Figure ): The <!!ects o! -mproper *ro0e Compensation
Most oscilloscopes ha!e a s(uare wa!e reerence signal a!aila%le at a terminal on the
ront panel used to compensate the pro%e/ You compensate a pro%e %y1
Attaching the pro%e to an input connector
Connecting the pro%e tip to the pro%e compensation signal
Attaching the ground clip o the pro%e to ground
&iewing the s(uare wa!e reerence signal
Making the proper adAustments on the pro%e so that the corners o the s(uare
wa!e are s(uare
When you compensate the pro%e. always attach any accessory tips you will use and
connect the pro%e to the !ertical channel you plan to use/ This way the oscilloscope has
the same electrical properties as it does when you take measurements/
The Controls
This section %riely descri%es the %asic controls ound on analog and digital
oscilloscopes/ *emem%er that some controls dier %etween analog and digital
oscilloscopes; your oscilloscope pro%a%ly has controls not discussed here/
"isplay Controls
Display systems !ary %etween analog and digital oscilloscopes/ Common controls
include1
An intensity control to adAust the %rightness o the wa!eorm/ As you increase the
sweep speed o an analog oscilloscope. you need to increase the intensity le!el/
A ocus control to adAust the sharpness o the wa!eorm/ Digital oscilloscopes
may not ha!e a ocus control/
A trace rotation control to align the wa!eorm trace with the screen+s hori'ontal
a-is/ The position o your oscilloscope in the earth+s magnetic ield aects
wa!eorm alignment/ Digital oscilloscopes may not ha!e a trace rotation control/
Other display controls may let you adAust the intensity o the graticule lights and
turn on or o any on0screen inormation 2such as menus3/
=ertical Controls
Bse the !ertical controls to position and scale the wa!eorm !ertically/ Your oscilloscope
also has controls or setting the input coupling and other signal conditioning. descri%ed in
this section/ )igure 6 shows a typical ront panel and on0screen menus or the !ertical
controls/
Figure 1: =ertical Controls
*osition and =olts per "i$ision
The !ertical position control lets you mo!e the wa!eorm up or down to e-actly where
you want it on the screen/
The !olts per di!ision 2usually written !olts=di!3 setting !aries the si'e o the wa!eorm
on the screen/ A good general purpose oscilloscope can accurately display signal le!els
rom a%out G milli!olts to G? !olts/
The !olts=di! setting is a scale actor/ )or e-ample. i the !olts=di! setting is > !olts. then
each o the eight !ertical di!isions represents > !olts and the entire screen can show G?
!olts rom %ottom to top 2assuming a graticule with eight maAor di!isions3/ I the setting
is ?/> !olts=di!. the screen can display G !olts rom %ottom to top. and so on/ The
ma-imum !oltage you can display on the screen is the !olts=di! setting times the num%er
o !ertical di!isions/ 2*ecall that the pro%e you use. 64 or 6?4. also inluences the scale
actor/ You must di!ide the !olts=di! scale %y the attenuation actor o the pro%e i the
oscilloscope does not do it or you/3
Oten the !olts=di! scale has either a !aria%le gain or a ine gain control or scaling a
displayed signal to a certain num%er o di!isions/ Bse this control to take rise time
measurements/
-nput Coupling
Coupling means the method used to connect an electrical signal rom one circuit to
another/ In this case. the input coupling is the connection rom your test circuit to the
oscilloscope/ The coupling can %e set to DC. AC. or ground/ DC coupling shows all o an
input signal/ AC coupling %locks the DC component o a signal so that you see the
wa!eorm centered at 'ero !olts/ )igure 8 illustrates this dierence/ The AC coupling
setting is handy when the entire signal 2alternating plus constant components3 is too large
or the !olts=di! setting/
Figure %: &C and "C -nput Coupling
The ground setting disconnects the input signal rom the !ertical system. which lets you
see where 'ero !olts is on the screen/ With grounded input coupling and auto trigger
mode. you see a hori'ontal line on the screen that represents 'ero !olts/ $witching rom
DC to ground and %ack again is a handy way o measuring signal !oltage le!els with
respect to ground/
4and2idth ;imit
Most oscilloscopes ha!e a circuit that limits the %andwidth o the oscilloscope/ Fy
limiting the %andwidth. you reduce the noise that sometimes appears on the displayed
