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Osc1Ever wonder what an Oscilloscope is? Or how to use one? Here’s a good guide on getting starting “An oscilloscope is easily the most useful instrument available for testing circuits because it allows you to see the signals at different points in the circuit. The best way of investigating an electronic system is to monitor signals at the input and output of each system block, checking that each block is operating as expected and is correctly linked to the next. With a little practice, you will be able to find and correct faults quickly and accurately.” Link.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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  1. travis j icorcoran says:

    See also the o-scope training course sold by syspec.com.

    It’s a good reference, and you prob want to buy it from them, but it’s also available for rental from Technical Video Rental (disclosure: that’s my co.)

  2. eh9 says:

    There are also soft scopes, where the UI is all on a computer screen. Here the blurb from such a one, Oscilloscope for Windows:

    Oscilloscope for Windows is a Windows application that converts your PC into a powerful dual-trace oscilloscope. Oscilloscope uses your PC’s sound card as an Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC) to digitize any input waveform (speech, music, electric signal, etc.) and then presents it on the monitor in real time, allowing the user to control the display in the same way as on a conventional “standalone” scope, for example change gain, timebase or plot Lissajous patterns.

    It’s limited in bandwidth, since it uses a sound card (only 20 kHz), and you’ll have to make your own scope probes, and you can easily blow out a sound card, but it’s still a good entry point for beginners.

  3. eh9 says:

    P.S. Oscilloscope for Windows is freeware.

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