What is an oscilloscope and what is it for?

There is a huge number of tools for the professional in the World of Electrical, here we always talk about tools for electricians, and this time we will talk about a tool not well known by electricians, which is the oscilloscope. If you don’t know what an oscilloscope is, what the oscilloscope is for and what the characteristics of an oscilloscope are, rest assured that you are in the right place. We explain in this article what an oscilloscope is and what its features are, come on!

What is an oscilloscope?

Widely used by professionals in the field of electrical and electronics, in addition to being fundamental in electronics laboratories, the oscilloscope is an extremely important tool, as it allows these professionals to visualize the waveform of an electrical signal and especially to analyze certain parameters of this signal such as frequency, amplitude, average voltage, effective voltage, peak to peak voltage and many other parameters.

All oscilloscopes have input channels, usually two or four channels, which are the places where the signals are read. To make the connections between the analyzed circuit and the oscilloscope, we need the probes, which are fitted in the oscilloscope’s channels.

Digital oscilloscope and probes.

It is important to note that to measure the parameters of a signal, such as measuring the electrical voltage, two points are needed to obtain the information, that is, one point for the signal and another for the reference. Therefore, on the same channel, the probe has two terminals to connect to the circuit.

The oscilloscope’s display is very different from the display of a multimeter, in the oscilloscope, the screen resembles a graph, showing a voltage signal over time.

Before using a multimeter, you need to configure it for the magnitude that will be measured, right? As with multimeters, it is necessary to configure the oscilloscope according to each signal to be analyzed, such as:

When measuring a signal it is necessary to choose the coupling, if it is AC (alternating component), which is reading only of the standard deviation of the signal or if it is DC coupling (continuous component), which performs the reading of any value absolute value of the signal, that is, both continuous and alternating components.

There are some probes that allow a multiplier to be applied to the input signal, a mitigating factor of 10 times to speed up the reading, that is, the attenuation can be compensated by the oscilloscope gain. These values ​​must be adjusted both on the oscilloscope and on the probes.

Oscilloscope: Applications

The oscilloscope is an equipment widely used by several professionals, in the most diverse areas and with many applications, such as, maintenance of electronic equipment, analysis of the functioning of electronic control units of automobiles, design of signal conditioning circuits for instrumentation systems, biomedical equipment and systems, among other diverse areas.

The oscilloscope can be used in the automotive area, as it contributes to facilitating the visualization of very small or intermittent faults in a vehicle. The applications of an oscilloscope in electrical are many since the use of the oscilloscope allows measuring voltage amplitudes, frequencies, periods, lag between alternating signals, such as the signal from an electrical power network.

If you want to learn even more how an oscilloscope works, what the characteristics of an oscilloscope are and what an oscilloscope is for, below we have a video from the World of Electrical talking about the basic principles of an oscilloscope. The channel is also an excellent opportunity to learn more about the oscilloscope, so feel free to visit and learn even more about this incredible equipment.