Oscilloscopes & Accessories
An oscilloscope measures the timing and voltage of an electrical signal and is often used in the development or troubleshooting of electronic equipment. It records and displays measurement details as a waveform on a screen for review and analysis. The waveform shows voltage on a vertical (Y) axis and time on a horizontal (X) axis. Measurements can be output to a computer for storage or analysis with software. Oscilloscopes are commonly used to monitor, record, and analyze electrical signals in a wide variety of industries, including electrical engineering, telecommunications, and medicine. Automotive repair technicians use oscilloscopes for testing ignition systems and electronic engine management systems. An oscilloscope helps electrical engineers and technicians discover and monitor problems in electronic equipment. In medicine, an oscilloscope creates an electrocardiogram, which measures the heart's electrical signals.
An oscilloscope obtains an electrical signal to be measured when an oscilloscope probe is connected to a circuit on the device under test. Some oscilloscopes can accommodate more than one probe at a time and will display multiple signals on the screen for comparison. As an accessory, a probe set typically includes a ground lead, a variety of probe tips and alligator clips, and adapters.
Accessories for oscilloscopes include software that enables a technician to capture, store, and analyze electrical data. Once downloaded to a PC via an RS-232 cable or USB cable, waveform data can be converted to graphs, diagrams, or tables. Such data can then be reviewed for trends or to diagnose malfunctioning equipment. Some oscilloscope software can compare and analyze data from more than one device. Software commonly generates reports to archive or print.
Other accessories include carrying cases for protecting portable oscilloscopes during transport to test locations, rechargeable battery packs for use with portable oscilloscopes, ground lead wires, replacement probes or probe tips, cables, and adapters.