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UNIT – 4


As we know that the function of voltmeter is to measure the voltage/potential difference between two
points. The digital voltmeter displays the measured AC or DC voltage in form of digits.

Any digital voltmeter is capable of measuring Analog DC voltage. But if we use proper signal
conditioning preceding the input of DVM, quantities such as ac voltage can also be measured.
So main thing we should remember is that it can measure basically Analog DC voltage. So if other
quantities have to be measured we will have to take help of signal conditioners to convert these
quantities into proportional Analog DC voltage.

The basic block diagram of DVM is given below.

1. The signal preparation/conditioner modifies the I/P signal’s amplitude according to
requirement. Here large amplitude signal will be attenuated and small amplitude signal will be
2. The ADC/ Analog to digital converter convert the Analog signal into corresponding digital
signal. (Basically it converts Analog signal into proportional clock pulses.
3. The counter counts the clock pulses
4. The read out can calibrate the reading of counter and result can be displayed.

Advantages of digital voltmeters:

1 .Due to digital display reading errors are reduced.
2. High input range.
3. High accuracy upto 0.005% of reading.
4. High resolution.
5. High input impedance as 10Mega Ohm
6 .The reading speed is high.
7. Due to development in IC technology their cost is reduced so much.
8. Well suited for computerised control.

There are several types of DVM based on type of Analog to digital converter.



Oscillator: It generates the clock pulses. Ground Comparator: It compares the ramp signal with the ground signal and when the ramp voltage becomes equal to ground or zero then it generates a stop pulse to close the gate. Ranging and Attenuator: This unit brings the input in desired range and attenuate the high amplitude signal to protect the proceeding circuit from damage: Ramp Generator: It generates a negative going Ramp signal. . Gate: It passes the pulses sent by the oscillator to counter when it is open and blocks the pulses when it is closed. The operating principle of this voltmeter is based on the time a linear RAMP voltage takes to rise from the 0 volt to the level of I/P voltage or to decrease from level of I/P voltage to 0 volt. Counter: It counts the pulses received and gives its output to read out.As its name implies it uses a RAMP technique to convert the Analog signal into Digital signal. Input Comparator: It compares the ramp signal with the input voltage and when the ramp voltage becomes equal to input voltage then it generates a start pulse to open the gate. .

DIGITAL MULTIMETER : As its name implies it can measure multiple quantities. Now remember that the number of clock pulses passed through the gate is dependent on the duration in which gate was open. b) It provides an initiating pulse for ramp generator to start the next ramp. 3. hence the the input comparator will not generate start pulse and gate will remain closed. (Large time the gate is open means more clock pulses and smaller time means less clock pulses). 4. 5.Readout: It calibrates the reading of counter and gives the result on display. hence the ground comparator generates a stop pulse which closes the gate. Now when the gate is open the clock pulses generated by the oscillator are passed to the counter. It can measure AC and DC voltages. The basic circuit of digital multimeter is basically a digital voltmeter. 8. the value of Ramp becomes equal to 0 or ground. Sample rate multivibrator: It does two works: a) It resets the counter whenever next reading has to be taken. 9. 7.e. At 2nd Coincidence. The clock pulses passed through the gate are counted by a counter. i. 1. Currents and Resistance etc and gives the result in form of digits. which in turn is dependent on magnitude of I/P voltage. Before the 1st co-incidence. Now the gate is closed and further clock pulses can not pass through gate. which opens the gate. 2. DC Voltage: DC voltage can be directly measured after desired attenuation. the time interval between 1 st co-incidence and 2nd co-incidence. The decimal number indicated by read out is measure of magnitude of I/P voltage. Before the 2nd Coincidence the value of ramp signal is more than 0V hence the ground comparator will not generate stop pulse and gate will remain open. the value of Ramp signal is higher than input voltage. . At 1st co-incidence. the ramp voltage becomes equal to I/P voltage and input comparator generates a start pulse. Working: 1. So all quantities other than DC voltage are first converted into equivalent DC voltage. 6.