wa!eorm. pro!iding you with a more deined signal display/
Channel -n$ert
Most oscilloscopes ha!e an in!ert unction that allows you to display a signal 7upside0
down/7 That is. with low !oltage at the top o the screen and high !oltage at the %ottom/
&lternate and Chop "isplay
On analog scopes. multiple channels are displayed using either an alternate or chop
mode/ 2Digital oscilloscopes do not normally use chop or alternate mode/3
Alternate mode draws each channel alternately 0 the oscilloscope completes one sweep on
channel 6. then one sweep on channel 8. a second sweep on channel 6. and so on/ Bse
this mode with medium0 to high0speed signals. when the sec=di! scale is set to ?/> ms or
aster/
Chop mode causes the oscilloscope to draw small parts o each signal %y switching %ack
and orth %etween them/ The switching rate is too ast or you to notice. so the wa!eorm
looks whole/ You typically use this mode with slow signals re(uiring sweep speeds o 6
ms per di!ision or less/ )igure 9 shows the dierence %etween the two modes/ It is oten
useul to !iew the signal %oth ways. to make sure you ha!e the %est !iew/
Figure +: Multi9Channel "isplay Modes
Math Operations
Your oscilloscope may also ha!e operations to allow you to add wa!eorms together.
creating a new wa!eorm display/ Analog oscilloscopes com%ine the signals while digital
oscilloscopes mathematically create new wa!eorms/ $u%tracting wa!eorms is another
math operation/ $u%traction with analog oscilloscopes is possi%le %y using the channel
in!ert unction on one signal and then use the add operation/ Digital oscilloscopes
typically ha!e a su%traction operation a!aila%le/ )igure G illustrates a third wa!eorm
created %y adding two dierent signals together/
Figure ': &dding Channels
1ori6ontal Controls
Bse the hori'ontal controls to position and scale the wa!eorm hori'ontally/ )igure >
shows a typical ront panel and on0screen menus or the hori'ontal controls/
Figure ): 1ori6ontal Controls
*osition and Seconds per "i$ision
The hori'ontal position control mo!es the wa!eorm rom let and right to e-actly where
you want it on the screen/
The seconds per di!ision 2usually written as sec=di!3 setting lets you select the rate at
which the wa!eorm is drawn across the screen 2also known as the time %ase setting or
sweep speed3/ This setting is a scale actor/ )or e-ample. i the setting is 6 ms. each
hori'ontal di!ision represents 6 ms and the total screen width represents 6? ms 2ten
di!isions3/ Changing the sec=di! setting lets you look at longer or shorter time inter!als o
the input signal/
As with the !ertical !olts=di! scale. the hori'ontal sec=di! scale may ha!e !aria%le timing.
allowing you to set the hori'ontal time scale in %etween the discrete settings/
Time 4ase Selections
Your oscilloscope has a time %ase usually reerred to as the main time %ase and it is
pro%a%ly the most useul/ Many oscilloscopes ha!e what is called a delayed time %ase 0 a
time %ase sweep that starts ater a pre0determined time rom the start o the main time
%ase sweep/ Bsing a delayed time %ase sweep allows you to see e!ents more clearly or
e!en see e!ents not !isi%le with Aust the main time %ase sweep/
The delayed time %ase re(uires the setting o a delay time and possi%ly the use o delayed
trigger modes and other settings not descri%ed in this %ook/ *eer to the manual supplied
with your oscilloscope or inormation on how to use these eatures/
Trigger *osition
The trigger position control may %e located in the hori'ontal control section o your
oscilloscope/ It actually represents 7the hori"ontal position o the trigger in the wa!eorm
record/7 Hori'ontal trigger position control is only a!aila%le on digital oscilloscopes/
&arying the hori'ontal trigger position allows you to capture what a signal did #efore a
trigger e!ent 2called pretrigger viewing3/
Digital oscilloscopes can pro!ide pretrigger !iewing %ecause they constantly process the
input signal whether a trigger has %een recei!ed or not/ A steady stream o data lows
through the oscilloscope; the trigger merely tells the oscilloscope to sa!e the present data
in memory/ In contrast. analog oscilloscopes only display the signal ater recei!ing the
trigger/
"retrigger !iewing is a !alua%le trou%leshooting aid/ )or e-ample. i a pro%lem occurs
intermittently. you can trigger on the pro%lem. record the e!ents that led up to it and.
