# EXPERIMENT NUMBER 5 BASIC OSCILLOSCOPE OPERATIONS

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1 1 EXPERIMENT NUMBER 5 BASIC OSCILLOSCOPE OPERATIONS The oscilloscope is the most versatile and most important tool in this lab and is probably the best tool an electrical engineer uses. This outline guides you through the basic operations of a specific oscilloscope, an AGILENT 54622A, 2 channel, dual time base scope with a DC-100 MHz vertical-amplifier bandwidth. Almost any modern scope will have the same control functions, and a good understanding of this scope will give you confidence in the use of any scope. Introduction to signal types: DAY 1 1. DC (Direct Current) signal: A voltage level that remains constant with respect to time is called DC signal. To describe a DC signal, only the voltage level needs to be known. DC Voltage Level Reference Level (0 v)

2 2 2. AC (Alternating Current) signal: If the voltage level varies with time, then the signal is called an AC signal as shown below. V p V pp T: Time Period To describe a sine wave, some characteristics of a sine wave need to be known or measured. When you see a sine wave you are seeing a varying voltage with respect to time in a cyclic fashion as shown in the figure. One complete cycle which is one positive half cycle and one negative half cycle constitutes one complete cycle of the waveform. The time taken for this signal is called the period (T) of this waveform and is measured in seconds. The number of times one cycle of the waveform repeats in one second is called the frequency of the waveform and is measured in cycles per second or Hz (Hertz). If the signal repeats itself then it is a periodic waveform otherwise it is aperiodic in nature. This describes the basic timing characteristic of the waveform. There are other timing measurements that can be done and you will be introduced to them as and when they are required for any particular experiment. The other major characteristic of a periodic waveform is the voltage level or the amplitude. There are various ways to define this characteristic. The figure shows two such definitions. The peak value of the voltage (Vp), and the peak-to-peak value of the voltage (Vpp). In addition, it is possible to

3 3 characterize voltage levels in terms of the average and RMS value. These later definitions will be described in subsequent exercises. Peak, peak-to-peak, average and RMS values can also be applied to periodic signals that are not sinusoid, such as square and triangle waves. Again these periodic non-sinusoid signals will be discussed in subsequent exercise. Now you are ready to look at using the most important tool in this lab, the oscilloscope. The oscilloscope sitting in front of you has the following main sections. 1. The screen 2. The Vertical Section 3. The Horizontal Section 4. The Trigger Section 5. The Measurement section 6. Disk Storage Section While doing the experiments and learning to use the oscilloscope, you will be required to record all observed data and waveforms. This oscilloscope has built in features to store the current screen in a few formats. This part is explained to you first so that you don t need to draw the waveforms that you observe. Store them in a floppy disk and attach them later to your final draft of the write up. Saving the waveform: After stabilizing the waveform and obtaining all the required measurements pertaining to the waveform, perform the following steps to save the waveform. This is the simplest way of saving waveforms for future reference. 1. Press the Save/Recall key to display the Save/Recall menu. You will find a menu pop-up (called the soft menu) on the bottom of the screen. Each displayed icon on the menu has a push button key associated with it located below the screen. These push buttons are called soft keys. 2. Press the Formats softkey to display the Formats menu. The oscilloscope allows you to store the screen images in three formats. The CSV (Comma Separated Variable) store values of the displayed channels and math waveforms suitable for spread sheet analysis. BMP and TIF formats store the complete screen image, including the status line and softkeys. 3. Choose the BMP format and wait for a while until you see a clear waveform and the measurements that you have taken. 4. Press the front panel Quick Print key to start transfer to the floppy disk. Now you are ready to start understanding the details of the oscilloscope,

