An Oscilloscope, also known as O-scope, is a complex electronic laboratory instrument commonly used to capture, process, display and analyse the waveform and bandwidth of electronic signals. The device draws a graph of the instantaneous signal voltage as a function of time. O-scopes is an analyzer of a signal that comes from a signal generator. Digital oscilloscopes are often referred to as digital storage oscilloscope (DSO) or digital sampling oscilloscopes (DSO).

Different types of Oscilloscopes

Oscilloscopes fall into various categories. The biggest distinction is whether they are digital or analogue oscilloscopes. Within the digital oscilloscopes area, there are several different types.

  • Digital oscilloscopes: Basic type of oscilloscope used. Has several capabilities from a processing of the basic waveform to advance triggering.

  • Storage Oscilloscope (DSO): Has a memory to sore waveforms and display them for a period of time.

  • Phosphor oscilloscopes (DPO): use a parallel processing architecture to enable it to capture and display signals.

  • Digital sampling oscilloscopes: Used for analysing high-frequency signals for example up to 50 GHz.

  • Mixed Domain Oscilloscope, MDO: Can operate in more than one domain, i.e. in time to display waveforms and in frequency to display signal spectra.

  • Mixed Signal Oscilloscope, MSO: Combines an oscilloscope function with that of a logic analyser.

How does a digital oscilloscope work?

The oscilloscope is a graph-displaying instrument. It draws a graph of an electrical signal. In most applications the graph shows how signals change over time, the vertical (Y) axis represents voltage and the horizontal (X) axis represents time. Some of the oscilloscopes featuring additional user-friendly elements such as USB ports for downloading measurement data.

In its simplest form, a digital oscilloscope features six elements:

  • Analogue vertical input amplifiers

  • Analogue-to-digital converter and a digital waveform memory

  • Time base which features a triggering and clock drive

  • Circuits for waveform display and reconstruction

  • LED or LCD display

  • Power supply

How to choose the best oscilloscopes?

Oscilloscopes are widely used in industry and are being increasingly used as they now offer better performance levels than ever before.

There are many different types of oscilloscope each having their own characteristics. For example, the small, lightweight handheld digital oscilloscopes are ideal for use by technicians working in service, maintenance and installation applications. This means that different oscilloscopes types are applicable for different applications and choosing the correct type enables it to perform to its best and therefore gain the most from it.

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Part Details Brand Number of Channels Bandwidth Oscilloscope Type Series Power Source Display Type Minimum Vertical Sensitivity Maximum Vertical Sensitivity Sample Rate Random Battery Type Model Number p Dimensions Width Length Height Weight Vertical Resolution Maximum Operating Temperature Minimum Operating Temperature SPI Interface IIC Interface USB Interface UART Interface
Digilent 410-321 Oscilloscope, USB, 2 Channels, 30MHz Digilent 2 30MHz USB - USB Analogue - - - - 410-321 - - - - - 14 bit +125°C -40°C Yes Yes Yes Yes
Active Learning Module, USB Oscilloscope Analog Devices - - - - - - - - - - ADALM2000 - - - - - - - - - - - -
Digilent OpenScope MZ Series OpenScope MZ Oscilloscope, PC Based, 2, 10 (User Programmable), 2 (Oscilloscope) Channels, Digilent 2, 10 (User Programmable), 2 (Oscilloscope) 2MHz PC Based OpenScope MZ Mains, USB LED - - - - OpenScope MZ - - - - - 12 bit - - Yes - Yes Yes
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