possi%ly. ind the cause/
Magni!ication
Your oscilloscope may ha!e special hori'ontal magniication settings that let you display
a magniied section o the wa!eorm on0screen/
XY Mode
Most oscilloscopes ha!e the capa%ility o displaying a second channel signal along the 40
a-is 2instead o time3/ This is called 4Y mode; you will ind a longer discussion later in
this %ook/
Trigger Controls
The trigger controls let you sta%ili'e repeating wa!eorms and capture single0shot
wa!eorms/ )igure < shows a typical ront panel and on0screen menus or the trigger
controls/
Figure (: Trigger Controls
The trigger makes repeating wa!eorms appear static on the oscilloscope display/ Imagine
the Aum%le on the screen that would result i each sweep started at a dierent place on the
signal 2see )igure @3/
Figure 5: Untriggered "isplay
Trigger ;e$el and Slope
Your oscilloscope may ha!e se!eral dierent types o triggers. such as edge. !ideo. pulse.
or logic/ :dge triggering is the %asic and most common type and is the only type
discussed in this %ook/ Consult your oscilloscope instruction manual or details on other
trigger types/
)or edge triggering. the trigger le!el and slope controls pro!ide the %asic trigger point
deinition/
The trigger circuit acts as a comparator/ You select the slope and !oltage le!el o one side
o the comparator/ When the trigger signal matches your settings. the oscilloscope
generates a trigger/
The slope control determines whether the trigger point is on the rising or the
alling edge o a signal/ A rising edge is a positi!e slope and a alling edge is a
negati!e slope/
The le!el control determines where on the edge the trigger point occurs/
)igure C shows you how the trigger slope and le!el settings determine how a wa!eorm is
displayed/
Figure 8: *ositi$e and Aegati$e Slope Triggering
Trigger Sources
The oscilloscope does not necessarily ha!e to trigger on the signal %eing measured/
$e!eral sources can trigger the sweep1
Any input channel
An e-ternal source. other than the signal applied to an input channel
The power source signal
A signal internally generated %y the oscilloscope
Most o the time you can lea!e the oscilloscope set to trigger on the channel displayed/
,ote that the oscilloscope can use an alternate trigger source whether displayed or not/ $o
you ha!e to %e careul not to unwittingly trigger on. or e-ample. channel 6 while
displaying channel 8/
Trigger Modes
The trigger mode determines whether or not the oscilloscope draws a wa!eorm i it does
not detect a trigger/ Common trigger modes include normal and auto/
In normal mode the oscilloscope only sweeps i the input signal reaches the set trigger
point; otherwise 2on an analog oscilloscope3 the screen is %lank or 2on a digital
oscilloscope3 ro'en on the last ac(uired wa!eorm/ ,ormal mode can %e disorienting
since you may not see the signal at irst i the le!el control is not adAusted correctly/
Auto mode causes the oscilloscope to sweep. e!en without a trigger/ I no signal is
present. a timer in the oscilloscope triggers the sweep/ This ensures that the display will
not disappear i the signal drops to small !oltages/ It is also the %est mode to use i you
are looking at many signals and do not want to %other setting the trigger each time/
In practice. you will pro%a%ly use %oth modes1 normal mode %ecause it is more !ersatile
and auto mode %ecause it re(uires less adAustment/
$ome oscilloscopes also include special modes or single sweeps. triggering on !ideo
signals. or automatically setting the trigger le!el/
Trigger Coupling
Just as you can select either AC or DC coupling or the !ertical system. you can choose
the kind o coupling or the trigger signal/
Fesides AC and DC coupling. your oscilloscope may also ha!e high re(uency reAection.
low re(uency reAection. and noise reAection trigger coupling/ These special settings are
useul or eliminating noise rom the trigger signal to pre!ent alse triggering/
Trigger 1oldo!!