4 4 Oscilloscope Operation I: Looking at the Vertical Section This oscilloscope supports two inputs. Therefore you can observe two external signals simultaneously. There are some internally generated signals that can be observed along with the two applied signals, but they will be discussed later. The vertical section has the following controls and buttons associated with it: 1. Each channel has an input to which the signal is applied, a volts/div knob that helps in enlarging or shrinking the vertical size of the oscilloscope pattern (trace) and a position control know for positioning of the waveform on the screen. These are mainly to assist in viewing the waveform under observation. 2. There is a channel key (named 1 and 2 ) which pops up the soft menu for the respective channel. 3. There is a math key, when pushed opens up a soft menu that allows the user to perform mathematical operations with the signal on either, or in some cases both, input channels. The equivalent input circuit consists of a 1 M? resistor in parallel with 14 pf capacitor that provides high input impedance over some band of frequencies. Why is it useful to know the equivalent input circuit? If you have understood the experiment on internal resistance, you should be able to figure out this question easily. Experiments with the vertical section. When you first switch on the oscilloscope, it is advisable to use the default factory settings (press Save/Recall key and then press the Default Setup softkey). After you have gained some experience and confidence, you can use your own personal settings. Connect a DC signal from the DC power supply to the channel 1 of the oscilloscope. One rule to stabilize waveform quickly is to use AUTOSCALE feature of the oscilloscope. Press the AUTOSCALE button located on the front panel of the oscilloscope. You will notice that the oscilloscope automatically makes some adjustments and stabilizes the waveform. Observe the location of the ground level and the level of the signal. Turn the volts/div knob clock wise and anti-clockwise in steps and observe what happens. You should notice the volts/div changing on the top left hand corner of the screen. The volts/div knob changes in a 1:2:5 sequence (e.g. 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 1, 2 5 etc). Turn the position knob for channel 1, notice the effect and write down your observation in your lab notebook

5 5 Pressing the channel 1 push button brings up the soft menu Signal Coupling: This oscilloscope supports 3 types of signal coupling. Pressing the Coupling softkey, allows you to choose the signal coupling. DC coupling allows a complete transfer of the signal arriving at the oscilloscope inputs. It has all the components, DC and AC. Choosing AC coupling, inserts a capacitor in series with the signal there by allowing pure AC signal to pass through to the input circuits. Ground coupling grounds the incoming signal. Choosing this, you will see only a line at the ground reference on the screen. This type of coupling is mainly used to position your grounds for multiple signal viewing The BW LIMIT Soft key allows you to clean your signal. If you have a very fuzzy waveform, which is basically a clean signal with high frequency noise over it, this feature inserts a filter removing all the high frequency noise. Mainly used for improving signal quality for accurate measurements The VERNIER soft key is used to provide smaller increments or decrements in the volts/div knob. Press the VERNIER soft key and try changing the volts/div knob and observe the difference The INVERT soft key is used to provide a 180 degree phase shift, negate it, to the signal. It is useful for doing many mathematical operations AUTO PROBE: Your instructor will explain the use and calibration of oscilloscope probes. 2. Quick Measurements: This oscilloscope has an built in capabilities that allow the user to take simple measurements quickly. This is introduced in this section so you can perform some more experiments with the vertical section. To use this feature, press the QUICK MEAS key located on the front panel. This brings up a soft key menu. Press the SOURCE softkey to choose the channel on which you want to perform the quick measurement. Choose the Arrowed soft key (the second softkey from left) to choose the measurement you want to perform on the signal and then press the Measure softkey. You should notice the measured reading appear just above the soft key menu. The screen can hold up to three measurements. You can clear the current measurements, by pressing the Clear Meas soft key. 3. Measurement using Cursors. The cursor feature allows the user to make custom voltage or time measurements Once you have obtained a stable display, press the CURSORS key and the press the Mode softkey. Choose Normal mode. X, 1/ X, Y values are displayed. X is the difference between the X1 and X2 cursors (time difference) and Y is the difference between the Y1 and Y2 cursors (voltage difference) Press the Source softkey to select the source for your cursor. Using Normal mode allows you to perform operations on analog and math waveforms.

