Just like any other machines, you might find the oscilloscope intimidating with all its switches and knobs. It looks like something that you will find in the control area of an airplane or a helicopter. Well, you might not be too far away from the truth. You have probably seen the oscilloscope in a physics laboratory or an electronics laboratory. The truth is that this device is a key to many different kinds of knowledge – from the deepest parts of the ocean to the furthest, shiniest stars in space.
This Function – What is the Oscilloscope for?
The oscilloscope mainly collects waveforms. Waveforms are basically signals and the purpose of the oscilloscope is to analyze those signals.
Three Kinds of Oscilloscope
There are three kinds and they vary in structural characteristics and main functions:
This is the most straightforward kind of oscilloscope. If you are familiar with the CRT or the Cathode Ray Tube kind of TV, then you can easily understand how the analog oscilloscope works. It is the original kind and is actually commonly known as CRT. The probe detects waveforms or a signal and displays it on a screen. It can only create a pattern or display one event through analog techniques. An electron gun or an image storage device is needed should you need to capture or store a particular event or image. The analog is considered to be more reliable and more accurate than other kinds of oscilloscopes.
It keeps images crisp and safe as this kind of oscilloscope stores the image digitally. The digital format also allows for easy and convenient file transfer through the use of a flash drive. Easy transfer means easier analysis via computer or getting different kinds of information such as the waveform frequency and amplitude right in the digital oscilloscope. This kind is actually described as versatile. There are different kinds of digital oscilloscopes such as the Digital Phosphor, the Digital Sampling, the Mixed Domain, and the Mixed Signal.
These are also called pc-based oscilloscopes and are the most portable kind. Mostly, it captures waveforms that are analyzed and processed through the computer. The computer just needs the appropriate software to perform such function. This is a rather popular choice as it is ideal for educational purposes in lecture halls, classrooms, or offices, they are cheaper than the other kinds, they are small so they are easily carried from one place to another and do not require much storage space. While analog oscilloscopes are usually used as dedicated oscilloscopes, this kind is actually multi-purpose and it can multitask so you can maximize its features. Another example is the handheld. However, it is important to understand that because of its smaller size and portability, this kind has limited bandwidth as well as a limited sampling rate.
Sufficient knowledge about the different kinds of oscilloscopes and their uses is the key to efficient information gathering, analysis, and processing. Therefore, it is important that you know not only how oscilloscopes work but also which ones serve particular purposes most appropriately. There are also review sites like Reviewpen that offers a brief information about the oscilloscopes models. You also need to understand the limitations and the downsides of each kind in order to anticipate these and make necessary adjustments.