A digital oscilloscope is an instrument which stores a digital copy of the waveform in the digital memory which it analyses further using digital signal processing techniques rather than using analogue techniques. It captures the non-repetitive signals and displays it consciously until the device gets reset. In digital storage oscilloscope, signals are received, stored and then displayed. The maximum frequency measured by digital oscilloscope depends upon two things: one is sampling rate of the scope, and the other is the nature of the converter. Converter is either analogue or digital. The traces in digital oscilloscope are bright, highly defined, and displayed within seconds as they are non-stored traces. The main advantage of the digital oscilloscope is that it can display visual as well as numerical values by analyzing the stored traces.
The displayed trace on the flat panel could be magnified and also we can change the brightness of the traces, and minute detailing can be done as per requirement after an acquisition.
There is a small screen, which shows input voltage on a particular axis for the period of time. Even it could display three-dimensional figure or multiple wave forms for comparison purpose by doing some changes. It has an advantage that it can capture and store electronic events for the future purpose. The digital oscilloscopes are widely used today because of its advanced features of storage, display, fast traces rate and remarkable bandwidth. Although, the digital scope is costlier than the analogue oscilloscope, still it is popular in the market.
Sometimes, people get confuse between digital voltmeter and digital storage oscilloscope. They thought that both dealt with voltage. But there is a huge difference between the two. Digital oscilloscope shows the graphical representation of the signals for visual diagnosis and it helps to find out the unexpected voltage’s source. It also represents timing, affected circuit, and shape of the pulse so that technicians could easily find out malfunctioning part. It locates an even minor problem in the operations and send an alert for replacement or tuning. On the other side, digital voltmeter only records voltage fluctuation which requires further diagnostics.
Analogue Storage Oscilloscope
In original storage oscilloscope had analogue input stages, and then convert the signals into a digital format so that it could be stored in special storage memory called cathode-ray tube. These signals processed before being converted back into an analogue format. Cathode-ray tube retains the images on an electrode by plotting it as a charge pattern, then these patterns modulate the electron rays to deliver the picture of the stored signal.
Digital Oscilloscope Technology
First the waveforms are conditioned by some analogue circuits then enter in the second stage which involves receiving the digital signals. To do so, samples have to pass through analogue to digital converter and output signals get recorded in digital memory at different interval of time. These recorded points together make a waveform. The set of points in a waveform show its length. The rate of samples defines the design of the oscilloscope. The recorded traces are then processed by the processing circuit and obtained traces are ready to display for visual assessment.
Uses of Digital Storage Oscilloscope
- used for testing signal voltage in circuit debugging.
- Testing in manufacturing.
- Testing of signals voltage in radio broadcasting equipment.
- In the field of research.
- Audio and video recording equipment.