$ometimes getting an oscilloscope to trigger on the correct part o a signal re(uires great
skill/ Many oscilloscopes ha!e special eatures to make this task easier/
Trigger holdoff is an adAusta%le period o time during which the oscilloscope cannot
trigger/ This eature is useul when you are triggering on comple- wa!eorm shapes. so
that the oscilloscope only triggers on the irst eligi%le trigger point/ )igure D shows how
using trigger holdo helps create a usa%le display/
Figure :: Trigger 1oldo!!
&cquisition Controls !or "igital Oscilloscopes
Digital oscilloscopes ha!e settings that let you control how the ac(uisition system
processes a signal/ Eook o!er the ac(uisition options on your digital oscilloscope while
you read this description/ )igure 6? shows you an e-ample o an ac(uisition menu/
Figure 1,: <Bample o! an &cquisition Menu
&cquisition Modes
Ac(uisition modes control how wa!eorm points are produced rom sample points/
*ecall rom the irst section that sample points are the digital !alues that come directly
out o the Analog0to0Digital0Con!erter 2ADC3/ The time %etween sample points is called
the sample inter!al/ Wa!eorm points are the digital !alues that are stored in memory and
displayed to orm the wa!eorm/ The time !alue dierence %etween wa!eorm points is
called the wa!eorm inter!al/ The sample inter!al and the wa!eorm inter!al may %e %ut
need not %e the same/ This act leads to the e-istence o se!eral dierent ac(uisition
modes in which one wa!eorm point is made up rom se!eral se(uentially ac(uired
sample points/ Additionally. wa!eorm points can %e created rom a composite o sample
points taken rom multiple ac(uisitions. which leads to another set o ac(uisition modes/
A description o the most commonly used ac(uisition modes ollows/
$ample Mode1 This is the simplest ac(uisition mode/ The oscilloscope creates a
wa!eorm point %y sa!ing one sample point during each wa!eorm inter!al/
"eak Detect Mode1 The oscilloscope sa!es the minimum and ma-imum !alue
sample points taken during two wa!eorm inter!als and uses these samples as the
two corresponding wa!eorm points/ Digital oscilloscopes with peak detect mode
run the ADC at a ast sample rate. e!en at !ery slow time %ase settings 2long
wa!eorm inter!al3. and are a%le to capture ast signal changes that would occur
%etween the wa!eorm points i in sample mode/ "eak detect mode is particularly
useul or seeing narrow pulses spaced ar apart in time/
Hi *es Mode1 Eike peak detect. hi res mode is a way o getting more inormation
in cases when the ADC can sample aster than the time %ase setting re(uires/ In
this case. multiple samples taken within one wa!eorm inter!al are a!eraged
together to produce one wa!eorm point/ The result is a decrease in noise and an
impro!ement in resolution or low speed signals/
:n!elope Mode1 :n!elope mode is similar to peak detect mode/ Howe!er. in
en!elope mode. the minimum and ma-imum wa!eorm points rom multiple
ac(uisitions are com%ined to orm a wa!eorm that shows min=ma- changes o!er
time/ "eak detect mode is usually used to ac(uire the records that are com%ined to
orm the en!elope wa!eorm/
A!erage Mode1 In a!erage mode. the oscilloscope sa!es one sample point during
each wa!eorm inter!al as in sample mode/ Howe!er. wa!eorm points rom
consecuti!e ac(uisitions are then a!eraged together to produce the inal displayed
wa!eorm/ A!erage mode reduces noise without loss o %andwidth %ut re(uires a
repeating signal/
Stopping and Starting the &cquisition System
One o the greatest ad!antages o digital oscilloscopes is their a%ility to store wa!eorms
