ECG Recording Setup (Block Diagram and Waveform)

ECG Waveform

This is what an ECG waveform looks like:

ECG waveform


When electrical activity occurs, heart muscle fibers are contracted and produces a movement. This condition is refered as Depolarisation. When blood is pumped around the body, it results in contraction. When chambers are contarcted, it is called systolic.


The realxation of heart muscles are called electrical repolarisation. Relaxed heart chambers are called diastolic.

Wave Origin Amplitude (mV) Duration (seconds)
P wave Due to depolarization of atria 0.25 0.12 to 0.22 (PR interval)
R wave (QRS Complex) Due to repolarization of atria and ventricle contraction 1.60 0.07 to 0.1
T wave Due to relaxation of myocardium 0.1 to 0.5 0.05 to 0.15 ST interval
S T interval Contraction of ventricles
U wave Due to slow expansion of purkinje fibers < 0.1 0.2 (T – U interval)

ECG Recording Setup Block Diagram

ECG recording setup

Defibrillator Protection Circuit

The one end of the electrode leads are connected along RA, LA, chest and LL of the patient. The other end of electrode passes through defibrillator protection circuit. The protection circuit has buffer amplifier and over-load voltage protection circuit.

Lead Selection Logic

This block helps to select the type of electrode lead system. We can choose either bipolar or augmented electrode system.

Calibration Circuit

Calibration is a process that helps to eliminate errors in the system. Here, any changes in the lead selection circuitresults in artefacts in the ECG output. Therefore, the calibration unit helps the technician to correct the error in ECG output.

Pre Amplifier

An instrumentation amplifier and a differential amplifier with high gain and high CMRR is used as pre amplifier.

Power Amplifier

The output unit is driven with power amplifier. After the signal is amplified using pre-amplifier it goes to the power amplifier. The output unit is attached with a pen motor. A high electrical power is required to initiate recording with pen recorder. Hence, a high power gain amplifiers are used as power amplifier.

Feedback Network

Feedback network is used to provide damping to the pen motor.

Output Display Unit

Either a CRO or a pen chart recorder acts as the output device.

Want To Learn Faster? 🎓
Get electrical articles delivered to your inbox every week.
No credit card required—it’s 100% free.

About Vidya Muthukrishnan

Vidya Muthukrishnan, with a B.Tech in Electronics and Instrumentation from SASTRA University and an M.Tech in Biomedical Engineering from VIT University, is the Team Lead for Digital Training Services at a notable IT company. She oversees E-learning initiatives and Web-Based Training programs, leveraging her extensive background in Learning and Development, which includes a previous role as an Assistant Professor in Instrumentation and Control Engineering at Sri Krishna College of Technology, Coimbatore.

Leave a Comment