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The cathode ray oscilloscope (CRO) provides a visual presentation of any waveform applied to the input terminal. The oscilloscope consists of the following major subsystems. • Cathode-ray tube(CRT) • Vertical amplifier • Horizontal amplifier • Sweep Generator • Trigger circuit • Associated power supply It can be employed to measure such quantities as peak voltage, frequency, phase difference, pulse width, delay time, rise time and fall time. 3.1.1 Basic Operation of Oscilloscope
Figure 1: Block diagram of a basic cathode-ray oscilloscope
Sweep Generator – develop a voltage at the horizontal deflection plate that increase linearly with time 2 . except in low-cost oscilloscopes with a free-running sweep generator. causes the beam to be deflected equal distance horizontally per unit of time. generalpurpose oscilloscopes. The purpose of the sweep generator is to develop a voltage at the horizontal deflection plate that increase linearly with time. A signal to be displayed on the CRT screen is applied to the vertical input terminal where it is fed into the vertical amplifier. In inexpensive. called ramp voltage or a saw tooth waveform. for phase-shift measurements or to determine the frequency of a signal. The input signal to the horizontal amplifier depends on the position to which S2 is set. When the instrument is used in the X-Y mode. the output of the vertical amplifier is connected to the internal sync position of switch S1. Vertical Amplifier – amplify the signal at its input prior to the signal being applied to the vertical deflection plates Horizontal Amplifier – amplify the signal at its input prior to the signal being applied to the horizontal deflection plates. In normal operation of the oscilloscope. the left horizontal deflection plate (looking toward the screen) and the lower vertical deflection plate are sometimes connected to ground. There are amplifier sections for both vertical and horizontal deflection of the beam. This signal triggers the sweep generator.The basic parts of CRO are shown in Figure 1. The horizontal amplifier serves to amplify the signal at its input prior to the signal being applied to the horizontal deflection plates. which cause the beam to be deflected in the vertical plane. As can be seen in Figure 1. The signal is amplified and applied to the vertical deflection plate. The beam is deflected upward and to the right by signals applied to the upper vertical deflection plate or to the right horizontal deflection plate. the switch is set to internal sweep. This linearly increasing voltage. the output of the vertical amplifier is applied to the sweep generator. the signal that is applied to the horizontal input terminal is amplified by the horizontal amplifier. as it is for normal operation of the oscilloscope. With the switch set to internal sync. Amplifier circuits are needed to increase the input signal to the voltage levels required to operate the tube because the signals measured using CRO are typically small.
they are focused into a tight beam and accelerated to a higher velocity by focusing and accelerating anodes. Focusing and accelerating elements to produce a well define beam of electrons. which has a negative potential. The CRT is the heart of the CRO providing visual display of an input signal waveform. 2. A CRT contains four basic parts: 1. An electron gun to provide a stream of electrons. Basic Operation of CRT Figure 2: Basic construction of CRT Figure 2 shows the basic construction of CRT. A cathode containing an oxide coating is heated indirectly by a filament resulting in the release of electrons from the cathode surface. The high velocity and well-defined electron beam then passed through two sets of deflection plates. 3.1. Once the electron passed the control grid. 4. An evacuated glass envelope with a phosphorescent screen which glows visibly when struck by electron beam.3.2 Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) A cathode ray tube (CRT) much like a television tube provides the visual display showing the form of signal applied as a waveform on the front screen. 3 . The control grid. controls the electron flows from the cathode and thus controls the number of electron directed to the screen. Horizontal and vertical deflecting plates to control the path of the electron beam.