or later !iewing/ To this end. there are usually one or more %uttons on the ront panel
that allow you to stop and start the ac(uisition system so you can analy'e wa!eorms at
your leisure/ Additionally. you may want the oscilloscope to automatically stop ac(uiring
ater one ac(uisition is complete or ater one set o records has %een turned into an
en!elope or a!erage wa!eorm/ This eature is commonly called single sweep or single
se(uence and its controls are usually ound either with the other ac(uisition controls or
with the trigger controls/
Sampling Methods
In digital oscilloscopes that can use either real0time sampling or e(ui!alent0time
sampling as descri%ed earlier. the ac(uisition controls will allow you to choose which one
to use or ac(uiring signals/ ,ote that this choice makes no dierence or slow time %ase
settings and only has an eect when the ADC cannot sample ast enough to ill the record
with wa!eorm points in one pass/
Other Controls
$o ar we ha!e descri%ed the %asic controls that a %eginner needs to know a%out/ Your
oscilloscope may ha!e other controls or !arious unctions/ $ome o these may include1
Measurement cursors
Keypads or mathematical operations or data entry
"rint capa%ilities
Interaces or connecting your oscilloscope to a computer

Measurement Techniques
This section teaches you %asic measurement techni(ues/ The two most %asic
measurements you can make are !oltage and time measurements/ Just a%out e!ery other
measurement is %ased on one o these two undamental techni(ues/
This section discusses methods or taking measurements !isually with the oscilloscope
screen/ Many digital oscilloscopes ha!e internal sotware that will take these
measurements automatically/ Knowing how to take the measurements manually will help
you understand and check the automatic measurements o the digital oscilloscopes/
The "isplay
Take a look at the oscilloscope display/ ,otice the grid markings on the screen 0 these
markings create the graticule/ :ach !ertical and hori'ontal line constitutes a ma$or
division/ The graticule is usually laid out in an C0%y06? di!ision pattern/ Ea%eling on the
oscilloscope controls 2such as !olts=di! and sec=di!3 always reers to maAor di!isions/ The
tick marks on the center hori'ontal and !ertical graticule lines 2see )igure 63 are called
minor di!isions/
Many oscilloscopes display on the screen how many !olts each !ertical di!ision
represents and how many seconds each hori'ontal di!ision represents/ Many
oscilloscopes also ha!e ?I. 6?I. D?I. and 6??I markings on the graticule 2see )igure
63 to help make rise time measurements. descri%ed later.
Figure 1: &n Oscilloscope /raticule
=oltage Measurements
&oltage is the amount o electric potential. e-pressed in !olts. %etween two points in a
circuit/ Bsually one o these points is ground 2'ero !olts3 %ut not always/ &oltages can
also %e measured rom peak0to0peak 0 rom the ma-imum point o a signal to its
minimum point/ You must %e careul to speciy which !oltage you mean/
The oscilloscope is primarily a !oltage0measuring de!ice/ Once you ha!e measured the
!oltage. other (uantities are Aust a calculation away/ )or e-ample. Ohm+s law states that
!oltage %etween two points in a circuit e(uals the current times the resistance/ )rom any
two o these (uantities you can calculate the third/ Another handy ormula is the power
law1 the power o a DC signal e(uals the !oltage times the current/ Calculations are more
complicated or AC signals. %ut the point here is that measuring the !oltage is the irst
step towards calculating other (uantities/
)igure 8 shows the !oltage o one peak 0 &LpM 0 and the peak0to0peak !oltage 0 &Lp0pM 0.
