Applications of Oscilloscope – The range of applications of an oscilloscope varies from basic voltage measurements and waveform observation to highly specialised applications in all areas of science, engineering and technology.
The most direct voltage measurement made with the help of an oscilloscope is the peak to peak (p—p) value. The rms value of the voltage can then be easily calculated from the p—p value.
To measure the voltage from the CRT display, one must observe the setting of the vertical attenuator expressed in V/div and the peak to peak deflection of the beam, i.e. the number of divisions. The peak to peak value of voltage is then computed as follows.
Period and Frequency Measurements
The period and frequency of periodic signals are easily measured with an oscilloscope. The waveform must be displayed such that a complete cycle is displayed on the CRT screen. Accuracy is generally improved if a single cycle displayed fills as much of the horizontal distance across the screen as possible.
The frequency is then calculated as f = 1/T.
Many oscilloscopes of laboratory quality include a delayed sweep feature. This feature increases the versatility of the instrument by making it possible to magnify a selected portion of an undelayed sweep, measure waveform jitter or rise time, and check pulse time modulation, as well as many other applications.
Delayed sweep is a technique that adds a precise amount of time between the trigger point and the beginning of the scope sweep. When the scope is being used in the sweep mode, the start of the horizontal sweep can be delayed, typically from a few ps to perhaps 10 seconds or more. Delayed sweep operation allows the user to view a small segment of the waveform, e.g. an oscillation or ringing that occurs during a small portion of a low frequency waveform.
The most common approaches used by oscilloscpe manufacturers for delayed sweep operations are, the following.
- Normal triggering sweep after the desired time delay, which is set from the panel controls.
- A Delay Plus Trigger mode, where a visual indication, such as light, indicates that the delay time has elapsed and the sweep is ready to he
- Intensified sweep, where the delayed sweep acts as a positional magnifier.