control grid. and an electric field between the second pair deflects them vertically. and accelerating anode An electric field between the first pair of plates deflects the electrons horizontally. The deflected beam is then further accelerated by very high voltages applied to the tube with the beam finally striking a phosphorescent material on the inside face of the tube. The electron beam is also being deflected horizontally a voltage applied to the horizontal deflection plates. Click on the small diagram of each control to return to the image map. where they produce a bright spot. Some controls are more useful than others and one or two are rarely if ever used in an introductory electronics course. focusing anode. The phosphor glows when struck by the energetic electrons – the visible glow will be seen continue to emit light for a period of time after the source of excitation is removed. ensures that electrons leaving the cathode in slightly different directions are focused down to a narrow beam and all arrive at the same spot on the screen cathode.The first set of plates is oriented to deflect the electron beam vertically. oscilloscope controls The diagram below is a clickable image map of the Hameg HM 203-6 oscilloscope. Control Grid Focusing anode Electron gun Deflecting plates Regulates the number of electrons that reach the anode and hence the brightness of the spot on the screen. 4 . The tube sensitivity to deflecting voltages can be expressed in two ways that are deflection factor and deflection sensitivity. Click on any control to discover its function. The angle of the vertical deflection is determined by the voltage polarity applied to the deflection plates. the electrons travel in a straight line from the hole in the accelerating anode to the center of the screen. If no deflecting fields are present.
This allows the oscilloscope to be used to display a V/V voltage/voltage graph.Figure 3: Basic construction of CRO . the oscilloscope does not display a V/t graph. . Instead. The scales of both axes can be changed to display a huge variety of signals. The green LED illuminates. the vertical axis is controlled by the input signal to CH II. X-Y control: normally in the OUT position. screen: usually displays a V/t graph. The X-Y control is used when you want to display component characteristic curves.When the X-Y button is pressed IN. with voltage V on the vertical axis and time t on the horizontal axis. (Links to these topics will be added later. on/off switch: pushed in to switch the oscilloscope on.) 5 . or Lissajous figures. .
. corresponding to UK mains frequency.button gives triggering on the upward slope of the signal waveform in the OUT position. triggering occurs from a signal connected to the trigger input. When it is pushed IN. trigger controls: This group of controls allows the oscilloscope display to be synchronised with the signal you want to investigate. As you adjust the LEVEL control. socket. TV-separation: Oscilloscopes are often used to investigate waveforms inside television systems. the display starts from a different point on the signal waveform. When the AT/NORM button is in the OUT position. triggering is automatic. The slide switch to the left of TIME/DIV gives additional triggering options. LF gives triggering for low frequency components and indicates that triggering will occur at 50 Hz. If you change the AT/NORM button to its IN position. This makes it possible for you to look in detail at any particular part of the waveform. the display will be reinstated. and triggering on the downward slope in the IN position. The +/. The green TRIG LED illuminates when a trigger point is detected. the most likely result is that the signal will disappear and the oscilloscope screen will be blank. This control allows the display to be synchronised with the televsion system so that the signals from different points can be compared. TIME / DIV: Allows the horizontal scale of the V/t graph to be changed. TRIG INP. if you now adjust the LEVEL control. You are not likely to need any of these slide switch positions. you use the LEVEL control to select a particular DC voltage on the signal waveform where triggering will occur. HF gives triggering in response to high frequency parts of the signal. AC is the normal postion and is suitable for most waveforms. The EXT button should normally be in its OUT position.. In the DC position. . However. This works for most signals. 6 .
With more experience of using the oscilloscope.1 ms per division. the scale is changed to 0.This is useful when you want to use the grid in front of the screen to make measurements. X-POS: Allows the whole V/t graph to be moved from side to side on the oscilloscope screen. you will develop a clear understanding of the functions of the important trigger controls and be able to use them effectively. to measure the period of a waveform. Normally.2 V peak to peak square wave.The signals from these outputs are used to confirm that the oscilloscope is correctly calibrated. . . the horizontal scale of the V/t graph is increased by 10 times. as illustrated. with the component tester voltage connected internally to provide the horizontal axis.If required. The FOCUS should be set to produce a bright clear trace. you will want to leave the HOLD OFF control in its minimum position. CAL outputs: The top terminal gives a 0. For example. . 7 . X-MAG: In the IN position. while the lower terminal gives a 2 V peak to peak square wave.The HOLD OFF control allows you to introduce a delay relative to the trigger point so that a different part of the signal can be seen. TR can be adjusted using a small screwdriver so that the oscilloscope trace is exactly horizontal when no signal is connected. . if TIME/DIV is set for 1 ms per division and X-MAG is pushed IN. . To get normal V/t graph operation the component tester button must be in the OUT position. component tester: The output socket provides a changing voltage which allows component characteristic curves to be displayed on the oscilloscope screen. for example. When the button is IN. intensity and focus: Adjusting the INTENSITY control changes the brightness of the oscilloscope display. the oscilloscope displays a V/V graph. both at 50 Hz.
