Applications, Electronics & Scientific Guide, How To

What are the functions of an oscilloscope

Functions for operation and general display:

  • 1/2 Power On / Off: Typically the on / off switch of the unit. In most cases, there is a light (LED in modern oscilloscopes or a small neon tube in older models), which lights up when the light is on.
  • 3 Trace rotation: A slider for fine-tuning the horizontal track with the raster lines.
  • 4 Intensity: Adjusts the brightness of the electron beam on the screen. This can usually be brightened or dimmed using a rotary control. But be careful: dazzling settings can cause the electron beam to burn in the long term.
  • 5 Focus: Use this knob to adjust the sharpness of the electron beam.
  • 6 Cal (Calibration Point): This connector can be used to obtain a uniform square-wave signal with a stable voltage and frequency – the so-called calibration voltage. This is useful for correct settings, calibrations and, for example, for balancing feeler dividers.

Vertical functions:

    • 7 Position: This knob adjusts the position of the electron beam. This can be used to align the beam with the coordinate system.
    • 8 INV (English: invert): This switch is used to reverse the current channel by reversing the polarity of the signal input. In this case, the negative value of the voltage is indicated, and the electron beam image is ahead.
    • 9 Vertical Scaling Control: This slider (also known as the Volts / Div control) is used for vertical scaling. It adjusts the sensitivity of the vertical amplifiers (Y amplifiers). This determines the height of the electron beam in small graduation steps. The values refer to volts per centimeter.
    • 10 Variable: The variable height settings. With this, you can fine-tune the electron beam step by step on your respective vertical scaling unit. The CAL value sets the height exactly to the values of the vertical scale control.
    • 11 The AC / DC switch: Use this to define how the measurement signal is coupled:

What settings does an oscilloscope provide

  • AC: Only considers the alternating voltage. DC components are filtered out
  • DC: Considers both DC and AC voltage components. The signal is ultimately passed and displayed faithfully to the original.
  • 12 GND switch: The ground switch. If you select this setting, the measurement signal is ignored, and the input of the oscilloscope is applied to the field. This can be useful, among other things, to remove electron traces from the display.
  • 13 Channel-1 Input: This is where you connect the cables of the respective channel.

Horizontal functions:

    • 16×10 Mag (10x magnifying glass): This function is a kind of fast zoom and helps you to zoom in directly into an area without changing the time or other settings. Note: This magnifier only magnifies the image in the horizontal direction (the voltage level remains unaffected)
    • 17 X-position control: This controls the horizontal position of the electron beam. For example, you can navigate left and right to measured values that are outside the screen without having to change the time factor.
    • 18 XY switch: This switch changes the coordinate system from voltage-time to XY. This mode means that your voltage is displayed on channel one along the X axis while the voltage on channel two is imaged on the Y-axis. The resulting new relation allows for more complex comparisons and phase analyses.
    • 19 Horizontal Scaling Control: This control adjusts the horizontal deflection speed of the electron beam on the screen about time (in milliseconds) per unit. For example, if the controller is set to 5 ms per div, the electron beam will travel a distance of one unit on the screen in 5 milliseconds.
    • 21 Variable: The variable length settings. With this, you can fine-tune the electron beam step by step on your respective set of Horizontal scaling units. With the CAL value, you specify the length exactly to the values of the horizontal scaling control.
    • 22 GND (English: “Ground”): This is the earth connection of the housing.
    • 23 Switches between Chop mode and Alt mode: Use this switch to toggle between Chop and Alt (alternate) mode
  • Chop mode: In this chop mode, the signal of the first or the second channel is alternately displayed for each horizontal channel of the electron beam. In this case, a high frequency is switched between the channels (during the beam reflux). Thus, low frequencies can also be rendered flicker-free.
  • Alt mode: In the old mode (as the name implies), the images of the first and second channels are displayed alternately. In the case of fast time deflection, they are simultaneously visible at the same time. However, at low frequencies, we recommend Chop mode, since it is flicker-free.

Trigger functions:

  • “AC”: in this switch position, the DC voltage components are suppressed selectively. Thus, the trigger does not jounce when signals with a lower cut-off frequency than indicated.
  • “HF” (High Frequency): in this mode, your oscilloscope filters down low-frequency signal parts. This is used to suppress interference signals.
  • “DC” (corresponds to “DC voltage coupling”) in this switching position all measuring signals from 0 Hz contribute to the triggering. You can see how does Trigger Work in Oscilloscope.

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