7 7 the quick measurement feature as well as cursors. Measure the average value of waveform. Measure the RMS value of the waveform using quick measurement and a DMM. Record your observations and store the waveforms. The instructor will explain the concept of DC offset and will introduce some into your signal. Observe the effect of AC and DC signal coupling on the sine wave. With the DC offset still there, try to measure the average value using cursors and using the formula (Positive peak voltage + Negative peak value)/2 Measure the average value using the quick measurement and compare it with the calculate value. Connect a 1 KHz triangular and square wave. Observe the effect of increasing and decreasing the volts/div on the waveform. Measure the peak-peak voltage, maximum and minimum voltage using both the quick measurement feature as well as cursors. Measure the average value of waveform. Measure the RMS value of the waveform using quick measurement and a DMM. Record your observations and store the waveforms. DAY 2 Oscilloscope Operation II: Looking at the Horizontal Section The horizontal section provides the timing control on the waveform that is being observed. It has the following controls and buttons associated with it. 1. There is a secs/div knob that helps in modifying the horizontal scale and a horizontal position control for positioning of the waveform on the screen. These are mainly to assist the viewer in ease of viewing the waveform under observation and making time measurements. Connect a 1 KHz sine wave from the signal generator to channel 1 of the oscilloscope and stabilize the signal using autoscale feature. Turn the secs/div knob clock wise and anti-clockwise in steps and observe what happens. You should notice the secs/div changing on the screen. It will light up, when you adjust this setting. The secs/div knob changes in a 1:2:5 sequence (e.g. 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 1, 2 5 etc). Try to measure the period of the waveform by measuring the number of horizontal divisions and multiplying it by the secs/div. Try this at different settings. Verify your results by finding the period of the signal. The period is the reciprocal of the frequency. Measure the period using the X cursors and the quick measurement feature and record your observations. Save your waveforms, for both the measurements, on a disk. Turn the horizontal position knob, notice the effect and note down your observation. 2. There is a Main/Delayed key that pops up the horizontal section menu

8 8 You will find the Main softkey checked. This is the normal mode of operation. The other modes that can be chosen are the Delayed, Roll and the X-Y mode. Connect a very low frequency signal, press the Roll softkey, observe what happens to the waveform and note down your conclusion. The Delayed softkey allows you to; expand a portion of the main waveform to observe the timing details more clearly. Pressing this key, divides the screen into two parts. The upper part has the main waveform and the lower half has the expanded waveform. Turning the secs/div knob allows you to select the range of the original waveform you want to observe The horizontal position control knob allows you to shift the selected region left or right. Practice with different settings of the secs/div and the position control and note down your observation. Save the screen image on a disk. Connect the calibrator voltage and attempt to measure the rise and fall times of the voltage using the delayed and cursor measurement feature of the oscilloscope. The X-Y feature will be explained when you do the dual signal operation. The timing reference: When you stabilize the signal, you will see, on the top center of the screen, an inverted triangle that depicts the timing reference. You can set this timing reference to either, center, left or right by pressing the Time Ref soft key. If you turn the horizontal position knob you will find the waveform shifting and the delay between the current position and the time reference will be displayed on the screen temporarily. Practice this feature and note down your observations. Oscilloscope Operation III: Looking at the Trigger Section Triggering of the signal under observation is very important as it provides synchronization between the vertical and horizontal deflection system. Generally the signal under observation is used to extract the trigger signals that are needed to generate accurate horizontal sweep signals to display the waveform. Pressing the Mode Coupling button brings up the trigger menu on the screen. Connect a 1 KHz sine wave to channel 1 and stabilize it. By rotating the trigger knob (the knob right to the Mode Coupling button), you should notice the trigger level and the starting point of the signal changing. This will also depend on the position of the timing reference that you have set, the default setting is center. Your instructor will explain this in detail. Pressing the Mode soft key brings up three options. AUTO, AUTOLEVEL and NORM. Rotate through these three options. Take the trigger level, using the trigger level knob beyond the display range and notice the affect and differences in these three modes. Your instructor will explain these modes to you. Reduce the frequency of the signal to about 5-10 Hz. And try to stabilize the signal using all the modes and conclude, which one of them is most suitable for observing low frequency signals. Pressing the Coupling soft key gives you a few choices on the type of coupling that is desired. Generally the signal under observation is given to the trigger