This feature is sometimes useful when comparing signals. The DC position of these switches is correct for most signals. . In the AC position.. on the oscilloscope screen. the corresponding signal is turned upside down. For a pulse waveform. . it is more useful to have 0 V close to the bottom of the screen. a capacitor is connected into the signal pathway so that DC voltages are blocked and only changing AC signals are displayed. CH I or CH II. or inverted. GROUND or EARTH connection. Y-POS I and Y-POS II: These controls allow the corresponding trace to be moved up or down. invert: When the INVERT button is pressed IN.The smaller socket next to the BNC input socket provides an additional 0 V.To investigate an alternating signal. the signal input is connected directly to the Y-amplifier of the corresponding channel. you adjust Y-POS so that the 0 V level is close to the centre of the screen. DC/AC/GND slide switches: In the DC position. 8 . CH I and CH II inputs: Signals are connected to the BNC input sockets using BNC plugs. trace selection switches: The settings of these switches control which traces appear on the oscilloscope screen. Y-POS I and Y-POS II allow the 0 V levels of the two traces to be adjusted independently. VOLTS / DIV: Adjust the vertical scale of the V/t graph. In the GND position. The vertical scales for CH I and CH II can be adjusted independently. . . . the input of the Y-amplfier is connected to 0 V. This allows you to check the position of 0 V on the oscilloscope screen. changing the position representing 0 V on the oscilloscope screen.
For normal operation. Experience with the oscilloscope will help you to decide which setting is best for a particular application. triggering from CH I CH I and CH II signals added together to produce a single trace.1. 3. triggering from CH I CH I and CH II displayed on alternate sweeps. triggering from CH II CH I and CH II displayed simultaneously. it forms a vector pattern that allows us to discern the relationship between the two signals. triggering from CH II Settings highlighted in yellow are used frequently. triggering from CH II CH I and CH II displayed on alternate sweeps. 9 . Such diagram are called Lissajous pattern.The effects of different settings are summarised in the table: CH I/II OUT IN OUT IN OUT IN OUT IN DUAL OUT OUT IN IN OUT OUT IN IN ADD OUT OUT OUT OUT IN IN IN IN effect of setting only CH I displayed. all three buttons are in the OUT position. triggering from CH I CH I and CH II displayed simultaneously. triggering from CH II CH I and CH II signals added together to produce a single trace. triggering from CH I only CH II displayed.2 Lissajou Patterns (a) Frequency measurement If we apply input signal to both horizontal and vertical deflection plates of x-y oscilloscope and time base generator is disconnected.
FY number of times tangent t ouch top or bottom = Fx number of times tangent t ouch other side number of horizontal tangencie s number of vertical tangencie s number of positive peaks or = number of right hand side peaks = where FY = frequency of signal applied to Y-plates (vertical) FX = frequency of signal applied to X-plates (horizontal) Horizontal tangencies tangent tangent Vertical tangent 2:1 3:1 1:3 Figure 7 Lissajou patterns with different frequency ratios Figure 8: Lissajou Pattern 10 .
Figure 8: Lissajous patterns for selected phase angle Y1 Y2 X1 X2 Figure 8: Determination of angle of phase shift The phase angle: sin θ = Y1 X 1 = Y2 X 2 where: θ y1 y2 = phase angle in degrees = Y-axis intercept = maximum vertical deflection Result :.we have studied the cathode ray oscilloscope & its functions . 11 .
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