What is an oscilloscope?
The term oscilloscope is the name for the electronic measuring instrument to display electrical signals at a certain time. These signals are shown in graphs where an electron beam passes through a coordinate axis on a phosphor screen. Amplitude is shown on the vertical axis, and time is shown on the horizontal axis. The image resulting from the measurement is known as an oscillogram.
What are an oscilloscope’s measurement criteria?
Every oscilloscope has commutators that make it easier to adjust the voltage and time range. It also has three regulating controls on the input signal to measure it and display it on the equipment screen:
- X-axis regulating control: the horizontal axis for measuring time, either in microseconds, milliseconds, or seconds.
- Y-axis regulating control: the vertical axis for measuring the voltage of the input signal, either in volts, millivolts, microvolts, etc.
- Trigger adjustment control: for synchronizing the waves that repeat periodically.
What types of oscilloscopes are there?
Although their working premise is similar, there are differences between the two types of oscilloscopes. Based on their visual displays, they are classified as:
- Analog: these have a cathode ray tube display, several vertical channels, one horizontal channel, a time-keeping base, and a trigger system. The voltage it measures is generated through a circuit whose frequency can be adjusted over a wide range of values, allowing it to be adapted to the frequency of the signal being measured.
While analog oscilloscopes have a CRT (cathode ray tube) display, digital types include much sharper, more powerful LED displays.
They work for simple tasks without difficulty, but this type of oscilloscope has a lower bandwidth. This is why it’s an increasingly obsolete instrument that’s being displaced by digital ones.
- Digital: this type stands out thanks to how easy it is to use; it can digitally display, decode, and save the input signal. This function is the product of the assignment of a binary code to the analog input signal, so the instrument has to have an analog-to-digital converter (ADC). Once the data is stored in the memory, the apparatus can perform the signal calculations.
What are the uses of an oscilloscope?
In addition to finding the amplitude of a voltage and its frequency, an oscilloscope can capture and differentiate the different alternating currents from the main one. In addition, it makes it possible to identify failures present in a signal.
An oscilloscope is commonly used in the field of electronics, but it can also be used to measure different phenomena that change over time, such as:
- The strength of a sound.
- The electrical activity of nerves.
- Breath rhythm or blood pressure.