which is usually twice &LpM/ Bse the *M$ 2root0mean0s(uare3 !oltage 0 &L*M$M 0 to
calculate the power o an AC signal/
Figure %: =oltage *ea3 and *ea39to9pea3 =oltage
You take !oltage measurements %y counting the num%er o di!isions a wa!eorm spans
on the oscilloscope+s !ertical scale/ AdAusting the signal to co!er most o the screen
!ertically. then taking the measurement along the center !ertical graticule line ha!ing the
smaller di!isions. makes or the %est !oltage measurements/ The more screen area you
use. the more accurately you can read rom the screen/
Figure +: Measure =oltage on the Center =ertical /raticule ;ine
Many oscilloscopes ha!e on0screen cursors that let you take wa!eorm measurements
automatically on0screen. without ha!ing to count graticule marks/ Fasically. cursors are
two hori'ontal lines or !oltage measurements and two !ertical lines or time
measurements that you can mo!e around the screen/ A readout shows the !oltage or time
at their positions/
Time and Frequency Measurements
You take time measurements using the hori'ontal scale o the oscilloscope/ Time
measurements include measuring the period. pulse width. and timing o pulses/
)re(uency is the reciprocal o the period. so once you know the period. the re(uency is
one di!ided %y the period/ Eike !oltage measurements. time measurements are more
accurate when you adAust the portion o the signal to %e measured to co!er a large area o
the screen/ Taking time measurement along the center hori'ontal graticule line. ha!ing
smaller di!isions. makes or the %est time measurements/ 2$ee )igure G/3
Figure ': Measure Time on the Center 1ori6ontal /raticule ;ine
*ulse and 7ise Time Measurements
In many applications. the details o a pulse+s shape are important/ "ulses can %ecome
distorted and cause a digital circuit to malunction. and the timing o pulses in a pulse
train is oten signiicant/
$tandard pulse measurements are pulse width and pulse rise time/ *ise time is the amount
o time a pulse takes to go rom the low to high !oltage/ Fy con!ention. the rise time is
measured rom 6?I to D?I o the ull !oltage o the pulse/ This eliminates any
irregularities at the pulse+s transition corners/ This also e-plains why most oscilloscopes
ha!e 6?I and D?I markings on their screen/ "ulse width is the amount o time the pulse
takes to go rom low to high and %ack to low again/ Fy con!ention. the pulse width is
measured at >?I o ull !oltage/ $ee )igure > or these measurement points/
Figure ): 7ise Time and *ulse #idth Measurement *oints
"ulse measurements oten re(uire ine0tuning the triggering/ To %ecome an e-pert at
capturing pulses. you should learn how to use trigger holdo and how to set the digital
oscilloscope to capture pretrigger data. as descri%ed earlier in the Controls section/
Hori'ontal magniication is another useul eature or measuring pulses. since it allows
you to see ine details o a ast pulse/
*hase Shi!t Measurements
The hori'ontal control section may ha!e an 4Y mode that lets you display an input signal
rather than the time %ase on the hori'ontal a-is/ 2On some digital oscilloscopes this is a
display mode setting/3 This mode o operation opens up a whole new area o phase shit
measurement techni(ues/
The phase o a wa!e is the amount o time that passes rom the %eginning o a cycle to
the %eginning o the ne-t cycle. measured in degrees/ "hase shit descri%es the dierence
in timing %etween two otherwise identical periodic signals/
One method or measuring phase shit is to use 4Y mode/ This in!ol!es inputting one
signal into the !ertical system as usual and then another signal into the hori'ontal system/
2This method only works i %oth signals are sine wa!es/3 This set up is called an 4Y
measurement %ecause %oth the 4 and Y a-is are tracing !oltages/ The wa!eorm resulting
rom this arrangement is called a EissaAous pattern 2named or )rench physicist Jules
Antoine EissaAous and pronounced E::0sa0'hoo3/ )rom the shape o the EissaAous
pattern. you can tell the phase dierence %etween the two signals/ You can also tell their
re(uency ratio/ )igure < shows EissaAous patterns or !arious re(uency ratios and phase
shits/
Figure (: ;issaCous *atterns
#hatDs AeBt.
This section has co!ered %asic measurement techni(ues/ Other measurement techni(ues
in!ol!e setting up the oscilloscope to test electrical components on an assem%ly line.
su%tracting noise rom a signal. capturing elusi!e transient signals. and many others that
would take too much room to list/ The measurement techni(ues you will use depend on
your application. %ut you ha!e learned enough to get started/ "ractice using your
oscilloscope and read more a%out it/ $oon its operation will %e second nature to you/