BTEC National Award in Engineering
Unit 54: Electronic Measurement and Testing
Activity No. 1
An oscilloscope (abbreviated sometimes as scope or O-scope) is a type of electronic test instrument that allows signal voltages to be viewed, usually as a two-dimensional graph of one or more electrical potential differences (vertical axis) plotted as a function of time or of some other voltage (horizontal axis). Although an oscilloscope displays voltage on its vertical axis, any other quantity that can be converted to a voltage can be displayed as well. Oscilloscopes are commonly used when it is desired to observe the exact wave shape of an electrical signal. In addition to the amplitude of the signal, an oscilloscope can show distortion and measure frequency, time between two events (such as pulse width or pulse rise time), and relative timing of two related signals. Some modern digital oscilloscopes can analyze and display the spectrum of a repetitive event. Special-purpose oscilloscopes, called spectrum analyzers, have sensitive inputs and can display spectra well into the GHz range. A few oscilloscopes that accept plug-ins can display spectra in the audio range.
Oscilloscopes are used in the sciences, medicine, engineering, telecommunications, and industry. General-purpose instruments are used for maintenance of electronic equipment and laboratory work. Special-purpose oscilloscopes may be used for such purposes as analyzing an automotive ignition system, or to display the waveform of the heartbeat.
The oscilloscope is one of the most versatile and widely-used electronic instruments.
A function generator is a piece of electronic test equipment or software used to generate electrical waveforms. These waveforms can be either repetitive, or single-shot in which case some kind of triggering source is required (internal or external).
Another type of function generator is a sub-system that provides an output...