Analog to Digital Converter: The ADC/ Analog to digital converter convert the Analog signal into corresponding digital signal. depending upon the range is passed through the resistance to be measured and the voltage developed across it is measured. hence no loading effect. 3. CATHODE RAY OSCILLOSCOPE (C. High accuracy. By help of it we can measure voltage. Counter: The counter counts the clock pulses Read Out: The read out can calibrate the reading of counter and result can be displayed. The block diagram of general purpose CRO is given below. (Basically it converts Analog signal into proportional clock pulses. 4. Then i/p voltage is converted into DC voltage by means of a rectifier. ADVANTAGES OF DIGITAL MULTIMETER 1. frequency. 5. They are very small in size. 2. Resistance: For measurement of resistance. Reading error is reduced due to digital display. a current to voltage converter is used OR the current to be measured is passed through a known resistance and voltage across it is measured. 3. AC Voltage: For measurement of AC voltage first a compensating attenuator is employed. High input impedance. Current: For measurement of current.R. current.O): (Explain the working of CRO with the help of block diagram) The CRO is versatile laboratory equipment which is used for the study of waveforms. The value of current is displayed in mili-ampere. For it. a known constant current. 2. For it. we need to convert the resistance into proportional dc voltage. phase difference etc. . The output is electrical hence can be used for interfacing with external equipments. 4. The resistance value is displayed in OHMS. we need to convert the current into proportional dc voltage.

It includes: 1. . It generates the electron beam. PRE-ACCELEARTING ANODE: Its function is to accelerate the electron beam. The attenuator is used when very high voltage signals are to be examined. E) GLASS BODY AND BASE: The whole assembly is protected in a conical highly evacuated glass housing. FOCUSING ANODE: It focuses the electron beam. HEATER: It heats the cathode. when heated. The vertical amplifier is used to amplify the input signal. Its function is to accelerate the electron beam after passing through deflection plates and to collect the electrons produced by secondary emissions. accelerates the beam to high velocity. When electron beam strikes the CRT screen. VERTICAL AMPLIFIER: The input signal to be studied is applied to vertical amplifier. 2. 5. B) VERTICAL DEFLECTION PLATES(Y PLATES): These plates deflect the electron beam in vertical or Y direction. C) HORIZONTAL DEFLECTION PLATES(X PLATES): These plates deflect the electron beam in horizontal or X direction. which is the heart of CRO. GRID: The intensity of electrons is controlled by grid. ACCLERATING ANODE: It again accelerates the electron beam. It consists of: A) Electron gun: Its function is to provide a focused electron beam which is accelerated towards the screen of CRO. D) SCREEN OF CRT: The screen of CRO is coated with phosphor. 3.It consists of following components: CRT: The CRO employs a CRT (cathode ray tube). deflects the beam to create the image and contains a phosphor screen where electron beam eventually becomes visible. 4. a spot of light is produced on screen of CRO. The inner walls of CRT are coated with a conducting material known as AQUADAG. CATHODE: It emits plenty of electrons. 6.

