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 Oscilloscope Basics

Oscilloscope Probes – Vital Link in the Measurement Chain

Tektronix oscilloscope with probesSignal measurement results can only be as accurate as the test and measurement tools in use.  As clock rates and edge speeds of today’s electronic circuits increase, probing becomes a critical piece of the measurement system – the component that comes in direct contact with your circuit.  This article looks at voltage probing considerations for embedded system and digital design debugging applications.

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 Oscilloscope Background

A simple method to verify the bandwidth of your probe

Agilent oscilloscope Probe BandwidthIn oscilloscopes or oscilloscope probes, bandwidth is a measure of the width of a range of frequencies measured in Hertz. Specifically, bandwidth is specified as the frequency at which a sinusoidal input signal is attenuated to 70.7 percent of its original amplitude, also known as the -3 dB point. Most oscilloscope companies design the scope/probe response to be as flat as possible throughout its specified frequency range, and most customers simply rely on the specified bandwidth of the oscilloscope or oscilloscope probes, wondering if they are indeed getting the bandwidth performance at the probe tip. Now you can use these step-by-step instructions to simply measure and verify the bandwidth of your probe with an oscilloscope you may already have.

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