Catching Waves with an Oscilloscope
In This Chapter
Learning what an oscilloscope is
Getting started with an oscilloscope
Calibrating your scope
Looking at waveforms
Electronics can whip up some gnarly waves, dude. You can surf sine waves that roll along nice and easy, like corduroy on the horizon. But sawtooth waves are hairy: they ride up slow and then drop you way fast. And of course, square waves . . . they’re just, you know, so square.
Your basic multimeter, which you can read about in this minibook’s Chapter 8, is essential. You can’t do electronics without one. In this chapter, we tell you about another incredibly useful tool to have on your workbench called an oscilloscope. Although the voltmeter in your multimeter can give you a simple number that represents voltage, an oscilloscope can draw a picture of voltage. And, as they say, a picture’s worth a thousand words – er, numbers.
A picture is much more valuable than a number as regards voltage, because in all but the simplest circuits voltage is always in motion; it’s always changing, and an oscilloscope is the ...