This is called as fluorescence characteristics of material. Note: For Short Questions: There are some materials which emits light when exposed to radiation. zinc sulphide with other materials giving the white light suitable for TV. APPLICATIONS OF CRO: 1 MEASUREMENT OF VOLTAGE 2. When electron beam strikes the CRT screen. Vm = Amplitude = Vp  p 2 5. The end wall of CRT.m. To ensure that signals at vertical and horizontal deflection plates reach simultaneously a delay line is used. Now peak to peak value of voltage is given by V p-p = (Number of divisions noted) x (Volts/Division) The answer will be in volts. . The amplitude can be calculated as.DELAY LINE: It is used to delay the input signal. TRIGGER CIRCUIT: It generates a trigger pulse when the input signal is applied. 2. MEASUREMENT OF TIME PERIOD 4. The length of time during which phosphorescence occur is called the persistence of phosphor.s. 4. value can be obtained as. is coated with phosphor. Note down the peak to peak value in terms of number of divisions on screen. MEASUREMET OF FREQUENCY 5. These materials continue to emit light even after radiation is cut off. 3. It is used to provide synchronization between input signal and horizontal deflection circuitry or we can say that it is used to provide synchronize the horizontal deflection with vertical deflection. called screen. This is known as phosphorescence. MEASUREMENT OF CURRENT 3. TIME BASE GENERATOR: It generates the SAWTOOTH waveform when trigger pulse is applied to its input. MEASUREMENT OF PHASE DIFFERENCE VOLTAGE MEASUREMENT: The voltage to be measured is applied to vertical deflection plates. Among the fluorescent materials used are zinc orthosilicate giving the green trace. HORIZONTAL AMPLIFIER: It is used to amplify the SAWTOOTH waveform. a spot of light is produced on screen of CRO. To measure the amplitude of the signal following steps are carried out: 1. Note down the selection of deflection sensitivity in Volts/Division from the panel. The r.

This measured voltage is divided by known resistance to give the value of unknown current. Vm VRMS = 2 CURRENT MEASUREMENT: The C. The voltage across the resistance is displayed on CRO and is measured. the current is passed through a known resistance.One of the signals is fed to the Y plates. The time period is calculated as follows: LISSAJOUS FIGURE/PATTERN: These patterns (named in the honor of French scientist who first obtained them geometrically and optically) are formed when two sine waves are applied simultaneously to the vertical and horizontal deflecting plates of CRO. V Then I = R TIME PERIOD AND FREQUENCY MEASUREMENT: In order to the measure the time period. the input signal is applied on the Y plates and the sweep signal (which is mostly internal) and the time/div setting of the CRO is so adjusted that one completer cycle of the input signal is visible on the screen.R. . PHASE ANGLE MEASUREMENT USING LISSAJOUS FIGURES: An oscilloscope can be used to find the phase angle between two sinusoidal quantities of the same frequency .O is basically a voltage indicating device. The time based generator is switched out and the second signal is fed to the X plates. Hence to measure the current.

The horizontal signal is represented as fH and the vertical signal as fV. This known frequency is adjusted till we get a stationary pattern on screen of C. We can use the following formula to calculate unknown frequency.O. . major axis lies in 2nd and 4th quadrant then the phase difference is given by MEASUREMENT OF FREQUENCY USING LISSAJOUS FIGURE: In this method the unknown frequency signal is applied to vertical or Y deflection plates and a known but variable frequency signal is applied simultaneously to horizontal or X plates.e.e major axis lies in 1 st and 3rd quadrant then phase difference is given by And for figure (b) i.R.Now for the figure (a) i.

signals are received. Data acquisition 2. In digital storage oscilloscope. stored in a digital memory and retrieved for display on the storage oscilloscope. stored and then displayed. Storage 3.5) The fig. . Digitized waveform can be analyzed by oscilloscope or by reading the contents of the memory into the computer. In DSO. It consists of.(fv/fh) = (1/1) (fv/fh) = (2/1) (fv/fh) = (1/2. Data display. 1. below shows various typical Lissajous patterns for sinusoidal frequencies. Digital Storage Oscilloscope (DSO): A digital oscilloscope is an instrument which stores a digital copy of the waveform in the digital memory which it analyses further using digital signal processing techniques. Block Diagram of DSO: Figure shows the block diagram of DSO. The stored display can be displayed continuously as long as the power is applied to the memory which can be supplied from a small battery. the waveform to be stored is digitized.

