## How To Use An Oscilloscope

Before using an oscilloscope, it should be understood that it is meant for presenting voltages from a signal. Sometimes it can also be used for showing qualities convertible to a voltage.

Operating an Oscilloscope

For operating an oscilloscope, the lead from the electrical source has to be joined input terminals of the oscilloscope. In case of several input terminals, the signal should be linked to channel 1. Now the oscilloscope can be turned on.

Then, select the appropriate scale, it is represented by the horizontal length on the device. For 1000 Hz, the signal will be repeated thousand times per second. If the entire signal is desired to be seen, then the oscilloscope has to be configured so that the millisecond data is shown.

Selecting the Range

Before beginning to use the oscilloscope, select the range that corresponds to your input signal. It should be kept in mind that range refers to the maximum and minimum voltages that can be shown by the apparatus. For example, if the input signals between +1 and -1 volts, the range has to be set at 1 volt.

Setting the Threshold

For making the oscilloscope work, the receiving signal has to be greater than the threshold. If the volt of the signal is -1 then place the threshold trigger to ½ volt at channel1.

Monitoring the Signal

A dot in the service will be seen moving up and down. The height of the signal shows the range of the voltage. The time required to repeat the signal is also its frequency.

Bandwidth Specifications

Before an oscilloscope is bought and used, the bandwidth specifications have to be understood. It refers to the frequency of -3 dB point of sine wave which also refers to the amplitude.

If the sine wave frequency increases, the measured amplitude will decrease. If the amplitude is -3 dB lower, it is the bandwidth of the oscilloscope.

An oscilloscope of 10 MHz will gauge a 1Vpp or a sine wave of 100 MHz at 0.7Vpp. This results in error of 30%. To prevent problems, an oscilloscope of 300 MHz should be acquired if 100 MHz is desired to be measured. Using an oscilloscope of 500 MHz is recommended if MHz is 300.

Sine Waves and Square Waves

Nowadays, sine waves also have elements of square waves. Fir instance, 10 MHz square wave is created by 10 MHz sine wave, 30 MHz, 50 MHz etc. The bandwidth should be at least 9th harmonic for square waves.

If square wave rise and falls are concerned then these have to be remembered. For bandwidths more than 2.5 GHz, it is 0.40/BW. If over 8 GHz, then 0.42/BW will be recommended. Another thing is the repetition rate which should be looked for. As a standard, acquire the scope that has the highest repetition rate.

The memory needs also have to be assessed. This will affect the use of the scope. The sample is 200ps at 5Gsa/s. Sample speed is also very important. As selection of channels is concerned, they can be chosen from 2 channels and 4 channels. There are 4 channels in scopes which are over 1 GHz.

It can be clearly seen that there are many things to be considered before using an oscilloscope. All the relevant facts have to be checked for making the right decisions.

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