9 9 circuit to extract the trigger signal. If the signal is composed of many frequencies or has DC offset added into it, you might have to choose the right coupling for the job. DC coupling couples all the components of the signal to the trigger circuit and can be used for all signals, but mostly suited for observing very low frequency signals. AC coupling removes any DC and very low frequency signals and is mainly suited for observing signals with DC offset. LF reject is mainly used for observing very high frequency signals, rejecting any low frequency noise. Practice by stabilizing low frequency signals, high frequency signals and signals with offset using different types of coupling and note down your observations. The Noise Rej soft key is used to remove any high frequency noise to all a clean signal to enter the trigger circuit. The HF Reject It is just the opposite to the LF reject Hold off This feature will be explained by your instructor. Increase the Hold off and observe what happens to the signal and note down conclusions on where this feature can be used. External Triggering If you would like an external signal to trigger your signal under observation, then that signal can be connected to the external input located at the right hand corner of the front panel. Connect the calibrator signal to this input and connect a sine wave, from the signal generator, to channel 1. Try to change the frequency of the input signal and observe which frequencies can be stabilized using the calibrator signal. There are some ways in which the oscilloscope employs triggering of signals. We are going to observe the EDGE Triggering in detail. Pressing the Edge button on the front panel, which is lit and is the default method, brings up a trigger menu for the same. The default settings include the selection of the positive edge for triggering and channel 1 as the source. The positive edge selected, try to vary the trigger level and observe the trigger being selected from the positive slope of the signal. Observe what happens when you choose the negative edge triggering and turn the trigger level knob. Channel 1 will be chosen as the source of triggering since only channel 1 has a signal connected to it. Remove the signal from channel 1 and connect it to channel 2, select channel 2 (vertical section), deselect channel 1 and press auto scale. Now checking the edge menu you will find that channel 2 is the source of the signal. This feature will become more apparent when you do the dual signal operation. Pressing the ext soft key, you can choose line triggering. This feature connects the supply line voltage coming from the mains to the trigger circuit. Using this feature and changing the frequency of the input signal try to find the frequencies that you can stabilize. Oscilloscope Operation IV: Looking at the Dual Signal Operation Connect the calibrator signal to channel 1 and a 1 KHz sine wave to channel 2. You will have to select both the channels to switch them on. Try to stabilize both the channels. Choose channel 1 as your source for triggering and then choose

10 10 channel 2 as your source and note down your observations. What does this tell you about the two signals that you are trying to observe simultaneously? Now remove the calibrator signal from channel 1 and connect the TTL output from the function generator and try to stabilize both the signals. Note down your observations and conclusion of the stability Using a splitter, connect a 1 KHz sine wave to both the channels, stabilize them and press the math function button. You can perform a few math functions using the 2 signals under observation. Use AC signal coupling for both the channels. How will you add and subtract the 2 waveforms? Be sure to save the waveforms. Remove channel 2 and try to observe the integrated and differentiated wave form by using the respective soft keys. Do they match with the theoretical calculus? Looking at the X-Y mode. In the X-Y mode the timing signal is removed from the horizontal deflection system, and channel 2 signal is diverted to the horizontal deflection plates. Channel 1 is given to the vertical deflection system. This leads to a X-Y graph (the details and applications will be explained by your instructor). Connect 2 sine waves of the same frequency and observe the X-Y pattern. Try the same with two square waves and two triangular waves. Note your observations in the difference between the X-Y pattern for the sine wave and triangular wave. Save your waveforms on the disk.

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