When memory is full. The stored signal is rolled slowly from right to left across the screen. the memory data is converted to analog and then displayed on the screen. the next data from ADC is stored in the first memory location writing over the old data and so on for successive data. In display operation. When the trigger pulse is obtained. Using Digital to analog converter. The digital data is transferred to the memory. 2) Store or Refresh Mode: This is most commonly used mode. Modes of Operation: DSO has three modes of operation. two DACs are used which gives horizontal and vertical deflection voltages for the CRT. the system stops acquiring data further and enters the display mode in which all or part of the memory data is repetitively displayed on cathode ray tube. The control circuits make sure that successive data points are stored in successive memory locations by continually updating the memory’s Address counter. If it is required to retain a particular signal in the memory. When a new sweep signal from time base circuit is received. the write cycle stops. The fast varying signal is displayed as if it is changing slowly. 1)Roll Mode: This mode is used to display very fast varying signal. When memory is full. clearly on the screen. the memory write cycle is initiated. Data acquisition portion of the system consist of a Sample-and-Hold (S/H) circuit and an analog to digital converter (ADC) which continuously samples and digitizes the input signal at a rate determined by the sample clock and transmit the digitized data to memory for storage. then the new contents are over written on the old contents. then overwriting should be stopped. The data acquisition and storage process continues until the control circuits receive a trigger signal from either the input signal or external trigger source. while the time base counter gives the horizontal deflection in the form of staircase sweep signal. In this mode input signal is not triggered at all. on the screen. This is .The Overall operation is controlled and synchronized by control circuits. 3) Hold or Save Mode: The modern DSO operates on automatic refresh system. which usually have microprocessor. When triggering occurs. Data from the memory gives the vertical deflection of the electron beam.

3. Note: The sampling rate is decided by Nyquist criterion which is fS ≥ 2fm. c) Focus: It controls the sharpness of the spot. B. Basic Controls: a) ON-OFF: It is used to turn ON and OFF the CRO. When this button is pressed then the previously saved signal is locked. Vertical section: Most oscilloscopes have two vertical inputs.obtained by using the HOLD or SAVE button. Z axis intensity control A. 5. DC or ground. 6. . The two input signals can be applied to these two inputs and thereby both the signals can be observed on the screen simultaneously. b) Intensity: This controls the intensity or brightness of the light produced by beam spot. It can be AC. Here the sampling frequency is fs and fm is the maximum frequency of Input. 4. Invert: It inverts the input signal. X 10: It makes the gain of the vertical amplifier 10 times as great as normal. b) 2 Only: Only the signal at input 2 is displayed. Position: With the help of it we can shift the pattern on the screen of cro. Volts/Division: This control sets the vertical scale. Basic controls 2. Horizontal Section 4. Comparison of DSO with Analog Oscilloscope: Front Panel of CRO: There are various control buttons on front panel of CRO which are categorized in following groups: 1. It determines how much the spot will be deflected by an input signals. 1. There are various options: a) 1 Only: Only the signal at input 1 is displayed. Vertical Mode Control: Assume that two input signals are applied simultaneously to the two vertical inputs of the scope. 2. vertically upwards or downwards. The following controls serve for each vertical input. Vertical coupling: This switch controls the coupling to the vertical amplifier. These are usually called inputs 1 and 2 or A and B. Vertical Section 3.

. There are various signals which can be applied to the trigger circuit: a) Internal: The trigger is obtained from the signal being measured through vertical amplifier. f) Chop: In this mode input 1 is displayed for a fraction of a microsecond. D. 2. e) Alternate: Input 1 is displayed first. c) 1 + 2: The sum of inputs 1 and 2 is displayed. synchronization is required. Z axis Intensity control: It is used for brightening the display. C. then input 2 is displayed. Time base control: It sets the time scale and usually calibrated in terms of Time/Division. Synchronization: To obtain the stationary pattern on the screen. then input 1 again and so on. then input 2 for fraction of microsecond. Horizontal section: 1. d) 1 – 2: The difference between inputs 1 and 2 is displayed. 50 Hz). then input 1 again and so on. 3. Position: This knob is used to shift the pattern on screen of CRO as a whole to left or right. c) External: The input to the trigger is from the external trigger circuit. b) Line: The input to the trigger is from ac mains (220 V.