5 Tips to Use a Cathode Ray Oscilloscope (CROs) Like a Professional

An Oscilloscope is a device which helps in the observation of a signal as it varies with respect to time, usually over a two-dimensional plot. An oscilloscope generates signals and captures the resulting responses. A Cathode Ray Oscilloscope is one of the simplest oscilloscopes and finds intensive use in various research laboratories, schools and colleges for calibrating an oscillator, comparing frequency generators, displaying various wave forms, measuring the potential difference, measuring amplitude of the signal, measuring frequency of the signal and checking if the generated signal is of the expected shape or not.

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Five tips that can come in handy whilst using a cathode ray oscilloscope are given below:

#1 Ensure Accurate Calibration

After you have turned the Cathode Ray Oscilloscope on, it is paramount to ensure that it is calibrated correctly by turning the knobs of the Time Base Variable Controls and the Gain Variable Controls clockwise.

#2 Make Proper Circuit Connections

The Cathode Ray Oscilloscope must always be connected in parallel with the circuit element over which voltage calculations have to be made.

#3 Locate the Beam

The most essential part of using an oscilloscope is being able to locate the beam. This can be achieved by turning and adjusting the knobs for time base, intensity, input, trigger and channel level. Intensity of an oscilloscope is defined as the amount of electrons hitting the phosphorescent screen. Before proceeding with any kind of measurements, it is mandatory to check if the Cathode Ray Oscilloscope is properly triggered. The channel level trigger moves the channel beam up and down on the display of the cathode ray oscilloscope. Turn the Trigger Level Control to Auto position.

#4 Make Accurate Measurements

The key components of an oscilloscope are voltage and time. Accommodate the channel amplifier knob until you get the best and most precise view of the signal.

#5 DC Signal Measurement and AC Signal Measurement

It is best practice to set the switch to Ground (GND) before proceeding with the measurement of the DC signal. The GND position is used to disconnect the input signal and ground it. Trace the black lines on the screen and set the switch to DC. Proceed with the DC Signal calculation.

To measure the AC Signal, set the ground reference in the middle of the screen. Make measurement of the sine signal, which is repetitive and symmetrical, only once you have adjusted the channel amplifier so that the signal fills the entire screen.