Scope use...

From: Dwight Elvey <>
Date: Fri Jul 21 14:32:18 2000 wrote:
> hi,
> think of an oscope as a graphic voltmeter that plota against time.
> the X axis is volts and Y axis is time.
> That is along way from troubleshooting with one. To trouble shoot with one
> you really need to have some idea of waht you can expect to see vs what
> you actually saw. Most prints do not automatically give you that.
> While a scope is handy, for fixing machines that were formerly working a
> DMM and logic probe tend to be more useful. Exceptions exist like setting

 I tend to disagree. The order of useful tools I use are
oscilloscope, analog meter and DMM. I use the oscilloscope
as a logic probe. It has a nice little light that tells me
I have pulse and a quick look at the screen tells me the level.
I quite often work on equipment that I don't have any schematics
for. I do think one does need to have data books to know
what you are doing. In older TTL, an open to an input was
easy to see on the 'scope. Debugging problems of the data bus
are great as well, so long as you know how to effectively use
the trigger on a 'scope. If someone was to tell me that I
was going on a space trip and could only take one instrument
along I would choose a oscilloscope over any meter, logic probe
or logic analyzer. I wouldn't even give it a moments thought.
 As for knowing what to see, that comes with experience. One
begins to learn what a healthy data bus looks like or how
a write strobe should look. I also trouble shoot things like
power supplies, switchers as well as analog, with the oscilloscope
as the primary tool.
 While others like logic probes, I always want to see more than
it is displaying. I see the oscilloscope as a more complete tool.
It is a meter, logic probe, frequency meter and simple logic
analyzer all rolled into one.
Just my personal opinion.
Received on Fri Jul 21 2000 - 14:32:18 BST

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